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Green Chili Jack Smash Burgers

Green Chili Jack Smash Burgers

According to the “Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior,” studies have proven that eating meals together as a family can improve communication and relationships, which is especially important during times of uncertainty and life’s more difficult moments. Great-tasting foods like pork and pulses can be combined to bring families together with quality nutrition, which helps bodies survive and thrive.

Pulses are the nutritionally dense, edible seeds of legumes including dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. Together with pork, this pairing provides critical nutrients to support weight management and immune function, along with plenty of protein – providing all nine essential amino acids – fiber, B vitamins, zinc, iron, potassium, selenium and folate.

As part of the Powerful Pairings initiative, launched by the National Pork Board and USA Pulses in an effort to promote pairing whole foods to bring taste, balance and nutrition to the center of the plate, these recipes for Green Chili Jack Smash Burgers, Cuban Black Beans and Pork Chops with Smashed Yellow Peas and Black-Eyed Pea Gravy encourage a nutritious way to enjoy fresh taste.

Find more information, resources and recipes at powerfulpairings.com.

Green Chili Jack Smash Burgers

Recipe courtesy of the National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Servings: 4

Burger Patties:
1 pound ground pork
4 tablespoons red onion, scrubbed with vegetable brush under
running water and finely minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 cup cooked black-eyed peas, drained
1 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
4 slices Jack cheese

Caramelized Onions:
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, scrubbed with vegetable brush under running water and sliced thin
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Charred Green Chili Mayo:
1 can (3 ounces) diced green chilies
2/3 cup mayonnaise

1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 green onions, gently rubbed under cold running water and finely sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, gently rubbed under cold running water and chopped
4 hamburger buns
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
1/2 head lettuce, gently rubbed under cold running water

In large bowl, mix ground pork, onion, garlic and chili powders. Add black-eyed peas and salt; mix well. Form into four loosely packed balls and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

To make Caramelized Onions: In large skillet over medium-high heat, warm butter. Add onions, water and salt; cook, stirring, until onions soften and turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make Charred Green Chili Mayo: Place green chilies in hot cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, turning, until chilies begin to soften and turn black. Remove from heat and place in small bowl. Add mayonnaise, garlic and lime juice; whisk to blend. Add green onions and cilantro; stir well and refrigerate.

To make burgers: Warm cast iron or nonstick griddle pan over medium-high heat. Place pork balls on hot skillet; flatten with heavy metal spatula. Season with salt, to taste. Cook approximately 3 minutes; flip and cook 2-3 minutes until internal temperature reaches 145 F.

Lightly toast buns. Place each burger on toasted bun with slice of cheese, Caramelized Onions, Charred Green Chili Mayo, avocado and lettuce.

Pork Chops with Smashed Yellow Peas and Black-Eyed Pea Gravy

Pork Chops with Smashed Yellow Peas and Black-Eyed Pea Gravy

Pork Chops with Smashed Yellow Peas and Black-Eyed Pea Gravy

Recipe courtesy of the National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Servings: 4
2 cups yellow split peas, cooked and drained
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, softened butter, divided
1/4 cup cream
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
4 pork chops
pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, gently rubbed under cold running water and diced
1 can black-eyed peas with juice
1/8 cup flour
1 cup milk

In medium bowl, use fork or potato masher to mash peas. Stir in 1/4 cup butter, cream and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Season pork chops with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

In large skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add pork chops to pan and cook approximately 4 minutes per side, or until they reach internal temperature of 145 F. Remove pork chops from pan; keep warm.

In same pan, add remaining butter, onion and black-eyed peas. Cook 2-3 minutes until warm throughout, scraping pan. Add flour and season with salt and pepper, to taste. While stirring, slowly add milk.

Serve mashed peas topped with pork chops and black-eyed pea gravy.

Cuban Black Beans

Cuban Black Beans

Cuban Black Beans

Recipe courtesy of Carolina Molea on behalf of the
National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Serving: 6
1 quart water
1 green bell pepper, scrubbed with vegetable brush under running water and diced, divided
4 cloves garlic, peeled, divided
1 cup dried black beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices bacon, diced
1/2 Spanish onion, scrubbed with vegetable brush under running water and diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar

Fill large pot with water. Add 1/2 diced green pepper, two garlic cloves, beans and bay leaf. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour.

In skillet over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add bacon; cook, turning, until bacon starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Add remaining green pepper and onion; cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.

Chop remaining garlic cloves. Add to skillet with oregano, cumin and black pepper. Stir 1 minute. Pour in vinegar, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan with wooden spoon.

When beans are cooked, discard bay leaf. Transfer 1 cup beans to blender; blend to make paste. Return blended beans to large pot. Add bacon mixture and sugar. Stir well; bring to boil over medium heat. Lower heat, simmer and cook, uncovered, 20 minutes, skimming foam from top.

 Flat out fabulous steaks 


Steaks are one of the most popular types of grilled meats. Chuck steaks are a tasty alternative to more expensive steaks. While not as tender as other steaks, chuck steaks are favorably enhanced by marinating them before grilling. Whether cooked in a skillet, broiled or grilled, chuck steaks are best when cooked for a few minutes per side, allowed to rest for 5 minutes, and served medium rare. Longer cooking times will make the meat tough.

The two best types of chuck steaks to use for quick recipes are the chuck-eye steak and the shoulder top blade, also known as the flat iron steak. The chuck-eye steak is located next to the rib-eye steak. The rib-eye steak comes from the rib area of a cow, located just behind the shoulder or chuck section. The chuck eye steak is comparable in flavor to the rib eye but much less expensive. Chuck eye steaks are best when braised but are also good grilled or broiled.

Chuck shoulder top blade, or flat iron steaks, are perfect for the grill. The fat that marbles it keeps it moist and infuses the steak with flavor. The flat iron steak was created by a development team at the University of Nebraska to make use of a formerly wasted cut of beef called the top blade roast. The top blade roast is taken from the shoulder of the cow and contains tough connective tissue and muscle. By cutting the roast into a thin, uniform, rectangular-shaped steak, the tough tissue was removed. The shape of the steak looks like the bottom of an iron, hence the name, flat iron.

This recipe for Garlic Steak Marinade also makes a delicious salad dressing! Make a double batch, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to month. Shake the container to combine the ingredients before using.


Don’t add salt when making this marinade. Sprinkle the steaks with a teaspoon of salt right before placing them on the grill. If using the marinade as a salad dressing, sprinkle the salt on the salad greens first then add the marinade. Makes approximately 2 1/4 cups.

6 (1/2-pound each) flat iron or chuck eye steaks

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon black pepper

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Place the steaks in a shallow baking dish. Using a medium-sized bowl, stir together the oil, soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and red pepper flakes until well-combined.

2. Pour all but about a 1/4 cup of the marinade over the steaks. Reserve the marinade in the bowl for later use and set it aside. Turn the steaks in the pan to coat on both sides. Cover the dish with plastic wrap. Let the steaks marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes.

3. Heat the grill to medium high heat. Oil the grill grate with a papertowel dipped in vegetable oil to clean the grill and keep the steaks from sticking. Remove steaks from dish. Aggressively sprinkle both sides of the steak with salt to create a flavorful crust.

4. Place steaks on the cooler part of the grill, over medium heat. Cook steaks for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, brushing steaks often with the reserved marinade.

5. After the steaks have cooked on both sides, remove them from the heat and cover with a piece of foil to keep them warm. The steaks will stay warm and continue to cook. Allow the steaks to rest for 5 minutes before slicing to retain the juices and keep it tender and moist. Serve immediately.


Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian, and the author of seven cookbooks. Please join The Kitchen Diva in supporting Mattress Firms’ efforts to assist foster children through the Ticket to Dream Foundation to make a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of foster children in need. (www.tickettodream.org)

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