Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Meal No. 1836: Seasoned Crusted Pork Chops

My May to-do list is pretty extensive but last week I managed to tackle quite a few items on it. Friday ended up being a bit busy with a lot of appointments and running around, so when dinnertime rolled around, I was rolling easy: my friend Cindy's seasoning crust approach to pork chops, along with baked potatoes. That was it. That was all. That was the deal. That was good.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Meal No. 1835: Indiana Chicken & Corn Chowder

A lot of rain has come down here in Winston-Salem over the last few days, and we were briefly under a tornado watch this past Wednesday afternoon (with the emergency horn going off from downtown and everything!). It seemed like a good night for Indiana chicken and corn chowder, which was served up to the four of us at the table that night.

"Indiana Corn and Potato Chowder," by Brannon Soileau of Maize, An American Grill (formerly of Lafayette, IN). In Indiana Cooks!, by Christine Barbour and Scott Feickert with photographs by Tom Stio. Bloomington, IN: Quarry Books (2005), p. 64-65. Recipe originally shared with me by my sister Allison on December 31, 2006. You can find this, and quite a few other Indiana recipes, if you scroll to the bottom of this article: "Indiana Can Cook."

Monday, May 29, 2017

Meal No. 1834: Not So Cajun Chicken

The fourth time in 2017 that I've made this meal, so I might be stuck in a rut. But what a good rut: not so cajun chicken over rice, with Caesar salad to boot.

"Not So Cajun Chicken," a dish I regularly enjoyed at Crowley's Old Time Favorites restaurant and bar on Medlin Drive in Raleigh, NC. Credit to Jimmy Randolph for helping track the recipe down. (Another version of the recipe can be found here.)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Meal No. 1833: Ribeyes and French Fries

On a Monday evening, after a day of short bursts of can-do energy interspersed with indulgent downtimes, I went outside and grilled ribeyes and fried fries. The belly said it's all right.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Classic Yellow Cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting (and Double Chocolate Liqueur Ice Cream!)

Last Sunday night, dessert happened: classic yellow cake with a delicious chocolate frosting. On the one other occasion I made this, I prepared it as a two-layer cake...and while it was good, the layers were a bit on the tall side. This time I made three separate layers and tried to watch out for the adjusted cooking time. In the end, it was made all the better because, well, frosting!

But what's cake without ice cream, I ask you?! So I also whipped up a batch of double chocolate liqueur ice cream to boot, and it's always so darned tasty.

"Classic Yellow Cake," by Robyn Stone. Found online at

"Super-Simple Chocolate Frosting," from King Arthur Flour. Posted 01/01/2010.

"Double Chocolate Liqueur Ice Cream," by Kita Roberts. From her Pass the Sushi blog.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Meal No. 1832: Frisco Patty Melts

After spending the afternoon in Greensboro for the Fisher Park Home Tour, with some of the crew from the Guilford County Schools Mission Possible Team, I settled on a simple filling supper once I was back at home: frisco patty melts, with buttered toasted bread, classic burger sauce, and two kinds of cheese.

Classic Burger Sauce
from Cook's Illustrated, July-August 2008, p. 11.
4 T mayonnaise
2 T ketchup
1 tsp sweet pickle relish
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Meal No. 1831: Kung Pao Chicken

Saturday night at the Roediger House: a delicious bowl of stirfry goodness, in the guise of kung pao chicken with sweet red bell peppers and asparagus cuts...all made in a brand-new wok.

On a side note: May has flown by, no doubt, and I'm mindful of the fact that my yard efforts have been pretty slim so far this spring. Other than trying to keep the bird feeders filled (a definite challenge of late!), weeding is the only substantive thing I've really done, although with Sumner's trips out for doggie business in the yard, I'm definitely trying to do a thoughtful survey and make rough plans for what needs to be tackled.

"Kung Pao [Chicken]" (p. 80) with Szechwan Marinade (p. 28) and Spicy Peanut Stir-Fry Sauce (p. 27). In Wok Fast, by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison. Ten Speed Press (Berkeley/Toronto), 2002.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Meal No. 1830: Texas Thick-Cut Smoked Pork Chops

Friday night was festive at the Roediger House, with Amy and Gern and Kristen and Mookie over for hanging out and for dinner. The late afternoon storms passed on and it was perfect for grilling (with Mesquite smoke added in for good measure!). Our plates were laden with Texas thick-cut smoked pork chops, topped with Virginia Pruitt's perfect barbecue sauce; sweet onion corn bake; and Brussels sprouts gratin. It was a delightful night, as always.

"Texas Thick-Cut Smoked Pork Chops," by Ashley Moore. In Cook's Country, June/July 2016, p. 4-5.

"Virginia Pruitt's Perfect Barbecue Sauce," by Fred Thompson of Grillin' with Gas. Recipe found on

"Sweet Onion Corn Bake," by Jeanette Travis of Fort Worth, TX. Published in Taste of Home, April/May 2003, p. 37-38.

"Brussels Sprouts Gratin," by Alison Roman. From Cooking on

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Meal No. 1829: Bourbon Chicken

Thursday was my last day of work for the academic school year, and it was spent with instructional leaders at two different schools in Mount Airy City. Greeted exceptionally excitedly by Sumner when I got back to the house late afternoon, on an unseasonably warm May day, it was nice to chill, do a bit of weeding, tackle a small amount of paperwork, and then surrender to the seduction of an easy dinner: bourbon chicken. Filling and tasty, and there was still room for the last of the cake batter ice cream.

"Bourbon Chicken," by LinMarie. From

Monday, May 22, 2017

Meal No. 1828: Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Thighs

It's been about six months since I last made this easy house favorite, which I've tended to refer to in honor of a former student who shared his recipe for it: Brendan's Moroccan Bistro Chicken. In the steamy remains of last Wednesday's hot day, this is what I served up for delightful neighbors Alaina and Deborah. Served over rice and with fresh steamed broccoli on the side, we made a great evening of it.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Kentucky Butter Cake and Cake Batter Ice Cream

With some whiskey sauce left over from the New Orleans Pecan Pie Bread Pudding I made over the weekend, and in search of a purpose, I figured I'd try out a new Bundt cake recipe: Kentucky Butter Cake.

And, to go with it: you won't be able to accuse me of getting all fancy with this latest new ice cream I made: it's a simplified copycat of Carvel's and Cold Stone Creamery's cake batter ice cream, and it's good enough as a quick and easy ice cream on a sunny day in May.

"Kentucky Butter Cake," from Laura Davis on

"Cake Batter Ice Cream," by smstemp on

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Meal No. 1827: Chicken with Coronation Sauce

By special request this past Monday night: chicken with coronation sauce over rice.

"Coronation Sauce for Chicken," from 400 Sauces, by Catherine Atkinson, Christine France, and Maggie Mayhew. Hermes House (2006, 2008), p. 155.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Meal No. 1826: Miso-Glazed Salmon Filets

With downtown just a bit a-buzz with it being Mother's Day and graduation weekend for Wake Forest University, it was nice to have a quiet meal inside the comforting abode known as the Roediger House. I served up wonderfully thick (and perfectly cooked!) salmon filets with a miso-mirin glaze and chilled rosemary-dijon cream sauce; garlic-spiced pearl couscous; and Caesar salad. No dessert needed on this night of such good food.

Miso Glaze from "Miso-Glazed Salmon Steaks," in Bon Appétit, May 2011, p. 58.

"Chilled Rosemary-Dijon Cream Sauce," in The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, compiled and edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Birmingham, AL: Oxmoor House (1999), p. 216.

Couscous recipe based partially on "Toasted Israeli Couscous with Pine Nuts and Parsley, from Bon Appétit, December 2004.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Meal No. 1825: Chicken & Cheese Quesadillas

When the time for the Saturday evening meal rolled around, I had both giant tortillas and rotisserie chicken on hand, and that made chicken and cheese quesadillas a natural choice for dinner while watching a couple more episodes of the original Batman series.

Preparation and cooking based on "Quesadillas for a Crowd," by Morgan Bolling. In Cook's Country, August/September 2015, p. 18.

"Fajita Seasoning Mix," from Adapted from "Fajita Seasoning Mix Recipe" on

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

New Orleans Pecan Pie Bread Pudding

Last Friday night, in addition to a scrumptious meal for the four of us, I also managed to put together a delicious dessert: New Orleans pecan pie bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Lord have mercy.

"New Orleans Pecan Pie Bread Pudding," from King Arthur Flour online.

"Whiskey Sauce," based on a recipe from Mimi's Cafe (found online).

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Meal No. 1824: Braised Chicken over Brussels Sprouts

It was a delightful evening with four at the table this past Friday night, and in order to preserve time for playing pool, I decided I'd go with braised chicken over Brussels sprouts and shallots, along with rosemary roasted baby Dutch potatoes.

"Braised Chicken and Brussels Sprouts," in Everyday Food, Issue 97, November 2012, p. 22.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Meal No. 1823: Breakfast for Dinner

After a good but full day spent split between two different schools in Mount Airy on Thursday, I decided to make dinner from whatever was on hand in the cupboard. Since it included Neese's hot country sausage, I settled on breakfast for dinner, with fried eggs, creamy grits, and toast with mixed fruit jelly. Heck, yeah.

"Creamy Grits," from Luquire Family Stone Ground Grits, milled in Greenwood, SC.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Meal No. 1822: Shrimp Po'Boys

This past Wednesday night represented a return to an easy favorite that's the best version I've found for shrimp po'boys. It was a stripped-down take that night, with wonderful creole-spiced fried shrimp on baguettes with a zingy remoulade sauce.

"Shrimp Po'Boy," in Bon Appétit, June 2011, p. 118-119.

"Cajun Remoulade Sauce," by Remoulader. Found online at

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Meal No. 1821: Chicken Tenders on Caesar Salad

This past Monday night, with three at the table, I had planned a bit of lighter fare: Caesar salad topped with fresh buttermilk fried chicken tenders. And I'm so glad there was still some wonderful chocolate meringue pie to keep it all from seeming too skimpy and healthy.

"Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders," by Jenn Segal of

Guidance on Hard-Boiled Eggs: "The Hard Truth about Hard-Boiled Eggs," by J. Kenji López-Alt, Managing Culinary Director of

Friday, May 12, 2017

Chocolate Meringue Pie

When former Wake Forest grad student Bradley Phillis passed through last Sunday night and stopped in for supper, I knew I had to choose carefully the dessert. Why? He hates cake. The solution? Chocolate meringue pie. The result? Amazing. Glad he was here to inspire me to make it.

"Chocolate Meringue Pie," based on a classic and common recipe.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Butter Toffee Cookies for Northern Guilford Middle

As is often the case, I'd made a promise to come bearing cookies with one of the schools I've been working with this spring. On a recent Wednesday, the recipients were the instructional leadership team at Northern Guilford Middle School. I didn't think they (meaning: the cookies) were quite up to par, but they were reasonably acceptable.

"Butter Toffee Cookies," originally from King Arthur Flour. The catalog that comes periodically from KAF has recipes in it, which is where I originally got this. But, as sometimes happens, it is not available on their website. I'm glad someone posted it to

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Meal No. 1820: Lamb Köfte with Yogurt Sauce and Muhammara

It's been just shy of two years since I last made the dish that was served up Sunday night, on the special occasion of a pass-through visit by Bradley Phillips. On the menu: lamb köfte with yogurt tahini sauce and muhammara (a roasted red pepper sauce). All of that sat with caramelized onions on some middle eastern flatbread. It was darned good, if I may say so. I'm a softe for kofte.

"Lamb Köfte with Yogurt Sauce and Muhammara," from Bon Appétit, January 2010. [clipping]

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Meal No. 1819: Country Ham and Biscuits

Very much like my mother used to make and an easy meal for last Saturday night: country ham, biscuits, and rice, with a tall glass of milk.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Meal No. 1818: Herb-Roasted Whole Chicken with Savory Pan Gravy

Friday was a perfect night for a feast-like meal, with Kristen and Mookie over, and I hope it did not disappoint. The main feature was a delicious herb-roasted whole chicken, and from the pan I extracted the drippings to get a savory herbilicious gravy. Macaroni and cheese casserole and buttered garden peas seemed a natural fit to go with it all, and I couldn't help but indulge yet again in the buttermilk'd and buttery biscuit hoecakes that I've been trying to perfect.

"Herb-Roasted Whole Chicken with Savory Pan Gravy," in Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes from Asheville's New South Kitchen, by Elizabeth Sims with Chef Brian Sonoskus. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC (2011), p. 136-137.

"Macaroni and Cheese Casserole," by Sarah Gabriel. In Cook's Country, June/July 2012, p. 17.

"Fluffy Southern-Style Hoecakes," by Erica of My Busy Bees and Me. Recipe first encountered through her YouTube video.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Chocolate Pecan Pie (a/k/a: Blender Pie)

For a pie that's been a Jones family favorite for decades, I sure don't make this one nearly as much as I should: chocolate pecan pie, typically whipped up in the blender. The recipe came from Lib Keith in Harnett County (she passed away in 2012). It didn't set up well this time but the flavor was still amazing.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Meal No. 1817: Peanut Butter Bacon Burgers

The second day of May was a stunner, ladies and gentlemen, and I'm glad I had the day off and had plenty of time to take Sumner on a couple of great long walks. That sure helped me to work up a better appetite for the special and amazing and funky dinner that Tuesday evening: peanut butter bacon burgers. Finding good-looking boneless beef short ribs and top sirloin (on sale, at that!) when I'm doing my regular grocery shopping is about all it takes for me to put this on the menu. Even though I've now made these nearly 30 times over the last (nearly) seven years, they are neither routine nor repetitive. I'd say they're always a treat.

A review of key points about the Roediger House peanut butter bacon burgers, on the occasion of their 27th appearance on the kitchen table:
  • Inspired by Yo Mama's in the French Quarter of New Orleans
  • First Made: Meal No. 180
  • Last Made: Meal No. 1779
  • Fresh Home-Ground Beef, typically from boneless beef short ribs and top sirloin
  • Homemade Peanut Butter
  • Homemade Classic Burger Sauce (recipe below)
  • Labeled Sample "Final Product" Burger: Guide to Meal No. 234

Classic Burger Sauce
from Cook's Illustrated, July-August 2008, p. 11.
4 T mayonnaise
2 T ketchup
1 tsp sweet pickle relish
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Guidance on grinding, shaping, and cooking burgers from "Best Old-Fashioned Burgers," by J. Kenji Alt, in Cook's Illustrated, No. 93 (July/August 2008), p. 10-11.

Original bacon braid guidance from "Bacon Sheets," from See also: "How to Make a Bacon Weave for the World's Best BLT," a nice video demonstration, from Justin Chapple's Mad Genius Tips on the Food & Wine website [published 02 March 2015].

Friday, May 5, 2017

Meal No. 1816: One-Pan Pork Tenderloin

When long-time Wake Forest University chum Chris Burris came for dinner this past Monday night, the menu included one-pan pork tenderloin and roasted whole green beans. I also think I finally nailed the way Ree Drummond wanted me to make her version of creamy mashed potatoes. This time, I used red potatoes and suffered from no hesitation about the amount of butter to go into them. That might have been the key.

"One-Pan Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans and Potatoes," by Christie Morrison. In Cook's Country, October/November 2015, p. 27.

"Creamy Mashed Potatoes," from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. Published online 03 November 2007.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Meal No. 1815: Chicken Scaloppini

On the final night of April, I was ready to try a new recipe, and it was a good one: chicken scaloppini, with roasted red potato wedges.

"Chicken Scaloppini," by Cristin Walsh in Cook's Country, April/May 2014, p. 23.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Meal No. 1814: Juicy Kickin' Burgers

By the time I'd taken Sumner for three walks last Saturday, and also cut the grass late afternoon in the hot humidity that had strangely settled on Winston-Salem, I just wanted burgers for dinner.

"Grilled Juicy Burgers," from Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks recipe magazine.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Meal No. 1813: Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Whole beef tenderloins were on a great special at Lowe's Foods, and Mookie and Kristen had missed the grand Easter night meal, so I thought: Guess we just need to have that same meal again. That's what happened Friday night at the Roediger House...a wonderfully-cooked slow-roasted beef tenderloin was dipped by some in a spicy horseradish sauce, and all of us had respectable piles of green bean casserole and company mashed potatoes to go with it. We were also glad there was still some of Jen Martin's delicious strawberry pie to finish us out!

"Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin," from J. Kenji López-Alt, Managing Culinary Director of

"Spicy Horseradish Sauce" from "Beef Tenderloin in Wine Sauce," from The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook. Compiled and Edited by Julie Fisher Gunter. Oxmoor Press (2006), p. 295, 296.

"Company Mashed Potatoes," a Jones family favorite.

"Layered Green Bean Casserole," from my sister Allison in Rossville, Indiana.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Meal No. 1812: Copycat Chic-Fil-A Sandwiches

Dinner this past Thursday night brought me back to a recipe that's been MIA at the Roediger House since 2015: Hilah Johnson's marvelous copycat version of Chic-Fil-A sandwiches. I love that I can make mine with no pickles (or removed pickles leaving green yuckiness soaked into the bun).

And when Jen Martin visited at lunchtime that day, she came bearing this wonderful strawberry pie that she'd made, which served as an awesome dessert after the chicken sandwiches!

"Chic-Fil-A Copycat Sandwich," by Hilah Johnson. From Hilah Cooking.