Weekly recipes

July 2, 2014 




1 (8-10 pound) bone-in pork butt (actually, it’s the shoulder)


8 family-size OR 2 gallon-size tea bags

8 cups boiling water

2 cups sugar

1 cup kosher salt

2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

8 cups combined ice and ice water


1/4 cup Kosher salt

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup paprika

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Serves eight to 12.

Brine: Brew the tea bags in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Remove tea bags and discard. Add sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add ice and water. Check the temperature of the brine. It MUST be 40 degrees or colder. (Add a bit more ice or refrigerate the brine if necessary.)

Place the pork butt in a 2-gallon container. Add the cold brine. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours before cooking. Remove pork butt, discarding the brine. Using paper towels, pat the pork butt dry.

Rub: Combine all ingredients in a zip-top food storage bag. Shake to blend. Thoroughly coat the pork butt with the rub.

Cooking: Place rub-coated pork butt in the center of the oven, or in a smoker, set at 250 degrees for at least 10 hours, or until a meat thermometer registers at least 180 degrees.

For the best and most tender and fall-off-the-bone pork butt, continue to cook until 210 degrees. Remove the bone and either pull the pork or slice it. Serve with your favorite sauces.


2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can navy beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

3 cups diced onion

1 pound smoked sausage, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups tomato-based barbecue sauce

Serves a small crowd.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Combine all ingredients and place in a Dutch oven. Cover with lid and bake in the center of the oven for at least four hours.


1 (12-ounce) can frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds cole slaw mix

3 large Granny Smith apples, cut into small dice

Celery salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

Serves a small crowd.

Combine apple juice and vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and reduce liquid to 1 cup. Cool to room temperature. Whisk in olive oil.

Combine cole slaw mix and diced apples. Pour dressing over salad. Stir to coat. Season to taste with celery salt and pepper.


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3-ounce piece Parmesan cheese

12 fresh basil leaves

2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic

4 ears fresh corn, shucked

6 small new potatoes, cut into1/4-inch slices

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Serves six to eight.

Pour the olive oil into a medium mixing bowl. Thinly slice the Parmesan cheese and then break into pieces. Add to the olive oil.

Stack six of the basil leaves together. Tightly roll the basil lengthwise into a cigar shape. Using kitchen shears snip the basil into thin ribbons into the bowl of olive oil and cheese. Repeat with remaining basil leaves. Add the garlic to the mix. Stir briefly to blend. Set aside.

Cook corn in a large pot of salted boiling water for 7-8 minutes. Using tongs, remove corn from the pot. Set aside to cool.

In same pot of boiling water, cook sliced new potatoes for 5-6 minutes only, just until firm tender, stirring several times while cooking.

Drain potatoes into a colander and flush with cold tap water for several minutes until cool. Drain potatoes well. Add to the olive oil mixture.

When corn is cool enough to handle, cut corn from the cob and add corn to the mixture. Add cut grape tomatoes. Toss gently, but thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic food wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least four hours or up to four days before serving.

Note: To take this delicious salad to the entrée level, add grilled shrimp or grilled chicken. To remain a vegetarian dish, add grilled asparagus.



3 slabs St. Louis-style or baby back ribs

1/2 cup turbinado sugar (you can substitute brown sugar)

1 cup Big-Time Barbecue Rub (recipe follows) or your favorite rub

1/2 to 1 cup honey

1 1/2 cups apple or pineapple juice, or more as needed

2 cups favorite barbecue sauce

Serves eight.

Prepare a grill for indirect heat to a temperature of about 325 degrees. Add presoaked hickory, apple or cherry, if desired.

Prepare the ribs by removing the membrane on the bone (non-meaty) side of the ribs. Cut the rib slabs in half.

In a bowl, stir together the turbinado sugar and the barbecue rub. Spread it on both sides of the ribs. Only a small amount actually adheres, so start out using less and continue adding more as necessary. Let the ribs rest at room temperature about 30 minutes, or cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them overnight.

Put the ribs on the grill meat side up (use a rib rack if necessary so there is enough space). Cook the ribs slowly over indirect heat until they are nicely caramelized and looking great, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the grill and the size of the slabs.

Remove the ribs and place them on a platter or baking sheet and brush them on both sides with the honey.

Pour the apple juice into the bottom of a foil roasting pan to a depth of about 1 inch, then add the ribs, standing them on end if necessary to fit. Cover the pan with foil and put the pan on the grill over indirect heat at about 325 degrees until the ribs are tender, about 1 hour. (This step can be done in the oven.)

Check the apple juice frequently to make sure it doesn’t cook off; replenish it as needed. Test the ribs with a wooden pick; they should be soft and tender.

Before serving, brush ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce and heat a few minutes more, flipping them several times and brushing again with the sauce if desired, until they are heated through and the sauce is caramelized.

Big-Time Barbecue Rub

1/4 cup salt

1/2 cup turbinado sugar

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon granulated onion

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

In a bowl, mix all ingredients together.


2 pounds new or red-skin potatoes

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

3/4 teaspoon chopped garlic

3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon (or more to taste) lemon juice

2 tablespoons dill pickle relish

1 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon or 4 teaspoons fresh (or to taste)

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Serves six.

Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover them. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are pierced easily with the tip of a knife, 15 to 20 minutes.

Drain and let cool until you can handle them. When cool, cut them into quarters or halves, depending on the size of the potatoes.

In a large bowl, toss together the potatoes, celery and parsley. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill pickle relish, tarragon, salt and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.


1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (or ground turkey)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil

4 slices ( 1/2-ounce each) smoked sharp cheddar cheese

4 hamburger buns

1/2 cup favorite barbecue sauce

8 slices crisp-cooked bacon

Fried onion rings, optional

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, optional

Makes four generous burgers.

Divide the meat into 4 equal portions. Form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger; make a deep depression in the center of each with your thumb. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Preheat the grill to high. Brush burgers with the oil. Grill them until nicely seared on the first side, about 3 minutes. Flip and sear them on the second side, about 4 minutes for medium-rare. During the last minute of cooking, top with cheese and cover to melt the cheese.

Place the burgers on the bun bottoms and slather each with barbecue sauce. Top with bacon, onion rings if using, parsley and bun tops. Serve immediately.



1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lightly packed fresh sage leaves, washed and patted dry

2 tablespoons lightly packed fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, washed and patted dry

1 clove garlic, peeled

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Coarse salt (kosher or sea salt) to taste


1 1/2 pounds ground chicken

1/3 cup dried bread crumbs

1/3 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)

Garlic-flavored olive oil or other olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)

4 onion rolls or hamburger buns, split

2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

Makes four generous burgers.

Prepare the pesto: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, chop the sage, parsley, garlic and pine nuts. With the machine running, drizzle the olive oil in a thin, steady stream through the feed tube.

Add the cheese and salt to taste, and process briefly to combine. The mixture should be nearly a smooth consistency. Let sit at room temperature before serving.

Preheat or prepare a grill for medium heat.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, bread crumbs, milk and salt.

Gently form the mixture into 4 patties about 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick. The patties should hold together firmly, but don’t compact them. Rub each side of the patties lightly with the garlic oil.

Grill the burgers uncovered for 12 to 14 minutes total. Grill each side twice, rotating the burgers to get crisscross grill marks. When ready, the burgers will be medium brown, crisp and fully cooked inside. To serve, spread the mayonnaise on the bottoms of the rolls, and place a burger on each one. Spoon the pesto on generously and top with the roll tops.




1 ounce fresh lemon juice

1 ounce fresh lime juice

1 1/2 ounces simple syrup (see below)

4 ounces water

3 rounded teaspoons powdered agar, divided (see note)

2 1/2 ounces white rum

1 ounce blue Curacao


11 ounces coconut milk (see below)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar


11 ounces Bing cherry puree (see below)

Combine lemon juice, lime juice, simple syrup and water with 1 rounded teaspoon agar in a saucepan. Stir continuously and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, add rum and blue Curacao. Pour into a silicone ice cube tray, filling each mold 1/3 of the way up. Chill for 20 minutes to set.

Combine coconut milk, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 rounded teaspoon agar in a saucepan. Stirring, bring it to a boil.

Pour the mixture into the molds, filling another third. Chill to set.

Combine cherry puree and 1 rounded teaspoon agar in a saucepan. Stirring, bring it to a boil. Pour the final layer into the molds. Chill until thoroughly set and cold.

To serve, pop the Patriot Pops out of the molds.

To make coconut milk: Split 1 whole coconut, reserving the water. Use a melon baller to remove the meat from half the coconut. Puree the coconut meat and water until smooth. Strain through cheesecloth or a very fine sieve.

To make Bing cherry puree: Puree 1 pound ripe Bing cherries with 1/2 cup water. Strain through cheesecloth or a fine sieve.

To make simple syrup: Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let cool.

Note: Find powdered agar at specialty shops and Amazon.com.


2 ounces blueberry-infused gin (see note)

3/4 ounce vanilla-scented honey

1 ounce lemon juice

3/4 ounce egg white

Tonic water

Hibiscus-enhanced Peychaud’s bitters

Serves one.

Combine the gin, honey, lemon and egg white in a martini shaker and give it a dry shake, i.e., without ice. Then shake it hard with ice. Double strain it into a cold glass, top with tonic water and spray the red bitters through a five-pointed star stencil.

Note: There’s a variety of blueberry-infused gin recipes online, if you’d like to make your own.


1 ounce chilled Spiced Strawberry-Rhubarb Syrup (see recipe)

3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

6 ounces chilled sparkling wine, Champagne or cava

Serves one.

Pour the syrup and lemon juice into your glass and give them a gentle stir, then slowly top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a slice of strawberry and a thin slice of lemon.

Spiced Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup

1/2 pound hulled strawberries, chopped

1/2 pound rhubarb stalks, chopped

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

1 bay leaf

1 star anise

Juice of one lemon

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 allspice berries

Bring ingredients to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes. Chill for 30 minutes, then strain into a clean glass container and refrigerate until ready to use.


3 ounces chilled Sweet Red Pepper and Cucumber Puree (see recipe)

1 ounce lemon juice

1/2 ounce amontillado sherry

4 ounces chilled IPA (India Pale Ale-style) beer

Garnishes: Cucumber ribbon, cocktail onion, small cherry tomato

Serves one.

Put the pepper and cucumber puree, lemon juice and sherry in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake as for a martini. Strain into a chilled beer glass, and add the IPA.

Use a vegetable peeler to cut a cucumber ribbon. Wrap the ribbon around the cocktail onion and cherry tomato, skewer them on a toothpick, and place the garnish on the rim of your beer glass.

Sweet Red Pepper and Cucumber Puree

8 ounces peeled, roasted red peppers

1/2 pound peeled, seeded, chopped cucumber

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Bring everything to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand 20 minutes. Blend until very smooth, then pour into a clean glass container and chill until ready to use.


3 cubes of watermelon

1 1/2 ounces Herradura Blanco tequila

1/4 ounce dry vermouth

3/4 ounce St. Germain elder flower liqueur

Juice of 1/2 a lime

Garnish: Black salt, pickled watermelon

Serves one.

Muddle watermelon in a cocktail shaker. Add the remaining ingredients to the muddled watermelon and shake vigorously. Double strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with ice and rimmed with black salt. Garnish with pickled watermelon.


3 to 5 strawberries (depending on size)

2 ounces aged rum

3/4 ounce lemon juice

3/4 ounce simple syrup

1/2 ounce Grand Marnier orange liqueur

3/4 ounce almond milk, best quality

Garnish: Fresh blueberries

Serves one.

Muddle strawberries in a cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients and shake vigorously over ice. Strain into a hurricane glass filled with ice, and garnish with fresh blueberries.


3 ounces Pearl Pomegranate Vodka

Dash of Sprite

Dash of blue curacao

Garnish: Red sugar

Serves one.

Rim a martini glass with red sugar. Shake the vodka and sprite with ice, then carefully pour into the martini glass. Gently pour the blue curacao down the side of the glass so it settles on the bottom.

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