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​COOKING: Super Bowl Time!

justin brotton - Friday, January 01, 2016

COOKING: Super Bowl Time!

Every year, I shuffle through my recipes for just the right game-day food to prepare, and I always come back to the tried-and-true standards that I know my family loves. We start out with guacamole and bruschetta, then work our way to wings and pulled pork sandwiches.


2 cups diced roma tomatoes, seeds removed

1 T minced garlic … or more

¾ cup minced basil

2 T olive oil

1 tsp. lemon juice

Salt & pepper

Toasted baguette slices

Best prepared a few hours to one day before – the longer this sits, the better it gets. Serve with toasted baguette slices.


4 ripe avocadoes, seeds removed, cubed

4 roma tomatoes, seeds removed, diced

½ red onion, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

Juice of ½ lime

1 tsp. salt

1 clove garlic, minced

Chopped cilantro

Tortilla chips

Mix all ingredients in large bowl, using a fork or pastry cutter to mash avocados. The more you mix, the smoother the texture, so mix accordingly. Cover with plastic wrap directly on top of guacamole and press out all the air. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

If it’s a nice day for grilling, here’s another guacamole recipe from Christa Carretero, The Cooking Girl. Halve and seed the avocadoes, slice the red onion, and halve and seed the tomatoes and jalapeno; place on the grill long enough to get char marks on both sides. Finish the recipe as above – the smoky flavor of this version is wonderful!


After trying many wing recipes, my favorite version is this one from the Neelys on Food Network.

3 lbs. chicken wings, separated at the joint

Salt & pepper


½ cup honey

½ cup low-sodium soy sauce

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

2 T butter

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 chipotle peppers, minced

1 T minced ginger (or equivalent amount from a tube)

3 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray sheet pan with nonstick spray and arrange chicken in one layer. Season with salt and pepper and bake until cooked through and crisp, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients except green onions in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook on low until thick and syrupy, 15-30 minutes. When wings are cooked, place then into a large bowl and pour sauce on top. Toss until wings are nicely coated. Pile wings on a large serving platter, sprinkle with the sliced green onions, and serve with remaining sauce in a small bowl.


This recipe was given to us years ago by Jeff and Misty Jackson, founders and owners of Billy Sims BBQ franchises; they collaborated with Billy Sims to create the menu for the restaurants decorated in OU crimson and cream and the silver and blue of the Detroit Lions. We’ve been enjoying this pulled pork since then.

1 3# shoulder pork roast (I prefer a leaner pork loin roast)

1 18-oz. bottle Billy Sims BBQ Sauce – hot or mild

1 12-oz. can Coca-Cola

Sandwich rolls

Cole slaw

1 onion, sliced



Place pork roast in crock pot (if using the loin roast, cut into two large pieces to fit slow cooker). Pour the can of coke and half the bottle sauce over the roast, cover and cook on high for about 6 hours, or until meat is tender and shreds easily.

Remove meat from crock pot and shred with two forks, and return to the juice to keep moist. Serve on sandwich rolls with the rest of the Billy Sims BBQ Sauce alongside. Top sandwiches with coleslaw, onion slices, pickles and peppers.

The Super Bowl game may not turn out the way you hope, but at least your menu will please everyone, no matter which team they root for!



justin brotton - Tuesday, December 01, 2015

By Judy Brotton

When I lived in Oklahoma City, one of my favorite brunch indulgences was the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes at Flint. Since moving up the Turnpike, it is no longer convenient to spend a leisurely Sunday morning heading to downtown OKC. So I scoured the Internet and studied recipes, and found one from Betty Crocker that best replicates my brunch craving. This batch serves four, but you can double it and keep them warm in the oven until everyone is ready to sit down for Christmas brunch. Or, as I sometimes do, make a large batch and store any uneaten pancakes in the refrigerator. They can easily be warmed up in the microwave, but my husband’s favorite method is to warm some butter in a skillet and heat the pancakes “low and slow” until they are warm inside and just a bit crispy at the edges. Add a dollop of the berry compote, then smother them with maple syrup, and add a few slices of bacon for a delightful meal … any time of day!


3 eggs, separated

3 T sugar

Zest of 2 lemons (if small, use 3)

1 tsp. vanilla

5 T butter, melted

1 cup milk

2 cups Bisquick mix

¾ cup ricotta cheese

Beat egg whites until they begin to turn creamy. Add 1 tsp. sugar and continue e beating until soft peaks form. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whish together egg yolks, remaining 2 T sugar, lemon zest and vanilla. Beat in melted butter and milk until smooth. In a small bowl, stir the ricotta cheese until smooth. Fold into the egg batter until combined, but do not overmix. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites until just combined. Batter will be lumpy.

Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Pour about ¼ cup batter for each pancake. Once bubbles form, turn pancakes and cook until evenly browned on both sides. Place on a platter and keep warm in a 200-degree oven.

Serve on a large platter with bacon, a pitcher of berry compote and some lemon slices so everyone knows what they’re about to eat.


1 basket raspberries

1 basket blueberries

1 basket blackberries

1 basket strawberries, sliced

¼-½ cup sugar

Juice of ½ lemon

Rinse berries and place in small skillet. If strawberries are out of season, you can omit them or use frozen – all the berries can actually be frozen (do not thaw before cooking). Add sugar as needed, along with lemon. Cook over low heat, stirring once all the sugar has dissolved, and allow to thicken. This can take about 30 minutes or more, especially if using frozen; if they become too thick, stir in a bit of water before serving.


Several years ago I watched the Barefoot Contessa cook a pound of bacon in the oven. What a revelation! No more messy stove, and no more hot bacon grease burning the arms! Simply line a large sheet pan with heavy-duty foil. Place a large cooling rack in the pan and spray with vegetable spray. Line the bacon along the rack – I can usually fit the whole pound of bacon along the rack. Bake 30-40 minutes at 425 degrees. Bake longer for crisper bacon. When ready, drain on a paper towel and place on the platter with the pancakes. Once cooled, simply fold the foil up and dispose of the bacon grease (unless you’re going to use it later!).

Merry Christmas and bon appétit!

In Honor of the Oklahoma State Fair: BACON CINNAMON ROLLS with MAPLE ICING

justin brotton - Tuesday, September 01, 2015

By Judy Brotton

bacon cinnamon rollsIt seems like every year there’s a new “it” food that all the professional chefs wholeheartedly embrace – goat cheese, kale and bacon, just to name a few. I can handle kale, but you will never find goat cheese on my table! Bacon, on the other hand, has taken on a life of its own. From bacon-infused vodka to bacon-wrapped jalapenos, chocolate-covered bacon and bacon cinnamon rolls. (Check out the site www.bacontoday.com, a comprehensive bacon shop, with bacon news, recipes, reviews, desserts and even books. Wow … bacon chocolate!) I love the bacon cinnamon rolls I eat each year at the Oklahoma State Fair, so I started making them at home for those times when we just couldn’t wait for the fair.

I did a little online searching to see what other cooks were doing. Recipes can be as simple as unrolling a can of Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls and rolling a strip of bacon into each one before baking; or as complicated as starting from scratch with yeast. I decided to meet these in the middle by using Rhodes frozen bread dough. The package of three loaves makes enough for a group, or simply thaw one loaf for two people.



1 package Rhodes frozen bread dough (3 loaves)

1 pound bacon

1 stick butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 T cinnamon

1 cup chopped walnuts

(Optional – raisins)

Maple Icing

6 T butter, melted

¾ cup pure maple syrup

3 cups powdered sugar


Follow package directions to thaw bread. I usually thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to start, remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, partially cook bacon. I find that if you don’t partially cook the bacon, it comes out too soft inside the rolls. If you leave them somewhat soft, they are easier to roll; but I prefer crisper bacon inside my rolls.

Roll one loaf out on a flowered board with a floured rolling pin. Spread 1/3 of the butter over the dough, then sprinkle with 1/3 of the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the walnuts, and raisins if using. Lay bacon strips across the dough about 2 inches apart (they will look like railroad tracks). Starting at one long edge, roll dough into a log. The bacon will be longer, so just wrap this around the rolls. Slice rolls in-between bacon strips and arrange in a greased 13x9-inch baking dish. About 12 will fit in the pan, with lots of extra room. Don’t worry – once they rise, they will fill the pan, so don’t overfill. If you have more, arrange these into a smaller pan.

Cover rolls with a damp towel and place in a warm spot and allow to rise until about double in size. I turn the oven to 200 degrees, then turn it off and place the rolls in there to rise. When they are puffy and fill the pan, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, then bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and firm. I kept checking at 5-minute intervals to make sure they were cooked through. You don’t want these coming out doughy in the center.

Remove from oven and set aside. Prepare maple icing by placing all ingredients in a large bowl and whisking until powdered sugar is smooth. If too thick, add a splash of milk or cream. If too runny, add more powdered sugar. Drizzle over pan of rolls and dig in while they’re still warm and gooey.

These should tide you over until the fair starts … just a few more days!


justin brotton - Saturday, August 01, 2015

Hawaiian Hot DogsAs a country music artist, Krystal Keith spends much of her time on the road, where she gets to sample some of the best food America has to offer. When she gets home, she tries to recreate some of these great recipes, which she posts on her blog, Barnyard Bistro. Recently, Scripps Network’s online platform GreatAmericanCountry.com partnered with ULIVE.com to film a new original series, Plate by Plate, starring Krystal Keith, which debuted in July. The first few episodes included Keith preparing dishes her favorite restaurants in Nashville and Flagstaff, Arizona, along with a very unique take on hot dogs from the Hawaiian Islands. To watch more episodes, go to www.greatamericancountry.com/living/food/plate-by-plate-recipes-videos. For more of Krystal Keith’s down-home recipes, go to www.thebarnyardbistro.com.



8 hot dogs

8 buns

1 C diced mango

1 C diced kiwi

1 C diced pineapple

6 T minced shallot

3 T minced jalapeno

3 T minced mint

1 T chives

1 T olive oil

Dice mango, kiwi and pineapple; spoon into separate small bowls. Add equal amounts of shallot, jalapeno, mint, chives and olive oil to each bowl of fruit, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare hot dogs per package directions. Toast the buns and place a dog in each bun. Spoon one, two or all three of the salsas on your hot dog and enjoy!

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