Pork and Chorizo Kebabs, Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, and Romesco Sauce

Pork and Chorizo Kebabs
adapted from Everyday Food
3 boneless pork loin chops, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
4 links chorizo sausage, cut into small pieces

In a large bowl, combine pork, vinegar, salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or in refrigerator overnight. Thread meat onto skewers, alternating. Grill over medium heat, turning occasionally, 12-13 minutes until pork is cooked through.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from my good friend The Simple Gourmand

1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
4 large bell peppers (a variety is nice)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 package (5 oz) fresh spinach, tough stems removed, torn into large pieces
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Heat oven to 375°F.

In small nonstick skillet, toast almonds over medium heat, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly toasted. Tip onto a plate and let cool.

In a saucepan, heat water and salt to boiling. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer; rinse under cold running water 2 minutes. Stir quinoa into boiling water. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Uncover and set aside.

Fill a saucepan half full with water; heat to boiling. Cut off and reserve tops of peppers. Remove seeds and ribs. Add peppers and tops to boiling water; cook 5 minutes. Drain. In same saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add spinach to saucepan; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until wilted and any water evaporates. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir goat cheese, almonds and quinoa into spinach mixture.

Arrange peppers in shallow baking dish. Spoon stuffing into peppers, mounding to fill; replace tops. Bake 25-30 minutes or until peppers are tender and stuffing is warmed.

Romesco SauceAdapted from my good friend The Simple Gourmand
1 oz French bread chunks, crusts removed
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup toasted almonds
1/4 cup drained diced tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 tsp paprika
Pinch of chipotle powder
1/4 cup olive oil

Cut pepper, removing tops, seeds, and ribs. Place on baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Place baking sheet under broiler, and broil until the skins have charred. Remove from oven, wrap pepper in the foil it was roasted on and let stand 10 minutes. When cooled just enough to handle, open foil and remove skins from pepper.

In a bowl, combine the bread with the red wine vinegar. Put the toasted almonds in the food processor and pulse until grainy. Add the bread, tomatoes, red pepper, paprika and chipotle. Puree until smooth. With the motor running, pour the oil in a slow stream and process until smooth. Serve hot or refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


Pork Chops with Cranberry- Orange Stuffing

I had a busy day yesterday in the kitchen. I made a $170 trip to Trader Joe’s , they’re about an hour away, so I only get to go every so often. So, I was inspired to whip up some goodness with my purchases. I love the flavors of cranberry and orange and this dish didn’t disappoint! I served it with roasted sweet potatoes tossed with evoo, cumin & brown sugar.

Pork Chops with Cranberry- Orange Stuffing
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Roasting

1 1/2 cups apple juice
1 tbsp kosher salt
3 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
6 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 thick cut pork chops (I used boneless)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cups panko whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp evoo
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp cornstarch

  • Combine marinade ingredients, stirring to dissolve salt & sugar. Place chops in brine and refrigerate 4-6 hours, the liquid should cover them, add water if needed. Remove the chops from brine, pat dry with paper towels.
  • To make the stuffing, in a small bowl combine the cranberries and orange juice, let soak for 10 minutes. In a large heavy saute pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Raise heat to medium-high, add the bread crumbs and rosemary, saute until the crumbs are lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drain the cranberries, reserving the orange juice. Add the cranberries and orange zest to the pan and toss to combine. Remove from the pan and let cool completely.
  • Preheat oven to 375. Butterfly each pork chop. Using a teaspoon, place the stuffing in the chops, dividing evenly, then secure each chop closed with toothpicks. Lightly brush or rub both sides of the chop with evoo.
  • Reheat the saute pan over high heat until very hot. Add the chops and sear for 2 minutes on the first side, 1 minute on the second side. Immediately place chops in the oven on a baking sheet. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
  • While roasting, deglaze the pan, using chicken broth and reserved orange juice. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with 1 tbsp water. Add cornstarch to the sauce and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened.
  • Serve chops on top of any leftover stuffing, covered with sauce.

Hubby thought the orange flavor was strong throughout, but I thought it was perfect! You be the judge!