Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Roasted Corn Pancakes with Bourbon Pulled Pork & Slaw

Dear fellow foodies, please help me in celebrating Natural Sugar's 100th post!  On such a special occasion, I thought I'd share a recipe with you that brings back one of my best memories from 2014.  Back in September, Christian and I threw a little dinner party.  It was meant to be a quiet dinner for 6 of our close friends.  It bloomed into a dinner extravaganza of 14 to celebrate the end of summer.  It.  was.  fantastic.  Great company combined with delicious food and wine plus wonderful conversation made it a total success.  

Today's recipe is the entree we served at our party:  Roasted Corn Pancakes with Bourbon Pulled Pork, Fresh Veggie Slaw and Spiced Popcorn.  It's a mouthful, literally.  It has several components and takes some time, but I promise you it's worth it!  This dish is whimsical, satiating and full of robust, fresh flavors.  The Roasted Corn Pancakes are soft and savory, the perfect pillow to catch the drippings of the sweet and smokey Bourbon Pulled Pork.  The Fresh Veggie Slaw adds bright flavors and the Spiced Popcorn finishes the dish off with a fun crunch.  Give it a try on a day when you've got time to spend in the kitchen.  You won't be disappointed.  

Roasted Corn Pancakes

1 C. Fresh corn, off the cobb (or frozen)
Olive Oil
Your favorite pancake batter

Preheat the oven to broil.  Spread out the corn onto a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with S&P.  Toss to coat.  Broil until corn is golden brown.  

Fold the roasted corn and S&P into the pancake batter.  

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Ladle a spoonful of the pancake batter into the skillet.  Cook the pancake until bubbles form or until the bottom turns golden brown, about 2 minutes.  Flip and cook until the other side is golden, about 1 more minute.  Remove from heat.  Repeat with all pancakes.  

Bourbon Pulled Pork

1 lb. Pork Tenderloin (flavored is fine - go for teriyaki or garlic)
Olive Oil
1/2 Red Onion, sliced
1/2 C. Bourbon, divided (I like Bulleit)
Scant 1/4 C. Brown Sugar

Heat a medium skillet over high heat.  Drizzle olive oil.  When it glistens and the pan is very hot, add the pork tenderloin.  Sear on all sides.  Transfer to a slow cooker.  Add onions to the skillet with about 1/8 C. of the bourbon.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Transfer the onions and bourbon juice into the slow cooker.  Add the remaining bourbon, brown sugar and S&P.  Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until the pork is cooked through and pulls apart easily with a fork.  Do not overcook.

Fresh Veggie Slaw

1/2 Yellow Pepper
1/2 Red Pepper
1/2 Red Onion
1 C. Fresh Corn
Cilantro, chopped
1 T. Vinegar (optional)

Thinly slice the peppers and onion and transfer to a medium bowl.  Add the corn and cilantro, S&P and vinegar.  Toss to combine.  

Spiced Popcorn

1 C. Popped Popcorn
Sprinkle of paprika
Sprinkle of cinnamon

To serve, top the roasted corn pancakes with bourbon pulled pork, fresh slaw and popcorn.  

Corn Three Ways:  Roasted, Fresh & Popped

Deepest apologies for such a long delay since my last post.  Since August, my life has completely filled up!  Huge back-to-back work projects + wonderful boyfriend + weekends chock full of fun = no time to talk about and take good pictures of food.  These great pieces of life continue still, but it's about time I jumped back into talking about, eating and photographing one of my favorite things:  FOOD!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lamb Burgers over Hummus with Heirloom Tomato Salad

Sometimes, you just have to dig out that old cookbook that hides on your kitchen shelf and make a dish that may not be groundbreaking, but sure is delicious.  This one fits the bill.  These lamb burgers are adapted from a recipe in The Mediterranean Cookbook by Parragon Publishing, and are so simple, you can't help but make them effortlessly.  Christian and I made these gluten-free by substituting crushed corn chips instead of bread crumbs and by serving them on hummus instead of buns. Whether you're gluten free or gluten+, give these babies a try.  These lamb burgers are rich, savory and aromatic and are the perfect Mediterranean meal for a warm summer evening.  

Lamb Burgers over Hummus

1 lb. Ground Lamb
3/4 Onion, finely diced
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 Egg
1 T. Fresh Mint, finely chopped
1 T. Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1/4 C. crushed corn chips (or bread crumbs for gluten+)
Olive Oil
Soft Goat Cheese

Preheat the oven to broil (or turn the grill to high).

In a large bowl, combine the lamb, onion, garlic, egg, mint, parsley, corn chips, S&P.  Using your hands, mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Form into equal sized patties, indenting the center of them slightly.

Drizzle the patties with olive oil and place on a baking sheet (or carefully onto your cleaned grill).  Cook about 5 minutes, flip and cook for another 4 minutes until browned and slightly crisp on the edges and cooked all the way through.  In the last few minutes of cooking, add a spoonful of goat cheese so that it begins to melt on top.

To serve, smear your favorite hummus on the plate, top with the burger and a sprinkle of parsley & mint.  Serve with Heirloom Tomato Salad (recipe follows) and naan.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

We found some fantastic heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market this weekend and decided to make an extremely simple salad with them to go along with our lamb burgers.  Fresh, cool and crisp, this salad is a perfect balance to any rich, hearty entree.

2 Heirloom Tomatoes, chopped
1/4 C. Kalamata Olives, pitted & halved
Parsley & Basil, ripped
Drizzle of Olive Oil

In a medium bowl, toss all the ingredients.  Yes, it's THAT easy.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Shooting StarMosa

I can't think of a better way to start the day than with a cold, frothy mimosa (preferably served in bed).  Lately, I've tried a few variations of mimosas and this is one that works perfectly for a sun-filled summer morning.  Christian turned me on to this version which is inspired by a fresh-squeezed, vitamin boosting juice served at Northstar Cafe in Columbus.  The Shooting StarMosa is a light, subtle and sparkling twist on the classic brunch boisson.

Shooting StarMosa

1 Part Orange Juice
2 Parts Carrot Juice
Topped off with Champaign

In a glass, mix the orange and carrot juices.  Top with Champaign and swirl to combine.