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Monday, July 26, 2010

Pulled Pork Sliders

These sliders are so cute, so delicious and so easy to make! I have served them on mini rolls smaller than these for work pot-lucks, as well as full-size buns for the real deal! I don't even see the point of writing this out in usual recipe's THAT simple. First, you need pork shoulder; I went with a half shoulder, a little over 4 pounds. Then you take a 2 liter of Coke - no diet stuff. Brown the shoulder in a dutch oven in a bit of oil on all sides. Then put the shoulder in the slow cooker and cover it in Coca-Cola......yes, you heard me right. DO IT! Then turn on the slow cooker on low while you are at work; when you get home, it will be falling off the bone. Take it out and shred it with a fork, mix with bbq sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's cause I didn't feel like making any from scatch) and serve on Martin's mini potato rolls with some delicious coleslaw...and if you are lucky like me, Zapp's Creole Tomato chips. Yum yum in my tum tum!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lemon Pepper Shrimp with Orzo

I don't really have a good story about this dish. I saw it in Cooking Light a few years ago and saved it with other recipe snippets I keep in my little notebook. I made it a while back and shared with my Mom, who also enjoyed it. It's simple, light, and really lets the flavor of the shrimp shine through. I usually have these ingredients on hand, so it's easy to throw together for myself or for company.

1 cup uncooked orzo
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
7 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic (I used fresh garlic - it's the best)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Place orzo in a medium bowl. Stir in parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover and keep warm.

While orzo cooks, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add half of shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in pan. Add remaining shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer to plate.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in pan. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in shrimp, juice, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done.

Elote (Mexican Corn)

I discovered elote during my first year in NY at this great little place, Cafe Habana. It took me forever to realize the secret ingredient is mayonnaise. I always bring this to outdoor cookouts in the summer - everyone loves it! Cotija cheese can be found at any Mexican grocery store, but if you can't find it, I've heard Parmesan is a good substitute.

Ears of corn (however many you want)
Cotija chese
Cayenne Pepper

Shuck corn, leaving husk on. Wrap husk back and grill for roughly 15 minutes, turning, until hot.. Remove husk, slather each ear with mayo and then roll corn in the cheese to stick. Sprinkle with cayenne and lime juice and enjoy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Martha Williams' Creole Catfish

Martha Williams is a close friend of the family and an excellent cook. Our old house was right around the corner from hers, and I grew up sitting in front of her and her husband, Mr. E.D., in church every week. My dad grew up with all of her sons, so we spent time with the entire Williams clan whenever we could. My fantastic friend, Katy Simmons, shipped some famous Simmons catfish to me for my birthday, and I wanted to try out Mrs. Martha's recipe. It was very light, yet flavorful, and super easy to make. I served it with collard greens and squash casserole - a true Southern feast. The only thing I changed was that I added a bit of Tony Chachere's to the fish to add a little kick - delicious!

2 lbs. catfish filets
1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 T. salad oil
2 t. salt
2 t. chopped onions
1 t. fresh basil leaves
1/4 t. black pepper
4 drops Tabasco hot pepper sauce

Place fish in a greased baking dish. Combine all ingredients and pour over fish. Bake at 500 about 8-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Grilled Shrimp with Dijon-Garlic Glaze

I'm leaving for New Orleans on Wednesday (woo hoo!) and trying to avoid going to the grocery. Taking inventory of my freezer, it was a little bit on the side of uninspiring....ground beef, frozen vegetables, blah blah blah... I eyed some frozen shrimp and decided that they were the winner of the evening. I used the indoor grill pan, because I am lazy, but I really feel that using a real grill is the way to cook these puppies. The flavor was great; not too much to overpower the great flavor of shrimp, but just enough to make it interesting. If using a grill, you could use skewers to make cooking easier - no one likes overcooked shrimpies! Definitely serving at my next cookout.

1.5 lbs. of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 T. dijon mustard
2 T. honey
1/4 cup fresh lemon juioce
2 garlic cloves, minced

Combine all ingredients except shrimp. Stir with whisk in small bowl. Brush one side of shrimp with mixture. Grill for 1-2 minutes. Turn shrimp, brush with glaze and cook 2 minutes of until shrimp are done.