7 Tips So Your Pork Chops Will Never Be Dry Again

Pork chops: they’re pretty much the filet mignon of “the other white meat” world—and we’re not afraid to say that we may just love them even more than top-shelf steak. And that’s saying a lot!

At the same time, we’ve noticed that many people aren’t cooking pork chops like they used to, and we think it has something to do with the fact that they are notoriously easy to mess up. (If you don’t know what we’re talking about, you’ve clearly never TRIED to make them in the first place!)

Because we think you should never settle for dry, chewy, tasteless chops, we compiled a list of 7 foolproof steps you should take before, during, and after cooking your pork chops. To access full tutorials—and plenty of yummy recipes—be sure to follow the links below!

1. Get to know your chops

packages of pork chops

First things first: you need to know exactly what you are purchasing before you start cooking! There are actually five different cuts of pork chops—the shoulder chop, the rib chop, the loin chop, the boneless chop, and the sirloin chop. Traditionally, the center-cut loin is known to be the most tender, so when in doubt, ask for this cut by name.

2. Pay attention to color and thickness

pork chops 2

Butchers and meat-lovers alike will tell you that the thicker the pork chop cut, the better. It may require a bit of extra cooking time, but the juicier meat is well worth the wait. Along with the thickness, be sure to take a close look at the color of the pork—the best pieces will be marbleized and pink.

3. Opt for a brine

pork chop 3

Sure, a marinade makes pork taste great, but it won’t stop it from drying out when faced with heat. For this reason, we always choose to brine our pork chops for at least 8 hours before cooking. Not only will it infuse moisture into the meat, it will also give it a kick of earthy flavor. Yum!

4. Break out your slow cooker

Slow Cooker Pork Chops FI 2

For succulent chops like you’ve never tasted before, roast them up in your slow cooker. This culinary gadget works particularly well for pork because it provides consistent heat, without scorching the meat.

5. Don’t be afraid to brown

pork chops on pan

If you didn’t prepare far enough in advance to use your slow cooker, you can always brown the pork chops on the stove. While it’s a method that can easily be flubbed if the pan gets too hot, we guarantee you will get mouth-watering results if you use butter (and only butter!) while browning.

6. Know when to take them off the heat

meat thermometer in pork chop

For safe consumption, pork needs to be cooked until it reaches a minimum of 145-degrees—but that doesn’t mean you need to keep it on the heat for that long. Instead, wait until the thermometer hits 135-degrees, then take the meat away from the heat and monitor until it reaches 145. This step will ensure that your pork is both safe to eat and NEVER tough.

7. Give the pork a rest

pork chops 7

Now it’s time to make sure that all of that hard work doesn’t go to waste. After taking the pork chops off the heat, wait about 10 minutes before serving—or else the juices will be lost along with the temperature. Good to know!

We bet you’re ready to start cooking up some delicious pork chops! How do you make pork chops? What is your favorite pork recipe? Do you prefer using the stove, oven, or slow cooker?

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Why Rice at Restaurants Tastes So Much Better Than It Does at Home

Achieving perfectly cooked rice from the stove is a dream that many have not yet realized. Failed attempts yield mushy blobs, undercooked crunchy grains, or a baffling mixture of both.

You follow the instructions on the package but it still doesn’t turn out right. Your parents can’t help you. Neither can your significant other. It’s just not working. Yeah, you could buy a rice cooker, but you want to be the rice cooker.

Understood. No matter what, you’re going to master brown, short-grain, Basmati, or sushi rice before you turn 70. It’s gonna taste like a chef cooked it, and we’re here to help. One thing the pros know is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method for rice.

It depends on the rice type, if it’s been soaked, and how it’s been seasoned. It’s all about water absorption and technique. To ensure, flavorful, separate, fluffy grains straight from the stove, follow some of these steps.

1. Rinsing and Soaking

RiceinWhiteBowl

You’ll want to rinse most white rice until the water runs clear to get rid of excess starch, which can cause rice to get sticky. It may take a couple of rounds. You can nix rinsing for enriched white rice.

If you’re on the fence about soaking, you can always skip the step for most long grain varieties, but for brown rice, soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

You don’t have to rinse and soak, but soaking rice overnight helps make it more digestible, opens the grain up for better water absorption, speeds cooking, and reduces the levels of arsenic and phytic acid in it. Phylates prevent the body from absorbing nutrients like magnesium and calcium.

Many cooks soak for at least 20 to 30 minutes before cooking, which is fine in place of overnight. Here’s which ones you should soak: medium grain white or brown, short-grain white or brown, Basmati, Jasmine, and Texmati.

For wild rice, soaking for at least 6 to 8 hours will help to shorten its cooking time. Before cooking, drain the water!

2. Water Ratio

This is really what trips people up. For white rice (long grain, Basmati, Jasmine), you want your water ratio to be 1 cup of rice to about 1½ to 1¾ cups of water.

With brown rice, the ratio is 2 to 1. So, 2 cups of water (or broth) to 1 cup of rice. Wild rice takes longer to cook and to absorb water, so you want the ratio to be 3 cups of water to 1 cup of rice.

3. Cooking

Combine rice and liquid in a medium to large saucepan with a lid. Add 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring your rice to a boil, uncovered, at medium-high heat.

For white rice varieties, simmer your rice in a covered pot at medium-low or low until all the water is absorbed, which is typically 15 to 20 minutes. If you soaked it, 10 minutes may do the trick. Do not open the lid!

Unsoaked brown rice should be simmered with the lid on for 45 to 50 minutes. Pre-soaked brown rice can be cooked for 20 minutes, lid on.

With wild rice, reduce your heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes if it was pre-soaked. If you didn’t soak it, simmer for 45 minutes.

No matter which rice type you choose, DO NOT PEEK! Peeking allows steam to escape, which will totally thwart your quest for perfect rice. As far as flavoring, you are free to add in seasonings along with butter and salt. Get with some stocks, bouillon cubes, or saffron threads!

Remember that rice expands as it cooks, so you can half or double your recipe depending on how many people you want to feed. Double check your package label for how many cooked cups will be yielded. Happy cooking!

Do you have a struggle when it comes to cooking rice? Which is your favorite variety to eat or cook?

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Skillet Chicken with Garlic Herb Butter Sauce

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

4 (6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic (4 cloves)

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock or dry white wine

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided

2 tsp chopped fresh sage*

1 tsp chopped freshy thyme

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

Instructions:

Heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Pound thicker parts of chicken with the flat side of a meat mallet to even their thickness.

Dab chicken dry with paper towels, then season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Add oil to skillet, then add chicken.

Cook chicken about 5 – 6 minutes per side or until center registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce burner temperature slightly, then melt 1 1/2 Tbsp butter in same skillet. Add in garlic and sage and saute until garlic is golden brown, about 30 seconds.

Pour in chicken broth and scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan. Dice remaining butter into 3 pieces then add to skillet along with thyme and rosemary. Stir until butter is melted.

Return chicken to pan and spoon sauce over top. Serve warm.

Fotografia postată de Fitness recipes.

Enjoy 🙂

Blackened Shrimp Avocado Cucumber Bites – Recipe here

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

FOR THE SHRIMP AND CUCUMBER BITES:

1 tablespoon oil

1 tablespoon creole seasoning

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deviened

1 cucumber, sliced

1/4 cup remoulade sauce (optional)

FOR THE AVOCADO SAUCE:

1 avocado, mashed

1 green onion, thinly sliced or chopped

2 tablespoons cilantro and/or parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

salt and cayenne to taste

Directions:

FOR THE SHRIMP AND CUCUMBER BITES:

Toss the shrimp in the oil and the seasoning and cook in a preheated (medium-high heat) heavy bottomed pan/skillet until slightly blackened, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Assemble the bites with cucumber slices, topped with avocado sauce, shrimp and remoulade sauce.

Mix everything and enjoy!

Enjoy 🙂

Foil Pack Cajun Chicken and Veggies – Recipe here

Ingredients:

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large zucchini, chopped

2 cups broccoli florets

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon EACH garlic powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, ground, oregano, black pepper, salt

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 450F. Cut 4 sheet of foil into long rectangles (about 12”x12”). Set aside.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon mixture evenly onto the 4 foil sheets. Fold and seal foil.

Place foil packs on a cooking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes. Serve chicken from foil packets. Be careful when opening packets; steam is trapped inside.

Enjoy 🙂

Grilled Shrimp Bowls + Cilantro-Lime Rice

Makes 2 servings
Ingredients:

1 cup cooked brown rice

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 medium avocado, sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced

2 Tbsp avocado oil, olive oil

sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1 large corn on the cob.

Instructions:

In a large bowl combine the shrimp with garlic, oil sea salt and pepper.

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook, for about 2 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, brush avocado and corn with a tiny bit of oil. Add it to the grill and cook flipping once, until charred, only 1-2 minutes for the avocado and about 10 minutes for the corn; season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.

Once cooked, and slightly cooled, cut the corn from the cob.

Divide the cooked rice between 2 bowls. Add lime juice, salt, pepper and cilantro. Mix to combine.

Top each bowl equally with shrimp, avocado, corn and tomatoes.

Enjoy 🙂

Chicken with cream and muschrooms

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

1 cup Philadelphia Cooking Cream (10oz)

500g mushrooms

salt

black pepper

Chop the chicken breasts in medium pieces – about 1 inch squares.

In a large pan add 3 tbsp oil and heat. Add the chicken pieces and fry till they become golden.

When they are ready, take them out of the pan on a paper towel.

Cut the mushrooms in slices. In the same pan, add the mushrooms and cover. Cook them until they are ready (15 – 20min).

When the mushrooms are fully cooked, add back in the pan the chicken. Add all the cream, salt and black pepper.

Cook for additional 3-4min and remove from the heat.

Serve with green salad 🙂

This chicken with cream and mushrooms is a delicious dinned meal you will love.

Turkey Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes :)

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes

1 tsp olive oil

1 ¼ tsp ground cumin, divided

¼ + ⅛ tsp salt

¼ + ⅛ tsp ground pepper

¾ lb. lean ground turkey

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp paprika

1 ¼ cup canned crushed tomatoes

¼ cup grated pepper Jack cheese

2 tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley

Instructions:

Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Cook in the microwave on HIGH until tender when pierced with a fork, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Let the potatoes rest until cool enough to handle.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop the flesh out of the potatoes and place in a medium-sized bowl. Reserve the skins.

With the back of a fork, mash the potato flesh until most lumps are gone. Stir in the olive oil, ½ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Divide the mashed sweet potato evenly between the potato skins. Place on a baking sheet.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat with cooking spray.

Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through. Stir in the garlic, chilli powder, remaining ¾ teaspoon cumin, oregano, paprika, and remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper.

Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the crushed tomatoes.

Preheat the broiler. Spoon the turkey mixture into each sweet potato skin. Top each with 1 tablespoon grated cheese.

Broil until the cheese is melted, about 30 seconds. Garnish with parsley. Serve.

Enjoy 🙂

Hearty Vegetable Soup

I woke up this morning with the thought of a healthy vegetable soup. One, that is low in calories and sodium,  and high in vitamins.

Ingredients:

1 medium potato

1 cup chipped carrots

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 stalk celery

1 bell pepper

1 cup chopped cabbage

1 can beans

2 cups chicken or vegetale broth

1/2 can iced tomatoes

2 tbsp medium salsa

2 oz thing spaghetti

egg

2 tbsp greek yogurt

salt

black pepper

1 tbsp summer savory (optional)

Preparation:

In a large stock pot, combine broth and up to 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Chop all vegetables and add them to the pot. Simmer until all veggies (mainly the potatoes and carrots) are almost ready.

All salt, black pepper, summer savory, the sals and the can of tomatoes.

Crush the spaghetti and add them to all the veggies. Simmer for another 15min.

Once the soup is ready, turn of the heat and add the chopped parsley.

In a small cup beaten the egg and the yogurt together. Slowly start adding some of the soup to it and keep whisking it. Then move everything pack to the soup.

And that’s how you get a very healthy vegetable soup that is sooooo delicious.

Baked Vegetables with Chicken Thighs

Ingredients:

2 cups Baby Carrots

4 medium Potatoes

1 Zucchini

1/2 Onion

1 Bell Pepper

1 can diced Tomatoes

3 tbsp Salsa

4-6 Chicken Thighs

salt

plack pepper

Preparation:

Cut all vegetables in medium pieces. Dice the onion. Saute the onions and carrots until the onion is lightly golden.

In a big baking pan add all vegetables, salt and black pepper. Add 1-2 cups of hot water.

Salt the chicken and place it on the top of the vegetables. Cover with aluminium foil and put in preheat to 385F oven.

Bake until vegetables and chicken are almost done. In a small bowl mix 2-3 tbsp of the liquid part of the meal and add 1 tbsp red pepper.

Add it on top of the chicken and bake another 10-15min.

Serve this Baked Vegetables with Chicken Thighs warm with glass of wine 🙂