Spiced Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

Pork Chop Image

Its that time of the year again…the leaves have started to change colour and that crisp Autumn bite is in the air. Time to get out your woolly scarves, light a toasty fire in the fireplace and cook up some scrumptious comfort food. This recipe is super easy and ridiculously delicious. Simmering the pork in the spiced broth ensures that it comes out juicy and succulent every time. You’ll never have to worry about dry pork again!

I like to use a cast iron skillet for this recipe. Not only does it add flavour, it works on the stove top and then you can just stick it in the oven! However, if you don’t own a cast iron skillet you can do the stove-top part in a regular heavy skillet and then transfer into an oven proof dish when baking.

First, get the oven preheating to 350°. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. While the skillet is heating, well season one side of the pork chops  with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in the pan seasoned side down, and well season the exposed surface. Let the pork sear for approximately 5-7 minutes or until the chops have formed a nice golden brown crust. Flip and cook the chops another 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

While the  pork chops are searing, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add the Better than Bouillon bases and stir until soup base has completely dissolved and you have a nice rich broth. Add the cubed apples and onions and simmer, uncovered, until they are soft – about 5 minutes. Add the spices and brown sugar and mix well. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Pour  the apple and onion mixture over pork chops, ensuring that the chops are fully immersed in the broth. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Serve each pork chop with apples, onions and sauce spooned over top.

Ingredients

Items Used in This Recipe

To purchase the ingredients used in this recipe visit www.findersfinefoods.com

Greek Style Baby Back Ribs

BBQ

Ribs are one of those meats that remind me of warm summer evenings spent sipping cold beer on the back patio.  They invoke an almost primal feeling that only comes from eating meat with your hands, straight off the bone.

The key to making a  fall off the bone, melt in your mouth rack of ribs is to remove the membrane that lines the bone-side of the rack prior to cooking. When left on, the membrane can get tough and chewy, especially if you’re cooking over hot heat (like I recommend in this recipe!)

First, you want to make the marinade and let it sit. This will enable the dried spices to soften up and all the flavours in the marinade will have time to meld together. In a medium bowl, mix together the oyster sauce, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, oregano, basil, pepper and Cavender’s Greek Seasoning. If you want to reduce the saltiness of the ribs you can use the Cavender’s  Salt-Free Greek Seasoning, as the oyster sauce will already bring a lot of saltiness to the dish. Allow to sit for around 15-30 minutes.

Place the full racks of ribs on a large pan or on a cutting board, bone side up. Insert a butter knife between the meat and bone on one end of the rib, using your fingers and the knife to loosen the membrane. Slowly and gently  peel the membrane back. I usually use a paper towel to grip the piece you are pulling. The membrane should come off in one long strip (that’s the goal!) but, if not, just keep using the butter knife and your fingers until you are able to peel it all off.

Greek Ribs

Cut the racks into slats of 3-5 ribs each and place in a large Tupperware bowl. Put aside approximately 1/3 of the marinade which will be used as a sauce for the cooked ribs. Using a basting brush, slather the ribs in the remaining marinade ensuring that both sides are coated in sauce. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to grill, heat BBQ and oil well. Cook ribs over medium/high heat for approximately 10 mins on each side until pork is cooked through. Don’t be afraid to let some flame touch your meat as little char will add extra flavour!

When fully cooked, remove ribs from heat, toss them in the remainder of the marinade and serve!

Ingredients in Greek Ribs

Items Used in Greek Ribs

To purchase the ingredients used in this recipe visit www.findersfinefoods.com

Hickory Smoked Salmon

Fire

I absolutely love that delicious authentic smokehouse flavour that typically comes from exposure to smoldering hardwoods. However, achieving  this glorious flavour can be a challenge if you don’t own a smoker. While nothing beats real smokehouse, Encore Woodland Liquid Smoke comes close! This product is made from actual hickory wood smoke and brings deep and complex smoky flavours to your cooking. This recipe for Smoked Salmon is super simple, but tastes amazing!

Begin by placing your salmon, skin down, on a large tray and sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with Encore Woodland Natural Hickory Liquid Smoke, using a pastry brush to ensure that the salmon is evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Salmon

Drain the salmon and discard the excess liquid marinade. Heat up the BBQ grill and oil the grill well. Cook the salmon, skin side up, over high heat for approximately 5-7 minutes. Flip it over and cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork, approximately another 5-7 minutes. Transfer the fish to a warm platter and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve Immediately.

Smoked Salmon Ingredients

Items used in Recipe

To purchase the ingredients used in this recipe visit www.findersfinefoods.com

Table-side Caesar Salad

Italy

When I think of traditional Caesar Salad I usually conjure up images of table-side service in small loud café somewhere in Italy – however, legend has it that the Caesar Salad was actually created by  an Italian Chef living in Tijuana, Mexico by the name of Caesar Cardini. The delicious salad quickly became famous in Tijuana and since has came to be a staple  in Italian restaurants around the world. Impress your friends with this fun fact and a restaurant quality classic table-side Caesar Salad at your next dinner party or BBQ.

When making a salad I always start by preparing the dressing, the longer a dressing sits the more flavourful it becomes. To reduce the risk of salmonella I advise to coddle the eggs prior to use. This is done by boiling them for 1 minute, which will kill any bacteria that may have been present.  In a large bowl whisk together the coddled egg yolks, GIA Garlic Paste,  Dijon mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire and GIA  Anchovy Paste. Once the mixture is smooth slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking as you pour , which will allow the dressing to fully emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside until ready to use. (Refrigerate if you wont be using the dressing within half an hour.)

 Ceasar Salad New

 I like to make my own croutons for Caesar Salads – I find they really elevate the salad and are super easy to make! Preheat the oven to  350˚, place the sliced baguette on a baking sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 10 minutes – until bread is golden brown and crunchy. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

You are now ready to assemble your salad!  Core and wash your romaine, disposing of any wilted bits. Pat dry or use a salad spinner to ensure that there is no residual moisture on your lettuce. Rip lettuce into bit size pieces and place into the wooden bowl, on top of your dressing. Chop cooled baguette slices into small pieces and add to salad. Finally, add shaved Parmesan and toss well, ensuring the lettuce is evenly coated with dressing.

Ceasar Salad Ingredients

Items Used in this Recipe

To purchase the ingredients used in this recipe visit www.findersfinefoods.com

Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Noodle Soup

ThailandAnother cool day outside…as we anxiously wait for the summer weather to return in Vancouver I think we are all dreaming of sun and sand, I know I am! The fresh flavors of Thailand found in this soup will  whisk you  away to the beach in Thailand, while also providing comfort with a spicy rich broth to tantalize your taste buds and warm your belly.

This recipe utilizes a variety of fresh veggies, herbs and a number of fine ingredients that we have imported straight from Thailand, available to order on Finders Fine Foods.

Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Noodle Soup

First, sauté the diced chicken, minced garlic, galangal ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and shallots on low heat using sesame oil. Once the beautiful Thai flavors have been released from the herbs and the strips of chicken and shallots are golden brown, mix in the chicken stock, A Taste of Thai Coconut Milk and A Taste of Thai Red Curry Paste.

Fun Facts About Thailand

While the broth is simmering, place rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Separate noodles using a fork and allow to soak for 25-30 minutes.

After allowing the broth to simmer for approximately 30 minutes, add fresh cilantro, Thai basil, and baby Bok Choy and cook until wilted – about 5 minutes. For a little extra spice add  thinly sliced Thai red chili’s. Serve over A Taste of Thai rice noodles.

Soup Ingredients

Soup Items Used

To purchase the ingredients used in this recipe visit www.findersfinefoods.com

Spicy Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

ChinaThese easy to make Asian chicken lettuce wraps make a perfect healthy, refreshing  summer appetizer or meal…and  they are super  fun to eat too!

Start by heating a large skillet, add ground chicken, onion, garlic and ginger and sauté over medium heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally. No need to add any additional oil or fat – the chicken will release juices as it cooks that  will help to keep your food from sticking!

While the chicken mixture is sautéing, mix together the China Sun Hoi-sin Sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and the China Sun Chili Garlic Sauce. Once the chicken mixture is golden brown, slowly pour this sauce over your mixture and continue to  simmer over low heat while you prepare the  vegetables.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Rinse the lettuce and separate the  leaves, patting dry and leaving them whole. Place the lettuce and other prepared veggies on a serving platter. Transfer the chicken mixture to a serving bowl, mixing in the green onions right at the last minute so they keep their texture.

It’ll be fun to let everyone assemble their own wraps. Just place a spoonful of the delicious warm chicken mixture into piece a of cold, crisp lettuce and top with fresh veggies, fold it up like a taco and enjoy! Make sure you have lots of napkins around…These can get messy!

Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Lettuce Wrap Items Used

To purchase the ingredients used in this recipe visit www.findersfinefoods.com

Greek Salad with Artichokes

Greece

Summer is upon us and it’s time to dust off your BBQ and start planning your menu for the upcoming summertime festivities! When I want something healthy and delicious, Greek Salad is my go-to favourite and its always a hit at BBQs. This recipe had a couple twists that will help add excitement and help  your salad stand out at any gathering!

It’s best to start by making the vinaigrette. The flavours of the garlic, lemon and spices will  blend together the longer you let it sit. I always use a mason jar for salad dressing – you can just shake it up and pour over your salad as desired.  Any leftover dressing, just pop on the lid and stick it in the fridge for later use!

Greek Salad

To begin, add the Tosca Red Wine Vinegar, Tosca Minced Garlic, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, oregano, basil, salt and pepper to your mason jar (or a small container with a lid). Shake the mixture until fully blended and then slowly pour in the olive oil, this will  enable the vinaigrette to emulsify fully. Refrigerate the vinaigrette until you are ready to serve.

In a large bowl, combine Tosca Artichoke Hearts with the diced vegetables , Olives, Capers, and Feta –  I like to put aside a thick slab of feta and a few capers on top to garnish my salad. When you are ready to serve, give your salad dressing a quick shake and pour over the salad. Toss until your vegetables are evenly coated, garnish and serve!

Greek Salad Recipe
Greek Salad Items Used

To purchase the ingredients used in this recipe visit www.findersfinefoods.com