Summer of Salads, Pork…

TarragonI know you’ve heard me talk about Tarragon before in this amazing potato salad, but we fell in love with Tarragon using it on the Pork Chops I am sharing here today.  This post is about Pork, and how to enjoy it on a salad.  I realize that Bacon falls into the Pork category, but I am saving Bacon for it’s very own post…I love it just that much! 🙂

So for those of you who have never used Tarragon before, this might freak you out and make you not want to try it, but it has a licorice-like taste & smell to it.  I know, licorice is one of those love-it or hate-it things…but please don’t let you dislike for licorice deter you from trying Tarragon!  And when you use it with mustard, it’s a-mazing!  So here’s what you’ll need…

The basics...

Tarragon Pork Salad:

Pork Chops or Loin or Tenderloin

Fresh Tarragon

Garlic, chopped

Dijon Mustard

Whole Grain Mustard

Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper

Lettuce & potato pic

For the salad base:

Greens of your choice

Grape Tomatoes, sliced

Colored Peppers, sliced

Yukon Gold or Red Skinned Potatoes, cubed

Fresh Chives, sliced thin

Crumbled Blue Cheese

Olive Oil, Vinegar of your choice, Salt, Pepper etc.

Start by seasoning your Pork with the Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper.  Mix together your cut Tarragon, chopped Garlic, Dijon & Whole Grain Mustards.  Spread onto Pork, coating both sides.  Place back into fridge until time to grill.

Then move on to cleaning your potatoes.  Cut into cubes and toss with Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper & fresh Chives.  Place into two sheets of aluminum foil, wrapping the middle section together first and then tucking in both ends.  Place onto a grill at about 375-400 degrees.  Move around every so often so the bottom layer doesn’t burn.  These will take a good 45 minutes or so.  Once they are done cooking, remove from aluminum foil and place on to a plate and put in the fridge to cool.

Place Pork on the grill, making sure it’s really good and hot to begin with so you get that great grill mark action and your seasonings don’t just stick to the grill.  Once you see the sides of your meat starting to cook up, it’s time to flip them.  Cook your Pork to at least 145 degrees.  Honestly, you can make this anytime of year, just bake or sauté the Pork!

Let the Pork rest a bit before cutting into cubes and assembling your salad!  Arrange/build your salad however you like!  Add or take away any items you feel you’d like as well!

Tarragon Pork Salad

While cruising the internet, looking for other delicious Pork salads, I found these to share with you!

Here’s an interesting Spicy Pork Salad from Bon Appetit.

This Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salad looks SO good and reminds me of the bowls you can get at Chipotle.  It’s from Your Home Based Business Mom dot com.

So, I love Pulled Pork, and recently made it a highlight of one of our entree salads.  This recipe from Lumo Lifestyle blog for Cider Braised Pulled Rhubarb Pork with wild Summer salad looks ridiculous!!  I NEED! 🙂

You’ll need this Asian Pork and Cabbage Salad from Pass the Sushi dot com.

Do you have a favorite Pork salad you want to share with me?  Please do!

Thanks for following along on my #summerofsalads!

Until next time, cheers!

Shawn

Summer Sippers, Wine…

Sangria

I love Pinterest.  Can I just say that?  Seriously, I swear, it has become a search engine for me and all things food & beverage!  I “googled” the search term “cocktails made with wine” while researching for this blog post and the second listing in Google was a link to a board on Pinterest titled Cocktails Made with Wine.  Click on the link to see this board; it’s pretty incredible how creative people are with wine!  Gone are the days, where the only way you found wine, other than by itself in a glass, was as a spritzer!

Fruit

In putting together this post, I decided my focus was to be Sangria.  I had many friends share their Sangria recipes with me.  One of those, listed below, was given to me by husband & wife foodie duo, Lynne & Keith Morioka.  It’s what I will be making next!  I was also surprised to see what a popular drink it has become, with so many delicious variations on the traditional white or red Sangria.  We are gearing up for a birthday-Father’s day camping weekend and so I thought it would be fun to make a batch to bring with us.  I decided to try the Grilled Citrus and Grape Sangria.  In the future, I am going to try to gently smoke some fruit for a Sangria too!

Apothic

St. Germain Sangria-  “we hosted a party last summer, and I made this up to be our signature cocktail for the party, and everyone loved it. Even the people who normally are just beer drinkers were loving it…”  Sounds like a winner! 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc
3/4 cup St. Germain
1/2 cup Simple Syrup (you could probably substitute fine sugar if you want, but reduce the amount if you do)
3/4 cup San Pellegrino Limonata
1/4 cup White Grape Juice
1 Green Apple (Diced)
1 Pear (Diced)
Some White Grapes (cut in half)
Club Soda

Combine everything but the club soda together in a pitcher, and chill for several hours. When ready to serve, pour some club soda in the glass, pour Sangria in to top it off. I prefer not to have any ice in the glass, as I don’t like to water my Sangria’s down as the ice melts. With the fruit, I think that I actually used less than a whole apple and less than a whole Pear. The fruit will soak up the booze, so make sure that you eat that too!

And another recipe, from the wonderful John Michael Lerma was for his famous Hollywood Sangria.  Sounds like another winner to me!

JOHN MICHAEL’S HOLLYWOOD SANGRIA
4 bottles Cabernet Sauvignon, warm
1 bottle White Zinfandel, warm
4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 ½ cups pineapple juice
1 can lemon-lime soda
¼ cup Grand Marnier
3 oranges, cut into slices or stars
3 limes, cut into slices or stars
6 strawberries, sliced
Additional fruit for garnish
1. Place all ingredients into a large glass or ceramic container. Cover and let flavors blend while warm for 2 hours, then refrigerator overnight. Serve in decorative glasses filled with ice and fresh fruit. Serves 24 or more.

Pineapple Sangria

Another gorgeous Sangria recipe I found on Pinterest was that of this Pineapple Sangria, Erin’s Food Files.  She graciously allowed me to use her picture, which makes my mouth water!  I love how she uses Pineapple soda as well!

Yet another food blogger friend’s recipe for Diane’s Sangria

Cooking Channel’s Tropical Sangria

Food and Wine’s Watermelon Sangria

Bon Appetit’s Stone-Fruit Sangria

How Sweet It Is, food blog’s Blood Orange Sangria

Girl versus Dough shares her Sangria Slushies, totally a grown-up snow-cone in my book!  In this same post, she shares a recipe for White Wine & Elderflower Sangria, so be sure to check that out too!

Here’s hoping for a long, hot summer, where we can sit back and enjoy these perfect Sangria recipes!

Until next time, cheers!

Shawn