Stir-Fried Pork with Cabbage in Hot-and-Sour Sauce (with leftover pork)

Whenever we cook pork tenderloin, we make sure our weekly menu includes a second meal using the leftover pork.  For some reason, these leftover pork recipes almost always end up being Asian — Pork Fried Rice and Moo Shoo Pork, to name a few.  Maybe it’s because pork takes on the Asian flavors so well.  Or because these recipes are usually really fast and easy to prepare during the week.  Whatever the reason, here’s another Asian dish using pork.  We found this stir-fry recipe in Cook’s Illustrated’s “The Quick Recipe” cookbook.  Although we chose the hot-and-sour sauce to go along with it, the book contains several other sauces that would also work well.  Proteins other than pork would also be good in this recipe.  We really like the versatility of stir-fry and will try some of the other flavor combinations when we need to use up some leftover pork, chicken or beef.

Continue reading “Stir-Fried Pork with Cabbage in Hot-and-Sour Sauce (with leftover pork)”

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

We love a good slow-cooker recipe during an especially busy week, and this is one of our favorites.  It’s so easy, I can actually make it by myself.  And it’s so delicious that we usually try to make a big enough batch to ensure we have extra to freeze some for another time.  (It thaws and re-heats really nicely.)   This recipe is pretty much everything we look for in a dinner-time soup. The ingredients are very simple:   chicken breasts, crushed tomatoes, enchilada sauce, chopped green chiles, garlic, onion, chicken broth, jalapenos, cumin, chili powder, bay leaf, salt & pepper.  When I made this soup, I put all the ingredients together in the slow-cooker that morning.  But one of the great things about this recipe is that you can mix together all the ingredients (other than the chicken) the night before and refrigerate the mixture overnight, if you want to save even more time.   Just don’t add the chicken until the morning you are going to cook the soup (we’re probably overly cautious when it comes to bacteria and proteins, but better safe than food poisoned!  Especially if I’m the one doing the cooking…) Continue reading “Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup”

Top Round Roast – Sous Vide Style

Dan has been interested in molecular gastronomy for a while.  Who knows, maybe the science part of it appeals to the patent lawyer in him.  Or it’s the prospect of new cooking tools.  Or perhaps some combination of both. . . . He has particularly been wanting to try sous vide, which is a method of cooking food sealed in an airtight plastic bag in a water bath at a precise, low temperature for a long time.  Part of the reason he is into this technique is because it is and has been used by up-and-coming chefs, and was recently translated to the home chef via a relatively new cooking toy tool.  So I decided to surprise Dan with a sous vide machine for his birthday this year.  For the inaugural use, Dan chose top round roast.  It turned out great, and Dan looks forward to much more experimenting with his b-day gift.   In case anyone is curious, I’m really interested in jewelry featuring various precious gems, and my birthday is in May. Continue reading “Top Round Roast – Sous Vide Style”

Weekly Menu (Feb. 19)



  • Grilled Whole Red Snapper, Mushroom Risotto, Grilled Zucchini


  • Veal Chops Milanese with Arugula Salad


  • Ground Ribeye Burgers, Grilled Potato Salad with Watercress, Scallions and Blue Cheese Viniagrette


  • Dinner Out


  • Pressed Game Hen, Baked Green Chile Cheese Grits, Sourdough Rye Bread
  • Pasta alla Norma, Salad


  • Pork Carnita Tacos, Chips and Salsa, Avocado

Grilled Lobster Tails

On certain holidays where many people like to go out to restaurants, we prefer to stay in and cook something a little out of the ordinary.  For example, on New Year’s Eve, we had mussels.  For Valentine’s Day this year, Dan grilled lobster tails, and we served them with pasta in a very nice setting at our dining room table (where we eat 2.5 meals per year, on average.)  Grilled lobster is absolutely delicious and so easy to prepare —  we should probably make it more often than we do.  But we appreciate having a few special recipes that we save to celebrate important occasions, which is what we think Valentine’s Day is all about:  a day to recognize and do a little something  extra or different for the ones you love.  Continue reading “Grilled Lobster Tails”

Homemade Bacon

We made homemade bacon!  Seriously — homemade bacon.  As we noted in last month’s duck prosciutto post, we are participating in Charcutepalooza, which is a year-long effort by a collection of approximately 200 food bloggers to attempt and document a monthly charcuterie challenge.  This month’s endeavor was salt cure — bacon for the “Apprentice Challenge” and pancetta or quanciale for the (more advanced) “Charcutiere Challenge.”  The greatest part of this whole experiment?  It was foolishly simple, and the end result is so delicious that we are wondering why we have never done this before.  We may never buy the plastic wrapped stuff at the grocery store again.  Many thanks to the folks who put together Charcutepalooza — such a great way to inspire us and others to step out of our cooking comfort zones.  And now, on with the bacon! Continue reading “Homemade Bacon”

Bijoux Restaurant

Being foodies, we love finding great restaurants.  And Dan being born 4 days before Valentine’s Day means that we get a chance to try fancy/romantic/new restaurants on his birthday without any hassle about getting a reservation or fighting the Valentine’s crowds.  This year, we decided to try Bijoux, “a contemporary French” restaurant.  Bijoux offers a five course prix fixe menu, or you can just order however many courses you’d like – a la carte style.  They also have a chef’s tasting menu, but we passed on it this time, since we just had the tasting experience last month at Fuego.  Bijoux is a wonderful restaurant — perfect for celebrating a birthday, Valentine’s Day or any other special occasion.  The ambiance was romantic and luxurious, the service was excellent, and the food was outstanding.    Continue reading “Bijoux Restaurant”

Potato Leek Soup

We have sung the praises of Cook’s Illustrated and their cookbooks before, and we consult them for recipes all the time.  Since this winter in Dallas has been much, much colder than usual, we were in the mood for a hearty soup for dinner.   We found the perfect recipe in Cook’s Illustrated’s “Soups & Stews.”    I actually cooked this one on my own, and it was really easy.  Really.  I don’t like to cook by myself and am easily intimidated by complex (to me) recipes.  But this one had relatively few ingredients and steps, so I decided to give it a shot.  Continue reading “Potato Leek Soup”