Monday, March 31, 2014

Baked Four Cheese Fish

*This is not a sponsored post in the least bit. These opinions are mine, and maybe my husband's, but will not result in any sort of compensation. *

I have been on a huge fish kick lately. If we go out, I order some type of fish or shrimp and then devour it like I've never tasted seafood before. Like, the whole thing is just gone. My husband is not the biggest fan if seafood, but the more he tries, the more he likes. So I decided to take advantage of his new adventures in eating and thougt about how I could work a fish meal into our weekly menu. 

Enter Kraft Fresh Takes.

 We have used these before for chicken and pork and they turn out great. It's VERY similar to shake'n'bake, but it has fresh cheese along with bread crumbs and seasoning. Since I had no idea how to make fish, I decided to pick this up with some pollock, baked potatoes and asparagus to make a weeknight meal. They make it super easy - pull apart the middle seam to mix the cheese and bread crumbs, then put the meat of your choosing into the mix to coat. I actually pinch the top of the bag close and shake because it tends to coat it better. Also, only put one piece in at a time to get the best results. Once the fish was coated, I placed them on a baking sheet and added a little more of the mixture to the tops for good measure. Bake it at 375 for  11-13 minutes. Times will vary depending on meat and thickness, but that is described on the back of the packaging. 

This was the end result: 

It was fabulous. We each had three small pieces of the pollock and a baked potato, but I also wanted asparagus for some crunch. After dinner my husband told me he would definitely eat it again. I feel as if I have accomplished two goalsin one  night - cook fish, and encourage someone to become a seafood lover. 

What about you? What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy seafood in your home?


Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Pork Chops Bring All the Boys to the Yard

When my husband and I first started dating, he asked me to make pork chops one night for dinner. I had NEVER made them before in my life, so I did what any girl would do. I acted like I knew EXACTLY how to make them, while I was secretly googling recipes that would hopefully impress him. C'mon, I can't be the only one that does that! I had found one recipe on, but have adapted it over the years to one that is much better than the original. Now, my husband absolutely loves my pork chops. Like, I could probably make them every night and he would never get tired of them. Okay that may be a stretch, but you get the picture. Since I now get home from work around 6:15 instead of 8:15, I actually have time to cook things that I have down to a fine art. When my husband asked me to make them, I gladly obliged since we haven't had them in quite some time. They aren't hard to make, but there are 2 cooking steps - one on the stove and one in the oven. This allows for the outsides to get nice and browned in a pan, and then they get baked so all the juices get trapped on the inside making them so moist and delicious.

The things you need:
Boneless pork chops of desired thickness
1 Yellow bell pepper
1 Orange bell pepper
1 Red bell pepper
1 c Italian bread crumbs
3 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Salt*
2 Tbsp Pepper*
3 Tbsp Minced onions*
 2 Tbsp Basil*

*Note: These are rough measurements. If you like things spicier, add more pepper. Don't like onions? Leave them out! This is just what we have found we like the best.

The first thing you want to do is chop your peppers. I try and chop them in rings, but any rough chop is good for this. Once they are chopped, place them in your baking dish. Mine is a 9x9 glass dish.

Now, put your butter in your pan and turn the heat onto med-high to melt it. While it is melting, you want to prep your chops.

1. Season both sides of your pork chops with the pepper, salt, onion and basil - about 1 Tbsp of each per side.
2. Place pork chop in bread crumbs and push down so it sticks.
3. Flip chop over and coat the other side. Repeat this until you get a thin, even coating over the whole thing.
4. Place them into the pan with the melted butter. 

The cook time for the pork chops is dependent on the thickness of the chop.
Thin chops - about 3 minutes per side
Medium chops - about 5 minutes per side
Thick chops - about 7 minutes per side.
You may need to add more butter as it cooks so that they don't burn, so make sure to have some handy.

Once the outsides are cooked to a nice golden brown, they are going to go right on top of the bed of peppers that you have waiting. 

Once again, the cooking time depends on the thickness. These took 40 minutes to cook all the way through. Thin cuts will generally take 25-30 minutes. 

You can serve these with anything - mac and cheese, potatoes, noodles, or rice! No matter what, you will have tender, juicy pork chops that everyone will love.

What are your favorite ways to cook pork chops?