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 2020:
* Make at least 20 recipes for the Instant Pot
* Use the Spiralizer more often

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

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

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

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

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.