Great Expectations

Sometimes my “food enthusiasm” gets the best of me…

Recently, I posted photos from my oven fest (with nary a recipe) and now I’m faced with the prospect of cramming “how I made it” into one doozy of a post, or stringing you along for another week.  (Thank you so much for putting up with me.)

Here we go…

Nothing says homemade like oatmeal cookies bursting with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips.  When I first saw them on Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts (thank you, Erin), they immediately went on my “must make” list.  (FYI, I pressed mine down with a fork dipped in Turbinado sugar before baking — I love Turbinado-topped cookies.)

Recipes are linked to the photos where applicable — it’s the least I could do for making you read the same thing twice…

As for the pie…

I’ve been cranking out pie crust for 35 years.  Some folks even call me “The Pie Lady,” which requires an explanation.  (And a post of it’s own.)  At the risk of teasing you further, stay tuned…

Then there are these eggs…

My culinary repertoire is due in part to family and friends.  (They know I love to cook and they keep me supplied with recipes — a vicarious by-product of “food enthusiasm.”)  This particular dish was SO tasty — and easy — I made it twice in one weekend!

Click on the large photo for Chef Jenn Louis’ recipe or the small one to link to her restaurant — the slideshow is worth the watch!

*Castelvetrano olives weren’t available, so I used Lindsay Green Ripe Olives and was immensely pleased with the results…

Twice.

Jumping ahead to the corn bread…

Sorry, no secret Southern recipe to divulge hereI used a mix.  (For shame!)  But the antique “corn stick” pan is an original. :)

Last, but not least…

I was determined to make an oven-worthy meal after the outside (and inside) temp dropped forty degrees.  My mind settled on pork chops… thick, juicy pork chops… with stuffing.

After perusing Food Network’s website for an hour, I finally selected a chef with ties to my (now) home State.

Oklahoma is famous for a number of things, including Will Rogers, rodeos, football, and Guy Fieri.  Guy Fieri?!

(Ardent “Diners, Drive-In’s & Dives” fans may recall when Guy and his Triple D crew descended on Clanton’s Cafe to experience the wonders of Chicken Fried Steak — among other things…)  I’ve dined there — his picture was on the wall!

If you’ve got a hankerin’ for a plate-sized portion of pork, try Guy’s Stuffed Double-Cut Pork Loin Chops.  Prepare yourself.

ASIDE:  I do my best to make a recipe as is the first time out because chefs spend untold hours tweaking tastes and textures.  (I respect that greatly.)  But when push comes to shove, I punt.

Dinner hour was waning so I “hurried up” the brine.  (i.e. I drank the water, coated the chops with Dijon, sprinkled them with the recommended seasonings, and proceeded…)  You know how it is.

Also, since cremini mushrooms are scarce in our neck of the woods (as are Fontina and shallots, unless you add a 3-hour drive to prep time), I made an “alternate” stuffing:  toasted bread cubes tossed with crumbled bacon and onions (sauteed in olive oil/butter/bacon fat), some minced garlic, 1/2 cup of Ricotta, a liberal sprinkle of dried sage, salt and pepper to taste, and enough pork stock to “glue it together.”  Have at it!

Finally (per the recipe), adding the remaining cremini stuffing to the sauce would have been marvelous, but my bread-y revision would’ve yielded “goo.”  (I baked the excess stuffing in a bowl alongside the chops.)  Next time, I’ll plan ahead.  This truly was an extraordinary recipe and it deserved the “as is” treatment!

Gratuitous Slideshow:

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Any “punts” you’d like to share?

Enjoying the thrill of atonement (and a few deviations),

~ Kim