Herbed Pork Penne with white wine cheese sauce

I had some pork chops that needed to be cooked, but I really wanted mac and cheese. So I decided to make an adult mac and cheese style pasta dish with pork and herbs. My family loved it! I hope you will, too. 🙂

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz box penne, cooked to package directions and reserved in pasta pot
  • 1 lb boneless pork loin (I used a 6 pack of boneless chops), cubed
  • 1 cup sweet white wine
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 2 Tbs chopped Rosemary leaves
  • 2 Tbs chopped Sage leaves
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded Mozzerella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Cream cheese
  • 1/8 cup shredded Applewood Smoked Gouda
  • 1/4 to 1/8 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 stick butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Mix the salt and pepper in a small container. Pour over cubed meat and massage with fingers to coat.

Melt half the butter in a large skillet. Add herbs and garlic. Stir until fragrant.

Add the pork. Arrange in pan so that all the cubes touch the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn pork over and cook another 4 to 5 minutes. Stir until white on all sides and firm. Spoon out pork, leaving as much liquid in pan as possible.

Add rest of butter. When melted, add the flour and whisk smooth. Add wine and pasta water to pan. Whisk until combined. Add the milk and whisk until heated through. Turn off the heat and add the cheese. Stir until melted, and adjust seasoning as needed.

To the pasta pot, add the pork and all the cheese sauce. Stir until well combined. Pour pasta into a large baking dish. Sprinkle more mozzarella and grated parmesan over top. Cover and cook 15 minutes. Remove cover and cook 5 more minutes, until the cheese sauce starts to bubble.

Remove from oven and let sit 5 or 10 minutes, then serve.

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LarpMom’s Guacamole Dip Recipe

I love snack time. It’s my favorite time of day, next to nap time. And I wanted something new. Most of the guacamole in my area has onions and tomatoes. One I dont care for at snack time, and the other I can’t eat. I figured I would try and make my own. Here is the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 large ripe green Avocado, seeded and sliced

1 clove garlic

A quarter of an Jalapeno, diced

1/2 a lime

1/8 cup milk

1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbs Cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions:

Scoop Avocado from skin and put into a food processor along with the garlic, cilantro and Jalapeno. Squeeze in lime juice and pulse. Scrape down sides of processor and add milk. Pulse until smooth, then add salt to taste, pulsing to incorporate. Serve with Tortilla chips.

This recipe Serves 6.

LARPMom’s Creamy “Red” Sauce

This was initially an update on my weeknight red pepper sauce, but it turned into a completely different creature. One I like much better! Because of the flavor and consistency, I serve it over pasta, on pizza, or as an alternative to anything you might usually enjoy with Marinara.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

Ingredients:

  • 2 jars roasted red peppers in water, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup merlot
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup half and half, plus about 4 Tbs milk
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprkia
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • A little sugar, to taste

Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Put garlic and peppers in food processor and blend until smooth. Whisk flour into oil until smooth and slightly golden. Add pepper mix to skillet and whisk. Add wine, stir to combine. Add chicken stock, salt, pepper and paprika. Combine and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add half and half, stir over low heat until combined and warmed through. Taste. At this point, I usually add more salt, pepper, up to 4 Tbs milk and a little sugar until I feel the sauce is balanced.

Stuffed Mushrooms

It’s a New Year, and I usually ring those in much like I did this year; by laying out a nice spread of horderves and a cold bottle of sparkling wine. Most of them are premade from a box (because kids) but I like to make my own stuffed mushrooms. My mother went vegetarian for several years (she still ate cheese) and during that time I created this recipe because so many include sausage. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz capped mushrooms
  • 8 to 12 cloves of garlic, minced (depends on clove size. Mine were small, so I used 12)
  • Wedge of Parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 cups Good, plain breadcrumbs
  • 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 pepper)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A large glass roasting pan

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F. After cleaning mushrooms, separate caps from the stems. I twist the stems off and clean out the cavity of the mushrooms with clean fingers. Place the caps into the large glass roaster and flip curved side up. Drizzle a small amount of oil over the caps and rub to coat, then sprinkle with a little salt. Flip caps over fill side.

Dice stem pieces and reserve. Mince garlic and place both into a large frying pan with 1 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes. Add bread crumbs and stir to coat. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until toasted and well combined. Add cream cheese and combine over low heat until everything is mixed well. Grate Parmesan cheese over top and stir to combine. I use about 1/4 a cup.

Remove from heat and allow to cook until you can handle the mix with clean hands. Using a small spoon, scoop mix and fill all mushroom cavities. With remaining mix, distribute evenly over mushrooms, and use your hands to shape mix into small mounds. Grate more Parmesan cheese over top and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast mushrooms for 30 minutes (caps will look moist and soft when done and the filling will be golden brown). Let cool about 5 minutes before serving.

Larpmom’s Turkey Soup

The best thing about Thanksgiving is the turkey. The second best is using the leftovers to make soup.

This soup requires dark bone stock. I’ve posted my stock recipe here.

Here’s the recipe:

Turkey Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups leftover Turkey, cut into chunks
  • 4 Carrots, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks Celery, diced
  • 8 oz Portabella Mushrooms, sliced
  • Half a bag Dutch Gold Potatoes, cut into medium chunks
  • Half a large Vidalia onion, diced
  • Bouquet garni (1 sprig Sage, 2 sprigs Rosemary, small handful of Thyme, 1 Parmesan cheese rind, 2 bay leaves, little over half the tops of 1 bundle Italian parsley)
  • Turkey bone stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 Tbs butter
  • The reserved fat of three rashers of bacon
  • 1/3 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 splash Heavy Cream
  • Parmesan for grating (optional)
  • Handful of diced Iltalian Parsley leaves

Directions:

Melt bacon fat and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes and cook a few minutes, then add carrots, garlic, celery and onions. Stir and cook about 3 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add turkey and give it a good stir. Add stock, and herb bouquet, then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.

Add diced parsley, sour cream and a splash of heavy cream. Let the soup warm through and then taste, add salt and pepper as needed. Remove herb bouquet and serve with a little parmesan grated over top, of desired.

Larpmom’s Turkey Stock

After the Thanksgiving dinner has ended, it’s time to utilize the leftovers. What better way than to make a nutritious bone stock, and then use it for Turkey soup! 🙂

I didnt get a picture, because well, I forgot.

Anyway, here’s the recipe:

Turkey Stock

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole turkey carcass, meat removed (mine was a 20 pound bird)
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bouquet garni (you can use anything that complements what you used to cook the turkey. I used 2 sprigs of Rosemary, a handful of Thyme, 2 Bay leaves, a large sprig of Sage, Italian parsley stalks, and a Parmesan heel. Tie it all together with kitchen twine.)
  • 2 carrots, skin on and roughly chopped
  • 5 crushed cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks of Celery
  • 1 large Onion, quartered
  • Salt
  • Carrot peelings from soup prep
  • Enough water to just cover the carcass in a nice sized stock pot

Directions:

Using a big kitchen knife, break down the carcass at the joints so that the entire thing fits comfortably on an large baking sheet. Add the celery, garlic, onion and carrots to the sheet as well. Roast for 25 minutes in a 400° F oven.

In a large stock pot, add peppercorns, bouquet garni, and carrot peelings (I prep the vegetables for the soup while the bones roast. I always use carrots, so I toss the peels in to make a better stock). Add the roasted bones and vegetables. Pour cold water over until bones are just covered (mine came to about 10 cups). Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Skim off any foam you can see. Add about 1/4 tsp Salt. Simmer 4 to 6 hours, until stock has reduced to about half. Use tongs to remove the large bones and solids, then pour over a large mesh strainer in a storage bowl or container to remove the rest of the solids. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. Remove any fat/grease that congeals on top of the stock overnight before use.