Deviled Pig

I am so excited to write this post and introduce you to a new barbeque restaurant, Deviled Pig.  They are located in Tampa, Florida at 3307 South Dale Mabry Highway and the grand opening is Tuesday, October 30, 2018.  Champion Pitmaster Lee Ann Whippen and World Sandwich Champion Jennifer Daskevich have joined forces to bring you what they call “Meat with an Attitude”, which combines traditional roots and award winning smoked meats, BBQ and Tampa inspired sandwiches.

Deviled Pig

At the soft opening, guests were treated to some pretty fabulous barbeque, as well as some of their original signature delish dishes.

The ribs and rib tips were perfection, so tender and so flavorful!  The didn’t even need sauce, but of course, I wanted to try them so used some of the Buccaneer Original Barbeque Sauce on these babies.  It is a mild sauce, Kansas City style with a hint of sweet – really good!

Competition Premium St. Louis Ribs

Premium Rib Tips

Next up – The “Deviled Pig” – which was amazing…loved, loved, loved these!!  Think crab cake but with pork.  It is a combination of smoked pulled pork, onions, peppers, spices, panko crusted, then deep fried and dusted with their Pig Powder.  I can’t wait to have them again!

The “Deviled Pig”

One of the signature sandwiches – the Pirate Shipwreck Sandwich – has smoked turkey, pulled pork, pork belly bacon, cole slaw and their pirate mustard sauce all on fresh local Cuban bread.  See the sandwich on the far left, with that big ole piece of pork belly hanging off the end – that was the one I grabbed – so worth the calories!

Pirate Shipwreck Sandwich

And then the shrimp! Argentinian Red Deviled Smoked Shrimp to be exact.  Pig powder dusted and served with drawn butter (or choice of sauce).  Look at the size of those beauties!  They were as tasty as they look!  (Sorry for the blur on the photo…tongs in action grabbing shrimp off the platter!)

Argentinian Red Deviled Smoked Shrimp

They also served up the hot link sausage, pulled chicken sandwich and the burnt ends – sadly I didn’t get a picture of those but they looked and tasted as good as everything else!!

If you are ever in the Tampa area, be sure to make a stop at Deviled Pig…you will not be disappointed!  And for those living in the area, they have take-out and also cater!

(Disclaimer:  I was invited to the soft opening of the restaurant, but all opinions are my own.)

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Strawberry Basil Fizz

My local grocery store has strawberries on sale this week, and it got me thinking about some yummy cocktails I have created using them.  The one I am sharing here today was created for a vodka contest a few years back.  It calls for simple syrup, which you can buy nowadays at the store, but it is super easy to make at home.  Just boil equal amounts of water and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, then cool (keep in the fridge til ready to use).

Strawberry Basil Fizz

Strawberry Basil Fizz

1/2 cup strawberries (approx. 4 strawberries)
3 – 4 large basil leaves
3/4 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces vodka
3 – 4 ounces lemon lime soda

Garnish – strawberries and basil

Place the strawberries, basil, simple syrup and vodka into a blender, process until strawberries are pureed. Pour into an ice filled rocks glass, top with lemon lime soda.

Garnish with strawberries and basil.

Makes 1 drink

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Southwestern Lentil Shepherds Pie

The National Lentil Festival is held yearly in Pullman, Washington and as part of the festival they host the Legendary Lentil Cook-off.  I am still trying to make it to that one and looking forward to creating new recipes to enter next year.  But, in the meantime, thought I would share my entry from this year – Southwestern Lentil Shepherds Pie.  Recipe entries had to specify at least 1/2 cup raw lentils, 1 cup cooked lentils and/or 1/2 cup of lentil flour and no more than 15 ingredients (not including salt, pepper or an oiled pan).

Southwestern Lentil Shepherds Pie

Southwestern Lentil Shepherds Pie

1 poblano pepper
1 ear of corn, cleaned
1 lime
5 cups vegetable broth, divided use
1 cup raw lentils, rinsed
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, divided use, plus additional for garnish
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, seeds removed, minced, plus 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce from can
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tomato, diced
1 24-ounce package refrigerated store-bought garlic mashed potatoes
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded, divided use
2 ounces hot and spicy or nacho cheese flavored tortilla chips, crushed

Preheat broiler to high heat. Broil the poblano pepper until blackened and blistered on all sides, approximately 2 – 3 minutes per side. Remove from broiler and place into a small heat-proof bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove and discard skin and seeds. Chop poblano and set aside.

While the poblano is in the broiler, also place the ear of corn under the broiler. Broil on all sides just until the corn begins to lightly brown, approximately 1 – 2 minutes per side. Remove from broiler and allow to cool slightly. Cut the kernels off of the cob and set kernels aside.

Turn broiler off and preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Zest and juice the lime, set both aside.

Place a large, deep skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add in 3 cups of the vegetable broth, the lentils, onion, garlic, and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover skillet and cook lentils according to package instructions, approximately 30 minutes.

Once the lentils are fully cooked, in a medium bowl whisk together the remaining 2 cups vegetable broth, cornstarch, chipotles, adobo sauce, and ground cumin. Add to lentils in skillet. Also add in the tomato, reserved poblano pepper, reserved corn, 1/2 teaspoon lime zest and 2 teaspoons lime juice. Mix to fully combine. Cook over medium heat until heated through and thickened, approximately 2 – 3 minutes. Season with salt and ground black pepper, to taste.

While lentils are cooking, heat the mashed potatoes in a microwave just until warmed (or bring to room temperature if microwave is not available). Mix into the potatoes 6 ounces of the pepper jack cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.

Evenly divide the lentil mixture between 4 single serve baking dishes. Top evenly with the remaining 2 ounces of pepper jack cheese, then with the mashed potatoes. Place baking dishes into preheated oven and bake for 15 – 18 minutes until heated through and bubbling around the edges. Then top evenly with the crushed tortilla chips, place back in oven and bake until chips begin to lightly brown, approximately 3 – 5 minutes, or can be broiled for approximately 1 minute. Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy!

Serves 4

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Tuscan Ham and Wild Rice Gratin

The Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council recently hosted the “Get Wild with Wild Rice Recipe Contest” and my entry “Tuscan Ham and Wild Rice Gratin” was selected as a finalist.  The recipes had to include at least 1/4 cup of precooked Minnesota cultivated wild rice per serving,  at least 2 sponsor products, as well as had a limit to the total number of ingredients allowed.  I tried to incorporate as many sponsor products into the recipe as I could, which ended up being a total of 4 (the ham, cheese, broccoli and oil).  The sponsor names have been removed from the recipe below and the ingredients are listed generically.  Enjoy!!

Tuscan Ham and Wild Rice Gratin

Tuscan Ham and Wild Rice Gratin

11-ounce bag frozen Tuscan seasoned broccoli
2 tablespoons canola oil
8 ounces boneless ham steak, about 1/4-inch thick, then cut into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
15 Manzanilla olives, sliced
2 teaspoons capers, minced
3 cups cooked wild rice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Gratin Topping:
2/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup panko
1 tablespoon melted butter

Place four single-serving, oven-safe baking dishes onto a large baking sheet; set aside.

Adjust oven rack to the top portion of oven. Heat broiler to high.

Prepare broccoli in microwave according to package directions; set aside to slightly cool. Transfer broccoli to a medium-sized plate and cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces; set aside.

Heat canola oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the ham and cook until heated through and it begins to lightly brown, approximately 4 – 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, scallions, tomatoes, olives, capers, wild rice, lemon zest, lemon juice, black pepper and reserved broccoli; mix to combine. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes, just to heat through. Add in the 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, mix to fully combine; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the gratin topping ingredients.

Evenly divide the ham/wild rice mixture between the four baking dishes; top evenly with the gratin topping. Place baking dishes under broiler and broil just until gratin topping starts to lightly brown, approximately 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.

Serves 4

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Chicken Bolognese with Creamy Garlicky Polenta

 

Chicken Bolognese with Creamy Garlicky Polenta

3 tablespoons Sinful Food Garlic Olive Oil, divided
1 cup frozen seasoning blend chopped vegetables (onions, celery, green & red bell pepper)
1/2 pound ground chicken
14.5 ounce can petite cut diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/4 cup red wine
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil, divided
1 cup milk, plus up to 1/2 additional cup
1/4 cup fast cooking polenta
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons finely shredded parmesan cheese, divided
Additional finely shredded parmesan cheese, minced fresh basil and Sinful Food Garlic Olive Oil for garnish

Heat 1 tablespoon Sinful Food Garlic Olive Oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the frozen vegetables and cook until heated through, approximately 2 – 3 minutes. Add in 1 tablespoon Sinful Food Garlic Olive Oil and the ground chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked through, approximately 3 – 4 minutes, breaking up the chicken into small pieces as it cooks. Stir in the diced tomatoes with juices, red wine and 1 tablespoon basil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook at a low boil for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When Bolognese has cooked approximately 20 minutes, prepare the polenta.

Place the 1 cup milk and remaining 1 tablespoon Sinful Food Garlic Olive Oil in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat just until it is about to boil. Stir in the polenta and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken, approximately 3 – 4 minutes. Stir in the 1/3 cup parmesan, and 1 tablespoon basil. Stir in enough milk (from the additional 1/2 cup) to loosen to desired creamy consistency.

When ready to serve, stir into the Bolognese the remaining 1 tablespoon basil and remaining 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese.

To serve, spoon polenta evenly into two serving bowls, top with the Bolognese. Garnish with additional shredded parmesan cheese and minced fresh basil; drizzle each with about 1 tablespoon Sinful Food Garlic Olive Oil.

Serves 2

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