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Monday, August 2, 2010

Grilling with Rachel Ray and Bobby Flay

Tonight I had dinner with my friends Rachel and Bobby. You know you have to really love two people to miss watching the Bachelorette finale because you'd rather catch up with them! I only wanted to see whether Allie picked Roberto or Chris anyway (who else was surprised? And yay, that cranky Reality Steve was wrong for a change!).

We divided and conquered on dinner, and Rachel made a spinach artichoke dip from her Bethany "Real Housewives" cookbook. She said it had spinach, artichokes, ricotta and cream cheese -- it was really tasty and apparently had a high veggie-to-fat ratio, so I don't think it's as calorie-laden as most of those recipes.

I got some super-thick enormous pork chops and rubbed them with my FAVORITE spice mix. Go to and search for "Pork Chop Willie's Grilling Rub." You can thank me later. Bobby grilled them to perfection -- be sure to get bone-in chops with some fat on them so they cook up nice and moist. I put on the rub before I go to work so it has a good eight hours to develop the flavor.

The side was also an Epicurious recipe, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad (pronounced keen-wah -- it's a South American grain that is high in protein; it's so nutrient-rich it's considered a super food). I left out the corn in the salad because we meant to roast some fresh corn...but we got too sidetracked with our wine and grilling, so we just nuked some frozen corn 'cause we were hungry by then.

For dessert, we toasted a bakery angel food cake (this was all inspired by Mark Bittman's recent article on unconventional grilling in the NYT -- too lazy to go back outside with the grill, so we just used the broiler). We brushed peach halves with Malibu Rum (I think Frangelico or Amaretto would also be yummy) and broiled them until they were brown and bubbly. Then we topped the warm peaches with some mock ice cream from a recipe in last week's Charlotte Observer. The theme was ice creams you can make without a churn. I have a churn but was curious anyway. You melt a scant 2/3 cups white chocolate chips in a can of sweetened condensed milk, then stir in 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a teaspoon of vanilla. Then you whip two cups of whipping cream and fold it into the mix. Freeze eight hours or until firm. Yummers!

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