Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

Follow by Email

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mesquite Grilled Pork Tenderloin Tacos with Pico de Gallo

For tonight's Taco Tuesday, I decided to grilled a Smithfield Mesquite Pork Tenderloin. In my opinion, this is one of the best values in your grocery store.

I also made a nice bowl of pico de gallo to top the pork. It was excellent.  Let's make the pico de gallo first.
Isn't that beautiful?

1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 - 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 cloves, garlic diced
1 cup diced grape tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Juice of one lime
1/3 cup (packed) cilantro, chopped
 Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Now let's grill the tenderloin.

1 lb. package of Smithfield Mesquite Pork Tenderloin

Well, that's it for the ingredient list!

Get the grill nice and hot and place the tenderloin directly on the grates. I kept the temperature as close to 375 - 400 degrees as possible. After 15 minutes, I turned it over to cook the other side. After 30 minutes, the internal temperature was 160 degrees. I removed it from the grill, placed on a plate, loosely covered with foil and let it rest while I heated the tortillas on the grill.

Turn the grill to low and place tortillas directly on the grates. Let the tortillas heat until they begin to puff up and then turn to brown/heat the other side. Place on a serving plate and get ready to dig in!

Thinly slice the pork tenderloin and serve on the warmed tortillas. For this meal, I served with sour cream, shredded cheese and pico de gallo.

Pico de Gallo

Isn't that beautiful? This is a delicious, super easy to prepare topping for tacos or to eat with chips!

1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 - 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
2 cloves, garlic diced
1 cup diced grape tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Juice of one lime
1/3 cup (packed) cilantro, chopped
 Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mexican Char-Grilled Green Bean Salad

Thank goodness it's finally grilling season around here. In honor of Taco Tuesday, while I grilled the pork tenderloin for the tacos, I grilled "a mess" of green beans to serve as the side dish. If you haven't invested in a small grill basket for vegetable grilling, please do so. 

I made the dressing about 30 minutes ahead of time and let the flavors mingle while I grilled the green beans. When the green beans were tender and lightly charred, I placed them in the serving bowl and poured the dressing over the hot beans and lightly tossed everything together. The heat from the beans, slightly softened the onions and peppers and allowed the juices from the tomatoes to coat the beans. These were delicious!

1 lb. fresh green beans

For the dressing:
1/3 cup yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
Juice of one lime
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 t. dried Mexican oregano
1/2 cup rough chopped cilantro
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

Place the beans in a grilling basket over medium high flame. Lightly pour about a teaspoon of olive oil over the beans and toss to coat. Close grill and let beans cook for 20 - 30 minutes, tossing with tongs every 10 minutes or so.

When beans are tender and lightly charred, remove from heat. Place in serving bowl, pour dressing over beans and toss to coat.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Confetti Cornbread Salad

I call this one Confetti Cornbread Salad because if you take the time to dice all the veggies the same size as the shoepeg corn, it resembles little pieces of confetti in the salad. This is a very colorful, delicious cornbread salad that stretches to feed a lot of guests at cookouts or potluck meals.

2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread mix, prepared as directed on box, cooled, and crumbled into a large bowl
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup diced Vidalia onion (or other mild onion)
1 can of shoepeg corn, drained
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 - 2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 - 5 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled

Combine first seven ingredients in a large bowl. Depending on your preference, you may want to add a little more or less mayonnaise. I like adding just enough to hold it together. You don't want it too wet.

Refrigerate until time to serve and then top with the cheese and bacon. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Southwestern Grouper Tacos with Spicy Slaw


Remember those grouper fillets we cooked in that big cast iron skillet? Well, it's time for Round 2 of that meal!  Here's the link to the grouper fillets. http://fleurdelolly.blogspot.com/2016/05/fish-fry-time-grouper-fillets-vialia.html

While I made the Spicy Slaw, the fish reheated slowly in the oven. The spicy slaw is a definite must for this recipe. It makes a perfect crunchy texture to the fish and the soft tortilla!

Spicy Slaw

3 cups shredded cabbage
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
zest and juice of one small lime
1 green onion. thinly sliced (white and some of the green)
4 slices jarred pickled jalapenos, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Now to assemble the fish taco.

In a small skillet, over low heat, add one flour tortilla at a time and let lightly brown on both sides. Place a few spoonfuls of the slaw on top of the tortilla, top with a piece of grouper. I topped mine with a little taco sauce and some cilantro.  You could certainly add avocados, cheese or any of your favorite taco toppings.  Serve with a slice of lime to drizzle over the taco before devouring!

Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups

Using ground turkey instead of ground beef or ground chuck makes your dishes healthier. However, ground turkey needs a little kick start to get those flavors going. This recipe showcases Asian flavors in fun to eat lettuce cups.

2 T. soy sauce
1 T. hoisin sauce
1/2 t. Sriracha 
1 T. vegetable oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 lb. ground turkey
Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves
julienned carrots
thinly sliced scallions
lime wedges

Combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce and Sriracha and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook 2 minutes or until tender.

Add mushrooms and turkey. Cook 7 minutes or until turkey is cooked through and mushrooms are tender, stirring frequently to crumble turkey.

Stir in soy sauce mixture and cook 1 minute or until heated through. 

Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter and spoon turkey mixture into the lettuce leaves. Top with carrots, scallions, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

From Parade magazine.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Fish Fry Time! Grouper Fillets, Vidalia Onion Rings and Fish Fry Cole Slaw!

I had several pieces of grouper fillets in the freezer and some Vidalia onions waiting patiently on the work table. I knew I was in the mood for a fish fry. I cut the grouper into two inch wide strips, rinsed them and patted dry with paper towels. Then, I assembled my breading/coating station.

3 cups of corn flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 t. granulated garlic

Add all ingredients to a shallow baking dish and mix carefully with a fork.

I have a HUGE cast iron skillet and I added enough peanut oil to have a depth of about 2 1/2 - 3 inches. Turn the heat to medium high and let heat until the oil reaches a temperature of 350 degrees.

While the oil is heating, carefully place the grouper fillets into the breading and coat each piece completely.  Add fish to oil and let it cook for 2 - 3 minutes until the pieces float and then, using tongs, carefully turn the fish over and let it cook an additional 2 - 3 minutes until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels until all the fish is cooked. Serve immediately. If you're going to cook the onion rings. place the fish into a warm oven to keep warm.

Now let's get those onion rings cooking!

1 large Vidalia onion, peeled, thinly sliced, and rings separated
2 cups buttermilk
1 - 2 T. of your favorite hot sauce
1 t. granulated garlic
1 t. salt

In a large bowl, add ingredients and whisk together. Place onion rings into mixture and stir to coat. Set aside.

2 cups corn flour
1 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 t. granulated garlic

In a large bowl, whisk together all these ingredients. Take a few onion rings from the buttermilk mixture and place into the breading and coat.

Drop into the oil used to fry the fish. It won't take them but a minute or two at most to cook. When they are golden brown, using tongs, remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined plate.

If that's not enough goodness, let's whip up some slaw right quick!

3 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 - 2 T. olive oil 
1 T. dried onion flakes
1/2 t. celery seeds
salt and pepper to taste

Place the cabbage in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the cabbage. Mix together until well combined. Chill until ready to serve.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Grilled Pork Chops

Tonight was my first time to grill pork chops. As in first time EVER.  With a light sprinkle of salt, pepper, and granulated garlic, these beautiful pork chops were placed on a preheated grill and left alone to "do their thing."

After allowing the pork chops to cook for about 5 minutes, I carefully lifted with tongs to see if they would release from the grates. They did, so I rotated them a quarter turn and allowed them cook another 5 minutes or so.

Now it was time to turn them over and repeat.

A quick check with a meat thermometer to see if the chops had reached an internal temp of 145 degrees. They were spot on perfect, so I removed them from the grill, and let them rest for about 5 minutes. 

These were incredibly delicious!

Grilled Asparagus

Asparagus is my favorite green vegetable. It heralds Spring and now is the perfect time to grab a nice bunch at the grocery store and throw it on the grill! Granted, it's very difficult to actually GRILL asparagus and that is where this handy dandy grill basket comes to the rescue.

Simply get the grill hot, carefully place the washed and trimmed asparagus in the basket, and drizzle with about 1 - 2 t. olive oil and toss to coat the asparagus spears. Yes, it will blaze up, but that is what will give you such a beautiful char on spears.

Using tongs, continue to toss the spears until they are charred, but still crisp.  

Place on a plate, lightly salt and pepper (I used lemon pepper), and add a squeeze of fresh lemon.  Heaven on a plate.

Monday, May 16, 2016

French's Yellow Mustard Potato Salad

There are literally hundreds of types of mustards out there. But I will admit, my all time favorite for cookouts with burgers and hot dogs is the old familiar favorite French's Yellow Mustard.

And my favorite potato salad to serve alongside uses a LOT of French's Yellow Mustard. I've found through the years that attempting to mix the mayo/mustard/relish into the potatoes can sometimes leave you with nothing more than an almost mashed potato quality....so voila! I mix all my dressing ingredients together first and then gently and slowly fold the potatoes into the dressing. The potatoes don't get all smooshed and they absorb all the dressing goodness.

3 lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2" cubes
Water to cover potatoes
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 - 3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup French's yellow mustard
1/2 cup dill pickle relish
salt / pepper
paprika for garnish

Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Add a couple of teaspoons of salt. Over medium high heat, bring water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. With the potatoes diced, it won't take but about 5 minutes for the potatoes to be cooked. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine chopped eggs, mayo, mustard and pickle relish. Lightly salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Add potatoes and gently fold into the dressing until well coated. Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with paprika.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Ultimate Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

A friend requested a chocolate cake. A really, really, chocolate, chocolate cake. If you've ever had a craving for a super moist, super chocolatey cake this is the one to try. Don't let the addition of coffee throw you. You won't taste it, I promise. I dislike coffee with a passion, so trust me when I tell you, if it was noticeable, I'd know it. If you don't have coffee in the house, simply use 1 cup hot water.

The butter cream frosting is the tried and true recipe found on the Domino's confectioner's sugar box that I've used for years. I made a little extra to make sure this cake was the Ultimate.

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 T. vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour two 9 inch baking pans and set aside.

In the large bowl of a standing mixer, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth (about 3 minutes).

Remove bowl from mixer and stir in hot coffee with a rubber spatula.  Batter will be very runny.

Pour batter evenly between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven for about 35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and just a few moist crumbs attached.

Allow to cool 15 minutes in pans, then run a butter knife around the edges of each cake. Place a wire cooling rack over top of each pan.

Wearing oven mitts, using both hands to hold the racks in place while flipping the cakes over onto the racks. Set the racks down and gently thump on the bottom of the pans until the cakes release. Cool completely before frosting. From foodess.com

For the frosting:
3 3/4 cups (1 lb. box) Domino® Confectioners Sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
3 to 4 T. milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1/3 cup Cocoa powder
In a large bowl with electric mixer at low speed, combine sugar, butter, milk, cocoa, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed 1 to 2 minutes until creamy. If desired, add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency.

Grilled Beer Brats

If you've been guilty of opening up a package of brats and immediately putting them on the grill, please stop. Stop and take about a half hour and let them take a dip on a simmering beer and onion bath and THEN put them on the grill to brown up and crisp. Trust me, it's an entirely different flavor and texture.

12 package of brats (I used Johnsonville brand)
2 - 16 oz. bottles of beer
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

In a 5 - 6 quart Dutch oven, over low heat add beer and onions. Bring to a gentle simmer and then add brats. Let the bratwurst simmer for 20 - 30 minutes. Remove from heat and then place on the grill. Allow brats to brown and crisp. Place in buns and serve immediately with lots of mustard and kraut!

Spinach Dip served with vegetables and crackers

I LOVE spinach dip. And it usually makes its appearance at holiday time or bridal or baby showers. But at my house, I may mix up a batch at any given time. Yesterday was no exception. As usual for me, I sneak in a couple of extra ingredients and tend to change them from one time to the next. Here's yesterday's version!

1 - 10 oz. box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
16 oz. sour cream
4 oz. mayonnaise
4 oz. Greek yogurt
1 envelope Knorr's Vegetable Mix
3 green onions, thinly sliced
8 oz. water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 oz. diced pimento

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl until combined. Refrigerate 2 hours or until ready to serve. Serve with your favorite crackers and/or chopped vegetables.

Cucumbers and Vidalia Onions

I'm always at a loss as to how to categorize this dish. Is it a side dish? Yes. Is it a salad? Well, sorta. Is it delicious? Definitely!

During the summers of my childhood, this was a staple in our home along with both sets of grandparents. The ingredients are humble and simple. Cucumbers, Vidalia onions and apple cider vinegar with a touch of salt and pepper. Additional vegetables were added to the vinegar as needed. I can't imagine summertime without this wonderful combination making a lasting appearance on the supper table.

Cucumbers, thinly sliced
Vidalia Onions, sliced into wedges
Apple Cider Vinegar / Water 
Freshly ground black pepper

Place cucumbers and onions in a bowl with a resealable lid. Lightly salt and pepper the veggies.

Now to the vinegar. I normally go 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water. If that's too strong for your taste, go half and half.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

First Cookout of 2016!

Yesterday we had some great helpers who showed up to help replace our deck railings and posts. Yes, they gave up their Saturday to help us. So how better to thank them than to feed them dinner? The First Cookout of 2016 was prepared while I enjoyed listening to power saws, a pneumatic framing nailer, guy jokes and laughter, and railings being settled into place.

Here's our table and the spread! Separate recipes coming for the food.

S & P shakers, plates, solid red serving pieces and white saucers are Fiestaware.

Large oval white platter from Bed Bath and Beyond.

"Antware" platter and bowls, mustard / ketchup servers and glasses from Hobby Lobby.