Saturday, July 30, 2011

Spicy Roast Pork with Rosemary Potatoes

Sunny Anderson from the Food Network's Cooking for Real is the television chef that I'd most love to cook with.  She whips up the most awesome looking food and seems to have so much fun doing it.  Cooking is definitely a passion for her.

I love the idea of using a boneless pork roast and cutting it into little pork steaks . . . and you can never go wrong with rosemary potatoes.  I'm not sold on the sweet and sour sauce though . . .


For the pork:

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 (3-pound) pork roast, cut into 4 steaks, 2-inches thick
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the potatoes:

  • 3 russet potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, stripped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt

For the Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
To prepare the pork: Place cumin seeds, red pepper flakes and peppercorns in a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. Place in a small bowl and mix in garlic powder and salt. Rub mixture all over pork. Let sit at room temperature, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss potatoes with rosemary, oil and salt. In a small saucepan, bring sugar, vinegar and orange juice to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking Sweet and Sour Sauce until it reduces by half, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, swirl in butter and keep warm before using.
In a 13-inch cast iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. When pan is smoking hot, add pork and sear on both sides. Add potatoes and place in the oven until pork is cooked through and potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes.
Serve pork chops with rosemary potatoes and drizzled with the Sweet and Sour Sauce.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jalapeno Hummus

Hummus for those who love it hot and spicy!


  • 1 cup garbanzo beans
  • 1/3 cup canned jalapeno pepper slices, juice reserved
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • crushed red pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor, mix the garbanzo beans, jalapeno peppers and reserved juice, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. Season with cumin, curry powder, and crushed red pepper. Blend until smooth.

Source: What Is Hummus

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

  • 1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • garlic clove, minced
  • (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained


  • 1. Place all ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Movie Theater Popcorn

Although I don't like to go watch movies at the
movie theater, I will still go to the theater at the 
mall to buy popcorn.  Yes, they will let you in!  

For someone who loves popcorn, 
there is nothing like it.  

Hopefully I have found the secret method.  
I'll report my findings the next time
 I make a batch of popcorn.


Movie theaters use butter-flavored oil, which has a lower water content than butter so it makes popcorn less soggy. Real clarified butter has the same effect.

To make it, melt 2 sticks butter in a glass measuring cup in the microwave.

Let sit for a few minutes; the butter will separate into 3 layers.

Skim off the top layer of foam, then slowly pour the clarified butter into a heatproof container; discard the bottom layer of milk solids.

Use 3 tablespoons hot clarified butter for 10 cups popcorn; refrigerate the rest (it's great for sauteeing).

Photograph by Burke/Triolo/Jupiter Images

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shrimp Salad Rolls

Kosher salt 
2 lb. large shrimp (31 to 40 per lb.), preferably easy-peel 
3/4 cup finely chopped celery with leaves 
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh chives 
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh tarragon 
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more to taste 
Freshly ground black pepper 
6 hot dog rolls, preferably New England-style split-top rolls

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until bright pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes.the water needn't return to a boil. Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Shell the shrimp, devein if necessary, and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces.

In a large bowl, stir the celery, mayonnaise, chives, tarragon, lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Stir in the shrimp and season to taste with more lemon, salt, and pepper.

Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler to high. Toast both outside surfaces of the rolls under the broiler, about 1 minute per side. Spoon the shrimp salad into the rolls, using about 2/3 cup per roll, and serve.


Make it a lobster roll: Substitute 1-1/2 lb. (4 cups) cooked lobster meat for the cooked shrimp.

Source:  Fine Cooking

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Onion Rings

Onion rings are one of my favorite things!

Here are some recipes from two of my favorite chefs.

Guy's Ragun' Cajun Onion Rings


  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (recommended: Crystal)
  • 2 large red onions, sliced into rings
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • Vegetables oil, for frying


In a large bowl, whist together the sour cream, the milk and the hot sauce. Add the onion rings and set aside while you season the flour. In a large baking dish or pie plate, combine the celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, paprika, chili powder, white pepper, salt and the flour.
Heat about 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees F in a large Dutch oven.
Remove the onion rings from the liquid mixture and dredge in the flour mixture. Repeat the process to double coat the rings. Place the onion rings into the oil in batches and fry until golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Drain the onion rings on a paper towel lined plate and season with salt while still hot, then transfer to a serving platter.

Tyler Florence's Tempera Battered Onion Rings


  • Oil, for frying
  • 2 large sweet onions, cut into 1/2-inch thick rings, thin skins removed
  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour, plus more, for dredging
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup beer (use enough until you get pancake batter consistency)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Fill a large Dutch oven or fryer with oil and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Sift dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Crack the egg yolk into a separate bowl and break it up with a fork. Add this to the well in the middle of the flour and slowly pour in the beer as you whisk. Gradually make wider circles with the whisk to incorporate the dry ingredients from the edges - this will minimize the chance of lumps. Continue until all the dry ingredients are mixed and the batter is of a smooth consistency.
Take the onion rings and remove the thin membrane found between the layers; (otherwise the batter won't stick as well). In a large dish add some rice flour, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Coat each ring in the flour. Dip in the batter and fry in hot oil in batches until golden. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Paula Deen's Corn Fritters

Corn fritters are one of my favorites!

This is Paula Deen's recipe that she recently featured on Paula's Home Cooking, Southern Favorites episode.  Yum . . . I'm hungry!!  Don't they look awesome?


    • 1 1/4 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
    • 1 (15.25 ounce) can corn, drained
    • Vegetable oil, for frying


Heat oil to 325 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal mix, flour, sugar, and salt. In a small bowl, combine milk and eggs. Add milk mixture to cornmeal mixture, stirring well. Stir in butter and corn.
Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a Dutch oven, or use a deep-fryer. Drop by tablespoons into hot oil. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

Recipe and photo source:  Food Network

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jalapeno Popper Spread


  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
  • 2 ounces canned diced jalapeno peppers, drained
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in green chiles and jalapeno peppers. Pour mixture into a microwave safe serving dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  2. Microwave on High until hot, about 3 minutes.


  • Baked Variation
  • If you would like to brown the cheese, bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 30 minutes.

    Recipe source:  AllRecipes

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bobby's Hot Tomato, Jack and Crab Dip

Bobby Deen was cooking with his mom Paula and shared this awesome recipe on today's episode of Paula's Home Cooking on the Food Network.  As I'm watching the show, I'm searching for the recipe . . . for sure I didn't want to forget this recipe.  I could make a meal off of this!



Nonstick spray
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup (4 ounces) grated pepper Jack cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 limes, juiced
1 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended: Paula Deen)
1 pound lump crabmeat, well drained and picked clean of shells
1 cup seeded, diced tomatoes (2 medium tomatoes)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (scallions), white and light green parts
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
2 avocados
Crackers or crusty bread, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 1 quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, pepper Jack, mayonnaise, lime juice, and hot sauce until smooth. Fold in the crabmeat, tomatoes, green onions, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Smooth the mixture into baking dish. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
Split, pit, peel, and dice the avocados and sprinkle them over the crab dip after it has cooled slightly. Serve warm with crackers or crusty bread.

Recipe and photo source:  Paula Deen's website
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