Pork Rub

I use this on all sorts of pork cuts; ribs, tenderloin, chops, you name it. This works well on nearly anything.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container. Pack on the dry rub onto your next rack of ribs.

Note, for a really great pulled pork, cover your pork shoulder in yellow mustard, then use this rub all over. Let it set in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours, then roast as normal.

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Chicken Chile Verde

A low-carb green chili recipe that fits into most any diet. It’s gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and delicious!

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 pound tomatillos
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 pounds boneless chicken (breasts, thighs, or both)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Possible garnishes: cilantro, avocado, lime

Instructions
Peel and wash the tomatillos so they are not sticky. Remove the stems as well. Then cut the tomatillos into quarters. Peel and chop the remaining vegetables.

Put a large 6-quart stock pot over medium heat. Add the oil, onions, garlic, and chopped peppers. Sauté for 5-8 minutes.

Add the cut the tomatillos. Then add the whole raw chicken pieces to the pot. Add all spices and seasonings. Add the broth. Stir and push the chicken pieces to the bottom of the pot.

Simmer the chili for 25-30 minutes, until the largest piece of chicken is cooked through. Use tongs to move the chicken pieces to a cutting board.

Remove the bay leaf. Then use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables and broth base. It doesn’t have to be totally smooth, but the chunks of tomatillos should be blended in.

Shred the chicken. Then stir the chicken back into the chili.

Taste, then salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve warm as-is, or with lime wedges and sliced avocado.

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Seasoned Salt

Similar if not identical to Lawry’s Seasoned Salt.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions
Whisk salt, sugar, paprika, turmeric, onion powder, garlic powder, and cornstarch together in a bowl.

Use as your taste dictates.

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Slow Cooker Hot Cocoa

The slow cooker is your secret weapon for the easiest, richest hot cocoa for a crowd.

Ingredients
1 1/2 c.ups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
6 cups whole milk
Mini marshmallows, for garnish

Directions
Combine all ingredients except marshmallows in a slow cooker. Stir to combine.

Cook until everything is melted, stirring occasionally, 2 hours on Low.

10 minutes before serving, add marshmallows and let them melt a bit. Garnish with more mini marshmallows, if desired.

Note, if you are serving this at a party, I encourage you to double up the recipe. It’s that good!

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Buttery Turkey w/ Warm Sorghum Vinaigrette

Looking for holiday menu inspiration?

This one is from the @chefandthef archives, a showstopper for Thanksgiving

Buttery Turkey with Warm Sorghum Vinaigrette
Photo by Jennifer Hitchcock

from Chef Vivian Howard of the Chef & the Farmer, Kinston, NC

Ingredients

Buttery Turkey
One fresh 12-18 pound turkey
Salt and black pepper
4 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
1 orange, halved
2 pounds butter
1 lemon, halved
2×2-foot square of cheesecloth folded to cover the breast portion of your bird

Warm Sorghum Vinegar Sauce
1/2 cup small diced red onion
1/2 stick butter
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sorghum syrup
1/4 cup honey

Directions

Buttery Turkey

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Remove the giblets from your turkey and rinse both the inside as well as the outside of the bird. Pat your turkey dry and season his skin and cavity thoroughly with salt and pepper.

Stuff the cavity with the rosemary, thyme, and halved orange. Place the turkey in a roasting pan and slide him into the oven.

Melt the butter along with the halved lemon in a small saucepan. After about 30 minutes of roasting, dip the cheesecloth into the lemon butter and lay it over the top of the turkey breast. Repeat this every thirty minutes (remove, dip in lemon butter, and replace) for the duration of the cooking time. The turkey is done when the juices run clear between the leg and the thigh, between 2½–3½ hours.

Remove the turkey from the oven and allow him to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Warm Sorghum Vinegar Sauce

In a medium saucepan, sweat the red onion in the butter. Cook until onions are soft and translucent. Add the nutmeg, black pepper, and vinegar. Bring this to a boil and add the syrup and honey. Simmer until it’s reduced by half. Serve warm.

Roast Turkey w/ Warm Sorghum Vinaigrette

Roast Turkey w/ Warm Sorghum Vinaigrette

Roast Turkey w/ Warm Sorghum Vinaigrette

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Creamed Celery with Pecans

This is a new favorite of mine.

If you are looking for something new and different for your meal, give this a try.

Fresh Celery

Fresh Celery

Ingredients:
4 cups celery, cut diagonally in ½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecan halves
buttered bread crumbs

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Grease a 1 ½-quart casserole.

Boil the celery in enough water to cover until tender; drain.

Melt the butter over medium heat; stir in the flour and slowly add the milk to make a cream sauce, stirring until thick and smooth.

Add the salt and well-drained celery.

Spoon into the prepared casserole, top with pecans, and cover with buttered bread crumbs.

Bake at 400° F. for 15 minutes.

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Brown Sugar-Glazed Carrots

I served these at my family Thanksgiving in 2017. They were a hit!

Ingredients
2 lb. carrots peeled and sliced on a diagonal
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Instructions
In a large, deep skillet, bring 1 inch of water to a boil.

Add carrots; boil 3 minutes. Drain.

In the same skillet, melt butter, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until bubbly.

Add carrots and cook 2 minutes more.

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Thanksgiving Dinner

I am beating my deadline for a Thanksgiving Day Feast!

Yay me.

So here are some dishes that make up a great dinner.

Turkey Brine
Dressing
Green Bean Casserole
Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes
Gravy
Glazed Carrots
Creamed Celery with Pecans
Pumpkin Pie

Note, I usually add a couple of vegetable dishes as well as rolls to my dinner. Whole kernel corn, and others.

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Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie

This is the traditional holiday pumpkin pie. This classic recipe has been on Libby’s Pumpkin labels since 1950. This pie is easy to prepare and even easier to enjoy. Just mix, pour, bake for a delicious homemade tradition.

Ingredients
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
8 ounces evaporated milk, (Or substitute with equal amount Lactose-Free or Almond Cooking Milk)
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

Instructions
Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell.

Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Top with whipped cream before serving.

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Turkey Gravy

Classic Turkey Gravy

Ingredients
For the broth:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion or leek, or 2 shallots, sliced
Neck and giblets from your turkey (discard the liver)
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 sprigs thyme, parsley, rosemary and/or sage
1 bay leaf

For the gravy:
Turkey drippings from your roasting pan
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons cold Flavored Butter, recipe follows (optional)

Directions
When your turkey goes into the oven, start the broth: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and turkey neck and giblets; cook, stirring, until the giblets are browned, about 15 minutes. Add the chicken broth, herb sprigs and bay leaf; cover and simmer while the turkey roasts, about 2 hours. Strain the broth and keep warm; reserve the neck and giblets, if desired.

When your turkey is done, transfer it to a cutting board and pour all the pan drippings into a degreasing cup. Add 1/2 cup of the prepared broth to the roasting pan and scrape up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. (If the bits are stuck, put the pan over a low burner to loosen them.) Add the bits and liquid to the degreasing cup.

Let the fat rise to the top of the degreasing cup, then spoon off 1/2 cup fat and transfer to a large saucepan over medium heat. Make a roux: Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the flour browns slightly, about 4 minutes.

Gradually add the hot broth to the roux, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Pour the dark roasting juices from the degreasing cup into the gravy, discarding any remaining fat. If desired, chop the giblets and shred the neck meat; add to the gravy. Simmer, whisking occasionally, until the gravy thickens, about 10 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the flavored butter, if desired.

The Golden Formula: (for 8 cups of gravy) 1/2 cup fat Use the oil that separates from your turkey drippings. If you don’t have enough, add butter. 1/2 cup flour Cook the flour with the fat to make a roux for thickening the gravy. For a darker gravy, cook the roux longer. (Note: Darker roux has less thickening power.) 8 cups broth Upgrade store-bought broth by simmering it with a sliced onion, a bay leaf, a few sprigs of thyme, parsley and/or sage, and the turkey giblets for about 2 hours. Quick Fixes: Too Thick? Add a splash of water, broth, brandy or bourbon. Too Thin? Mix equal parts flour and soft butter; whisk into boiling gravy. Too Lumpy? Strain the gravy through a fine-mesh sieve.

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