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"A passion for cooking is what I have...Sharing that passion is what I love to do." -Sarah Vasques, The Home Chef

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Easy Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Published by: Sarah

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  • Nov
  • 2

Begin 1-2 Days Ahead 1/2 cup paprika 1/4 cup kosher salt plus extra for seasoning 1/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons mustard powder 1/4 cup chili powder 1/4 cup ground cumin 2 tablespoons ground black pepper 1/4 cup granulated garlic 2 tablespoons cayenne 4-5# Pork Shoulder (also known as pork butt) 1 c. Angry Orchard Original […]

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Begin 1-2 Days Ahead

1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup kosher salt plus extra for seasoning
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons mustard powder
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1/4 cup granulated garlic
2 tablespoons cayenne
4-5# Pork Shoulder (also known as pork butt)
1 c. Angry Orchard Original or Apple Juice
BBQ Sauce of Choice

Special Equipment (this is not absolutely necessary – SEE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW)
Stove Top Smoker
Cherry, Hickory  & Apple Wood Chips or your choice of flavors

Combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
Season the meat all over with salt.
Massage the rub well into every part of  the meat.
Wrap in plastic wrap & refrigerate 24 – 48 hours.

Remove meat from refrigerator 1 hour before beginning cooking process.
Prepare your smoker by putting a mix of the 3 wood chips on the bottom.
Place the drip pan on top of the chips.
Place 4 single serve tart pans on the drip pan.
Fill  tart pans half way with warm water.
Spray the rack with cooking spray.
Place the rack on tart pans.
Your smoker is now ready.
NOTE: If you do not have a smoker, combine 1 tsp. hickory or mesquite liquid smoke with the Angry Orchard before adding to the crock pot.

Place the smoker on the largest burner of your stove.
Cover the smoker leaving a gap of 2 inches & turn the burner to high.
When you see smoke rising from the smoker, remove the top, place the meat on the rack & cover tightly with foil.
Reduce the heat to medium low.
Smoke meat for  1 1/2 hours.

During this time, fill the crock pot with hot tap water.
Turn to high & cover (this will preheat the crock pot).

When meat is done smoking, dump the water from the crock pot, and place the meat it.
Add the Angry Orchard and liquid smoke (if using).
Cover and cook on high for 6 – 7 hours.
Shred the meat with tongs.
Serve on warm Hawaiian Sweet Rolls** with your favorite BBQ sauce or just as is – YUM!

**If you like to bake your own bread & rolls look for my Hawaiian Sweet Roll Recipe on this site. Store bought is also fine. “Kings” brand is recommended.

 

 

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Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Published by: Sarah

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  • Jan
  • 19

Five ingredients is all you’ll need for this delicious no fuss meal. Bon Appetite! 12 Chicken Tenders 1 c. Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese 1/2 c. Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese (like Kraft in a can) 2 T Olive Oil Basic Marinara (search site for recipe) Cooked Pasta of Choice, optional Combine the cheeses on a plate. […]

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Five ingredients is all you’ll need for this delicious no fuss meal. Bon Appetite!

12 Chicken Tenders
1 c. Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 c. Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese (like Kraft in a can)
2 T Olive Oil
Basic Marinara (search site for recipe)
Cooked Pasta of Choice, optional

Combine the cheeses on a plate.
Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet.
Dredge the chicken in the cheese & cook for about 4-5 minutes per side.
Drain on a wire rack.
Serve over pasta lightly tossed with sauce.
Serve extra sauce on the side for dipping.

Yield: 4 servings

 

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Herb Roasted Cornish Game Hens

Published by: Sarah

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  • Sep
  • 27

This is a basic, but still flavorful recipe. It is elegant enough for guests & simple enough for a weeknight supper. 2 Cornish Hens, giblets removed & washed 1 stick Butter or Margarine, softened 1 tsp. fresh minced Rosemary 2 tsp. fresh minced Thyme Leaves Salt & Fresh Black Pepper Combine the butter & herbs. Season with […]

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This is a basic, but still flavorful recipe. It is elegant enough for guests & simple enough for a weeknight supper.

2 Cornish Hens, giblets removed & washed
1 stick Butter or Margarine, softened
1 tsp. fresh minced Rosemary
2 tsp. fresh minced Thyme Leaves
Salt & Fresh Black Pepper

Combine the butter & herbs.
Season with salt & pepper
Place the “compound butter” in plastic wrap and roll into a log.
Twist the ends & refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cut the hens in half.
Loosen the skin from the breast & leg.
Cut the butter in 8 disks & then cut the disks in half (16 pieces).
Put a piece of butter between the skin & meat of the leg & breast meat for each hen half.
Spread the rest of the butter on the outside of the hens.
Season hens with salt & pepper.
Place on a baking sheet with a small lip.
Roast 40 minutes or until internal temp is 165°.
Remove & cover with foil.
Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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Classic Bruschetta

Published by: Sarah

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  • Jun
  • 26

In April 2012, my family & I went on a tour of southern Italy; which included Rome, Capri,  Sorrento & the island of Sicily – Palermo, Agrigento & Taoromina. While we enjoyed ourselves immensely, I was very surprised to see that Italians don’t eat much roughage.  Most of our lunch & dinner meals consisted of a starter of pasta, then […]

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In April 2012, my family & I went on a tour of southern Italy; which included Rome, Capri,  Sorrento & the island of Sicily – Palermo, Agrigento & Taoromina.

While we enjoyed ourselves immensely, I was very surprised to see that Italians don’t eat much roughage.  Most of our lunch & dinner meals consisted of a starter of pasta, then meat & potatoes and a dessert (salad if we were lucky 🙂 ).  Our final stop offered a salad bar which had bruschetta. Simple and basic, yet delicious none the less. I offer you my version.

1 Baguette, cut on a slight angle into 1/2″ thick slices
Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
2 cloves Fresh Garlic
2 Tomatoes, seeded, chopped & blotted with paper towel
4 leaves Fresh Basil
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Place the baguette slices on baking sheet & brush both sides with EVOO.
Bake 10 minutes.
Remove & flip over each slice.
Bake another 8 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow to cool 1-2 minutes.
Cut 1 clove of the garlic in half .
Rub each “crostini” with the cut side of the garlic.
Cool completely.
Stack the leaves of the basil.
Roll up like a cigar & slice with a knife = “Chiffonade”
Finely grat remaining clove of garlic into a mixing bowl.
Add tomatoes, a pinch of salt & a few grinds of black pepper.
Drizzle in 1 T EVOO.
Stir to combine & set aside.
Just before serving add the basil & stir.
Place crostini’s on a serving platter with the tomatoes in the center.
Serve room temperature.

NOTE: This should be served fresh & never refrigerated. Store extra crostini’s in a ziploc bag with the air squeezed out @ room temperature.

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Sun Dried Tomato & Goat Cheese Crostini

Published by: Sarah

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  • Jun
  • 26

Goat cheese can be an “acquired taste” for many. Using the herb goat cheese in this recipe makes for a smother blend of flavors while still getting the goat cheese “tang.” Preheat oven to 400°. Cut baguette on a slight angle into 1/2” thick slices. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Baste each slice with extra […]

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Goat cheese can be an “acquired taste” for many. Using the herb goat cheese in this recipe makes for a smother blend of flavors while still getting the goat cheese “tang.”

Preheat oven to 400°.
Cut baguette on a slight angle into 1/2” thick slices.
Cover a baking sheet with foil.
Baste each slice with extra virgin olive oil.
Turn & baste other side.
Bake 10 minutes.
Remove & turn all.
Bake an additional 8 minutes.
Remove from oven & cool 1 minute.
Cut garlic in half.
Rub each baguette slice with the cut side of the garlic.
Cool completely.
Cut tomatoes into thin strips.
Chiffonade the basil leaves.
Spread baguette slices with goat cheese.
Make an “X” with tomato slivers on each crostini
Top with a little basil.
Place on a serving platter & serve immediately

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Perfect Ribeye Roast Beef

Published by: Sarah

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comments:
  • Apr
  • 18

Recently my local Market Basket store had a massive sale to commemorate the opening of other new stores. Among several other items, bone-in Rib eye steaks & roasts were on sale @ $4.99 a lb. Needless to say I stocked up. I made this roast beef & it came out a perfect medium rare. I hope you […]

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Recently my local Market Basket store had a massive sale to commemorate the opening of other new stores. Among several other items, bone-in Rib eye steaks & roasts were on sale @ $4.99 a lb. Needless to say I stocked up. I made this roast beef & it came out a perfect medium rare. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did !!

Begin 1 day ahead.

5 cloves Garlic
3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary
7 sprigs Fresh Thyme, divided
1/2 c. Olive Oil
1 T Worcestershire
Salt & Pepper to taste
One 4# bone-in Rib Eye Roast
3 Sweet Onions, peeled & quartered
5 Carrots, rough cut
3 fresh Bay Leaves
1 c. Red Wine
1 (15 oz.) can Beef Stock

In a mini food processor, zap the garlic, rosemary, 3 sprigs thyme, oil, Worcestershire, salt & pepper.
Place the roast on plastic wrap & slather the garlic mixture all over the meat.
Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap & refrigerate over night.
Remove the roast from the refrigerator 45 minutes before cooking.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Line the bottom of a roasting pan with heavy foil.
Make a bed with the onion & carrots.
Place the remaining thyme sprigs & bay leaf on the veggies.
Remove the plastic wrap from the meat & place on the veggie bed.
Pour the liquids around the meat.
Bake 20 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 375°.
Bake 1 hour & 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, place on a carving board & tent with foil.
Let rest 20 minutes before carving. 
Make a sauce by reducing the pan juices.
You may thicken the sauce with a cornstarch “slurry” & finish with 2 T butter for smoothness.

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Tomato Bearnaise

Published by: Sarah

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  • Mar
  • 17

I’ve had this one in my database forever. Forget where I acquired it from, but know it great on seafood & poultry. Above you see it served with scallops. Is it time to eat yet? 1 Lg Shallot ½ c. Tarragon Vinegar 3 Yellow Tomatoes, pureed 2 T Butter ¼  c. Fresh Tarragon, chopped Sauté shallot […]

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I’ve had this one in my database forever. Forget where I acquired it from, but know it great on seafood & poultry. Above you see it served with scallops. Is it time to eat yet?

1 Lg Shallot
½ c. Tarragon Vinegar
3 Yellow Tomatoes, pureed
2 T Butter
¼  c. Fresh Tarragon, chopped

Sauté shallot in tarragon vinegar. 
Reduce to almost dry. 
Add tomato puree and bring to a boil. 
Add butter. 
Finish with fresh tarragon.

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Caramelized Pineapple

Published by: Sarah

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comments:
  • Mar
  • 12

1 Fresh Pineapple 2-3 T Canola Oil ¼ c. Light Brown Sugar 3-4 T Butter Cut the top & bottom off the pineapple. Stand upright & cut the rind off by running your knife down the side. Cut pineapple in half lengthwise. Lay cut side down & cut in half again, lengthwise. Separate the cut pieces. […]

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1 Fresh Pineapple
2-3 T Canola Oil
¼ c. Light Brown Sugar
3-4 T Butter

Cut the top & bottom off the pineapple.
Stand upright & cut the rind off by running your knife down the side.
Cut pineapple in half lengthwise.
Lay cut side down & cut in half again, lengthwise.
Separate the cut pieces.
Holding your knife @ and angle cut off the core.
Cut the 4 cored pieces in half lengthwise to get 8 wedges.
Cook pineapple in hot oil until edges brown.
Add the sugar & cook another 5 minutes.
Add the butter to form a glaze.

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Poppy Seed Bread Ring

Published by: Sarah

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comments:
  • Feb
  • 25

This is an oldie but a goody. Make sure to leave enough of a gap between the biscuits so that the center cooks through the same time the outside does. If your pan is too crowded, plan on having biscuits for supper 😉 2 Cans Pillsbury Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits 5 T Butter, melted 1 tsp Poppy Seeds […]

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This is an oldie but a goody. Make sure to leave enough of a gap between the biscuits so that the center cooks through the same time the outside does. If your pan is too crowded, plan on having biscuits for supper 😉

2 Cans Pillsbury Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits
5 T Butter, melted
1 tsp Poppy Seeds
1 tsp Dried Minced Onion
½ tsp Dried Minced Garlic
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 375°.
Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray. 
Set aside. 
Combine melted butter, and dried seasonings. 
Separate biscuits. 
Dip each biscuit in butter mixture and stand on end in bundt pan. 
Bake 20 minutes or until center is no longer “gooey.”
If you find the top getting to brown, cover with foil.

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Spinach Souffle in Phyllo Cups

Published by: Sarah

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comments:
  • Feb
  • 7

This recipe is so versatile. It’s great for brunch, as a main dish or side. Use frozen mini phyllo cups & then it becomes an appetizer. 3 sheets Phyllo Dough Olive Oil Cooking Spray 1 pkg. Frozen Spinach Soufflé, thawed Pinch Salt ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper Pinch Black Pepper 1 T Garlic & Basil Seasoning Mix** […]

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This recipe is so versatile. It’s great for brunch, as a main dish or side. Use frozen mini phyllo cups & then it becomes an appetizer.

3 sheets Phyllo Dough
Olive Oil Cooking Spray
1 pkg. Frozen Spinach Soufflé, thawed
Pinch Salt
¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
Pinch Black Pepper
1 T Garlic & Basil Seasoning Mix**
Feta Cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350°.
Lay out 1 sheet of dough.
Spray with cooking spray.
Top with another sheet & spray with cooking spray.
Repeat with last sheet of dough.
Cut the dough into 6 equal squares.
Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
Press the dough into the muffin cups.
Bake 15 minutes.
Stir together soufflé, salt, pepper’s & seasoning mix.
Fill the phyllo cups & top with feta cheese.
Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

** If you cannot find Garlic & Basil Seasoning, just combine 2 tsp. Dried Basil with 1 tsp. Garlic Powder & Pinch of Salt.

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