Oven Baked Pork Belly Strips

Pork belly strips (I get mine at Costco) are a delicacy. They are like very thick-cut bacon, and come from the same cut of pork (belly, obviously), but pork belly strips are fresh meat – uncured, not smoked, dried or salted.

Obviously an extremely fatty cut, they are suitable (and usually served at restaurants) as a first course, although I sometimes serve them as our main course for dinner, alongside a small green salad. If serving as first course, one thick strip per person, cut into bite-size pieces, is perfect. For a main course, I find that three strips are plenty.

Pork belly strips are delicious on their own, simply seasoned with salt and pepper. I like to use smoked paprika, which adds a delightful smoky flavor. You can also brush them with a mixture of soy sauce (2 tablespoons), honey (1 tablespoon) and garlic powder (1 teaspoon) prior to baking, for an Asian style dish, but I rarely bother. They truly are fabulous seasoned with just salt and pepper. Click for the recipe

Roasted Red Onions

Roasting red onions takes them from bitter and pungent to mild and caramelized – almost sweet. Roasted red onions make a delightful side to any meat dish, and especially to grilled meats. Click for the recipe

Baked Chicken Legs

Crisp, delicious skin and juicy, succulent meat- Who says chicken can’t be a delicacy? Many recipes will tell you to trim any excess skin from the thigh part. Me? I leave every bit of delicious skin on, spread any excess out on the pan, and it comes out super crispy and so, so good. Click for the recipe

Broiled Sesame Chicken

If you need dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes, make this broiled sesame chicken. It’s quick, easy, and delicious. Click for the recipe

Cheesecake Balls

Creamy and deliciously irresistible, these no-bake cheesecake balls are a fun alternative to going through the trouble of baking cheesecake. Click for the recipe

Baked Scallops

I love my recipe for seared scallops and make it often, but tonight I felt like trying something new. This recipe for baked scallops was a big hit – the buttery-cheesy topping is just wonderful. This dish comes out of the oven quite saucy and the sauce is wonderful – so serve it atop steamed rice or with crusty bread. Click for the recipe

Roasted Fennel

Even if you don’t like the taste of licorice, give this roasted fennel recipe a try. Roasting caramelizes the fennel bulbs, downplays the licorice flavor and brings out a nutty, delicious creaminess. The addition of Parmesan makes this dish extra delicious, though it’s also excellent with no cheese, if you’re so inclined. Click for the recipe