Tag Archives: mashed potatoes

#1 of 2011

 Tonight’s dinner ranks as #1 dinner of 2011 thus far.

Yep, #1.

And it took me by total surprise!

Seriously, from the looks of it you would never believe it either… but boy oh boy, looks can be deceiving!  Trust me, you’ll see.

In an attempt to clean out the goods we have in our kitchen, I came up with yet another 5 ingredient recipe.

Albeit a little less conventional than the coconut curry chicken from this weekend, if that even makes sense?

Leftover from Christmas Eve dinner was a lonely can of sauerkraut…

What to do, what to do?

Well, I decided to throw together this blend of flavors and see how it turned out!

  • (1) 1 onion, sliced thin
  • (2) 1 lb. boneless pork ribs
  • (3) 1 apple, thinly sliced & chopped
  • (4) 1 can Bavarian style sauerkraut, drained
  • (5) 1 bottle Yuengling Lager
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tblsp sugar
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste

Sometimes you just have to go for it and hope for the best :P

I had never cooked with boneless pork ribs before a few weeks ago, but I’ll tell you that they are a great cut of meat for cooking low and slow and also very economical even from Whole Foods.

Good food on a budget :)

Sliced onion.

Boneless pork ribs, chopped into 1″ cubes.

Cooked over medium high heat in 1 tblsp olive oil for about 10 minutes or until the onions turn glossy & golden.

Season with sea salt & black pepper too.

In goes the apple, unpeeled and sliced into thin & small pieces.

Then the can of sauerkraut – drained.

This is actually Bavarian style sauerkraut which has been seasoned with caraway seeds and (yikes!) corn syrup.  Ooops ;)

Can’t win ‘em all.  And can’t say this doesn’t taste good!

If you don’t have Bavarian style sauerkraut then you’ll need to add more sugar plus caraway seeds to this dish.

Then a bottle of beer.  Lager to be exact.  Plus the sugar.

Drunken ‘kraut.

Those words just sing to me.

Perhaps it’s the Polish in me :P

After a good stir, cover and let simmer over low for another hour and a half.  Stir every half hour or so to make sure the liquid doesn’t get too low.

It may seem like a long time, but if you throw this on the stove right after work it will be the easiest thing ever.  And who doesn’t have time for a few minutes of stirring?

After the time is up you will have a pretty colorless pot of food.  Don’t let that deter you however, please don’t at all.

In such a short period of time the pork becomes fall apart tender, I’m talking no knife required.

Perhaps it’s the acidity of the sauerkraut or maybe the apple, or perhaps even the beer, but something(s) worked it’s magic – hey, I’m no scientist ;)

The flavor of this dish was spot on – not like anything I’ve ever tasted but SO very delicious.

Served atop some cheesy mashed potatoes I had stashed in the freezer (these were actually leftover pierogi filling from this adventure, I mean, do I think I’m living during the Great Depression? I swear I don’t throw anything away haha).

Yum. Yum. Yum.

The cheesy potatoes soaked up all the glorious beer infused sauce – I can’t even explain how good this was!

And with temperatures well below freezing here in Virginia (not for long though!) this meal definitely warmed me up from the inside out.

Like I said, we’re not talking pretty, colorful food here (hey, a garden salad on the side will fix that real quick!) but we are talking major MAJOR flavor.

Tangy onions & ‘kraut, sweet sugar & apples, fall apart tender pork plus a light hint of beer.  Oh-em-gee.

I may or may not have called Fanatic Mom while I was eating it to tell her how surprised I was with this dish and talked about it for 5 minutes straight, why does she put up with me? – she can attest to that.

And by the way, I’ve already decided that this will be the dinner to celebrate my belated birthday when my Uncle comes in town (if you’re reading Uncle Donnie, here’s a sneak peak!)…

I have problems – who plans meals 2 weeks in advance?


Oh yea, what birthday?

This girl’s last birthday in her 20’s falls the day after tomorrow *gasp* can’t even believe it! 

And Fanatic Dad’s birthday is tomorrow :)

We have a lil’ something up our sleeves to celebrate later this week too — so stay tuned!

Okay I better stop talking/thinking about/eating this ‘kraut dish and go watch The Bachelor already, have a great night!

Sunday Dinner with the Fam

What better way to get over the Sunday blues than to have some of your favorite people over for a lovely Sunday dinner!

And spend some quality time in the kitchen with said people Smiley

Our dinner guests:  Fanatic Mom & Dad!

I picked up mom later in the afternoon so we could go shop for our dinner ingredients.  Not having a set plan until last minute (love spontaneous meals!) we finally decided upon a classic meat, vegetable (green) & potato “MVP?” meal.

But not just any MVP meal, oh no.  This one was kicked up a few notches and turned out fabulous!

  • Bacon wrapped sweet & sour pork tenderloin
  • Homemade mashed potatoes
  • Spicy green beans & tomatoes w/ jalapeno & garlic

We marinated the pork tenderloin in a mixture of the following (measurements are approximate) for about an hour before cooking:

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tblsp honey
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tblsp chili powder
  • salt
  • black pepper

Then wrapped each tenderloin in three slices of bacon, securing with toothpicks, before placing into a scorching hot skillet to sear the meat & cook the bacon a bit (remove toothpicks as it cooks, while you turn the meat) — probably about 5-7 minutes total at medium-high heat.

The meat was then transferred to a foil lined baking pan and put into a 400F oven to cook until done.  This took about 25-35 minutes.

The next dish on the menu came from an idea from one of our favorite farm stands at the farmer’s market.  The farm is owned by a Mexican family and I have been dying to ask for some fresh recipe ideas (we all know my fascination/obsession with Mexican cuisine!)

Well this past week Fanatic mom asked how they like to prepare their fresh green beans, and we were given this recipe, which surpassed all expectations in the flavor department Smiley

  • fresh green beans
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed & chopped
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper

We simply added the olive oil to a hot pan along with the green beans.  A few splashes of water while they cooked over medium-high until partially steamed through (still firm but slightly tender).

Once the water had cooked off (or you can drain off) we added the tomato, garlic, jalapeno, salt & pepper… allowing the mixture to cook through over medium for just a couple minutes until the tomatoes softened and the jalapeno & garlic cooked a bit.

This was easily one of the best ways I’ve ever had green beans and it was definitely a hit with the dinner table!

The sweet, warm tomatoes paired with the crunchy fresh green bean and the spicy jalapeno was a party in the mouth Smiley

Of course the meal wouldn’t have been complete without some homemade mashed potatoes, using the Fanatic ladies’ favorite way of preparing!

Simply peel 5 large baking potatoes and chop into large chunks.  Boil for about 10-15 minutes until tender.  Then combine about 1/2 cup 1% milk with a tblsp of butter and microwave until melted/warm.  Using an electric mixer, mix the liquid mixture (adding a bit at a time) with the potatoes until smooth & creamy.  Add some S&P to season too:)

Of course there was some vino action as well, and this Horton sweet wine from our good friends Tammy and Louis was so ridiculously tasty!

Tasted like red wine + chocolate.  Ridiculous.

So there you have it, beating a case of the Sunday blues can always be done with good friends/family/food…

Am I right or am I right? Smiley

Happy Monday all!