GCC: Fruit Stuffed Pork Loin

This past weekend I had every intention of doing this dish, except that I spend it running around doing errands and Saturday dinner turned into pizza.

Instead I decided, I would do it for Sunday’s dinner.

Sunday came and went and back in the refrigerator everything went. But, I made a mental vow that I was going to do this for our Monday night dinner no matter what.

I had doubts that this was going to work out for a quick meal, but once more, I realized that there is always a way.  And in less than 1 hour, I had it on the table for us to dig in.

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GCC: Steak Pizzaiola

This weeks Gutsy Cook choice used chuck steak as the star of this dish, and then braise it under this rich spicy tomato sauce.  The results were simply magical in our house.  At the end of a 2-hour oven stay, the meat was pull apart tender, infused with this rich taste of tomatoes with a kick of spice.  What could be better than that for a lazy weekend meal? Nothing, it hit the right spot with our taste buds.

We love the idea of making a big bowl of rigatoni to go along with this; instead we opted to make some mashed potatoes to soak up that sauce after we found out our pantry was low on pasta and no rigatoni option to be found.

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Slow Braised Pork Hocks in Beer

On Saturday I received an email from my mom, telling me she had just bought 6 beautiful pork hocks and that she wanted to make them.  Could she come over and we cooked them together?

Even thought my mom lives a mere 10 minutes away, we don’t spend that much time cooking together – not like we use to.  So, I grabbed the phone and we made plans for a Sunday day cooking marathon.  We had a busy day ahead of us, since we had quite a bit to cook up - pound cakes, as well as Polenta (to go with the pork hocks) and I was making my grandmothers “Insalata Russa” (Russian salad).

Now pork hocks are right up there with those cuts of meats that at one time or another the butcher use to give them away for FREE!  Remember beef/pork shanks? Before they got rich and famous with chef and now this normally inexpensive cut of meat can cost you a pretty penny?  Well pork hocks, are still can be bought without having to break the bank, and my mother was right, as soon as I say them, they looked especially pretty.

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GCC: Menu 24 - Irish Stew and Ficelles

This weeks Gutsy Cook Menu is a tribute to the upcoming Saint Patrick celebration. Chosen by Shandy of Pastry Heaven, it was the perfect Saturday night dinner.  The Florida weather even cooperated, since we were enjoying a nice sunny, COLD day.  Perfect for a stew, with a crusty homemade bread.  There was a third option of dessert – French Apple Tart, which I skipped.

I’m not a huge meat eater, in fact I really try not to eat meat at all, but lamb is just too good to pass up and this weeks stew called for lamb as the main protein ingredient. While it is a bit pricy, the fact that this was feeding only 3 of us, and one of those was a child, I got away with spending about $14 bucks for 1 pound.  And it was just the right amount and we still have some leftover for Tom to take to work on Monday.

As like any savory dish I try out of a cookbook, I tend to use it as a springboard for me to put my own twist on it.  And this one was no exception.  The instructions tells you to pretty much layer all of the ingredients in a heavy casserole, season and bake for one and half hours.

Raw.

I just could not bring myself to follow this. 

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