Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Poblano Peppers stuffed with Pork

I often make pork chops and I also make pork roast so last night I wanted to make pork in a different way.  I decided to make Poblano Peppers stuffed with Pork and it came out pretty tasty, if I don't say so myself!  I found out the grocery stores have Poblano Peppers as Pasilla Peppers but pretty sure they are the same thing.  I'm all about dinners that are inexpensive, easy to make and yummy at the same time and this one turned out to be all three!

This meal can easily feed a family of 6 and it comes to about $3.60 a serving.

I bought a giant pork (almost 8 pounds!) for $19.52.  I only used half of it for this dinner so I'm figuring $9.76 as the cost of the meat for this meal.

I cut the meat in half and sliced up the remaining half to use as pork chops later.  My sister-in-law gave me this brilliant idea!  Normally, I wouldn't buy such a giant piece of meat but this really made sense.  The half I sliced up I put in the freezer for another night.
Then I cut big half into fourths for my dinner, seasoned with salt and pepper and browned in a pan with olive oil.  To brown it, I just cooked it on medium-high heat for like a minute each side. 

Once it was browned, I added 2 cups water and one small brown onion (chopped) and brought it to a boil.

I just reduced the flame to low and covered it with a lid and let it cook for about 30 minutes.  Then, I started my sauce and started boiling my peppers.

I blended my ingredients for my sauce:  1 can of diced green chiles, 1 diced serrano pepper (seeds removed) and one handful of fresh cilantro.  
Then, i took the pork out of the pan and started cutting it into slices on a cutting board.   I removed about 1/2 cup of the water with a measuring cup from the pan so the sauce wasn't too watery.   I added the vegetable mix(cilantro, green peppers and poblano pepper) to the water and onions and then added the 1/2 cup of cream.

I returned the meat to the pan with the sauce in it and let it cook an additional 30 minutes on low with the lid on.

When it was done, I put it in the only Mexican platter I have. It's actually a chip dish but it did the trick. In the meantime, I had drained the peppers in a collander and ran cold water over them, cut them in half and rinsed the seeds out.  I filled them with pork and put Queso Fresca and red onions on top. 

I also made rice (just plain rice in a rice cooker and mixed carrots/peas in) and beans (just one can of Sun Vista Pinto beans with some of the sauce (from my pan) stirred in (a couple of tablespoons), a handful of jack cheese and I smashed the beans with a potato smasher while cooking them on low. I also served my husband a Mojito with this dinner but cheated and just bought the Bacardi Mojito (the mix that is made by Bacardi and has the alcohol in it).  He loved it though...

 I like the peppers without cheese and onions so here are mine.
Serves:  6
This meal ended up costing $3.60 per serving.  Here's the breakdown:
Pork (Kirkland brand from Costco) $9.76
Pasilla Peppers $2.00
Serrano Peppers $1.00 (one is actually less)
Cilantro $1.00 ( can be less)
Diced green chiles $1.49
Cream $2.49
Sun Vista beans $0.98
Jack Cheese (a couple tablespoons) $.50
Small brown onion $0.40
Peas and Carrots frozen $0.98
Rice - 1 lb $1.00 (I bought a one pound bag at Fresh&Easy)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Artichoke Fettucini with summer vegetables

Nothing like fettucini with fresh summer vegetables and a light (low fat) cream sauce!

I was lucky enough to find some beautiful cherry tomatoes at our local farmers market.  I cleaned them and cut them in half along with 2 big handfuls of organic spinach.
I cooked the tomato first in a pan with some olive oil and only one garlic clove (cut in half).  I put the oil and garlic clove in first to season the oil, then added the tomatoes and spinach.

Then, I added in the artichokes.  I decided just to use one can of artichoke hearts but you can always add more.
In the meantime, I was  boiling water for the fettucini and then started the sauce.  I made a simple cream sauce but a low fat version.  I usually use Cream cheese but decided to substitute for a lower fat version and it came out just as good (maybe even better!).

I melted butter substitute, cream cheese substitute together and added low-fat milk and parmesan cheese.  I ended up adding a couple of pinches of real parmesan as well and a few sprinkles of pepper.

I then tossed half the pasta with the vegetables but if you have enough vegetables you can do the whole thing.  I also wanted to save some noodles in case my kids wouldn't eat it with the vegetables...i was definitely going to try to get them to ;)

As I scooped the pasta onto plates, I'd add a couple of tablespoons of sauce and toss it on their plate.  I figured this was a way to have less cream sauce.

My 18 month old ended up actually eating all of it.  She picked out (and ate) the vegetables one by one with her hands and attempted to eat the rest with her little fork.  She then gave up and grabbed a big fork off my plate.  She had THREE (small) bowls full and was a very happy camper.  My 4 year old ate the noodles with the cream sauce. He agreed to try a bite with the vegetables but wasn't having it.  My husband's not eating pasta so he had chili.  More on the quickest (yummiest) chili you'll ever make later!
Here's Charlotte eating her pasta.

Third bowl (below)!

Artichoke Fettucini with summer vegetables

1-lb fettucini
20 small roma tomatoes
1 can artichoke hearts
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
Extra virgin olive oil
1-garlic clove

Low fat Cream Sauce
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp fancy fresh parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter (I used Country Crock or you can use Can't believe its not butter...any butter substitute)
1/2 cup lowfat milk
1-8 oz package of Kraft Neufchatel Cheese (lower fat than cream cheese).