(Family Features) While it can be easy to fall into a routine of cooking the same recipes week in and week out, getting creative with mealtime can be as easy as making simple swaps and trying new flavor combinations with fresh, high-quality ingredients.
One of the easiest ways to shake things up in the kitchen any night of the week is to reimagine a classic dish by replacing one of the main ingredients. As an alternative to the typical chicken or beef, fresh pork is a versatile, convenient and flavorful protein that can easily transform a predictable meal into something new and delicious.
Instead of chicken Florentine, try this recipe for Pork Chops in Creamy Roasted Garlic Florentine Sauce, or rethink the typical weeknight stir-fry with this quick and easy Italian Stir-Fried Pork and Pasta.
For more creative yet easy ways to reimagine mealtime, visit Smithfield.com/ShakeItUp.
Pork Chops in Creamy Roasted Garlic Florentine Sauce
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 4 Smithfield Boneless Pork Chops
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup bacon pieces, half-cooked
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Season pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper, to taste.
- In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Cook pork chops 4-5 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 145° F. Remove pork chops from pan and keep warm.
- In same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and partially cooked bacon to skillet; cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to simmer.
- Reduce heat to low and add heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add spinach and tomatoes to sauce; let spinach wilt. Stir in Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning; simmer about 3 minutes.
- Return pork chops to pan along with juices. Spoon Florentine sauce over chops; simmer 3-5 minutes.
Italian Stir-Fried Pork and Pasta
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 Smithfield Roasted Garlic & Herb Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet
- 1 package (8 ounces) spiral pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small zucchini squash, sliced lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup julienne-sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Heat skillet or wok to 400° F.
- Slice pork loin filet into thin strips.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Add pork strips and oil to heated skillet. Stir-fry until meat is browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add zucchini, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic and butter to skillet; stir-fry until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
- Drain pasta and add to pork and vegetable mixture with cheese and basil; toss to coat.
(Family Features) Weekend barbecues, birthday celebrations and family reunions are in full swing, so up your grill game from basic to bold with a few ideas to leave your guests wanting more.
Step outside your comfort zone and create some “wow-worthy” dishes with big flavors with these recipes from McCormick and chef Roger Mooking from Cooking Channel’s “Man, Fire, Food.”
Get started with these ideas:
- Once ribs are grilled until tender, use a sharp knife to carefully slit skin on the back of each rib for easier bone removal.
- Make a giant cheese-stuffed burger by lining a 9-inch round cake pan with foil. Add in half of the ground beef followed by a cheese layer. Top with remaining ground beef and shake on seasoning for maximum flavor.
- Brine pork chops in the refrigerator for 8-10 hours before grilling to infuse with flavor and help make tender and juicy. Top with caramelized apples cooked in a cast-iron skillet.
Find more summer recipes and tips at GrillYourBest.com.
Smokehouse Maple-Brined Pork Chops
- 1/3 cup sea salt
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons and pinch, McCormick Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple Seasoning
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
- 8 cups water, divided
- 4 bone-in center-cut pork chops (3/4-inch thick, about 2 1/2-2 3/4 pounds total)
- vegetable oil
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Granny Smith apples, each peeled, cored and cut into six wedges
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives (optional)
- In medium saucepan, whisk salt, 1/4 cup seasoning, 1/4 cup sugar and 4 cups water. Bring to simmer, whisking constantly, until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour in remaining water and mix thoroughly. Transfer brine to large container with lid and cool to room temperature. Add pork chops to brine. Cover and refrigerate 8-10 hours.
- Heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Brush lightly with oil. Season both sides of pork with 2 tablespoons seasoning.
- Grill until bottom side of pork chops are well marked and charred, 7-9 minutes. Flip and grill 4-6 minutes, or until cooked through and internal temperature registers 145° F. Let rest under tented foil.
- Place large cast-iron skillet on grill. Juice one lemon half into small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and remaining sugar to skillet and stir with heatproof spatula until mixture resembles wet sand. Cook with grill open, stirring frequently, until sugar melts and deepens to amber, about 8 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Once foam subsides, add apples. Close grill and cook, stirring gently to coat apples in caramel, until apples are tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add remaining lemon juice and pinch of seasoning; stir gently.
- Arrange pork chops on platter and top with apples. Zest remaining lemon half over dish. Sprinkle with chives, if desired.
Best-Ever Buffalo Rack O’ Ribs Sandwich
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, plus additional, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
- 2 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 1/4 cup diced celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh celery leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 rack (about 2 pounds) baby back ribs
- 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- 4 tablespoons hot sauce, divided, plus additional for spreading and serving (optional)
- 1 soft French loaf (12-14 inches), split
- olive oil
- Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- McCormick coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- To make slaw: In medium bowl, whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, seasoned salt and pepper. Add cabbage, carrot, celery, celery leaves and parsley; toss to combine. Sprinkle with additional seasoned salt and pepper, to taste.
- To make ribs: Prepare grill for indirect medium heat at about 350° F.
- Insert butter knife between membrane and bone on backside of ribs. Grab membrane with paper towel then pull to remove membrane; discard. Rub ribs on both sides with brown sugar and seasoned salt. Wrap ribs tightly in aluminum foil and place on indirect-heat side of grill. Grill ribs, turning once until meat is tender and pulling away from bone but not totally falling apart, about 1 hour, 15 minutes-1 hour, 30 minutes. Remove ribs from grill.
- Unwrap ribs and let cool until cool enough to handle. Using sharp knife, carefully slit skin on back of ribs and remove bones, keeping slab in one piece.
- Place boneless rib slab on direct-heat side of grill, rounded-side up, and brush top with 2 tablespoons hot sauce. Grill until underside begins to crisp, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip ribs and brush top with the remaining hot sauce. Continue to grill ribs until glossy and caramelized, about 2-3 minutes.
- To assemble sandwich: Scoop out most of soft insides of top of French bread to make room for toppings. Brush cut sides with oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper. Grill on direct-heat side of grill until bread is toasted and grill marks appear, about 3 minutes.
- Place ribs on bottom of loaf. Brush with additional hot sauce, if desired, and top with slaw, onions and blue cheese. Cover with top of loaf. Cut into four pieces.
Giant Bacon-Cheddar Juicy Lucy Burger
- 2 tablespoons McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning, divided
- 2 pounds 80 percent lean ground beef
- 8 ounces sliced medium or sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard
- 8 long pickle slices, plus 2 tablespoons brine
- 1 round loaf soft bread (10 inches), cut in half horizontally
- olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large heirloom tomato, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 slices bacon, cooked
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- Line 9-inch round cake pan with aluminum foil, leaving extra foil over edges of pan. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons steak seasoning. Press half of ground beef into cake pan. Layer cheese in middle, leaving 1/2-1-inch border around sides. Sprinkle with additional 2 teaspoons seasoning. Top with remaining ground beef in even layer and press to seal in cheese. Sprinkle with remaining seasoning.
- Lift burger from cake pan using foil. Press to flatten to about 11 inches in diameter. Refrigerate until ready to cook. (Patty can be assembled up to 2 hours in advance.)
- In small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, mustard and pickle brine until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.
- Remove most of soft insides from top of bread to make hollow. Reserve insides.
- Prepare grill for indirect medium heat at about 350° F.
- Brush grill grates with oil. Hold burger on foil bottom and flip onto indirect-heat side of grill; peel off foil. Cook until sides of burger are cooked and it feels firm when lifted with spatula, about 8-10 minutes. Using two spatulas, carefully flip burger. Close grill and cook until burger is cooked through and cheese is melted, about 5-8 minutes longer. Move to direct-heat side of grill for 1-2 minutes per side for more char.
- Brush cut sides of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on direct-heat side of grill until bread is toasted and grill marks appear, about 3 minutes.
- Place bottom half of bread on large cutting board. Spread with half of mustard sauce. Place burger on top and top with tomatoes, onions, pickles and bacon. Spread top of bread with remaining mustard sauce and fill with lettuce. Place top of bun on burger and cut into eight wedges.
(Family Features) Throughout 2018, you can create easy, healthy and delicious family meals by using time-saving recipes.
For example, these “Cook Once, Eat Twice” recipes from CanolaInfo start with pork chops that double as the base for lunch or dinner the following day.
“The more you cook your own meals, the more you can control portion sizes and ingredients,” said Manuel Villacorta, registered dietitian. “Knowing the right oil to use is essential. I like using canola oil to keep the flavors of your dishes intact due to its neutral taste and light texture. Plus, it contains high levels of monounsaturated fat and plant-based omega 3 fat, and is low in saturated fat. I use it regularly in my home kitchen and recommend it to my clients.”
For more time-saving recipes, visit canolainfo.org.
Pork Loin Chops with Sweet Balsamic Mushrooms
- 8 boneless center-cut pork loin chops (4 ounces each), trimmed of fat
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 12 ounces sliced portobello mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- Sprinkle both sides of pork with pepper.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil. Cook pork chops 4 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 160 F.
- Reserve four pork chops in refrigerator to make Pressed Pepperoncini-Pork Sandwiches.
- In skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining canola oil; tilt skillet to coat bottom lightly. Cook mushrooms 4-5 minutes, or until tender and juices begin to release, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Place over pork chops; cover to keep warm.
- To pan residue, add vinegar, water, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and remaining salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and boil 1 1/2-2 minutes, or until reduced to 2 tablespoons, scraping bottom and sides of skillet. Drizzle sauce over pork and mushrooms. Sprinkle with onions.
Pressed Pepperoncini-Pork Sandwiches
- 12 ounces crusty French bread, unsliced
- 4 leftover pork chops from Pork Loin Chops with Sweet Balsamic Mushrooms recipe
- 2/3 cup pepperoncini slices
- 1 plum tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
- 3 slices ultra-thin sliced Swiss cheese, cut in half
- Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving 1/2-inch thick shell.
- Place pork on bottom half of bread. In bowl, combine pepperoncini, tomato, onion, garlic, canola oil, vinegar, oregano and pepper flakes. Spoon pepperoncini mixture and any accumulated juices on top of pork and top with cheese.
- Cover with top half of loaf. Press down firmly to flatten sandwich and allow flavors and juices to absorb. Cut filled loaf crosswise into four equal pieces.
Fewer calories, more protein is a winning combo for weight loss and healthy aging
(Family Features) Do you pay attention to how much protein you eat at each meal? A new study suggests that when it comes to weight loss and healthy aging, getting enough protein at mealtimes is important.
Duke University researchers found obese women who ate adequate or high amounts of protein, including nutrient-rich lean pork, as part of a six month weight-loss diet not only lost weight, they improved their ability to get around, too.
“There’s no magic bullet when it comes to weight loss,” said Connie Bales, PhD, professor in medicine at Duke University. “But our research suggests a higher-protein, lower-calorie diet, including lean pork, could be a viable solution – especially for older women who are most at risk.”
While most Americans eat the majority of their protein at dinner, researchers suggest there could be benefits to spreading protein throughout the day. In this study, women ate 30 grams of protein at each meal with two of the meals including lean pork. Choices like tenderloin, low-sodium ham, chops and lean ground pork are among the seven cuts of pork that meet the USDA guidelines for “lean” by containing less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams of meat. In fact, pork tenderloin has the same amount of fat as a skinless chicken breast.
The next time you fire up your grill, try these lemon-basil pork chops. Serve up 30 grams of tasty protein for dinner, while tapping into the flavors of summer.
Grilled Lemon-Basil Pork Chops with Lemon-Basil Orzo
- 4 bone-in ribeye (rib) pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick
- 3 small lemons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 8 ounces orzo
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Zest and juice lemons. In small bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and basil. Set aside 3 tablespoons of mixture. Transfer remaining mixture to large resealable bag and add pork. Set aside for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Meanwhile, prepare orzo according to package directions. Drain and return orzo to pot. Stir in reserved lemon-basil mixture and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Prepare a grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Remove pork from marinade; discard marinade. Season pork with salt and pepper and grill until internal temperature reaches 145 F, about 4 minutes per side. Remove chops from grill and let rest 3 minutes.
- Serve chops with orzo.
Nutritional information per serving: 440 calories; 30 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 30 g protein; 47 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 60 mg sodium.
Source: National Pork Board
(Family Features) The rich smell and crisp, smoky flavor of fresh sizzling bacon is a temptation few diners can resist. Indeed, some 53 percent of Americans eat bacon at least once a week, according to a recent survey by Smithfield. This love for bacon is fueling a culinary craze for bacon-infused and -inspired foods - everything from the tame (sauces) to the outrageous (ice cream).
But perhaps this trend should come as no surprise. After all, a full 78 percent of Smithfield's survey respondents agreed that bacon makes everything better.
Whether you're pairing your morning eggs with strips of their most perfect protein sidekick, loading up a BLT with an extra layer of bacon-y crunch, or following the lead of the nation's top chefs and experimenting with new flavor combinations, you're likely to achieve a crowd pleaser.
Quirky products and recipes aside, for the average consumer, the simple versatility of bacon makes it a winning addition to most meals. Even a classic pork chop, one of the most popular cuts of fresh pork, takes on a new personality when paired with the distinctly savory flavor of bacon, as in this recipe for Bacon Pork Chops with BBQ Glaze.
Image and recipe provided by The Pork Board
Bacon Pork Chops with BBQ Glaze
- 4 6-7 ounce Smithfield Boneless Pork Loin Chops (1 1/4-inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 4 slices Thick-Cut Smithfield Bacon
- 4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup lager beer
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, reduced-sodium
- Season pork with salt. Wrap bacon around edges of pork and secure with wooden toothpick.
- Mix together barbecue sauce and beer.
- Heat oil in oven-proof large skillet over medium-high heat. Stand chops with bacon-wrapped edges down in skillet, leaning against side of pan if needed. Using tongs, rotate chops along edges to lightly brown bacon (allow about 45 seconds to brown each section).
- Place chops flat side down in skillet and cook until underside is lightly browned, about one minute. Turn chops over. Spread equal amount of barbecue sauce mixture over each chop, letting excess run into skillet.
- Place skillet with chops in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer each chop to dinner plate and let stand.
- Pour fat from skillet, leaving browned bits. Heat skillet over high heat until hot. Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon, and boil until reduced by half, about two minutes. Top each chop with spoonful of sauce and serve hot.
(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) Explore new flavors and cuisines and take a tasty trip around the world with pork - all from the comfort of your own home. Pork's versatility and savory taste make it the perfect pairing with global ingredients and dishes, giving you a passport to delicious mealtimes you will want to share with family and friends.
Need some inspiration? Create a Pork Bucket List and fill it with ideas for global-tasting meals with pork. Try:
Making your own marinade using a new ingredient from a far-off place, like chiles.
Visiting a new ethnic restaurant that serves dishes like dim sum or Korean barbecue and then find recipes at PorkBeinspired.com to replicate your favorites at home.
Discovering pork dishes from all seven continents, starting with Asia and these Thai Ribeye Pork Chops.
For Thai Ribeye Pork Chops, mix up a slightly tangy Asian-inspired marinade before grilling. And remember, for juicy, tender results that you, your family and friends will love, grill your pork chops to an internal temperature between 145°F (medium rare) and 160°F (medium), followed by a three-minute rest.
Serve these chops on top of a bed of noodles for a Thai pork noodle bowl, or alongside an herb salad of fresh basil, mint, scallions and cilantro for a meal packed with a world of flavor.
Keep your grilling and cooking fresh and exciting with more global recipes. Visit www.PorkBeinspired.com and www.Pinterest.com/PorkBeinspired for recipes, ideas, tips and more.
Thai Ribeye Pork Chops
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped OR 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed (about 3 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 4 boneless ribeye pork chops, about 3/4- to 1-inch thick
- Whisk together soy sauce, cilantro, garlic, brown sugar, vegetable oil and lime juice in bowl.
- In large baking dish, arrange ribeye pork chops in even layer. Pour marinade over pork chops, reserving about 1/4 cup of marinade in refrigerator for later use.
- Marinate pork chops for 20-30 minutes.
- Heat indoor grill pan or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Remove pork chops from marinade, discarding excess marinade. Place pork chops on hot grill for 4 minutes on each side, flipping once until internal temperature of pork measures between 145°F (medium rare) and 160°F (medium) on meat thermometer.
- Transfer grilled pork chops to cutting board and let rest for 3 minutes before slicing against grain.
- Pour reserved marinade over sliced pork before serving.
SOURCE: National Pork Board