Your Sus Chef

Crash Your Grill with Pork!

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Disclosure: This post is Sponsored by our friends at the National Pork Board to inspire readers with our favorite pork chop recipes!

porkcollage

Last month Susanne had us over for dinner and made these mouth-watering Grilled Pork Chops with Mango Guacamole.

The chops were so tasty we were inspired to host a family BBQ for friends to try out another one of her delicious pork recipes, Grilled Pork Chops with Chimichurri Sauce.

grilled-pork-chops-with-chimichurri-sauce

Crash Your Grill with Pork!

It’s common to get into a grilling and flavor rut, isn’t it? I know personally, we have our standard go-to grilling recipes that are recycled over and over again. Boring.

Grilling pork chops are a great way to mix up your menu and delight guests with unexpected, delectable flavors.  

This season, crash your grill with pork, and watch the rave reviews that result!

Plan a BBQ Together with a Friend

We wanted to surprise our guests with a delicious pork recipe at an outdoor BBQ to kick off the summer season.

Susanne came up with the amazing menu,  grilled pork chops with chimichurri sauce over a bed of grilled asparagus and tomato bread pudding, we set the date and our Grill Crashers Party was in motion.

From menu planning to shopping to designing the decor, planning a dinner party with a friend is so much fun. Not only does it split up the work load, but being able to share ideas and to-do lists takes off the burden and allows you to enjoy the process from start to finish.

Step 1: Time to Shop 

Ralphs

Ralphs was our supermarket of choice for shopping because we knew they would carry everything needed for our party. We love their selection of fresh herbs, all the Simple Truth product options, amazing wine selection, fresh flowers, and more.

The first stop on our shopping excursion was the butcher to check out their selection of boneless pork chops. When serving smaller groups, look for pre-cut pork chop packages, but when planning for a large group, you can ask the butcher to cut them for you.

Our Ralphs butcher was so accommodating. When the butcher cuts the chops you can customize the thickness (our preference – 3/4″ thick).

For those that opt for natural meat, Ralphs natural and organic line, Simple Truth, carries natural pork which is humanely raised, fed an all vegetarian diet, with no antibiotics, added hormones or preservatives.
porkpic RalphsCollage

Step 2: Party Prep!

I got to Susanne’s house early to help with the cooking and set-up. This is another benefit of throwing a dinner party with a friend – you can sip on a little wine and chat while getting ready and it doesn’t feel like work!   

She handled the food prep and I worked on setting the table.

Flowers are one of the most inexpensive ways you can add a pop of color to your party and make your dinner table feel special.

I love using mason jars and milk bottles as vases for outdoor BBQ’s. To me, this inspires a natural, rustic feel.

For a backyard party with all the natural elements, you really don’t need much more for decor. Opt for some fresh flowers, candles, and cafe lights and you add instant ambiance, without breaking the bank.

rustictable2

rustictable3

Now it’s time to talk about the star of the party – the pork chops! Here Susanne will give you the how-to on how to make this delicious pork chop recipe for your next party….

Grilled Pork Chops with Chimichurri Sauce,
Tomato Bread Pudding & Asparagus

[Click here to download and print the recipe]

serves 8 people

Chimichurri is a super fresh, herby sauce.  It’s little salty and a touch spicy in the best way possible giving your pork chop a bright, summery flavor.  Warning: you may want more than just one!  Paired with asparagus (in its peak season) and the delicious and sort of indulgent savory bread pudding.  This plate is sure to please the party people.

Grilled Pork Chops with Chimichurri Sauce

12 pork chops, boneless, 3/4 inch thick

garlic powder

onion powder

salt + pepper

Pat the pork chops dry and sprinkle liberally with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Once done, set aside until it is time to grill.

grilled pork chop seasoning

susanne seasoning

Chimichurri Sauce 

1 cup flat leaf parsley, packed, stems removed, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp fresh marjoram, chopped (or fresh oregano)

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt (maldon or kosher)

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Stir together ingredients, serve at room temperature.  I like to make chimichurri sauce no more than a few hours ahead as the freshness of this sauce is key.  (If you need to make ahead, no more than 24 hours.)

chimichurri sauce herbs

chimichurri sauce

Grilled Asparagus

2 bunches, asparagus, tough ends snapped off and lightly shave the ends

1/2 lemon

drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

salt + pepper

When you are finished grilling your pork chops, quickly put the asparagus over medium heat for no more than a few minutes, taking care to keep a little crunch to them.   Then quickly add the lemon to the grill for a minute to sweeten the juice a little and squeeze over the asparagus.

grilled asparagus

Tomato Bread Pudding Recipe 

Serves 6-8

12 cups (1 inch) cubes country style bread (can use a flavored bread, like garlic or rosemary, day old bread is best), crusts discarded

1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from the stems

1 tbsp tomato paste

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp tabasco

tomato bread pudding

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400.

Toss bread cubes with butter in a 13×9 inch baking dish until coated.

Place tomatoes in a saucepan along with brown sugar, garlic, thyme, tomato paste, salt and hot sauce.

Bring mixture just to a simmer, stirring to break up the tomato paste.  Pour mixture over bread, gently stirring to combine.  Bake uncovered, until edges are beginning to caramelize 35-40mins.  Watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn.

How to Grill Perfect Pork Chops

Because our men LOVE to BBQ we put them in charge of the grilling – careful not to share with our guests what was on the grill.  They probably assumed steak or chicken or burgers. But little did they know we had something special planned for them!

Here is Susanne’s husband Mike at the ‘cue.

grilled pork chop tips

You will want to grill your pork chops over medium heat, turning once, for 4-6 mins per side until they reach an internal temperature of 145-160 degrees F followed by a 3 minute rest.

We pulled them off the grill at 145 degrees, and then let them sit under foil to rest.

A digital meat thermometer is a necessity to ensure proper cooking. Click here for the full guide of pork cooking times and temps.

porktemp

pork1

The Grill Crashers Reveal!

In the meantime, our party guests were hanging out, keeping Baby Shea entertained with no idea we were about to crash the party with pork!

When we shared the menu they were surprised, and also really excited to try Susanne’s recipe.

Doesn’t Teresa look happy at the thought of having pork chops?

teresa

ourbbq
The pork chops were juicy and delicious and the herby sauce made it so flavorful.  And, please do yourself and your party guests a favor and try out Susanne’s tomato bread pudding recipe.  The dish was passed around and around for 2nds and 3rds.

Perhaps the most important feedback however, was from these little girls who can tend to have discriminating tastes when it comes to food (discriminating tastes = picky eaters). However the girls all loved the pork which we cubed for easier eating.

Big thumbs up.

kidslikeit2

Be Inspired to Throw Your Own Grill Crashers Party!

Our party was a huge hit! Everyone had the best time and the pork was the talk of the night.

Are you feeling inspired to throw your own summer BBQ and crash the grill with pork? We want you to be able to have the same experience too!

Come back here tomorrow for a big GIVEAWAY of a Grill Crashers prize back generously offered by the National Pork Board so you can plan your own Grill Crashers Party and crash your grill with pork.

Do you love grilling pork? What’s your favorite recipe? Please do share in the comments below! 

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Grilled Pork Chops with Mango Guacamole

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This grilled pork chop recipe post is Sponsored by our friends at the National Pork Board to inspire ideas for yummy pork recipes.

Grilled Pork Chop Recipe

Susanne had my family over for dinner recently and she made the most delectable grilled pork chop recipe I am ecstatic to share with you today.

The National Pork Board realized that we’re in need of flavor-packed inspiration!  They’re setting out to prove that getting bold flavor is as simple as choosing pork.  No matter what the grilling occasion is marked on your calendar, any cookout can use its amazing flavor.

A grilled pork chop is not only a leaner, healthier protein option, but also quite delicious.  Especially when you prepare using one of Susanne’s original recipes. You just gotta try this recipe. Perfect for summer nights.

This meal inspired us to host a neighborhood party in a few weeks and “crash” the party and the ‘cue with the unexpected – grilled pork chops. Isn’t it fun to serve something a little different?  So my friends, allow me to introduce you to the party crashers…

grilledporkchops

So stay tuned for an upcoming post featuring another one of Susanne’s original grilled pork chop recipes and a step-by-step run down on how we hosted a family get together and crashed the grill with pork chops.

Not only that, we will be running a giveaway including a Krogers/Ralphs gift card and grilling set so you can plan your own summer pork chop crash too!

Grilled Pork Chops with Mango Guacamole
Over Buttery Sautéed Bacon Corn

By Susanne Henderson 

This super simple marinade was my husband’s Grandpa Leo’s favorite way to make his pork chops, and we agree!  It imparts a delicious flavor to your pork chop every time.  Do not skip the corn, it complements your chop and is slightly addictive.  The Mango Guacamole adds a fresh summery flare making this recipe perfect for any summer grill out!

I shopped for my ingredients at my local Ralphs – my go-to grocery store for everything I need for a dinner party. I am a huge fan of their affordable Simple Truth organic and natural products and the Simple Truth Natural Pork Loin Chop Boneless they carry are the best!

Grilled Pork Chops 

Soy Sauce Marinade:

9 boneless pork chops (1″ thick)
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons garlic powder

marinatedporkchops

Place pork chops in baking dish, cover with soy sauce and sprinkle thoroughly with garlic powder.  Let marinade for at least 30 mins at room temperature (turning once half way through) or up to 2 hours in the fridge.

Grill 3-4 mins per side over medium heat or until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees with a 3-minute rest time.

Mango Guacamole 

2 Mangos, diced
1/2 red Bell Pepper, seeded + diced
3 Green Onion, diced
2 large Avocados, diced
1/2 tsp minced fresh Ginger
1/2 tsp minced fresh Garlic
1 Lime, juiced
1/2 bunch Cilantro
1/4 tsp sesame oil
Salt + Pepper

mangoguacamole

Stir together all of the above ingredients and season with salt + pepper to taste.

Buttery Bacon Sautéed Corn

8 ears of Corn, cut fresh off the cob
6 pieces of thick Bacon, diced
4 cloves Garlic minced
1 tbsp Butter
1/4 cup fresh Basil, chopped
Salt + Pepper

sauteedcorn

Sauté the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat until golden brown, and remove the bacon from the pan and place on a plate lined with paper towel.

Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan, then add 1 tablespoon butter and add garlic sautéing until fragrant.

Add the corn to the pan and stir frequently until just cooked through with a little bite to the texture. (This will require multiple tasting bites which you will enjoy).

Season liberally with salt + pepper to taste and finish with the fresh basil.

grilledporkchopwithmangoguacamole

You would not BELIEVE the flavors of the pork chop when combined with the sweetness of the mango and the buttery goodness of the corn. Mouth-watering.

Once again, your own Grill Crashers party kit giveaway is coming up soon! Subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss the post! Happy grilling!

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Weeknight Dinner Shortcuts That Might Change Your Life

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Susanne’s 22 weeknight dinner shortcuts below just might change your life. Seriously. When I read them, I immediately thought, “why haven’t I been doing these things already?!” Enjoy mamas. They are brilliant! If you agree -will you please pin the image and help share the love? Thank you! 
weeknight dinner shortcuts

Last week I shared that Oprah.com shared four of Susanne’s amazing do ahead weeknight dinner shortcuts that save a ton of time when pulling together a meal. Susanne had so many of these types of tips I had to write a post with all the shortcuts she came up with. Hope they help!

Weeknight Dinner Shortcuts – It’s All About the Prep

 

If you can set aside some time on Sunday, or even Monday morning if you have kids in school, these easy do ahead food prep tips will save you a ton of time.

1. Make a rub for salmon, pork or chicken thighs and store in an airtight container.

2. Chop an onion, lasts 1 week in an airtight container.

3. Chop garlic, store in an airtight container with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil to cover.

4. Make your own vinaigrette, which lasts for about 1 week – it makes for a quick healthy salad, use it as a marinade or drizzle it over some steamed veggies for extra flavor.

5. Trim + clean veggies on Sunday, and then they are ready for steaming during the week. Quick cooking method for the night of – just add about 1 inch of water in your pot to boil quickly, and place in a sieve covered with a lid. Try to slightly under steam to keep the crunch/nutrients.

6. Prepare your brown rice, quinoa or noodles, etc. on Sunday and store in an airtight container to heat up quickly for an easy side dish.  Heat up the night of serving with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil or butter to bring back to life.

7. Slice carrots, celery, bell peppers, jicama, broccoli, cauliflower or whatever raw veggies your kids like and serve it as a side with ranch or hummus (or fave dip).  Or you can serve it as an app to get the veggies in your kids bellies while mom is scrambling to get the rest of dinner together.  It’s fun to let the kids pick a new veggie when they’re at the store with you to try something new – my girls discovered they like broccoflower.

8. When preparing your Sunday Dinner, make double and freeze half.  If you do this immediately (instead of letting it sit in the fridge a few days) you don’t think of it as “leftovers” but a second dinner.

9. Choose a versatile protein for your Sunday night dinner and make extra so then you can add it to salads, twice baked potatoes (or sweet potatoes), paninis, flatbread pizzas, tacos, pastas or stir fry during the week.  (Think pulled pork, roasted chicken, flank steak, pork loin, etc.)

10. Toast nuts and store in airtight container to sprinkle on salads or veggies.

11. Take inventory of your freezer proteins to help plan for the week and build your menus around what you might already have on hand.

12. Poach a whole chicken in the crock pot, then shred it and have protein for the rest of the week. Cheaper and better for you (less salt!) than those rotisserie chickens you can buy. Save the stock and you also have chicken stock for the week to save or freeze in ice cube trays to add to recipes.

Easy Weeknight Menu Ideas

 

Most important thing is to keep things simple and take it easy on yourself, you are doing an amazing job getting a home cooked meal on the table for your family.  Try not to get caught up in, I don’t have such + such ingredient and then get paralyzed.  Most of the time you’ll find your family won’t miss it.  The focus is sitting down to a healthy meal with your family and connecting.

13. Buy thin cuts of meat like thin sliced chicken breast, chicken tender pieces, pork chops, salmon, sole, etc… the thin cuts cook quicker.

14. After you’re done sautéing your meat, take it out and cover it with foil and quickly sauté your prepped veggies in the same pan with a little EVOO, garlic + onion.  That pan will give your veggies a ton of flavor and it’s less to clean up.

15. “Breakfast for Dinner” breakfast is always quick to cook and usually a big hit mid week.  A fave in our house are Egg BLT sandwiches with a little side salad.

16. Factor a Crock Pot recipe into your busiest day, and these always make for great leftovers (or freeze for a second dinner).

17. Don’t be afraid of a big salad for dinner, throw everything in to make it filling, your fave veggies, croutons, beans, cheese, crumbled bacon, or salami other deli meats on hand, hard boiled eggs, etc.  We love making tuna salad or egg salad and serving a big scoop over power greens (or fave salad) with cannelini beans, avocado, tomato, green onion.  If your kids protest the salad, serve it “deconstructed” or separated into groups on their plates so they are eating the same things but just not tossed together.

18. Embrace tradition– my girls are super into Taco Tuesday Night right now- and tacos can be made out of anything!  Ground beef, chicken, salmon, diced pork chop, whatever you have on hand that you can sauté up with a little onion, garlic and oregano salt and pepper.  All you need from there is tortilla, cheese, salsa and/or guac any veggies you like to add…

19. Think raw foods for your side dishes, a beautiful sliced avocado or tomato drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper is so delicious and nutritious.  Or sliced cucumber with a drizzle of rice vinegar, shaved zucchini ribbons topped with EVOO, parm cheese and salt + pepper.

20.Keep frozen peas and frozen corn (or fave veggies) on hand for a quick and easy side dish, sauté with a touch of butter salt and pepper.  They are flash frozen and are fresher than their canned counterparts.

21. We love Bragg Liquid Aminos which is like a spray soy sauce, for our steamed veggies. [amazon affiliate link]

22. One-pot dinners are great and less to clean up! Chili, big batches of soup, one-pot pasta, etc. Freeze half of the batch for easy dinners later on for our busiest days.

I hope you have found these weeknight dinner shortcuts helpful! Do you have any of your own to share? Please comment below!

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Pancetta Herb Pork Loin Roast with Broccolini and Cheesy Polenta

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porkloin

[Sponsored Post]

Porktober is still in full swing with pork specials running all month long at Costco, and in case you missed our first recipe post, please click here for Susanne’s delectable Garlic Maple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe.

I am still salivating over it and have to wonder how I got so lucky to have a business partner that also happens to have a culinary degree?!

Susanne was on fire again with this delicious pork loin roast recipe, which was so easy I think even I could attempt it on my own.  Here is her pork loin roast recipe (click here for downloadable copy) along with our (or rather, her) how to…

First stop was our local Costco to purchase our pork.

CostcoShopping

This recipe calls for a whole boneless pork loin roast, not to be confused with a pork tenderloin (which is a smaller, equally delicious cut of pork).

We picked up our 6 2/3 lb whole boneless pork loin roast at Costco for $20!  A great way to feed a large group beautifully on a budget!

In this case, we were feeding a smaller group so we cut the pork loin roast in half and froze the other piece for another night.  (To roast the entire thing, click here for the Pork Be Inspired guide for cook times.)

Pancetta Herb Pork Loin Roast with

Broccolini and Cheesy Polenta

Serves 6-8 people

Pork Loin Roast Recipe:

6 cloves large garlic cloves, minced

2 T fresh rosemary, minced

1 T fresh thyme, minced

2 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 T whole grain mustard

1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup dry white wine (I used an un-oaked Chardonnay)

6 oz thinly sliced pancetta

1 3.5-4lb boneless pork loin roast

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the first 5 ingredients to make a paste, and rub all over the pork loin roast.

pork loin rub recipe 2. Next, with the pork loin roast fat side up, arrange the pancetta rounds overlapping each other on top of the herby mixture until you’ve covered the entire thing.

Place pork loin roast on a rack in a roasting pan and let sit at room temperature for about 30 mins to let the flavors marinate and to let the pork come to temperature to ensure even cooking.

3. Pour the cup of dry white wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

pancetta on pork roast

4. Roast the pork loin for about 1.25-1.5 hours or until center of the roast temps at 145 degrees in it’s center with an instant read thermometer followed by a 3 minute rest.

(Exact cooking time varies based upon your oven and exact size of your roast, click here to see guide for cooking times.)

pork loin cooking temperature

Cheesy Polenta

2 3/4 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 cup milk (whole is best)

2 cups water

1 garlic clove, minced

1 bay leaf

3/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 cups freshy grated fontina cheese

1. Butter a baking dish, liberally.  Bring to a boil the chicken broth, milk, water, garlic, and bay leaf.  Turn down heat to medium low and gradually whisk in cornmeal, stirring in one direction, reduce heat to low and cook until cornmeal softens and mixture thickens, about 10 mins.

2. Remove from heat, stir in salt and pepper and cheeses (saving a little cheese for the top).  Pour into the buttered baking dish and sprinkle the extra cheese on top.

3. Bake until polenta is heated through and golden brown, about 20-30 mins.

cheesy polenta

Roasted Broccolini 

3 bunches broccolini, ends trimmed

1/2 lemon

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt

Fresh ground pepper

3/4 cup chicken stock

1. About 15 minutes before your pork loin is finished cooking, toss the broccolini with the lemon juice, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt and pepper.

2. Quickly pull pork loin roast out of the oven, pour chicken stock on bottom of the pan and place the broccolini directly in the the pan drippings to roast as your pork loin is finishing up.  (The broccolini florets will soak up all of the delicious drippings and taste amazing!)

broccolini Using a good carving knife, carve your delicious pork loin roast into pieces and plate with spoonful (or two, or three…) of polenta and serving of broccolini.

This dish was AMAZING. The flavors of the garlic herb rub combined with the crispy pancetta made for mouth watering bites.

pork loin roast recipe

After dinner, I told Susanne, I feel like I eat a LOT of chicken, and it is so nice for a change to mix it up with a new and delicious protein option for dinner. The pork was so lean and delicious.

Next challenge: trying out this recipe on my own!

Have a great day everyone! Happy cooking!

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A Little Rub a Dub Dub for Your Turkey

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Best Turkey Rub Recipe

Looking for the best turkey rub recipe? Like ever?

Last week I roasted some turkey breasts for my daughter’s Daisy Troop Thanksgiving Feast and used this rub (slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s recipe). I have to say it was tasty so I wanted to share this turkey rub recipe with you. I’ll be using it on our bird this year!

Best Turkey Rub Recipe

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp minced garlic (or you can use your press)

6 tsp dry mustard

3 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

3 Tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves

3 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

6 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp white pepper

6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup Sherry wine

In a bowl combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice to make a paste.   Loosen the skin from the meat gently and smear the paste under the skin.  Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

Make sure to pay attention to your birds packaging for weight/roasting times.  (Center of  breast should reach an internal temp of 165 degrees F and the stuffing should too.)

Check out this link for some great turkey tips.

Happy Turkey Day to you and yours!

Enjoy!

XO,

Your Sus Chef

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