Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sweet Cuban Pork Loin, Que rico!

I wrote this over a week and a half ago. . . before we left on our trip, but things got so crazy at the last minute, that I wasn't able to upload this delicious post! So, here it is, a little late, but better later than never, right??? Without further adieu, I give you Sweet Cuban Pork Loin!

I've been trying to post this all week, but I've been a busy little bee and tomorrow morning I'm off to Las Vegas and then to Napa Valley, I can't wait! Since we're not going to be in town for Easter, I made a lovely dinner for my family that consisted of stuffed pork loin , homemade black beans, avocado and tomato salad, and rice. My Mom brought over her "hitachi" rice cooker and made the rice for me since we don't have a rice cooker because we almost never have rice at home unless I'm making risotto. I can't tell you how GOOD my Mom's rice is! Lordy! That's a whole other post one of these days! It's fantasic all on it's own!

I got the recipe for the pork loin from a Throwdown with Bobby Flay episode that was recorded here in Miami :) How appropriate! On the show, it was actually made with pork shoulder, but I had a pork loin and that's what I was gonna use no matter what! I made Roberto Guerra's recipe and I can see why this Cuban recipe could not be beat by Bobby Flay. Here's the recipe = Stuffed Pork Shoulder "a la caja china"

I made some changes, I used guava paste instead of the shells and used proscuitto since it was the only type of ham I had on hand.
The pork was MUY RICO!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Feta Chicken

I originally posted this on the group blog I belong to (Butter & Love), it's so yummy, that I just had to add it here too! I hope you enjoy, it's very good!

Baked Chicken Breast with Feta

2 Thin boneless skinless breasts of chicken ( I pounded the heck out of them, great if you're stressed)

1 pkg. Atheno Feta Cheese (8oz) ( I only used ½ of the package and bought the crumbly kind)

Lots of butter (I omitted this, you'll see why later)

Grated Parmesan cheese (½ to1 cup)Two Eggs, beaten ( I only used 1 egg)

Real bacon bits (I used "real" bacon, 4 slices cut up into little pieces and some of the fat removed, the why I added no butter)

Preheat oven to 400-425. Pound chicken breasts till very thin. Dip chicken breasts in melted butter dip in eggs and dip in Parmesan cheese. Slice pieces of feta cheese to cover each breast, sprinkle bacon bits on top. Melt MORE butter (1/2 a stick for about 4 breasts) in the baking dish add chicken breast cover with tin foil and bake for about 20 minutes.

*Okay, here are my TWEAKED notes to the preparation:
Preheat oven to 400-425. Pound the heck out of your chicken breasts till very thin. Beat your egg and add any desired spices, I used a little Sazon Completo (note, don't add any salt, the Parmesan/feta will add enough salt to the dish). Dip chicken breasts in the beaten egg and dip in Parmesan cheese that you've sprinkled on a plate. Place the Parmesan covered chicken breasts in a oven save dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle pieces of feta cheese to over each breast, then sprinkle bacon pieces on top. Popped it into the oven UNCOVERED for 25-30 mins. I cooked it a lot longer than the recipe calls for because the feta releases a lot of liquid and if I follow the directions above I would be too watery and not appealing. My way though, is right on the money! Once the 30 mins have passed, I turn on the broiler to high and keeping a watchful eye, broil the chicken for another 5-7 mins. I like the bacon to get crispy and the cheese to brown a little :) Ovens differ, so just keep your eyes on it during the "broil" stage. Take it out and let it sit a minute or two, you don't want to burn your mouth on your first mouthful!

We enjoyed this with a nice side salad and I hope you enjoy it any way you'd like! :) FYI: This is low carb as well, so any of you on low carb diets can get your eat on!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies! Anyone? Bueller?

I was so in the mood to have a GOOD Chocolate Chip Cookie yesterday afternoon, that I got home and went straight to baking, still in my heels from work!!! LOL! Baking in heels, can you believe it? Ha! Goes to show how much I really wanted to bake them cookies.

Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1 package semisweet, (12 ounces)
chocolate chips
*If using self-rising flour, omit
baking soda and salt.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix sugars, margarine and egg. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls about 3 inches apart onto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are set. Cool completely; remove from cookie sheet. ABOUT 1-1/2 DOZEN COOKIES; 360 CALORIES PER COOKIE.

My comments: Of course, I didn't want to make too many (Yeah right!), I am on a healthy kick after all! I cut the recipe in half and it was just perfect. For the egg, I couldn't exactly cut in half, so I just used 1 egg. It was totally A-OKAY, the cookies were fabulous! I used 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks and 1/2 cup white chocolate chips. So divine! For the nuts, I used un-salted almonds. Oh and I took all the pictures myself :) Some with my little pocket camera and the others with one of my Husband's professional cameras. You'll notice in the pictures on the very top, that there's one that shows HUGE cookie and a smaller one next to it. I made that big'ol cookie for nieces, who just happened to call me as I was writing this up to say how "delicious" the cookie was and to thank me :) What perfect timing! Happy Baking!