Harry's Cooking with Gladys Kight's Spanish Pork Chops

The Empress of Soul, Gladys Knight, sings with her heart and soul, and it seems she cooks the same way, judging by this recipe!

Gladys & Harry

If you haven’t watched "Harry," the TV show that's a blend of talk, music, comedy, and variety, starring Harry Connick, Jr., you’re in for an entertaining hour.  There isn’t much this guy who was born and raised in New Orleans can’t do!  

Harry’s a great melodic singer/pianist/composer; he proved his acting ability in the movie "Hope Floats,” and he’s a devoted husband to his wife and 3 daughters ~ a family man at heart who idolizes his 90-year-old father ~ and, the guy likes to cook too, his specialty being NOLA food and BBQ!

He has a quick wit, he’s funny, funny; however,  he does not take kindly to being interrupted when he’s speaking, nor does he interrupt anyone. I've seen him chew a person out more than once or twice for doing that to him!

As for Gladys Knight, she appeared on his show earlier this year, and cooked Spanish Pork Chops, which I knew for sure, I’d be trying soon.  What’s not to like:  a pork chop, slice of onion, a thickly cut ring of bell pepper holding a serving of rice!  That’s right down my alley!

I did adapt her recipe slightly.  I finished the dish in the oven instead of on the stove-top.  Feel free to continue cooking it on the stove-top, if you desire.  I just thought it would be easier to let the oven do the cooking and I wouldn’t have to keep checking up on it.

The dish was great, very delicious!  The chops were tender and tasty, as well as the onions and the peppers.  The mild flavor of the rice was perfect with the addition of V-8 poured over it all.  Who knew that V-8 juice would make such a flavorful sauce for pork chops and rice!

If you’re looking for something a little different to cook on a chilly evening ~ here you go, try this!  

It’s a keeper that I will be making again!

Yield: 4 servings

Gladys Knight's Spanish-Style Pork Chops

This is a simple slightly adapted recipe that is packed with good flavor!
prep time: 15 MINScook time: 1 hour and 20 MINStotal time: 1 hours and 35 mins


4 thin pork chops (boneless or bone-in)
½ teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt, plus more for seasoning
½ teaspoon pepper, plus more for seasoning
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon garlic powder 
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 white (or yellow) onion, cut in slices
1 green bell pepper cut in rings
12 ounces of original V-8 juice
2 cups cooked rice, your favorite 


Preheat oven to 375°.
Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops and sprinkle with garlic powder.
Combine the flour, salt and black pepper.
Dredge each side of the pork chops in the flour mixture, and then set aside on a plate.
Place oil in skillet over medium to medium-high heat. 
Add the pork chops and let sizzle for 2-3 minute until golden, flip and cook other side until golden brown, 1-2 minutes.
Remove pork chops and transfer to a baking dish in one layer*.
Bake chops for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place one onion slice on each of the chops and one pepper ring on each pork chop.
Spoon the cooked rice into the green pepper ring.
Pour V-8 juice over each of the pork chops.
Cover with aluminum foil, and continue baking for an additional 30 to 45
minutes, or until pork chops are cooked and onions and peppers soften.
Serve immediately.

*Use same skillet if it is oven-proof.


Rich Creamy Chocolate for Your Valentine!

Caution:  Bill says this could be fatal!

Chocolate is a major food group to just about everyone ~ but not me ~ I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way for it.  I do have a sweet tooth though, it’s just not for chocolate like it is for my family members and friends.
So when the most chocolate-covered day of the year, Valentine’s Day, rolls around again ~ that day when everything seems to be slathered in chocolate ~ it’s the perfect time to make a delicious dessert.

Chocolate is everywhere, it’s universally loved.  Apparently, according to research done by Dr. David Lewis, letting chocolate dissolve slowly in your mouth produces as big an increase in heart rate and brain activity as a passionate kiss ~ except that the effects of the chocolate lasts four times longer. 

Therefore, truly, chocolate must be the food of love.

If you’re looking for a creamy, very rich chocolate treat for your Valentine, this Chocolate Pudding Cake by exclusive French pastry chef, François Payard, who launched several eponymous patisseries in New York City, is for you!  

The creation is not exactly quick to make, it takes a good bit of freezer time, 6 hours at least, but it’s worth the effort to make for your Valentine!

Believe me, this is a decadent dessert, so I’m told ~ smooth, creamy, rich, particularly luscious and velvety, a sinfully delicious chocolate treat!

Just a sliver will do it!

Françoise Payard’s Chocolate Pudding Cake

This is a swoonworthy confection for Valentine's Day!


1¼ cups finely chopped semisweet chocolate
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional*

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon. pure vanilla extract
Cocoa powder for dusting


1. Place the chocolate, espresso powder and butter in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Combine the milk and all but 1 tbsp. of the sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stop stirring and cook until the milk begins to bubble around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat.
3. Whisk together the egg yolk and the remaining 1 tbsp. sugar in a small bowl. Pour half of the hot milk over the yolk mixture, whisking to combine. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and just begins to bubble around the edges (reaching 183° on an instant-read thermometer).
4. Immediately pour the mixture over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until the chocolate is melted. Whisk in the vanilla.
5. Scrape the batter into a 6-in. round springform pan, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours or overnight.
6. Remove cake from freezer, and let sit for 10 minutes before unmolding. Invert the cake onto a serving platter, and lightly dust the top with cocoa powder. Allow the cake to stand at room temperature for 45 minutes before serving.


*This is the slightly adapted recipe of Chef Payard's.  I added espresso powder for a darker richer flavor.  It doesn't taste like coffee, it just enhances the chocolate flavor.

Chicken Tinga, not with my IP!

I know a lot of you are obsessed with your Instant Pot, that "miracle" small appliance! 
 I researched it carefully, 
read your posts about the wonders of it, 
got suckered in, 
purchased one.  

Unfortunately, there’s no IP love here.  It all went downhill with this recipe...

First off, I browned the tomatillos and onions nicely.  Then added the seasonings, stock and diced tomatoes; removed the skin and bones from the chicken and added that to the pot.

The next step is when it all went wrong!  Put the lid on, lock it in place and set the IP to pressure cook, it sounds sooooo easy!  Wrong! 

Once again, I couldn’t get the lid on, couldn’t lock it in place.  It was sort of tricky the first 2 or 3 times I used it, this time it was impossible.

I even read the manual for the umpteenth time, still couldn’t do it.  Then I asked Bill to try it, he had no more luck than I did.  After being frustrated for 30 or so minutes, I watched a video of some man demonstrating placing the lid on and locking it in place - he must've been a magician!

It sounds so simple, but it’s so crazy.  I never did get the lid on, couldn’t cook the chicken in it, ended up braising the chicken in the tomato mixture, in a casserole dish, in the oven.  

By then, I had lost all interest in it and dinner too - just wanted it over with and done!  I'd just rather cook ~ stir ~ & taste ~ my way.

The chicken turned out OK though, tasted OK.  We decided we’d like it over noodles instead of a traditional Chicken Tinga recipe with tostada shells. 

The last step in this disaster:   Bag up the IP and put in the garbage can outside ~ the next day was garbage day and I was happy to be rid of the darn thing and get back the space it demanded!!! 

There is one positive thing I can say about my Instant Pot ~ at least I didn't have to clean the contraption!

I’m hoping I’ve learned my lesson and won’t buy the next pricey kitchen gadget that comes along...

Chicken Tinga
Printable recipe


2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large tomatillos, husked and quartered
1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup chicken stock
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 teaspoon chipotle purée
8 ounces uncooked extra wide egg noodles


Preheat oven to 350°.
Place olive oil in IP (skillet) on medium high heat.  
Add tomatillos and cook until browned; add onions and garlic, and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
Add chicken stock and stir.
Add tomatoes with their juice, oregano, salt, pepper and chili powder, stir to combine.
Transfer the tomato mixture to a casserole dish that has been coated with cooking spray.
Add chicken and chipotle purée, stir well.
Place lid on dish and cook until chicken is cooked through and tomato mixture has thickened.
Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling water according to package directions.
After cooking, transfer chicken to a plate and pull it into bite-size pieces.  Return to tomato mixture and combine.
Transfer chicken and tomatoes to serving bowl.
Serve over cooked noodles or tostada shells.


Cheese-wrapped Olives for the Super Bowl!

the Super Bowl
these savory bites!

It's not shocking that Americans devour more calories on Super Bowl Sunday, more than any other day, even Thanksgiving Day!  
You'll want to count these cheese-wrapped olives in for your Super Bowl fare...

They're from another era - oldies but goodies -  that are still popular today.  I posted them way back here when I first started this blog and thought they deserved a repeat now in time for Super Bowl parties.

They're easy to make:  just wrap olives in a tasty cheddar dough, freeze and then bake until golden and serve when needed.

So...   have your football cronies chow down on these little gems while they're watching the game.  Once they sink their teeth into a cheesy olive, they'll huddle around the plate down to the last bite!

Beer is optional...

Yield: 50Pin it

Cheese-wrapped Olive Bites

Savory olives wrapped in a rich cheese dough.
prep time: 30 MINScook time: 15 MINStotal time: 45 mins


  • 50 small pimento-stuffed green olives, drained and patted dry
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Make sure the olives are drained well (I pat them dry with a paper towel.)
  2. Blend cheese and butter.
  3. Sift next 3 ingredients together.
  4. Combine cheese with flour and butter mixture. It makes a stiff dough.
  5. Pinch off a small amount of dough and flatten in palm of hand.  
  6. Wrap dough completely around olive.
  7. Place on baking sheet in a single layer and
    freeze; once frozen, they can be placed in a resealable plastic bag
    until ready to bake.
  8. Do not thaw before baking.
  9. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400°.
  10. Place olives on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until golden.
  11. Transfer to serving plate.

    Serve warm or room temperature.

Enjoy and...


Easy Parmesan-Crusted Baked Tilapia

It's just another manic meatless Monday!
I wish it was Sunday, that's my fun day...

Tell me, does that ring a bell with any of you?

I remember how I felt in my employed days when Monday rolled around again, and hearing about meatless Monday at work just made it worse.  

Those days are over, I like seafood much more than I did back then, and I'm always looking for a delicious way to dress up fish...

This is a great tilapia recipe that's perfect for any day!

It's delicious with it’s crispy, flavorful Parmesan crust just using just a few everyday ingredients!

Tilapia is ofttimes referred to as “the chicken of fish” thanks to its mild taste and being readily available.  We definitely don’t buy it fresh here in the Midwest, but frozen tilapia is generally on display at the grocers’ seafood counter.  

This recipe would work well with other whitefish also.  The thickness of the fish may require a longer baking time, just bake until flaky.

Ready to bake

A good entrée for dinner tonight!

Give it a go!

Easy Parmesan-crusted Baked Tilapia

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 15 MINStotal time: 25 mins
This tilapia is crispy and flavorful with its Parmesan crust, easy to make also!


1 pound tilapia
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Wash and pat dry tilapia.
  3. Mix Parmesan, and remaining ingredients in a shallow bowl or plate.
  4. Dredge fish in the cheese mixture, patting the breading in well on both sides.
  5. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, and place tilapia on it.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes until flaky and lightly browned.


Woo hoo! It's Moist and Easy Cornbread Time!

I’m passionate about cornbread ~ I've tested a lot of cornbread recipes, and I’ve learned one thing about it ~ many other people get worked up about it also!

There is quite the debate as to how it should be prepared...

It’s either about the type of cornmeal:  stone ground or not; yellow or white?   
How much flour?  
How many eggs should I add?  
Which is better:  milk, buttermilk, or sour cream?  
Should I make it with butter, lard, Crisco or bacon grease?
Contaminate it with sugar, or not, or how about honey?  
Bake it in a cast iron skillet or baking tin?
And, finally ~ a 375° or 425° oven? 

In other words, give it to me if you’re not!

Presidents even reacted to it:  George Washington started by savoring hoe cakes, a simple corn bread fried in shallow grease.   

During James Polk’s presidency, of a trip to New Orleans, he wrote that "all the dishes were prepared in the French style of cooking, and to one unaccustomed to it it was difficult to tell of what they were composed... I took a cup of coffee and something on my plate to save appearances, but was careful to eat none of it.  As soon as an opportunity offered, I asked a servant in a low tone if he could give me a piece of corn-bread and broiled ham."1

James Polk
Abraham Lincoln  loved corn cakes, and it was said he ate them “as fast as two women could make them.”   

Way back in the 1920's, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge preferred to start their day with corn muffins.  Herbert Hoover loved fried cornmeal mush, and so do I, almost as much as cornbread! 

Warren Harding
Herbert Hoover
Calvin Coolidge

As a matter of fact, cornbread was served in some of the White House’s more formal settings.   Franklin D. Roosevelt served it at a 1939 state dinner for King George VI.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
King George VI

On to the 40's, when farm boy Harry Truman had simple tastes; he favored his cornbread with sorghum molasses bought on trips home to Missouri.  We've often heard, John F. Kennedy was a small eater and nearly always had to be reminded it was dinner time, with corn muffins being his favorite.  Peanut farmer Jimmy Carter liked dining on corn fritters at the Carter family's big weekend breakfasts.

Harry Truman
Jimmy Carter


Then there's Paula Deen!  
 Thanks to her for this cornbread recipe!

Paula Deen’s Moist and Easy Cornbread

Flour and cornmeal
ready for the oven

It's a truly Southern melt-in-your mouth cornbread ~ especially when it's piping hot out of the oven with butter melting on it!

Give it a try!

Pin it

Moist and Easy Cornbread

This is a true Southern cornbread ~ melt-in-your-mouth good ~ especially when it's straight from the oven, slathered with butter, thanks to Paula Deen's recipe!
prep time: 15 MINScook time: 25 MINStotal time: 40 mins


  • 6 tablespoons melted, plus butter for baking dish unsalted butter
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large lightly beaten eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 425º. Lightly grease an 8-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk and butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold together until there are no dry spots (the batter will still be lumpy). Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Bake until the top is golden brown and tester inserted into the middle of the corn bread comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the cornbread from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

1As quoted in Mark Eaton Byrnes' James K. Polk:  A Biographical Companion


Having passed the grain stalls they came to the fritanguerías – the fried stalls – where sweaty, plump women dropped thick pieces of fish into enormous frying pans. Laid out on the wooden trays that served as counters, the fillets of fried fish immediately cooled to take on an almost mineral appearance while thick slices of fried plantain – patacones – were heaped around them.

Tomás González, In the Beginning was the Sea


Jules-Alexandre Grun

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ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

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