Comfort Food and Easy Entertaining

As a private chef, caterer and cooking instructor I am often asked "What do you enjoy cooking when you're at home on a weeknight or entertaining guests at your table?" I started this blog to answer that question. Here I will share with all of you the recipes that I find delicious and comforting. Many of the recipes are my own versions of classic dishes, some are contemporary twists on old ideas, and some are discoveries I made while perusing my grandmother’s vast collection of cookbooks dating back to the early 1900’s. Please enjoy these videos. I have also included links to some of the published articles I have written recently. Please feel free to comment here or email me directly with any questions, comments or general thoughts. My email address and information on my catering, private chef and private cooking classes can be found on my website:

Chipotle Shredded Pork

Chipotle Shredded Pork

Serves 12

6 lbs boneless pork shoulder
2 large sweet onions, large dice
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 7 oz can chipotles in Adobo sauce
1/2 cup water
3-4 Tbsp canola oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a large cast iron dutch oven over high heat add 3-4 Tbsp canola oil  Heat oil and add onions and sauté until lightly browned.  Season pork with salt and garlic powder and mix to coat pork evenly.  Once onions have caramelized add diced chipotles to pot then add pork.  Continue to heat over high heat to brown pork.  Pour in 1/2 cup water.  Place tight fitting lid on pot and place in a 300 degree oven.  Set timer for 4 hours.

When done, remove pot from oven and shred pork with tongs.  If the sauce is to thin, place on stove and heat to reduce.

Serve with your favorite tortillas as tacos or in burritos or with rice and beans.

Southern Pimento Cheese

Southern Pimento Cheese

Makes 4 portions

1 3 oz package Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 cup sharp cheddar, finely grated
1 cup Monterey Jack, finely grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1 8 oz jar pimentos, diced
1 tsp grated onion, white or red (or substitute 1 green onion, finely minced)

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add all of the remaining ingredients and beat until well combined.

Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise Sauce

Makes 2-3 portions

12 Tbsp butter
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Melt butter in microwave.  Skim off white foam from top of butter.

Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne in the blender.  Blend for 15 seconds.

With the blender running, remove center of cover and slowly pour in hot butter, leaving the settled milk solids in the bottom of the cup, blend for 30 seconds or until the sauce is thick.  Serve immediately.

Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffee

Creole Crawfish and Shrimp Etouffee

Serves 6-8 portions

1 1/2 cups butter
1 cup flour
2 lb onions, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, medium dice
2 ribs celery, medium dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Cayenne pepper
2 lbs Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb Crawfish tail meat
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, minced
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp dried Thyme
juice of 2 lemons
7 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp Louisiana hot sauce

Melt butter. Add flour, stir until dark tan. Quickly add onions, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt, cayenne pepper. Stir over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Add crawfish and shrimp and stir together. Add chicken stock. Stir together to fully incorporate roux mixture with stock. Add green onions and parsley. Cover and geat to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and cook 12-15 minutes. Add lemon juice. Let stand 15 minutes and serve over white rice.

White Rice
Ratio = 1 cup rice : 1 3/4 cup water

2 Tbsp butter
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt

Bring water to a boil. Add butter, bay leaves and salt. Stir in rice. Return to boil and cover. Immediately reduce heat to lowest setting and set timer for 20 minutes. Do no remove the lid. When 20 minutes expires turn off heat and keep covered for an additional 5 minuites. Remove lid and fluff rice with a fork.