Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2017:
* Use the Spiralizer at least once per week for healthy veggie-rich meals
* Continue to spin from the Wheel of Meals for recipe inspiration

Friday, November 20, 2015

Spiced Cod with Couscous


This was an easy and tasty fish dish.  I didn't have fresh mint on hand, so we omitted that ingredient.  Jeremy didn't like the raisins, but I did.

Spiced Cod with Couscous
Recipe from Martha Stewart Living: One Pot
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 skinless 6-oz cod fillets
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper
1/2 pound carrots, cut into thin strips
1&1/4 cups water
1 cup couscous
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
lemon wedges, for serving

Directions:
Mix together the coriander, paprika, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Gently rub the spice mixture on the fish.  Set aside.

In a 9x13" baking dish, mix together the carrots, water, couscous, almonds, raisins, mind, oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Place the fish on top of the couscous mixture.

Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake at 450º for 20 minutes or until fish is cooked.

Fluff couscous with a fork and serve fish and couscous with mint sprigs and a lemon wedge.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Crockpot Moroccan Chicken


This smelled amazing as it was cooking in the slow cooker.  I didn't have a cinnamon stick, so I added a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the pot.  It spiced the carrots, but not really the chicken.  Still, the chicken tasted good.  I liked the recipe.  I served it with some couscous.

Crockpot Moroccan Chicken
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living-One Pot
Serves 4

Ingredients:
8 bone-in chicken thighs (I had 4 large ones instead)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds carrots, cut into 1&1/2-inch lengths
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick (I used a teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (I had parsley on hand so I used that)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

Directions:
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  In a large slow cooker with a browning option, brown the chicken in oil.  (I browned them in a skillet on the stovetop instead)

To the slow cooker, add the carrots, garlic, cinnamon, and cumin.  Place browned chicken on top.  Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.  Add raisins 15 minutes before done.

Transfer the chicken and carrots to a serving dish, top with cilantro and almonds, and spoon pot liquid over the chicken (oops, I forgot to do this).



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Thyme-Dusted Pork Medallions with Pear-Rutabaga Mash


I decided to spin from my Wheel of Meals as recipe inspiration, and it landed on New to You.   I don't remember ever cooking with Rutabaga, so I picked that as my "new" ingredient.  The pork was good, but the rutabaga mash was strange--not bad, but the pears and orange juice made it sweet.  It almost reminded me of squash.

Thyme-Dusted Pork Medallions with Pear-Rutabaga Mash
Recipe from One Pan, Two Plates
Serves 2

Ingredients:
10 oz pork tenderloin, cut into 1" thick rounds
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces
1 shallot, chopped
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored, and cut into 1" cubes
3 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon orange zest

Directions:
Season the pork medallions on both sides with salt and pepper and sprinkle the thyme over one side, pressing to help it stick.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.  When it begins to shimmer, add the pork to the pan, thyme-side down, and brown them, about 2 minutes.  Flip and brown on the other side, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to a plate (they are not fully cooked yet).

Add the diced rutabaga, shallot, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pan and saute for about 2 minutes.  Add the orange juice and bring it to a simmer.  Cover pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Stir in the pear and 2 teaspoons butter, and cook, covered, another 2 minutes.  Arrange the pork medallions on top, re-cover, and cook until the pork is rosy, about 2 minutes longer.

Divide the pork medallions between two warmed plates.  Pour off all but 1/4 cup liquid from the skillet and season the rutabaga with salt and pepper as needed.  Add the orange zest and smash the rutabaga-pear mixture with a potato masher until it resembles lumpy mashed potatoes.  Scoop the mash onto the plates alongside the pork and dot with a little butter.  Serve hot.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Strip Steaks with Parsley Sauce and Crispy Potatoes


A simple and quick steak and potatoes recipe. Can't go wrong with a strip steak--tender and juicy and oh so flavorful.  I had a lot of parsley that I recently harvested, so this seemed like a good way to use some of it.  The sauce goes well with both the steak and the potatoes, although I liked them perfectly fine without it.

New York Strip Steaks with Parsley Sauce 
and Crispy Red Potatoes
From The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook
Serves 2

Ingredients:
12 oz red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch wedges
3 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper
2 (8-oz) boneless NY strip steaks, 3/4" thick, trimmed

Parsley Sauce:
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:
To make the parsley sauce, process all the ingredients in a food processor until well combined, about 20 seconds.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Cover and microwave until potatoes begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes.  Drain well.

Meanwhile, pat steaks dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Lay steaks in skillet and cook until well browned on first side, 3 -5 minutes.  Flip steaks, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until meat registers 125º for medium-rare, 2-4 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with foil to keep warm.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the fat left in the skillet and heat until shimmering.  Add the drained potatoes and cook until tender and golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.  Serve steaks with the parsley sauce and potatoes.

Herb Sandwich Bread


We were out of bread.  I was bored and had lots of time.  I had herbs from my garden.  It was the perfect storm to make my own yummy loaf of bread.  I used the basic Sandwich Bread recipe from the cookbook and just added some chopped rosemary, thyme, and parsley to the dough.  Good stuff, especially with a little herb butter.

Herb Sandwich Bread
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen: The New Best Recipe
Makes one 9-inch loaf

Ingredients:
3 & 1/2 cups flour (potentially more)
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup warm milk (~110º, no higher than 120º)
1/3 cup warm water (~110º, no higher than 120º)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons honey
1 envelope instant dry yeast
~1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
~1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
~1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Adjust an oven rack to the low position and hear the oven to 200º.  Once the oven is preheated, maintain the heat for 10 minutes and then turn off the oven.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together the flour and salt.   In a 4-cup measuring cup or bowl, mix together the milk, water, butter, honey, and yeast.  Turn the machine to low and slowly add the liquid.  Pour in the herbs as well.  When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and not sticky, about 10 minutes, stopping a couple times to scrape dough from the hook if necessary.  (If, after 5 minutes, the dough is still sticky, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 1/4 cup, until no longer sticky.)

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.  Place the ball of dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to lightly coat.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough doubles in size, 40-50 minutes.

On your work surface, gently press the dough into an 8-inch square.  Roll into a tight cylinder, making sure dough sticks to itself as you roll.  Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9x5" loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the dough nearly doubles in size again, 20-30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350º.   Pour 2 cups hot water into a shallow baking pan and place on the bottom rack of the oven.  On the middle rack, place the loaf pan (remove the plastic wrap).  Bake 40-50 minutes until a thermometer inserted in the bread reads 195º.  Remove bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack, and cool to room temperature.  Slice and serve.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Braised Lentils with Polish Kielbasa and Cabbage


I wanted to give this recipe a try because Jeremy loves kielbasa and because I had lentils in my cupboard that needed to get used.  After a small amount of prep work chopping the veggies, it was convenient throwing everything into one skillet to do its work (also nice for the clean up).  I thought the recipe tasted great and was really filling.  Jeremy said he'd prefer less lentils.  My fresh rosemary from our herb garden really popped in this dish. The serving size was way too big-we had a large 3rd serving left over.

Braised Lentils with Polish Kielbasa and Cabbage
from One Pan, Two Plates
Serves 2 (extremely large servings)

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
1 garlic glove, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup dried lentils
1&1/4 cups chicken broth
8 oz Polish kielbasa, cut into bite-sized pieces

Directions:
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil.  When it begins to shimmer, add the onions and saute until they begin to soften, about 1 minute.  Add the cabbage, carrot, celery, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper.  Saute about 3 minutes, until the veggies begin to soften.

Pour in the wine and cook until it has almost cooked off, about a minute.  Add the lentils, chicken broth, and kielbasa, and stir, making sure to immerse the lentils in the liquid.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cover, simmering for about 25 minutes until the lentils are tender.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Balsamic-Braised Chicken Thighs


I had some chicken thighs in the freezer and this recipe looked like a good way to use them up.  The cookbook is supposed to be "meals for two" but I have no idea how the author thinks one person can eat 3 thighs.  I was stuffed after two.  Oh well.  Now we have leftovers for another night. I added my own take to the recipe by substituting pre-cooked polenta (because I'm lazy that way) and roasting some asparagus.  The cookbook didn't include a photo, but I think mine looks fairly elegant.  The bacon was really unnecessary but still tasty.  I really liked the chicken and gave it two thumbs up, but Jeremy thought the fig sauce made it too sweet for his taste (but he dislikes any type of fruit and meat together).

Balsamic-Braised Chicken Thighs
over Polenta with Figs and Roasted Asparagus
Recipe adapted from One Pan, Two Plates

Ingredients:
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper
2 slices bacon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
6 dried Calimyrna figs, stemmed and quartered
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 slices cooked polenta
roasted asparagus (make while you cook the chicken)

Directions:
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the bacon.  Cook, turning as needed until crispy. Transfer bacon to a paper towel to drain.

Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.  Add chicken to the bacon drippings in the skillet and cook until nicely browned on both sides (2-3 minutes per side).  Transfer chicken to a plate (it won't be fully cooked yet).

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat in the skillet.  Add butter, onion, and garlic, and reduce heat to medium-low.  Season with salt and pepper and cook gently until the onion softens, about 4 minutes.

Add the figs and chicken broth and raise the heat to medium-high. Bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits.  Return the chicken to the skillet along with any accumulated juices.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a platter.

Turn the heat back up to medium-high, add the vinegar, and cook to reduce the liquid by half.  Use a fork to mash up the onion, figs, and garlic into a jammy sauce.  Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Return the skillet to the heat (don't bother wiping it out).  Saute the polenta rounds on each side until heated throughout.

Put the polenta on a plate and top with the chicken and plenty of fig sauce.  Next, top with roasted asparagus and crumbled bacon.

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas


The Wheel of Meals landed on International, so I decided to go the Mexican route.  This seemed like a no-fuss, fool-proof recipe using shredded rotisserie chicken and canned sauce.  I couldn't find crumbled Cojita cheese in the store, so I just bought a pre-shredded Mexican blend instead.  We both thought the enchiladas tasted great, especially paired with a roasted corn and bell pepper blend with fresh avocado slices.

Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas
Recipe adapted from Sheet Pan Suppers
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 can (4oz) diced green chiles, drained
2 cups enchilada sauce
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1 cup (~5 oz) crumbled Cojita cheese (or any shredded cheese works too)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus some for garnish
10 small (6-inch) tortillas (I used corn)

Directions:
In a small skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions for a couple minutes, until translucent. Add the cumin, Cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken with the chiles, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, black beans, sauteed onions, 1/2 cup cheese, and 1/4 cup cilantro.

Pour 1 cup of the enchilada sauce into a 9x13 pan, covering its bottom.

Lay a tortilla on a work surface and place 1/4 cup chicken filling in the middle.  Roll up tightly, tuck ends under, and place in pan.  All 10 rolled tortillas should be able to fit in the pan side by side in two rows.

Pour the remaining sauces over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the top.

Cover with foil and bake at 375º for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5 minutes.  Garnish with a little chopped cilantro and serve with corn, rice, and/or avocado slices. Enjoy!


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Grilled Rosemary Pork Chops and Balsamic Roasted Purple Potatoes


Both of these recipes turned out great!  Easy and delicious. We will definitely make them again!

Grilled Rosemary Pork Chops

Ingredients:
4 pork chops
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:
Salt and pepper the chops.  Combine all the other ingredients in a resealable gallon plastic bag and add the chops, tossing to coat.  Let chops marinate in fridge for at least 4 hours.  Remove from fridge and bring to room temperature before grilling.  Grill over medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes per side for thick-cut chops, or 4-5 minutes per side for thinner cuts.  Internal temp should be 145ºF.

*****

Balsamic Roasted Purple Potatoes

Ingredients:
1 pound purple fingerling potatoes (or any color)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives

Directions:
Cut the potatoes lengthwise into quarters (or halves if they are small).  In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil, vinegar, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 400º for 30-40 minutes until cooked through, stirring occasionally.  Garnish with chives.



Friday, September 11, 2015

Lemon-Steamed Sole with Pea Puree over Pesto Risotto



A photo in my recipe book for lemon-steamed sole caught my eye awhile back, but I couldn't find sole in the local grocery stores at the time.  I could have substituted haddock or flounder, but I wanted to stay true to the recipe.  So when I was wandering the fresh meat/fish department yesterday and noticed the fresh-caught sole, I decided to give this recipe I try.  I don't own a Dutch Oven (it's totally going on my Christmas wish list this year!), but my regular ol' large pot fitted with a steamer basket seemed to work just fine.   I was a little leery of steaming fish.  Even Jeremy walked in and commented, "You're cooking the fish in a POT?!"  But it worked.  It was super fast and easy and steaming kept the fish really moist and the lemon imparted wonderful flavor.  The pea puree was fine, but I'd probably skip it next time because it was just unnecessary and added extra work.   The basil pesto risotto was really delicious.

Lemon-Steamed Sole with Pea Puree
from America's Test Kitchen Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1-2 lemons, cut into eight 1/4" slices
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper
4 (3-ounce) boneless, skinless sole or flounder fillets, 1/8"-1/4" thick
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Directions:
Fit a dutch oven with a steamer basket and add water to pot until it just touches bottom of basket.  Line the basket with 4 lemon slices, cover, and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, to make the pea puree, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering.  Add shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds.  Stir in the broth and wine and bring to a simmer.  Stir in the peas and cook until tender, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth.  Return sauce to the pan, stir in the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

Pat sole dry and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange skinned side up with tail pointing away. Starting with the wider end, tightly roll fillets.  Place the bundles on top of the lemon slices in the steamer basket and top with the remaining lemon slices.  Reduce heat to a simmer, then cover and steam until fish flakes easily, about 4-6 minutes.  (If you had slightly larger 6 oz fillets, steam for 6-10 minutes.)  Gently transfer fish to a plate, remove top lemon, sauce with pea puree, and sprinkle with basil.




*****
Basil Pesto Risotto 
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook
Serves 2 (very large portions--we had leftovers)

Ingredients:
2&1/2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped fine
salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup Arborio Rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup frozen peas (optional)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup basil pesto

Directions:
Bring water and broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Remove and keep warm.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds.  Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until grains are translucent around the edges, about 1 minute.  Add wine and cook, stirring often, until fully absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Stir in 2 cups of the warm water-broth mixture.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 12 minutes.  Once that is absorbed, stir in another 1/2 cup of the water-broth and cook, stirring frequently, until it's absorbed again.  Stir in the peas.  Repeat steps with the remaining water-broth until it's all incorporated and absorbed.  Off the heat, stir in the pesto and Parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.


Easy Basil Pesto:  (makes ~1/2 cup)
In a food processor, combine 1/4 cup pine nuts, 3 garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.  Process until smooth.



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tomato-Basil Soup


I've been searching for ways to use my fresh basil.   Here's another good recipe, especially if you want dinner in a hurry.  It was fast and easy and it tasted pretty good too.   My grilled cheese sandwich had a mix of gruyère and sharp white cheddar. Yum.

Tomato-Basil Soup
Recipe from Cooking Light: One Dish Meals
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
28-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
4 oz cream cheese, cut into cubes
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute 3 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add basil and tomatoes; bring to a boil.  Stir in cream cheese.  

Place mixture in a blender and blend until smooth.  Return mixture to the pan and add milk; season with salt and pepper.  Return to medium-high heat and cook for 2 minutes until heated through.  Serve.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Roast Basil Chicken and Basil Potatoes


I have a ton of basil in my garden, so this recipe really caught my eye.  It was my first time "spatchcocking" a chicken, and I found it easier than expected.  I used a mix of Sweet basil and Thai basil in the recipe.  The whole meal was super delicious.  The chicken stayed juicy and the basil butter added great flavor to both the chicken and the potatoes.


Roast Basil Chicken and Basil Potatoes
From Food Network Magazine -Sept 2015 Issue

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 clove garlic, grated
zest of 1 lemon
1 whole chicken
salt and freshly ground pepper
1&1/2 pounds baby potatoes (I used small red potatoes)

Directions:
Puree the basil, butter, garlic, lemon zest, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth.  Set aside.

Spatchcock the chicken: Cut along each side of the backbone with kitchen shears and discard the backbone.  Open the chicken like a book and flip over.  Press down on the back to flatten.  Rub half of the basil butter all over the chicken; season with salt and pepper.  Transfer, skin side up, to a pan fitted with a wire rack.  Roast at 425º until skin is browned and a thermometer inserted into a thigh reads 165º, about 45 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with water and add salt and peeled potatoes.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes.  Drain and transfer to a serving bowl.  Toss with half the remaining basil butter and season with salt and pepper.

Spread the remaining basil butter over the chicken; carve and serve with the potatoes.



Cream Puffs


I've made these before, but I 'm re-posting because they're just so darn good.  It's a nice once-a-year summer treat. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make little mini cream puffs or giant ones like at the State Fair.  I chose to make smaller ones for my guests.

Cream Puffs
makes 10 - 24 depending on size

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
additional powered sugar for dusting

Directions:
In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil over medium heat.  Add the flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms.  Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Drop by large spoonfuls (smaller) or 1/4 cupfuls (large) onto  greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.   Combine milk and egg yolk; brush over puffs.  Bake at 400º for 25-35 minutes until golden brown (time depends on how big you make them).  Remove to wire racks.  Immediately cut a slit in each for steam to escape. Let cool.

In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken.  Add sugar and vanilla; beat until almost stiff.  Split cream puffs so they have a top and bottom; discard soft dough from inside.  Fill the puffs with cream just before serving.  Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Glazed Country Ribs


Awesome sauce.  That's what the cookbook said about the glaze for these ribs.  Yep, it was very good.   I halved the recipe listed here since I didn't need a full 3 pounds of meat for just us two.  I'd definitely make this again (even though Jeremy says it makes the grill "messy").


Glazed Country Ribs
adapted from Taste of Home Grill It!

Ingredients:
3 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the last 8 ingredients.  Set aside 1/2 cup for basting in the fridge.  Pour the remainder into a large resealable plastic bag.  Add the ribs and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight, turning once.

Drain and discard marinade.  Grill ribs, covered, over indirect medium heat for 5 minutes each side.  Baste with some of the reserved marinade and grill another 5 minutes each side, basting again after turning.  Continue to turn and baste if needed until pork is tender and cooked through.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cheddar Chive Beer Bread with Chive Dipping Oil


I found this recipe from somebody else's online blog, and it looked like a good way to use a large quantity of chives from my little herb garden.  Other than the basil, the chives are my 2nd best growing herb/plant in our experimental box garden.  I just wish I knew why the cilantro and parsley aren't doing well.  Oh well.   I also chose this recipe because there was a random can of beer in our fridge left behind from when Jeremy's brother visited.  Since neither of us drink beer, I figured I might as well use it in a recipe.   The bread turned out great.  The dipping oil was okay, but not necessary.   Maybe I'll make a dressing out of it instead.



Cheddar Chive Beer Bread
from LightlyCrunchy blog

Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1&1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 (12 oz) can beer
2 tablespoons melted butter

Directions:
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.  Add the sugar, chives, cheese, and beer, and stir to combine (batter will be thick).   Pour/pat into a lightly greased loaf pan.  Brush top of loaf with the melted butter.  Bake at 375º for 45 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

****

Chive Oil

1 large bunch chives (1 oz), minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt to taste

Blend chives and oil in a food processor. Add salt to taste.  Strain through a fine mesh.  Cover and refrigerate (up to 2 weeks max) until ready to use.



Grilled Lemon Basil Pesto Steak



The basil in my little herb box is growing like crazy and I can barely keep up with it. I've been chopping some up here and there in small quantities for various recipes, and giving a lot away, but I still had an abundance. So I knew I had to pick out a recipe that used a lot of basil.  This pesto recipe fit the bill.  Thanks to the food processor, it was super easy to make. I froze the leftover pesto in muffin cups to use in the future.  I've never had basil pesto before, but I liked it the more I ate it.  I think it would also go well with chicken or pasta.  (The veggies pictured are just foil packets of green beans and red bell peppers that we stuck on the grill for 25-30 minutes, and the bread is the Cheddar Chive Beer Bread that I made with the surplus of chives.)





Lemon Basil Pesto Steak

Ingredients:
4 cloves garlic
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1&1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
steaks (I used petite sirloin steaks, ~1" thick)
salt and pepper

Directions:
Chop garlic in a food processor until minced.  Add the basil and pine nuts and pulse to combine.  While it runs, slowly add the olive oil.  Add the Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes and pulse until blended.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Salt and pepper the steaks.  Grill for about 4 minutes per side over medium to medium-high heat  (longer if you have thicker steaks).   Baste with pesto occasionally or just add after done.


Any leftover basil pesto goes into muffin cups to freeze and store for use later (keeps 3-4 months frozen, up to 1 week in the fridge):


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Cedar-Planked Honey-Balsamic Salmon


To celebrate the 4th of July, we decided to grill.  Jeremy reminded me that I had cedar planks from a Christmas present, so I went searching for a yummy recipe to use the planks.  I ended up combining a few different recipes and doing my own thing.  Here's what I came up with (to the best of my approximation).  (The pasta side dish was just Suddenly Salad Mix to which I added broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, chopped basil, and chopped chives.)

Cedar Planked Honey-Balsamic Salmon 

Ingredients:
1 untreated cedar plank
2 (6-8oz) salmon fillets, with skin
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1&1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:
Soak plank in cold water (or apple cider vinegar) for at least one hour, up to 12 hours.

Score flesh side of each salmon with several 2-inch-long diagonal cuts abut halfway deep.  Rub olive oil into salmon. 

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, and cumin.  Rub all over fleshy side of salmon and into the slits.

In a small bowl, microwave the honey for 20 seconds to thin out.  Whisk in the balsamic vinegar.   Brush the top of each salmon fillet with the honey-balsamic mixture, reserving some for later.  Allow to marinate for 10-20 minutes.

Place salmon, skin side down, on soaked plank.  Place plank on the rack of a preheated grill set to medium or medium-low, preferably over indirect heat.  Close and cook for 15-20 minutes, basting with marinade occasionally, until fish is done.




Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Grilled Pork Chops with Herb Pesto and Green Beans Hobo Pack


It's been awhile since I posted a recipe I made.  I'm super excited about my first-time herb garden in the back yard.  The chives, thyme, and basil are doing especially well right now, so I wanted to use them and I also wanted to grill since it was such a nice day.   The pork chops were delicious.  We had to grill them a little longer than the recipe stated since our chops were larger.  The grilled green beans were good too.



Pork Chops with Herb Pesto
Adapted from Taste of Home Grill It

Ingredients:
4 bone-in pork loin chops (3/4" thick and 7oz each)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon each minced fresh rosemary, basil, thyme, parsley, chives
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced

Directions:
Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, combine the water, herbs, oil, and garlic.  Rub over both sides of chops.  Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

Grill chops, covered, over medium heat 4-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145º.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

*****


Green Beans Hobo Pack
From Better Homes and Gardens Grill It

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh green beans
1 small shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:
Make 2 large squares of aluminum foil and place on top of each other.  Place the beans, shallot, and garlic in the center.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.   Bring up 2 opposite edges of foil and seal with a double fold.  Fold remaining edges to completely enclose veggies.

Grill packet over medium heat for 25-30 minutes, turning packet occasionally.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Chicken Vesuvio for Two


I had potatoes to use up, plus chicken breasts and frozen peas in the freezer, so this recipe just made sense.  It was easy and delicious.  I thought the sauce was very flavorful.

Chicken Vesuvio
From The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook
Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 (6-8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
5 teaspoons olive oil
12 ounces red potatoes, cut into 1" pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon minced rosemary
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:
Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.  Working with one breast at a time, dredge chicken into a shallow dish of flour.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown chicken lightly, 3-4 minutes per side;  transfer breasts to a plate and wipe skillet clean.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the skillet over medium-high heat.  Add potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, oregano, rosemary, and a pinch of salt; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the broth and wine, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon.

Nestle browned chicken into potatoes, add any accumulated juices, and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer about 15 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking, until it registers 160º.   Transfer chicken to a serving platter and loosely tent with foil.

Increase heat to medium and continue to simmer potatoes and sauce, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, about 5 more minutes.  Off heat, stir in the peas, butter, and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over the chicken.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cheesy Potato Soup


I combined a few different Potato Soup recipes from my bridal shower collection to make this St. Patrick's Day soup.  I just picked ingredients I already had on hand (carrots, onion, celery) and omitted things I didn't have (bouillon cubes) and sort of did my own thing.  It turned out pretty good.  I think it would have been better with cubed ham or bacon or some meat in there.

Cheesy Potato Soup

Ingredients:
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup diced celery (~2 ribs)
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 large onion, diced
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1&1/2 cups milk, warmed in microwave
salt and pepper
1 cup chicken broth
saved potato water
8oz cubed cheddar cheese

Directions:

Parboil the carrots, celery, and potatoes in a large pot of water for 5 minutes.  Strain, and save water.

In the empty pot, saute the onions in oil over medium heat until onions are tender. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.  Add the flour and slowly whisk in the milk to make the rue.

Add the strained vegetables back to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and enough of the saved potato water to reach desired consistency.  Simmer on low heat for 60 to 90  minutes until potatoes are soft.  Add cubed cheese and stir until melted.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Whiskey Pulled Pork Shepherd's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust


Oh, yes.  For Pi Day, I wanted to make a savory pie.  As I was browsing the internet, I came across this recipe from TheKitchenWhisperer and thought it sounded like a delicious twist on Shepherd's Pie.  It has BBQ Pork instead of lamb.  Plus a cheddar biscuit crust.  Sounded like a winner to me.  Since I made the Whiskey BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches a couple days ago, I had the pork and sauce already made.  So I only had to make the homemade mashed potatoes and the crust, making the recipe much less daunting.  I thought it tasted fabulous.  Loved the crust, loved the BBQ pork.  Lots of work, but worth it.  The photos don't do it justice.  Tasted way better than it looks.



Whiskey Pulled Pork Shepherd's Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust
from TheKitchenWhisperer

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
1/3 cup cream
2 tablespoons chives
2&1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar, divided
3 cups Pulled Pork  (see below)
1 cup Whiskey BBQ Sauce  (see below)
2 cups Mashed Potatoes  (see below)

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chives.  Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter (or a fork) until you have pea-sized chunks.  Pour in the cream and combine using a wooden spoon.  Pour the crumbly mixture onto a lightly floured surface.  Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese into the dough and gather the dough together until it can stick to itself without falling apart.  Try not to overwork it.  It should be tacky but not wet.

Pat the dough into a 9" pie plate coated with cooking spray. It should be an even 1/4-1/2" thick on the bottom and up the sides of the dish all the way to top of the pie dish.

Add the pulled pork.   Drizzle 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce on top of pork.  Sprinkle 2 cups shredded cheese over that.  Using a spatula, gently spread 2 cups of mashed potatoes on top.  Bake at 350º for 35-40 minutes until the crust is slightly golden brown.   For crispy peaks on the potatoes, broil for a minute or two.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.   If desired, drizzle a little more warmed BBQ Sauce over top.

*****

Pulled Pork  
4 lb Pork Butt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup BBQ Spice Rub  (see recipe here)

Pat dry the pork.  Rub generously with Spice Rub.  Place, fat side up, in slow cooker. Add water so that it comes up an inch high.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Remove and shred using 2 forks.

Whiskey BBQ Sauce
5 cups original BBQ Sauce
1 cup whiskey
1 cup water
3 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Whisk ingredients together in a medium sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Mashed Potatoes
5 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
6-7 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Place potatoes in a deep pot and completely cover with water.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil and cook for 30-35 minutes until a fork can pierce without resistance.  Drain, return to the pot, and mash.  Add in the butter, milk, and cream and continue to mash until creamy.  Add salt and pepper and mix.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie


It's the Ultimate Pi Day:  3/14/15.  Only happens once a century.   I made a Pulled Pork Shepherd's Pie for dinner which took a lot of steps, so I figured a nice easy no-cook dessert pie would be a good idea.   This was really quite delicious.  It was also very rich, so only a small slice was needed.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients:
1 Oreo Crust
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (8oz) package Cool Whip, thawed
shaved chocolate or fudge topping (optional)

Directions:
Beat together the peanut butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.  Add in the whipped topping and beat until smooth.  Pour the filling into the crust.  Chill for at least an hour before serving.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Whiskey BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches


Oh Yum.  Slow cooked pork with a BBQ sauce.   Can't go wrong.   Despite the long ingredient list, it really doesn't take much preparation.  The Crockpot does most of the work.  I thought about adding some caramelized onions on top, but we were hungry and I didn't have enough time for that step.  Maybe next time. I only used a small portion of the Pulled Pork and the BBQ Sauce for our sandwiches, but I have a recipe in mind for the remainder on Saturday for Pi Day.   Stay tuned for that recipe.


Whiskey BBQ Pulled Pork 
from TheKitchenWhisperer

Ingredients:
4 lb pork butt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup BBQ Spice Rub
2&1/2 cups Whiskey BBQ Sauce

BBQ Spice Rub  (makes ~3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground mustard
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Whiskey BBQ Sauce   (makes way more than what you need)
5 cups original BBQ Sauce (not honey)
1 cup whiskey
1 cup water
3 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

To makes the BBQ Spice Rub, mix by hand or pulse the ingredients a few times in a food processor.  Store excess in a glass jar in a cool, dry place.

Pat dry the pork.  Generously rub the spice rub all over the meat.  Place, fat side up, in the crock pot.  Add just enough water so that it comes up 1 inch high.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.   When done, remove from pot and place in a large serving bowl.  Using two forks, shred the meat to the desired chunk size.

Near the end of the pork's cooking time, add all the BBQ Sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan.  Whisk well and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened.   Store extra sauce in a glass container in the fridge for another use.

Mix enough BBQ Sauce into the pork until just wet and infused with the flavor you desire.  Enjoy on a bun or whatever you want.    Also freezes well.




Saturday, February 28, 2015

Spicy Chorizo and Black Bean Chili



Whew, this was at the very threshhold of my heat tolerance.  The cornbread muffins I made helped cool off my tingling lips between bites.  I combined a couple recipes from the internet plus made my own substitutions based on items I had in my pantry.  This included the can of diced tomatoes with hot green chilies.  I'm blaming the heat level on this item.  I'm not sure how it even got in my pantry.  It was either Jeremy or from my bridal shower (amazingly, it had not yet reached its expiration date!).  I think next time, I'd use just regular tomatoes instead of the hot green chilies and it would be perfect because the chipotles add some heat too.

Anne's Spicy Chorizo and Black Bean Chili
Serves ~6-8

Ingredients:
4-5 Mexican chorizo sausage links, sliced lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 celery ribs, diced
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can (14.5oz) whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (from a 7oz can)
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies (hot)
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1&3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 can lemon-lime carbonated beverage (7-Up soda)
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cans black beans
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup lime juice
salt and pepper

Directions:
In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chorizo and saute until golden brown.  Reduce heat to medium and add the celery, onions, and bell pepper.  Cook until veggies begin to soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend together the whole tomatoes and chipotles.

Once veggies in pot are softened, add the garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, and coriander.  Cook and stir about 1 minute.

Stir in the tomato mixture, diced tomatoes, broth, 7-Up, wine, beans, and chocolate.  Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to low.  Simmer uncovered for 1 hour.   Stir in lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cilantro, sour cream, cheese, or whatever favorite chili toppings appeal.  Corn bread is always a yummy side dish.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Dirty Rice


This was a very filling meal for two and it was simple to make.  Plus, it was made in one skillet which is always nice for cleanup.   The serving size for this recipe was large.  I wasn't able to finish my entire pork chop and we had some leftover rice as well.  I really enjoyed the flavor of the dirty rice with the chorizo.  I'd probably skip the scallions at the end next time; they weren't really necessary.

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Dirty Rice
from The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook
Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 (~12oz) bone-in pork rib or center-cut chops, 1&1/2" thick
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 ounces chorizo, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 celery rib, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
1/2 cup dry white rice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (or 1/8 teaspoon dried)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1&3/4 cup chicken broth
2 scallions, sliced thin

Directions:
Cut two slits, about 2 inches apart, through outer layer of fat on each chop.  Pat chops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Cook chops until well browned on one side, 4 to 6 minutes.  Transfer chops to a plate, browned side up.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet.  Add chorizo and cook over medium heat until browned, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in the onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook until veggies are softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the rice, garlic, thyme, and cayenne pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the broth, scraping up any browned bits.

Nestle the chops into the rice, browned side up, along with any accumulated juices, and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until meat registers 145º, about 8-10 minutes.  Transfer chops to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm.

Continue to cook the rice, covered, stirring occasionally, until liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes.  Off heat, gently fold in scallions and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve chops with rice.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Smothered Pork Chops


The picture in the cookbook looked good, so I decided to make it.  It was time-consuming, but the chops turned out super tender.

Smothered Pork Chops
from America's Test Kitchen: Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (8-10oz) bone-in blade-cut pork chops, ~1" thick
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon beef broth
1 bay leaf
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

Directions:
Combine onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl.   Cut two slits, about 2 inches apart, through outer layer of fat on each chop.  Pat chops dry and rub evenly with spice mixture.

Heat oil in an 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown chops well on each side, about 3 to 5 minutes per side; transfer to plate.  Add butter fat left in skillet and melt over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes.  Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in 1/2 cup broth and bay leaf.

Nestle the browned chops back into the skillet along with any accumulated juices, cover, and bake at 300º for 90 minutes.

When done, remove chops from skillet and tent with foil to keep warm. Strain braising liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup.  Discard bay leaf and save onions.  Let braising liquid sit for 5 minutes and use a spoon to remove fat from surface.  Return 1/3 cup defatted pan juices to skillet and bring to a simmer.  Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon broth and cornstarch together in a small bowl and then whisk into the skillet.  Simmer until sauce is thickened.  Stir in the onions and vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve sauce and onions over the chops.