(Family Features) - There's nothing like a delicious, hearty beef pot roast to evoke the comforts of home. The keys to successful braising - also known as pot roasting - are low heat and a tightly covered pan to achieve unbelievable tenderness. And be sure to include the browning step as it packs a bonus layer of flavor.
The Featured Cuts
"Pot roasts from the chuck and round benefit from braising, a moist heat cooking method that softens the strong muscle fibers of less tender cuts," says Chef Dave Zino, executive director of the Culinary Center for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. "In addition to the mouthwatering results, beef pot roasts are a nutrient-rich source of 10 essential vitamins and minerals, including protein. Plus, cuts from the round and the chuck shoulder pot roast meet the government guidelines for lean."
Three Easy Steps
Step 1: Remove beef pot roast from refrigerator and slowly brown on all sides in a small amount of oil in heavy pan over medium heat. Pour off drippings. Season beef with herbs or spices, as desired.
Step 2: Add small amount (1/2 to 2 cups) of liquid, such as broth, wine, beer, juice or water, to pan.
Step 3: Cover tightly and simmer gently over low heat on top of the range, or in a preheated 325ºF oven, until beef is fork-tender, from 2 to 3-1/4 hours, depending on weight and thickness of the roast.
Pot Roast Video
Take the mystery our of making pot roast with this helpful how-to video. It's easier than you think to make a delicious roast even grandma would be proud of. Click on image to view video.
For more braising tips and recipes, visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.
Pot Roast with Cider-Maple Gravy and Mashed Butternut Squash
- 1 beef bottom round roast (3 to 4 pounds)
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup beef broth
- 3/4 cup apple cider
- 2 medium butternut squash, cut lengthwise in half, seeded
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Press pepper evenly onto all surfaces of beef roast. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Place roast in stockpot; brown evenly. Pour off drippings.
- Season roast with salt. Add broth and cider; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2-1/2 to 3-1/4 hours or until roast is fork-tender.
- Heat oven to 375°F. Brush cut sides of squash halves with remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Place squash, cut sides down, on metal baking sheet. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until fork-tender. Cool slightly. Scoop squash flesh into large bowl; discard shells or use for serving, if desired. Mash squash with back of spoon or fork until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper, as desired; keep warm.
- Remove roast; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Stir in cornstarch mixture and maple syrup; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Carve roast into thin slices. Serve with gravy and squash.
3 to 3-3/4 hours
SOURCE: The Beef Checkoff
(Family Features) According to a recent survey conducted by Infogroup/Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Perdue Farms, 91 percent of Americans believe in the importance of a sit-down, home-cooked meal.
While families today are busier than ever, they are still willing to go to great lengths to get a meal on the table the entire family will enjoy - including:
Customizing a recipe to their family's liking - 88 percent
Preparing the best side-dishes to accompany the meal - 85 percent
Purchasing higher-quality products - 74 percent
While the survey revealed roast chicken as Americans' best chicken dish, Chicken Cordon Bleu is the dish people most want to learn to cook.
Perdue's Executive Chef, Chris Moyer, created an easy recipe and how-to video for Chicken Cordon Bleu. Plus, he incorporates some tips to help both cooking novices and enthusiasts get this great meal on the table:
Start with high quality ingredients. Selecting all-natural chicken from a brand you can trust is a good place to start. Look for chicken with the USDA Processed Verified Seal. Perdue is the first poultry company to receive the seal, which verifies that PERDUE® Fresh, All-Natural Chicken products have been fed an all-vegetarian diet with no animal by-products and/or raised cage free. Chef Chris recommends PERDUE® FIT & EASY® boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe.
Want to dress it up? Use prosciutto ham, gruyere cheese and thyme for your filling.
Side dishes matter, too. The survey also revealed that 95 percent of Americans feel that getting a nutritious and delicious meal on the dinner table is important to them - so make sure your side dishes consist of a healthy grain and a green vegetable high in nutrients and fiber.
Visit Perdue on Facebook to learn more about their commitment to providing better chicken and to find tips, tools and recipes for families to help get a great meal on the dinner table.
For a more advanced recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu visit Perdue on Facebook.
What's your best chicken dish? Go to www.facebook.com/perduechicken, share a picture and describe what you do to make your dish the best for the chance to win a year's supply of PERDUE® chicken.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chicken Cordon Bleu is a popular chicken dish that many want to learn to cook.
VIDEO: How to Cook Chicken Cordon Bleu
- 1 package PERDUE® FIT & EASY® Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 6 thin slices of salt-cured Virginia-smoked ham
- 3 slices domestic Swiss cheese
- 1 whole egg
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon table ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Slice chicken horizontally without cutting all the way through to create butterfly breast.
- Place chicken on cutting board with sheet of plastic wrap over top. With meat mallet, gently pound chicken to even thickness of breast. Place two slices ham and cheese on one side of breast and fold back over.
- In bowl, whip together egg and water to create egg-wash.
- On two separate plates, put flour and breadcrumbs. Season flour with salt and black pepper.
- Carefully dredge chicken first into seasoned flour, then into egg-wash, followed by breadcrumbs.
- Heat olive oil in ovenproof sauté pan. Place chicken in pan to brown. Cook for 2 minutes on one side, then flip each breast over. Place pan into oven at 350°F and cook until each chicken breast reaches 170°F internal temperature, about 20-25 minutes.
(Family Features) When looking for inspiration on the grill, nothing beats the tender, juicy pork chop. This hearty protein is a versatile canvas for a wide range of mouthwatering rubs, glazes and marinades that will ignite taste buds with bold new flavors.
To fire up your grill creativity, look to simple, fuss-free recipes that pack big flavor. Take your pork chops on a jaunt through the Mediterranean with a savory Basil-Garlic Rub. Or, spice up the chop with a Fire-Lovers Rub, featuring a robust blend of Southwestern-inspired spices. No matter what tastes you crave, the pork chop is your perfect partner on the grill all year long.
For more on how to get the most out of pork on the grill, turn to these tips from the National Pork Board:
Know your chops. Did you know there are five different pork chop cuts? From the richly marbled blade chop to the lean iconic loin chop, there are many delicious options for quick-cooking chops on the grill. Ask your retailer or butcher to help choose the cut that's right for you-it might just result in a new favorite.
Make it your own. Pork chops pair perfectly with a virtually endless variety of tasty rubs and marinades. Experiment with your own flavor combinations by taking standby recipes and swapping out or adding ingredients to suit your family's tastes.
Mind your cook time. For juicy, tender pork, the USDA now recommends cooking chops, roasts and tenderloins to an internal temperature of 145°F with a 3-minute rest. Be sure to use a digital cooking thermometer for the most delicious results.
For more details on pork chop cuts, tips and mouthwatering recipes, visit www.PorkBeInspired.com. You can also follow the National Pork Board on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PorkBeInspired and on Twitter @AllAboutPork.
When looking for inspiration on the grill, nothing beats the tender, juicy pork chop.
- 4 bone-in pork loin chops, 3/4-inch thick
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- With machine running, drop garlic through feed tube of food processor to mince. Stop, add fresh basil, and process until chopped. Add lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper and process to make a thin wet rub. Spread both sides of pork chops with basil mixture. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes.
- Prepare medium-hot fire in grill. Brush grate clean and oil grate. Grill chops, over direct heat, turning once, to medium rare doneness, 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, followed by a 3-minute rest.
Calories: 210g | Total Fat: 14g
Cholesterol: 60mg | Protein: 27g
Carbohydrates: 2g | Sodium: 620mg
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- Mix chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, cayenne, granulated garlic and black pepper in small bowl. Rub both sides of pork chops with spice mixture. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes. Cook chops to an internal temperature of 145°F with a 3-minute rest.
Calories: 220g Total Fat: 14.5g
Cholesterol: 60mg Protein: 27g
Carbohydrates: 4g Sodium: 1220mg
Makes enough for 4 pork chops
SOURCE: National Pork Board
(Family Features) - In the restaurant world, professional chefs can afford to spend hours on their culinary creations. When they come home after a long day, however, even the most passionate cooks tend to relish a few cooking shortcuts. From simple recipes to pantry essentials, there are a variety of tips and tricks that home cooks can add to their repertoire, too.
Timesaving products, such as prepared stock and mashed potatoes, allow home cooks to replicate restaurant-quality dishes without spending all day over a hot stove. Here are a few recipes that are easy to prepare, but rich with flavor.
For an elegant main course, try Pan Sautéed Chicken With Vegetables and Herbs. This moist, flavorful dish gets its richness from Swanson chicken stock. Or trade in the traditional salmon filet for savory Butter and Herb Salmon Cakes. Made with cayenne, tarragon, garlic and Idahoan Butter and Herb Mashed Potatoes, these cakes are a cinch to prepare, but friends and family will think you ordered in.
Butternut Squash Soup With Sage is a show-stopping first course that is accented with the flavors of sweet apples and sage. For an appetizer that will please a crowd, try Four-Cheese Potato-Stuffed Mushrooms.
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 bone-in chicken breast halves
- 2 small red onions, cut into quarters
- 1 pound new potatoes, cut into quarters
- 8 ounces fresh whole baby carrots (about 16), green tops trimmed to 1 inch
- 1 1/2 cups Swanson chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Heat oven to 350°F. Combine black pepper, paprika and flour in small bowl. Coat chicken with flour mixture.
- Heat the oil in 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until it's well browned on all sides. Remove chicken from skillet.
- Add onions and potatoes to skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Add carrots, stock, lemon juice and oregano and heat to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet. Cover the skillet.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Uncover the skillet and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with the thyme.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cups Swanson chicken broth (regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)
- 1 tablespoon butter OR margarine
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- Heat oil in saucepot over medium heat. Add squash, apples and onion and cook until almost tender. Stir in sugar, coriander and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 2 minutes.
- Add broth. Heat to a boil. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until squash is tender.
- Place cooked squash mixture in food processor, using a slotted spoon. Cover and blend until smooth, adding enough cooking liquid to make soup of desired consistency.
- Heat butter in small skillet. Add sage and cook until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Reserve butter in skillet. Divide soup among 4 bowls. Drizzle each with sage butter and garnish with fried sage leaves.
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/2 lemons
- 1 10 to 12-ounce salmon filet
- 1/3 cup celery, finely diced
- 1/3 cup onion, finely diced
- 3 teaspoons mayonnaise
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 4-ounce pouch Idahoan Butter and Herb Mashed Potatoes, dry
- Canola oil
- In a medium pot, boil 4 cups water with the juice of the lemons, placing one lemon half in the water. Reduce heat to a simmering boil. Poach salmon filet in water by cooking, covered, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until done. Remove with spatula. Set aside to cool.
- When salmon is cool, combine with celery, onion, mayonnaise, cayenne, tarragon, garlic, dry mustard, salt and black pepper in large bowl and mix well. Add dry potatoes slowly while mixing until everything is moist.
- Form patties and cook in preheated canola oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat until both sides are brown (3 minutes per side).
- Serve hot.
- 1 4-ounce package Idahoan Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes
- 12 large mushrooms or 18 medium mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons butter, margarine or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Prepare potatoes as package directs.
- Remove stems from mushrooms; chop stems and set aside. Carefully scoop out center of each mushroom cap with a spoon, leaving 1/2-inch shell.
- Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add chopped mushroom stems and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and stir in mashed potatoes, 2 tablespoons chives and salt.
- Fill each mushroom cap with potato mixture, mounding it slightly. Bake 10 minutes or until potatoes are lightly golden. Sprinkle mushrooms with remaining 1 tablespoon chives.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 package (1.25 ounces) Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
- 1 cup water
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1/4 cup Ortega Thick & Chunky Salsa
- In skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes. Add taco seasoning mix and water. Stir until combined and slightly thickened. Add beans, rice and salsa; stir. Cook 5 minutes more or until contents are heated through.
Start to Finish Time
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Photos copyright (c) 2008 Publications International, Ltd. Used by permission.
- 2 (16-ounce) can Goya black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.25-ounce) can Muir Glen diced tomatoes no salt added
- 2 (11-ounce) cans Del Monte Golden Sweet Whole Kernel Corn no salt added, drained
- 1 (4.5-ounce) can Old El Paso green chilies chopped, drained
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce
- 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- Baked tortilla chips
- In large bowl combine black beans, diced tomatoes with liquid, corn, green chilies, olive oil, vinegar, salt and Tabasco. Cover and refrigerate 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- To serve, stir in avocado and cilantro to mix well. Serve with tortilla chips.
(Family Features) - We all seem to thrive on competition these days. Any channel surfer can find reality shows in which folks are trying to be the next survivor on a deserted island, rock star, celebrity chef or TV design guru. But nothing can beat the real life drama in your own backyard when brats vie for "top brat" awards.
First of all, choose the brat that consumers found to be the tastiest of all grillable meats in a recent taste test. Served hot and plump off the grill, alone on a bun or tortilla, this brat's robust flavor is more than delicious all by itself. But when you're in the mood to play with your food, top your brat with a favorite condiment, relish, salsa or slaw.
Top that juicy grilled brat with pickles and onions, mustard or ketchup. Go German with sauerkraut, Southern with a tangy barbecue topping, or even Hawaiian with pineapple and papaya. As long as you grill your brat so that it's plump and juicy, the topping you choose is only going to add style points. So, top that!
Check out johnsonville.com for great recipes and more!
Are You a Grillin' Guru?
You can be, by following Johnsonville's Tips for Grilling Success.
- Use a clean grill. Repeated grilling causes excessive residue buildup on the grill rack and hull. An occasional cleaning will help to reduce flare-ups. Besides, your grill is a special gathering place for friends and family. Got to keep up appearances.
- It's OK to pre-cook. Know that it's OK to pre-cook brats. One may simmer the links in a pan of broth, or a beer and onion blend, for 8 to10 minutes prior to placing them on the grill (it's okay to dump the beer when you're done ... really, it is).
- Cook slow, on low heat, keeping grill covered. If you're using a charcoal grill, spread out the gray/white, hot coals in a single layer. Your charcoal grill is perfect for brats if you can hold your palm near the grill for 5 to 6 seconds before it gets uncomfortable. On a gas grill, start the flame at a medium setting, and when the sausage juices start to flow, reduce heat to low. A lid on the grill helps to minimize the flame, too.
- Avoid high flames! First, move the brats to safety. Raging blazes cause injury to sausage and your neighbors probably won't enjoy the sirens. Keep a spray-bottle filled with water handy to douse small flames while grilling. A garden hose would be overkill.
- Turn the brats every five minutes or so. Use tongs, never a fork ... EVER! A fork can puncture a link and release that great taste and savory flavor. Tongs keep the links intact, and make 'em easier to turn.
Know when your brats are done cooking, which is:
- about 25 to 30 minutes using the above guidelines.
- when they're golden-brown and look appetizing, not charred to a crisp. "Burning" is not "grilling"!
- when a meat thermometer probe inserted into the link reads 160°F. (Of course, a Master Griller would never be seen doing this.)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) dark beer
- 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup stone ground mustard
- In skillet, melt butter.
- Add garlic and sauté over low heat until tender. Add pepper and beer; bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and gradually add cheese; stirring until melted. Continue to cook and stir until mixture is reduced by 1/3.
- Remove from heat. Add mustard; stir until blended. Pour into storage container. Refrigerate until ready to serve as a condiment to grilled brats.
Yield: 2 cups.
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Grilling suggestion: Blend 1 cup Gorgonzola mustard with 1/3 cup dark beer. Use as brushing or basting sauce for brat kabobs, whole brats or vegetables when grilling.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 cup prepared coleslaw dressing
- 1 package (16 ounces) cabbage slaw
- In skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent and slightly brown. Remove from heat, cool slightly.
- In small bowl, combine onion mixture with barbecue sauce and coleslaw dressing. Pour over cabbage slaw and toss lightly to coat.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve as topping with grilled brats.
Yield about 5 cups
- 1/2 cup cider or rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup diced papaya
- 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
- 1/2 cup diced mango
- 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple tidbits, drained
- 1/2 cup diced sweet red roasted peppers, drained
- 2 green onions, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon Chinese 5 spices
- In small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar and salt; bring to boil.
- Reduce heat, add garlic and pepper flakes; continue to simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature.
- In bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour vinegar mixture over fruit; toss lightly. Refrigerate until ready to serve as condiment to grilled brats.
Yield 3 cups
Roasted vegetables with taco seasoning mix turns a simple selection of vegetables into a trouble-free Southwestern side.
- 4 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes (yams), cut in 1-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups zucchini, cut into small chunks
- 1 small red onion, cut into small chunks
- 1 6-ounce package portabella mushroom slices, halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix (about half a 1.25-ounce packet)
- Salt to taste (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line with foil.
- In large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, zucchini, onion and mushrooms. Toss with olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and spread vegetables on baking sheet.
- Bake 40 minutes, shaking pan every 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender and roasted.
Total Fat: 4g
Makes 8 1/2-cup servings
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Pop any leftovers into a soup pot with some chicken broth for a terrific Southwestern vegetable soup.
This recipe is from "Holly Clegg's Trim & Terrific(tm) Diabetic Cooking" (American Diabetes Association, $18.95). For more recipes, visit www.hollyclegg.com.
Sun-Dried Tomato Salad Dressing
- 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained or rehydrate if dry
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons Kikkoman Rice Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Kikkoman Thai Style Chili Sauce
- 4 cups rotini pasta, cooked
- 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and seeded
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup green bell pepper strips
- 1 4-ounce package feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 3.8-ounce can black olives, sliced and drained
- 3/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped dill weed
- For dressing, whisk together sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, basil, capers, garlic and rice vinegar. Set aside.
- For salad, whisk together 1 cup salad dressing and chili sauce, set aside. In large bowl, combine pasta and remaining ingredients, tossing to combine. Serve with salad dressing.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped stuffed olives
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Tangy Barbecue Sauce
- 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 cup strong coffee
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Place ground beef, egg yolks, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic salt, oregano, pepper and olives in bowl of electric stand mixer. Attach flat beater to mixer. Turn to low and mix for 1 minute.
- Form mixture into 30 (1-inch) balls and fry in olive oil until well browned. Drain on paper towels. Warm Tangy Barbecue Sauce and pour over meatballs. Serve warm from chafing dish.
- Tangy Barbecue Sauce (Makes 2 cups) - Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Mix well and cook over medium heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Cool sauce and store covered in refrigerator until needed.
Makes 30 meatballs