Thursday, July 28, 2011

pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw and barbecue sauce

i love pulled pork sandwiches!  tilly's brother herbie introduced me to these sandwiches at an early age.  we  might be  yankees but we have cousins in virginia...and every time herbie visited them he had to go to bill's barbecue in richmond and load up.  he would buy enough to fill a cooler and bring it all home in quart containers.  then back in tilly's kitchen he would assemble those sandwiches.  it had to be a soft hamburger type roll...then the pulled pork...then some barbecue sauce (he would also add hot sauce) and then a dollop of coleslaw....then dive in.....needless to say it was gone as soon as he got it home.  i decided to try to make the pulled pork sandwich with the cole slaw and the barbecue sauce...all homemade.  now i don't have a fancy smoker...unlike herbie...who got a little crazy and tried to build a cinder block oven in tilly's back yard.
tilly, buddy (my grandfather) and herbie, they all look so cute

i started by having a talk with the butcher...he got me set up with a 2.5 pound pork butt with the bone in.  i decided to do some research...this is actually my second try on this....i did not like the dry rub i used last by michael chiarello....was too spicy for my taste.  in the end mostl of my recipes here are adapted from bobby flay.
a slider size version yummiliscious
recipe after the jump

Saturday, July 23, 2011

visiting the Farmer's Market at Ashlawn Farm, Lyme CT

i woke up early on saturday morning and decided to visit the farmer's market at ashlawn farm in lyme.  it was a beautiful clear sunny hot day and the market was busy!  i parked my car in the hay field with about 40 other cars already there.  the air was buzzing with people catching up with one another, kids, dogs and beautiful scenery.  it almost felt like an old time market day (only with air-conditioned cars and lattes), kind of like the markets you still see in italy. (and they have air conditioned cars and espresso)  what a nice way to start a summer weekend.
things are just getting started on saturday morning at ashlawn in lyme ct
more after the jump

Sunday, July 17, 2011

tuscan lemon chicken

in italy they create things on the grill with steak, chicken and pork that are just fantastic.  i have tried to replicate it, lots of different ways.....researching different cook books and online resources.   relatively few ingredients, put together simply ....(olive oil, salt, pepper, sometimes lemon or garlic) the results are mind boggling.  how can it taste so good?  some of it has to be the quality of the meat and the way the olives are grown and pressed,  the dirt...all of it!  when i go to italy i feel good....i was born to eat simple italian food.  (duh, i feel good because i am on vacation!!!! i know)   i saw ina garten make the tuscan lemon chicken on looked really had that italian simplicity...bumped up a bit. ( also this recipe is in the barefoot contessa back to basics cookbook)
it's ok to make extra you will want the leftovers for lunch the next day
 i have made this recipe lots of times...mostly i use it as a guideline....and mess with the usual.  the most troubling aspects of the recipe are finding a chicken the right size and doing that cutting to make the whole chicken flat...but after several disasters that included some pretty raw chicken that had to go back on the grill, i have totally given up on the whole chicken thing.  (these disasters were mostly trying to use a supermarket chicken...which are too big because they are really for roasting...the worst disaster was the time i bought an over stuffer roaster...what was i thinking?? my  attempts to split the chicken were so ridiculous, that brit and i laughed so hard we cried) now i ask the butcher to split the whole breasts in half and buy as many as i need.  this works very well as long as they are not huge.

recipe after the jump

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ina garten's raisin pecan oatmeal cookies

i have made lots of  cookies over the years...mostly around the holidays.  my cookie mentor was not tilly though, it was my mother in law lillian.  she was born in norway and immigrated to this country in her late 20's/ early 30's.  she brought  to america, her pastry skills and a sense of duty to make the required cookies for christmas....regardless of time or money or the difficulty finding the perfect ingredients.... not to mention the fact that all of her recipes from home were metric.   lillian made all of the different kinds every year with potato flour, ground almonds ..things i had never seen before....and the finished products had to look perfect or she would throw them in the trash.....watching this process as a young bride was a shocker for me, since i had never actually seen anyone bake scratch cookies outside of home-ec class ......the thought of throwing out perfectly good cookies because the edge was a tiny bit brown, defied imagination.  ( i grabbed them before they hit the trash)  .....i am beginning to think the artistic perfection streak might have been passed on to my daughter kelsey, who will literally spend 6 hours creating gorgeous sugar cookies, that happen to taste good.  me, on the other hand....i am a different kind of cookie baker....i like cookies that don't require much decorating but taste really good!  so i do have a couple of lillian's recipe's that i will share around the holidays....but mostly i stick to the basics that taste good.  this recipe for oatmeal cookies is from ina garten's back to basics cookbook and it makes some seriously yummy cookies.
these are best enjoyed light brown and crunchy
recipe after the jump

Sunday, July 10, 2011

grilled barbecue chicken with caramelized onion

lots of leftovers in the fridge after the 4th of july spread.......i didn't want to just serve up cold or reheated straight up i decided to dig around in the fridge and  to see what was in there.....hmm  there was some pizza dough, home made barbecue sauce leftover and leftover grilled chicken breast that was marinated in 16 spices and i had some nice looking vidalia onions and a block of cheddar.  i have made foccaccia on  the grill so why not use the same technique and make a full blown pizza.  grilling dough on the gas grill can be either awesome or total failure.  the key is getting just the right amount of olive oil on the dough after it is rolled out but before it goes on the hot grill.  and the next critical point is having the grill hot enough and not turning the dough over the first time until it is nicely brown.

mine is a crazy shape but who cares

recipe after the jump

Saturday, July 9, 2011

fourth of july "thanksgiving" picnic favorites with pickles and panzanella

happy weekend after the fourth, everyone! i had company all week and cooked up a storm......brit and i sat in the kitchen and sampled the cracked chocolate earth batter and laughed ....she said it felt like thanksgiving in july.....that is exactly what a summer holiday picnic should and food  (and thanks up there for the awesome weather!!!)......a plethora of all the picnic favorites.....i made pickles for the first time ever (easy and so much fun and they were yummy!) from smitten kitchen, and potato salad and beans, grilled 16 spice chicken breast with bobby flay inspired barbecue sauce,  cracked chocolate earth,  and ina garten's greek panzanella salad.
brit's nyc version in progress

panzanella and pickles recipe details and pics after the jump