We all have those days… Nothing seemed to go quite right, the baby’s been fussy, you suddenly realize you’re almost out of diapers and have to run to town. Then, suddenly, you look at the clock and think “How the Hell did it get to be 5:00 already?!”
When I have a day like that I pull a package of pork cutlets out of the freezer and get to work. They are so quick and easy it’s kind of ridiculous.
They’re also usually pretty cheap. Bonus!
The easiest way to cook these:
Heat a little oil in a skillet on medium. Season your cutlets on both sides however you like. I used Creole seasoning but you can just use good ol’ salt and pepper. Coat the cutlets in flour, then fry for five minutes on each side. That’s it! You could make gravy by adding flour to the pan drippings (remove the cutlets first!), then whisking in milk. Keep whisking while it thickens and season as needed.
Another easy way to cook pork cutlets? Again, start with heating a little oil in a pan. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Salt and pepper the cutlets and fry on each side for about five minutes. Place in a shallow baking dish or rimmed baking sheet, then coat with your favorite barbeque sauce. Bake until the sauce looks a bit caramelized.
There are a number of other ways to prepare pork cutlets, but these are my favorite go-to quickies. I usually serve them with roasted veggies (might as well if the oven’s already going) and potatoes. If I’m going the gravy route I do mashed potatoes…If we’re having barbeque cutlets I usually have roasted red or fingerling potatoes.
Of course, you can serve them with whatever you like, don’t let me tell you what to do.
I heart these cutlets so much because they’re really hared to mess up. If you have leftovers they make good sandwiches, too…
But you probably won’t have leftovers.
Yesterday I planned to make baked chicken with roasted broccoli and asparagus for dinner. Good plan, right?
Well it would have been if I had enough chicken. I got home and opened the freezer to discover one lonely little chicken breast sitting there. Well, damn. I felt like a real bonehead.
I did a fair amount of pouting, then I decided I’d go ahead and make the chicken for the BF and I’d have veggies. I’m ok with veggies, but I had been looking forward to that chicken all day. Sometimes you have to sacrifice for those you love.
I dug through the freezer one last time, hoping to find another chicken breast hiding behind something. Instead, I found a package of turkey smoked sausage that I had forgotten about. I decided to completely switch gears and make pasta instead, which would mean I could use up a few things that were about to go bad.
While the turkey sausage was defrosting I chopped some sad looking leftover onion along with 4 cloves of garlic. I melted butter in a pan over medium heat and added the garlic, onion, and sausage (cut into bite-sized pieces). Since turkey smoked sausage is already cooked I was just looking for it to brown a little… So I think everything cooked together for around 10 minutes.
At this point I went ahead and put a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. I used the rest of an open box of fettuccini that had been sitting in the pantry for God knows how long. I also sliced a mini loaf of French bread that was just a teeny bit stale and made garlic bread.
Once the sausage looked nice and brown I poured in about 2 cups of chicken broth and threw in the rest of my baby kale that was starting to look a bit wilty. I turned the heat up just a bit to bring everything to a boil, and once the broth had reduced by about half I poured in some half and half. I let everything simmer until the pasta was done…Then I strained the pasta and tossed it with the sauce and a handful of parmesan cheese.
For a completely unplanned, scraped together dinner it was really good! I’d definitely make this on purpose sometime. I guess sometimes being a bonehead isn’t such a bad thing.
After Sunday’s post, I got a few emails asking about kale… Specifically, how to prepare it and how to make it taste good. To be honest, I actually like the taste of kale, but I was that kid who loved Brussels sprouts. I was also the kid that looked forward to the required summer reading list every year… How on Earth was I not the most popular kid in school?!
So from the emails I received it seems that most people think kale is a bit icky..Please don’t let that keep you from trying it. There are so many different ways to prepare it that I’m sure you’ll find one you like!
As I’ve mentioned, you can sub kale into anything that calls for spinach. I’ve used it in veggie and regular lasagna, soups, ravioli filling, omelets, etc… If you grind it up into teeny bits (using a food processor), you can put it in meatballs and sprinkle it on top of all sorts of things… Just pretend it’s parsley. I also know people that add it to smoothies…though I can’t vouch for how that tastes since I’ve never tried it.
Baked kale is all over Pinterest. Check out Repurposed and Redriven’s take on baked kale chips for an easy recipe…and Smitten Kitchen offers a unique way to eat baked kale (hint: it involves popcorn). I’ve tried both ways…and both are very yummy.
Another awesome option is baby kale, which you can find pre-washed in the produce section of your grocery store. Baby kale is milder than grown-up kale so it’s less scary and is easier to use raw. Try it in a salad along with your usual lettuce. I actually stopped using lettuce in salads because I like the flavor of baby kale so much. Plus, regular old lettuce is bor-ring.
Baby kale is also awesome in sandwiches. I used to make my favorite sandwich with hearts of romaine…Not anymore!
Ladies and gents, I present to you my most favorite sandwich EVER:
Oven roasted turkey breast, shaved so thinly it’s falling apart
Sharp cheddar cheese
Thinly sliced fuji (or your favorite variety) apple
All smooshed between two slices of whole-wheat bread with just a smidge of mayo.
My goodness, it’s heaven on bread.
Let me know if you decide to try kale…tell me what you made and what you thought of it. I think you might be pleasantly surprised.
Just so you know, Mario Batali wasn’t kidding when he called kale ‘nature’s little colon sweeper’.
Happy Sunday y’all!
So I’m a huge fan of anything that I can sneak kale into… I usually throw a bunch into my mini food processor and grind it up so I can add it to things like meatballs and spaghetti sauce without any fuss (that’s oregano, honey…). It’s so good for you that I think you should eat it every day. Mario Batali even referred to kale as “nature’s little colon broom” on The Chew… So I’m guessing if you eat it a lot it’ll help you stay regular. Someone let Jamie Lee Curtis know so she can stop shoving Activia down our throats. Is anyone else weirded out by how much ol’ Jamie Lee wants to be involved with our pooping habits?
Oh, did you think I was going to go a whole day without talking about poop? It’s like you don’t even know me…
So where was I?
Oh yes…This week’s pin.
I get really excited when I find a recipe that calls for spinach because I have found that I can substitute kale with no troubles.
This recipe is really versatile… Not only can you use kale in place of spinach, but I’ve also used a few different types of pasta (cheese tortellini, rotini, and cheese ravioli so far) successfully. I typically use mild breakfast sausage (can’t get too wild since I’m breastfeeding) but you could use hot or sweet Italian. The original recipe says to use Italian style tomatoes. I couldn’t find anything that was specifically called Italian style at my grocery store, so I bought Hunt’s brand Basil, Garlic and Oregano diced tomatoes. I really like the flavor so that’s what I’ve stuck with, but there are lots of varieties to choose from. Also? As much as I love my crock pot, you really don’t have to drag it out for this one. I usually make it in my stock pot, which makes this a one pot meal. Less stuff to clean up makes me very, very happy.
I serve it with grated cheese on top, some type of garlic bread and occasionally a salad…In this case I decided to be lazy and use crescent rolls out of a can, but I did at least mix butter, Parmesan cheese, a couple of garlic cloves and some basil in my mini food processor and smear it on them before baking. If that doesn’t say love I don’t know what does.
Hey, I can’t be Betty Crocker all the time.
You could also use your homemade bread (or a loaf of store-bought French bread) to make cheesy garlic bread if you really want to impress someone.
I have a top-secret method for what I think might just be the best garlic bread of all time. Perhaps someday I will share it with you.
So this pin gets a big ol’ thumbs up from me and the BF (who has eaten it a number of times and gone back for seconds). It’s quick to throw together, can be a one-pot meal, and it’s super tasty.
If you’re in the market for a cool new t-shirt AND you want to do a good deed, check this post out. Even if you don’t buy one please share the post and help me get the word out, ok?
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