Seared Pork Chops Dinner Recipes

Side of Cheese Potatoes

Side of Sautéed Green beans

Seared Pork Chops

This Pork Chops Recipe will quickly become a family favorite. A great treat anytime. Impress guests too! The addition of apples gives a nice presentation and adds just the right amount of sweetness.

Everyone will feel special at the dinner table with this Pork Chops Dinner. Enjoy!

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My Brother’s Recipe

Portuguese Linguica Sausage

A Family Recipe

Portuguese Linguica Sausage, A Family Recipe

Yep, this is my brother, Dan, who was one tough high school and college football player … even playing for the Arkansas Razorback Team way back when.

He has mastered the taste of Portuguese cuisine, notably from the Azores. Never being timid about spices … this being taught by our Grandmother Rose. Cumin and cinnamon are of particular importance.

Dan and his son, David, are the cooks in his family. Well, wife, Ruth, can certainly hold her own but she leaves this cuisine to Dan. Thank you Dan and David for including us and providing the photography. Dan has promised to send me some linguica soon.

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A Last Minute Get together

Antipasto for the Last day of summer

Bruschetta with wine can be dinner. This took some rethinking on my part. In fact, I had to develop a taste for raw tomatoes, specifically Roma. Roma tomatoes are mild in flavor and the texture is firm. These facts made this easy. My taste for wine had not fully developed either. This was Ed’s favorite meal. The recipe is one he put together many years ago.

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Another family recipe

Cheese Enchiladas and Beans

Enchiladas and Beans

My first taste of enchilada came early. Estrada’s Spanish Kitchen was a family owned restaurant in Visalia established long before my parents were born. It was fine dining … Frequented for forty some odd years by our family.

The old Victorian house on Main Street was a business on the first floor and a family home on the second. It was our family’s favorite place to eat especially Christmas Eve … Forty six years in a row according to my brother. As a kid it seemed to take forever for the food to be served. I amused myself when very young … touching the sides of our table’s enormous wax covered wine bottle that was providing more temptation than candle light … seeing coins embedded in the wax … digging…. It was hard to resist. And I was disciplined each visit. My brother, more self disciplined, just explored the upstairs bathroom, the only one available. But I bet he was really looking for Susie.

I have tried to recreate the tastes of Estrada’s dishes without much success. A friend married into this restaurant  family not too long ago, and had mentioned the recipes were definitely a family secret. Yes, I asked. He said, I could give you the recipes but then I would have to kill you. Of course he was kidding! Do I have to even say that? There were about a half dozen of these Estrada’s restaurants throughout California owned by the same family. Only one now exists … Daly City. I want to check it out. Maybe I can talk my brother into meeting me there.

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Chicken Breasts With roasted Vegetables

Serve This Dish Hot Or Cold

Chicken Breasts Baked With VegetablesCaramelized vegetables are a favorite. So easy to do, and why not add the chicken in the last minutes and have a one dish meal … Chicken Breasts with Roasted Vegetables.

Ina Garten first introduced me to roasted vegetables … Something I now cook regularly and especially at Thanksgiving. I put just about every vegetable I can think of in the mix. My sons now find brussel sprouts one of their favorites. Who knew!

In this dish I have included summer vegetables, cauliflower, red potatoes, and onion. These were cooked until almost done and then I turned the heat down, added the chicken on top and continued to cook until chicken breasts were tender, about 20-25 minutes.

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A Delicious Indulgence

Pan Seared Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese

Filet Mignon with blue cheesePan Seared Filet Mignon is so easy and wonderfully delicious. Add this simple Blue Cheese Butter Topping for added deliciousness. Jerry, a long lost friend of mine, introduced me to this amazing steak topper … and pineapple smothered Spam … maybe another time! This is always an impressive meal and so simple. You must learn the pan sear trick.

Here are a few hints I was taught along the way that may be useful:
-Use a seasoned cast iron skillet or a heavy bottom skillet.
-The skillet must be hot.
-Use the fat you have trimmed off the steak to grease the bottom of the skillet. Use a fork to run the fat around the bottom of the heated pan and then remove it.
-I often use a skillet so well seasoned no grease or oil is needed to avoid sticking. If you try this be aware the meat will stick until it is seared. Wait a minute or two, then turn it over.
-You may need to turn the heat down slightly after you add the steak to avoid too much browning. Adjusting the heat as you go may be necessary.
-Turning the steak more than once or twice will not dry out the steak.
-I was taught to salt the heated skillet rather than oil to prevent sticking. This method may no longer be in vogue.

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A recipe for your pasta sauce or jar sauce

Easy Baked Pasta

This Easy Baked Pasta is a changeable recipe. Use your favorite meat sauce or marinara, or try my gravy, or use a jar of marinara, and even make it vegetarian. It’s easy to change up.

The dish in this picture was made with my Italian gravy rich with meat and meat balls. The only ingredients I added to my gravy were the cheeses and pasta. Just layered in this oblong baking dish without much significance in what layer goes first.

Now I am going to give you ways to change this up, add meat or vegetables, add your sauce or jar.

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A Rich Meat Sauce

Italian sauce or Gravy the Old Fashioned Way

Italian Sauce or Gravy The Old Fashioned Way


The cooking time is lengthy but a slow cooker works well if it is large enough. I like to cook this recipe on a weekend when the weather has me pretty much trapped at home. The warmth and smells from the kitchen are comforting. And my family loves it.

After cooking for some hours the gravy rests so any excess fat can be skimmed off the top. Sunday it is ready for either spaghetti and meatballs, rigatoni, or lasagna. If there is any gravy left over it is frozen to be used for that quick meal during the week … Or maybe this November when I cook my recipe of bracciole for Marc or Ed.

But what about those jarred sauces! Most are not meat sauces as this is but marinara. There are some very good ones out there … Some being sold on behalf of the TV chefs we know. Giada used a jarred sauce to prepare one of her grandfather’s favorite holiday recipes. I have used the brand she used many times. And it is very good. When I use these jarred sauces it is usually not alone … Adding wine, olive oil, finely chopped tomatoes or meatballs to not only extend it but to give it an extra oomph. I do watch for certain ingredients on the label and am cautious about the sodium level.

It’s just nice, if you have the time, to make this from scratch.

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Simply Italian

Including My pantry pasta recipes

Simply Italian

Just loving all things Italian! I was fortunate enough to be able to take a trip to Italy some years ago. And while there took a class in Italian cooking, specific to the region.

Marignolle was a farm house in Florence made over into a lovely hotel. The class held there was for a dinner meal, start to finish. The simplicity of this recipe, their recipe, doesn’t take away from the elegance of this dish … Beautiful presentation, light but not in taste … And pairing with a nice Chianti … It just doesn’t get any better.

I’ve included here some recipes of my own, too. My family, specifically Will, likes to call these Pantry Pasta Recipes because almost all ingredients are in the pantry. These recipes, too, are simple, quick and delicious. I hope you will try mine or branch out and invent some of your own.

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