Category Archives: pork

Recent Discoveries

I’m leaving for Orlando tomorrow, so this will be my last post for more than a week…(unless of course I somehow find free time, which is highly unlikely).  I’m very fortunate that my research advisor is bringing me along to Pittcon, an analytical chemistry conference, that’s taking place all next week.

I’ve been crazy busy lately, as I’ve alluded to, but I’ve had time to make a few awesome meals that I want to share before I forget about them.

1. Pork and Guacamole Omelette

I’m not a fan of omelettes without cheese.  However, the other day I found myself with only avocado, eggs, pork, tomatoes, and onions.  I figured since guac is creamy it might make a good substitute in my omelette.  SO GOOD.  I wish I had cilantro, though.

mix 1 avacado, 1 roma tomato, 1/8 red onion, tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 clove garlic, cilantro, taco seasoning, lime juice

2.  Mashed Root Vegetables


I had these left in my fridge, so I wanted to use them but didn’t feel like roasting.  I thought they might be good mashed/pureed.  DEFINITELY.  The celery root added a subtle hint of celery flavor, while the turnip imparted a taste of horseradish.  Basically, it tasted like I made really well seasoned mashed potatoes.  The best part was that I didn’t have to add butter or milk because they came out creamy.

3.  Pork Gravy

I’m nearing the end of my 2 lbs of pork that I made ut I didn’t want to waste the jus that the pork has been sitting in.  I decided to make gravy to go with the aforementioned potatoes.  I think I will always be disappointed in the gravy I make because it will NEVER be as good as my mom’s.  Seriously.

For this I just added all the drippings from the pork in a pot, started to heat it, then added the water that I drained from the vegetables that I boiled.  This is a very important step.  You need the starch from the potato water to emulsify the gravy.  To thicken it, I made a roux (four and water) and added it until the gravy was the right consistency.  It was good, but lacked the same warmth and depth of flavor that my mom’s has.

a wonderful hodgepodge meal


Baked Black Bean Burgers with Roasted Onions, Corn, and Pork

This meal was so worth it.

finished product

I’ve had a pretty stressful couple of weeks…no sleep, lots of posters/presentations/tests/teaching/research/etc and no sleep.  at all.

Today I was in an especially bad mood so I decided to cook something that would take my mind off of it.  This was a perfect choice.

It’s been a while since I’ve made black bean burgers and honestly I didn’t remember anything that should go in them except for cornmeal and black beans.  I also wanted this to be relatively quick since I need to be studying for a test (…taking a much needed break….)

While this took a little longer than expected (with cooking time, ~1 hour) it was definitely worth it.  Also, it won the approval of Becca, who is a connoisseur of non-meat protein in burger form.

Baked Black Bean Burgers

-mix 1 can (drained) black beans, 1 avocado, 1/4 cup chopped red onion, 1 roma tomato, 1 garlic clove, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, cumin, and cornmeal (start with 1 cup, add more as needed) in a food processor

this, admittedly, looks gross

-form into patties and place on oven safe tin

looking slighly less gross

-add chopped onion and corn on top, drizzle with olive oil.
-roast at 400 degrees C for 20 minutes or until burgers have hard crust


Total Cost: $5.04

organic avocado: $1.29
-organic blackbeans: $1.39
-1/2 organic onion: $0.15
-corn (not organic): $0.68
-cornmeal: no idea, less than $0.50
-organic garlic clove: $0.10
-roma tomato: $0.36
-1/8 red onion: $0.09
-1/4ish lb pork: $0.48

…and I still have 3 left!

Po-tay-toe…boil ’em, mash ’em, put ’em in a stew!

Or, in my case, a salad.  I actually have no idea what that quote is from, except that aforementioned best friend Zach has said it a few times….

Today’s meal ended up being quite good.  Here is what I had to work with:

hodge podge ingredients

You are looking at (from left): 2 potatoes that are growing sprouts, half eaten jar of mustard that’s been opened since September, my “manager’s special” lettuce that’s getting more than slightly wilted, a little baggy of chopped onions, a clove of garlic whose brothers and sisters went moldy (I bought that bulb 2 weeks ago 😦 ), 1/4 jar of balsamic vinegar I inherited from my old roommate (shout out Jayne!), and one of the remaining pork chops that I’m pretty sure I bought in August.  Peeking out in the back is my sour dough bread, which we’ll talk about later 🙂

The meal ended up being a mustard fried pork chop on top of fried potatoes, on top of a salad.

Here’s what I did:

Fried potatoes

-with the skin on, I thinly sliced the potatoes into “chips.”  I placed these in boiling water and boiled them until they got soft, ~7 minutes.
-in a large pan, I began sautee’ing chopped onions (small chop) in a generous amount of olive oil.  Once the onions were translucent, I added the drained potatoes.
-I let the potatoes sit in the oil, instead of sauteeing them.  This will help them get crispy.  If you’re unsure how much olive oil to add, I would suggest starting with 2 tablespoons and adding as you see fit.  After a couple minutes, flip the potatoes over.  Continue until they are at the desired crispness.  At some point in the process, add salt.  For me, fried potatoes can never have too much salt, but for most people probably ~1/4 – 1/3 teaspoon is fine.
-When they were done, I added them on top of a generous pile of lettuce and drizzled the lettuce with balsamic vinegar.

lettuce + potatoes


Mustard Fried Pork Chop

-Begin sauteeing a generous amount of garlic and onions in olive oil.
-Once translucent, add a dry pork chop (take a paper towel and pat the pork chop dry – this will aid in getting a browned skin.)
-salt/pepper the pork chop and add a generous coating of mustard (I would most definitely recommend a brown mustard, as opposed to a yellow).
-allow the pork chop to fry on the pan for 3-4 minutes, then flip.  Season this side with salt/pepper, but no need to add mustard.
-cover with a lid and let cook until you are not in danger of developing trichinosis.
-add to the top of your salad, mustard side up, and drizzle onions/pan drippings on top.

finished product!!

This was delicious and I would most definitely make it again.  I’m really excited because I have plenty left over for lunch tomorrow.

Total Cost: $2.55

salad: $0.60 (used a 1/3, paid $1.79)
potatoes: $0.60 (have been assuming that 1 potato = $0.30, used 2)
onion: $0.25 (used ~1/2 a large onion)
pork (not organic): $1.00 (bought this pork at $2.00/lb, was a half pound chop)
mustard: $0.10 (bought SUPER cheap at a truck load sale..$1.99, I think, used ~1 tablespoon)
balsamic vinegar: free! (thanks Jayne!)

The total cost is actually less because I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!!!!


*insert clever status including words “quick”, “easy”, and “cheap”*

Another late night…another quick meal.

Didn’t get home until 9:30 and wanted to be eating by 10…JUST managed that.

Last night’s guacamole was looking a little brown, so that was my top priority to use.

I also pulled out of my ‘fridge (aside: I once knew a guy who legitimately thought the proper spelling for refrigerator was ‘fridgerator’) some chopped onions, a frozen pork chop, and leftover home made cheese.

Here’s what I did:

– sauteed onions in olive oil until they were just becoming translucent
-seasoned the (microwave defrosted) pork chop with salt, pepper, dry mustard, crushed red pepper flakes, and garlic powder
-browned the pork in the pan with the onions on both sides, ~3 minutes each side
-topped the pork chop with a thick layer of guacamole
-topped the guacamole with a layer of cheese
-placed the entire pan in the oven at 410 degrees F for 15 minutes

I actually tried to take a picture of this goodness, but my camera batteries died mid shot 😦

To be honest, I was a little bit leery of the pork/guac/cheese combo, but it was really good.  The cheese didn’t melt, but got nice and cripsy brown on top.  I also really enjoyed the warm guac.  Word of caution: I think I undercooked it…so maybe pork isn’t the best thing to try and be super quick with…

It’s okay, though, because I’m now drinking a hot glass of tea in hopes of killing any bacteria from the pork that may be plotting my demise..

Total Cost: $1.70

pork: $0.75 (not organic) (paid $2.00/lb)
guacamole: $0.75 (used ~1/4 of the original amount of guac)
cheese: $0.20 (probably used 1/4 of the 1/4 that was left)