A Tisket, A Tasket, A Brisket In My Basket

image from http://www.istockphoto.com

I grew up with a meat cutter in the house.  So you’d think I might have picked up a nugget or two about cuts of beef and how to make the most of them.  Sadly, you’d be wrong.  I can’t tell a porterhouse from a t-bone (actually, these two are pretty similar according to the pdf chart put up by these folks, so I’m going to give myself a pass on that one) or a skirt steak from a bottom round.  I have even been known to pull out my smartphone in the grocery store to try and find substitutes when I can’t find the cut of beef specified in a recipe on the week’s menu.  So I thought I was on easy street when I decided to make Deb’s Southwestern Pulled Brisket because it seemed like I was always seeing brisket in the meat case.  Until I went to look for it that is.  And then it was nowhere to be found.  Not at Bloom or Safeway or Harris Teeter.  Was this some brisket conspiracy by the beef lobbyists?  Finally, I spied a lone brisket at Giant which was good because the internet connection on the Pre sucks in that store and I refused to go to yet another place in search of a cut of brisket.  Actually, Costco had huge briskets in the meat case but I’ve got neither the storage space nor the appetite for $30 of brisket. Continue reading “A Tisket, A Tasket, A Brisket In My Basket”

Jaden’s Coconut Shrimp

Jaden's Coconut Shrimp

These truths I  hold to be self evident:

  1. There are lots of food blogs out there.
  2. It’s impossible to follow every one.
  3. Clearly, I’m missing out on some good stuff.
  4. That’s not a good thing.

Thankfully, the blogs I read help me to find some of that good stuff that’s on other sites.  So I’m giving Alice @ Savory Sweet Life a big BAH thanks for her post of Jaden’s Coconut Shrimp.  Otherwise, this gem would have gone unnoticed by me.  And as #4 states, that is not a good thing.

I am entering this recipe in the Get Grillin’ Event run by Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored by Ile de France CheeseRösleEmile HenryRouxbe and ManPans. This week’s theme is appetizers.  Check out all the entries and submit one of your own!

Jaden’s Coconut Shrimp

The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons cognac
  • kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar (if using sweetened coconut, omit)

BAH Tip: If using smaller shrimp, work in batches so that they do not steam.  You want them to cook quickly in the pan so it’s important that you only have a single layer of shrimp in the pan at a time.

Pat shrimp dry with paper towels and set aside.

Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add the coconut.  Stir occasionally and toast until golden brown.  Transfer coconut to a plate.

Return empty frying pan to stove and set over high heat.  The pan is ready when a bead of water sizzles on contact and evaporates.  Add oil and shrimp to the pan.  Cook for one minute then turn and cook for one minute on the other side.  Remove shrimp from the pan, leaving as much oil in it as possible.

Reduce heat to medium and add butter to the pan.  Once it has melted and starts foaming, add the green onion and garlic.  Cook until fragrant, approximately 30 seconds.  Remove frying pan from the stove and add the cognac, a pinch of salt, and sugar (if using).  Return pan to the stove and stir to combine.  Return shrimp to the pan and let the sauce thicken slightly and coat the shrimp.

Remove from heat, add the toasted coconut, and gently toss to combine.

Serve as an appetizer or add rice for an entree.

{Printable Recipe}


The crappy economy makes it hard to feel like even an occasional splurge is ok.  But my wise friend Jeannie rightly pointed out that living in fear is not really living.  So from time to time I remind myself of that and try to work a special treat into the kitchen or pantry.  Maybe it’s a bottle of finishing oil to give dishes a lovely punctuation, a bar of extra dark chocolate to savor, or a small order of sushi for The Mistah to enjoy.  Most recently it was a container of white truffle butter and fancy pasta. Continue reading “Splurge”

Food Memories – Peasant Style Pork Chops

Peasant Style Pork Chops
Today’s Food Memory is courtesy of my pal Jim.  I think it is a perfect example of how food can help us keep alive the memory of those that we loved and lost.  I love you Jim and I like to believe that every time you make this dish, your dad is there sitting at the table with you.

Peasant Style Pork Chops

OK – here’s the story.  When my mom was sick back in the late 80’s, my dad HAD to learn how to cook, so he found all sorts of recipes that he experimented with ALL of the time.  Some sucked…and others would be INCREDIBLE!  This was my favorite.

EVERY time I would come home for dinner from college or even after I moved out and came home, this was the dinner he made.  My mom found the recipe about a year after he died.  I now make it with such FOND memories of the greatest man I ever knew.

John Hoyas’ Peasant Style Pork Chops

BAH Note: Jim didn’t specify bone in or boneless chops so I used thick cut, boneless loin chops.  I had to ask him about Irish potatoes and he said, “I think they are smaller than Idaho but larger than red. I’ve just used Idaho myself and then you only need two big ones.”  I used golden mushroom soup instead of plain cream of mushroom.  But that’s just me, I’m a golden girl.  And yes, you should expect that anything that has a can of cream soup and 1 1/2 cups of sour cream is going to be rich.

  • 4 loin or shoulder pork chops
  • flour
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • 4 Irish potatoes, sliced (we like to leave on the peel)
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom (or for me he would always use cream of celery!!) soup
  • 1/2 tsp of dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Trim excess fat from chops and roll in flour.  Brown chops and garlic in small amount of oil over medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper.

Place potatoes in a 13×9 inch casserole dish.  Top with chops.  Separate onion slice into rings and arrange over chops.

Blend sour cream, soup, salt and mustard.  Pour over potatoes, chops, and onions.  Cover with foil and bake 1 1/2 hours @ 350.  Add 1/2 hour @ higher altitudes!!

{printable recipe}