Friday, September 30, 2011

Food Vendors at the 2011 Persimmon Festival, Mitchell, Indiana

We made our yearly trip down to Mitchell last weekend for the Persimmon Festival and parade. You can find my pictures of the 2009 parade here.

Since I've already blogged pictures of the parade, I decided to take pictures of the many food vendors instead. I went 'uptown' before it got crowded and grabbed these shots. You gotta love fair food!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Red Chile Enchiladas

These are the best enchiladas we've ever made. Maybe the best we've ever had.

The key to these is dipping the tortillas in the homemade sauce. Next time, we made add some seasoned ground beef to these, but they were excellent with just cheese and onion inside.
The original recipe came from Saveur.

Makes: 12 tortillas, 6 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 20 dried New Mexico chiles
  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 3⁄4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1⁄4 cup finely crumbled cotija cheese
  • 3 tablespoon Mexican crema (or sour cream)

1. Put the chile peppers into a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soften, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes.

2. Remove peppers from soaking water and retain two cups of the liquid. Seed and stem the peppers and place into a blender along with the soaking water.

3. Preheat oven to 450˚ F.

4. Heat the 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook until golden.

5. Transfer garlic to blender. Puree until very smooth.

6. Add lime juice, cumin, sugar, and salt to taste to blender and pulse a few times to combine. Pour mixture into the skillet used to cook the garlic and keep over medium heat.

7. Heat 1/2" of oil in another large skillet. Working one at a time, dip tortillas in the oil and cook until slightly crisp, about 15 seconds. Do not over cook. Remove from oil to a paper towel-lined plate.

8. Spray a 10" x 15" baking dish with non-stick spray. Working one at a time, dip tortillas in chile sauce. Sprinkle center of tortilla with mozzarella, cheddar and red onion. Roll up and transfer to the baking dish.

9. Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.

10. Sprinkle with cotija and drizzle with Mexican crema. Serve.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Grilled Meatloaf Sandwiches

Oh man, grilled meatloaf! On a sandwich! So good, and easy to make. The grill really adds some great flavor.

If you want you can make them in the oven, but its more fun (and tastier!) on the grill. I got the original idea from the Barbeque Lovers.

Makes: 8 sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup grated onion
  • 2/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup ketchup, divided
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup prepared mustard
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 loaf French bread, cut into 1" slices on the diagonal
  • Lettuce and sliced tomato and red onion for topping

1. Preheat grill for indirect cooking at 350 F.

2. Spray a baking pan with non-stick spray or line it with foil.

3. In a bowl, combine the egg, onion, and bread crumbs. Add in the ground beef, 1/2 cup of the ketchup, parsley, Worcestershire, and salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Form meat into a loaf shape and place in the pan. Spread 1/4 cup of the remaining ketchup on top of the loaf. Transfer to the grill and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the loaf has firmed up and the meat is cooked through.

5. Remove meatloaf from grill and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. While it is resting, combine the remaining ketchup, water, mustard, vinegar and brown sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes then remove from heat.

6. Grill the bread slices until lightly toasted.

7. Slice the meatloaf and place on bread. Spoon plenty of the sauce on top. Add lettuce, onion, and tomatoes and serve.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pepper Palace Sweet Bourbon Glaze

I picked up a bottle of Sweet Bourbon Glaze from the Pepper Palace in Gatlinburg a while back and finally got around to using it. I should've used it earlier because it is really good. A little sweet, a little heat, and just flat out tasty.

I grabbed two split chicken breasts out of the fridge and removed the skin from them. I sprinkled them with a little salt and pepper and seared them over charcoal on the Weber Performer grill. I then moved them to indirect heat and basted them with the glaze. I kept glazing them every 10 minutes or so until the chicken was done.

This glaze is really good. The Pepper Palace has a huge selection of sauces, glazes, salsas, you name it. Visit one of their stores or see them online at

Honey Mustard Coleslaw

Growing up, I hated coleslaw. I couldn't stand the stuff at all.

Now, I love it. Really love it. Specially if I'm having BBQ. It's also great on burgers and dogs.

This version from My Tasty Treasures adds dried cranberries and toasted almonds for a twist on the usual. I also added a bit of chopped broccoli.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 14oz bag packaged coleslaw
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3-4 broccoli florets, chopped
  • Dressing (see below)

1. Toast almonds over medium high heat. Be careful not to burn them.

2. Combine all but dressing in a large bowl. Add in dressing in batches, stirring. You may not need all of the dressing, so do not add all of it at once.

For the dressing:


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
1. Combine all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Jethro's BBQ N' Grill, Lafayette, Indiana

I met up with some co-workers for lunch the other day in Lafayette, Indiana. We always try to go somewhere new, and of course, I lean towards BBQ joints.

I think Jethro's BBQ N' Grill is fairly new. We walked on in and ordered at the counter. I ordered a 1/2 pound of the brisket along with some slaw. Now, I gotta say, I was a little irked that while we were waiting to order the cashier stopped three times to take phone orders. I really think that someone in the back should take those calls while people are waiting, or at least put the people on hold. It's sort of a pet peeve with me. Maybe it was a fluke.

Anyway, the brisket is sliced, not chopped. It had a great smoke flavor to it. I was a little pessimistic going in, but the brisket sold me. I could've eaten another half pound, to be honest. The slaw was also quite good. Your normal slaw, executed well and nice and cold.

Oh, did I mention the sauces? Quite good, actually. They are on the table, which is something I really like. I hate having to go up and ask for more sauce, or worse, having my BBQ pre-sauced for me.

I'd return to Jethro's. I'd like to try some of their other items, specially the pulled pork.

Visit your local BBQ joints!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Charleston Slaw

I ran across this recipe from the Grill Grrrl. She and her dad form the Too Sauced to Pork BBQ team.

This is a great slaw. Lime in a slaw was something new to us, and we both liked it. I changed the recipe only slightly by adding some broccoli I had on hand.

Makes: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Printable Recipe


  • 1 bag coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 T lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cups chopped sweet onion
  • Handful broccoli florets, chopped

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Easy Asian Veggie Dip

Serve as a dip with any of your favorite vegetables.

Makes: 1 cup
Printable Recipe

1. Whisk ingredients together.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Marinated Tomato Salad with Herbs

I have to admit, I was happy to see Ree Drummond get a show, The Pioneer Woman, on the Food Network. I have been following her blog for years, and have made several of her recipes.

Ree made this recipe on her first episode of the show. It's very simple, and very, very good. Make sure you let it get super cold in the fridge before serving. This also makes a pretty good sized batch. You may have to adjust the ingredients based on how large your tomatoes are. We ended up using just 4 tomatoes, but they were very large.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours
Printable Recipe


  • 6 to 8 ripe tomatoes (we picked some up at the local farmer's market), cut into small wedges
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (I used a little less)

1. Place tomatoes and green onions into a large bowl.

2. In a separate small bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Use a whisk to get the ingredients well mixed.

3. Add dressing to the tomatoes. Top with parsley and basil and toss gently.

4. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Andre's BBQ, Indianapolis

Anita and I were driving down Pendleton Pike here in Indy the other day when we came across this trailer off the side of the road, with Andre's BBQ and Seafood written on the side. There were several smokers going out front, and you could smell that lovely smell of hickory burning. We were on our way to somewhere else and we didn't have time to stop, but I vowed to return.

So earlier this week I drove on down to Andre's BBQ trailer and ordered the pulled pork sandwich and the red beans and rice. I brought it on home and chowed down on some of the best food around. The pulled pork was tender and smoked just like I like it. Instead of your traditional ketchup- or mustard-based sauce, I think the sauce is more brothy, with some good Creole heat (and not too much of it). The red beans and rice were to die for. There's a bit of smoked sausage in the rice that really puts it over the top.

I chatted for a bit with Andre. He's a great guy (from Haiti via Miami) who is really passionate about his food, and it shows. I really like the creole flavors he brings to his food. It's a nice change from what I would call traditional southern BBQ and sides. He let me sample some Cajun corn while I was waiting, and I tell you, that corn is insanely good. I can't wait to return and try the chicken, or turkey... or ribs.

Today, I took Anita with me to meet Andre and pick up some more pulled pork sandwiches. This time I got red beans and rice and Cajun corn as my sides. Anita got the Caribbean rice and the mac-and-cheese. Again, the sandwiches were great, and the sides were just to die for. This time we got a sample of greens while we were waiting. No question about it, I'm getting greens as my side next time!

Andre's is on Pendleton Pike, just northeast of Post Road. It's on the south side of the road, just passed the Value Place hotel, beneath a large billboard. You'll see the smokers, catering truck and the trailer, where you place your order. And tell Andre Hi!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Antipasto Salad

Anita and I went down to the Exit 76 Antique Mall the other day. We wanted to have maximum time at the mall, so we made this easy antipasto salad the day before and took it along for lunch.

You can pretty much add whatever you want. Reserve some of the dressing for the second day as the salad will absorb it overnight. The original recipe came from the Lindsay Olive website.

Makes: 8 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: Overnight
Printable Recipe

  • 8 oz salami, cubed (I used a package of sandwich salami slices)
  • 8 oz aged Gouda cheese, cubed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 6 oz can whole black olives, drained
  • 7 oz jar pimiento-stuffed olives, drained
  • 2 cups drained, quartered marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 red bell pepper (you can substitute a jarred roasted red pepper if you wish)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

1. Roast the pepper on your grill until well charred. Let cool slightly then remove the charred skin, stem and seeds. Chop. Place in a large bowl.

2. Add the salami, cheese, tomatoes, olives, and artichokes to the bowl with the pepper.

3. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly add in the olive oil. Pour 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette to the salad and stir to coat. Reserve the remaining vinaigrette in the refrigerator for the following day. Cover salad and refrigerate overnight. The next day, stir the salad and add more vinaigrette as needed.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken Dinner

Hawaiian grilled chicken thighs, grilled fresh sweet corn, grilled Teriyaki vegetables, and pineapple fried rice. This was a great meal, and actually not too hard to throw together.

I found the chicken recipe at the Real Mom Kitchen blog.

For the Hawaiian Grilled Chicken:

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 4 hours
Cook time: 15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 5 diced green onions, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/4 t minced garlic
  • 1/2 t sesame oil
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 5-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

1. Combine all but the chicken in a large resealable bag. Close bag and shake well to combine. Add in chicken and reseal. Place bag in a bowl in the fridge and let marinate for 4 hours.

2. Preheat grill to high. Sear chicken over direct heat then remove to indirect heat to finish cooking.

For the Grilled Vegetables:

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 4 hours
Cook time: 15 minutes


  • 1/4 cup Teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 t ground ginger
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 large white onions, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound whole fresh mushrooms
  • Large pineapple chunks
  • Skewers

1. Place the Teriyaki sauce, honey, garlic and ginger in a large resealable bag. Shake to mix.

2. Add in the vegetables. Seal and shake to coat. Place in fridge and let marinate for 4 hours.

3. Preheat grill to high. Place vegetables on skewers. Sear over high heat then move to indirect heat and cook until softened.

For the Pineapple Fried Rice:

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes


  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 large can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 T white sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, to taste

1. Cook rice according to package directions. Let cool.

2. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat.

3. Add in the green onions and peas and cook until the onions are soft.

4. Add in the pineapple and continue cooking until it starts to darken.

5. Move ingredients to side of the wok and add the eggs into the center, cooking until they set. Combine all ingredients in the wok together.

6. Add the rice, sugar, salt, pepper and garlic powder and stir. Cook until everything is completely heated through.

7. Remove from heat and serve drizzled with soy sauce.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

This is my 'go-to' side when I'm grilling. Easy and fast, and tasty.

I like mine with extra green onions.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 loaf French bread, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Fresh (or dried) basil, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Put tomatoes into a bowl and drizzle with oil. Toss to coat. Transfer to grill over high heat (I used a vegetable pan so they wouldn't roll all over the place or fall through the grates) and grill until charred and softened. Remove from heat.

2. Rub bread with garlic then transfer to grill. Toast on both sides until lightly browned and crunchy.

3. In a small bowl, combine the onions, basil, and salt and pepper. Add in the tomatoes and mix well. Spoon mixture onto bread and spread. Cut into smaller pieces and serve.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sriracha-Sesame Turkey Meatball Sandwiches

These were just outstanding. The meatballs are super moist and tasty. I love sesame seeds... can you tell?

The addition of the sriracha mayonnaise really spices them up even more. The original meatball recipe came from Kalyns Kitchen. The mayonnaise recipe came from the Insane Chicken.

Makes: 4 sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 green onions, sliced and then finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground turkey (use turkey with less than 10% fat for South Beach Diet)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Hoagie rolls
  • Sriracha mayonnaise (see below)
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • Oil for frying

1. Combine all ingredients up to the rolls in a large bowl. Form into 12 small meatballs.

2. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook until done and browned, flipping often.

3. To serve, top buns with sriracha mayonnaise. Add meatballs. Sprinkle with additional sesame seeds and green onions.

For the sriracha sauce:


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoons milk

1. Place ingredients in a food processor. Add salt to taste and puree until smooth, 2-3 minutes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Grilled Polenta with Red Pepper Relish

The relish on this polenta was definitely the star of the show. It has just the right amount of acidity.

I used pre-made polenta, but you can make fresh if you want and skip the grilling part. The original inspiration for this recipe came from here.

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 roll pre-cooked polenta, cut into 1/2" rounds
  • Vegetable oil
  • Red pepper relish (see below)

1. Preheat grill to medium high.

2. Brush polenta rounds with oil and place on grill. Grill until slightly charred and warmed all the way through, flipping once.

3. Serve topped with relish.

For the red pepper relish:

Makes: 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1/4 cup sugar (plus more, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water

1. Place all ingredients in a sauce pot and heat, covered, at a simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Taste and add more sugar if desired.

3. Remove cover and simmer another 30 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and let cool before serving.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

N'awlins Creole Cafe, Avon, Indiana

We were over in the Avon area yesterday, so I decided to swing by the Nawlins Creole Cafe and pick up some dinner for takeout.

I ordered two sample platters, which was more than enough food for two people. We ended up with shrimp etouffee, crawfish etouffee, red beans and rice, jambalaya, corn, green beans, and potato salad. Everything was really, really good.

When you order your food you pick a spice level from 1 to 10. We like spicy food, but decided to go with a 5. I have to say that a 5 is about right. A little kick, but not overpowering. I might go a 6 next time!

If you're in Avon, swing by Nawlins Creole Cafe. You'll be very happy you did.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Backyard BAR-B-Q of Kokomo, Indiana

Sadly, Backyard BBQ has closed after 7 1/2 years.
While Anita and I were in Kokomo last weekend to see the Grissom Air Museum and do a little antiquing, we stopped by the Backyard BBQ joint for lunch. Located just off the main road in a little strip mall, Backyard BBQ is a nice little joint.

The owner was super friendly. Anita got the pulled pork sandwich, which she liked, and coleslaw and potato wedges on the side. The potatoes have a great seasoning on them. They were quite good. The slaw, we both agreed, was insanely good.

I ordered the sampler platter and the slaw. The sampler platter comes with a huge amount of chicken, pork, and beef. All were good, and there was definitely enough food! They have tons of different sauces, all of them very good. That's why I usually order platters instead of sandwiches as it makes it easier to sample all of the sauces.

The interior of Backyard BBQ is decorated like a backyard. I thought it was rather well done and a change from the usual. Stop on by when you're in the Kokomo area. Support your local BBQ joint!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Grilled Jerk Sliders with Jamaican Slaw

I picked up a bottle of The Shizzle Voodoo Hot jerk marinade when we were at Jungle Jim's a few weeks ago. I marinated a pork tenderloin in it for about 8 hours and then tossed it onto the grill. Sliced it up and served it on slider buns with homemade Jamaican slaw.

Let me tell you, that Shizzle marinade is insanely good. And the slaw was great too. I'm highly addicted to Shizzle now. I want to try it on chicken, burgers, you name it!

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 8 hours
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Printable Recipe

  • 1 pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1/2 jar The Shizzle Voodoo Hot marinade (plus a little more for brushing on later)
  • 8 slider buns
  • Jamaican slaw (see below)

1. Put pork in a resealable baggie and add in the marinade. Seal and shake the bag to make sure the meat is well covered. Let marinate for 4-8 hours.

2. Fire up your grill for two-zone (direct and indirect) cooking. Place tenderloin over high heat and sear on all sides. Remove to indirect heat and brush with remaining marinade. Let cook until internal temperature reaches 150-155 F. Remove and let rest, foiled, for 15 minutes.

3. Toast buns as desired. Slice pork thin. Place pork on buns and top with slaw. Serve with additional slaw on the side.

For the slaw:

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 1 hour


  • 4 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Jamaican jerk spice (see below)

1. Combine cabbage, carrots and walnuts in a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and stir well. Mix into cabbage and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

For the Jamaican jerk spice:

  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Place all ingredients into a spice grinder and pulse a few times.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Sliders with Berry Sauce and Blue Cheese Butter

I can't begin to tell you how good these are. The berry sauce is fantastic. It is complemented perfectly by the blue cheese butter.

We had a few leftover berries so we had those on the side.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Printable Recipe


  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • Favorite BBQ rub (I used Dizzy Pig's Jamaican Firewalk)
  • 8 slider buns, split
  • Berry sauce (see below)
  • Blue Cheese butter (see below)
  • 8 blackberries
  • Olive oil

1. Prepare grill for direct and indirect cooking.

2. Lightly brush tenderloin with oil. Sprinkle with rub. Place over direct heat on the grill and cook until seared. Repeat on other sides, then remove to indirect heat.

3. Cook until internal temperature reaches 145 F. Remove from grill and cover in foil. Let rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing.

4. Toast slider rolls if desired.

5. To assemble sliders, slather bottom of buns with the blue cheese butter. Add a slice or two of the tenderloin. Add a large dollop of the berry sauce, and the top of the bun.

6. Serve garnished with blackberries.

For the Berry Sauce:

Cook time: 20 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blue berries
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T water
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar

1. Place berries into a medium sauce pan over low heat. Add sugar, water, and vinegar.

2. Cook, stirring often, until berries have dissolved. Use the back of a spoon to mash the berries as they cook.

3. Remove from heat and let cool.

For the Blue Cheese butter:


  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 T blue cheese, softened

1. Combine all ingredients.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hoosier Pork Tenderloin Sliders

Miniature versions of the classic.

Make a lot of these because they go fast.

Makes: 8 sliders
Prep time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 sleeves saltine crackers
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Oil, for frying
  • 8 slider rolls
  • Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, mustard, mayonnaise, sliced red onion and dill pickle for garnish


1. Cut the pork tenderloin into 1" thick pieces. Working one-at-a-time, place pieces inside a resealable bag and pound with a mallet until very thin (about 1/4") and slightly larger than the slider rolls.

2. In a shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, garlic, cayenne. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add in the pork, coverage and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (up to overnight).

3. Place crackers in a food processor or blender and pulse until they turn into crumbs. Pour crumbs into a shallow dish.

4. Place flour in a shallow dish.

5. Heat oil in a skillet. Working in batches, take tenderloin pieces, shake off excess marinade, roll in the flour, then back into the marinade, and then coat well with the cracker crumbs. Fry until golden brown and done, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to paper towel-lined plate.

6. To serve, spread buns with mayonnaise and mustard. Add pork, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and onion. Cover with top bun.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Grilled Tuscan Chicken

I am a big fan of the Cooking Channel's show, Extra Virgin. I think it is because Gebriele Corcos actually does show some good food that is usually very simple, and looks great.

In the original version of this recipe, Gabriele Corcos used a whole chicken. I used split bone-in chicken breasts, one skinless for Anita, and the other skin-on for me.

Makes: 2 servings
Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 2 small handfuls fresh chopped rosemary (I used a tablespoon of dried rosemary, crushed)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, one juiced and one sliced for serving
  • 2 large split bone-in chicken breasts
  • 3 large handfuls arugula

1. Place chicken into a large resealable bag. Add rosemary, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Seal and shake. Refrigerate for 3 hours, rotating the bag every 15 minutes or so.

2. Fire up your grill for two zone (direct and indirect) cooking.

3. Remove chicken from marinade, shaking off the excess, and sear on both sides over direct heat. Remove to indirect heat and continue cooking until done. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

4. Serve chicken over arugula with lemon wedges on the side.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Yep, just a good ole margarita, served in a Mason jar.

Adjust the amount of tequila (and salt) to taste. These are good, trust me!

Makes: 2 large margaritas
Prep time: 5 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lime, halved
  • Margarita or kosher salt
  • 2 pint Mason jars
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 5 medium limes)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 medium lemon)
  • 1 cup Triple Sec
  • 3/4-1 cup white tequila
  • 2 cups ice, plus more for serving

1. Pour a little of the salt out on a plate or bowl. Rub rim of the jars with the halved lime. Dip jars into salt to coat the rims.

2. Place remaining ingredients into a blender and puree until thick.

3. Pour blender contents into a shaker. Add a few cubes of ice and shake. Strain into jars and serve.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chili Mango Shrimp with Pineapple Fried Rice

I wanted to cook up something different. Something visually different and of course, really tasty. This idea from We Are Not Martha fit the bill perfectly.

The fried rice definitely has some kick. We really liked it a lot. The sweetness of the pineapple offset the heat perfectly.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 1 1/2 hours
Cook time: 15 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • Chili mango shrimp (see below)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 habanero, minced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 T olive oil (divided)
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 pineapples
  • 1 t sesame oil

1. Cut pineapples in half. Remove centers and cut the good flesh into chunks.

2. Heat a wok over high heat. Add in the shrimp and the marinade and cook until shrimp starts to turn pink. Remove to a plate.

3. Wipe out the wok with a paper towel. Add 1/2 T of oil and coat the sides of the wok. Place eggs in a small bowl and scramble with a fork. Pour into wok and cook, scrambling, until done. Remove to the plate with the shrimp.

4. Wipe out the wok and add the remaining oil. Add the garlic, habenero, red pepper, and green onions and cook until fragrant.

5. Add rice, stir and cook until rice begins to sizzle.

6. Add in soy sauce, peas, cooked shrimp and egg, pineapple chunks, and the sesame oil. Heat thoroughly.

7. Serve fried rice in pineapple halves with more soy sauce on the side if desired.

For the Chili Mango Shrimp:

  • 1 medium mango, peeled and cubed
  • 2 T chili paste
  • 1 T fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 lb fresh gulf shrimp, shelled and deveined

1. Place mango in a blender or chopper and process until smooth.

2. Place pureed mango, chili paste, ginger and vinegar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and continue simmering for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. Pour marinade into a resealable bag and add shrimp. Shake to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour before using.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

His Place Eatery, Indianapolis, Indiana

Mike and I recently went to His Place Eatery. When we arrived, we were greeted enthusiastically by our waiter. The waiter knew the menu and was excited about the food.

Mike got the fried chicken (fresh dropped), mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and cornbread. He said the chicken was insanely good and he loved the green beans. I got the smoked meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing and cornbread. The meatloaf was really well seasoned and you could taste the smoke flavor. It was cooked over hickory wood and topped with pepper bacon. The homemade sweet and spicy sauce was delicious. The mashed potatoes were real mashed potatoes just like Mom would make.

Chef James Jones stopped by our table and chatted with us for a moment. The chef and his wife are very pleasant. Their passion really comes through in their food. We will definitely go back. Everything was delicious! This was home cooking at its finest.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Nacho Dogs

There are a lot of different ways to dress up your ordinary hot dogs, and this is one of my favorites.

If you're in a hurry you can substitute store-bought salsa, but make the guacamole fresh. I found the original recipe here.

Makes: 4 hot dogs
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 4 hot dogs
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Pickled jalapeños, to taste
  • 2 handfuls tortilla chips, crushed
  • Guacamole (see below)
  • Salsa (see below)

1. Grill dogs and toast buns.

2. To assemble, place dogs on buns. Top with cheese, jalapeño, guacamole, salsa, and crushed chips.

For the salsa:

Cook time: 10 minutes


  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo puree

1. Heat grill to high. Brush tomatoes with one tablespoon of the oil and place on grill. Grill until skin is charred but tomatoes are still somewhat firm. Remote from grill and let cool slightly.

2. Cut tomatoes in half and remove seeds. Chop.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining oil, vinegar, and chipotle. Add in tomatoes, stir. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the guacamole:

Prep time: 10 minutes


  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Combine all ingredients, smashing the avocado slightly as desired. Season with salt and pepper.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chinese Meatball Sandwiches

I went on a meatball kick for a few days. These Chinese meatballs are what got it all started because they are fantastic.

Instead of serving them over noodles, which would be just fine, I decided to make them as sandwiches. Really good, and just as good leftover. I found the original recipe here.

Makes: 4 sandwiches
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Printable Recipe


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 lb raw shrimp, shelled, deveined, minced
  • 1/4 cup water chestnut, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh gingerroot, minced
  • 1 whole green onion, minced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 head Napa cabbage, cored, chopped into 2" pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 hoagie rolls


1. In a large bowl combine the pork, shrimp, water chestnuts, ginger, green onion, one tablespoon of the soy sauce, one tablespoon of chicken broth, salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar, one tablespoon of cornstarch and the egg. Using your hands, mix well then form 12-16 meatballs, all about the size of a golf ball.

3. Heat oil in a wok. Add the meatballs (working in batches if needed) and cook until browned, about 6-10 minutes. Remove meatballs to a large saucepan.

4. Add the broth and remaining soy sauce and sugar to the pan with the meatballs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Spread cabbage over the tops of the meatballs, cover, and continue simmering for 10-15 more minutes or until the cabbage has started to soften.

6. Remove meatballs from saucepan. In a small cup, mix the remaining cornstarch and three tablespoons of water. Add to the saucepan along with the sesame oil and whisk to thicken.

7. Serve meatballs and cabbage on buns topped with the sauce.