Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pulled Pork Sandwich

My husband smoked a Pork Shoulder last weekend and it was seriously awesome. He used this recipe, plus a bunch of other secret spices he isn't sharing. Instead of doing it in the oven like Guy did, he smoked it for about 12 hours. We used a vinegar mop for the first time and were very impressed with the results.

It was delish I must say, moist, smokey and succulent. The first thing that came to my mind for the leftovers was a Pulled Pork Sandwich. I made Cole Slaw to go along with it by copying the ingredients in a pre-packaged one I saw at Costco (which I will share later this week).

The combination of the tender meat, sweet and tangy cole slaw with some barbecue sauce on a soft bun was heaven let me tell ya!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blueberry and Raspberry Mini Cheesecakes




One of my favorite cooking magazines is Cooks Country, and a recipe in the April/May edition intrigued me. They made mini-cheesecakes using sweetened condensed milk, which I had never heard of, and used a cookie for the base.

It also uses jam and I just so happened to have fresh blueberries and raspberries which I paired with my homemade strawberry and blueberry jam.

I used their recipe as a base and tweaked it to my liking. These are delightful little cheesecakes and beautiful too! I doubled the recipe and it make 19 cheesecakes.

2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese at room temp
1 cup sweetened condensed milk (I used the reduced fat one)
Keebler Sandies (Shortbread cookies, I used the Pecan ones)
3 large eggs
fresh berries of your choosing
jam of your choosing
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Using your cupcake/muffin tin, line them with paper liners
Place 1 cookie in the base of each muffin tin, pressing down

Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy about 2 minutes

Gradually beat in condensed milk until incorporated

Add your vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice
Add eggs, one at a time, beating till smooth 2-3 minutes

Divide the cheesecake mixture into the muffin tins, don't overfill them (it makes 18 cheesecakes) and bake for 20 minutes

Remove and let cool for 20 minutes and refrigerate for an hour

Remove cheesecakes from muffin tins

Microwave jam slightly till it loosens up, and glaze the top of the cheescakes, top with fruit

If well wrapped the naked cheesecakes keep quite well in the freezer

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoe's


I have always wanted to try Fried Green Tomato's, but in Oregon it is not something we have on Restaurant menu's. I looked for them at the Farmers Market last weekend to no avail.

Luckily, I was visiting with my neighbor Pam and she had a bag full of green ones! She gave them to me and I found the following recipe from my heart throb Tyler Florence online, which I must say was wonderful! The tomatoes are tart, that combined with the crispy coating and spicyness, was freaking amazing!

I followed the recipe mostly, but added a few more spices, and tripled the Cayenne. I served it with a sauce comprised of Ranch Dressing and Tabasco. One thing which will make them stay crispy longer is to NOT drain on paper towels, use a cookie cooling rack over a jelly roll pan, it lets the grease drip off and your fried foods stay crisp!

Ingredients

1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder (I doubled this)
Pinch cayenne (I used 3 pinches)
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large unripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices, ends removed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Hot pepper sauce, for serving
Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne together.

Pour the buttermilk into a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Dip the tomatoes in the buttermilk and then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture, coating both sides well.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is hot, pan-fry the tomatoes (in batches if necessary) until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Carefully remove the tomatoes and drain on paper towels.

Serve with hot pepper sauce and lemon.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Strawberry Kiwi Daiquiri


I had some Strawberries and Kiwis which were ripening quickly and needed to be used ASAP, so I decided to make a Cocktail. I will tell you that I have limited experience with anything other than Martini's, I am not a sweet drink person, so this was new to me!

I did not have any Rum which seems to be the usual liquor involved, so I used Vodka. It was delicious and somehow I felt healthy drinking it, I mean it does have fruit in it after all!

1 cup Strawberries
2 Kiwi's peeled
1 equal
Vodka (use however much you like)
Ice
1 tsp Fresh Lime or Lemon Juice

I used my immersion blender and simply whirred it all together and added the vodka into the individual glasses along with the fruit mixture. You could use a blender as well.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Chile Con Limon


This is not a post about food, but rather one of my most favorite spice mixes.

I got turned onto it years ago by a Hispanic friend, she put it on some melon and I nearly lost my mind!

It is a combination of chili spices, salt, lemon and lime, and something you must have in your pantry!

It is sooo yummy on everything from eggs to cantaloupe, including corn on the cob, absolutely amazing.

You can find it at any local Tienda or order it online here

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Banana Ice Cream


We are not ice cream people, however, I do have an ice cream maker. I wanted to make my Father In Law some ice cream for his birthday, so I called my Mother In Law and asked what was his favorite, she said banana? I had never heard of banana ice cream, so coming up with a recipe was rather interesting.

He adored the ice cream and has requested more, my Mother In Law loved it as well!

I ended up with a creamy, custardy ice cream, like nothing I have tried before. I also got to use a vanilla bean which is always fun, if you are a foodie dork like me! Here is how you do it!

2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 eggs, beaten
2 yolks, beaten
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup mashed banana (about 4)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1 vanilla bean split and seeds removed

In a saucepan combine the milk, cream, eggs, sugar and salt. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon.

Refrigerate the mixture until cool. Combine the cooled custard with the banana, vanilla, vanilla bean seeds and nutmeg.

Pour into freezer container or your ice cream maker

Freeze until hard

Put the used vanilla bean in a jar of sugar and make yourself Vanilla Sugar!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chef Salad My Way!



I am not a huge fan of salads which is evident when you take a peek at my ass, BUT, it was hot and I was tired and I decided to make a nice Chef Salad for Dinner.

My husband of course did not want the usual tired ham and cheese, so I chose to go a different route and it was sensational! The slightly salty turkey with the smooth provolone, YUM

This salad feeds two hungry heffers! or 4 as a side dish, I served with some Olive Flat Bread from New Seasons

Green Leaf Lettuce, torn and washed/dried (I used half of a large head)
3 hard boiled eggs sliced
4-6 ounces smoked turkey breast cut into strips
4-6 ounces Provolone Cheese cut into strips
assortment of baby tomatoes
1/2 English Cucumber sliced in half then sliced into half coins

Assemble and dress as you wish, topping with fresh ground pepper!

Moist Turkey Meatloaf

In our continued effort to eat a little better and keep it "clean", I decided to make Turkey Meatloaf.  In my previous attempt...