Green Beans with New Potatoes

Rating 3.00 out of 5
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Green beans with new potatoes is a Southern classic.  It is a great side dish to any meal and is especially good for holiday meals.  The real secret to extracting all the flavors from these ingredients is to cook them “low and slow”.  It takes about an hour to prepare this dish, so plan accordingly.  Hope you enjoy.

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Apricot-Honey Glaze

Rating 3.00 out of 5
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This is a wonderful glaze for smoked or gilled pork or chicken.  It is my all-time favorite glaze for smoking baby back ribs, but it really kicks up pork tenderloin or chichen breasts.

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Shrimp and Lobster Penne

Rating 3.00 out of 5
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If you like shellfish, you’ll love this recipe (modified from version provided by Guida De Laurentis).  The primary modification, here, is using shrimp and crab boil in the lobster and pasta water.  It just adds a nice little kick.  This dish is easy to prepare and results in nice, rich sauce with a classic Italian tomato and cream base.  Adding shredded or shaved Paresan cheese just before serving adds a nice finish and a little squeeze of lemon juice would work very well. Read the rest of this entry »

Sylvia’s Carrot Cake

Rating 3.00 out of 5
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I got this recipe from my dental hygienist, Sylvia, so it has to be healthy….right?  It is a great cake (although you can make cupcakes with this recipe).  I think she told me this is her grandmother’s recipe, but she has made a few modifications, like using crushed pineapple.  Although I’ve included chopped pecans, Sylvia’s original recipe calls for chopped nuts and I think this would work great with walnuts or almonds.  The crushed pineapple adds a nice citrus flavor and acts as a natural sweetener.  I’ve use my Grand Marnier Cream Cheese Frosting on this cake and topped it with more chopped nuts.  It has passed the taste test of family and friends and is now one of my “go-to” deserts. Read the rest of this entry »

Grand Marnier Cream Cheese Frosting

Rating 3.00 out of 5
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Wonderfully simple and easy, this Grand Marnier (orange flavored liqueur) cream cheese frosting is great for any cake or cupcake that calls for cream cheese frosting.  If you prefer not to use the liqueur, simply substitute an orange extract.  The key to making a cream cheese frosting is to be sure that your cream cheese is fully softened.  Otherwise, you result could be rather lumpy.  Set it out, at room temperature, for at least eight hours, but overnight would be even better.  The butter should be softend for four to six hours. Read the rest of this entry »

Smoked Pulled Pork

Rating 3.00 out of 5
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Texas is known for it’s barbeque beef brisket and cabrito.  Kansas City has beef ribs and Memphis pork ribs.  Westen Kentucky has the best barbeque mutton in the world.  But this recipe is about the Carolinas and their pulled pork.  It makes great barbeque sandwiches and is wonderful for feeding a lot of people.  It all starts with a pork but (it’s actually a pork shoulder and I don’t know how it got that name) to which a dry rub is applied and then smoked low and slow for about 2 hours per pound of meet.  Some people brine the meat (I don’t) and there are hundreds of commercial and homemade rubs available.  I use my West Texas Dry Rub for this and the flavors just blend together (see photo).  I also like a mild wood, like apple, for this dish.  When properly cooked, the pork will almost fall of the bone.  You simply use a couple of forks to “pull” the meat apart.  The dry rub will form a very dark “bark” on the meat so be sure to keep those tasty morsels and mix then in with the rest of the meat.  Each region of the Carolinas use different barbeque sauces from vinegar based to mustard based, to ketchup based.  I say justs pile the pork on a hamburger bun and add your favorite barbeque sauce with some chips and pickles on the side.  Yummmm!! Read the rest of this entry »

West Texas Dry Rub

Rating 3.00 out of 5
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This rub is great for smoked pork butt, baby back ribs, pork tenderloin or salmon.  I even use for smoked brisket.  It stores well in an airtight container, so you may want to double the recipe if you like it and use it fairly often.  One caution:  Since this rub contains a lot of brown sugar, you should avoid using it over direct heat or at high temperatures.  The sugars can burn and ruin a great piece of meat.  This rub is meant for “low and slow” cooking.  When done properly, it will help form a “bark” on the outer layer of the meat.  It may become almost black in color, but if you use a low temperature and a long cooking time, it will turn out perfect. Read the rest of this entry »

Spaghetti Alimony (al lemone)

Rating 3.00 out of 5
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Summer is almost here and this old Italian pasta dish is perfect.  Light, refreshing, and easy.  This dish works well by itself or can be served with grilled or sauteed fish or chicken breast.  Two of the main ingredients, lemon and basil, help make this dish a “let’s do this again” kind of meal.  This recipe was adapted from a recipe by America’s Test Kitchen.  The original version uses shallot and heavy cream, but due to an onion alergy in the household and not always having heavy cream in the fridge, this recipe uses garlic (the shallot equivelant is included) and half and half.  Either way, I think you’ll enjoy it.  Read the rest of this entry »

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