Monthly Archives: September 2013

Italian Pork Chops with Peppers & Chiles on Buttered Egg Noodles

The last time we were in Italy Peter had a pork chop dish that he still raves about.  Grilled chops covered with a slow cooked medley of sweet and hot peppers, onions & garlic served over hot buttered noodles. The vegetables were incredibly fresh…just-picked taste, the pork was as natural as possible and the bit of heat from the chiles added the perfect finish.

cooked pork chops simmering over peppers mixture

I have attempted to recreate this dish with a few twists.  I pan cook the chops most of the time (although grilling is wonderful too) and I use sweet red bell peppers and jalapeno to substitute for the Italian ones.  I also add eggplant because I like the “meatiness” this vegetable adds to the sauce.  Perfect for a weeknight dinner…elegant enough for company.

Mangiare e Divertirsi!  (eat and enjoy!)

Italian Pork Chops with Peppers & Chiles

4 bone-in pork chops (1 inch thick an  about 1/2 lb each )

extra virgin olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

2 red bell peppers, chopped

1 small eggplant, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 jalapeno, seeded with ribs removed, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth, homemade or organic purchased
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh chives, snipped with scissors
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 lb fresh or dried wide egg noodles

Season chops with salt and pepper on both sides.  Heat large skillet over medium high heat until hot.  Add 2 tbsp olive oil and chops to pan.  Cook pork for 3 minutes on each side.  Pork should be golden brown. Remove from heat, place on a rimmed plate (like a pie plate) and loosely cover with foil.  Set aside.

Add onion, bell pepper, eggplant and jalapeno to skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil and large pinch each salt and pepper.  Saute vegetable over medium heat for 7 minutes.  Vegetables should be just beginning to caramelize. Add garlic and saute another minute.  Add chicken broth and wine, raise heat to medium high and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid has almost evaporated.  Add  parsley, butter and 1 tbsp olive oil to pan and stir to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  Place pork chops on top of vegetables (including any meat juices in plate), lower heat to simmer and allow chops to warm while preparing noodles.

Meanwhile, bring large pot of water to boil.  (This can be started while vegetables are cooking). Place a handful of salt in the boiling water and add noodles.  Cook according to package directions. Divide pasta between 4 dinner plates.  Top each plate with a chop, a spoonful or two of the vegetable mixture and top with chives.  Serve immediately.

Other peppers recipes you may enjoy:

Spicy Pickled Peppers

Roasted Eggplant & Peppers Dip

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Baked Corn Tortillas


it is “peppers” week at food network’s summerfest. check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends.  have a favorite peppers recipe of your own? please share in the comments section of this post:

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: How to Use Bell Peppers Six Ways

Feed Me Phoebe: Spanish-Style Shrimp and Squid Skewers with Red Pepper Sofrito 

The Heritage Cook: Poblano Pepper, Corn and Potato “Chowder” Salad

Dishing: Bell Peppers Chutney/ Capsicum Chutney

The Lemon Bowl: Red Pepper Salsa

Weelicious: Bell Pepper Egg Flowers

Dishin & Dishes: Chicken, Poblano, Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas

Domesticate Me: Brown Rice Jambalaya with Shrimp, Chicken Sausage and Bell Peppers

Taste With The Eyes: Cheeseburger Bloody Mary with Cherry Peppers and Pickles

Blue Apron Blog: Roadside Noodles with Bell Peppers, Tomatoes and Broccoli Raab

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Italian Pork Chops with Peppers and Chiles on Buttered Egg Noodles

Red or Green: Green Chile Pork Stew

Devour: Stuffed Peppers 5 Ways

Chez Us: Grilled Eggplant and Carmen Pepper Pizza

Daily*Dishin: Marinated Peppers and Shrimp New Orleans Style

FN Dish: Sensational Stuffed Peppers



napa farmhouse 1885
red or green?
i have started sharing my taos experiences on my newest blog“california girl in taos”. please visit and let me know what you think.


I love the simplicity and deliciousness of this recipe.  Roasting grapes deepens and intensifies the sweetness and adds a slightly caramelized finish. The balsamic vinegar provides the acid needed to balance out the dish. Try serving over softened vanilla ice cream, pudding or custard.  I like to serve this with a hard, dry, not too sweet cookie, like biscotti. This is a perfect late summer/early fall dessert.It is grapes week at Food Network’s Summerfest.  I did a grape salsa over at my red or green? blog and the roasted ones here. Needless to say, we have been eating grapes all week.  Sweet, juicy, wonderful.  I keep hearing from people telling me they are cutting out fruit from their diets due to the sugar and carbs. Please don’t do this unless advised by your doctor.  Study after study shows that including berries in your meals 3-4 times per week is beneficial to your health*  (Did you know that grapes were considered a berry?) According to the”Grapes have long been classified as a low glycemic index (GI) food, with GI values ranging between 43-53. But having a low GI value is not necessarily the same as having blood sugar benefits. In the case of grapes, recent studies have shown that the low GI value of grapes is also a good indicator of this fruit’s blood sugar benefits. Better blood sugar balance, better insulin regulation, and increased insulin sensitivity have now been connected with intake of grape juices, grape extracts, and individual phytonutrients found in grapes.”

In addition, grapes are known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular, anti-aging, longevity, cognitive, anti-microbial, and anti-cancer benefits.  Makes you feel better about this dessert, right?  One caveat.  Conventionally grown grapes are known for being quite high in pesticide residues. I suggest you always buy organic grapes to avoid this concern.  And make this roasted grapes recipe soon…really delicious.

Roasted Grapes with Balsamic
(serves 6)

1/2 lb red grapes
1/2 lb white grapes
1 tbsp honey
extra virgin olive oil
pinch coarse grey salt
excellent quality aged balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Break off  6 small bunches of grapes, 4-6 grapes per bunch. Remove the rest of the grapes from the stems. Place the grapes and grape bunches on the prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle the honey over the grapes. Repeat process with one pass of olive oil bottle (about 1 tbsp). Sprinkle salt over grapes.

Roast for 15 minutes, or until grapes have slightly wilted with skins a bit wrinkled.  Remove from oven and allow to cool to warm.  Pour into bowl (including any accumulated juice). Serve over softened vanilla ice cream, pudding or custard.  Use the grape bunches as a garnish, one per serving. Drizzle balsamic over grapes and serve immediately.

*For more nutritional info regarding grapes please visit the World’s Healthiest Foods website.

ImageIt is “grapes” week at food network’s summerfest. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends.  Have a favorite grape recipe of your own? Please share in the comments section of this post.


i have started sharing my taos experiences on my newest blog“california girl in taos”. please visit and let me know what you think.



Wow, the last three weeks of Food Network’s Summerfest really call out the transition into fall.  This week is “beet” week, followed by“grape” week, ending with “potatoes”.  I am writing this post on Labor Day while (sorta) watching a college football game. Yes, fall is almost here.I always have mixed emotions this time of year.  I am so sad to see summer end, but fall is one of my favorite seasons.  The farmers’ markets are in their glory at what can only be described as harvest, the trees will soon start to show their colors, the crisp cool air is refreshing and, with children back in school, the beaches, pools, parks and outdoor activities are less crowded and easier to enjoy.  I love summer, but I love fall too!

Beets always remind me of fall even though they are in season all summer. My advice?  Use the greens too. They are delicious and packed with nutrients. In fact both beets and beet greens are amazingly good for you. Remember the adage about eating a variety of colors when selecting your daily fruit and vegetable choices? Beets are perfect for filling your “red” requirement. posted this nutrient chart:

Nutrients in Beets
1.00 cup raw (136.00 grams)
Nutrient% Daily Valuefolate 37%
manganese 22.5%
fiber 15.2%
potassium 12.6%
vitamin C 11.1%
tryptophan 9.3%
magnesium 7.8%
iron 6%
phosphorus 5.4%
copper 5%
Calories (58) 3%
“The greens attached to the beet roots are delicious and can be prepared like spinach or Swiss chard. They are incredibly rich in nutrients, concentrated in vitamins and minerals as well as carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lutein/zeaxanthin.”

This dish combines the greens with beets sauteed in a glaze of extra virgin olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar.  Delicious as a side dish with any type of roasted meat or chicken, I also make a vegetarian main dish by sprinkling goat or feta cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds over top.  A perfect late summer/early fall lunch or light dinner.  Enjoy!

Beet Greens with Balsamic Glazed Beets
4 lbs beets (with greens attached)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Cut beets from greens.  Cut greens from woody stems and center ribs.  Chop and reserve greens.  Scrub beets and cut off roots and all but 2 inches of the stems. Place beets in large pot and cover with water by about 3 inches and 2 large pinches of salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Cooking time depends on how large your beets are.  Start checking after 30 minutes.  Beets are ready when a sharp knife easily pierces the flesh.  There should be a tiny but of give, do not overcook.  Drain and allow to cool enough to handle.

With a sharp knife, cut off beet stems.  Peel and cut beets into quarters.  Depending on the size of your beets, cut each piece into 1 inch wedges. (If your beets are small this step may be unnecessary.) 

Add olive oil, honey and balsamic vinegar to large skillet over medium high heat.  Whisk to combine and cook for 3 minutes until the mixture slightly thickens.  Add 1 tsp basil, pinch each salt and pepper, stir.  Add beets to skillet and stir to ensure all sides are coated with balsamic mixture. When beets are warm, remove from pan with slotted spoon and place in medium bowl.  Cover loosely with foil to keep warm. 

Add beet greens to skillet.  Add a small pinch each salt and pepper and cook until greens are wilted. (about 3 minutes)  Mound greens on serving platter.  Top with beets.  Sprinkle with remaining basil and serve.

Other beet recipes you may enjoy:

It is “beets” week at food network’s summerfest. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends.  Have a favorite beet recipe of your own? Please share in the comments section of this post.
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Star Anise Ginger Pickled Beets
The Heritage Cook: Rosemary Roasted Beets, Potatoes and Peppers
Dishing: Beetroot Brownies / Beet Brownies
Devour: 4 Beet Salad Best Bets
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Beet Greens with Balsamic Glazed Beets
Red or Green: Sweet and Spicy Roasted Beet and Bacon Salad 
Virtually Homemade: Beet Risotto with Goat Cheese
Domesticate Me: Ginger-Soy Glazed Salmon with Asian Beet Slaw
Dishin & Dishes: Roasted Beet Salad with Garlic Vinaigrette
Taste With The Eyes: Shrimp, Beet, Raspberry, Radicchio and Rose Salad
Weelicious: Red Beet and White Bean Hummus
FN Dish: 5 Ways to Brighten Beets 

i have started sharing my taos experiences on my newest blog“california girl in taos”. please visit and let me know what you think.