Wicked Easy Pork Loin

Weekends were made for crockpot cooking. It’s the one time when you can actually sit down and enjoy a leisurely meal, but who wants to spend a lot of time preparing it? Crockpot to the rescue.

What you’ll need…

1 3-4 lb. boneless pork loin (not tenderloin — they’re not the same thing)
1 pkg. Superior Touch Crockery Gourmet Seasoning Mix for Pork
1 can Campbell’s Condensed French Onion Soup
2 cans water
course black pepper
dried herbs (optional)

What you’ll do with it…

Place the roast fat-side down in the bottom of a crockpot.
Mix the seasoning mix, soup and water with a whisk.
Pour the soup mixture over the roast.
Sprinkle on a liberal dose of pepper and herbs. Don’t add salt… the onion soup has plenty.

Cook on low 2 hours.
Turn the roast fat-side up and baste.
Continue cooking on low 5-6 hours more, basting every 2-3 hours.
Let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before cutting.

Serve it au jus with the liquid straight from the pot or use the liquid to make gravy if you want something a little thicker.

If you don’t want to worry about turning the roast, start it fat-side up… but I think it turns out better if you turn it and baste it.

Holiday Leftovers: HoneyBaked Ham & Bean Soup

Ingredients:

Bone from HoneyBaked ham (fat and scraps in tact)
1 pound bag of dried mixed beans
12 cups water
1 T garlic powder
1 T dried onion flakes
2 T cajun seasoning
2 T Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
1-2 cups diced onions and carrots
1-2 cups diced ham

Directions:

Soak beans in room temperature water for 24 hours. Don’t attempt to cheat with the hot water method. It’s not the same.

Place the beans, water, ham bone, water, spices and vegetable base in a large crock pot. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Add the onions and carrots. Continue cooking on low for another hour.

Add the diced ham and cook on low for one more hour.

What the heck is kombucha?

Surviving Whole Foods

ROFL.

My Mom ate white bread, cooked with real fat and would have probably assumed that a place with the name Whole Foods was a farm stand. And while she was a little bit nuts when she died at the young age of 92, we’d be lucky to be half as healthy as she was. I seriously doubt she ever tasted whole wheat bread, much less a substitute for it. I do remember she once bought a jar of Oil of Olay, but gave it away something like 10 years later unused. And if you dared to Namaste her, she’d probably be tempted to smack you for sassing.

Best potatoes ever!

Slather red potatoes in olive oil in a large bowl and dump in a bunch of sea salt. Use your hands to mix ’em up. If they don’t feel gritty, you need more salt.

Fire up your smoker and get the temp up to 300-350. Throw in the chips, position a grate on top of the plate setter and put the potatoes on the grate.

Close up the smoker and watch the temperature drop to 200. And stay there. Oops.

After about an hour, put your chicken on the upper grate and watch the temperature get stuck at 200 while the chicken just drips its juices on the potatoes.

Wait another 45-60 minutes… screw this… remove plate setter. Oops, potatoes are done and chicken isn’t close. Remove potatoes and wrap ’em in foil.

Continue to smoke the chicken. Aw, crap! Now the darn smoker wants to settle around 350. Insert thermometer and discover that chicken might be slightly overdone. Plate it and serve it anyway.

Uh… anyone want to trade me their potatoes for my chicken? Anyone? Come on, guys… think about your health. Anything that tastes this good can’t be good for you!

Roasted Potatoes with Garlic & Rosemary

Wicked easy, goes with anything and extremely forgiving so you can focus on the rest of your dinner menu without having to worry about perfectly timing your starch item.

Something wonderful happens when you combine olive oil, garlic and rosemary. When I’m having guests over for dinner, I make sure the skillet is in the oven about 15 minutes before they’re scheduled to arrive. The aroma gets their attention the minute they walk in the door.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add 1-2 tbs olive oil, 1-2 tbs chopped garlic and 1-2 tbs chopped rosemary to cast iron skillet. Fresh rosemary is best, but powdered or dried works too.
Place skillet in oven for 3-5 minutes until oil starts to infuse with garlic. Your nose will know when it’s ready.
While you’re waiting for the garlic to sizzle and bloom, cut 3-5 of your favorite potatoes into bite-sized pieces — skins on or off, doesn’t matter. New and red potatoes are great, but russets and regular old Idaho’s work well, too.
Toss potatoes in the garlic-infused oil and return to oven. The trick is getting the right amount of oil… after you toss the potatoes, they should be well-coated — really shiny, but not floating in a pool. Resist the urge to add butter or any other kind of fat — you’ll be disappointed.
Roast for 25-30 minutes, toss and return to oven.
Roast for another 20-25 minutes until fork-tender.

The potatoes are plate-ready after about 50 minutes, but if the rest of your dinner is delayed it’ll stay happily in the oven for another 30-40 minutes without being ruined. I once reduced the oven temperature to 200 and ignored them for an hour and they were great — it doesn’t matter whether the potatoes are simply roasted ’til done or whether they’re a little browned and toasty.

Best of all, this is the mother of all base potato recipes. Substitute different seasonings for the rosemary: italian seasoning, cajun seasoning, plain old salt and pepper. Add shallots, chopped scallions, thinly sliced onion or finely chopped bell pepper. Go crazy!

Eat well and have fun! Life’s too short to settle for a normal potato!

Baked Bourbon Salmon

I bought some bourbon marinated salmon at Shaw’s, but after I got it home I just didn’t feel like firing up the “egg”. I dusted it with some lemon pepper and dried dill mix and used the kitchn’s slow bake method to cook it. Whipped up some garlic parmesan risotto and a tossed salad and called it done.

The salmon wasn’t as juicy as my planked one, but it was far from dry. Definitely a keeper for when I’m in a pinch.

Country Style Ribs

Tender & tasty!

Ingredients:

  • 3-5 lbs. country style pork ribs, bone in
  • 1 pkg. French’s Slow Cooker Seasoning Mix, Homestyle Chicken & Herb flavor
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 pkg. baby carrots
  • 2 pkg. Bird’s Eye pearl onions in cream sauce, thawed
  • flour
  • vegetable oil

Instructions:

  • Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Dredge ribs in flour and brown on both sides. Transfer to crock pot.
  • Mix seasoning mix and water. Pour over ribs.
  • Layer carrots on top of ribs.
  • Layer onions on top of carrots.
  • Cover and cook on low setting for 5-7 hours until tender.