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Oct 3, 2009

Pat's Smoked Pork Chops


4 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground thyme
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
4 center cut, bone-in pork chops
Special equipment: applewood chips, soaked for 1 hour

Buttermilk BBQ Sauce:

1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup Neely's BBQ sauce, or store-bought BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon buttermilk


Mix salt, black pepper, brown sugar, thyme, onion powder and cayenne together in a small bowl. Rub pork chops with the spice mixture. Wrap and place in refrigerator for a few hours.

Set up your grill/smoker for indirect heat at 275 degrees F., using charcoal and add a handful of the soaked apple wood chips onto the coals.

Place pork chops on the grill. Close grill and maintain a temperature of 275 degrees F, adding more charcoal and chips, as necessary. Let smoke for 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the pork chops are firm to the touch. Transfer to serving plates and serve with the BBQ sauce.

Buttermilk BBQ Sauce:

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add the apple cider and brown sugar and stir to combine. Allow to reduce for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, pour in the BBQ sauce and stir well. Once sauce has warmed, turn off the heat. Add buttermilk and stir to incorporate. Serve over pork chops.

Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic


3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves
2 (3 1/2-pound) chickens, cut into eighths
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil
3 tablespoons Cognac, divided
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons heavy cream


Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside.

Dry the chicken with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. In batches, saute the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don't want to pierce the skin with a fork. If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue to saute all the chicken in batches. Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all of the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add 2 tablespoons of the Cognac and the wine, return to a boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and the flour and then whisk it back into the sauce in the pot. Raise the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of Cognac and the cream, and boil for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste; it should be very flavorful because chicken tends to be bland. Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken and serve hot.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese


1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Skillet Lasagna

12 Oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 Lb. ground beef or sausage
1 Jar (1 lb. 10 oz.) Ragu® Old World Style® Pasta Sauce
1/2 Cup water
1 Container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 oz.)

Cover noodles with hot water and let stand 5 minutes or until softened.
Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet brown ground beef over medium-high heat; drain. Add pasta sauce and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove noodles from water and tear in half lengthwise. Stir noodles into skillet. Top noodles with spoonfuls of ricotta cheese, then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Simmer covered 5 minutes or until noodles are tender and cheese is melted. Serve, if desired, with grated Parmesan cheese.

Grilled Pizza Margherita

1 Cup Bertolli® Olive Oil & Garlic Sauce
1 (12-in.) prebaked pizza crust
4 Oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Bertolli® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Chopped fresh basil leaves

Evenly spread sauce on pizza crust, then top with cheese. Grill covered over medium heat, rotating pizza occasionally, 10 minutes or until sauce is hot and cheese is melted. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with basil.

Grilled Chicken With Pear & Walnut Salad

3 Cups torn green leaf and/or romaine lettuce
2 Medium red pears or apples, cored and cut into thin wedges
1/4 Cup chopped walnuts, toasted
4 Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, grilled or broiled
1/4 Cup Wish-Bone® Chunky Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing

On serving platter layer lettuce, pears and walnuts. Slice chicken, then arrange on salad.
Drizzle with Wish-Bone® Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing and serve immediately.

Chicken & Potato Salad

1 Lb. all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 Cups shredded cooked chicken
1 Medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, if desired, and chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
1/3 Cup chopped celery
1/4 Cup finely chopped onion
3/4 Cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Mayonnaise with Lime Juice*
15 Pimento stuffed green olives, quartered (optional)
2 Tbsp. sofrito
1/2 Tsp. salt

In 2-quart saucepan cover potatoes with water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain and cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in large bowl combine remaining ingredients except potatoes. Add potatoes and toss gently. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

*SUBSTITUTION: Use Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice.

Magic Pumpkin Buckle

Magic Pumpkin Buckle

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

3 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1.4 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar

Pour the butter into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the milk and vanilla until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan. In a large bowl, beat the pumpkin, milk, and the eggs. Combine the remaining filling ingredients. Add to the pumpkin mixture. Pour over the crust mixture. Do Not Stir. Dot with the butter. Sprinkle with the sugar. Bake at 350 F for 55-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Makes 12 servings


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