Meal Ideas 12 July 2019

A Sweet Superfruit for Summer Meals

(Family Features) From backyard barbecues and family picnics to a bright addition to seasonal recipes, sweet cherries not only provide a boost of flavor but also pack a punch when it comes to nutrition, helping keep you and your family healthy during busy summer months.

Cherries can help reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure as well as relieve stress and gout, and can improve sleep quality.

The perfect time to take advantage of the goodness of Northwest-grown sweet cherries is through August. Eat fresh cherries straight out of hand as a snack, bake them into a pie or pair with ice cream for a sweet summertime treat.

The rich fruitiness of sweet cherries helps blunt the sharp edge of dried fruit in a quick and easy Cherry Sauce recipe. Low in sugar and versatile, this sauce can be used as a base ingredient for cocktails, a glaze for meats, a spread for sandwiches, a topping for yogurt and more. Add some ginger or orange peel to complement your menu and you may have a new, nutritious summer favorite. Or, for a sweet, simple snack, use cherries to make an appetizer like Cherry Bruschetta.

Find more recipes and ways to use cherries at nwcherries.com.

Cherry Sauce

Servings: 16

  • 3/4       cup water
  • 3/4       cup maple syrup
  • 4          cups fresh Northwest-grown sweet cherries
  • 4          cups dried cranberries
  • 4          peels (2 inches each) fresh ginger (optional)
  • 3          tablespoons citrus zest (optional)
  • black pepper (optional)
  • fresh herbs (optional)
  • raspberries (optional)
  1. In medium saucepot, add water, syrup and sweet cherries. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally and more frequently as sauce begins to form.
  2. Add cranberries; continue stirring. Once reduced, remove from heat and add fresh ginger, citrus zest, black pepper, fresh herbs and raspberries, if desired.
  3. Cool 30 minutes-1 hour before transferring to wider, shallow pan for speed cooling.
  4. Once cooled, store refrigerated in airtight container up to 2 weeks.

 

Cherry Bruschetta

Servings: 6

  • 18        slices (1/2-inch thick) small baguette-style bread
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2    cups pitted Northwest fresh sweet cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4       cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4       cup diced yellow sweet pepper
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice
  • 1          teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2          ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1          tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Arrange baguette slices on cookie sheet and toast one side 5 minutes. Turn slices, brush with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and bake 5 minutes.
  3. Combine cherries, cilantro, sweet pepper, green onions, lime juice, lime peel, garlic salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; mix well.
  4. Top each baguette with thin slice cheese, 1 tablespoon cherry mixture and sprinkle of basil. Serve warm or cold.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Cherry Sauce)
Photo courtesy of Northwest Cherry Growers (Cherry Bruschetta)

Source: Northwest Cherry Growers

Meal Ideas 11 July 2019

Break Away from Traditional Barbecue Fare

(Family Features) Burgers and brats have earned a spot in the backyard barbecue hall of fame, no doubt, but if you’re looking for a different type of barbecue, add some finesse to your menu with flatbreads.

Set up a DIY bar. Let guests flex their creative culinary muscles and curb their cravings with a selection of toppings. Offer a variety of proteins, plenty of veggies, fresh or dry herbs, seasonings and a selection of cheeses so everyone can make a personal masterpiece. Ingredients can quickly dry out on the grill, so be sure to include dressings like pesto, hummus or herb-infused olive oil.

Re-imagine favorites off the grill. A sizzling steak sprinkled with blue cheese is a classic barbecue choice, but try serving it on grilled flatbread for a new menu option that is sure to delight. To make a Steak and Blue Cheese Flatbread, grill a flatbread for a few minutes and top with hummus and flank steak to add a bright flavor and mouthwatering texture to your dish. An option like Sabra Hummus is available in more than a dozen flavors to complement your favorite dishes.

Incorporate non-traditional ideas. While many backyard cookouts feature meat, veggies like corn, asparagus and mushrooms can add big flavors for those with different dietary restrictions. Choose your desired produce and grill until tender then add light seasoning for a fresh take on summer grilling with a dish such as this Vegan Garden Flatbread.

Look for more recipes to serve this summer at Sabra.com/flatbread.

Steak and Blue Cheese Flatbread

Yield: 1 flatbread

  • 1          flatbread, any variety
  • 3          tablespoons Sabra Classic Hummus
  • 1/2       cup fresh arugula, rinsed and dried
  • 4          ounces thinly sliced, cooked flank steak
  • 1/4       cup crumbled blue cheese
  • thinly sliced red onion (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Heat grill (or oven) to 450° F; bake flatbread 3-5 minutes until it begins to crisp.
  2. Spread hummus onto flatbread. Layer arugula (reserving 3-4 leaves to garnish), steak and crumbled blue cheese. Top with onion, if desired.
  3. Place on grill, close lid and cook 3-5 minutes (if using oven, broil approximately 2 minutes).
  4. Add salt and pepper, to taste, before serving.

Vegan Garden Flatbread

Yield: 1 flatbread

  • 1          flatbread, any variety
  • 2          tablespoons basil pesto (prepared or homemade)
  • 2          tablespoons Sabra Classic Hummus
  • 3-4       white button mushrooms
  • 2          tablespoons corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 3          spears asparagus, cooked until just tender
  • 1/4       cup vegan mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • olive oil
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Heat grill (or oven) to 450° F; bake flatbread 3-5 minutes until it begins to crisp.
  2. Spread pesto, followed by hummus, over flatbread then layer mushrooms, corn and asparagus. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  3. Place on grill, close lid and cook 3-5 minutes (if using oven, broil approximately 3 minutes).
  4. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired. Add salt and pepper, to taste, before serving.

Source: Sabra

Meal Ideas 27 March 2019

Recipe Remix

Turn boring leftovers into exciting and delicious new dishes

(Family Features) What happens to the rest of the roast chicken that didn't get eaten at dinner? Or the extra rice or couscous the family couldn't finish? It might get pulled out a few days later for a meal of boring leftovers that will be met with groans. Or it could just be forgotten. In fact, nearly 15 percent of the food purchased for meals ends up being thrown away.

Why toss out perfectly good food - and potentially hundreds of dollars each year - when you can use those ingredients to create a whole new recipe?

Once cooked, many remains of a meal will stay fresh for up to a week - and some even taste better the second time around. These recipes use common extra ingredients, along with Pompeian olive oils and vinegars, to turn them into exciting new recipes.

For more recipe ideas and coupons, visit www.pompeian.com.

Herbed Olive Chicken Pasta

Serves 4

  • 6 ounces dry whole grain penne or rotini pasta
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast meat, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 24 pitted Kalamata olives, or your favorite variety, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh basil leaves or 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Remove pan from heat. Place chicken in a colander; pour pasta over chicken and shake off excess liquid. Return pasta and chicken to pan. Stir in remaining ingredients, except feta. Top with feta and toss gently, if desired.

Couscous Cakes with Fresh Mango-Ginger Chutney

Serves 4

Chutney:

  • 2 tablespoons Pompeian Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup diced fresh or frozen, thawed mango
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Pompeian Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger

Couscous Cakes:

  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2/3 cup original couscous
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Pompeian Classic Mediterranean Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Chutney: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions 2 minutes. Stir in remaining chutney ingredients, except ginger, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, cool and stir in ginger.
  2. Couscous Cakes: Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove from heat, stir in couscous and salt, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let stand 5 minutes to cool. Combine couscous, cilantro, egg whites, flour, and lemon zest in a medium bowl.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Working with half of the couscous mixture, spoon about 2 tablespoons into skillet to make a mound, repeat, making 8 mounds total. Flatten slightly using the back of a spoon and cook for 3 minutes each side or until golden.
    Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining oil and couscous mixture.
  4. Serve the couscous cakes with mango chutney.

Basil-Rosemary Turkey Panini

Serves 4

  • 12 ounces Italian bread, cut in half lengthwise

Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Pompeian Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped, fresh basil or 2 1/2 tablespoons dried basil leaves

Filling:

  • 1 cup thinly sliced leftover cooked turkey or chicken (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, provolone, or mozzarella (about 3 ounces total)
  1. Whisk all dressing ingredients, except basil, in small bowl. Lightly brush outside of bread halves with 1 tablespoon dressing mixture and place, cut side up, on a clean work surface. Stir basil into dressing mixture and spoon over bottom half of bread. Arrange turkey, tomato, and cheese on top. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, if desired. Top with remaining bread half and press down firmly to adhere.
  2. Heat large, nonstick skillet over medium low heat until hot. Place sandwich in skillet, cover with a sheet of foil, top with a dinner plate and several bread plates (This will weigh the sandwiches down, to help cook evenly and absorb flavors.) Cook 8 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cheese is beginning to melt.
  3. Place on cutting board, and using a serrated knife, cut into four equal pieces.

Source:

Appetizers & Sides 15 March 2019

6 Deviled Eggs Recipes Perfect for Easter and Beyond

(Family Features) Deviled eggs, also known as stuffed eggs, first appeared in American cookbooks in the mid-19th century, but the origin can be traced back to ancient Rome where eggs were boiled and seasoned with spicy sauces, according to the History Channel. Today, deviled eggs are a staple during Easter, and according to the American Egg Board, more than 100 million dozen eggs were sold last year during the week of Easter alone.

The “classic” deviled egg includes a mixture of mustard and mayonnaise, sprinkled with paprika. However, chefs and home cooks alike are experimenting with various flavor twists, including ingredients like seeds, bacon, hot sauce, avocado, pickles, dill, crab meat and more.

Celebrate this classic Easter recipe along with five new flavor variations from the experts at McCormick and French’s. For more deviled egg recipes and Easter inspiration, visit McCormick.com and Frenchs.com.

  1. Easy Deviled Eggs – Crush this traditional recipe using French’s Classic Yellow Mustard and garlic powder for a tangy-sweet flavor and silky-smooth texture. Top with paprika and enjoy.

  1. Smoky Deviled EggsWhat could be better than deviled eggs with crumbled bacon? How about adding in smoked paprika for another layer of smokiness and a little color.  Now that’s the perfect appetizer for Easter brunch.

  1. Fiery Deviled Eggs – Kick it up a notch by adding Frank’s RedHot to these deviled eggs. It’ll add a tangy kick to the classic that can please any crowd. 

  1. Avocado Deviled EggsSwitch up the norm and add chopped avocado, Greek yogurt, yellow mustard and crispy fried onions to create this flavorful deviled egg. Top with some cilantro for a pop of color.

  1. Mediterranean Deviled Eggs – Getting their inspiration from the flavors of the Mediterranean, this deviled egg features Parmesan cheese, herbs like oregano and basil and a bright garnish of diced tomatoes.

  1. French’s Party Deviled Eggs– This egg is made for a party. Swap out the mayo with sour cream and add Dijon mustard for richness. Then top with a crispy onion crunch to leave guests wanting more. Don’t forget to sprinkle with paprika.

Source: McCormick

Appetizers & Sides 21 February 2019

Bite-Size Ideas for Easy Entertaining

(Family Features) Whether you’re prepping for an extravagant party or an impromptu get-together, being prepared with cupboard staples and entertaining tricks can help you take your gathering to the next level.

Make menu planning a breeze and put a unique twist on your party from start to finish with these great ideas from the experts at Dare Foods:

Snacks with flair. Use geometric cookie-cutters to bring thoughtful detail to essential hors d'oeuvres like crackers, cheese and melon slices.

Vivid votive. Fill mason jars with water and add slices of lemon or lime along with sprigs of rosemary. Float a tea light on top and place around the yard or on tables for a beautiful way to decorate your outdoor space.

Sparkler sendoff. Light up the night with festive sparklers for endless entertainment. Place them in a decorative pail and sit back as guests enjoy the photo opp.

When it comes to bite-size snacks, crackers are one pantry basic you can dress up or down for a wide range of party-worthy treats in minutes. For example, garden-fresh fixings atop crisp crackers make for light canapes that celebrate the best of summer flavors. Just start with one of Dare’s mouthwatering crackers, loaded with crunch and packed with flavor, and pile on the goodness.

If you’re looking for an elegant appetizer to wow dinner guests, a robust, crisp cracker makes the perfect base for a sweet corn salad and luxurious scallops. Or, for a delicious sweet treat, use Dare’s sweet potato cracker to lend a unique twist to a classic s’mores recipe.

Find more creative cracker recipes for your next event at darefoods.com.

Sauteed Corn, Feta, Cherry Tomato and Scallop Crackers

Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10

  • 2       ears corn
  • 2       teaspoons vegetable oil
  • salt
  • 10     large scallops
  • 1/4    cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 10     cherry tomatoes, quartered 
  • 2       tablespoons finely sliced basil
  • pepper
  • 10     Brenton Vinta crackers
  1. Slice corn off of cob.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in pan until hot, saute corn until golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. In another pan, heat vegetable oil until hot. Salt scallops then sear for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Slice in half to create 10 round scallop discs.
  4. Mix corn, feta, tomatoes and basil together. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. To compile, place spoonful of corn salad on each cracker. Top with 2 pieces of scallop and 1 sprig of basil.

Marshmallow, Chocolate, Sweet Potato Crackers

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10

  • 10     large marshmallows
  • 20     Breton sweet potato and ancient grain crackers
  • 1/4    cup chocolate chips, divided
  1. Heat broiler to low (set rack in top two-thirds of oven if low-heat setting is unavailable).
  2. Place marshmallows on one cracker and broil 1-3 minutes, or until they begin to brown and soften.
  3. Remove from oven and place 1 teaspoon chocolate chips onto hot marshmallows.
  4. Let sit 1 minute to allow chocolate to soften.
  5. Place cracker on top and enjoy.

Source: Dare Foods

Meal Ideas 01 July 2018

Fresh, Family-Friendly Flavors

(Family Features) One of the best parts of warmer weather for many families is the availability of fresh ingredients for meals at home. The unique tastes provide a variety of recipes that can be prepared with everyone in mind, including crisp flavors to help satisfy adults and kids alike.

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For example, Michigan asparagus is hand-harvested at more than 120 family farms, meaning each spear is snapped at its optimal point to produce an all-edible product with no woody ends.

To help keep that fresh-picked flavor, the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board recommends storing asparagus upright in about an inch of water after trimming the ends. Loosely cover the container with plastic and keep it refrigerated.

Whether you’re enjoying it blanched, roasted or on the grill, it’s a perfect complement for warmer weather. This Asparagus Crust White Chicken Pizza from author Gina Ferwerda is a creative take on the seasonal vegetable. Find more inspiration in Ferwerda’s cookbook, “Meals from the Mitten.”

For more information and recipes, visit michiganasparagus.org .
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Asparagus Crust White Chicken Pizza

Recipe courtesy of Gina Ferwerda on behalf of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board
Servings: 4

Asparagus Crust:

  • 2          cups cut-up fresh or frozen Michigan asparagus, blanched
  • 1          egg
  • 2/3       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3       cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1          tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning


White Sauce:

  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 1/4       cup chopped leeks
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1          tablespoon flour
  • 3/4       cup milk
  • 1/4       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1          cup cubed rotisserie chicken
  • 1          cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2       cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/2       cup cut-up fresh or frozen Michigan asparagus, blanched and seasoned with avocado oil and lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/4       cup chopped prosciutto
  • fresh chives, for garnish
  • fresh basil, for garnish
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. To make Asparagus Crust: In food processor, puree blanched asparagus until smooth. In large bowl, mix asparagus puree, egg, Parmesan, mozzarella and lemon pepper seasoning until thoroughly combined.
  3. Press asparagus mixture into circular shape on parchment paper-lined pizza stone or baking sheet. Place layer of paper towel over crust and gently press down to remove excess moisture. Repeat until paper towel is no longer absorbing moisture. Discard wet paper towels.
  4. Bake 12-13 minutes.
  5. To make White Sauce: In saucepan over medium heat, cook butter, leeks and garlic 3-4 minutes. Slowly whisk in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in milk, continue whisking and cook until thickened. Add Parmesan then remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Pour white sauce over partially baked asparagus crust and top with chicken and mozzarella. Add peas, asparagus and prosciutto. Bake 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is thoroughly melted. Garnish with fresh chives or basil.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Asparagus on the grill)

Source: Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board

Meal Ideas 05 February 2019

6 Easy Spring Seafood Dinners

(Family Features) Sheet pan and one-pot dinners can be perfect in a pinch, so it’s no wonder they’ve become a go-to for busy families. Cleanup is typically a breeze with just one pan, and it’s a quick way to get vegetables and protein all in one step. Combine your key ingredients with rich spices, herbs and sauces to create a flavorful meal in no time.

Visit McCormick.com or find McCormick on Facebook and Pinterest for more recipes to make your weeknight meals easier.

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Orange Chili Sheet Pan Salmon

Salmon gets a sweet and spicy kick with this crowd-pleasing dish. Chili seasoning mix brings the heat while orange extract, brown sugar and red bell pepper create balance with tang and citrus flavors. Even sweeter: This recipe is made in one pan for an easy, weeknight-friendly meal.

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Sheet Pan Shrimp Scampi

Garlic, butter and white wine create a winning flavor combination, which is freshened up with lemon juice, broccoli and cherry tomatoes in this sheet pan version of an Italian classic.

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Sheet Pan Tuna Melt

Being short on time doesn’t mean you have to skimp on flavor. These tuna melts can be on the table in less than 15 minutes. Swap out mayonnaise for tartar sauce in the tuna salad as a better-for-you option with an extra kick.

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Parmesan Herb Shrimp

In one pan, saute shrimp with Parmesan cheese, white wine and herbs, and serve over a bed of fluffy rice. This surprisingly simple, gourmet-tasting dish can be whipped up by nearly any home chef.

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Basil Shrimp and Pasta Alfredo

Whisk up a creamy Alfredo sauce with fresh shrimp, bright green peas and crisp basil in just a few minutes. Simply toss with pasta in the same pan and you’re done.
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Sheet Pan Lemon Butter Dill Tilapia

This white fish dish gets its flavor from a citrusy, lemon butter dill sauce that adds extra zest. Serve alongside asparagus, shallots and green beans for added veggie goodness.

Source: McCormick

Meal Ideas 25 January 2019

Simple, Flavorful Recipes to Reimagine Mealtime

(Family Features) While it can be easy to fall into a routine of cooking the same recipes week in and week out, getting creative with mealtime can be as easy as making simple swaps and trying new flavor combinations with fresh, high-quality ingredients.

One of the easiest ways to shake things up in the kitchen any night of the week is to reimagine a classic dish by replacing one of the main ingredients. As an alternative to the typical chicken or beef, fresh pork is a versatile, convenient and flavorful protein that can easily transform a predictable meal into something new and delicious.

Instead of chicken Florentine, try this recipe for Pork Chops in Creamy Roasted Garlic Florentine Sauce, or rethink the typical weeknight stir-fry with this quick and easy Italian Stir-Fried Pork and Pasta.

For more creative yet easy ways to reimagine mealtime, visit Smithfield.com/ShakeItUp.
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Pork Chops in Creamy Roasted Garlic Florentine Sauce

Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 4          Smithfield Boneless Pork Chops
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4       cup bacon pieces, half-cooked
  • 1/2       cup chicken stock
  • 2          cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2    cups chopped fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh tomato
  • 1/4       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1          teaspoon Italian seasoning
  1. Season pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Cook pork chops 4-5 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 145° F. Remove pork chops from pan and keep warm.
  3. In same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and partially cooked bacon to skillet; cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to simmer.
  4. Reduce heat to low and add heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Add spinach and tomatoes to sauce; let spinach wilt. Stir in Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning; simmer about 3 minutes.
  6. Return pork chops to pan along with juices. Spoon Florentine sauce over chops; simmer 3-5 minutes.

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Italian Stir-Fried Pork and Pasta

Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          Smithfield Roasted Garlic & Herb Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet
  • 1          package (8 ounces) spiral pasta
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          small zucchini squash, sliced lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1          small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8          sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2       cup julienne-sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1          teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4       cup butter
  • 1/2       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  1. Heat skillet or wok to 400° F.
  2. Slice pork loin filet into thin strips.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  4. Add pork strips and oil to heated skillet. Stir-fry until meat is browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add zucchini, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic and butter to skillet; stir-fry until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
  6. Drain pasta and add to pork and vegetable mixture with cheese and basil; toss to coat.

Source:  Smithfield

Meal Ideas 18 January 2019

Game Day Eats and Treats

Score major points with delicious dishes

(Family Features) If the crew is coming over to root for your favorite team, it may be time to spice up the menu. Whether you’re hosting the weekend get-together or watching the game after work, switch up your typical spread and serve something new to leave your guests cheering for more.

When it comes to choosing an ingredient that can lend a winning assist to nearly any dish and score you some major points, look no further than California Ripe Olives.

Variety is key when mapping out food for a crowd, regardless of the event. Plan on serving one main course and two sides, and consider no-fuss options like chips and dips. If there are kids in attendance, make sure there is something neutral for even the pickiest eaters to snack on. However, try your best to avoid anything that needs a knife and fork to eat – finger foods typically work best when the game is on and conversation is flowing.

The mild and unique taste of California Ripe Olives lends itself well to many different flavor pairings, such as these recipes for Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam, Easy Olive Bread and Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade. Whether your guests are fans of spicy, mild, sweet or savory, the only limit is your imagination when you pull a can of olives from the pantry.

Family farms across California grow 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. Each can is a labor of love. Multi-generational family farms work with family-owned canneries in California to produce each can and ensure only the highest quality olives make it from the farm to your game-day table. For more creative ways to use olives, including family recipes from growers across California, visit CalOlive.org .

Simple Entertaining Tips to Take Your Table to the Next Level

  1. A colorful platter is an easy way to spice up a spread.
  2. Pair something salty with something sweet for a juxtaposition of flavors.
  3. If you’re serving food on neutral plates, add some colorful linens.
  4. Plan the menu around a central theme or ingredient.
  5. Guests love choices – making more options available can make for better spreads.
  6. Use versatile ingredients, like California Ripe Olives, to keep picky eaters happy.

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Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam

  • 1          teaspoon olive oil
  • 3          pounds pork shoulder roast
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4          cloves garlic, quartered
  • 4          cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8          ounces dried peaches
  • 1          tablespoon chili powder
  • 1          cup California Black Ripe Olives, wedged
  • 2          teaspoons country mustard
  • 1          ounce arugula
  • 8          onion rolls, split and toasted
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. In large, high-sided saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Season pork with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook in pan 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.
  4. Stir in garlic and continue cooking 3-5 minutes.
  5. Pour in chicken broth, peaches and chili powder; bring to boil.
  6. Cover loosely with foil and bake in oven 2 hours.
  7. With slotted spoon, carefully remove peaches and transfer to small mixing bowl. Mix olives and mustard with peaches; set aside.
  8. Continue to cook pork in oven 30-60 minutes until fork tender.
  9. Allow to cool slightly then shred by pulling apart with fork.
  10. Assemble sandwiches by spooning pork onto toasted rolls.
  11. Top with arugula and peach-olive mixture.

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Easy Olive Bread

Recipe courtesy of The Wicked Noodle

  • 8          ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4       cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2       cup mayonnaise
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 2          cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10        ounces California Green Ripe Olives, chopped
  • 2          green onions, chopped
  • 1          loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In bowl, mix cream cheese, butter and mayonnaise until thoroughly combined. Add garlic; stir well to distribute. Add cheddar cheese, green olives and green onions; stir to combine.
  3. Spread mixture on cut sides of bread. Bake 20-30 minutes, until cheese is hot, bubbly and starting to brown.

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Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade

  • 1/2       cup shallots, chopped
  • 1/4       cup chopped smoked sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          can (6 ounces) California Green Ripe Olives, drained
  • 1          can (6 ounces) California Black Ripe Olives, drained
  • 1/4       cup lightly packed fresh basil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • crackers or toasted baguette slices
  1. In food processor, pulse shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and garlic until finely chopped. Add olives, basil, salt and pepper; pulse again until chopped.
  2. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  3. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices.

Note: Recipe can be prepared one day in advance.

Photo courtesy of The Wicked Noodle (Easy Olive Bread)

Source:  California Olive Committee

Videos 16 January 2019

Cooking Up Comfort

Hearty dishes for cold, dreary days

(Family Features) On crisp winter days when the wind blows cold, warming up from the inside-out with hearty comfort foods can feel like a worthy solution. From chili to cornbread to dumplings, flavorful and filling foods prepared without an overload of ingredients certainly can provide a feel-good boost on chilly evenings.

Chili, a classic wintertime favorite, can be taken to the next level with a few tasty additions. Make a spicy version by mixing in bacon, sweet potatoes and a chopped jalapeno pepper for a quick warm-up. A simple and somewhat sweet spin on a classic, comforting side, Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread pairs well with the slightly spicy chili. If you’re really looking to put the comfort in a comforting main course, this Skillet Chicken and Dumplings recipe takes less than an hour to create.

To make these heart-warming recipes stand out from a crowd, Circulon Symmetry Chocolate Cookware provides dishwasher-safe, premium nonstick cookware for easy cleanup and food release that slides right off.

Find more information and comforting family-favorite recipes at circulon.com.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6

  • Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 5.5-Quart Casserole
  • 6          slices thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1          pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2          medium onions, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 5          garlic cloves, minced
  • 2          tablespoons chili powder
  • 2          teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 2          cups chicken broth
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1          can (15 ounces) no-salt-added black beans
  • 1/2       cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  1. Heat casserole over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until browned and crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-covered plate.
  2. Reduce bacon fat in casserole to 2 tablespoons and return to stove over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, onions and jalapeno pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano and ground chipotle; cook until fragrant, 15 seconds.
  4. Pour in broth, tomatoes, beans and barley; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender and barley is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon and salt; let stand 15 minutes before serving.

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Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12-16

  • Circulon Nonstick 9-Inch Square Baking Pan
  • 1 1/2    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4    cups yellow cornmeal
  • 3          tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1          cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2          large eggs, at room temperature
  • 5          tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4          tablespoons honey
  • 1/3       cup buttermilk
  • 1          tablespoon grated orange zest
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Lightly butter baking pan.
  2. In bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, honey, buttermilk and orange zest. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until moistened; transfer to prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake until cornbread pulls away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20-22 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack at least 10 minutes before cutting.

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Skillet Chicken and Dumplings

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

  • Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 3.5-Quart Saucepan
  • 3          containers (32 ounces each) low-sodium chicken stock
  • Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 12-Inch Essentials Pan
  • 2          medium onions, diced
  • 4          carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch rounds
  • 1          head broccoli, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3       cups chopped chicken
  • 2          bay leaves
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1          teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2       cup half-and-half
  • 2          tablespoons cornstarch

Dumplings:

  • 1 1/2    cups whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 2          teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup half-and-half

Garnish:

  • fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh black pepper
  1. In saucepan, bring chicken stock to boil.
  2. In essentials pan, saute onions, carrots and broccoli with butter. Add olive oil as needed if pan looks dry. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are beginning to soften.
  3. Add chopped chicken, bay leaves, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and hot chicken stock to skillet. Simmer 20-30 minutes until vegetables are softened. Adjust seasoning, as necessary.
  4. Whisk cornstarch into half-and-half until smooth. Whisk into soup and simmer 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  5. To make Dumplings: In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and half-and-half. Swirl soup with wooden spoon and add heaping tablespoons into center of soup at strong simmer. Continue adding until all dumpling batter is used. Cover with lid and cook on high 2-3 minutes.
  6. Serve topped with grated Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper.

Source: Circulon

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