Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saying Farewell to the South with Carolina Pulled Pork Barbecue

This is going to be my last post while living in Virginia. Hubby and I are moving out today and headed to Michigan to spend time with our families before the BIG move to Okinawa, Japan. I wanted to make my last post from the south a good one and decided to pay homage to the wonderful barbecue that is a staple here in Southern Virginia: Carolina Style Pulled Pork Barbecue that is so easy and delicious that even a Northerner like myself can pull it off! 
While living in Virginia, hubby and I have tried lots of different BBQ, and though I am not much of  a pork eater, I actually enjoy it this way, with tangy vinegar and lots of spices. The meat is so tender it literally falls apart. I served this at a dinner I hosted for my hubby and his co-workers. Everyone really seemed to enjoy it and it was perfect for a large group.  

Although my posting may slow down a bit while we are in transition, I will keep posting recipes and have some great ones to share next, so keep stopping by! 
Farewell to the South Carolina Style Pulled Pork Barbecue
Recipe from Savour Fare
Printable Version
2 onions, quartered
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (I didn't have any so used regular paprika)
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (4-6lb) pork butt or shoulder roast
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Place onions in the crock pot. Blend together the sugar, paprika, salt and pepper and rub over the roast.
Place the roast in the crock pot and drizzle the liquid smoke over the roast.
Combine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, garlic, and cayenne pepper and whisk together. Drizzle about 1/3 of the marinade mixture over the roast. Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade. Cook the roast on low for 8-10 hours. Remove the meat carefully and using a slotted spoon discard the onions. Place in a large bowl.
 Shred the meat with two forks. Return the meat to the crock pot and stir to cover the meat with the juice. Pour half of the marinade over the meat and stir again. 
Keep on warm until ready to serve. Use the leftover marinade as a drizzle on sandwiches. *In the south the use white buns, of course!*

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Berry Puff Pancake

Last weekend my mom and my in-laws were in town to celebrate hubby completing his residency. We hosted them all for brunch and I wanted to make something new and special to eat. This Berry Puff Pancake from Val SoCal was the perfect solution. Impressive and absolutely beautiful to look at, as the golden puff pancake is filled with blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries and sprinkled with powdered sugar. It's light, fluffy and sweet with the pop of flavors from the berries and a hint of citrus from the orange marmalade. You're not going to find a more lovely breakfast choice. 
Berry Puff Pancake
From Val SoCal
Printable Version
1 tablespoon butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced vertically
1/3 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the butter in a 9-inch pie pan and place in the oven for 4-5 minutes or until melted. Meanwhile whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl. 
Combine the flour and salt and whisk into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour into the prepared pie plate.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until sides are crisp and golden brown.
In a large bowl gently combine the berries and marmalade. 
Fill berries in the pancake and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into slices like you would a pie. Serve immediately.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Grilled Rosemary Lemon Garlic Chicken

Now that summer is officially here and it's time to get out the grills, I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to grill chicken. This simple marinade will give your chicken lots of fresh flavors and is a cinch to prepare. 
Grilled Rosemary Lemon Garlic Chicken
Printable Version
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lemon
4 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Place chicken in a large container and pierce with a fork on all sides. Pour olive oil on chicken and squeeze the juice of the lemon over chicken as well. Sprinkle on the chopped rosemary and add the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. 
Place a lid on the container and shake well to combine the marinade. Place in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes. 
When ready to prepare, place on heated grill for about 15 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 170 degrees. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crunchy Peanut Slaw

I love cole slaw and especially cole slaws that include a crunchy component. I saw this recipe for crunchy cole slaw with peanuts on The Kitchn and realized I had already had all of the ingredients so gave it a try right away.  It has lovely Asian inspired flavors and a wonderful crunch from the peanuts. It would be a great side dish to any of your summer meals!
Crunchy Peanut Slaw 
From The Kitchn
Printable Version
1 medium head of cabbage (I used one bag of shredded cole slaw mix)
1 1/2 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 bunch green onions
1 cup chopped cilantro, chopped (two handfuls)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup light oil (like canola)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce (or more to taste)

Shred cabbage very finely and toss with peanuts in a large bowl. 
Chop the green onions, both the white and green parts. Toss green onions and cilantro with cabbage and peanuts. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Whisk ingredients for the dressing until emulsified and taste to modify for your preference of sweetness or saltiness. Pour over cabbage combination. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Last week my husband had his last overnight call as a resident physician. To help celebrate the end of a long road I decided to bring him and his co-workers some goodies, including these Blondies. There was a nice butterscotch flavoring but because hubby doesn't really like nuts, I went plain Jane with these - no coconut or chopped nuts like the recipe suggests. Although hubby said the Blondies were gone in less than hour, I think they would have been much better with a little extra oomph, so definitely recommend adding in 1 cup chopped nuts or 1 cup coconut if you give them a try.
From Better Homes and Garden Cookbook
Printable Version
2 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13X9X2 inch baking pan and set aside. In a medium saucepan heat brown sugar and butter over medium heat until butter melts and the mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Cool slightly. Stir in eggs, 1 at a time; stir in vanilla. Stir in flour, baking powder, and baking soda. *If using coconut stir in at this time too.
Spread batter in prepared baking pan. If using nuts sprinkle on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Cut into bars while warm.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

BLT Pizza

One of my favorite pizzas from California Pizza Kitchen is their BLT Pizza, so I wanted to try making it at home for dinner. I used turkey bacon to reduce the amount of fat and it was pretty hard to tell the difference. 
After all, this pizza is layered with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo and finished off with avocado. The contrast of the crunchy salad on top of melted cheese and bacon make this pizza one of a kind.
BLT Pizza
Inspired by California Pizza Kitchen
Printable Version
Makes 2 pizzas
2 pre-made pizza crusts
10 slices of bacon, chopped
2 cups of shredded cheese (I used mozzarella and Italian Blend)
4 tomatoes, diced
2 cups of lettuce, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 avocado, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (or as directed for pizza crust). In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Heat to medium high and add chopped bacon. Cook until slightly crispy. Brush pizza crusts with olive oil. Sprinkle on about 1/2 cup of cheese on pizza crust. Then add half of bacon to each crust, sprinkling evenly. 
Cover bacon with 1/2 cup of cheese and bake for about 9 minutes, or according to directions. While pizza is baking, place chopped lettuce and diced tomatoes in a large bowl. Add in mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together. 
Once pizzas are done, spoon the tomato/lettuce/mayo mixture on top of pizza. Sprinkle on the avocado. Slice the pizza and serve!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Avocado Hummus

I made this yummy avocado hummus from Lee@Fit Foodie Finds for an afternoon snack. I was intrigued by the recipe because I'd never heard of avocado hummus, but since I am an avocado freak and love any type of hummus, I was excited to try it.
After tasting it all mixed together, I decided to add in chopped cilantro and was glad I did. It adds a little extra pop of fresh flavor. I served the hummus with Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips. Those things are the bomb diggity! Perfect with this creamy avocado hummus.

Avocado Hummus
Printable Version
2 ripe avocados
1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed
1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves of garlic
Juice from 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

In a food processor mix together all ingredients except cilantro for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. 
You will want to stop the processor and scrape the sides a few times. 
Scoop into a serving bowl and garnish entire bowl with the cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips or raw veggies. Lee also recommends using this hummus as a sandwich spread in place of mayonnaise or spread on top of toasted bread. Yum!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Turkey Bacon and Caramelized Onions

When I decided to make this salad with strawberries and spinach, I knew I had to make it more appealing to my husband who completely despises fruit in his salads. I had turkey bacon on hand, and knew that adding it to the salad would help entice him. Then I decided to caramelize the onions in the pan after I cooked the bacon and guess what? The bacon and caramelized onions definitely did the trick.  Hubby gobbled this salad up! I added toasted pecans and whipped up a very simple vinaigrette with blueberry balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It was a darn good salad if I do say so myself!
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Turkey Bacon and Caramelized Onions
An Ashley's Cooking Adventures Original
Printable Version
2 cups spinach
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
4 slices turkey bacon
1/2 white or yellow onion, slices into rings
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup blueberry balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Heat one 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and cook the turkey bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon and allow to cool, but leave the oil in the pan.
Add the onion slices to the pan and heat pan to medium high heat. Allow to cook on both sides until browned and caramelized. 
Remove onions and allow to cool a bit. Meanwhile toast pecans in a small separate pan for about 3 minutes, making sure to toss frequently. 
Place spinach and strawberries in a serving dish for the salad. Whisk the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Place the bacon, onions, and pecans on the salad and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. 


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