I appreciate wine so much more after this recipe. Not because there’s wine anywhere in the dish, but because it was the wine that loosened the lips of Mrs. Stebbins that finally got her to give up her secret recipe for the most scrumptious Barbecue Pork ever! I received the recipe and story from Chandler resident Ann Todd and I loved both so much I couldn’t wait to share them with you! “Jan, my mom, Liz Ramsey, makes this recipe for weddings– mine in fact! She also makes it for parties, picnics and other promotions.” Ann told the story of her Mom’s friend, Mrs. Stebbins who would sit in the front of her house cross legged, leaning against the door reading a novel and having a glass of wine in the sunshine. Ann’s Mom had Mrs. Stebbins’ Barbecue Pork at a party and really wanted the recipe. Mrs. Stebbins didn’t want to give it up because she didn’t want the secret out so that she could make it every time she had a party. However one afternoon after one of those reading and sipping in the sunshine sessions, she was a little loose-lipped and let the secret of her great barbecue pork out. She just walked into Liz’s kitchen and said, “Oooooo-kay!” If you’re looking for a delicious and hearty recipe for your Super Bowl spread this year, you’ve got a winner right here. Devour it and raise a glass to Mrs. Stebbins!
I’ve always thought that we have certain flexibility with our choices for lunch and dinner. But breakfast? That’s a whole different story. If you’re a bacon person, you’re never going to order sausage. If you love your eggs over easy, then scrambled just won’t do. I think it’s safe to say that breakfast our way is non-negotiable. The same thing may be true with salad and salad dressing. If Italian vinaigrette is your choice, then a green goddess dressing is just not going to satisfy. The other issue with salad is, well, it’s generally thought of as the obligatory side to your entrée. That all changes here, with this mega main meal bonanza of goodness, flavor and crunch with a surprisingly bright, and full-bodied Cilantro Lime dressing! Wow, do I love this salad! I love everything about it; the fixings and the fact that it’s the main event! You can start with any lettuce you like. My choice is a combination of healthful greens like a Spring Mix and a crunchy chopped bag salad that is so readily available these days. This recipe has grilled chicken, but it’s fantastic with strips of steak of you’re a beef eater. I’m hoping this salad and the delicious dressing has everything you love and then some. If not, add your favorite fixings and make it a main meal to remember! After a week of Valentine’s cookies and chocolates and candy, I could use an entrée like this! How about you?
Watch my How To Video for Main Meal Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing here!
I’ve always known that the secret to a great fried chicken is buttermilk. Some people even say buttermilk is the miracle ingredient that makes fried chicken crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. If you understand the properties of buttermilk, you’ll know why. There are the enzymes in buttermilk that break down the proteins, naturally tenderizing the chicken. Then, if the chicken is soaked in buttermilk and then dredged in flour, the buttermilk really helps coat the chicken. Now that you know the secret, it’s time to work it into a great recipe like this Crispy Chicken Burger! Fully loaded with bacon, coleslaw and a delicious combo of honey and sriracha, the beef pattie needs to just mooooooove aside for this finger lickin’ chicken sandwich!
You get two Italians together and it’s not long before the conversation settles food and family. Thus began my friendship with Vinny Dejohn, who worked in the wine shop at Whole Foods when I met him. Getting his suggestions for a good vintage was great, but getting his vintage family recipe for an Italian fig cookie was even greater. It’s one of the most delightful and delicious Sicilian holiday treats called Cucidati. Thankfully, Vinny’s mission a few years ago was to rescue this recipe! “Great Auntie Antoinette Arnone was 93 years old when she died. Ten years ago during the holidays, I went back to New York and I made arrangements to spend time with Auntie Arnone and have her teach me how to make ‘Goog-i-dottie’ as she would call them. We spent all afternoon making the cookies. Not only did I leave with Cucidati, but also her hand-written recipe card and her grandmother’s meat grinder that she herself has been using to grind the fig mixture for 60 years! I was so appreciative of her for taking the time to pass along her recipe. I often think of those treasured moments together.” Vinny’s version of this soft, flavor filled fig cookie with icing and little colorful candies is now part of my own holiday tradition. What better way to honor my Sicilian father!