How to cook beef, pork, and lamb.

Skillet Suppers: Pork Chops with Cabbage and Sweet Potatoes

 

skillet supper on www.virginiawillis.com

Skillet suppers, one-pot meals, sheet pan suppers — I’m sure you hear these terms all the time. They’re popular not only for their simplicity but also, of course, the easy cleanup. But choosing the right cooking vessel is key.
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Braising Basics: Five Steps to Perfectly Braised Meats

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Blustery days are perfect for braising meats and cooking hearty soups and stews, such as red wine-braised short ribs made with a mirepoix of onion, carrot, and celery — a classic French dish and considered the uptown version of beef stew.

Instead of simply giving you a recipe, I’m going to delve a bit more into a fundamental cooking technique.

Julia Child supposedly once said, “If you understand the technique, you don’t need a recipe.” Now, most of us aren’t going to be Julia Child in the kitchen, but the good news is that we’re going to be tackling one of the easiest techniques to master — braising.

All it takes is a little bit of time. (more…)

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APPLE RECIPES! Slab Apple Pie with a Cheddar Crust, Oat Pecan Apple Crisp, & Pork with Apples

At Foggy Ridge Cider with Heirloom Apple Expert Diane Flynt

Even though peaches are considered the quintessential Southern fruit, the phrase “as American as apple pie” applies to the South, too. Every weekend during the fall across the South friends and families pile into cars and head to the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia to pick apples.

With the leaves changing color and a brisk nip in the air, this journey is one of the most quintessential, all-American, Norman Rockwell-esque forays of autumn. Many of the small towns throughout Appalachia host apple festivals, and all along the winding roads folks can stop and buy fresh apples to take home, as well as apple butter, apple jelly, apple bread, apple cake, fried apple hand pies, traditional apple pies, dried apples, apple crisps, apple cider, and more.

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Homemade and Healthy Oven Roasted Sloppy Joes

One Pot Wonder Weeknight Family Supper

Sloppy Joe recipe on www.virginiawillis.com

Who doesn’t like Sloppy Joes? They are pretty much the absolute best of a juicy hamburger and barbecue sandwich combined. Plus, they’re super messy – like run down your wrist and finger-licking good messy. There’s something about eating Sloppy Joes that makes you feel like a kid again. 

I was asked by Carusele to participate in the #LaurasLean campaign, sponsored by Laura’s Lean. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.

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Korean-Style Pork Ribs in the Oven

Korean Style BBQ Ribs in the Oven on www.virginiawillis.com

Ah, late summer. It’s still high barbecue and grilling season. This means pork butts slowly smoking on a kamado cooker; burgers, brats, and chops sizzling over a precise pyramid of red hot embers in a kettle grill; and the juicy staccato of fat dripping from tender, succulent racks of ribs into the blue flame of a gas grill.

Ah, late summer. There’s a heat index of 112 degrees and midday feels like the surface of Mars. Rumor has it hell is cooler. Your back patio is hotter than Georgia asphalt and it’s quite possible the wooden deck might spontaneously combust. When it’s as hot as blue blazes, who the heck wants to stand in front of a grill for hours on end or babysit an egg for a half a day? There’s a reason air conditioning was invented in the South!
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Great Recipes for the 4th of July

Serving Up Fantastic Rib Recipes, Tender and Juicy Grilled Chicken, Pulled Pork, Potato Salads, Refreshing Slaws, and Tempting Desserts

4th of July ribs on www.virginiawillis.com

Ribs, ribs, and more ribs — what’s the 4th of July without ribs? Check out this post with FIVE rib recipes along with info on the difference between baby back, spareribs, and country style as well as details on how to make BBQ ribs on the grill and in the oven. (more…)

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Easter Dinner: Bourbon Glazed Ham

Bourbon Glazed Ham on www.virginiawillis.com

How did serving ham for Easter become a custom? Mediterranean celebrations, including the Jewish Passover, traditionally call for lamb at spring feasts. However, in northern Europe, pigs were the primary protein and ham was often served instead for special meals. Pigs were slaughtered in the fall and the meat was salted, smoked and cured over the winter. The resulting hams were ready to eat in the spring. Salting and smoking hams were a means to preserve meat in the days before refrigeration. 

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Skillet Suppers: Hoppin’ John and Limpin’ Susan

Skillet Suppers on www.virginiawillis.com

During a busy week sometimes a “Skillet Supper” is the way to go. Toss some ingredients in the skillet, pop it in the oven, and dinner cooks itself. This is one of those busy weeks for me, so I’m sharing a recipe for a Hoppin’ John and Limpin’ Susan mash-up from Lighten Up, Y’all and linking to my recipe for Pork Chops with Cabbage and Sweet Potato on Southern Kitchen. (More about that in a bit….)

Hoppin’ John is an old-fashioned country dish traditionally served on New Year’s Day. It’s made with peas, rice, and most often flavored with a hunk of pork such as salt pork, fatback, or hog jowl. So who is Limpin’ Susan? Legend has it that Limpin’ Susan was the wife of Hoppin’ John. There seems to be little known about the origin of the name for Limpin’ Susan, but the one constant is that it typically consists of rice, bacon, and okra. Both are one-pot, inexpensive meals. In this recipe, I have reunited the happy couple. It seems to me if one is hopping and the other is limping, they probably need each other to lean on! (more…)

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What’s in Season: Five Spice Pork Chops with Ginger Plum BBQ Sauce

Spice Up Your Grill with Five Spice Pork Chops with Ginger Plum BBQ Sauce

Plum BBQ Sauce on www.virginiawillis.com

What’s in Season?

Plums, peaches, and apricots are starting to appear at farmer’s markets and grocery stores. Peaches are undoubtedly one of my favorite stone fruits. Given that I grew up in the heart of Peach country in South Georgia, my affinity for them may as well be part of my DNA. While they did not grow peaches, my grandparents had a plum tree on their property. I remember standing with my sister and eating plum after plum straight off the tree, sticky juices running down our chins. Those sweet treats were the best plums I had ever tasted — and tasted since, but I am certain nostalgia and food memories are coming into play. Once we’d had our fill of fresh plums Meme would make jelly. She would stew the fruit until it was completely falling apart. She’d then strain the pulp overnight in a linen sack, and the juices would slowly drip into a wide, shallow enamelware bowl. Once the juice was collected, she would cook the mixture with sugar to make jelly. The results were crystal clear, garnet red, and glistening, perfect for a buttery buttermilk biscuit. (more…)

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