Food For Thought

Stacey Meadows - Food For Thought

Stacey Meadows - Food For ThoughtStacey Meadows is a Mt. Juliet resident, foodie and former personal chef. She loves to entertain and believes the kitchen is the heart of the home. She enjoys preparing different types of cuisine and trying new food trends. Stacey blogs about all things food at: www.gritstogourmet.blogspot.com. Currently, she is the Marketing Coordinator at Wilson Living Magazine.

Super Bowl is the perfect time to enjoy the big game with friends and family. This menu scores a touch down, by using slow cookers and make ahead tips for a relaxed party that everyone will enjoy!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Au Jus
Servings: 10
4 pounds Boston butt pork roast
2 large onions, sliced into ¼ inch strips
3 medium size poblano peppers, sliced into ¼ inch strips
1 4 oz. bottle liquid smoke flavoring

Dry rub barbecue seasoning. Using paper towels, pat dry the pork roast. Sprinkle liberally with dry rub barbecue seasoning. Rub into pork roast. Place chopped onions and poblano peppers into the slow cooker forming a bed for the pork roast. Place the pork roast on top of the vegetables. Pour the bottle of liquid smoke into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours. Remove the pork roast and place on a large cutting board. Remove the vegetables and place in a large bowl. Carefully pour the cooking liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Discard solids. Return half the liquid to the slow cooker and reserve half the liquid for au jus. Let the pork roast cool slightly. Using two forks shred the pork roast. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker and lower the setting to warm. Serve with warm rolls or corn tortillas.

Food for Thought with Stacey MeadowsSuper Bowl Queso
Servings: 10
3 pounds white American cheese, cubed (purchased from the deli counter)
1 cup half and half
1 4 oz. can of chopped jalapeño peppers, drained reserve the juice from draining
1 10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup fresh salsa

Preheat a 3.5 quart slow cooker to the high setting. Cut white American cheese into 1 inch cubes. Place cubes in a microwave safe bowl (or your slow cooker insert if it is microwave safe) and cook on high for 10 minutes, removing at 5 minutes and stirring well. Remove from microwave and stir well. Add half and half and stir until it is completely incorporated into the cheese. Place cheese mixture into the slow cooker insert and cover. Cook for 1 hour. Add jalapeños, spinach, and fresh salsa to the cheese mixture. Stir well. Optional: for aspicy kick, add the reserved jalapeño juice. Reduce heat to low and stir well before serving.

Twice Baked Potato Bites
Servings: 10
3 pounds red new potatoes, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 5.2 oz. package Boursin cheese, at room temperature
2 green onions, chopped
6 slices bacon, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss rinsed new potatoes in olive oil. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes oruntil tender. Let potatoes cool to room temperature. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller, scoop out the potato pulp leaving a ¼ inch thick shell. Reserve pulp. It may be necessary to cut a thin slice form the bottom of the potato shells to form a solid base. Beat reserved potato pulp and Boursin cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Spoon or pipe mixture evenly into each potato shell. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Broil potato bites for 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Make ahead tip: Potato bites can be placed in plastic storage container and refrigerated for up to two days.

SWEETS FOR YOUR SWEETIE

This elegant, yet simple dessert will remind your sweetie why they fell for you.

Caramelized Banana Splits
Servings 2
2 bananas, split in half lengthwise and cut in half
8 teaspoons granulated sugar
Caramel syrup for drizzling
1 pint of brown sugar ice cream
Whipped cream for topping

Evenly spread a teaspoon of sugar on the surface of each banana piece. Using a kitchen torch, melt the sugar to form a crispy sugar “crust” on top of each banana. Arrange 4 banana pieces on each plate. Place a scoop of ice cream in the middle of the banana pieces. Drizzle caramel syrup over bananas and ice cream. Top ice cream with whipped cream. Serve immediately.
Tip: If you can’t find brown sugar ice cream, substitute vanilla ice cream

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