Chicken-Fried Skirt Steak with Country Gravy


Serves 4

Total cooking time 25 minutes


1 cup beef broth, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
(4) 4 to 5-inch-long pieces skirt steak
2 tablespoons Admiration or Piknik Vegetable oil
1 fully cooked breakfast pork-sausage patty (about 1 ounce), finely chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
Pinch of ground cloves
1/3 cup chopped green onion tops


Pour 1/2 cup broth into shallow bowl. Place flour in another shallow bowl. Sprinkle steak pieces on both sides with salt and pepper. Dip steaks into flour, then into broth, then into flour again, coating each time.

Add Vegetable oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add steaks. Sauté until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.

Pour off oil from skillet. Add 1 teaspoon flour from shallow bowl. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup broth, sausage, cream, sage, and cloves. Boil gravy until thick enough to coat spoon, whisking often, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Mix in green onion tops. Spoon gravy over steaks.

*Suggested sides: Green Beans and Buttermilk Biscuits.

Fresh Holiday Ham Roasted with Admiration Pancake Syrup & Mustard Glaze


Serves 10-12

Total cooking time 5 hrs


4 cups kosher salt
2 cups sugar
6 quarts cold water
1 cup black peppercorns, crushed
8 whole cloves
4 cups ice cubes
One 18-pound, bone-in fresh ham, with skin
2 cups Admiration pancake syrup
2 Tbsp. Admiration spicy brown mustard


Glaze: mix the pancake syrup & mustard well with a whisk, set aside for later use.


In a large saucepan, combine the salt and sugar with 2 quarts of the water. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the brine into a very large pot. Stir in the peppercorns and cloves. Add the remaining 4 quarts of water and the ice and stir until the ice has melted and the brine is at room temperature. Add the ham, skin side up; the skin does not have to be submerged. Brine the ham in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Remove the ham from the brine and brush off the peppercorns and cloves. Set the ham skin side up in a roasting pan and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Roast the ham for 1 hour; turn the pan and add 1 cup of water halfway through. Reduce the oven to 300° and roast the ham for 2 1/2 hours longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 150°. 30 minutes before removing the ham from the oven begin to baste the ham with the pancake and mustard glaze, repeating every 10 minutes until the glaze caramelizes.

Transfer the ham to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes before slicing.

Spicy Southern Deep Fried Turkey


Serves 12

Total cooking time 24 hrs, 55 min
Prep time 10 min
Inactive marinating time 24 hours
Cook time 45 min


1 tablespoon smoked paprika 
1 tablespoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (14-pound) turkey, giblets removed, washed and dried (completely defrosted)
*2-3/4 gallons (PIKNIK OR ADMIRATION) peanut oil, for frying




*Cook’s Note: To measure the amount of oil needed to fry the turkey, put the turkey in the fryer, add water to top of turkey. Remove the turkey, and then mark the water line with a crayon or marker. Remove the water and dry fryer thoroughly. The water line will indicate how much oil will be needed to fry your turkey. Having too much oil can cause a fire. The pot should not be more than 3/4 full or the oil could overflow when the turkey is added. Dry the fryer before adding the oil.

After measuring the amount of oil needed for the deep-fryer, dry the turkey well, inside and out, before proceeding.

Mix the smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and thyme together in a bowl. Sprinkle the spice rub inside the cavity of the turkey and on the skin. Separate the skin from the breast meat and massage the rub onto the meat with your hands. Put the turkey on a large sheet tray and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.

Fill the electric deep-fryer with peanut oil and preheat to 400 degrees F, (it will take about 1 hour for the oil to come to temperature).

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature about 1 hour.

Once the oil is hot and the turkey is at room temperature, slowly and very carefully lower the turkey into the hot oil. Make sure the oil maintains its temperature while frying. Fry the turkey until the skin is dark golden brown and crisp, or until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 155 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, roughly 45 minutes. Carefully remove the turkey from the oil and let it rest and drain on a wire rack, about 30 minutes. The internal temperature will rise to 165 degrees F while resting.

Transfer the turkey to a serving platter and serve.

Cajun Fried Catfish with Piknik Mustard & Mayo Sauce


Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes


This frying method works with pretty much any thin fish fillet: If you can’t find catfish, use tilapia, porgy, bass, flounder, walleye, perch, rockfish, croaker or black seabass.


4-6 catfish fillets, about 1-2 pounds
1 cup milk or buttermilk
Salt (to taste)
3/4 cup fine cornmeal (do not use coarsely ground cornmeal)
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
Oil for frying: Admiration vegetable oil




In a heavy frying pan (Cast Iron is preferred), pour enough oil to come 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan.

While the oil is heating, soak the catfish in the milk or buttermilk. Mix the cornmeal, flour and spices together. Let the oil reach 350 degrees — a good test is to flick a little of the dry breading into the oil, and if it sizzles at once, you’re good to go.

Once the oil is hot, sprinkle the catfish fillets with salt and dredge (dust or coat) them into the breading. Shake off the excess and gently lay into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes, depending on how thick the fillet is. Use a metal spatula and gently turn the fish over and cook for another 2-4 minutes. Cast iron heats up and stays hot, so monitor the heat as you fry; you may need to lower the heat on the burner at some point.

Plating: Serve the fried catfish with the mayo and mustard sauce and some fresh lemon wedges.

Tri-Color Cork Screw Pasta Salad


Serves 10-12

 Cook time 20 min


2 lbs tri-color corkscrew pasta, cooked till tender, cooled and set aside (note any short pasta can be substituted)
2-1/2 cups of Salad Bar Parmesan Peppercorn Dressing
4 TBSP of PIKNIK mustard
2 TBSP of Admiration Ketchup
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 red pepper, julienned or chopped
1 yellow pepper, julienned or chopped
1 green pepper, julienned or chopped
2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4-6 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, cubed


*Cook’s Note: in a mixing bowl mix the parmesan peppercorn dressing with the mustard and ketchup; whisk or mix toughly to grate the pasta salad dressing.

In a large mixing bowl, large enough that there is room to toss the pasta without it falling out over the sides, pour the dressing over the pasta and mix well

*Cook’s Note: Don’t be shy with the dressing. The pasta will absorb the dressing the longer it sits. You may even need to add a bit more dressing just before serving.

Add the grated parmesan, then toss again. Add the remaining black pepper, red, yellow, green peppers, cherry tomato halves and the Monterey jack cheese and toss well.

Serve in a decorative bowl.

*Cook’s Note: This salad can be made 1 day before serving. If you make the pasta in advance… mix all the ingredients but do not add the dressing until it’s time to serve. This prevents the pasta salad from being dry.