Ghoul Cooking School

I had to get on a wait list for this book at the library.  Unbelievable.  Three little boys, coming of age in a small town, discover that even though there is unspeakable horror that they can’t understand lurking underground in the graveyard, there is real terror in their everyday lives!  That sounded pretty good, didn’t it?  It’s code for most of their parents are terrible.

The little boy, Barry, is sitting down to dinner with his abusive father and apathetic mother when he decides, over his Pork chops, mashed potatoes and lima beans, he’s had enough of his father, and stands up to him.  It doesn’t end very well, but the dinner sounds pretty decent, right?

OK, these pork chops I present to you are pretty fancy, and in no way do they represent the kind that Barry’s mom must have put on the table, because the book makes it clear that she is slovenly.  But we are not, and so here you are:

Tropical Grilled Pork Chops
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pod cardamom seeds
1/2 teaspoon water, or as needed
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 mango – peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cilantro
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, minced
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
3 pineapple rings, chopped
1 pinch white pepper
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
6 pork chops
 With a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic, chili powder, cayenne, and cardamom seeds. Mix in enough water to form a paste.
2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in spice paste, and cook until it begins to bubble, about 30 seconds. Stir in vinegar; cook without boiling for 2 minutes. Stir in sugar until it dissolves. Mix in mango, salt, cilantro, lemon juice, and jalapeno; simmer 20 minutes. Stir in applesauce and pineapple; simmer 10 minutes more. Season with white pepper. Place in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. To prepare marinade, mix 2/3 cup of the salsa with soy sauce and 1/3 cup vinegar. Place pork chops in a large resealable plastic bag, and pour marinade over chops. Seal tightly, and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
4. Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Drain marinade from bag, and heat in a saucepan until boiling.
5. Lightly oil grill grate. Place pork chops on the hot grill. Cook 10 minutes, or to desired doneness, turning once and basting occasionally with the boiled marinade.
6. Warm remaining salsa over medium-low heat. Serve pork chops topped with the salsa.
The Best Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes– the best you’ll put in your mouth!

1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes 4 Tbsp heavy cream or a half half mix of cream and milk 2 Tbsp butter 1 Tbsp milk 1/2 teaspoon salt Salt and Pepper First we need to peel the potatoes, wash them and cut them into four pieces. We put them into a saucepan and cover them with cold water so all the potatoes are covered. Then we add salt (or maybe even better – before we cover them with water) and bring water to boil. When it boils we reduce the heat and we let the potatoes simmer for like 15-20 minutes. We can check if they are done by piercing one with a knife. If it goes in smoothly, they are done. Drain the potatoes and put them back into the saucepan and return them to really low heat- This will make the water evaporate and and mashed potatoes will taste better. Make sure you don’t burn them! In the mean time (or while you are waiting for potatoes to cook) you can warm the cream (and milk if you will be adding milk) and then add it to the potatoes together with butter. Mash the potatoes with wire masher, potato ricer or electric mixer until you get the desired smoothness and add some more salt and pepper if you want. Voila, this is the best simple mashed potatoes recipe.


Roasted Lima Beans from Food Network!

  • 1 cup giant lima beans
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Place the beans and water in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the beans are just soft, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat. Drain the beans and cool under running water. Drain thoroughly and spread on paper towels to dry.

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F. Toss beans with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, lime juice and cayenne. Spread beans out on a baking sheet and place in oven. Roast until beans begin to brown slightly. Serve warm or room temperature.

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