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!
Bacon. It’s my favorite five letter word! In fact, when I was doing a lot of catering, bacon was my secret weapon. If it was a breakfast catering, I would make three times the amount requested, and it was never enough. For a lunch or dinner catering, I would make beer candied bacon as an appetizer and just pile it on a giant platter. Again, every crumb gobbled up. Never enough. Don’t know what to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner? Just add bacon somewhere in the dish, and you can bet it’ll be a hit. Here’s another idea that’ll get your taste buds sizzling—Bacon Jam. Just seeing those two words together, I knew it was going to be delicious, and I was not disappointed. Bacon Jam can be used in so many ways! It’s fantastic on a charcuterie board with lots of different cheeses, crackers and crustini. Bacon Jam also makes a wonderful condiment for a turkey burger! I cooked up a large ground turkey pattie, (beef is just as tasty) loaded it up with sliced tomato, lettuce, avocado, blue cheese dressing and then I slathered the pattie with bacon jam. YUM! It turned a very ordinary turkey burger into a super burger! A few things have to go right to get the perfect bacon jam. Cook the pieces of bacon until they are crispy. When the bacon foams up (that’s the bacon fat talking) that is a good indication that the bacon is just about done! Also, make sure to use sweet yellow onions, which add the natural sweetness to the salty bacon! Perfect combination! So, if bacon is your jam, Bacon Jam may be just the recipe to spread around!
Watch my How To Video for Bacon Jam here!
I get a big kick out of clicking on the pronunciation button on dictionary sites to hear how the word gnocchi gets pronounced. Unfortunately, they don’t often get it right. (It’s pronounced Knee-OH-Key).
These delicate little barrels of potato pasta are absolutely divine. The homemade version of gnocchi from my Momma’s recipe below take a bit more time but will melt in your mouth, served with butter or a light marinara sauce. The store bought variety is best for Asparagus Gnocchi, as they are not so delicate and will hold up during the cooking process. Either way, Buon Appetito!
Watch my How To Video for Asparagus Gnocchi here!
Everything I learned about the history of Cajun and Creole food, I learned from Paul Prudhomme, the Louisiana-born celebrity chef who popularized both types of Southern cuisine. I learned that Cajun food is the food of country folk who settled in the bayou lands of Southern Louisiana and kept largely to themselves. Creole food, on the other hand, is city food, specifically from New Orleans, and was greatly influenced by the many different cultures like French, Spanish, Italian, Haitian, French Canadian, Native American and African that helped to shape that city. My very favorite shrimp dish came from Prudhomme, and that made him, in my eyes, the King of Cajun cooking. This Spicy Cajun Shrimp is simply divine. I remember making it for my father, and his reaction was always the same. He would bow his head, clasp his hands in front of the bowl and just say, “Honey, this is liquid gold!” Don’t be put off by the amount of ingredients. I can only tell you that this dish is worth every bite. Perhaps the phrase that best describes Paul Prudhomme’s Spicy Cajun Shrimp has to be Ça c’est bon — That’s good! Enjoy a big bowl of Cajun comfort food this week!