Friday, January 06, 2006

Jerk! Grilling and Roasting with My Spice Cabinet, A to T

I don't know what I enjoyed more tonight-the roasted potatoes, because I hardly ever get to eat potatoes, or the pork chops. I felt like cooking something quick tonight, but I also was craving roasted potatoes. Just before I left the office I called home and asked DH to help. He put got the pork out of the freezer and put it in a bowl of water to start thawing, and boiled the red potatoes. When I got home, all I had to do was slice the potatoes and toss with with the olive oil mixture, mix up the rub, slice the pork, and put it on the George Foreman grill. I love that little grill! It's not a very bog one, but it heats better than any of the rest that I've had. This little grill is the first one I bought, about 4 years ago, and I've had four different ones since then. Three of them I've given away, and the fourth is another one just like the first. I actually get grill marks! (See picture)

I'm not sure how many different herbs, spices, and seasonings I used tonight, but I know there were many. Let's count them: garlic, rosemary, parsley, salt, allspice, thyme, curry, paprika, brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. That's 14, right? I'm glad I have wall space for my two spice racks.

I buy my pork chops at Costco, and they come in slices off the pork loin that are two-three inches thick. I freeze each one individually, and then all we have to do is take one out and thaw it in a bowl of water. I slice it into three or four slices, and cook 'em up. Serves two, perfect for DH and me.


Grilled Jerk Pork Chops

The Rub:

1 1/2 t ground allspice
1 1/2 t dried thyme
1 1/2 t garlic powder
1 t curry powder
1 1/2 t paprika
2 t Splenda brown sugar blend
1/2 t salt
3/4 t black pepper
1 1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground cloves

The Chops:

Mazola Pure cooking spray*
2 t lime juice
3-4 boneless pork chops
2 T jerk seasoning rub (above)

Spray electric grill surfaces with cooking spray; preheat. Sprinkle both sides of chops with lime juice and jerk seasoning. Spread evenly with your fingers. Cook on grill about 5 minutes.

* Don't use Pam or similar nonstick cooking sprays on electric grills. The silicone in them builds up over time, creating a sticky surface.

Potatoes have got to be my all-time favorite food. I definitely have eaten way too many potatoes in my lifetime, especially the fried ones. After Dr. J told me in July to do something about my blood sugar, I eliminated potatoes from my diet for 6 weeks. Since then, I have potatoes maybe once a week. (I've lowered the other bad carbs in my diet successfully, so I can occasionally have potatoes. Right, Kalyn?) This is one of the ways that I literally swoon over. The combination of the crinkly crusty outside and the tender inside, plus the garlic and rosemary flavors is just heavenly.


Garlic-Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

4-5 small red potatoes
2 T olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 t rosemary, crumbled (I use a mortar and pestle)
2 T dried parsley
1 t salt

Cover potatoes with water in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes. Drain. Preheat oven to 400?. Cut each potato in half; cut each half in three wedges. In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, parsley and salt. Add potatoes, and toss gently to coat all exposed surfaces. Turn out onto a metal cookie sheet (don't use stoneware for this for two reasons: metal browns the vegetables better, and stoneware can get ruined from the absorption of the garlic and rosemary). Using tongs, turn each one skin side down. Roast for 15 minutes or until golden brown and crusty.

CYNDI'S TIPS: After you've used one or two chipotle chilies from a can, blend or finely chop the remainder and store in a ziploc bag or freezer container. When you need some more for a recipe, scoop out what you need with a spoon (1 tablespoon = 1 chipotle chili). (credit for this tip goes to Anne Sweetman)

Since I have quite a few breakfast egg recipes that require overnight setting, I was going through my cookbook (all my recipes are on my computer) to see if there was something I could fix up tonight for tomorrow morning. I decided on Benedict Strata. I really love Eggs Benedict, and this recipe has those flavors in it, without the whole stick of butter that the real ones call for. In a little while I'll go fix it up, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and pop it in the oven in the morning.

Benedict Strata

Benedict Strata

3 English muffins
6 slices Canadian bacon, chopped
6 eggs
1 1/2 c low-fat milk
2 T reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 t grated lemon peel
2 T lemon juice

Split muffins and cut into cubes. Alternate even layers of muffin cubes and ham in lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish. In medium bowl, beat together eggs, milk, mayonnaise, lemon peel and lemon juice until well blended. Pour evenly over muffin-ham mixture. Cover. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Uncover. Bake in preheated 350? oven until golden brown and knife inserted near center comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes.

My daughter's packing has begun in earnest. We'll soon be empty nesters again. I'm soooooo looking forward to it. I'm so happy for her, but even happier for us! Five more nights.


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1 comment:

LB said...

Hi Cyndi!

Thanks for visiting my blog...I'm always happy to support the president of the teachers' union! Figures that you have a link to Kalyn's blog on your blog--you guys have a lot in common between the teachers'union thing and the shout-out to Costco! Oh--and my hubby used to be in the Air Force.

The potatoes look great!