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pork belly blt

Appetizers/ HotApp

Pork Belly (PBLT) Bites

If you like BLT’s you’ll love this.

Here’s the third installment of the pork belly saga.  I know you are thinking “is she ever going to get over pork belly” — the answer is NO.  I will save the taco and benedict recipes for later.

I made Anne Burrell’s recipe for braised pork belly a while back and knew since pork belly is my favorite “bacon” type product I wanted to try braising some.

I usually pick up my pork belly at an Asian market. It’s about the only thing I buy at the Asian market since I bought those frog legs that time that still had little webbed feet on them and looked like the offsprings of some mother or father that had been gigged one dark night from a “John” boat. (That’s the way my dad got them anyway.) These particular frogs looked more like babies than the big plump ones I have had in the past and I could have gone out in my yard and rounded up a few yard frogs if that were the type I wanted. (Of course I wouldn’t do that.)

If you don’t see pork belly ask your butcher about it or if you live where we were from in Missouri, it’s called Fresh Side Pork, or uncured bacon. Here’s the recipe just in case you want to try making braised pork belly.

This little appetizer is a play on BLT sandwich. I love Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches, who doesn’t, and I cannot tell you what year I last had one. Why? I don’t know, but this app has all the ingredients but in one small (or two) bites.

Longman and Eagle in Chicago use to serve a pork belly sandwich that was spread with a tomato fennel jam and it was mouth watering delicious. Since I don’t intend on making that jam, I was excited to find a jar of tomato preserves at our local gourmet market.

My plan of attack for this little bite was to butter a thin slice of baguette, top with a little tomato jam, a leaf of arugular, crispy pork belly (or thick apple smoked bacon), then a thin slice of calmari tomato and maybe another piece of argula (or not). Then a little drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Continue Reading…

Entree/ Pork

Braised Pork Belly

And she said oink, oink, oink all the way home or at least into my pot.

Food trends come and go. In 2013 we had our cupcakes (they’ve been around for quite a while), pretzel buns, sriracha, bacon, egg on top of everything.

From what I have read on some internet chats the top trending things now are citrus flavorings, (especially grapefruit), craft cocktails including “adult” milkshakes, Asian bowls, raw meats, bitter greens, anything fermented, bourbon, oysters, vegetable-based dishes; noodle bars, “Spam” dishes, tortas, biscuits, yeahhhh and pork belly (Lardo) is still on the list,  smoked everything, designer brand-name meats, Korean inspiration in our kitchens, woooah and the rise of the pressure cooker.

I love my pressure cooker and I do use it from time to time; it is the quickest way I know how to make a good stew. Just throw in the meat and cook for about 20 minutes and you have fork tender stew meat; and I can cook a pot of beans in less than 30 minutes.

Over the last few years I have seen pork belly in a lot of things. Pork Belly taco is great from Big Star restaurant in Chicago, pork belly on steamed buns (recipe in a couple of days along with the steamed buns),  pork belly cut into little lardons and fried until crispy as a garnish for a good bowl of creamy soup. I’ve seen pork belly served on top of french fries, and my favorite is a pork belly BLT sandwich with arugula and a tomato fennel jam (Longman and Eagle); and I may try that one with some of my left over braised pork belly.

So, what is pork belly anyway? It’s a boneless cut of fatty meat from the belly of a pig. Both bacon and the pork belly start as a cut from the fatty underbelly of “porky”. Curing the piece is what turns it into bacon (my son, Paul, smokes his pork belly and turns it into bacon), but braising that same piece of meat turns it into the most mouth watering bite you will ever taste. Some say pork belly is the new bacon.  I love them both.

So I’ve decided instead of having one long post with a thousand pictures I would break this pork belly marathon into 3 or 4 different post and post them a few days apart.

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New Years Resolutions

Keeping those resolutions so far?

So, we are into our second month of the new year. Did you make any resolutions and have you been able to keep them?

Our new years day always starts with either pork belly (or hog jowl), black eyed peas (of course), cabbage, and cornbread. There is hardly ever any deviation from this menu. I added some pico this year to go with my black eyed peas but that was only because I hadn’t made any chow chow in a couple of years and didn’t have even a jar tucked away in my pantry.

A New Year’s resolution is suppose to be a change you want to make in an undesired trait or behavior or something you want to accomplish in the new year. Off hand I can’t think of an undesirable trait I have (I’m kidding myself, I’m sure) and I know I have no behaviors I want to change (well, maybe a couple) but I would like to accomplish a few things this year like have my broken foot finally heal, and go to the gym more often, read more books, cook more, travel more and try to get rid of more stuff I do not need. Continue Reading…

Side dish

Potatoes and Turnip Au Gratin

Potatoes with what you say !

Can’t say I have always loved turnips; my taste has changed over the years (decades) since I was a kid and would ask my mother or grandmother what the smelly stuff was cooking away on the stove.

I’ve done some different things with a turnip other than cooking them. Take a look at my Turnip Rose garnish I use to make as a platter garnish for parties I would cater. ( I love playing around with vegetables.) I would say it takes me less than 10 minutes to make one. I love cooked turnips but my hub does not but he liked this dish. Who wouldn’t with a cheesy sauce and browned to  perfection. Mix just about anything with potatoes and you have a delicious side dish.

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Egg Dishes/ Morning Foods

Scrambled Eggs Benedict

This is a bit of a “Benedict” stretch”

Are you sitting with your morning pot of tea or cup of coffee pondering what you were going to throw together for breakfast. There are no rules to cooking (maybe just in baking recipes I guess) and I think every rule has an exception, especially this one. Is there a Benedict police out there that says you have to use an English Muffin, Canadian bacon (which isn’t even bacon), poached egg, and hollandaise? And, I’m sure there are a handful of you out there saying “don’t mess with my Eggs Benedict, your are a Eggs Benedict ARNOLD”.

It’s a stretch calling this eggs benedict; and I am using a microwave made hollandaise and putting it together like eggs Benedict.  All the other ingredients are new to the scene.

I had this pork belly in the refrigerator and didn’t think I was every going to get it all used up with.  I have made Steamed Buns with Pork Belly, Pork Belly Tacos, I tried a BLT appetizer made with the pork and still had some saying, pleaseeee, it’s my time to go.

Hollandaise has never  been my friend. It seems like it either curdles or I have it too cold to serve.  This time I decided this was going to be a quick breakfast. Other than making the biscuits (which I could do in my sleep), everything was almost ready to go. The poached eggs were replaced with a quick egg scramble; even a fried egg would have been good on this and I guess that would have more resembled the traditional poached egg. And the pork belly, as I said was on it’s last leg in my refrigerator.

If you didn’t do the pork belly try making this with some thick sliced bacon or a grilled boneless pork chop.

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Soup, Salad, & Sauces


Brunswick Stew

Butternut Squash Soup with Fried Sage Leaves

Cheesy Vegetable Soup

Chicken Egg Drop Soup

Chicken and White Bean Chili

Corn and Crab Bisque

Cornbread and Buttermilk Soup

Cream of Cabbage (and Potato) Soup

Creamy Chicken Poblano Pepper Soup

Cucumber Soup

Egg Flower Soup (Egg Drop)

Four Bean Chili

Fried Turkey Gumbo

Lobster and Shrimp Bisque

Mac ‘n Cheese Soup

New American Feast — Tasting Menu

Okra and Corn Chowder

Posole (Mexican Soup with Pork and Hominy)

Potato, Carrot, and Parsnip Soup

Potato and Leek Soup with Pancetta

Pumpkin Tomato Soup with Creme Fraiche and Parmesan Leaf Puffs

Quick and Easy Clam Chowder

Roasted Parsnip Bisque with Crispy Pork Belly

Sausage and Bean Chowder

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Slow-Cooked Chicken Tortilla Soup

Souffled French Onion Soup

Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup

Tomato Basil and Parmesan Soup

Tomato and Cauliflower Soup

Turkey Soup with Kale and Rice

Tuscan Tortellini Soup

White Bean Soup with Ham

Winter White Vegetable Soup


Almond Slaw with Edamame

Arugula and Watermelon Salad

Asian Chicken Salad

Asian Ramen Crusted Chicken Salad

Asian Salad with Chicken

Asparagus and Mushroom Salad

Avocado Bacon and Egg Pasta Salad

Avocado Shrimp Salad

Baby Blue Salad

Baby Romaine with Peaches and Bacon

Baked Goat Cheese Salad with Dates

B-E-A-T Salad

Bitter Greens with Yuzu Dressing

Blackberry Spinach Salad

Blood Orange and Mango Salad

BLT Stacked Tomatoes

Brussel Sprouts and Date Salad

Brussel Sprout Salad

Brussel Sprout Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Cranberries

Cauliflower Broccoli Salad with Apricots

Cauliflower “Potato” Salad

Chicken Salad Avocado Boats

Chicken Salad for the New Year

Chicken Stuffed Sea Shells

Cilantro Slaw

Couscous Salad with Strawberries, Avocado and Lime Vinaigrette 

Cranberry Kale Salad

Crunchy Asian Salad with Peanut Dressing

Crunchy Napa Cabbage Salad

Crunchy Peanut Slaw

Cubano Orzo Salad

Cucumber Noodle Salad

Cucumber Zucchini and Pineapple Salad

Dragon Fruit Salad

Easter Egg Radish Salad

Emerald City Salad (aka Crunchy Romaine Toss Salad)

Frozen Fruit Salad

Garlicky Greens

Georgia Cracker Salad

Green Pea Pasta with Vegetables

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with Avocado

Grilled Corn and Edamame Salad

Grilled Pork Chop and Roasted Apple Salad

Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Grilled Seafood Salad

Hawaiian Rice Salad

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Italian Chopped Salad

Jalapeno Potato Salad

Jicama Apple Salad

Kumquat Corn and a Few Other Things Salad

Massaged Kale Salad

Marinated Bean Salad

Marinated Slaw

Mediterranean Grain Salad

Nutty Coleslaw

Oeuf Mayonnaise

Orange, Avocado and Watermelon Salad

Pasta and Arugula Sala and Herb Dressing

Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Shrimp

Pasta Pesto with Peas

Pasta Spinach Salad with Mandarins and Cherries

Peach and Arugula Salad with Pancetta Chips

Peanut Noodle Salad

Peanut Zucchini and Cucumber Spiralized Salad

Pesto Cauliflower with Arugula Salad

Potato and Arugula Salad

Potato and Green Bean Salad

Potluck Macaroni Salad

Pumpkin Salad with Goat Cheese with Maple Vinaigrette

Rainbow Chicken Apple Slaw

Rainbow Slaw with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Red and Green Cabbage Salad with Fennel

Red Quinoa Salad in Cucumber Cup

Roasted Beet Napoleons

Roasted Beet and Pinenut Salad

Roasted Pear and Raspberry Salad

Salad Luke

Salad Lyonnaise

Seaside Slaw

Sensation Salad with Avocado

Shaved Asparagus Salad

Shaved Zucchini Salad

Shrimp and Avocado Salad

Shrimp Louie Salad

Smoked Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Roasted Pecans

Spicy Bean Sprout Salad

Spicy Green Bean and Cucumber Salad

Spring Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Summer Corn Salad

Sweet Corn Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

Thai Steak Salad

Tomato and Arugula Salad

Tomato and Edamame Salad

Tomato Crab Amuse Bouche

Tomato and Onion Salad

Tomato Watermelon Salad

Trofie Pasta Salad with Bacon and Avocado

Tropical Rice and Chicken Salad

Tuscan Bread Salad (Panzanella)

Watermelon Salad with Goat Cheese

Wedge Salad on a Different Angle

Zucchini Salad Bowl

Salad Dressings:

Basil Pistachio Salad Dressing

Buttermilk Dressing

Peanut Dressing

Poppy Seed Dressing

Spiced Yogurt Dressing

Yuzu Dressing


Preserved Lemons

Sauces & Etc.:

Blueberry Mustard Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce

Chipotle Butter

Hollandaise Sauce

Lemon Butter Sauce

Lemon Veloute Sauce

Mock Devonshire Cream

Parmesan Basil Sauce

Port and Sun-dried Cherry Sauce

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

Zippy Orange Sauce




Firey Angel Hair Pasta

Israeli Couscous with Tarragon

Pesto Pasta with Peas

Zucchini and Whole Wheat Pasta with Pinenuts

White Cheddar Mac and Cheese with Truffle Oil


American Fried Potatoes with Onions

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes

Cheesy Mashed Potato Pancakes

Creamy Red Potatoes with Snap Peas

Herbed Potato Window Panes

Jalapeno Potato Salad

One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four

Fingerling Potatoes with Preserved Lemons

Fried Smashed Potatoes with Lemon Thyme

Mashed Potatoes with Mushrooms

Parsley Fingerling Potatoes

Potatoes Colcannon

Potato Dominoes

Potato and Green Bean Salad

Potatoes Pave

Potato and Poblano Gratin

Rosemary Potato Swirl

Sweet Potato Hash



Bacon Cheddar Green Chili Grits

Bacon and Tomato Cheese Grits

Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Pork Belly

Cuban Style Brown Rice and Black Beans

Forbidden Black Rice and Mushrooms

Green Pea Risotto with Pan Seared Halibut

Grits with Corn and Goat Cheese

Lemon Parsley Rice

Mexican Rice with Cheese

Red Ginger Rice and Chick Peas

Sweet Corn Risotto with Blue Cheese

Sweet Corn Risotto with Goat Cheese



Asparagus Coins

Asparagus with Egg and Bacon

Asparagus with Orange Sauce

Asparagus Squared

Baby Bok Choy with Brown Butter Garlic Sauce

Baby Carrots with Dried Apricots

Baby Eggplant with Pine Nut Salsa

Balsamic Cippolini Onions with Tomatoes

Balsamic Glazed Asparagus with Pearl Onions

BLT Stacked Green Tomatoes

Bok Choy and Peas

Brussel Sprout and Date Salad

Brussel Sprouts with Squash, Bacon and Raisins

Candy Stripe Beet Greens

Caramelized Mushrooms

Cauliflower Couscous

Cauliflower Mash with Kale

Cauliflower “Potato” Salad

Cauliflower Steak and Onions

Charred Broccolini with Hazelnuts and Raisins

Confetti Maux Choux

Cream Spinach with Glazed Mushrooms

Creamy Kale au Gratin

Elote (Spiced Mexican Corn)

Eggs Foo Yung (Shrimp)

French Breakfast Radishes and Baby Carrots

Fried Brussels Sprout Leaves

Fried Green Tomatoes with Black Eyed Pea Vinaigrette

Fried Green Tomatoes with Ravigote Sauce

Funky Corn with Pickled Fresnos and Aioli

Grilled Tomatoes and Onions

Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Dressing

Hatch Corn and Chile Cheese Pie

Honey Lime Carrots and Radishes with Cilantro

Julienned Vegetables (with Tuna)

Lemon Basil Cauliflower Steaks

Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sesame Seeds and Raisins

Parmesan Baked Tomatoes

Pesto Cauliflower with Arugula Salad

Pickled Roasted Golden Beets

Pickled Yellow Squash

Pistachio Zucchini Fans

Red Chard and Pine-Nuts

Refried Beans

Roasted Beet Napoleons

Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Roasted Onions with Cheese Topping

Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Green Beans

Roasted Serrano and Jalapenos on our Grill Partner

Rosemary Roasted Vegetables

Sauteed Cabbage and Kale

Savory Cabbage with Caraway

Smashed Brussel Sprouts with Pistachios

Spinach Dal (Dhal, Dhall)

Spring Peas with Dates and Walnuts

Squash Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Stephanie’s Magic Beans

Stir-Fried Asparagus and Shitake Mushrooms

Stuffed Butternut Squash

Swiss Chard and the French Market

Thin and Crispy Onion Rings

Tipsy Beans

White Mash with Crispy Shallots

Yellow Squash and Friends

Zucchini Corn Boats

Zucchini Tomato Boats


Macadamia Nut Pineapple Casserole


Hot Appetizers:

Asian Chicken Skewers

Baby Eggplant with Pine Nut Salsa

Bacon Jalapeno Cheddar Frico

Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts

Bacon Wrapped Dates with Balsamic

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato

Baked Goat Cheese with Tomatoes and Pesto

Balsamic Mushroom Panini

Bang Bang Shrimp

Bar-B-Q Shrimp

BLT Stacked Tomatoes

Buttermilk Fried Quail Legs

Caramelized Mushrooms

Cheese Souffle Puffs

Cheesy Bacon Caraway Toast

Cheesy Baked Olives

Cheesy Mashed Potato Pancakes

Cheesy Stuffed Baby Bells

Classic Falafel with Tzatziki Sauce

Coconut Shrimp Wontons

Corn and Crab Fritters

Cornbread Jalapeno Poppers

Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Horseradish Sauce

Crawfish Hushpuppies

Crispy Aspargus Straws

Crispy Buffalo Wings with Two Sauces

Crispy Salt and Pepper Shrimp

Crunchy Firecracker Shrimp

Dijon Ham and Cream Cheese Biscuits

Duck Confit

Duck Crepe with Port Wine Cherry Sauce

Edamame with Garlic and Soy

The Best Egg Rolls

Eggplant Capanota

Elote Dip

Escargot in Parsley-Garlic Butter

Fontina and Mushroom Tarts

Fried Avocado with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Fried Brussels Sprout Leaves

Fried Deviled Eggs

Fried Eggplant Chips with Honey Drizzle

Fried Squash Blossoms

French Fried Beets with Japanese Mayonnaise

Garlic and Oregano Naan

Grilled Peach and Prosciutto Kebabs

Grilled Shishito Peppers with Garlic Aioli

Hawaiian Coconut Shrimp with Orange Marmalade Sauce

Hawaiian Pork Sliders

Herbed Potato Window Panes

Hot Spinach Dip with Tomatoes and Herbed Pita Chips

Hushpuppies My Dad’s Way

Italian Stuffed Mushrooms

Jalapeno Cocktail Pie Squares

Jalapeño Popper Spread

Jalapeno Quail Legs

Little Bites Mezze Table

Macadamia Nut Encrusted Goat Cheese

Mini Corn Dogs with Mustard Dipping Sauce

Mini Grilled Pork Skewers

Momofuku’s Steamed Buns and Quick Pickles

Mushroom Asparagus Tarts

Mushroom Turnovers in Cream Cheese Pastry

New American Feast — Tasting Menu

Oyster BLT Amuse

Parmesan Bacon Wraps

Parmesan Crab Grilled Oysters

Parmesan Shrimp Toast

Pecorino Cheese Pudding

The Perfect Antipasto Platter

Pork Belly (PBLT) Bites

Pork Fries with White Bar-B-Q Sauce

Pork Satay with Three Dipping Sauces

Potato Cakes & Smoked Salmon

Proscuitto and Gruyere Palmiers

Proscuitto Wrapped Asparagus with Parmesan and Lemon

Roasted Serrano and Jalapenos on our Grill Partner

Rosemary and Blue Cheese Wafers

Salmon Cakes with Edamame and Wasabi Topping

Sausage Cheese Dip

Shrimp Corn Dogs with Blueberry Mustard

Shrimp Wontons

Smoky Hot Redfish (or Whitefish) Dip

Soppressata and Cheese in Puff Pastry


Spicy Potato Samosas

Sugar Cane Skewered Shrimp with Bacon and Pineapple

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Ham and Orange Marmalade

Tandoori Chicken Thigh Kabobs

Thai Chili Calamari with Orange Gremolata

Tomato Phyllo Pizza

Truffled Parmesan Frites

Walnut, Fig and Goat Cheese Phyllo Rolls

Cold Appetizers:

Avocado Bacon Canapes

Avocado Chicken Salad

Avocado Lime Shrimp Cups

Avocado Melon Salsa

Avocado Salmon Stacks

Baba Ganoush

Beefy Roasted Red Pepper Spread

Calico Shrimp Dip

Cheese Stuffed Rigatoni Bites

Chicken Avocado Spread

Chicken Stuffed Sea Shells

Chicken Liver Pate with Cognac Gelee

Cobb Deviled Eggs

Coconut Banana Puffs

Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Yogurt Sauce

Crab Shrimp and Endive Appetizer

Cranberry Avocado Salsa

Crawfish Spread

Cucumber Sandwiches

Deviled Egg Salad and Asparagus Tartines

Domaine Chandon Blue Cheese Spread

Egg Salad with avocado on Baguette

Egg Salad Baguette

Feta and Sun-dried Tomato Torte

Fromage Fort

French Breakfast Radishes with Baby Carrots (see sandwich)

Fig and Cheese Bruschetta

Garden Vegetable Terrine

Giardiniera Bruschetta

Gluten-Free Cheddar Cheese Crackers

Goldenrod Finger Sandwiches

Green and Yellow Tomato Salsa

Grilled Flank Kebabs with Chimichurri Sauce

Honey Pecan Stuffed Snow Peas

Honey and Pistachio Goat Cheese Appetizer

Huancaina (Peruvian Spicy Cheese Sauce)


Jalapeno Blue Cheese Spread

Jalapeño Shrimp Tostones

Layered Shrimp Pie

Little Bites

Mignonette Sauce for Oysters

Oeuf Mayonnaise

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Peanut Noodle Salad

Pepperoni Olive Kebab

Pepperoni Stuffed Black Olives

The Perfect Antipasto Platter

Pickled Mustard Seed

Pickled Shrimp in a Jar

Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese Bruschetta

Pink Heart Egg Finger Sandwich

Poke, Masubi, & MaiTais

Prosciutto Rolls with Fig Preserves

Pumpkin Bacon Spread

Red Fish Dip with Toasted Crostini

Roast Beef Rose Tea Sandwiches

Roasted Beet Napoleons

Rosemary Goat Frico

Rosemary Lafa bread and Hummus

Rosemary and the Goat

Salmon Martini

Savory Pecans

Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Shrimp and Mango Pintxos

Smoked Cured Egg Yolk

Smoked Salmon with Boursin

Smoked Salmon on a Chip

Smoked Salmon Stacks

Spicy Glazed Nuts and Pretzel Mix

Spicy Shrimp and Guac Bites

Sushi Challenge

Thai Tuna Wonton Chip

Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta and Aviation Cocktail

Tuna Tartare Nachos

Vivian Howard’s Party Cheese Ball

Watermelon Feta Squares

White Bean Hummus


Bacon Wrapped Dates with Balsamic

Fried Eggplant Chips with Honey Drizzle

Pork in Whiskey Sauce Tapas

Spanish-Style Tomato Toast (pan con tomate)

Amuse Bouche:

Bacon and Eggs

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes

Little Bites

Shrimp Boats (Shrimp Cocktail Sauce)

Tomato Crab Amuse Bouche

Watermelon Amuse


Cabbage Flower

Citrus Flower

Dried Pineapple Flowers

Preserved Lemons

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Garnish

Turnip Rose

Marmalades and Other Stuff:

Tangerine and Kumquat Marmalade