Cider Braised Pork Chops with Agrodolce, Rice, and Roasted Vegetables

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A plate of cider braised pork chops with rice, roasted vegetables, and agrodolche.

Cider Braised Pork Chops


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 4 generous servings 1x

Description

This recipe has been adapted for this week’s meal plan. Click here for the original recipe. 

Thick cut smoky braised pork chops coated in a sweet and spicy apple cider glaze, served over wild rice and topped with agrodolce, a sweet and sour Italian condiment that adds a shock of flavor to everything it touches.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 thick-cut, bone-in pork chops, approximately 12-oz each (Serve 4 tonight. Reserve the meat from the other two for Thai Pork and Noodle Soup on Day #5.)
  • Favorite Spice Rub for Pork Chops
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 cups apple cider

Serve with:

  • Agrodolce (Serve half tonight and reserve the other half for chicken salad on Day #3.)
  • 3 cups Wild rice (Serve 1/3 with these pork chops, reserve 1/3 to serve with Chili Glazed Chicken Thighs on Day #2, and 1/3 to add to Chicken Salad on Day #3.)
  • Roasted Vegetables (Serve half tonight and reserve half for Chicken Salad on Day #3)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees and place a baking dish, roasting pan, or rimmed baking sheet next to your cooktop.
  2. Rub both sides of the pork chops with a generous amount of the spice rub.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat until the oil is shimmering.
  4. Sear each pork chop in the hot oil to brown, cooking it for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the browned pork chop to the roasting pan or baking sheet. Unless you have a very large skillet, you’ll probably need to do this in batches – 2 chops at a time. Add more oil as necissary. If the oil starts to smoke, remove the pan from the heat for a minute or two to cool down slightly before placing back on the heat and proceeding to brown the chops.
  5. Pour enough apple cider into the pan with the pork chops so that the cider comes 1/2 to 1-inch up the sides of the pan.
  6. Put the pan in the oven and roast for 15-25 minutes, turning the chops over halfway through baking. Cook until an instant read thermometer registers 140 – 145 degrees. You can also cut into one of the chops to check for doneness. Cut into a pice close to the bone and observe whether the juices run clear. If they do, the chop is done.
  7. Remove the chops from the oven, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and let sit while you make the apple cider glaze. *Cut the meat from the bone of two chops. Pack into a freezer zip top bag and freeze. They will be used in the soup on Day #5.
  8. Pour all the liquid from the roasting pan into a large saucepan. (The juice might boil up initially, so be sure to use a large pan.) Place the pan over medium high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Continue to cook, stirring every now and then, until the juice is reduced to a thick syrup. Towards the end of cooking, stir frequently and watch carefully to prevent burning. This should take 15-30 minutes depending on how much liquid you start with.
  9. Serve the chops over wild rice, topped with a drizzle of apple cider glaze and a spoonful or two of agrodolce.

Agrodolce

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Agrodolce

Agrodolce


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x

Description

This recipe has been modified to fit this week’s meal plan. Click here to view the original recipe.

The sweet and sour Italian condiment that makes everything tastier. Agrodolce will keep in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Serve half with Pork Chops on Day #1 and the other half with Chicken Salad on Day #3.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup roughly chopped almonds, skin on
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced very thin
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Combine the olive oil and chopped almonds in a large skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-10 minutes, until the almonds are golden brown and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Add the vinegar and honey to a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the raisins, stir and let sit for at least 10 minutes to soften the raisins, stirring from time to time.
  3. When the almonds have cooled to room temperature, add them to the raisin vinegar mixture along with the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Toss in any dried fruit in place of the golden raisins – sour cherries, cranberries, currants, or chopped apricots.
  • Walnuts and pecans can be used instead of almonds if you prefer.

Roasted Vegetables

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Perfect Roasted Vegetables.

Roasted Vegetables


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell

Description

This recipe has been adapted for this week’s meal plan. Click here for the original recipe.

Roast a total of 2 pounds of vegetables; serve half alongside Pork Chops on Day #1 and reserve the rest for Chicken Salad on Day #3.

If you arrange your vegetables on the pan in groups, you can easily remove fast cooking vegetables when they are done, leaving the rest to finish roasting. Here’s a rough guide, but the best way to tell if a vegetable is done to your liking is simply to taste it.

Vegetables that require a longer roasting time (30-40 minutes at 450 degrees): Squash, roots and tubers (potatoes, parsnips, carrots, beets), alliums (onions, leeks, garlic).

Vegetables that require a shorter roasting time (15-20 minutes at 450 degrees): Cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, green beans, bell peppers, mushrooms.

When chopping vegetables in preparation for roasting, try to cut them into pieces that are all roughly the same size to help them cook evenly. Toss sliced veggies with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic if you like, lay them on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the oven to roast.

When the vegetables are finished roasting, squeeze a little fresh lemon over the top and toss. This is optional, but a touch of fresh lemon adds a delicious brightness to their flavor.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of vegetables, any kind or combination you like
  • 2 tsp minced fresh garlic (optional)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 fresh lemons (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prep vegetables: wash, peel, if necessary, and chop into uniformly sized pieces.
  3. Dump all the vegetables into a large bowl and toss with the garlic and olive oil.
  4. Arrange the vegetables on the tray, separating varieties that require a longer roasting time from those that require a shorter roasting time. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for 15-40 minutes, depending on the type of vegetables you are roasting (see roasting time guide above).
  6. Remove from the oven and squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over the vegetables. Toss and serve.

 

Pan Fried Chicken Thighs with Honey Chili Glaze

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Drizzling honey chili glaze over pan fried and roasted chicken thighs.

Pan Fried Chicken Thighs with Honey Chili Glaze


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes (Plus time to marinate the chicken)
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings (2 pieces of chicken per serving) 1x

Description

This recipe has been modified to fit this week’s meal plan. Click here for the original recipe. 

Reserve the meat from 4 pieces of chicken and all leftover honey chili glaze for chicken salad on Day #3.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup chili garlic sauce
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on (Serve 8 tonight and reserve 4 for Chicken Salad on Day #3)
  • Salt
  • 1 cup honey

For Serving:

  • About 2 cups cooked wild rice (or any kind of rice)
  • 34 cups greens such as kale, endive, spinach or arugula, washed and dried
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix the lemon juice and chili garlic sauce together in a zip top bag. Add the chicken to the bag, seal and rub the chicken around in the bag to coat with the marinade. Let the chicken sit in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, and up to 1 day ahead.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Working with a few pieces of chicken at a time, remove the chicken from the bag and place skin side down in the hot oil. (Reserve the marinade.) Do not over crowd the pan. Sprinkle salt over the chicken and let cook until the skin is browned, about 8 minutes. Flip the chicken over, sprinkle salt over the skin and cook for 1-2 minutes longer.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and place skin side up in a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish that’s big enough to hold the chicken in one layer. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Remember to reserve the marinade.
  5. Pour the marinade in the zip top bag into a microwave safe bowl and stir in the honey. Microwave the mixture for 45 seconds, just to melt the honey. Brush over the top of the chicken.
  6. Put the pan in the oven and let the chicken roast for 16-20 minutes. To test if the chicken is done, remove one pice from the oven and cut into it. There should be no visible pink on the inside of the meat.
  7. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with a pice of aluminum foil. Pour the pan juices into a medium sized saucepan. The juice will bubble up somewhat, so make sure the pan seems a bit large for the amount of sauce. Set the saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s reduced to a syrupy consistency.

To Serve:

Toss washed greens with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and a bit of salt and pepper. On each place, pile a handful of greens. Top the greens with about 1/2 cup of rice. Top the rice with 2 pieces of chicken, drizzle with a bit of honey chili glaze and serve.


Sweet and Spicy Chicken Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Agrodolche

It would be hard to pack more flavor into this chicken salad. Greens, wild rice, a variety of roasted vegetables, and strips of honey chili glazed chicken are topped off with a spoonful of agrodolce. This is not your typical chicken salad.

Believe it or not, this amazing salad will be on your table in under 10 minutes if you’ve been following this week’s meal plan.

And, if you have people in your house who don’t think that salad = dinner, you will blow their mind with dish.

A plate of chili glazed chicken salad with roasted vegetables and agrodolce

To build 4 plates of Chicken Salad:

1. Toss 4-6 cups of salad greens with a few douses of Classic Vinaigrette, made with the Chili variation. Distribute the greens among 4 plates.

2. Top the greens with about 1/2 cup cooked wild rice.

3. Put the Roasted Vegetables that you made earlier in the week in the microwave and cook for about 30 seconds. Toss them around in the bowl with your hands to test their temperature. The goal is to warm them to a temperature close to room temperature. Distribute the vegetables over the rice.

4. Shred pieces of leftover Pan Fried Chicken Thighs with Honey Chili Glaze and toss across the top of the roasted vegetables. Heat leftover honey-chili glaze in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, stir, and drizzle some over the chicken.

5. Serve the salads with agrodolce, allowing each person to add as much as they like.

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Thai Curry Shrimp and Rice

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A bowl of Thai Curry Shrimp and Rice.

Thai Curry Shrimp and Rice


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

This recipe has been modified to fit this week’s meal plan. Click here for the original recipe.

Shrimp, bok choy, and cherry tomatoes are added to a rich green curry sauce flavored with coconut, cumin, Thai chili and lemongrass, then spooned over rice and seasoned with basil and lime.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, peeled, quartered and diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 4 oz green curry paste (about 8 tablespoons)
  • 12 tsp chili garlic sauce (depending on how spicy you want this dish to be)
  • 2 tsp finely minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp Thai Chili Spice Mix, divided
  • 1 13-oz can coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (if frozen, thaw in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes)
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 5 heaping cups of bok choy – remove the leaves and chop the white stalks into 1-inch chunks. *Use 3 cups in this dish and reserve 2 cups in a covered container in the refrigerator for Pork and Noodle Soup on day #5.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 24 fresh limes
  • 2 heaping cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch of scallions, white parts only cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Instructions

  1. Add the shredded coconut to a dry skillet set over medium heat. Toast, stirring often, until about half of the coconut is golden brown. (Don’t cook any longer after about half the coconut is browned, or some will burn.) Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large, heavy bottom sauce pan set over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. While the onion cooks, add the ginger, curry paste, and chili garlic sauce to a small bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Add the garlic and 2 tablespoons of the Thai Chili Spice Mix to the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the curry paste mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute longer.
  5. Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Bing the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  6. While the curry sauce cooks, add the remaining tablespoon of Thai Chili Spice mix to plate and mix it with the cornstarch. Dry the shrimp with paper towels and toss in the cornstarch mixture to coat. Shake excess cornstarch from the shrimp and place on a clean plate.
  7. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the pieces of bok choy, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender and just beginning to brown in some places. Remove to a clean plate.
  8. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil to the skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add the shrimp in one layer to the hot oil. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Let cook for 2 minutes, then use tongs to flip the shrimp over to the other side. Cook for another 2 minutes, until they are pink and completely opaque. Immediately remover the shrimp from the hot pan to a clean plate.
  9. Squeeze the juice from a couple of the limes into the curry sauce. Taste and add more if you like; add more salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Remove the pan with the curry sauce from the heat and stir in the bok choy, shrimp, cherry tomatoes, and scallions. Serve over bowls of rice, topped with a sprinkling of basil and toasted coconut.

Thai Pork and Noodle Soup

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Thai Style Pork Soup with Rice Noodles. Chunks of tender pork, vegetables, and rice noodles are simmered in a rich shiitake mushroom broth that’s flavored with lemon grass, cilantro and Thai spices.

Thai Pork and Noodle Soup


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

This recipe has been modified to fit this week’s meal plan. Click here for the original recipe.

Pull the pork chop meat that you cooked earlier in the week out of the freezer in the morning and place it in your refrigerator to thaw. It probably won’t be completely thawed by the evening, but that’s ok. It will thaw completely when you add it to the hot soup.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 3 or 4 stalks of fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced (see note below for preparation instructions)
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tbsp fish sauce, divided
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp Thai Spice Mix, divided
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 8 oz pad Thai rice noodles
  • 1 tbsp green curry paste
  • 8 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups bok choy, leaves removed and white stalks cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups cooked pork, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 34 fresh limes

Garnishes:

  • 12 cups sprouts or micro greens
  • Chili garlic sauce
  • Scallions, white part only sliced very thin
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh, chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the lemongrass, onion, cilantro, garlic and 3 tbsp fish sauce. Cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 tbsp Thai Spice Mix and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute longer.
  2. Add the beef and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover and let simmer to blend the flavors for 10 minutes. Strain the broth into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the solids and return the broth to the saucepan. (NOTE: The broth can be refrigerated at this point for up to 5 days.)
  3. Fill another large sauce pan with water, set it over high heat, and bring to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook until al dente – about 2-3 minutes. Strain and reserve.
  4. Bring the broth back to a simmer and add 2 teaspoons Thai Spice Mix, 1 tablespoon green curry paste, the mushrooms, and the bok choy. Cook for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the pork. Cook for another 2-4 minutes, until the pork is heated through.
  5. Add the rice noodles to a large serving dish and pour the soup over the top of them.
  6. Serve with garnishes, allowing each person to top their soup as they like.

Notes

  • To prepare a stalk of lemongrass for cooking: Trim all but the bottom 5 inches of a lemongrass stalk. Remove the tough outer sheath. If the stalk is quite tough, you might need to remove a few layers of the outer leaves to get to the tender inner portion. Thinly slice the trimmed and peeled lemon grass on a slight bias.
  • Substitute all vegetable broth or all beef broth for the mix of the two, if you prefer.
  • To prepare cooked pork: Season 2 large pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet and brown the chops on both sides. Put the chops in a baking dish and pour in 2 cups of water, broth or apple cider. Cook in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes. Let cool, remove the meat from the bone, and cut into bite-sized chunks.