Meat

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

Look at this sizzling skillet of juicy pork chops and caramelized peaches! Ugh, this meal was so good. Both Matt and I decided we would love to have these Skillet Balsamic Pork Chops with Feta and Basil along with the Summer Peach Greek Quinoa Salad every week this summer.

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

Of course that will never happen since I’m always too busy trying out new recipes, but I’m determined to fit it into our busy meal schedule at least a few more times this summer because I already cannot wait to eat it again.

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

This was my first time cooking bone-in pork chops and I was super impressed with how flavorful and juicy they were being cooked in our cast iron skillet. The pork chops get a nice sear on the stove-top before adding in an easy sauce of balsamic vinegar, honey and oregano that gets thickened as the pork chops cook. Fresh peach slices are added to the skillet and then the whole dish is broiled in the oven so the peaches can get caramelized.

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

Final touches include some salty feta and sweet basil and you have yourself a drool-worthy, company-worthy and easy dinner. I was skeptical of how the finished dish would taste since I had previously tried a peach and chicken dish that I did not care for, but the peach and pork combination is a definite winner.

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet you can use any oven-safe pan instead, or you could sear in a pan then transfer to a baking dish for the broiling portion, but I highly recommend getting yourself a cast iron skillet so you can easily make stove-top to oven dishes like these Skillet Balsamic Pork Chops, this Strawberry Dutch Baby or this Caramelized Onion and Apple Dip. I hope you all enjoy this meal as much as we did!

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 bone-in pork chops, about ¾” thick
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • Feta, for topping
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper. When the olive oil is hot, add the pork chops and sear both sides for 3-4 minutes each. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
  2. While the pork is cooking, whisk together the balsamic, honey and oregano. When the pork has 2 minutes left in cooking time, pour the balsamic mixture over the pork. Remove from the heat when the pork has reached 145 degrees F and add the peaches. Broil the skillet for 4-5 minutes or until the peaches are lightly charred. Top with the basil and feta before serving.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral if you purchase something. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!
Recipe slightly adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

I never thought I would be obsessed with a lettuce wrap until I tasted these Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook. When I got this cookbook a few years ago I asked Matt to pick out a couple recipes he would be interested in and of course he went right to the beef section. Lean ground beef is sautéed with finely chopped carrots, red bell pepper and scallions then coated in a sweet and savory sauce.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

The sauce has only five ingredients, but I was shocked at how flavorful it was and it immediately became a go-to recipe. The sauce is able to add so much punch because there’s a few secret ingredients. Soy sauce, ginger and garlic are all standard fare for Asian lettuce wraps, but then we have hoisin and orange marmalade. I’ve discussed my love for the salty and sweet qualities of hoisin before in the Crispy Sesame Pecan Chicken Tenders with a Hoisin Dipping Sauce and the Hoisin Beef Kebobs posts. The orange marmalade adds the perfect amounts of citrus and sweet notes to the dish that gives it that gotta-have-seconds vibe.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love the freshness the crispy lettuce wraps add. I usually use Boston or Bibb lettuce and I like to scoop the filling onto the lettuce right before I eat it otherwise I find the lettuce can get soggy. Although there is a bit of chopping, the actual cooking of the lettuce wraps on the stove takes ten to twelve minutes making it a great weeknight meal to have in your back pocket.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve never tried these lettuce wraps with ground turkey instead of beef, but I’m sure they would still taste good. They just wouldn’t have the rich sumptuous quality you get from eating beef.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

On a slightly unrelated note, have any of you tried the Impossible Burger? There’s a few restaurants around us that have it, but we haven’t tried it out yet. For those of you that haven’t heard of it, it’s a plant-based burger that supposedly tastes like real meat. I’m intrigued by the potential positive environmental implications, but the ingredient list gives me some pause. Hmm… anyways, have a great Wednesday and I hope you love these Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps!

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground beef
  • 8 scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 12 Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the marmalade, soy sauce, hoisin, ginger and garlic until combined. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef, scallions, carrots and red pepper; cook for 5-7 minutes or until the meat is mostly cooked. Add the sauce and cook for 5 minutes, until well blended. Remove from the heat and serve with the lettuce leaves.
Notes
The cookbook suggests serving with a side of watermelon. I usually just serve them alongside some additional veggies.

Recipe from Flat Belly Diet! Cookbook: 200 New MUFA Recipes.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Hoisin Beef Kebobs

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m back with another favorite from the simplest healthy cookbook, Cook This, Not That! These Hoisin Beef Kebobs are tender, sweet and savory. Pieces of sirloin steak get alternated with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and scallions before being glazed in a five ingredient sauce and grilled.

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love that the scallions get nicely charred while the cherry tomatoes burst, which brings the best flavor to the steak. These kebobs are a perfect dinner dish because the vegetables could be swapped out with so many other kinds of vegetables since the sauce is versatile and really would taste delicious with most veggies.

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

I usually serve these kebobs over rice, but they would also be great served with salad or alongside some more vegetables, like some grilled corn.

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

The most important thing to remember when you’re making this recipe is that the other vegetables can’t be taller than the cuts of steak – and that the cuts of steak need to be equal. Particularly if you are cooking on a grill pan, which is requiring direct heat, if you have one large mushroom or one large piece of beef, that other piece of steak won’t get cooked enough since it won’t be touching the grill pan. This is less important if you are using an actual grill.

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

If I’m making these in our grill pan, I actually usually grill the steak and vegetables individually in two batches since our grill pan isn’t long enough for the kebob sticks. Either way, Matt and I can’t get enough of the juicy bites of steak and glazed veggies!

Hoisin Beef Kebobs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Hoisin Beef Kebobs
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce (I use Trader Joe’s green dragon sauce)
  • 16 ounces sirloin steak, cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • 20 small mushroom caps
  • 20 small cherry tomatoes
  • 8 scallion whites, sliced into ½-inch long pieces
  • 8 skewers (if wood, soaked in water for 5-10 minutes)
Directions
  1. Combine the hoisin, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili sauce. Divide between 2 small bowls and set aside.
  2. Skewer the steak, mushrooms, tomatoes and scallions, alternating between the meat and vegetables. Try to make sure the mushrooms aren’t larger than the steak pieces, and if the mushrooms are too big then cut them in half. Also make sure the vegetables aren’t pressed against the steak pieces to give the steak enough room to cook.
  3. Using one bowl of the sauce, brush the skewers with sauce and grill for 3-4 minutes per side, basting the other side with sauce before flipping. If you’re using a grill pan, lightly brush the pan with vegetable oil before grilling and grill over medium-high heat. Remove from the grill and brush with the sauce from the second reserved bowl before serving.

Recipe from Cook This, Not That!.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

Before I dive into these epic meatloaf sandwiches, I forgot to tell you all last week how the February cookbook recipe went! Matt and I made the Angel Hair Frittata from the Half Baked Harvest Cookbook. It was loaded with broccolini, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto. The flavor was really good and I think we’ll make it again, but we weren’t one hundred percent sold on the angel hair pasta in it. We love pasta and we wanted to be able to taste it more so since we couldn’t really taste it we might just make it without the pasta next time.

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

Now, back to these Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions. Matt’s birthday is tomorrow so I wanted to make him a special meal last week to celebrate. Yes, a week early because that’s what happens when you’re a food blogger! Matt loves meatloaf and while this meatloaf on its own is amazing I knew I needed to kick it up a notch to make it birthday meal worthy. Enter toasted bun, melted provolone cheese, fresh arugula and rich caramelized onions!

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

These sandwiches ate like a burger except multiply the tender factor and the flavor level by at least ten. Trust me, it’s a scientific fact. The key to a tender meatloaf is making sure you have enough fat and enough moisture. I used 80% lean ground beef and added moisture with barbecue sauce, an egg, Dijon, and balsamic. To take it even further, I added bread that had been soaked in beef broth. If you add bread crumbs all they will do is take moisture away from the meat.

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

To get an even richer flavor I added some sautéed mushrooms and onions. Raw veggies are great, but anytime you get a chance to sauté them it really brings out an unbeatable depth of flavor. Finally, cook the meatloaf low and slow freeform on a rimmed baking sheet so that all the barbecue sauce slathered sides get a chance to caramelize. Yum!

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every time I’ve ever made meatloaf I’ve made it slightly differently because I’ve used whatever I have on hand in the fridge and I always add ingredients by feel. If the meatloaf is sticking to the bowl then it needs more liquid ingredients. Now that I finally wrote down a recipe I can recreate it exactly next time Matt says make that really good meatloaf again! I will definitely be making it for these sandwiches again because this has got to be the most ultimate way to eat meatloaf for dinner.

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

Also, I normally dread taking photographs of burgers and sandwiches because they’re really hard to make look appetizing, but I’m so excited with how my photos came out and they’re really doing justice to these epic sandwiches! Enjoy!

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions  |  Lemon & Mocha

Barbecue Meatloaf Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions
 
Yield: 10 sandwiches
Ingredients
for the meatloaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ small onion, small diced
  • 4 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Salt, pepper and Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice bread (I used potato bread), torn into pieces
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds 80% lean ground beef
for the sandwiches
  • 4 medium onions, halved then sliced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • 10 kaiser or brioche buns, cut in half
  • 10 slices provolone cheese
  • Arugula, for topping
  • Barbecue sauce, for topping
Directions
for the meatloaf
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms then season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Cook until tender and slightly caramelized, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl. Soak the bread pieces in the beef broth for a few minutes then add the soaked bread pieces to the mixing bowl; they will be really mushy. Add ½ cup barbecue sauce, balsamic vinegar, Dijon, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Add the sautéed onions and mushrooms then mix everything together. Add the ground beef then use your hands to incorporate everything together, being sure not to over-mix (see note). It will come together more on the baking sheet. Scoop the meatloaf mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and form it into a long log, making it roughly the width of your kaiser buns, a couple inches high and then however long it needs to be. Mine was about 12-inches long. Cover the outside of the meatloaf completely with the remaining ½ cup of barbecue sauce.
  4. Bake until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 1 hour and 5-10 minutes. Let it rest for a couple minutes before taking the temperature of the meatloaf. Once it’s 165 degrees F, let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
for the sandwiches
  1. Caramelize the onions. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion slices then toss to coat. Season with salt. Cook the onions, stirring every few minutes for 35-40 minutes. Towards the last 20 minutes if they start getting burnt in spots add a little more water (no more than a tablespoon at a time). If you want them really caramelized, you can continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes, but you will want to stir very frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Remove from the heat when done.
  2. Toast the buns. If desired, brush the tops of the buns with an egg wash (1 beaten egg with 1 tablespoon water) then top with poppy seeds and dried onion flakes before toasting.
  3. Melt the provolone over the meatloaf slices then place on the toasted burger buns along with some caramelized onions, arugula and barbecue sauce.
Notes
I recommend using one of the following methods to help keep the meatloaf mixture from sticking to your hands (because you’re able to better incorporate everything without over-mixing if you use your hands): coating your hands with cold water, lightly coating your hands with olive oil or using disposable gloves.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral if you purchase something. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Slow Cooker Short Ribs  |  Lemon & Mocha

This is a decadent, belly-warming, curl-up-on-the-couch-afterwards dinner. Isn’t that the epitome of a fall and winter meal?

Slow Cooker Short Ribs  |  Lemon & Mocha

These Slow Cooker Short Ribs are full of rich flavor and tender meat. It literally falls off the bone and there’s no knives required for eating this dish. I feel like I don’t use my slow cooker nearly enough, but it is perfect for these short ribs.

Slow Cooker Short Ribs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Short ribs are unapologetically rich so I fully embraced it and added crispy pork belly as well. If you’ve never had pork belly, it’s basically bacon before it has been cured and smoked. Like bacon, it gives off grease while it cooks, which we will be using to sauté the mushrooms, onions, carrots and garlic. Yes, you read that correctly, and no, we won’t be apologizing for it because it’s so delicious. The other reason I used pork belly is because it is a very inexpensive cut of meat; opposite of short ribs, which are definitely pricey. I used the pork belly and the mushrooms to help us stretch our meal out.

Slow Cooker Short Ribs  |  Lemon & Mocha

If the thought of using pork belly makes you nervous you could substitute in some slab bacon or even pancetta, although I’ve never tried it with pancetta so I’m not sure how much that would change the flavor profile. Short ribs are a pricier cut of meat so I usually make it for special occasions, such as Christmas dinner, but it is also one of Matt’s favorite dishes so a couple times a winter I’ll make it to treat ourselves.

Slow Cooker Short Ribs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Since it’s a heavier entree I like to serve it with cauliflower mashed potatoes to help balance the meal. Find that recipe here!

Slow Cooker Short Ribs  |  Lemon & Mocha

Slow Cooker Short Ribs
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2½ pounds bone-in short ribs or 1½ pounds boneless short ribs (see note)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ pound pork belly slices, cut into small pieces
  • 5 ounces whole cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • ½ onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 4 medium carrots, ends removed, scrubbed and cut into 1” pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2½ tablespoons water
Directions
  1. Season the short ribs all over with the salt and pepper, pressing into the meat as needed.
  2. In a large high-sided skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Brown the short ribs on all sides then place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Carefully wipe any excess oil from the skillet.
  3. Heat the skillet to medium-high and add the pieces of pork belly. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally, being cautious about any popping grease. Add the mushrooms, onion, carrots and garlic. Cook until lightly browned then add the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker. Add the beef broth, tomato paste, parsley and bay leaf to the slow cooker. Stir then slow cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. When the meat is tender, discard the bones and bay leaf. Then move the meat and veggies to a serving bowl leaving just the juices in the slow cooker. Keep the contents of the serving bowl warm. If there’s a lot of excess fat on the meat, place the fatty piece of beef on a cutting board and use a knife or fork to shred the meat away from the fat. Discard the fat and return the meat to the serving bowl.
  5. Skim the fat off the juices in the slow cooker. Transfer the juices to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Add to the boiling juices and let cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve the sauce with the short ribs and vegetables.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.