Honey Sriracha Pork Chops

Sweet. Spicy. Savory. Are there better flavor combinations than that?

And when something so flavorful comes together so easily, that’s even better. The sweet and spicy sauce comes together in the few minutes that the chops are searing, let it simmer all together for a bit, and dinner is practically done!

The pork loin is juicy and tender from simmering in the honey Sriracha sauce and is perfect served over rice, broccoli or brussel sprouts.

Ingredients (serves 4):
4 pork loin chops
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water
2 tbsp. Sriracha
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional, for extra heat!)
1 ½ tbsp. corn starch

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sear pork chops for 3-4 minutes per side and remove from pan. Sauté garlic in pan drippings for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, water, Sriracha and crushed red pepper (if using). Return pork chops to pan and pour sauce mixture over pork chops. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, turning pork chops halfway. In a small bowl, whisk corn starch with 1-2 tbsp. water to make a slurry. Remove pork chops from pan and slowly stir slurry into sauce to thicken. Return to a simmer for 2-3 minutes until sauce is thick. Spoon glaze over pork chops. Enjoy!

Wine Pairings:
Montgo Monastrell 2012

Spicy Chili Honey

Spicy Chili HoneyI’m not really sure if what I’m about to tell you qualifies as a recipe or cooking but I am going to tell you anyway. You need to have Spicy Chili Honey in your pantry if you are fan of “sweet-heat” anything. I love adding this spicy kick to Homemade Ricotta Cheese with peaches for a creamy dessert, or anything that has cured salty meats, like my Hot Soppressata Pizza. I put this on a nice charcuterie board, so it can be drizzled cheeses, meats and breads… it can be a little addicting. I think I might even put a bowl of it on the table next time I make some fried chicken, because we all know drizzling a little honey on top of fried chicken makes it even better.

Ingredients:
4 oz. honey
1 tsp. crushed red pepper

Spicy Chili Honey 2In a microwave safe bowl, combine honey and crushed red pepper. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir to combine and then let stand for 10 minutes. Mixture can be used right away or will continue to get spicier as it’s stored at room temperature in a small glass container. Enjoy!

Sous Vide Pork Loin

It’s not a big secret that I love my Sous Vide Supreme. It makes a killer flank steak and is even perfect for making fried chicken! I like pork loin, but it can be notoriously dry if baked in the oven, especially if it is over cooked. Enter the Sous Vide method of cooking. Sous Vide style of cooking includes a water bath being set to the temperature that is desired for the internal temperature of what is being cooked, so impossible to overcook and make dry. Not long ago, the safe temperature for pork was thought to be 160 degrees, but was recently lowered to 145 degrees. Pork tends to be a little dry at 160 degrees, so I aim for 150-155 degrees for tender, juicy pork. This recipe has a spicy, flavorful rub and is finished under the broiler with a sweet duck sauce, to make it perfectly caramelized.

Sous Vide Pork Loin 1Ingredients:
2 lb. pork loin roast
½ tsp. chipotle powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. duck sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or any other sweet glaze or sauce that would pair well with the spice of chipotle.

Set Sous Vide to 153 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together chipotle powder, salt, garlic powder and black pepper. Rub spice mixture on the outside of pork loin, place in a vacuum seal bag, seal and cook in Sous Vide for approximately 4-6 hours. Once cooked, remove from pouch, coat outside in duck sauce. Broil on high for approximately 5 minutes until outside has some nice charring. Pork will be spicy, sweet, juicy and delicious!

Sous Vide Pork Loin 2Enjoy!

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and grits with creole

After moving to Austin 7 years ago, I quickly fell in love with this southern staple.  It’s spicy, savory, and makes a hearty brunch or dinner.  I use quick cooking grits (not instant, the ones that cook in 10-15 minutes are so much better!) to make this dish really easy.  Instead of cooking the grits according to the package directions, I substitute half of the water for milk, and add some fresh garlic and jalapeno to give it a kick.  This goes really well topped with my spicy Creole Sauce.

 

Ingredients (Serves 4):

1-1 ½ lb. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 slices bacon, diced
½ yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

To make the grits:

1 tbsp. butter
1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
¾ cup water
¾ cup milk
¾ cup quick grits
2 dashes hot sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

baconPreheat a cast iron or heavy bottom skillet over medium heat, until chopped bacon sizzles when added.  Cook until crisp, approximately 10 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon.  Remove grease, reserving 1 tbsp. for cooking the shrimp (see instructions below).  Return the skillet to medium heat and add chopped onion.  Sauté for approximately 10 minutes until onion starts to look caramelized.  When caramelized, remove from pan and set aside with crisp bacon.

Meanwhile, mix flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  After peeling and deveining the shrimp, rinse in a colander and pat dry with paper towel.  Place dried shrimp in a bowl with the flour mixture and combine to give it a light coating.  This will give it a nice brown crust when seared in reserved bacon grease.

To start the grits, melt butter in medium saucepan on medium-low.  Once melted, add diced garlic and jalapeno and sauté until fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.  Add milk and water, turning heat up to medium-high.   When starting to boil, add grits and simmer on low, stirring regularly.   Cook for approximately 10 minutes until desired consistency.  I like grits to have a decent amount of the water cooked out of them, so when you put a big scoop in your plate they hold their shape, like a scoop of rice or mashed potatoes.    Add salt, pepper and hot sauce and stir to combine.

shrimp

While grits are simmering, turn skillet back on to medium heat.  Add reserved bacon grease and place shrimp in a single layer and cook until browned, approximately 5 minutes.  Turn the shrimp it the other side and cook another 5 minutes.  Add cooked bacon and onion to the shrimp and toss to combine.

 

 

shrimp and grits - no creolePlace a large scoop of grits in a bowl and top with shrimp.  Add Creole Sauce if desired and garnish with green onions.

Enjoy! shrimp and grits with creole sauce

Creole Sauce

shrimp and grits with creole sauceI love this Creole Sauce, and I use it often.  I love heat, and this makes a savory, spicy addition to any dish, whether you are making blackened chicken with rice or  a savory Shrimp and Grits recipe.  I usually make a big batch when I make Shrimp and Grits and there is enough left to freeze 4 or 5 pint size containers.  This freezes really well and makes weeknight meals really easy.  My husband also loves it on fried eggs for breakfast!

 

 

Creole ingredientsIngredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
5 ribs of celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 quart carton chicken broth (32 oz.)
creole spices1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)
½ tsp. each of: cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, garlic powder, oregano, crushed red pepper
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. butter

Over medium heat, add olive oil to large pot and sauté onions, bell peppers, jalapeno, celery, garlic and green onions, for approximately 5 minutes, or until starting to soften.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes and spices and bring to a simmer.  Let simmer approximately 20 minutes until vegetables are soft and spices are blended.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter.  Serve over shrimp and grits, blackened chicken or something delicious.

Enjoy!Shrimp and grits with creole