Simple Pork Ramen with Vegetables

It has been a wonderfully busy couple of weeks with William’s first birthday and my little sister’s wedding.  Both celebrations were so special, filled with family and friends and of course, delicious cake!

Today’s recipe is the first time I’ve made Japanese classic ramen, this version simplified with chicken stock instead of pork stock or demi-glace.  The best part about the dish is the seared and roasted pork, a technique that is perfect for hundreds of recipes.  I used the vegetables I had on hand but you could try eggplant, carrots or whatever you prefer.  I sautéed the veggies for more flavor before simmering the broth and seasonings to make a fragrant broth bowl.  I had trouble finding fresh ramen noodles, so I used the packaged variety. I used chicken stock but if you want to make your own pork stock I’m sure it would be delicious! DSC_0412

What to buy (serves 2):

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 package ramen noodles (sauce packets discarded)
  • 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1, 1 Inch piece ginger, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce, to taste
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, optional garnish
  • sriracha, optional garnish

What to do:

  • preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • heat a large pan over medium-high heat
  • pat dry and season the pork with salt and pepper
  • cook pork until outside is lightly browned about, 2 to 3 minutes per side
  • transfer pork to a foil-lined sheet pan and roast for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through, remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board, let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing
  • meanwhile, using the same pan used to sear the pork, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium-high, add onion, zucchini and red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes, or until browned
  • season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside on a plate
  • using the same pan, add rice vinegar, ginger and broth and heat over medium-high heat until boiling
  • add noodles and boil, stirring occasionally, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes
  • stir in the soy sauce and remove from heat
  • serve hot topping broth mixture with the pork, cilantro, and sriracha or other hot sauce

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Chipotle Glazed Pork Chops

This is spicy way to cook pork chops in less than fifteen minutes. You’ll love the way the smoky flavor of the adobo sauce combines with honey and balsamic to make a delicious glaze.  I used the leftover sauce for the next few days as a marinade for shrimp and a spicy dipping sauce. Whip up some delicious Crock Pot Carnitas with the remaining chipotle peppers.

 We ate the pork chops with buttery garlic mashed potatoes(similar just with cauliflower) and roasted broccoli.  DSC_0125

What to buy (serves 2):

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons of sauce from a small can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 boneless pork chops (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick)

What to do:

  • to make the chipotle glaze: combine honey, adobo sauce, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan over medium heat
  • season pork with salt and pepper on both side
  • add chops to the pan and sear for 2-3 minutes on one side
  • spoon chipotle glaze over each pork chop, turning to coat and cook for another 6-8 minutes until no longer pink in the middle


Asian BBQ {in your Crockpot}

For years I made BBQ pork tenderloin in my slow cooker using this tried and true recipe but I decided to switch things up this week after coming across this recipe from The Food Charlatan.  This is now our absolute favorite way to make slow cooker pork BBQ; it was so so so good! It’s just as easy as my original recipe with a few more ingredients.  We ate this with gazpacho and corn for a perfect summer meal, no oven required.


What to buy (serves 3-4):

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

What to do:

  • combine brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, garlic, black pepper, and crushed red pepper
  • place the tenderloins in the slow cooker and rub with seasoning mix on all sides
  • pour 1/2 cup water in the bottom of the slow cooker (try not to wash off all the seasonings you just rubbed on)
  • cook on low for 6-8 hours (or on high 3-4)
  • combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, cornstarch, rice vinegar, 1/2 cup water, soy sauce, ginger and cilantro in a small bowl and stir until mixture thickens
  • pour brown sugar sauce over cooked pork and pull apart with a fork
  • serve hot

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

DSC_0453This is the second in a series of recipes I’ve made using ingredients from the Spice Society gourmet line of non-GMO spices. You can find my first recipe for a Four-Spiced Cod dinner here.  I’m loving the Spice Society spices and they’re inspiring me to add more “oomph” than I normally would to our meals. This colorful rub is a testament to the bright color of the paprika and chili powder.   DSC_0458The following recipe is a simple way to cook pork tenderloin with flavorful and tender results. I served this with the Garlickly Roasted Broccoli I posted yesterday and we ate every last bite.    

What to buy (serves 2-3):

  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil

What to do:

  • combine the spices
  • preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • sprinkle the rub over the tenderloin with a dry hand, then rub it into both sides of the meat, pressing gently so it coats tenderloin
  • in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • add the minced garlic and saute, stirring, for a minute
  • add tenderloin to pan and cook for about 10 minutes, searing each side
  • transfer meat to a roasting pan and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until it reaches 160 degrees
  • allow meat to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving


Thank you to Spice Society for sponsoring this recipe.

Most Popular Recipes {2014}

Happy New Year! This has been such a full year and one of so many changes for me.  From moving into our first home, adopting two dogs, and having a baby, 2014 has been truly life changing.  Today I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who visits Sally Cooks.  Thanks for your encouragement and support, your likes, tweets, pins, comments and shares.  I get a thrill when you tell me you’ve made and enjoyed one of my recipes and I wouldn’t be here without you.

Here are the ten most popular recipes from this year based on the number of views they had.  Thanks again for being here and happy cooking in 2015!2014

1. Layered Sweet Corn Guacamole and Black Bean Dip


2. Irresistible Baked Smores Barsdsc_0776

3. Frozen Biscoff Pie with a Graham Cracker-Biscoff Crust

dsc_01884. Spicy Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos with Mango Guacamole



5.  Spicy Buffalo Potato Salad and Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Saladpicture-0141

6. Simple Strawberry Angel Food Cake Trifle

dsc_06457. Super Easy Red, White and Blue Cookiesdsc_0120

8.  Spicy Sesame Glazed Grilled Corndsc_0575

9. Cinnamon Sugar Pecansdsc_0615

10. Kale Pesto Stuffed Baked Potatoes {in your Crockpot}dsc_0427

My Favorite Way to Cook Bacon

I tried all kinds of methods for cooking bacon before I settled on this easy way that leaves you with perfectly crispy bacon every time. All you do is preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a cookie sheet with 2 layers of aluminum foil  (one layer won’t protect your pan from grease.) Next, place a metal cooling rack over the foiled baking sheet and evenly space your raw bacon on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how thick your bacon is, and then transfer with a fork or tongs to a paper-towel lined plate to drain off any remaining grease and finish crisping.bacon

The cooling rack allows the bacon to cook from all sides so there is no need to flip it and the grease will drip down onto the cookie sheet, allowing the bacon to become extra-crispy. It’s so easy and there’s no need to flip the bacon or worry about hot grease splatters.



Another bacon hack that I love is to save the bacon grease by letting it cool slightly, then carefully pouring it into a container and refrigerating. See below for a list of recipes that call for bacon grease, I like to use it to cook scrambled eggs! If you don’t want to save the bacon grease, simply let it solidify on the baking sheet, then crumple the foil around it and throw it away.

Great ways to use your saved bacon grease:

15 Ways to Use Bacon Fat via Bon Appetit
28 Delicious Ways To Use Leftover Bacon Fat via Buzzfeed
The Top 10 Revelatory Uses for Leftover Bacon Grease via Martha Stewart
8 Practical Ways to Use Bacon Grease via The Secret Yumiverse

Pumpkin Pork Tenderloin {in your Crockpot}

DSC_0090If you’re a food blogger and it’s October you’re obligated to post a recipe that features pumpkin so before October slips away from me, here it is! I love baking with pumpkin but wanted to try something new so I experimented with using it a savory way.  The results were great; this is a recipe that will make your kitchen smell wonderful and will taste as good as it smells. The vinegar and hot peppers balance out the maple syrup and brown sugar to keep the pork from being too sweet.

What to buy (serves 3-4):

  •  2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

What to do:

  • combine pumpkin, vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, mustard, cinnamon, salt, pepper and chipotle peppers in a bowl
  • add pork to slow cooker and spoon pumpkin mixture onto pork,
  • cover and cook for 6-7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high, cut or shred before serving hot

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Crock Pot Carnitas

This weekend I used my slow cooker again to make a delicious batch of carnitas.  Carnitas are usually made by simmering pork in some type of fat but this recipe takes a healthier route by allowing the meat to cook in its natural juices and tomatoes.  You’ll love how tender the meat becomes from cooking for hours in your crockpot and it is the perfect filing for tamales, tacos and burritos.  I served this deliciousness in soft tacos with guacamole and queso fresco.  DSC_0177

What to buy (serves 4-5):

  • 2-3 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 chipotle peppers with 1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce (canned in adobo sauce)
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with juices

What to do:

  • add meat to slow cooker and layer spices, garlic, peppers and tomatoes on top
  • cook on low for 5-6 hours or until meat is tender enough to be shredded easily with forks
  • allow meat to cool slightly and shred, reserving some vegetables and sauce for serving
  • for carnitas tacos, serve in tortillas with guacamole, cheese,  sour cream, lettuce, whatever you like!DSC_0084



Chicken, Chorizo and Sweet Potato Chili {in your Crockpot}

Happy first day of autumn!  I decided to welcome the change of seasons the best way I know how, by boxing up my summer clothes, (so long maternity bathing suits!) giving my boots a little love with some leather conditioner and making a big batch of chili in the crockpot.  I haven’t cooked many new recipes at all since we brought William home from the hospital.  Right now I’m struggling to find the time  to plan meals, to go to the grocery store and to cook so I’m thankful for friends and family who have brought us delicious meals and groceries.   I know I’ll get back into the kitchen more regularly sometime in the near future but for now my recipes posts will be a little sporadic…

Thats said, today I feel very accomplished because I pulled out my beloved crock pot and make a variation on the traditional beef chili.  This one has ground chicken, spicy chorizo and sweet potatoes. It’s perfect for the first day of autumn and doesn’t take too much time to put together.  The spicy chorizo pairs wonderfully with the sweet potatoes and peppers.


What to buy (serves 7-8):

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, cooked and cubed
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 pound ground spicy chorizo
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 beer, whatever you like but ideally something darker with lots of flavor
  • 15 ounces pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounces kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

What to do:

  • in a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic; cook until they start to soften, about 3 minutes
  • stir in the chicken and chorizo, cooking until they are no longer pink, about 5 minutes
  • once the meat is cooked, add everything from the saucepan and the remaining ingredients to your crockpot, stirring well
  • cook for 3-4 hours on high heat or 6-7 hours on low heat, serve plain or topped with cheese, cilantro, green onions, sour cream – whatever you like!

Thirty Recipes for the Fourth of July!

Thank you for following along with my Thirty for the Fourth of July project! I’ve had fun experimenting with traditional cookout dishes and hope I’ve shared some recipes you want to make for your friends and family this Independence Day.fourth

My favorites from the last month are Baked Smores Bars, Spicy Baked BeansSpicy Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos with Mango Guacamole, Spicy Buffalo Potato Salad and Buffalo Chicken Burgers. Here is the round-up, in pictures and separated into side dishes and salads, mains and desserts, of my June cooking project Thirty for the Fourth of July!!

Side dishes and Salads:

Spicy Baked Beans, Watermelon, Mint and Feta Salad, Grilled Vegetable Kabobs with Firecracker SauceGrilled Corn with Basil Butter, Grilled Pineapple, Spicy Buffalo Potato Salad and Mustard Vinaigrette Potato Salad, Pasta Salad with Peas and Broccoli Pesto, Purple NC BBQ Style Coleslaw, Refreshing Lime and Mint Fruit Salad


Buffalo Chicken BurgersGrilled Steak with Blueberry Balsamic Reduction and Blue Cheese, Turkey Burgers with Spicy Pickle SauceSpicy Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos with Mango Guacamole 


Black and Blue Pie Crisp, Baked Smores Bars, Apple Crumble Pie, Strawberry/Raspberry GranitasGreen Apple/Mint Granitas, Frozen Biscoff Pie, Peach and Plum Crumble Sundae, Smores Brownie Pie , Red White and Blue Cookies , Coconut Banana MilkshakeFrozen Watermelon Raspberry Lemonade, Frozen Oreo Truffles, Morello Cherry Pie