COOKS OF THE WEEK: Jerry and Deb Davis Recipes

Eggplant and
Olive Appetizer
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium eggplant, cut in 1⁄2-inch cubes
4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3⁄4 cup assorted green, Kalamata or other olives, coarsely chopped (don’t use stuffed olives)
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic until onions are translucent. Add eggplant and stir well to coat with oil. Cook, covered, until eggplant has started to cook well. Add tomatoes and stir. Continue to cook with lid off until juices are about halfway cooked off. Add olives and seasoning and continue until most of liquid is gone. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature with pita wedges or crackers.

Grilled Pork
with Cilantro Pesto
Center-cut pork chops, cut about 11⁄2-inch thick, or boneless pork loin cut into 11⁄2-inch-thick slices
Sliced bacon
Black pepper
Olive oil
Lemon Juice
Cilantro Pesto
2 cups cilantro leaves
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cloves peeled garlic
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt
Wrap each pork chop with bacon and secure bacon with a toothpick. Sprinkle each side of pork with pepper and lightly oil with olive oil. Sprinkle each side with lemon juice. Grill over medium heat until desired doneness (recommended 10 to 12 minutes per side; overcooked pork will be tough). About 5 minutes before pork is done, spoon about 1 tablespoon Cilantro Pesto over top side of each piece of pork and spread evenly.
For the Cilantro Pesto, in a blender or food processor, process cilantro, cheese and pumpkin seeds. Add garlic and mince. With motor running, pour olive oil and lime juice down the feed tube. You may need to scrape down the sides. Store in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap pressed on the surface of the pesto to help with discoloration.
Makes 3⁄4 to 1 cup pesto.
You may also use pesto with pasta; mixed with softened butter and spread on corn on the cob; mixed with an equal portion of mayonnaise for seafood or veggie dip; or spread under the skin of chicken breast halves.

Cherry Compote
4 cups pitted sweet Bing cherries (about 11⁄2 pounds)
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1⁄4 teaspoon almond extract
Combine cherries, sugar, water and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in almond extract. Cool. Serve over ice cream or pound cake.

Easy Vanilla Ice Cream
4 cups half-and-half
2 cups whipping cream
11⁄2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in the canister of an ice cream maker and freeze. If using a countertop ice cream maker that does not use salt and ice, halve the recipe.

Terry’s Shrimp Thing
6 pounds shrimp
1 cup vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
5 ounces horseradish
5 ounces Creole mustard
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup thinly sliced onions
Salt and pepper
Boil shrimp in well-seasoned water. When cool, peel and devein.
Combine oil with remaining ingredients. Add to shrimp and place in a tightly sealed container. Refrigerate overnight. Serve with toothpicks and crackers.

Vidalia Onion Quiche
31⁄2 cups sliced Vidalia onions
1⁄2 stick butter
1 unbaked pie crust
8 ounces, or more, grated baby Swiss cheese*
3 eggs, beaten well
1⁄2 cup whipping cream or half-and-half
1⁄2 cup milk
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon white pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard
Paprika
Sauté onions in butter on low heat until soft, about 30 minutes, then drain. Place onions in pie crust and top with grated cheese. Combine eggs, cream and milk and mix well. Whisk peppers and mustard into cream mixture and pour over cheese. Sprinkle paprika on top and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool a bit before slicing and serving.
* Vallagret cheese from Mississippi State is perfect for use in this recipe. Also, the fat content and flavor can be changed in this recipe by using different cheeses and varying the types of milk and cream, but don’t substitute anything for the Vidalias.

Deb’s Pie Crust
11⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup butter-flavored shortening
5 tablespoons ice water
Sift together flour and salt. Cut shortening into flour with a salad fork until pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over about 1⁄5 of the mixture and gently toss with a fork, pushing aside each section as you go. Continue until all the dough is moistened, adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time and working it into the dough. Form into a ball, flatten, and using a rolling pin, roll out onto a floured pastry board or waxed paper. Transfer crust to a pie plate and flute edges.