Say Cheese! In The Kitchen With Jorj

Say Cheese! In The Kitchen With Jorj

Join Jorj In The Kitchen!

Ready to make a deliciously decadent buffet of cheesy goodness?

Join me in the kitchen and learn how to make magnificent meals that build upon one of my favorite things…CHEESE!

This decadent and well-deserved spread is perfect for your more indulgent Summer menus, with a wonderful pimento cheese twist.

From deviled eggs to really good turkey burgers, there’s a little something for every picnic basket for days to come!

Pimento Cheese with Seasoned Crackers

Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches with Bacon and Berry Jam

Crack Crackers

Really Good Turkey Burgers Sliders with Crispy Shallots and Pimento Cheese

Ham and Turkey Roll-Ups with Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs

The Art of The Fresh Market

Grab the book that contains my favorite travel adventures, with inspired original artwork by artist Susan Fazio.
New Year, Old Friends and the Birth of This Book

Grillin’ and Chillin’ This Memorial Day Weekend

Grillin’ and Chillin’ This Memorial Day Weekend

Strawberry Recipes for Desserts

Make and take this effortless side, or get it going while your main course is on the grill or stovetop! It’s all about grilling and chilling this Memorial Day Weekend.

Whether it’s burgers, brats, ribs, or steaks, the sides are just as important as the main course when you’re planning your Memorial Day bash.

There’s lots of planning and lots of dishes to prepare. Here’s a way for you to make things just a little bit easier on yourself this year. 

Start with grilled veggies!

Any veggie will work here. My favorites are thick asparagus spears, bell peppers, red onions, zucchini and yellow squash, eggplant and portobello mushrooms. 

For the asparagus, break off the tough ends and trim. For the mushrooms remove the cap and inner gills. Slice the eggplant and red onion into ½-inch circles. Cut the squash diagonally into ½-inch ovals.

As you slice your veggies lay them onto a baking sheet. You can use parchment paper to layer everything on top of each other. Brush both sides with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Now you are ready to grill.

Use an open flame or your trusty grill pan to cook each slice turning once so that you have grill marks on both sides.

Make sure you do not over-cook. You want firm veggies, not mushy ones. Remember things keep on cooking after you remove them from the heat.

Transfer the veggies from the grill to the baking sheet. You can cook these the day before your barbecue. Cool to room temperature and cover with plastic wrap. Chill ‘til you are ready to serve. 

 

how to make easy grilled veggies for memorial day

Now, here is where we get creative!

1: Layer the veggies onto a platter. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Shave thin slices of Parmesan cheese over top and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

2: Stack the veggies, beginning with eggplant and layering from largest slices to smallest. Layer in a slice or two of mozzarella cheese and add a few leaves of fresh basil on the top. Drizzle with olive oil.

3: Layer the veggies onto a platter and add slices of tomato and watermelon. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles of the watermelon that are about the same size as the tomato slices. Add a sprinkling of blue cheese and drizzle with balsamic reduction.  

4: Chop the veggies into similar size pieces and stir into rice for grilled veggie pilaf.

5:  Slice the veggies into thin strips and pair them with your grilled beef or chicken for fajitas, enchiladas, or quesadillas.

The secret here is that you can grill the veggies in advance and with little effort assemble the dish while the main course is sitting on the grill. What a great plan!

Plan a Mother’s Day Brunch Fiesta

Plan a Mother’s Day Brunch Fiesta

Make Mother’s Day weekend a fiesta in your kitchen with this fun (AND EASY) brunch recipe! Bonus: You may already have all of the ingredients you need already!

Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) and Mother’s Day (May 8th) come callin’ pretty darn soon and pretty close together.

Let’s don our sombrero’s, tune up the guitars and add some spice to our Sunday Brunch dish to treat Mom and friends and neighbors alike.

Huevos rancheros is a traditional mid-morning dish served on rural Mexican farms featuring tortillas topped with black beans with cheese, spicy red sauce and topped with a fried egg.

Workers gather together to share the meal, taking a much needed break from farm chores.

I am inspired by this communal meal and opted to create my own version of this dish with a strong Southern flare.

Why the heck not….Right?

And here you have it:

Baked beans spiced with onions and peppers, topped with hand grated cheddar cheese, sautéed ham in mustard-maple butter, fried eggs and garnished of diced avocado and (farm fresh again) chopped tomatoes.

This is a great dish to share with friends, especially when most (if not all) of the ingredients are probably sitting in your pantry and fridge.

It’s also a great brunch dish to serve Mom on Mother’s Day. 

You can serve one large portion and pass around forks, or you can use smaller tortillas and let everyone choose their toppings.

Either way this is an eggcellent way to combine two FUN holidays!

Here’s my dish for a mixed up Huevos Rancheros that puts a whole bunch of South in your mouth!

Southern Style Huevos Rancheros

Serves:

2 Large Plates -or- 4 Small Plates

Ready In:

30 minutes ’til you’re ready to eat

Ingredients

For baked beans:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices bacon, diced
1 bunch green onions, tough tops removed, cut into thin slices, about 1 cup
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and finely diced
1 (16-ounce) can baked beans, drained
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

For the tortilla:

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 (10-inch) spinach tortillas
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
8 slices deli ham
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, about 1 cup
4 large eggs
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
1 small tomato, diced

Directions

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and onions and cook until the bacon begins to crisp, and the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Drain as much liquid as you can from the baked beans and pour them into the skillet. Season with some of the salt and pepper, stir and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the beans while you cook the ham.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, carefully lay one tortilla into the oil. Cook for a few seconds. Use tongs to turn the tortilla to the other side. Cook for a couple of seconds more and transfer to a large platter. Repeat with the second tortilla and transfer to a second platter. Add the butter, mustard, and maple syrup to the same skillet. Stir together to melt the butter. Add the ham slices to the pan. Cook until the ham begins to brown and crisp on the edges, turning several times, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Spoon half of the beans onto one tortilla. Top the beans with half of the shredded cheese. Arrange four slices of ham on top of the cheese and beans. Repeat with the second tortilla. Crack the eggs into the same skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the whites of the eggs are set, and the yolks are still runny (about 3 to 4 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Transfer two eggs onto each tortilla. Top with diced tomatoes and avocados.

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Beer Battered Fried Things for National Beer Day!

Beer Battered Fried Things for National Beer Day!

Beer brings best friends together in the backyard! Serve these fried things up with beer batter and be the hit of the backyard party this National Beer Day.

Frying things is FUN.

Frying things and then eating those fried things with a cold, crisp brew is even more FUN!

If you want some real FUN, invite your pals to a backyard barbecue and fry things in a beer batter and then toast the pals with a chilled cold one.

Yes…that works.

You can use this batter for other things like shrimp, pickles, mushrooms and cauliflower.

Everything tastes better when it’s battered in beer and fried in hot oil.

In honor of National Beer Day, here’s my take on big, fat, puffy fried onion rings with a really yummy sauce.

Beer Battered Fried Onion Rings
With Spicy Dipping Sauce

These fried onion rings are a perfect pass around, backyard appy! The dipping sauce is reminiscent of that Aussie-style dish. (You know the one I’m talking about…) In early summer markets, you’ll find smaller, tender spring onions with white or purple bulbs.  You can use the same technique described here to fry up these babies. They turn into crispy, golden strings which you can mound on top of your favorite burger. It’s all yummy!

Serves:

A  Crowd

Ready In:

30 – 45 minutes

Ingredients

For Onions

2 large white sweet onions, cut into ¼-inch slices

2 cups buttermilk


For Dipping Sauce:

½ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon ground oregano

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

2 or more drops hot pepper sauce

For the batter:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup rice flour

2 cups club soda

1 (12-ounce) bottle beer

For dredging:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon chili powder

For big finish:

Vegetable oil for frying

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Flaky salt (like sea salt)

Directions

Separate the onion rings and place into a shallow bowl or baking dish. Cover with buttermilk pushing the rings down into the liquid while you get everything else ready to go.

Whisk together mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, paprika and oregano. Season with some of the salt and pepper. Stir in as much hot sauce as you like. Pour the dipping sauce into a bowl.

Whisk together 1 cup all-purpose flour with 1 cup rice flour in a shallow bowl or baking dish. Stir in the club soda and beer. 

Place the remaining 2 cups all-purpose flour into a shallow baking dish. Whisk in chili powder and season generously with salt and pepper.

Heat about 3-inches of vegetable oil in a deep, large pot over medium-high heat to 350°. The vegetable oil should come no higher than one third up the side of the pot. Once you add the onion rings, the oil will bubble up. The temperature of the oil will go down when you add battered onion rings and then come up again as they cook. I use a candy thermometer to make sure that the temperature is hot before I add more onion rings to the oil.

Lift an onion ring out of the buttermilk and shake off the extra liquid. Dredge into the seasoned flour and then dip into the beer batter, again shaking off the excess liquid. Place the battered onion ring into the hot oil. Continue this process to fry several rings at a time, being careful not to place too many into the oil at the same time. You want them to swim freely as they fry. Use a slotted spoon or spider strainer to turn the rings in the oil until golden brown on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the rings to a paper towel lined baking sheet.

Continue with the remaining rings until there are none left. Once you remove the onion rings from the oil, immediately sprinkle with parsley and flakey salt.

Serve with dipping sauce.

Cook’s Tip

For a really FUN presentation at your next barbecue, serve these onion rings right out of the fryer and onto a foot-long wooden dowel mounted onto a wooden block. You won’t find this in the restaurant supply store. Instead, you’ll have to get your best DIY buddy to make them for you. Your friends will love plucking a puffy onion ring right off the stick.

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Chips and Dip For All Occasions: Party Dip Recipe Ideas

Chips and Dip For All Occasions: Party Dip Recipe Ideas

mardi gras king cake donuts

Chips and Dip Day celebrates all things crunchy, gooey, dippable, shareable, snackable, and delectable! Get inspired with my best party dip recipes, whether it’s for one, two, or a whole crowd.

 

I have made my fair share of chips and dips over the years, every which way and for just about every occasion.

From appetizers to party take-along to afternoon snacks, the versatile chips and dip dish strikes a satisfying balance of keeping us just the right amount of full before a big meal (or in-between them)!

Chips and dip are a staple in my household, and maybe yours, as well!  But I know you must be wondering…

Are chips and dip healthy?

The wonderful thing about home-cooking is that you have control over your ingredients and preparation process.

I have made both potato chips and veggie chips in my oven with great results and prefer this extra step over store-bought when making chips and dip fresh for my family and friends.

Get my “Oven Baked Seasoned Potato Chips
with Caramelized Onion Dip” recipe for National Chips and Dip Day, or try these fun recipes from my archives!

Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Spread

Servings

1 Cup Dip
2 tablespoons per serving size

Ready In:

15 minutes

Ingredients

1 (3-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped roasted red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 ounces reduced-fat grated cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

Place the cream cheese, mayonnaise, red pepper, parsley and cheese into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with assorted cut vegetables and homemade potato or veggie chips.

 

Peace, Love and Far Out Recipe for Chips n’ Dip

Jorj’s Kale Chips

Servings

6

Ready In:

12 – 18 minutes

Ingredients

1 pound fresh kale
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat liner or parchment paper. Prepare the kale for baking by using a sharp knife to remove the leaves from the thick stems; tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.

Wash and pat dry the kale. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle generously with the salt and pepper. Add a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes.

Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, between 12 to 18 minutes.

Peace, Love and Far Out Recipe for Chips n’ Dip

Inspired Artichoke Heart Recipes

Inspired Artichoke Heart Recipes

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Watch Jorj bring three delicious artichoke recipes to life!

My hubby and I have made many happy memories and homemade meals over the years, but artichokes have our hearts!

Join me in the kitchen and discover how to make artichoke hearts day any ol’ day when you make artichokes my way!

You’ll learn how to cook fresh artichokes, how long to cook artichokes for, how to make stuffed artichokes, and get inspired to put your own spin on the dish.

The Art of The Fresh Market

Grab the book that contains ALL of my travel adventures, and original artwork by artist Susan Fazio.
New Year, Old Friends and the Birth of This Book