Garlic and Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin

Hello foodies!

We all have that one go-to meal we’ve made time and time again that never fails, whether it be to entertain guests or just something quick and easy that you can whip up and 2.7 seconds. Mine happens to be the Pork Tenderloin.

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This is one cut of meat that, when I first started cooking, was always intimidated by it because let’s face it… You can either be really awesome at making it juicy and tender or really bad at making it choke-ya dry and tough! Trust me when I say, me and the ol’loin had a few go’rounds before I got it right (thank goodness for ServSafe¬†and thermometers to make my life easier ūüėČ )

I love how versatile this meal can be. I have made it in a variety of ways and flavors, like cutting the loin in pork steaks (or medallions) and throwing them on the grill, roasting them in the oven surrounded by my favorite hearty veggies, and trying new flavor ideas with marinades, seasonings and sauces to enhance the flavor of the pork!

One of my all-time favorite ways to fix this bad boy is with… wait for it… Garlic (told ya, it’s in everything) and a blend of herbs. This Pork loin is so aromatic and succulent that it pairs with almost anything.

Here’s how I make it:

Garlic & Herb Roasted Pork Loin

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INGREDIENTS:

  • Pork Tenderloin
  • 3 Cloves of fresh garlic, cut into slices (I was able to get about 4-6 slices from each)
  • 3 tsp. Coarse Sea Salt
  • 1 tps. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground mustard

 


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Take a sharp knife and make 5 slits in both sides of tenderloin and two slits on the ends.
  2. Stuff each slit with a slice of garlic. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the rest of ingredients.
  4. Rub an even amount of herb mix all over the tenderloin. Let sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350¬ļF.
  5. When oven is preheated, place the loin in the oven (on an oven proof dish big enough to hold the loin- I used my cast iron pan).
  6. Allow to cook for roughly an hour and a half to two hours or until a thermometer reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145¬ļ when inserted in the thickest part of the meat. (Using a thermometer is the most accurate way of determining its doneness, so I strongly recommend investing in one ūüėČ ). Take the loin out of the oven and set aside.
  7. Allow to rest for ATLEAST 10 minutes. The meat will continue to cook and retain its juices.
  8. Cut it as desired and enjoy ūüėÄ

 

I hope you like my take on the ol’tenderloin! If you are like I was when I first started this, do not let it intimidate you. You can really bring a meal to life by stepping up your game and getting out of your comfort zone. Preparing this meal is one way to do it.

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ptloin

 

 

 

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Asian Chicken Lo Mien & Honey, Ginger Sauce

Hello beautiful Foodies!

As many of you all already know, my culinary class will be proudly crossing the stage in the next couple months (Wow! That is so weird for me to even say. I DO NOT feel like it’s already time to be graduating.)

Today, my classmates and I were approached by Chef Rob about an idea he had swimming in his head for a last “Hoo-Rah” before our time in Culinary school has ended. Of course we were all intrigued to find out more. That’s when he went on to ask if we would be interested in participating in our own little version of Chopped. Do I really have to tell you our answers? One hint… the vote¬†was unanimous!

Not going to lie- I am super, super excited about throwing down The Hungary Pollock style but I am nervous as crap to be under pressure! Sure, most likely we won’t be using ingredients as off-the-wall as Food Network’s Chopped¬†but the whole idea of coming up with something that will blow whatever judges Chef Rob has recruited out of the water is a little nerve wracking.

Since finding out, I have been wrapping my brain around all kinds of flavor possibilities, thinking “this could go well with this ” and “that would be awesome with that”(and obviously planning for a worst case scenario with mystery food items). While details are still in the air, it’s our understanding that we will have access to everything in the kitchen and, like Chopped, we will be required to use EVERYTHING in our Mystery baskets. I’ve even jumped right in to studying my Flavor Bible (if you do not have this book- GET IT! I’ll be making a post about this wonderful find another day!).

One recipe I’ve came up with brings the flavors of Asia right to your table. Ok -confession- I actually made this a few days before learning about the Chopped Competition but still… it falls in the same category, right?

The other day I was in the mood for something Asian inspired so I whipped¬†together a Honey, Ginger sauce; cut and fried up some chicken and threw in some julienned veggies. Oh! And let’s not forget the stir fry rice noodles! In no way would I consider myself an Asian food connoisseur, but the flavors this sauce was packin’ had me feelin’ pretty dang good about this dish!

Here’s how I make it:

Asian Chicken Lo Mien with Honey, Ginger Sauce

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For the Sauce:

  • 1/3 Cup¬†Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2/3 Cup Honey
  • 1 Tbs. +1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. Ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp. crushed Red Pepper (optional if you do not like heat)

For the Chicken Lo Mien:

  • 2 Boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 2¬†Tbs. Sesame Oil
  • 3-4 Carrots, julienned
  • 3 Celery stalks, julienned
  • 2 Green Peppers, julienned
  • 5 oz. Stir-fry Rice noodles, prepared according to box
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced on a bias

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
  2. Add chicken to another bowl and coat with 1/4 cup of the Honey Ginger Sauce. Let marinate in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  3. In a wok (or in my case- a large skillet), heat Sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and stir fry until cooked through.
  4. Add carrots and celery. Stir fry for about two minutes before adding in the green peppers.
  5. Add rice noodles, Honey Ginger Sauce and green onions; stir fry 3-4 minutes or until noodles are tender.
  6. Place noodle mix on a serving platter, sprinkle with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.
  7. Grab your chopsticks and dig in! ūüėÄ

Notes

  • If you’re not afraid of a little heat, you can add as much red pepper as you like to give it that extra oomph! I, personally, love to have my Sriracha Sauce close by for those moments when I need a little extra soul warming.
  • If you do not use your noodles immediately after softening, cover noodles with plastic wrap or let them soak in cold water until ready to use. If they become sticky, rinse gently with warm water to separate!

I hope you enjoy my version of this flavorsome meal as much as I did making (and eating) it. I am always having fun in the kitchen so when I put this one together and it didn’t taste like something you just found in the trash, I just had to share with all of you.

Got another Asian inspired dish? Tell me all about it! I’m always looking for new ways to spice up my dinner options so I would LOVE to try some suggestions!

 

 

Lasagna Roll-ups- a fun way to eat lasagna

It was Italian dinner night at the Holbrook Homestead yesterday. For a while now, I’ve been craving lasagna but I cringe at the thought of putting it together. The time it takes to¬†assemble each layer of noodles, filling, and sauce (that I¬†make completely from scratch) is almost time consuming when you really just want to dig right in. Let’s not forget the bake time. We’ve all been there, right? No? Maybe it’s just me. However, those thoughts quickly cease when I pull the heavy, piping hot dish from the oven. The slightly browned cheese bubbling on the surface and the savory aroma of Italian herbs dancing around my nostrils is mouthwatering. I know my efforts are well rewarded when my husband takes his first bite and there is silence the rest of our dinner time.

Last night, I found an unopened container of ricotta cheese just hanging out on the refrigerator door. It was nearing it’s expiration so I knew that I needed to just give in to my laziness. I wanted to try a new way of putting together my lasagna. I remembered seeing all kinds of pins and posts about “rolling” your lasagna noodles with the ricotta filling and then pouring the sauce over top of that. Seems simple enough. Right? ¬†Well, I am here to tell you it was that simple. The best part of all…it was perfectly portioned and it kept it’s shape, unlike cutting into and trying to plate those of the layered recipes.

Here is how I make mine. Enjoy ūüôā

Lasagna Roll-Ups

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 c. prepared Sam’s Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
  • 12 Lasagna Noodles, cooked¬†
  • 1- 30 oz. Container of Ricotta cheese
  • 14 oz. feta cheese crumbles (yes, feta cheese. It’s amazing in this)
  • 1 c. fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. Basil
  • 2 tsp. Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Rosemary
  • 1 tsp. Thyme¬†
  • 1 tsp. Fennel seed
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella¬†

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Set the first 2 ingredients (noodles and sauce) aside. Line a 9×13 pan with foil and preheat the oven to 350¬įF.¬†
  2. In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together the next 10 ingredients. 
  3. Starting with one noodle at a time, spread an even layer of the ricotta filling over the top of the noodle. Take one end and begin to roll to the other end. 
  4. Place rolls neatly in the pan and ladle sauce evenly smother the top of noodles with the sauce. 
  5. Sprinkle Mozzarella evenly over the top and place (uncovered) in the oven. 
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the cheese just begins to brown and is melted all over. 
  7. Grab a plate, a fork and get ready to dig in to some of the best lasagna ya ever tasted!

NOTES:

  • Although I would rather you used mine, you can use your own favorite spaghetti sauce. Mine had meat in it so if you like your protein like me, you will have to add about 1/2 lb (or more) of meat to¬†your sauce. (if you want the recipe for my sauce click HERE)
  • I also added some fennel seeds to my sauce this time. I haven’t added it before, but after using it last night, It was a good addition.¬†
  • When making the roll-ups, I had enough filling for 12 decent sized rolls. I was also able to comfortably fit 12 in the pan. If you wanted to spread the filling out a little more, you will need to make more noodles.¬†

I hope you are brave enough to give this recipe a go. It was a big hit in my home. So much that I had to fight my husband off to get seconds. Wow your guests with this yum-diddly dinner!

Like this recipe for Lasagna Roll-ups? Tell me all about it in the comments. Have a favorite Italian dish or way to make your lasagna? Share the recipe with me and I will give it a try.

Remember to like, share, follow and like The Hungary Pollock!

Why not Jambalaya?

Hello wonderful foodies!

mmm...good. My take on the favorite New Orleans dish!
mmm…good. My take on the favorite New Orleans dish!

Gah, I swear I feel like it’s becoming harder and harder to sneak away from my grueling homework to write a post. Countless hours of my life just withering away with each boring Digital Literacy learning video I try cramming into my nightly routine . No, worries! I have a plan worked out to where I can, at least, get one up every weekend. And if you’re lucky… I might post two!¬†¬†ūüėČ

Anyway, about this wonderful concoction. I got the base to¬†this recipe from an old Home and Gardens cookbook. When I feel like making something quick and filling, this is my go-to recipe. It comes in handy when I’ve been working in the commercial kitchen all day and have¬†class directly after; which is exactly what influenced my decision to¬†throw it together this past week.¬†For some reason, my kids and husband feel they have to eat (I know, crazy.. right? haha). Apparently, I’m the one who they expect to make all these fancy, shmancy dinners. Not Daddy. Well, this particular evening-¬†momma was not having it.

Our day started off rough. We were short handed in the commercial kitchens. With an undersized class of only six students and a full menu¬†to put out for service in 2 hours time, it really put a hurting on us with two¬†classmates out due to sickness. Let’s just say we were buuuuusy! (We rocked the chicken cordon blue and all the fixin’s, that day)

I didn’t make it to my humble abode¬†until a little after 5 that evening and Mason would be home in another hour. I failed to pull some meat out to thaw, so andouille sausage would have to do. Why not jambalaya? Being fall, I like to stick to comfort (if you couldn’t tell from my other posts). It was actually a perfect accompaniment to some The Walking Dead re-runs (thWalking-Dead-season 6 posterank goodness for Netflix). Yes, I am EXACTLY what some would say a “Dead-Head”.. like a hard core, treat every day like a zombie apocalypse type Dead-Head. With a little over a month before the new season airs on AMC, I just HAD to start watching it from the beginning…again. What can I say? Daryl Dixon stole my ‚̧ (Sorry, Mase).

Ok, enough with the zombies… you have to give this New Orleans¬†favorite a try! So much flavor love going on in your mouth, it makes you feel like you’re in the bayou!

Jambalaya

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs. cooking oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1- 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained (or 2 large fresh tomatoes, diced)
  • 8 oz andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cute into 1/2 inch slices
  • 3/4 cup long grain rice
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 dried red pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large skillet, brown sausage in hot oil .
  2. Add and saute onion, celery, peppers, and garlic until tender.
  3. Stir in rice and cook for about a minute.
  4. Add in chicken broth, tomatoes (and juice), and spices.
  5. Bring to a boil; reduce heat.
  6. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, until rice is tender.
  7. Discard bay leaves.
  8. Grab a heaping helping of jambalaya, sink into your couch, and take this time to catch up on some Walking Dead while scarfing down!

NOTES:

  • Spice it up by throwing in some shredded chicken or shrimp.
  • If rice is dry and undercooked, add in 1/4th cup of extra broth at a time until rice is tender.
  • I have also used beef broth and the results were excellent.

 Did you like this recipe for my Sausage Jambalaya? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Smokey, Chunky Chili

¬†_MG_0616 copy This is my all time favorite chili recipe and it’s always a go-to when I don’t know what to cook for dinner! Thrown together on a whim (I do this a lot),¬†It’s a very simple (there’s that word again. I really like making meals as easy as can be) and a fairly cheap meal to make, but sometimes I like getting¬†adventurous¬†and tend to add roasted peppers and corn. It’s so versatile and easy and it’s definitely a MUST try!

Smokey Chunky Chili

  • 1 lb. ground hamburger or turkey burger
  • 3 cans dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 1 large onion
  • 3-4 tomatoes diced (I used 2 romas and 2 better boys from my garden)
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup¬†beef broth
  • 2-3¬†tbs chili powder (more may be added to taste)
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tbs. sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Smoked paprika

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DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven over med-high heat, fry burger. Drain.
  2. Add every ingredient (juices included) to the pot.
  3. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower to a simmer.
  4. Let simmer for 2 hours.
  5. Dress it up with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

NOTES

  • If you like a thicker chili, you may omit the beef broth.
  • Don’t want smokey? Just leave out the Smoked Paprika.
  • CROCKPOTing it up? Cook burger in separate pan, drain and add to crock pot along with remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 4. (Perfect time to sneak away and do something relaxing for yourself ūüėČ )
  • I like to add a little sugar to many of my recipes that are tomato based. This is totally optional, but I find it helps to cut down on the acidity of the tomatoes. It’s just what has always worked for me.
  • This also freezes well, so make ahead and save for those colder nights!_MG_0617 copy

That‚Äôs all she wrote. Did you enjoy my Smokey, Chunky Chili¬†recipe? Let¬†me know in the comments below what you thought. Have a favorite Chili recipe you make all the time? Share it with me¬†and I’ll give it a shot. I’m always looking for more ways to spice up my chili recipe.

Remember to Follow, Like, and Share The Hungary Pollock!

Tuscan Styled Pork Chops

_MG_0551 copyI first used this scrumptious¬†recipe¬†about¬†two years ago when browsing pinterest¬†for italian inspired dishes. I was getting tired of the same ol’ meals and ready to try something a little more “fancy”. That’s when I stumbled on the blog,¬†Sweet C’s Designs,¬†and found a¬†recipe for One pan Tuscan Pork chops. It was quite delicious!

The savory aromatics of the herbs and pork chops filled my kitchen and gave me a sense of being in Italy, when really, I am forever stuck in Eastern Kentucky.¬†It’s nice¬†being able to close my eyes while biting into the pork chops smothered in the chunky tomato sauce and to imagine I am miles and miles away. I like to visualize myself beaming¬†over¬†the silvery olive groves, fields of sunflowers, and the vineyards that stretch for miles.

I’ve made some minor tweaks of my own in this recipe and served it with some Italian Seasoned Potato Wedges.¬†This recipe is quick, delicious, and (my favorite) simple! Best of all, you probably already have everything needed for this dish, on hand. No special trips to the grocery store. It is sure to impress guests. You could even convince them you spent hours preparing it, when really it only took roughly 30 minutes (it’s ok, I won’t judge ūüėČ ).

Tuscan Styled Pork Chops

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 pork chops_MG_0512 copy
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1¬Ĺ cups fresh tomatoes, diced (include liquid if cutting tomatoes produces a lot of liquid)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp rosemary
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat a large (I used a cast iron), heavy pan on high until warm.
  2. Add oil and heat until shimmery (but NOT burning/smoking) about 20 seconds.
  3. Brown pork chops on each side, about 1 minute each.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low, add onions.
  5. Stir onions and flip pork chops after 2 minutes on each side.
  6. Add tomatoes, roasted peppers, garlic and spices.
  7. Simmer until tomatoes are soft and sauce has set up- about 5-8 minutes.
  8. Serve with Italian Seasoned Potato wedges, grab a glass of your favorite wine (or favorite drink) and dig in!_MG_0525 copy

I hope you enjoyed my slightly different version of the Tuscan Pork chops! I know I did! If you tried this recipe, remember to let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear all about it.

Chicken Teriyaki Stir fry- the not so traditional way.

  


_MG_0484 copy 2Today was one of those days that I just didn’t feel like spending my whole afternoon slaving over a hot stove. I am still recuperating from my daughter’s birthday party, yesterday.¬†Between the water balloon fights and water guns, I’m not real sure who had more fun; the kids or the adults. It was a great time but after that, I’m ready to just take it easy.

If you haven’t figured out by now, I will do whatever I can to shortcut the time spent in my kitchen¬†while still putting out a delicious, pretty, and filling meal. It’s just the way of a tired momma. I think every parent I know does this in some way, shape, or form. So I don’t feel particularly bad when I do it.¬†

This recipe is in NO way an authentic stir fry recipe. In fact, my teriyaki sauce was just put together one day and it just happened to be perfect for what I was going for. It’s become my go-to recipe when I’m trying to sneak in the vegetables for my girls. They love the way the crisp veggies crunch in their mouth as they stuff their little faces. I also whipped this up in a jiffy (which keeps my hungry little ladies¬†from yelling, “momma, is it done yet?” every 5 minutes), so if quick and delicious is what you’re looking for, give it a try.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 Tbs. Teriyaki marinade and sauce
  • 4 Tbs. Barbeque sauce
  • 2 Tbs. Honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbs. oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into strips¬†
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 carrots, cut into thirds and julienned (cut into strips)
  • 2 stalk of celery, cut into thirds and julienned
  • 1/2 bell pepper, julienned
  • 1- 12 oz pkg. frozen broccoli cuts , thawed (fresh will work as well)¬†
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cups white rice, already prepared

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl- mix the first 4 ingredients and set aside. This makes about a cup of sauce. 
  2. In a large frying pan (or wok) over medium-high, heat the oil. 
  3. Add chicken and red pepper flakes. Cook until chicken is cooked halfway through. 
  4. Add celery, carrots and sesame seeds. Cook for 2 minutes. (The chicken should be completely cooked by now)
  5. Stir and add green pepper. Cook 1 minute. 
  6. Add in the sauce, broccoli, salt and pepper. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, reducing heat as needed. 
  7.  Serve over a bed of white rice, garnish with extra sesame seeds, grab some chopsticks (or if your chopstick skills are as poor as mine, grab a fork), and dig in!

NOTES

  • When cooking the veggies, be sure not to overcook them. They should have a little crunch to them, but not underdone. The color should also be vibrant.¬†
  • You can add or substitute other vegetables but the cooking time can vary.¬†
  • We also like to just mix the rice right into the stirfry when it’s cooked all the way through. If you do this, you may need additional teriyaki sauce.¬†

I can already guess what you’re probably thinking, “How does barbeque even fit into stir fry?” Well, I can’t really give you an answer to that. Sorry ūüė¶ I can, however, tell you how that came to be. I was down to just a few sauces but was REALLY feeling some chinese food, particularly stir fry. I happened to find some teriyaki¬†marinade sauce. It was too thin for what I wanted so I pondered what in the world I could use to make this thicker without taking the flavor away. I honestly don’t even know what made me try the barbeque, but I snatched it up. I added a little of this and a little of that and tasted it to see how bad the damage was. To my surprise, it was perfect. The barbeque added the right thickness without overpowering the teriyaki. My husband raved about how good this was for forever and made sur_MG_0486 copye he packed it in his lunch for work. SCORE! Proud wifey moment ūüėČ

I hope¬†my use of our everyday condiment doesn’t scare you away from trying this out. It’s quick. It’s simple. It’s delish!¬†

If you liked this recipe and want to try it out, be sure to let me know how it turned out for you in the comments! I would love to hear all about it! Please share with friends so that they may enjoy this too!

Thank you for following The Hungary Pollock!

Soup Beans- The best you’ll ever have!

Apparently, for mefree-autumn-wallpaper-1920x1200, August has opened the doors to all things comfort. I mean, why not? I guess I am slowly breaking myself into all those hearty meals that make you just want to sink back into the couch, wrap yourself in a warm blanket and grab an enthralling book (if you were so lucky to have the quiet time). Fall is my favorite time of the year and since summer is coming to an end anyway, I am doing all I can to welcome it with open arms. 

That’s why, tonight, I broke down and made my husband’s favorite country dinner. Soup beans and Cornbread. I know! You’re probably thinking, “What the crap is that? That can’t be good.”. I have had those thoughts, too, when I moved from northern Ohio to eastern Kentucky. Being a northerner, I have never heard of such a meal. Beans? A soup? …No way! It’s actually a very popular dinner, here, where we live. To be honest, I was not a fan of it when I first had it. The look and the taste… Bluck!¬†

It wasn’t until my mom had gotten a recipe from one of her close friends and made it on her own, that I started to take a liking to it. After that, I gave it a second go. After becoming an adult, I wanted to try it on my own, replicating my moms recipe the best I could. I made a few tweaks, added a ton of fresh garlic (you will come to learn I am a lover of fresh garlic; it’s used in almost all my savory recipes), and a big chunk of ham.¬†

Everyone has their own way of making it but this recipe is by far the best I have tasted. I am convinced that this recipe is the reason my husband popped the question after learning I make Soup Beans as good as his mamaw. 

Soup Beans

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 C. dried Pinto beans, rinsed
  • 2 lbs. Ham, cut into chunks or a rough dice
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 12 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. This step is optional, but may be done ahead of time to shorten cook time. Soak beans in water overnight or at least an hour before cooking. When ready to use, drain. Allow yourself enough time to cook the soup before eating.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven; add 6 cups of water and the rest of the ingredients. 
  3. Over high heat bring to a boil. Cooking uncovered for 10 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
  5. Stir occasionally. 
  6. Reduce heat to med-low or low. Let simmer. 
  7. Cook until beans are soft all the way though and are easily smashed. This can take a couple hours, depending on if you soaked your beans.
  8. Add water as needed (beans will soak up water quickly).
  9. If you want a thin soup leave as is. If you want it to be thicker, take a couple spoonfuls of beans and smash with a smaller spoon. (The starch in the beans with help thicken)
  10. Grab a piece of Cornbread, fried ‘taters, and dig in!

This is recipe is super easy, simple and full of flavor!¬†I hope that you give this southern¬†delight a try. It’s worth it ūüėȬ†

If you like this recipe, give it a like. I would love to hear in the comments if you gave it a try and how it turned out for you!

Thanks for following The Hungary Pollock!

Sam’s Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

A few years ago, back in my dating days, I invited my husband (then boyfriend) over for supper. I wanted everything to be impeccable and I guess I also wanted to show off a little of what I can do in the kitchen. For a whole week leading up to our date night I rummaged through cookbook after cookbook, looking for the perfect dish. Nothing spoke to me. Sinking back into the couch disappointed, I remembered the one time, as a child, when my grandma and grandpa Fox came in for a visit from Louisville.

This particular night my mom proposed spaghetti for dinner. Normally, we would go the cheap, quick, boring route and settle for the jarred spaghetti sauce. That was a No-No for Grandma. Pulling me over to stove, she walked me through the steps to making a delicious sauce. Grandma and I always loved cooking together when we had the opportunities. She always made sure I was doing everything on my own with a little guidance. This way, it stuck!

Fast forward back to our date night. Using the same recipe my Grandma instilled in me, tweaking it here and there to my satisfaction, I stood in front of the stove getting ready to prepare the first of many meals for my future husband.¬†Since then, it’s become a (highly requested) family favorite. As picky as he and my girls are, I am proud to say I found a happy medium in this dish.

Ladled on a bed of angel hair spaghetti noodles (our favorite) and paired with my cheesy, VERY garlicky bread rounds (and possibly a side of salad); this meal is hearty, warming, and satisfying!

Sam’s Homemade Spaghetti Sauce


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb.¬†hamburger
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 lb. button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 2 large cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 tbs. oregano
  • 2 tsp. basil
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot, fry hamburger meat. Drain and set aside.
  2. in same pot, over medium heat, saute bell peppers and onions about 4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and mushrooms (if using). Cook for another minute.
  5. Return ground meat back to pot, mix and cook for another minute.
  6. Add tomato sauce to vegetable mixture and bring to a simmer.
  7. Once pot has come to a simmer,  reduce heat to low and add in the oregano, basil, and rosemary.
  8. Add in sugar a little at a time (this will depend on how sweet you like your sauce).
  9. Add your salt and pepper to your taste.
  10. Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes, allowing the flavors to mingle. Stir occasionally.
  11. Serve over a bed of your choice of spaghetti noodles.
  12. Dig in and Enjoy ūüôā

NOTES

  • I like my sauce a little on the sweet side. When adding your sugar be sure to taste the sauce in between additions. You want to knock out the acidic and heavy tomato taste from the tomatoes. I found that the full 1/4 cup was perfect to my tastebuds, however, it’s always safer to do a little at a time.
  • This sauce is great over almost any pasta noodle. I have used elbow macaroni, ziti, lasagna, etc. When making spaghetti, we love angel hair better than the regular spaghetti noodles. It really holds the sauce well.
  • Any ground meat may be substituted for the hamburger. Occasionally, I will switch it up with some italian sausage or (if I get an itch to be healthier) I will chose turkey burger.
  • If you do not have fresh tomatoes on hand, you may substitute a can of diced tomatoes. Add the juice too.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Be on the lookout for the recipe to my Cheesy, Garlicky Bread Rounds. ¬†Leave a comment and tell me what you think or if you tried it. I would love to hear how this turned out for you ūüôā

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Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Let’s set the scene….

… You walk in the house after working outside in 90 plus degrees (let’s not forget the real-feel after the humidity is factored in). The refreshing blast of the mock arctic air hits your¬†face as you enter. You kick your shoes off at the door, grab your latest edition of Food Network Magazine, and plop enthusiastically in your favorite spot on the sofa. Running your fingers through the pages, you finally find the page with the bent corner (unfortunately,¬†you haven’t got very far into the mag to search). As soon as your eyes focus on the first word, you’re interrupted by 2 screaming girls complaining they are hungry not even 20 minutes after they just ate. Realizing what time it is you scurry to the kitchen, running every food item you have through your mind, trying to think of what pairs with what. It’s the middle of the week, no time to run to the store, and you are down to just a few select things until your next grocery venture. Time to get creative.

Sound familiar? Yea, it’s probably happened all too often for my family. I always find that the closer to payday/ grocery date ¬†the more I have to stretch and become pretty¬†inventive¬†with my culinary skills. Yes, my husband and I are so lame that, since having kids, our only alone time is a trip to the grocery store.

Today, for me, ran like the little scene I painted for you. I found some chicken, a few vegetables, and broth. I didn’t really want to go all “hot comfort food” in the heat of summer, but as I said… I was working with limited ingredients. Going¬†with what I had, I created the next best thing to chicken pot pie (my favorite leftover put-together after thanksgiving).

Here is my version of Chicken Pot Pie Soup. This dish is really filling and sure to make you welcome Autumn with open arms.

CHICKEN POT PIE SOUP


Chicken Pot Pie Soup

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INGREDIENTS:

  • ¬†2-4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (cut into halves or thirds to help reduce cooking time)
  • 1-32oz box chicken broth
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 3-4 carrots, cut into rounds
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can green beans, drained halfway
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained halfway
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2- 10.5oz cans cream of chicken
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In¬†a large pot or dutch oven, add all ingredients accept the cream of chicken, salt and pepper. If the chicken broth does not cover the chicken and other ingredients, water may be added. (I had no problem with the broth covering so I didn’t need to add any)
  2. Over high heat, bring to a boil.
  3. Once the pot comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally.
  4. With your spoon or a pair of tongs, grab the chicken and place on a cutting board. You can either shred or cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. (If chicken isn’t cooked all the way through, that’s ok. It will finish cooking when added back to the pot.)
  5. After chicken has been shredded or cut, add back to pot.
  6. Once the carrots become soft enough to cut with your utensil (and chicken is cooked completely through), discard the bay leaves and add the cream of chicken and the salt and pepper.
  7.  Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for another 10 minutes. (This allows the flavors to mingle)
  8. Serve and enjoy!

This make around 4-6 servings

*** Adding egg noodles would also be really good. They can be added around step 7.

*** I did not have celery like I normally use, so I substituted around a teaspoon of celery seed.

I hope you enjoyed my first recipe blog. If you tried this recipe out, please share in the comments and let me know how it worked for you! Happy eating ūüėČ