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“GOT PORK?” — Michael Symon

White Chocolate Berry Parfait Recipe


I admit that I’m not much of a white chocolate fan.  It’s not to say I hate white chocolate – I don’t.  I just wouldn’t ever choose to order it.  I know I will get emails telling me how wrong I am, but that’s just my personal preference.  My family, on the other hand, that’s a different story – they LOVE white chocolate.  So over the years I have made white chocolate recipes to satisfy them and normally I don’t eat them.  This White Chocolate Berry Parfait recipe is an exception.  I eat this white chocolate berry parfait and consider it a fine desert, which for a white chocolate “snob” like me is really saying something.

White Chocolate Berry Parfait Recipe


1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

4 egg yolks

8 ounces of white baking chocolate

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

6 cups whipped cream (cream already whipped)

6 cups fresh berries (your choice)


In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream to just a boil, stirring constantly.

In a bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks until combined.

Gradually temper the egg mixture (pour about 1/3 of the hot cream into the eggs, stirring constantly) and then add to hot cream.  Cook and stir for 2 – 3 minutes or until it is 160 degrees and thickened.

Stir in white chocolate until it melts and add vanilla.

Cool to room temperature (about 20 minutes).

Fold in whipped cream (trying to keep it light as you go (make figure 8s through the mixture with a spatula.)

Fill 4 parfait glasses 1/4 full with cream, add berries, top with 1/4 more, repeat 2 more times.

Cover and refrigerate until chilled (minimally 1 1/2 hours).  Garnish with additional berries and serve.

Makes 4 large parfaits or 8 smaller parfaits.

Baked French Toast With Maple Syrup Recipe

I  know that many are on the Paula Deen bash wagon right now, but this recipe should be repeated for those who don’t have diabetes.  It’s really easy to make the night before breakfast.  It’s perfect when you need a get out of the house early breakfast, but you aren’t going to have a lot of time in the morning.  Secondly, and more importantly, it is delicious.  So here is Paula Deen’s Baked French Toast with Maple Syrup recipe.


1 loaf French bread

8 large eggs

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

dash salt

Praline topping, recipe follows

Maple syrup


Slice French bread into slices.  Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 x 13 inch baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Beat with a whisk until blended but not too bubbly.

Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture.  Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices.

Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spread praline topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.  Serve with maple syrup.

Praline Topping:

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well.  Makes enough for the casserole.



Sweet Pork Chops with Corn stuffing recipe

Brown sugar, honey mustard, cornbread, pork chops……. What’s not to like? Easy enough to finish on a jammed pack school night.

Sweet Pork Chops with corn stuffing


6 pork chops (actually the rest of this recipe will work for 4 – 8)

5 tablespoons brown sugar

4 teaspoons honey Dijon mustard

3 cups cornbread stuffing (Pepperidge Farm preferred)

1 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 onion, chopped

1/2 stick butter

2 cans cream of corn


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small saucepan, cook onion in butter.

In a bowl, mix stuffing, paprika, cream of corn, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and melted butter with onion.

Layer mixed stuffing in a 13 x 9 pan, arrange pork chops on top of stuffing.  Combine 4 tablespoons brown sugar and 4 teaspoons dijon mustard until they create a paste.  Spread paste on top of pork chops.

Bake uncovered for 35 – 40 minutes depending on the thickness of your chops.  Let chops rest for 5 – 10 minutes covered in foil, before serving.



Banana Bread Recipe


Banana bread, warm from the oven…….. fragrant, tactile crumb, delicious.  This recipe is for those who don’t like or can’t eat nuts.  Almost every recipe I have for Banana bread is for Banana Nut Bread and I have to omit the nuts.  This recipe is designed without nuts, but of course you can add them if you so desire.

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Shredded Pork with Creamy Tomatillo Dressing Recipe


I like this recipe for several reasons.  it’s a great weeknight meal, it’s easily adaptable for your palate – from sweet to spicy and it can be adapted to serve from a small to large group.

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Grandma’s Rolls

I started 2012 with the promise that I would commit myself to all things yeast and tonight I attempted my Grandmother’s rolls.  A daunting task.

When I was young we would drive to my grandmother’s house several states away and we arrived to the smell of rolls in the oven.  My grandmother would pull them from the oven and brush them with melted butter and we would argue over who got the center roll.  She made us wait for them to cool enough to handle…..  They were always 4” high at least and they were so tender they melted in your mouth.  So it was with fear in my heart that I attempted a recipe that I didn’t think anyone could do as well as her.

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Pass the salt!


Salt.  It seasons food and preserves food.  Salt is boiled down and crystallized to different levels of fineness.  The debate over taste or which salt is superior is all a matter of personal preference.  I don’t profess to be an expert.  This is just what I’ve learned over the years about salt.  I’m sure there is a lot more information available, but over the years family members keep asking the question of which salt to use for what recipe so it spurred me to write this little clip.

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Michael Symon Live To Cook Cookbook



Michael Symon’s Live to Cook, Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your kitchen isnot your ordinary cookbook  Vegetarians need to spend their money elsewhere as this is a culinary expedition through all things pork, beef and lamb related.


Michael takes us on a tour from his cultural heritage, his working class Cleveland beginnings and his rise to the man he is today.  His humor comes through while he still maintains a serious edge as noted in his “five things you should never buy.” 


His starters include a different type of appetizer:Zucchini fritters with feta and dill, beef cheek pierogies and roasted dates with pancetta, almonds and chile.  Soups and Sandwiches such as Chicken and dumpling soup and Soppressata Sandwich with fried egg and Shasha sauce are included.  A varied salad and vinaigrette selection and a perfect Egg Yolk Pasta dough recipe are included.  Gnocchi and risotto recipes that are new and different are also included.  I previously made his Leg of Lamb with Tzatziki Sauce recipe and it was worth the cost of the cookbook alone.


The main reason that I purchased this cookbook (besides the fact that I love Michael Symon’s creativity and adventurousness in the kitchen) is for his Charcuterie section.  This section is not designed for the beginner cook or the faint of heart.  This section describes in full (at home detail) how to make bacon, pancetta, lamb bresaola and sausages at home!  I was enthralled and I plan on making homemade bacon soon! 


His section on pickles is also very appealing and he does cover the obligatory stocks, ketchup and steak sauce and barbeque sauce recipes  I have made his Tzatziki sauce and it is wonderful!


All in all this cookbook hits my criteria for actually keeping a cookbook on my shelf.  It covers information I didn’t have before, recipes that test my skill level and have delicious flavor.  Michael Symon has hit a homerun with this cookbook.  Live to Cook knocks it straight out of the park! 

Croque Monsieur Recipe

I channeled Alton Brown this week. I recently watched a rerun of him making his Coconut Cake.  At the end of the show, he joked that he made a delicious cake and it only took him half a day.  Even though this recipe is by Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa), the energy was definitely devoted to Alton.


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Honey Challah Bread Recipe

Warm Honey Challah bread.  I admit I love all bread, but I have a special fondness for Challah bread.  With my goal for 2012 to cook more yeast products, I decided to venture into a scary domain.  The world of Challah.  So I got an old recipe from a card that is worn so yellow I can’t describe it and broke out my grandmother’s Honey Challah recipe. 

I admit I was half tempted half way through to throw out the dough because I didn’t think it had risen enough, but it did turn out perfect.  So – keep the faith on this one and try it – because if I can tackle bread, anyone can!

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