Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jerk Pork Chops, Pineapple, and Cucumbers in Sour Cream

This is a triple threat today.  A little taste of Floribbean on this 82 degree Saturday!

Jerk Pork Chops: (marinade recipe from

2, thick cut pork chops
jerk marinade: 

1/2 cup Pimenta ( allspice berries)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6-8 garlic cloves
4-6 Scotch bonnet peppers
1 tablespoon ground thyme or 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
1-2 bunches scallions (green onions)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoon soy sauce to moisten

Put content in a food processor or blender and liquefy
Pour sauce in a Jar and keep refrigerated.
The sauce will keep forever if kept refrigerated
To increase spiciness blend pepper and pimenta and add to sauce the hot peppers at any time.

Marinate the chops over night and flip once in the morning to make sure they are evenly coated.

Ideally, you would use allspice wood if you have it, if not, hickory chips work just fine.  Soak the chips in water and follow your smokebox's directions for us. Preheat your grill to high heat and place the chops on the gill, close lid for 1 minute.  Flip the chops, baste and cover for another minute.  Drop the heat to medium and continue to grill the chops for another 4 minutes.  Flip the chops, baste and close the lid and grill for another 4 minutes. Remove from grill and let stand at least 5 minutes before serving to let the meat rest.

Cucumbers in Sour Cream:


2 medium cucumbers, peeled, sliced thin
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 tsp salt

1/4 to 1/3 C Heinz (brand is important) apple cider vinegar
1 Tbl sugar
8 oz sour cream
Just before serving, drain cucumbers and onions WELL.
Blend dressing ingredients together. Add dressing to cucumbers and onions. Garnish with paprika.

Grilled Pineapple

This one couldn't be easier.  Either use a fresh pineapple, or the easiest way, a can of pineapple slices.  drain the pineapple and reserve the juice to mix with your orange juice (YUMMO).  Sprinkle both sides of the pineapple slices with a little brown sugar to help them caramelize on the grill.  Place the slices on the grill over medium heat for 4 minutes total, flipping frequently to avoid sticking/burning.  Serve immediately or over ice cream.

OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!!!  This was SOOOOOO yummy!  The cucmber recipe is from my Aunt Josie and perfectly compliments the heat from the jerk.  The pineapples were perfect and the whole meal just tasted like sunshine on a plate.  This one is going in the highly recommend pile!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Remy's Ratatouille

While I love my veggies as much as the next girl, I tend to keep my vegetarian main dishes to pasta or casseroles.  I wasn't sure about this one, but I thought I'd give it a shot.  I got the recipe from Pinterest from a blog: Smitten Kitchen .  Here's the recipe:

1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 cup tomato puree (such as Pomi)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant (my store sells these “Italian Eggplant” that are less than half the size of regular ones; it worked perfectly)
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.
Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.
On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.
Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.
Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.
Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. (Tricky, I know, but the hardest thing about this.)
Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.
Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.
We didn't really change much on this one.  Ours isn't as "pretty" as the other because frankly we don't have a mandoline or food processor, lol. We used individual casserole dishes and my hubby left out the peppers since he knows I can't stand them (but seriously I did buy them just for this recipe and now I'm stuck with a couple of peppers *sigh*).  He added Italian seasoning on top instead of just thyme.  Delicious!  Seriously this tasted so fresh and smelled incredible both while cooking and eating.  I think I liked it more than the hubs since he used a bunch of all fairness though he'd put salt on a salt lick.  I worry that without serving it over pasta or with bread we may get a bit hungry later, but for now I'm all kinds of full.  I give this one ****