Hawaiian style stuffed pork chops

These are tasty chops that are great on the grill.

6 boneless pork chops
1 small tin pinaple (pieces)
6 slices of mozzarella cheese
teriyaki sauce
soy sauce

Start by making a pocket in the pork chops.  Using a small, sharp knife, stab into the side of the pork chop.  Slide the knife back and forth without cutting through the other side of the chop.  You don’t want to butterfly the chop.

Once you have made a pocket, stuff the cheese and a few pieces of pineapple into each chop.  Put the chops in a marinating dish.  drizzle some soy sauce on the chops.  Pour a generous amount of teriyaki sauce on the chops.  Pour the pineapple juice from the tin on the chops.  Let them sit for at least 1 hour, turning after 30.  You can have them marinate for up to 8 hours.  The longer the better.

Grill the chops on medium high heat for about 4-5 minutes a turn (that means 8-10 mins per side).  For more information on how to turn your meat on the BBQ, see my post on how to cook a steak here.  When you first put the chops on the grill brush with some of the marinate.  Brush again after each turn.

Pull the chops off the grill, cover with tin foil and let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.  You can use the leftover pineapple for fruit salad.  You can ask the Lady of the Lake for her fruit salad recipe.

Post your comments below.

Brad’s Basic Pasta Sauce

Here is the recipe for my basic red sauce.
½ lb of ground beef
½ lb of spicy Italian sausage meat (out of casing)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 diced green pepper
1 diced onion
4-5 diced stalks of celery
4-5 diced mushrooms
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tbsp of dried basil
1 tbsp of dried oregano
1 tbsp of dried parsley
1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Brown the ground beef and sausage in a deep skillet or saucepan (I use my wok).  Be sure to remove the sausage from the casing.  Once the meat has browned, drain fat and add the pepper, onion, celery, mushrooms and garlic.  Cook on med-high heat until the veggies soften (about 10-15 mins).  If your veggies are sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning, add a few tablespoons of water to your pan.  Once the veggies are semi-soft add the tomatoes and tomato paste.  Stir everything together.  Add the remaining ingredients and let it simmer on medium heat for at least 15 minutes.  The longer you let it simmer the better it tastes.  Remember to stir everyone few minutes.  Be sure to taste it and adjust seasoning as you see fit.
This is a very nice and simple sauce.  It works well on any pasta.  Also you can drop the meat and add shrimp and/or scallops for seafood pasta.  You could also leave the meat out, bake some meatballs and have classic spaghetti and meatballs.  This is just a great alternative to cracking open a can and dumping it on noodles.

The manwich hunt

So the other day my wife and I were returning home from a friend’s house.  It was about 5:30pm so we were getting hungry.  Because we are going away next week, we haven’t really been doing a good job of keeping the fridge stocked up.  As we drove past the grocery store we had a crazy idea.  Lets have a manwich!

Neither of us has ever had a manwich before.  I have had sloppy joe’s as a kid but I don’t think they were ever manwich brand.  It was very exciting! (Yeah.  This is where I find entertainment.)  So our first order of business is to track down the buns.  I feel that the bread is the most important part of any sandwich so we needed to choose correctly.  We settled on Safeway’s cheese buns.  This was a good choice.  Our next item was the can of manwich sauce.  We snuck over to the canned goods isle.  It was like we were under aged kids sneaking into the liquor store to by booze.  We felt a little dirty and ashamed for seeking the meaty marvel.  It actually took us about 3 passes of the section to find the stuff.  At one point Tamara turned to me and said ‘I really don’t want to have to ask anyone for it.  It just seems wrong.’  We did locate the can, on the bottom shelf, tucked away from easy viewing.  It seemed to be stored like the entrance to a seedy bar.  A place were people who frequent those types of establishment (or dinners in our case) would know where to look but those of us who are unfamiliar with that society would have a hard time finding.  After procuring the can we dashed to the meat isle and ran for the checkout.  As we were waiting in line I thought to myself ‘I could go for a Starbucks.’  This was replaced by ‘You can’t go to Starbucks with that can in your hand!  It is unnatural’  The whole process seemed very funny to me.  You feel odd because when you have a can of manwich in your hand, everyone knows you are going to take that can of whatever it is and pour it all over meat.  You are then going to eat that meat on a bun.  There is nothing more.  Just meat on a bun.  I guess it is like buying condoms.  There really isn’t any other purpose for the product and in both cases what is done with the product is better done at home without any one else watching.

We did eat it with a side of Greek salad.  We needed something else.  I just couldn’t do it on its own and the peppers were starting to wilt.  It made for a fun dinner finding experience.  Please post about your guilty food pleasures.  What greasy, heavy foods do you just have to chase down once and a while?  

Come on baby light my fire

I am making chili tonight.  Not just any chili, my champion chili.  This recipe has won two armature chili cook-offs and I am still working and reworking the recipe today.  This is how it stands currently:

Canned Goods:
1              can mushrooms (pieces and stems, drained)
1              can mushrooms (whole, drained)
1              can kidney beans (do not strain)
1              can black beans (do not strain)
2              cans dices tomatoes
1              can tomato paste

1lb          lean ground beef
1/2lb      bacon (finely diced)

6tbsp     chili powder
6tsp       onion salt
2tsp       basil
2tsp       garlic powder
2tsp       pepper
4-6tbsp maple syrup
1              chipotle pepper

Throw everything into a crock pot and cook on high for at least 5 hours.  Serve with garlic bread or cheese buns.

So yeah.  That is all there is to it.  The chipotle pepper was my most recent addition and it has such a good flavor.  Also I used to cook everything on the stove and it took about an hour.  The slow cooker is like a magic pot that makes the meat so good.  I don’t think I would ever go back to cooking it on the stove.  It really made a big difference.  Please try it out and let me know what you think.  Please offer ways I can improve it.  The whole concept of this chili is smokey-spicy.  I wouldn’t call it zesty or tangy.  Those aren’t the flavors I am going for.  Comment away!

Steak salad

Last night for dinner I am making a new household favorite, steak salad.  I have to give credit for this recipe to one of my co-workers.  While I didn’t directly get the recipe from him, he used to bring leftovers into work.  Basically he gave me the concept and I ran with it.  The recipe is simple and serves 2-3 people:

1          12oz steak (any cut really)
2 tsp     Meat Tenderizer
2tbsp    Garlic Powder
1tsp      Cracked black pepper
4tbp      Red wine
2tbsp     BBQ Sauce (I recommend Cattleboyz)

1/2pkg     Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
1lrg          Avocado
1sm         Onion
1/2         Long English Cucumber
1lrg         Head of Romain Lettuce

1/4c     Olive Oil
1/4c     Balsamic Vinegar
1tsp     Grainy mustard
1tsp     Lemon Juice
1/2tsp  Salt
1/2tsp  Pepper


There are really three parts to this salad; the meat, the salad (ie vegetables) and the dressing.  Start by preparing the meat.  I have a whole other post on how I prepare and cook steaks.  You can cook them as your normally do or check out the article here.  Once your steak has rested, cut it into thin strips and set aside.

While your steak is cooking you can prepare the salad.  Basically throw all the vegetables into a large bowl (after they are cut!).  Dice all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.  You can toss it in a little while.

While your steak is resting I recommend making the dressing.  In a container with a liquid-proof lid (ie you can shake dressing in it without having to wipe down walls afterwards) combine all the dressing ingredients.  Place the lid firmly on the container and shake for about 30 seconds.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad.  Now you can toss the salad!  You also do not have to add all of the dressing.  Add part, toss and add more if needed.  The dressing will keep for some time in a fridge and tastes great on any salad.

Put the salad on a plate and top with the steak strips.  Eat and enjoy.  I always encourage people putting their own twists on recipes.  Have fun and try something new.

How I cook a steak

I generally get called to the grill to cook steaks at family functions.  I have to admit I do enjoy it.  Doing a steak correctly is something I am proud of.  I am going to talk about how I prepare and cook steaks.  There are two parts; the marinade and the grilling.

Ideally you want your steaks to marinate for 12-24 hours but if you are rushed then as much time as you can give it.  The marinating technique comes from church BBQs my Dad would help put on.  We would apply this technique across over 100 steaks.  It was a lot of meat.  You will need the following ingredients.  This is broken down on a per-steak level:

2tsp Meat tenderizer
4tsp Garlic powder (NOT GALRIC SALT!)
2tsp Ground pepper
4tbp Red wine

Sprinkle side ‘A’ of the steak with the tenderizer, garlic powder and pepper.  You do not have to stick to exactly the measurements I have listed.  If you like more garlic or pepper go right ahead and add it.  Also, adjust the tenderizer based on how long you have to marinate the meat.  The long the marinating time the less tenderizer you need.  This measurement would be for a 4-8 hour marinade.  I don’t recomend using salt in a marinade.  It can dry out the meat.

Using 2 forks prick the entire side of the steak.  Use one fork to hold the meat and the other to stab it all over.  This helps inject the spices into the meat, tenderize the meat, and draw in more marinade.  Repeat both of these steps on side ‘B’

After you have pricked and seasoned the steak, place it in a study zip-lock bag.  Pour the wine into the bag.  Without spilling the wine, try to remove as much air as possible from the bag before you seal it.  Set the bag in the fridge ‘B’ side down.  Make sure to flip the steak a few times while it marinates.

I like to grill my steaks to a medium-rare so that is what I am going to share with you.  Turn your BBQ high and let it heat up for about 5-10 minutes.  Scrap the grill using a BBQ brush.  Normally you don’t need to grease the grill for steaks but it is a useful trick for chicken or fish.  Take a paper towel, fold it over a few times and dip it in some oil (I use olive oil).  Being very careful not to burn yourself, wipe the grill with the oil.  After you have prepared the grill, close the lid and let it heat up again for a few minutes.

Theses cooking times are for steaks that are about an inch or so thick.  You will have to adjust slightly for thicker or thinner steaks.  I cook my steaks for 2-3 minutes per turn on high heat.  That means I cook them like this:  Put the steaks on the grill for 2-3 minutes.  Turn the steaks 45 degrees and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Flip the steaks over and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Turn the steaks 45 degrees and cook for 2-3 minutes.  If you are going to apply BBQ sauce, do it as soon as you put the steaks on the grill and once again after the flip.

Once you have the meat off the grill set it aside, cover it with tin-foil and let it rest for about 2-3 minutes.  This helps seal in the juices.

So that is how I cook a steak.  Give it a try next time you fire up the grill.  Please let me know how it goes.  I am always looking for feedback.