Wednesday, June 22, 2011

J is for Jicama and Jalapenos

Just keep swimming just keep swimming just keep swimming.....
This week was a little busy for the Mrs and me. She had two weddings to direct (two brides to deal with) and as for me, the bakery was under staffed. After running around the kitchen at work, I just did not have the time to plan a meal, let alone the energy to cook in my kitchen. There was only time for a prayer to Jesus, another cup of Joe, and I hate to say it, Junk food. Since I couldn't get jazzed up to cook, we ordered a pizza and called it a night.

Jicama (hee-kuh-muh)
After some sleep I got back in the kitchen. In an effort to get my creative cooking juices flowing again, I decided to try an ingredient for this week that not only have I not worked with before, but I have never even tasted it.
Jicama, pronounced (hee-kuh-muh) is also sometimes called a Mexican turnip, pronounced (mek-si-kuh tur-nip).  It was an interesting flavor, but I still had no idea what to do with it.

 "Bobby Flay, Help!" I cried 
"Try this Jim," he said and gave me a pat on the back.
"Thanks Bobby," I said as we shook hands before he left.
Jicama and Watermelon Salad from Chef Bobby Flay

Speaking of Food Network stars, my Aunt Paula* came to visit Alabama the other day y'all.She was just down the road from me. She and Al Roker were delivering food and other items to an organization call Community Kitchens. Community Kitchens has always provided meals to people in need, but they have been working overtime to help those affected by the tornadoes that came through our state. Paula came to deliver TWO trucks of Smithfield Hams to the director of  Community Kitchens.Click here to view the whole story. It will just make you love her more. A friend of mine got to help out with the delivery of the hams, hang out with Paula Deen's food stylist, and meet Paula herself.
 Jealous, I'm not jealous.... okay maybe a I'm a little jealous.

*We are not really related. Whenever I cook a recipe of her's and someone asks me where I got it, I say "Oh, it is my Aunt Paula's." Then I'll copy it down on a notecard for them and at the bottom say it is from Paula Deen, love and best dishes.

Paula is just so funny to me. I always love it when she goes on the Today Show, things like this happen.

Jalapeno Pork Skewers(hah-luh-peyn-yoh   pawrk   skyoo-er)
  •  4 pork chops
  • 3T honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1T black pepper
  • 1t salt
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 3 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese**
  • 6 slices of Smithfield Hickory Smoked bacon**
  • 1 onion, chopped
Pound the pork chops to be 1/2" thick. (I just put them in a ziplock bag and went to town with a rolling pin.) Cut the pounded chops into strips, 3/4" wide by 3" long. Whisk honey, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, black pepper, and salt together. Pour the mixture over the pork strips and allow them to marinate for two hours in the refrigerator.
Note: You will use the marinade again in another step, don't throw it out.

Next cut the jalapenos into coins.
If you do not want the extreme heat that a jalapeno can have, you can take down the intensity by removing the seeds and the center membrane of the pepper

Next cut the bacon strips in half to make 12 strips.
Now you are ready to assemble your skewers. Sandwich the cream cheese around the jalapeno and wrap the pork strip around the jalapeno.Wrap a piece of bacon around the pork and skewer it to hold it together
 In a large skillet, brown the skewer on both sides. (about 90 seconds per side)
 Place the chopped onion in a large casserole dish and place the skewers on top. Pour the marinade over the skewers and onions. Cook the skewers for 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

**This is a Paula Deen approved ingredient.

I hope that you enjoy friends! As Paula says, love and best dishes from my kitchen to yours.


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