As in anything where you’re meeting new people, I guess I should start out by saying, “Hi! Nice to meet you all!” My name is Madison Whisnant, the daughter-in-law of Patricia and Mark. I’m married to the youngest of their three biological sons, Cody, and we have a beautiful, funny, just-learning-how-to-make-mommy-run-around-everywhere son and one on the way!
As I am writing this, I’m on a date with my handsome husband. Now, I can read your mind, “What are you doing blogging on your date?” One of the advantages of living on the ranch is that it is mighty easy to drop the munchkin off with Mimi and Yaya and head out on a “date.” Something about grandparents and their grandkids, especially my in-laws, there is never a time when they are too busy for their grandchildren! Now back to this “date.” Our dates usually consist of riding around on the ranch checking out the new calves or “sitting out” (as my husband says) watching nature and spending quality, albeit quiet, time together. Cody and I both enjoy nature and I’m a sucker for a date that involves sweatpants and no make-up, thank you very much!
After our 2-3 hours of quiet bliss are up, I’ll go back to my favorite job of picking up the same 20 toys to put back in the same toy box for the 40th time today, making my fifth sippy cup, folding my second load of laundry and cooking my third meal. Three of those numbers are about to double! Have I got you brushing up on your math skills yet? Good. Now, those are some numbers, people. And you know what? I wouldn’t trade my job for the world!
One of the most important things for a family, in my opinion, is a good, healthy home-cooked meal for at least the majority of the weeknights. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine with all we’ve got going on to drop everything like a hot potato for a couple of hours a night to cook a meal. Trust me, it’s easier than you think and well worth it! I’ll be honest; I have to give my laziness credit for how so many of the delicious meals get cooked in my house. Someone once said, “The laziest person will find the most efficient way to get something done.” That’s my kitchen motto, folks. I like to challenge myself and see how many meals I can stretch out of one giant cut of meat. This week we’ve been working on one of our yummy American Pasture Pork Bone-In Pork Loins.
The first night is pretty straight forward. Sunday nights are usually pretty calm. Cody is off of work so it’s easier to go all out on the timing, which is what you need on your side when the end goal is a piece of meat that is fork-tender, juicy, succulent… Sorry, I got a little lost there. The remaining meals use the meat cut or leftover from the original cut of meat. Anyway, this is how the meals played out:
Bone-in Pork Loin:
After planning some of the meals ahead, we cut 5 chops off of the whole piece of meat to be frozen for later use. Then continue as follows:
1 American Pasture Pork Bone-In Pork Loin
Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder to taste
1. Preheat oven to 250*
2. Season meat well. It’s a big piece of meat so you really can’t overdue it within reason.
3. “Sealing the Deal”- that is, browning the meat in a skillet on all sides to seal in the flavors and juices while roasting in the oven. (It’s also pretty)
4. Place in a roasting pan and into the oven for 4 hours or until internal temperature reaches 145*
5. Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes before transferring the meat to a carving board to carve and serve
Serve with delicious steamed veggies and roasted new potatoes or your favorite sides.
Grilled pork chops:
4 Pork Chops
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Rosemary to taste
1. Get the grill going (we used the lovely fire pit Cody built or me for our anniversary! I love the smokiness of a fire pit.)
2. Season both sides of the chops
3. Grill chops 6-10 minutes on each side or until meat thermometer inserted at the thickest part reaches 145*
Serve with wild rice medley and grilled vegetables or your favorite grill side.
Grilled Island Kabobs:
(Makes 9 kabobs)
1 Pork Chop
1/2 Pineapple or Pineapple pieces
1 Red bell pepper
1 Yellow bell pepper
Salt and pepper
1. Assemble kabobs on skewers. As many veggies as you would like and 2 pieces of pork per kabob. (If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least an hour before using. We don’t need flamed broiled kabobs.)
2. Get grill or grill pan ready
3. Place kabobs on grill 6-8 minutes on each side
Serve over a bed of rice or couscous or your favorite side
Pork Carnitas with Citrus Slaw and Cilantro Lime Sauce:
(Makes 8 tacos)
1/2 Bag of broccoli slaw
1Tbsp. Rice vinegar
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Juice of 1/2 a grapefruit
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro Lime Sauce-
Juice of 1 lime
Zest of 1/2 a lime
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Dash of garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Leftover meat, shredded
3 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup juice of jarred jalapeño
Flour or corn tortillas
Citrus Broccoli Slaw*:
1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour over broccoli slaw.
2. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
Cilantro Lime Sauce*:
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
2. Cover and chill at least one hour.
1. Debone and shred remaining chops.
2. Place in a Dutch oven with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil then simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes.
3. Drain excess liquid.
Assemble tacos by warming tortillas, filling with meat, slaw and sauce. Top with cheese.
Serve with rice and black beans or your favorite side.
* Slaw and Sauce can be made ahead of time for more “mingling” of the yummy flavors.