Thursday, January 28, 2016


Hominy grits are a southern favorite, although it is more often shorted to just 'grits'. Hominy is dried and ground white or yellow corn kernels from which the hull and germ have been removed.

2 thick tomahawk pork chops, trimmed of any excess fat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T avocado oil
½ cup onion, diced
½ fresh thyme or ¼ t dried thyme
1 T flour
½ cup Marsala or white wine
1 cup chicken broth

2 cups water
2 cups whole milk
1 t sea salt
1 cup stone ground white or yellow grits (not instant)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 T unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle both sides of chops with salt and pepper. 

Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the pork chops and brown on each side for about 3 minutes.
Remove and set aside on a plate. 
Pour out most of the grease from the skillet and add the onion and thyme. 
Sauté for about 5 minutes then mix in the flour and cook another 2 minutes. 
Add the wine and chicken broth.
Simmer until it thickens slightly. 
Place the browned chops and any liquid that has accumulated into the skillet.

Cover tightly with a oven-proof lid or aluminum foil and bake in oven for 20 minutes.
Center of pork chops should register 140 to 145 degrees F.

While chops are baking, in a medium saucepan, bring water, milk, and salt to a boil.
Gradually whisk in grits, reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover and simmer, about 15 to 18 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat, stir in cheddar cheese and butter. 

To serve, spoon grits onto 2 warm bowls or plates, add a pork chop and pour some of the gravy, through a strainer, onto each and serve.

Serves 2

Monday, January 25, 2016


This is my version of an old tavern entree. You can buy puff pastry at your supermarket and serve puff pastry biscuits with the stew. The stew bakes in the oven for 3 hours. If you have a crock pot, you can let it cook even longer. The recipe can easily be divided in half to serve two. If you prefer to make the stew without ale, just add 2 more cups of beef broth.

2 T avocado oil
3 T unsalted butter
2 lbs beef chuck, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
16 white mushrooms, trimmed and cut in half
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t fresh thyme leaves or dried thyme
6 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 small rutabaga, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 cups brown ale 
2 cups beef broth or stock
2 bay leaves
3 T softened unsalted butter
3 T all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup water
12 brussels sprouts, cut in half
8 broccoli florets
8 cauliflower florets
3 T unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown beef very well on both sides in oil.
Remove meat and set aside in a bowl.
Add butter and sauté the onion and mushrooms for a couple of minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another minute.
Add thyme, carrots, and rutabaga.
Deglaze the pan with ale, scraping up all of the brown particles with a wooden spoon.
Return the beef to the pot and add the beef broth and bay leaves.
Mix softened butter with the flour and add to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover pot and bake in oven for 3 hours.

About 30 minutes before beef is finished, bring water to a boil in a skillet.
Add the Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. Cover and let steam for 2 minutes.
Remove vegetables to a plate and pour out water.
Return skillet to the stove and melt butter, over medium heat.
Add vegetables and sauté for 2 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

Evenly divide the beef and broth with vegetables into four individual bowls.
Top with a puff pastry biscuit or serve with crusty bread or country rolls.

Serves 4

Thursday, January 21, 2016


You will be surprised how easy this bread is to make—and no chemicals or preservatives added! This bread is also delicious toasted with cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onions, and capers    

1 ¾ cups warm water
1 T active dry yeast
2 T honey
2 cups bread flour
2 ½ cups dark rye flour
3 T dry potato flakes
2 t sea salt
2 T caraway seeds
3 T dill pickle juice

1 T melted butter

Pour warm water into the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook.
Sprinkle in the yeast and let proof for 10 minutes.

Add the honey, bread flour, 1 cup of the rye flour, potato flakes, sea salt, caraway seeds, and pickle juice.

Turn on mixer and slowly mix while adding the rest of the rye flour, a little at a time.
Mix for about 3 to 4 minutes, then turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for a couple more minutes.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a pizza pan and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

Shape dough into an oblong shape and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
Let rise another 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove dough and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

With a very sharp knife, cut diagonal slits on top of dough.
Brush with melted butter and bake in oven for 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool.