Honey Sesame Chicken

Honey Sesame Chicken — Here’s an easy and delicious meal. Rub chicken parts with a mix of red pepper and salt — two teaspoons of each per part — then drench each part with honey and smother them in sesame seeds.

Cook for an hour at 325 degree F.

Combine with a white wine and cheap is fine.

It’s a yum.

Honey Sesame Chicken

Prune Juice Pork Chops

Prune juice pork chops — or to give it some elegance, aged prune juice pork chops — is a dish perfect when you find in the freezer boneless porch chops acquired in a long-ago sale and discover in the cupboard a bottle of prune juice with a three-year-old expiration date.

It is surprisingly good.

Actually it is rather delicious.

Prune Juice Pork Chops

Pat two small chops dry then give them a rub of two teaspoons of salt, two teaspoons and a teaspoon of black pepper. Let them sit in the frige for an hour.

Cut an onion in rings.

Heat a splash of vegetable oil — or even some non-stick spray — in a Dutch oven or large pot. Put the chops in for a sear. Pull them out and put in the onion slices. Let them get soft, then add just enough prune juice to cover. The juice will deglaze so remember to scrap so the brown bits on the bottom can be included.

Add two tablespoons of brown sugar. Let the juice come to a simmer, then return the chops. Braise them until their temp hits 140 F. It won’t be long. Remove them to rest and let the sauce reduce. When reduced pour the sauce and onions on the meat and eat.

Yes, it’s a yum.

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Potato Chip Tomato Dip Salad

Potato Chip Tomato Dip Salad

Potato Chip Tomato Dip Salad — You’re desperate. The tomato plants in the garden are exploding fruit and you can’t give it away fast enough. You hate to see it go to waste. You chop up an onion and throw it a large bowl with as many tomatoes as you can. You add vinegar (red wine in this case) and olive oil in 2 to 1 ratio with some spices. Salt of course is necessary. We also included red pepper, powdered garlic, basil and oregano. How much? We eyeballed it.

Mix it and let it sit. Yum. It seems to last about a week staying enjoyable.

You’re hungry. The salad isn’t going to do it by itself. You need carbs. Hey, an idea. Open up a bag of potato chips and dump some in a soup bowl. Put the salad on top. Mix it. It’s good.

A less trailer-parkish thing would be to use beans. Best to let them soak a while in the salad before consuming, though. Canned beans work great. You don’t need to cook them but you should drain and rinse them. What kind of beans? You pick it.

Or just open a bag of chips.

Potato Chip Tomato Dip Salad

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Quarantine Pizza Stew

Quarantine Pizza Stew — Here is a fast dish for when your cupboard is light and you don’t feel like braving the Covid checkout lines at your local supermarket.

Quarantine Pizza Stew

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan then put in that can of stewed tomatoes you’ve had since 2018. Add two tablespoons of powdered garlic, a tablespoon of salt, a tablespoon of oregano and two teaspoons of red pepper.

Bring it to a simmer then slowly add three tablespoons of flour. Mix it well then add two tablespoon of shredded sharp cheese. Why not mozzarella? Um, Covid checkout lines.

Wait until the cheese melts then serve with stale Tostitos.

OK, as an entree this is fairly lacking but it’s not a bad dip.

Quarantine Pizza Stew

Hamburger Cheese Steak Surprisingly Close To Real Thing

Hamburger Cheese Steak Surprisingly Close To Real Thing — Granted this won’t replace what you can find at the corner steak shop but it comes surprisingly close and is a welcome substitute if you should be stuck in some backwater like Florida or under a quarantine or something.

Hamburger Cheese Steak Surprisingly Close To Real Thing

Sauté  onion slices in butter. Crumble an appropriate amount of ground beef in the pan and fry it. Melt cheese with the mix and scramble it. Put it on a long roll and enjoy.

Actually, just dish it on a plate and enjoy.

Hamburger Cheese Steak Surprisingly Close To Real Thing

Potato Rosti Simple And Delicious

Potato rosti is a simple but surprisingly delicious dish that is perfect for Lent providing you choose the butter option rather than pork fat.

Potato Rosti Simple And Delicious
Potato Rosti and sour cream

Frankly the butter is better despite the pork fat being considered the 8th most nutritious food. We tried them both.

Boil three medium sized russet potatoes in well-salted water for about 15 minutes then let them cool in the fridge overnight.

Peel then grate them.

In an 8-inch pan, melt 4tablespoons of butter over low heat. Slowly stir in the potatoes and a teaspoon of salt. Cook them for about two minutes turning frequently. Gently mold them into a pancake — don’t press hard — that would hold its shape. Add two tablespoons of hot water and a little bit more butter, cover and cook for 12 or 13 minutes. Flip onto a plate — you know how to do that right– and enjoy with sour cream, or cream cheese or smoke salmon or what hits your fancy.

Potato Rosti Simple And Delicious

Bacon Red Beans And Rice Recipe

Bacon Red Beans And Rice Recipe — An inexpensive and easy riff on the classic Cajun dish of red beans and rice is to do the makin with bacon.

Bacon Red Beans And Rice Recipe -- An inexpensive and easy riff on the classic Cajun dish of red beans and rice is to do the makin with bacon.

Heat up a large sauce pan and dice an onion, large bell pepper and a stalk of celery. Then dice about five strips of supermarket bacon.

Render the bacon in the sauce pan and sauté the veggies in the fat. If there is not enough fat add some butter or oil.

Add the seasoning. Remember, the one who adds the rice picks the spice. Garlic powder, salt and pepper is a safe choice. Don’t forget the bacon has a lot of salt.

Stir and add two cans of beans without draining them. What kind? Small red, kidney, pink, mix them up, you’re the chef.

Give the cans a scrape, fill them with water and add that.

There should be enough liquid to cover everything. If not add more water. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and let it go for an hour or two.

About 20 minutes before mealtime, rinse the rice. How much rice? It’s decision time. Do you want the dish to be smooth like Popeyes? Run it through a food process or — much, much easier — use a hand-blender to cream it in the pot. Then cook as much rice as you want separately.

If not, estimate how much liquid is left, bring it back to a boil and add an appropriate amount of rice at the ratio of one part rice to two parts liquid.

Cook until the rice is soft and liquid absorbed then ladle out.

Bacon Red Beans And Rice Recipe

Blackbeard’s Grog, A Legendary Recipe

Blackbeard’s Grog, a legendary recipe

By William W. Lawrence Sr.

You know him as Blackbeard the Pirate.

He was born Edward Teach in Bristol England and was known by several names — Thatch, Thach and Drummond. Except for the fact that he went to sea as a youth, his early life remains a mystery. He was a demon, a brutal giant who loved to spill blood.

His ship, a captured French vessel which he renamed the Queen Anne’s Revenge, was swift and carried 40 cannons.

His long beard was braided into pigtails and tied with ribbons. He wore six pistols on one shoulder and a cutlass on the other.

Before going into battle, he shoved lengths of cannon fuse under his headgear and lit them to smolder. His evil countenance, framed by smoke caused many victims to surrender before a shot was fired.

Blackbeard had captured and looted many ships. He became famous, however, only when he defeated a British man-o-war, The Scarborough. The story of his victory spread, and Blackbeard became the most feared pirate in the world.

His biggest triumph came in 1717 when he easily captured five richly laden ships practically in the Charlestown, S.C. harbor. His ships (he now had three under his command) were loaded with goodies taken from other vessels, but he needed medical supplies.

He sent word to the South Carolina governor that unless he coughed up the medicine, Blackbeard would burn the captured ships and kill the crews.

The governor delivered the medical supplies.

The King of England had recently offered amnesty to all the cutthroats who vowed to give up piracy and go straight.

Blackbeard was a thug without honor. He decided to accept the offer, but had no intentions of giving up his joys of pillaging and killing. In 1718, Blackbeard the pirate ruled the seas and called North Carolina home.

He made deals with Charles Eden, the corrupt royal governor of North Carolina who gave him and his crews certificates of pardon and allowed them to use Ocracoke Island as their headquarters and to continue looting and robbing. 

At first the North Carolina traders were in favor of the deal because they could buy Blackbeard’s booty cheap. Then Blackbeard started to bully and rob the traders. Eden did not give ear to their complaints, so the traders sent a delegation to Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood. The honest Spotswood decided to end the reign of terror even though he had no jurisdiction in the area. 

“No one must know what I do tonight,” Spottswood told himself. “North Carolina’s governor cannot be trusted. Many on my own council are in league with the devil.” He was going to act on the theory that the best weapon was surprise — and some well-manned sloops.

“Yes, we must deal with him now, here,” Spottswood told his advisers, “lest his presence haunt us to our graves.”

He sent two British warships to the pirate’s headquarters on Ocracoke Island with instructions to capture Blackbeard and his crew of 20 pirates.

Lt. Robert Maynard was in command of the ships. After many exchanges of cannon fire, Blackbeard figured he had the advantage and boarded Maynard’s sloop. Maynard and Blackbeard exchanged pistol shots. Blackbeard, whose brain was a bit foggy from a belly full of grog, missed.

Maynard did not miss. He planted a bullet directly in Blackbeard’s chest.

It did not even slow him down. He went after Maynard with his cutlass, Maynard parried and struck telling blows with his sword. Finally, bleeding from a score of wounds Blackbeard sunk to the deck. He drew another pistol and aimed at Maynard, but was too weak to pull the trigger. He died in a pool of blood. Maynard’s men hung Blackbeards’ severed head on a mast and returned to Okracoke in triumphant victory.

Blackbeard’s Grog

1 Tsp. of sugar

Juice of 1/4 lemon

2 ounces dark rum

Mix them together, add hot water and stir.

Blackbeard's Grog

Slow Roasted Pork Loin Apple Stuffed

Slow Roasted Pork Loin Apple Stuffed — Here is a simple, delicious recipe that you can quickly prepare and forget about as it cooks.

Slow Roasted Pork Loin Apple Stuffed
Ready for the oven

Take a pound and a half of pork loin — tip: buy a pork loin on sale, cut it in thirds and freeze them — butterfly it and heavily salt and pepper the inside. Peel and dice one apple — we recommend Granny Smith — and do the same to an onion. Spread the apple and onion pieces on the loin. Roll it up and tie it.

Spread the outside with a nice rub, such as Memphis Dust Rub.

Put it on a rack and roast it in an oven at 220 degrees for six or seven hours. Internal temperature should be 160 F.

For a side chop some root veggies — we used onion, potatoes and carrots drenched in olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic — and put it beneath the loin to catch any drippings as it cooks. Do the same for any left over stuffing.

Slow Roasted Pork Loin Apple Stuffed

Alexander Selkirk Cheese Flambe

Alexander Selkirk Cheese Flambe

Alexander Selkirk, the son of a Largo, Scotland shoemaker, left home in 1695, when he was 19, to become a buccaneer. By the time he was 27, he was the sailing master of a galley in a fleet captained by the famed pirate, William Dampier.

Selkirk was a stubborn, thin-skinned man who always wanted to do things his way. In September 1704 he had an argument with the captain.

“Let me off this ship,” he demanded.

A few days later, he was put ashore on the desolate and uninhabited island of Juan Fernandez, 400 miles west of Chile. Selkirk was allowed to take weapons, tools, tackle, brandy and other supplies.

The first night on shore, Selkirk wondered if he had made a big mistake. He heard strange noises coming out of the jungle. Afraid of being attacked by wild animals, he slept in a tree.

The next day, he used a tarpaulin to make a tent, which he surrounded with a high picket fence made from saplings. He then felt safe.

During the next weeks, he explored the island and found an abundance of game — large birds, goats, rabbits and wild cats. He shot game for food, and soon captured and tamed a few goats. He even found a lemon tree.

From the goats, he was able to get milk. He soon learned how to make butter and cheese. The cheese was similar in texture to mozzarella. He built a small boat that he used to go fishing in a small safe cove.

For the most part, Selkirk enjoyed his isolation. He became a very good cook, and spent much of his time at the stove and oven he had made.

He hesitated to leave the island when the “Duke,” captained by Woods Rogers and piloted by Dampier, showed up five years later.

“Let’s not have any hard feelings,” said Dampier. “C’mon Alex, back to civilization.”

Selkirk finally agreed and was appointed mate to Rogers. The next month he was given command of the “Increase” which had been captured by the privateers.

He returned to England in 1711. His tale of being marooned on an uninhabited island reached Daniel Defoe who used Selkirk’s narrative as the basis of one of the most widely read classics of all times — Robinson Crusoe.

Selkirk returned to Largo where he spent most of his time as a recluse. On the few occasions, he did have visitors, he usually prepared his favorite dish, called “Toad-in-the-Hole” that he served with an ale and, cheese flambé hors d’oeuvre that he concocted on his beloved island. It is still a wonderful appetizer that is very easy to make. You would do well to try it. But be sure to follow with Robinson Crusoe’s “Toad in the Hole.”

Alexander Selkirk’s Cheese Flambé

1 Lb. Mozzarella cheese

3 Tbs. melted butter

1 Lemon

5 Tbs. brandy

Place cheese in ovenproof baking dish. Brush with butter and lemon juice mixture. Place in broiler under high heat about six inches away from heat. Broil about five minutes until cheese browns and bubbles. Meanwhile heat brandy until very warm. Take cheese from broiler, pour brandy over cheese and light immediately. Cut into cubes and serve with small pieces of seeded rye bread or crackers.


2 Cups all purpose flour

3 Eggs

1 ½ Cups milk

2 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 Lb.(8 links) good quality pork sausage

dash of salt and pepper

Brown the sausages in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and cook through, about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425° F.

Whisk together the flour, eggs and the milk in a medium bowl until you have smooth batter. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and let stand for half an hour.

Pour the second tablespoon of oil into a baking dish and place sausages into it in a single layer. Pour the batter over the sausages and place in oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until batter has risen and is the color of golden brown. Serve immediately.

Alexander Selkirk Cheese Flambe

Alexander Selkirk Cheese Flambe  Alexander Selkirk, the son of a Largo, Scotland shoemaker, left home in 1695, when he was 19, to become a buccaneer. By the time he was 27, he was