Category Archives: Food & Drink

Apple Pear Pie

My family really enjoys eating lots of fruit throughout the year.  In the fall, we love the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg filling the kitchen.   One of the treats that we really enjoy is an Apple Pear Tart.  I personally love this dessert since I’ve modified it to be healthier and it tastes wonderful.  Especially with a heaping pile of whipped cream to accompany it.  In essence, it just feels right when the leaves are changing color and the air becomes chillier.

10609456_10152418156881896_8593519552626654275_n.jpg10649579_10152418156611896_575471759914169543_n.jpg

Ingredients

Crust and Filling

  • 1 Deep Dish Pie crust
  • 2 Medium Bartlett Pears
  • 2 Medium Gala Apples
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Topping

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (do not use quick oats)
  • 1/2 cup Truvia
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter (cold)

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Take the pie shell out of the freezer.
  3. Slice the pears and apples in half and core them.  I typically leave the skins on but if you don’t like skins, peel the pears and apples.
  4. Slice the pears and apples into very thin slices.  Try and get them to the same thickness if possible.  You can do this using a mandolin, otherwise just do it freehand (my preference).
  5. In the pie crust, alternate putting apple and pear slices down in a circular pattern.  Do this until you have exhausted your supply of apples and pears.
  6. Sprinkle the top with nutmeg and cinnamon.
  7. Put in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
  8. While the pie is baking, prepare the topping.  Cut the butter into really small pieces (as small as you can without melting it).
  9. In a mixing bowl, mix the butter, sugar and oats together.  You can do this with your hands.  Make sure that the oats are well coated.
  10. After 35 minutes of baking, pull the pie out of the over and put the topping on evenly.  Put back in the over and bake for another 15 minutes.
  11. That’s it!  Take the pie our and enjoy.  I strongly recommend serving with this a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of some cinnamon for decoration.
Also posted in Cooking@Home Tagged , , |

Apple Glazed Pork Chop

This is one of my favorite ways to prepare a pork chop.  Its really simple, but tastes delicious!

10632576_10152446552251896_2512881256785102515_n.jpg

Ingredients

  • 4-6 oz Pork Chop (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup Apple Juice or Apple Cider
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard (Dijon can also be used)
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Pat the Pork chops so that they are dry on both sides.  Season one side of each pork chop generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the canola oil up a 12 inch pan on medium-high heat.
  3. After the pan is hot, put the pork chops in (seasoned side down).  The goal here is to sear the seasoning onto the pork chop.  Season the top of the chops generously with salt and pepper.
  4. After 5-6 minutes of searing on one side, turn the pork chops to sear the other side with seasoning into the pork chop.  Wait another 5-6 minutes.
  5. Remove the pork chops from the pan and put it on a plate to rest.
  6. Turn the heat down to medium.  Add the minced garlic to the pan and stir to heat.  Do not let it burn!
  7. Pour the apple juice into the pan to deglaze.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape all of the brown bits from the bottom of the pane.
  8. Add the yellow mustard and stir to incorporate into the sauce.
  9. Turn the heat up to concentrate the sauce.  The resulting sauce should be syrupy.
  10. Turn the heat down to medium.  Add the pork chops back into the pan and turn them several times to warm and glazed them.
  11. Serve and enjoy!
Also posted in Cooking@Home Tagged , , |

Fogo De Chao

This genuine Brazilian restaurant is a meat-lover’s haven and one of my favorite restaurants to go to for a special celebration event, but it doesn’t hurt to go there for the heck of it.  Every one of the “Gauchos” are trained in Brazil before making their way to one of these restaurants in the U.S.  With this training comes the responsibility for preparing and slow-cooking their choice cuts of meat to perfection.

To start the evening off, you make a trip to the extensive salad bar.  Here you are not presented by with the standard fare of salad bar items, but instead have a wide selection which include artichoke hearts, marinated shiitake mushrooms, breads and cheese, smoked salmon and many others.

Once you have finished with your salad, prepare for the meat feast.  To signal the “Gauchos” to fill your plate with delicious meat, turn the token over to green and they’ll bring you slow cooked pieces of meat for you to savor.  Polenta, plantains, mashed potatoes and cheese puffs are also brought to the table to complement your meal.  Eat as much or as little as you want, you will always leave wanting to come back.

To complement the meal, Fogo de Chao offers an diverse wine list and many of the wines are reasonably priced.  Don’t know what to pick?  They always have some recommendations depending on your tastes.  If you have anyone in the party who doesn’t want to partake in the meat selection, tell the server and you can choose the salad option.  I have friends who are extremely satisfied with the salad bar alone.  Every time I go, I take my wife and/or a group of friends with me.  We always have a great time and it is one of the places I will always dream about going back to.  Trust me, visit one of their location when you have a chance.  Did I mention they are not only located in Houston?  You will not be disappointed.

Also posted in Restaurants Tagged , , , |

Sinh Sinh Restaurant

Last weekend I had the pleasure of joining some of my friends to celebrate the completion of their Masters in Nursing Science degree at the University of Houston.  One of the evenings, all of us visited a Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant called Sinh Sinh in the so called Chinatown area of Houston.  This restaurant hosts some very traditional Hong Kong style cuisine.

I strongly recommend trying the fish and the BBQ.  Among all of the Chinese restaurants in Houston, I think this one has some of the best Asian BBQ.  One dish which is not on the menu but you can order is a combination barbecue meat plate.  You basically choose the meats you want (duck, chicken, barbecue pork, roasted pig) and they will put a plate together for you.   The barbecue pork and the sucking pig are great picks if you don’t know where to begin.

If you are visiting the restaurant with a group of four or more people, ask for the combination menu.  This is a excellent way to taste the different dishes which they specialize in.  We chose the six person menu option which included a soup, Peking duck, steamed fish (grouper), stir fried chicken with vegetables and walnuts, and a seasonal vegetable.  This was more than enough for us and we left very very satisfied.

Some people complain that the service is a bit slow here, but from the minute we walked in the door, we were immediately seated and were waited upon.  The food was extremely fresh and the service was prompt during our visit.  Of course, your experience may vary.

Also posted in Restaurants Tagged , , , |