Friday, May 18, 2012

Healthy Balsamic Fig Pork Chops and Homemade Mac

I had been dying to try this recipe which is adapted from Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast: 250 Incredibly Flavorful 5-Ingredient 15-Minute Recipes cookbook is titled Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Onion-Fig Relish (I used pork chops instead since I had them on hand and thought this sauce would probably go better with pork chops).  When I told my husband that I had been thinking of making the pork chop, he suggested mac and cheese.  I decided to make my own for the first time ever.  I also prepared a nice fresh salad to go with this meal.  

Healthy Pork Chops with Balsamic Onion-Fig Relish (adapted from Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast: 250 Incredibly Flavorful 5-Ingredient 15-Minute Recipes Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Onion-Fig Relish)

I used pork chops and adding Adobo seasoning to my pork.  Just prior to cooking, I chopped my onion.

-14 oz thin pork chops
-Adobo or your favorite meat seasoning
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-Cooking spray
-Mission Figs
-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (conveniently I had a balsamic fig at home)
-2 Tbsp water
-1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 oz chopped onions

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Sprinkle pork chops with Adobo and a bit of salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray.  Coat a medium-sized cast-iron or other oven-proof skillet pan with cooking spray and  heat  over medium high heat.   Add pork; cook four minutes or until browned on all sides, turning occasionally.
3. While pork browns, chop up the figs.  Combine vinegar, 2 Tbsp water and soy sauce in a small bowl.  Once the pork has browned, remove pan from heat and add figs, onion, and vinegar mixture to pan and stir to loosen browned bits.
4. Bake uncovered at 425 for 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160.  (Note: in light of this article, I might say or until 145 which is the new pork doneness temperature, particularly if using tenderloin but I'm still not used to following the new rules).  Stir onion mixture; cover pan loosely with foil.  Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Yield: Dinner for 2.

Note: Pork tenderloin can be substituted in place of the pork chops here if needed.
Quick and Easy Macaroni and Cheese (adapted from Food Judicata and originally posted on the College Cookbook)

In a nutshell, I followed this recipe from Food Judicata (adapted from the College Cookbook), except I used a tiny bit of chili powder instead of the cayenne pepper and added Parmesan cheese.  Overall, this was tasty.  Next time I will try to see if I can buy whole wheat and also try to make this into a buffalo mac.  I might add more cheese too.

- 1 cup of elbow macaroni
 -2-3 slices American cheese
- ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
-2 Tbsp of butter
-3 Tablespoons of milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
-A pinch of chili powder

1. Boil the pasta according to the package directions.
2. Drain the pasta and return to the pot to the stove over medium low heat.  .
3. Melt butter into the pasta and stir it so it is evenly distributed.
4. Add cheese and milk and stir until it becomes desired consistency. (add about a tablespoon of milk at a time and stir until it becomes nice and creamy).
5. Season with salt and pepper.  Add a pinch of chili powder.
6. Serve immediately.

Yield: 2 large side dish servings

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