In the Kitchen With Chef Dré Johnson

These recipes were contributed by Chef Dré Johnson, a Waxahachie resident, and originally appeared in the WaxahachieNOW September 2015 issue.

Chipotle Plum BBQ Pork Ribs

  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee
  • 3/4 cup plum sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. minced chipotle in adobe with sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 lbs. pork back ribs
  1. Mix hot water with coffee to dissolve. Once dissolved, combine with plum sauce, orange juice, chipotle sauce and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring sauce to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Coat both sides of the ribs with sauce, saving 2/3 cup of sauce for basting. Arrange the ribs, meat side up, on a lined baking sheet. 
  5. Cover lightly with foil. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour, basting throughout with the remaining sauce. Allow to cool before slicing.


Daisy Mae’s Tea Cakes

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
  1. Cream butter and sugar until well-blended. Dissolve soda in buttermilk; add to butter/sugar mixture. Stir in all remaining ingredients in the order listed. Mix until dough forms.
  2. Roll dough out lightly on a floured board. Cut dough with cookie cutters of your choice. Bake at 400 F on an ungreased cookie sheet until lightly browned.


Strip Steak With Rosemary Butter

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon rind (divided use)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 6-oz. beef strip steaks, 1/2-inch thick
  • Rosemary sprigs, optional
  1. Stir together butter, rosemary, 1 tsp. lemon rind, salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  2. Combine Italian seasoning and next four ingredients in a small bowl. Stir in remaining lemon rind. Rub mixture over steaks. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
  3. Cover steaks with grill lid and grill over medium/high heat (350 F) for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until desired doneness.
  4. Serve with butter mixture. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.


Fire-spice Roasted Chicken

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. fire spice seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. chopped ginger
  • 3 1/2 lbs. chicken legs and thighs
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, sugar, fire spice seasoning and salt in a large bowl, mix well. Stir in the garlic and ginger. Add chicken pieces, turning to coat. 
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Turn the pieces now and then so that the marinade coats them evenly.
  3. Place chicken in a roasting pan. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes.