pork-chopsIngredients:
4 All natural thick cut bone in pork chops salt and pepper to taste 1 pinch garlic salt, or to taste
1 onion, chopped I use organic Texas sweet onions
1/2 pound fresh Texas cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup of good red wine (can be left out)
1 Tablespoon of cooking oil or bacon fat
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic salt to taste. Preheat your cast iron over med-high heat once it is too warm to touch add 1T of cooking oil, I use bacon fat, brown the chops. Remove the pork chops add the onion and mushrooms, and sauté for one minute. Add the wine if you are choosing to use it, and stir for about 1 minute. If you choose not to add the wine add the fresh thyme and pour cream of mushroom soup over chops. Cover skillet, and add to the oven for about 15- 20 minutes, or until chops are cooked through.

mushroom-pork-chops

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White Chocolate and Raspberry Tiramisu Recipe

White Chocolate Tiramisu TFN

Personal Chef and Catering Austin Texas

This dessert recipe is a Texas version of a classic Italian dessert. We typically have fresh berries of all types in the spring and this is a good recipe to make use of them. You could use blueberries, strawberries and of course some lovely Fredricksberg Peaches too. I prefer to use organic raspberries I think it tastes superb, and the dessert looks really classy when finished and of course it tastes good too. This dessert is a nice dish to serve for a casual or upscale party or event, and you would not be denied entry to any party when bringing this desert. You could make these in individual cups, I have used this dessert for catering and will have these available individually at Chef Pogue’s Farm To Fork in the spring. Enjoy!

Ingredients
4 cups of fresh organic raspberries
2 cups fresh heavy cream
9 ounces white baking chocolate, melted and cooled
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
2/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese
2 packages (3 ounces each) ladyfingers, split
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 packages (3 ounces each) ladyfingers, split
Milk or dark chocolate shavings, optional

Directions

1. You will want to heat your white chocolate and have it cooling before you start so it will be ready to work into the recipe.
2. In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream until you have formed soft peaks, be careful not to make butter. In another bowl, beat both the cream and marscapone cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled white chocolate, and the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract can be used it is just not as flavorful). Gently fold in your whipped cream until incorporated.
3. Brush half of the ladyfingers with half of the orange juice; arrange in a 13×9-in. dish. Spread with 2 cups cream cheese mixture; top with half of the raspberries.
4. Brush remaining ladyfingers with remaining orange juice; arrange over the berries. Spread the remaining sugar and cream cheese mixture over the ladyfingers. Top with the remaining raspberries. Refrigerate until serving.
**If desired, you can add dark or milk chocolate shavings before serving.
Yield: 15 servings.

10 Facts About Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron Skillet

Personal Chef and Catering Austin Texas

Cooks seeking alternatives to toxic non-stick cookware often find themselves in a bind. Stainless steel, which seems to be the healthiest alternative, is expensive, and it does not lend itself well to cooking eggs, pancakes and other dishes that non-stick cookware typically excels at. If you have not yet discovered the benefits of cast iron cooking, here are 10 reasons to buy and use a cast iron skillet.

1. Avoid Toxic Fumes– Replacing a non-stick skillet with a cast iron one allows you to avoid the toxic fumes that accompany most non-stick cookware. Cast iron can also replace aluminum cookware, which may also pose health hazards.
2. Use in oven – Besides the stove, you can use a cast iron skillet in the oven, at any temperature. This comes in handy for making corn bread, frittatas, and flat bread.
3. Nonstick – Surprisingly, a preheated cast iron skillet rivals the qualities of non-stick cookware, as long as it is properly seasoned and cared for. You can quickly move up this short learning curve by talking with employees at your local cookware store or by reading a book or Internet article about cast iron care.
4. Easy Clean up– Cast iron is easy to clean up. Not only does food easily lift off from cast iron cookware, soap is not needed or recommended, since it erodes the seasoning.
5. Health Benefits- You can actually boost your iron intake from eating food cooked in cast iron cookware. This vital mineral is crucial for maintaining energy levels, and it helps strengthen immune systems.
6. Inexpensive- Cooks looking to replace non-stick cookware often investigate stainless steel. However, a high-end, 12-inch stainless skillet runs well over $100, while a similar-sized cast iron one costs less than $30.
7. Food Cooks Beautifully– Using a cast iron skillet you can create restaurant-quality, homemade fish sticks, potato pancakes and French toast, complete with golden brown, crispy exteriors. Contrast this with non-stick cookware, which makes browning nearly impossible.
8. Sturdy/Wears well- Since it does not scratch, there is no need to use plastic utensils, and there is no fear of using your silverware to stir or scoop. It lasts for so long that many people still use cast iron cookware inherited from their parents and grandparents.
9. Any heat source can be used– In an emergency, cast iron cookware can be used over any heat source. As such, many disaster planning lists include cast iron as the survival cookware of choice.
10. Proven over years – It has been used for thousands of years. Natural News readers already understand how new technologies are often the least healthy, while those used by earlier generations are often more beneficial and more in line with how we are designed. Our cookware choice is no exception.
The Drawbacks of Cast Iron…Although there are many benefits to cast iron cooking, make sure to understand the drawbacks before you start: cast iron pans are very heavy; they require intentional maintenance in order to keep them rust-free and non-stick; and care is needed if you have a glass-top stove.
With that in mind, they’re still a great choice. Once you take the plunge, you will wonder why it took you so long to start!

Looking for a recipe for cast iron steak? Easy Cast Iron Beef Tenderloin

Sweet Sriracha Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Tacos

Asian Pulled Pork Tacos

Personal Chef Austin Texas

Ingredients:
2-3 pounds pork shoulder roast
1 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup water
3 Tablespoons of sriracha chili sauce
8 flour or corn tortillas
1/2 cup small diced carrots
1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup of honey
1-2 scallions cut and use the green part into 1/4 inch pieces
1-2 toes of garlic crushed and minced
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon of fresh lime juice (save the rest for a little squeeze on the finished product if you wish)

Directions:
Place pork shoulder roast in the crock pot fat cap side up if there is one, trim the excess. Add the brown sugar, salt and honey to the soy and water and mix to try and dissolve it just a bit. Add the sriracha, ginger and garlic to the soy mixture and give that a little stir to blend in the flavors a bit. Pour the liquid over the pork roast and then add the carrots and cilantro on top of the roast. Cover ; cook on LOW 8 hours or until meat is tender. Remove pork from slow cooker and shred the roast using 2 forks. Add 1/2 cup cooking juices to moisten pork and more if needed. Serve on a warm tortilla with the sriracha slaw mix/ DELISH!!!!

** Slaw garnish or topping for pulled pork taco: 1 package of cole slaw mix, 1 Tablespoon of frech cilantro rough chop, 1 Tablespoon of sriracha, and 1/4 cup of mayo. Mix the srirachi with the mayo and then fold into your cilantro slaw or cabbage mix serve on top of your tacos when ready to grub down! You can also add a fresh squeeze of lime and some sweet onion slices if you wish. These are some of my favorite things to eat!

Central Texas Slow Cooker Rosemary Pot Roast

Personal Chef Austin Texas

Rosemary Pot Roast
Anyone from the Central Texas or The Hill Country area knows that there is rosemary in abundance. I love fresh rosemary and I have it growing everywhere and I have propagated plants to make even more plants. That is how much I love rosemary! They say that rosemary has many healing qualities as well as it helps keep bugs away too anyone here knows about those killer Texas Mosquitoes.

Pot Roast however is one of the all time favorite comfort foods and most people in the US absolutely love it. It has been a staple for many and also ways for moms to hide a few vegetables into their children’s diets. I really love the flavor of a good pot roast and vegetables medley with a hint of rosemary. Here is my pot roast recipe that I find is a really easy one to prepare and if you prefer not to have the red wine in it you can omit it from the recipe. The alcohol cooks off but it gives it a more rounded flavor if you do add it to the recipe.

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat cut into 2 inch size pieces
3-4 cans of beef broth
4 small gold or red potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
1-2 cups water
1-2 cups of baby carrots, rinsed
1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup of red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, rinsed and patted dry
2 sprig fresh thyme rinsed and patted dry
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Use about 2 Tablespoons of butter and rub the inside of your crock pot to ease the cleanup and to add some extra flavor. Add all of the veggies starting with the carrots and onions first then the potatoes. Add the meat and add the garlic powder, salt and pepper, then pour in the beef broth and wine. Add the tomato paste to the water and stir a bit to incorporate the paste in to a soluble and then pour on top of the already added items. Add the fresh rosemary and thyme and cover.

Cook on HIGH 4 hours or on LOW 8 hours or until beef is tender. If you are using the higher setting you will need to monitor so you do not run it out of water/broth. You do not want to burn. When meat is tender turn off the crock pot and let rest for about 10- 20 minutes and then serve. Enjoy.

White Bean Verde Chili Recipe

Personal Chef Austin Texas

White Bean CHili
Here is a very easy recipe that you can set and forget while you are away at work to be able to enjoy a nice warm dinner after a long day. This is also a good recipe for almost any cool weather occasion. I had kinda had it with regular meat chili no beans, or the regular chili with beans they seemed a bit boring. I love a good verde sauce and decided to play around a bit with a recipe to make it more like a suiza or white bean verde chili. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. YUM!

Ingredients

2 cans (15 oz each) Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, medium dice
4-6 cups chicken broth, use the 4 if you want a thicker chili
1 can green enchilada sauce, or verde sauce
1 /2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup of Mexican or Fiesta cheese blend
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
1 poblano charred, roasted over flame on gas stove, seeded and diced
1-2 Tablespoons of rinsed, patted dry, and fine chop of fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano leaves

Directions

** You can use a cooking spray to lightly coat your Crockpot for easier cleanup.
Drain and rinse your beans and then add all ingredients to crock pot except the cheese and cilantro you will add just before serving to help thicken the sauce. If you want a little thicker chili add less broth or you can add more cheese if you wish and then garnish with the fresh cilantro and onions and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Cover; cook on LOW 8 hours or on HIGH 4 hours. If cooking on high you will need to check the water level and make sure that it does not overcook the beans and totally remove all the broth so that it burns, and make sure to stir it occasionally if you are cooking at the higher setting. Enjoy!!!

Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup with Maple Bacon Crumbles

Personal Chef Austin Texas

The fall is upon us again and you know what that means….. Root veggies. I love the fall as usual as most who follow our blog know that already. It is football season, and usually cooler weather is upon us as well as the holidays are right around the corner too. I love to have a nice hearty soup when the weather gets cooler it is a nice way to warm up and always a comforting dinner after the day is done. Everyone seems to like a good butternut squash soup, I just wanted to ass some parsnips to the recipe but you can go all the way with butternut squash if you prefer to omit the parsnip. I have actually made the soup with carrots and parsnip without the butternut squash it was rather sweet but still tasty.

 

Ingredients:

6 cups chicken broth

2 pounds butternut squash diced

1 pound of rinsed and diced parsnip

1/2 onion small diced

1/2 cup of cooked maple bacon

2-3 sprigs of thyme, stem removed

1/2 – 1 cup of heavy cream

1/2 tsp of allspice

1/4 tsp of ginger

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Sauté 1/2 sliced onion with a pinch of thyme in butter until soft. Add salt, pepper, 2 pounds diced butternut squash, 1 pound of parsnip diced, and 6 cups chicken broth along with the spices. Simmer until tender, then puree.

2. When pureed add the cream and stir until blended, salt and pepper to taste.

3. Top with crumbled bacon and serve.