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Tag Archives: Pork

Bean Soup – or what to do with your Easter ham bone…

Yummy Soup Ingredients

On Easter, we had the ham from the local hog we recently bought.  It was quite tasty and since it was a whopping 18 pounds, we have lots of leftover ham in both the freezer and fridge.  As we always do when we have a ham bone, I made our family’s Bean & Hominy Soup.  I used dry navy beans and canned hominy this time, but since I got the recipe from my mom and she always uses canned beans, I am giving the recipe using those. Of course, you can use dried hominy and beans, instead of canned, if you prefer. It will be both cheaper and healthier to make that way.

This is the navy bean soup that my family makes. It is a recipe that my Mom got from her Mom and is a dish that they used to make in Key West, Florida. My grandparents were Key West “Conchs”, meaning they were born and raised in Key West. I guess that this recipe came over to Key West from the Bahamas (or maybe Cuba?) along with the immigrants from there in the late 1800’s. I’ll call it “Ida’s Key West Bean & Hominy Soup” after my grandmother.

But, I will note that while my mom has always made it with hominy, recently she did she reveal that when she was a young child (late 1930’s) her Mom, Ida, made it with dried white “cracked corn”. Later, as it became easier to find hominy and more difficult to find food-grade cracked corn for human consumption (it is used today in chicken feed), they switched to hominy.

Wikipedia states about hominy that “Soaking the corn in lye kills the seed’s germ, which keeps it from sprouting while in storage. In addition to preserving the grain as foodstuff, this process also affords several significant nutritional advantages over untreated maize products. It converts some of the niacin (and possibly other B vitamins) into a form more absorbable by the body, improves the availability of the amino acids, and (at least in the lime-treated variant) supplements the calcium content, balancing maize’s comparative excess of phosphorus.”

It’s great with hominy, but I guess the cracked corn is more authentic.  Also, we always used white hominy, but this time I used half white and half yellow and it still looked and tasted fine. Feel free to adjust the hominy to bean ratio to your tastes, but there must be some hominy in it.  Sadly, there is no vegetarian version of this, since the ham bone and attached ham is what give it most of the flavor.

Ida’s Key West Bean & Hominy Soup

  • 1 ham bone (with some ham left on it)
  • 4 cans Navy beans, 15 oz. size cans (you can use Northern beans, but it’s not quite the same)
  • 2 cans white hominy, 15.5 oz. size cans (hominy is lye-soaked corn, yellow will do if you can’t get white)
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Old Sour, for adding at the table (optional)
  1. Simmer the ham bone in water until the meat drops off and the water makes a rich broth. I use my crock-pot and cook it on low overnight.
  2. Remove the bone and cut up any larger chunks of meat to small bite-size pieces. Drain and rinse the beans and hominy and put the chopped onion in the broth/meat in a pot along with the hominy and beans. Add additional water if necessary, as the final product should have the consistency of a stew when finished.
  3. Cook on low heat (or in a crock pot) for several hours, until the beans and hominy have softened a little and made a saucy-broth. Add salt and black pepper to taste. At the table, you can add “old sour” to taste.

“Old Sour”  is Key Lime Juice that has salt added to it, and is then left to sit and sour/ferment for a while.  I think that its use goes back to the seafaring heritage of many Key West and Bahamian folks, as the preserved  lime juice is a good source of vitamin C when you are out at sea.  That is why “limey” is a slang term for a sailor.

I found this recipe on a Key West web site, in case you can’t find it ready-made. By the way, my Mom doesn’t use peppers in hers, just lime juice and salt. Old Sour is a very old Key West tradition and Conchs use on it just about everything.

Old Sour

  • 2 cups Key Lime juice or Persian Lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 Bird Peppers or a few drops of hot sauce, optional
  1. Strain the lime juice through cheesecloth three or four times to make sure to remove all pulp.
  2. Mix lime juice and salt together. Pour into bottles with Bird Peppers. Cork.
  3. Refrigerate two weeks or more before using, the longer the better. Store in refrigerator three to six months.

Serve the bean soup with buttered Cuban bread, or French or Italian if you aren’t lucky enough to live in a town like Tampa were you can get Cuban bread.  A salad goes well with it and gives you something green.

The girls really like this soup and at their request have taken it for lunch in their thermoses the last two days.

– Stacey


Another dinner from our hog – Mustardy Pork Chops with Shallots and Mushrooms

So, I told you about the quarter of a local hog we got recently, so needless to say, we are eating a lot of pork.Mustardy Pork with Shallots and Mushrooms  But, it is very tasty pork from a hog that got to enjoy mud, the great outdoors, and a social life with other hogs, unlike most factory farmed ones.

I had a pack of mushrooms in the fridge that I needed to use and so found a recipe at that used them and some more of the pork.  I think her recipe was based on this one at the Food & Wine magazine site.  Of course, I didn’t follow it exactly, so below is the way I made it.  The girls and Mike all loved it and said to definitely make it again.  I served it on top of whole wheat spaghetti and with a side of roasted asparagus.

If you don’t have shallots, then just substitute a bit of onion and garlic.  As I tell the kids, shallots are like an onion and a garlic got married and had a baby.  🙂

Mustardy Pork Chops with Shallots and Mushrooms

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 – 6 pork chops, about 2 pounds
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 large shallot or 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 8-10 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  1. In a large frying pan heat the butter and olive oil over moderately heat. Season pork to taste on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Raise heat to medium-high and add the chops to the pan and cook for 7-8 minutes. Turn and cook until chops are browned and done through, about 7-8 minutes longer.  The exact time will depend on the thickness of the chops.
  3. Remove the chops and put on a warm plate. Add the chopped shallots to the same pan and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the stock to deglaze the pan, stir in the mustard, half the parsley, then add mushrooms, season with fresh pepper and salt if needed. 
  5. Cook about 4-6 minutes, or until mushrooms are done.  Add the chops back to the sauce and top with remaining parsley and serve.

– Stacey

Peppery Spiced Pork Chops

Peppery Spiced Pork Chops

Sorry I yet again disappeared for several weeks.  We have had a spate of illness here…stomach virus, then strep, and then another virus that caused high fevers.  One or two of the girls got each thing over the last 2 weeks.  Now I know one reason that folks home school, to keep their kids away from other sick kids.  🙂  I do post interesting articles and links on my blog’s Facebook page even when not posting to the blog itself, so come join me either there or on twitter if things are quiet here.

In the meantime, we purchased half of a locally-raised in the great outdoors hog from one of our friends that has a few. I shared the half with another friend, so I ended up with about 38 pounds of prime pork in my freezer.  All the meat we have had so far has been delicious and the bacon and sausage are both nitrate-free.  I have to say the bacon was amazingly tasty.

Well, last night, I pulled out a package of the pork chops to cook.  I got home at about 6:10 and had to leave at 6:55 to get to a meeting, so needed a fast recipe.  Luckily, Mike had already peeled and cut up the potatoes and had them on the stove, so when I got home, I seasoned the chops and sautéed them while steaming the asparagus and cutting up some fresh fruit, kiwis and blueberries.  I know the serving size on the mashed potatoes is a bit large, but we rarely have them, so I indulged. Timewise, I was a few minutes late, but did make it to my 7 pm meeting. 

The meal was delicious, especially the pork.  I don’t know if it was the spices or the excellent quality of the meat, but either way, I am sharing the recipe. I based mine on a recipe for “Pepper-Rubbed Pork Chops” from, but I tweaked and simplified it even more.

Peppery Spiced Pork Chops
(serves 3-6 depending on appetite)

  • 1  1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper, coarsely crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4-6 pork chops (depends on thickness, about 2 pounds)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  1. Stir together everything except the pork chops and the olive oil until well mixed.  Rub spice mixture on both sides of chops.  (I put mine in an old spice shaker bottle to make it easier to apply.)
  2. Put olive oil in large skillet or frying pan and heat on medium-high.  When hot, add pork chops and cook thoroughly turning once, until crispy on the outside and chops are done throughout.
  3. If you want some “gravy”, after removing your chops, you can deglaze your pan with 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream. 

It was loved by all.   Mike and the kids had some of the “gravy” on theirs, but I didn’t.

– Stacey

Creole Pork Loin & Pan-Fried Cinnamon Apples

Creole Pork Loin with Fried Cinnamon ApplesI bought a pork loin and was looking for something fast and easy (but still tasty) to make with it for dinner.  I had also recently bought some Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning.  You can find a recipe for it here if you want to make it yourself instead of buying it.  I will probably make my own in the future, but just bought this on a whim when I saw it in the spice section.

I also had some apples that I needed to use and apples go with pork, right?  We filled out the meal with a side of steamed cauliflower, broccoli, and baby-cut carrots.

So, this is what I made…


Creole Pork Loin

  • Pork loin (mine was 1.4 lbs)

    Creole Pork Loin searing in skillet

    Creole Pork Loin searing in skillet

  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil (or whatever oil you prefer)
  • Emeril’s Essence (recipe for making your own)
  • 1 Tbsp liquid for deglazing pan (wine, water, gin, broth, orange juice, apple juice, etc.)
  • 2 Tbsp of heavy cream or half/half

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Trim the pork loin of any excess fat and silver skin.  Sprinkle pork loin with spice mixture and press it on.  Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or other oven safe pan.   Sear pork loin on all sides in skillet on stove top. Put skillet in oven and bake for 10-20 minutes depending on the thickness of your pork loin.  What I can find online indicates that the internal temperature of the pork should be 150°F to 155°F when it is done.

Remove from oven, take pork out of pan and place on plate to rest.  Place skillet back on the stove top over medium heat and use your preferred liquid to deglaze pan.  Then, add cream and let sauce thicken slightly while you stir.  After pork has rested for 10 minutes, slice it and serve with the cream sauce on the side or on top.  It doesn’t make a LOT of sauce, but the flavor is very intense, so you don’t need much.

Pan-Fried Cinnamon Apples

  • 4 small apples, quartered, cored, and sliced

    Cinnamon Apples in pan

    Cinnamon Apples in pan

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey

Prepare apples.  Melt butter in a frying pan and then sauté the apples in the butter until they start to soften.  Sprinkle on cinnamon and honey.  Continue to cook until soft, but nor mushy.  Serve warm.

There was no pork or apples leftovers…both were loved by all the kids.  They did eat their veggie too.  🙂

– Stacey

Creole Pork Loin, Pan-Fried Cinnamon Apples and Veggie Blend

Creole Pork Loin, Pan-Fried Cinnamon Apples and Veggie Blend

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