Game Day

Corn & Black Bean Salad

April 16, 2012

Corn & Black Bean Salad


This simple and colorful salad is packed full of flavor.  With the combination of sweet corn, tender black beans, cherry tomatoes and zesty cilantro in a vinaigrette dressing what could be better.



2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Corn

1/2 Cup Chopped Red Onion

2 Tablespoons Malt Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

4 Cups Black Beans

1 Cup Halved Cherry Tomatoes

1/3 Cup Chopped Cilantro


In a medium size pot add water and bring to a boil.  Add the fresh corn and cook for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat and drain well.  Rinse in cold water and drain again.  If you are using frozen corn skip the cooking process.  Just thaw the corn out.  In a large size bowl whisk together the malt vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper to make the dressing.  Add the beans, corn, chopped onions and cherry tomato halves.  Toss just until all of the ingredients are incorporated.  Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.  Add the cilantro and toss again before serving.  Serves 4


Cream Cheese Pound Cake

April 15, 2012

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This cake is moist, tender, golden brown and very velvety.  It has all the richness and pure buttery flavor of classic pound cake, but with a delicate tang. 


3 Cups Cake Flour

1 Teaspoon Salt

4 Large Room Temperature Eggs

2 Room Temperature Egg Yolks

1/4 Cup Milk

3 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Sugar

24 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (3 Sticks)

6 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese


Before you turn on the oven adjust the oven rack to the middle position.  Preheat your oven to 300° F.  Grease and flour 12 cup nonstick Bundt pan.  In a medium size bowl, combine the flour and salt.  In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup whisk the eggs, 2 yolks, milk and vanilla.  In a separate large size bowl, beat together (by hand or with an electric mixer) the sugar, butter and cream cheese for 3 minutes until fluffy.  Reduce the speed to low and very slowly add the egg mixture until incorporated.  The batter may look slightly curdled.  Add the flour mixture in 3 additions.  Scrape down the bowl as needed.  Give the batter a final stir by hand.  Scrap the batter into a prepared pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to release air bubbles.  Bake for 80 to 90 minutes.  Rotate the pan halfway through baking.  Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Remove the cake from the pan and cool completely, for about 2 hours.  Serve plain or topped with frosting or fruit.  Serves 12

Roman Artichokes

April 14, 2012

Roman Artichokes



2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

8 Medium Artichokes

1 1/2 Cups Chopped Mint Leaves

1 Cup Dried Bread Crumbs

1 Cup Fresh Bread Crumbs

1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Chopped Garlic Cloves

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper


Fill a large bowl with cold water and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Trim the artichokes by laying each artichoke on its side and with a serrated knife cut 1 inch off the top.  Trim the stem end and cut off the stem level with the bottom of the artichoke.  Peel the tough outer layer of the stem with a vegetable peeler.  Bend back the dark outer leaves just from around the base of the artichoke.  Snap off and throw away.  With kitchen shears trim the thorny tips from the remaining leaves.  Place the stems and trimmed artichokes in the bowl of lemon water to prevent browning.  Repeat with the remaining artichokes.  In a large skillet heat 1 inch of water to a boil.  Stand the artichokes in the boiling water.  Add the stems and heat to boiling.  Reduce the heat to medium low.  Cover and simmer for 35 minutes.  Drain the artichokes.  In a medium size bowl combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice, mint, all of the breadcrumbs, Romano cheese, oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  This should make about 3 1/2 cups.  Preheat the oven to 400° F.  When the artichokes are cool enough to handle pull out the prickly center leaves from each artichoke with a teaspoon.  Scrape out the fuzzy choke and throw away (without cutting into the heart).  Finely chop the stems and stir into the mint mixture.  Stand the artichokes on a large baking sheet – stems down.  Pull the leaves down to open slightly.  Spoon the mint mixture between the leaves and into the center cavities (a little less than 1/2 cup per artichoke).  Bake for 25 minutes until the stuffing is golden and the artichokes are heated through.  Serve hot.  Serves 8


Grilled Pork Medallions

April 13, 2012

Grilled Pork Medallions


When I picked these pork medallions up from the butcher I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do with them.  Because pork tends to end up dry I decided to place them in a marinade overnight.  These Pork Medallions came out superb!  If you don’t have a grill you can put them under the broiler for 4 to 6 minutes per side. 



1 1/2  Pounds Pork Medallions

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

4 Chopped Garlic Cloves

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1 Teaspoon Oregano

1 Teaspoon Yellow Curry

1 Teaspoon Dried Mustard

1 Sliced Onion


In a flat baking dish put the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Stir to blend.  Add the oregano, yellow curry and dried mustard and stir to mix well.  Add the pork medallions and sliced onion to the marinade mix.  Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.  When you are ready to cook preheat your grill.  Cook for 4 to 6 minutes on each side depending on how thick the medallions are.  Transfer to a warm serving dish and serve hot.  Serves 4


Chocolate Chip Shorties

April 10, 2012

Chocolate Chip Shorties

This is my go to recipe when I want to make quick cookies, but I don’t want to sacrifice taste.


1 Pound Softened Butter

1 Cup Sugar

5 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

12 Ounces Chocolate Chips

Preheat your oven to 350° F. In a large size mixing bowl cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Gradually add the flour and combine with a wooden spoon. Add the chocolate chips and mix well. As the mixture becomes thick knead it lightly with your fingers until it is firm. Pack the dough into a lightly buttered baking dish. Prick the center with a fork. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. While in the pan cut into squares. Cool completely and remove from the pan. Transfer to a serving plate. Makes approximately 24 cookies depending on how big you cut them.

Spice Pound Cake

March 29, 2012

Spiced Pound Cake


1 Cup Butter

1 ½ Teaspoons Ground Nutmeg, Mace or Cinnamon

½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 2/3 Cups Sugar

5 Eggs

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Soften the butter and add the spice of your choice and the salt. Beat for 4 minutes with an electric beater or 8 minutes by hand. Gradually blend in the sugar until fluffy, beating 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Finally, beat in the flour. Turn the mixture into a well greased and lightly floured bundt pan or 9×3 ½ inch tube cake pan. Preheat your oven to 350°. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out cleans. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Turn out on a wire rack to finish cooling. Serves 8

Pan Roasted Herbed Fingerling Potatoes

March 27, 2012

Pan Roasted Herbed Fingerling Potatoes

These Pan Roasted Herbed Fingerling Potatoes are a flavorful addition to any springtime menu and perfect for an Easter Dinner.


12 Scrubbed Fingerling Potatoes

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Victoria’s Dry Rub

Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Set over a high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool under cold running water. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, place the potatoes on a cutting board and slice in half lengthwise. Season the potatoes with Victoria’s Dry Rub. Heat a large sauté pan with the olive oil over a medium heat. Place the potatoes, cut side down, in the pan and cook for 3 minutes until browned and crispy. Turn the potatoes to the other side and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss the potatoes with additional Victoria’s Dry Rub if you wish. Serve hot. Serves 4

Cream Biscuits

March 25, 2012

Cream Biscuits


3 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Tablespoon Sugar

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

¾ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 ¼ Cups Heavy Cream

Move your oven rack to the upper middle position and preheat your oven to 450° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the cream for 30 seconds until combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gather into a ball. Knead briefly for 30 seconds until smooth. Shape the dough into a ¾ inch circle. Dip a 2 ½ biscuit cutter in flour and cut the biscuits into rounds. Recombine the scraps as needed to make 12 biscuits. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes – rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking. You want the biscuits to be golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Makes 12 biscuits.

Country Ham

March 25, 2012

Country Ham

From colonial times until the advent of refrigeration, the process of packing hams in salt, smoking them, then hanging them to dry for up to two years was a way Americans preserved meat. These days, quickly brined “city” hams have all but eclipsed this older, slower country style. Or at least they have in the North. But in the South, people still produce and eat country hams, not for preservation but because they’re powerfully porky and incredibly delicious. Use hams aged six months or less for this recipe. Mold on country ham is not a sign of spoilage. It is a natural effect of the curing and aging process. Serve ham on biscuits if you like. Leftover ham is delicious in scrambled eggs, cheese grits or macaroni and cheese.


1 Three to Six Month Old Bone-In Country Ham (13 to 15 Pounds)

½ Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon Dry Mustard

2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Move your oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 325° F. Using a clean, stiff bristled brush, scrub the ham under cold running water to remove any surface mold. Transfer the ham to a cutting board and trim off the dry meat, skin and all but ¼ inch of fat. Score the fat cap in ½ inch crosshatch pattern (about ¼ inch deep). Transfer the ham to a roasting pan fat side up. Add 1 quart of water and cover the pan tightly with foil. Bake for 4 ½ hours until thickest part of the meat registers 140° F. Remove the ham from the oven and throw away the foil. Turn the oven temperature up to 450° F. In a medium size bowl combine the brown sugar, mustard and black pepper. Rub over the top of the ham. Return the ham to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes until glazed. Transfer the ham to a carving board and let rest for 20 minutes. Carve thin slices and serve. Serves 12

Sausage Soup

March 24, 2012

Sausage Soup

This soup is a simple recipe with great flavor and is the quintessential Italian comfort food. I like to double the recipe and have leftovers during the week. It’s easy to make in a big batch for a potluck.


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Pound Italian Sausage (Casings Removed)

2 Chopped Onions

4 Chopped Celery Stalks

2 Cans (14.5 Ounces Each) Diced Tomatoes

3 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Teaspoon Basil

4 Cups Chicken Broth

3 ½ Cups Water

1 Cup Macaroni

2 Cans (15 Ounces Each) Cannellini Beans

¼ Cup Minced Fresh Parsley

¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

Grated Parmesan Cheese For Serving

In a large Dutch oven heat the olive oil over a medium high heat. Cook the sausage for 5 minutes. Break up the large pieces with a wooden spoon. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat left in the Dutch oven. Drain the tomatoes and reserve the liquid. Add the onions, garlic, celery, tomatoes, basil and cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat. Stir in the browned sausage, reserved tomato juice, broth and water and bring to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse the beans. Stir in the beans and cook for 5 minutes until heated through. Stir in parsley, salt and pepper. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 8

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