Southern Alabama Specialties

Recipes and folklore from the Gulf Coast. Like this favorte recipe, Garlic Shrimp Linguine, gets a nod from Creole cookery and blends new and old world flavors in making one fine dinner.

Grilling Year-round on the Gulf Coast

Life is good on the Gulf Coast as you'll find folks grilling and barbecuing all types of fine foods. Burgers, dogs, steaks, wings, ribs, pork, chicken, beef, seafood, gator, heck ... if it lives around here, we eat it!

Cake Making in the South

A real classic ~ Lemon Pound Cake with Citrus Glaze.

Sunday Dinners are Sacred in the South

An establishment in these parts, sitting down at the dinner table for a family meal is a way of life for many of us. It is quality time well spent sharing our blessings. Enjoy our recipes.

Gulf Coast Seafood Recipes

Platters like this are often on tables around Mobile Bay especially when there is a Jubilee. A Jubilee only occurs in Mobile Bay - find mouth-watering recipes under the Fish and Seafood categories.

November 30, 2009

Oyster & Absinthe Dome

As I consider entering the Pepperidge Farm’s 1.2.3 Puff contest, my mind keeps going back to New Orleans. And if I were to submit a recipe today, it would evoke the wonderful flavors like this creamy, elegant dish from New Orleans Commander's Palace. Of course, I’m thinking a whole different approach and manner and of using shrimp instead of oysters and of a recipe derived from my mother’s collection.

This recipe can be made ahead of time and brought out as a first dinner course. The secret to its refined richness is a splash of anise spirit, such as pastis or even the intensely aromatic absinthe.

Oyster and Absinthe Dome
makes 4 servings

1 -9" x 11" sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and chilled
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3/4 cup absinthe or pastis
20 medium oysters, such as bluepoints, shucked (1/3 cup of the liquor reserved)
2 cups heavy cream
1 -9 oz. package frozen artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped tarragon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 400° F. Using a 3" cookie cutter, cut 4 circles from the puff pastry. Transfer puff pastry circles to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and brush each circle with egg mixture. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes; set puff pastry tops aside.

Melt butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic, shallots, and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 2–3 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add absinthe or pastis. Return saucepan to the heat and cook until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the oyster liquor and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cream has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

Add oysters, artichokes, and tarragon to the reduced cream mixture and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the oysters' edges begin to curl, about 2 minutes. Divide the oyster stew between four 6-oz. ramekins or bowls and top each with a puff pastry circle.

November 29, 2009

Country-Style Pot Roast with Tomato Mushroom Gravy

Sunday Dinner Idea

This recipe has appeared in so many magazines and cookbooks in one form or another - it must be pretty darn good. I have tweaked it to my liking….enjoy!

Country-Style Pot Roast with Tomato Mushroom Gravy

1 -8 oz sliced button mushrooms
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 large boneless beef chuck roast (5 1/2-6 pounds), tied
Salt and pepper
3 medium onions, chopped
1 large celery rib, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 to 8 small red potatoes
1 cup red wine
1 -28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are tender, remove with a slotted spoon, cover and set aside. Liberally season roast with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Brown roast on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes and transfer roast to slow cooker.

Reduce heat to medium, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to skillet, along with onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes and transfer to the slow cooker.

Increase heat to high, add red wine to the empty skillet, scraping up any browned bits with wooden spoon and simmer for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and broth, and bring to a boil. Add pepper flakes, bay leaves and thyme. Arrange potatoes around the roast in the slow cooker and transfer the wine mixture to the slow cooker.

Set slow cooker to high, cover, and cook until tender, 6 to 7 hours. Alternatively, cook on low for 9 to 10 hours. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer about 2 hours before the roast is nearing ready to prevent overcooking. It will be ready (well done) at 160 degrees F.

Transfer roast to carving board; loosely tent with foil to keep warm. Discard bay leaves and remove potatoes. Allow liquid in pot to settle, about 5 minutes, then use wide spoon to skim fat off surface. Puree the liquids and solids using an immersion blender or in batches in a blender or food processor. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper and return to the slow cooker with the mushrooms and peppers. Let heat for several minutes.

Remove strings from roast and cut into half-inch thick slices. Transfer meat and potatoes to a serving platter. Pour about 1 cup gravy over meat to moisten. Serve more gravy separately.

November 28, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Sabado Mexicano

Back to basics with this wonderfully delicious soup that uses very little chicken (or turkey) and lots of flavorful pantry ingredients. Enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
-or leftover Turkey

makes about 3 1/2 cups

2 medium tomatoes
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1 garlic clove, peeled
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 boneless skinless chicken breast half
1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 corn tortillas (6 inches)
1/2 cup diced zucchini
2 tablespoons chopped carrot
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup spicy hot V8 juice
1/3 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup cubed avocado
1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, torn (optional for garnish)

Brush tomatoes, onion and garlic with 1 teaspoon oil. Broil 4 in. from the heat for 6-8 minutes or until tender, turning tomatoes once. Peel and discard charred skin from tomatoes; place in a blender. Add onion and garlic; cover and process for 1-2 minutes or until smooth.

Sprinkle chicken with lemon-pepper and salt; broil for 5-6 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Cut one tortilla into 1/4-in. strips; coarsely chop remaining tortilla. In a large saucepan, heat remaining oil. Fry tortilla strips until crisp and browned; remove with a slotted spoon.

In the same pan, cook the zucchini, carrot, cilantro, cumin, chili powder and chopped tortilla over medium heat for 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato mixture, broth, V8 juice, corn, tomato puree, jalapeño and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Cut chicken into strips and add to soup; simmer 5 minutes longer. Discard bay leaf. Garnish with avocado, cheese and tortilla strips.

November 27, 2009

Chicken & Chiles Cheese Ball

Forgoing the usual Friday format, today’s fish recipes are replaced with another tailgate event.
In state rivals, Alabama plays Auburn in a fight the folks around here live for 24/7, 365 days a year. The rivalry can split families apart. You either bleed crimson or blue - there is no in between. It will cause people to cuss ya and normally at some point in the year, will cause you to even cuss them.

Here is a cheese snack we will be enjoying.

Chicken & Chiles Cheese Ball

1 -8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped cooked chicken (or 1 -5 oz can boned chicken, well drained)
1 -4 oz can diced green chiles, well drained
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon chicken flavored instant bouillon
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except nuts. Mix well and shape into a ball. Roll in the nuts and chill several hours. Serve with crackers.

November 24, 2009

Grandmother's Holiday Pound Cake

I remember...

There was seldom a week that the aroma of a freshly baked cake did not arouse our senses in my grandmother's house. There was seldom a week that a pound cake was not laying on the counter either. She made one kind or another, like this one today. Pound cakes are great anytime of the year and with these few additions, it makes for a special treat.

Grandmother’s Holiday Pound Cake

1 stick butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
1 stick oleo (margarine), cut into tablespoon pieces
2 cups sugar
6 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon butter flavoring
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 pint whipping cream (1 cup)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour -sifted

Place cold butter and oleo in mixer bowl, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Mix eggs, vanilla, butter, lemon extracts, bourbon and cream in a large pourable bowl. Set aside at room temperature.

Grease and flour a 10-inch tube or bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. adjusting rack to center of oven.

Cream butter and oleo at medium-high speed until shiny and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Reduce to medium speed and add the sugar slowly taking about a minute to incorporate. Increase to medium-high speed and beat until fluffy and white, about 6 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom a couple of times. Gradually in a steady stream, pour in the egg mixture taking about 90 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Mixture may look broken, but that is okay at this point.

Remove beaters. Sift in 1/3 of the flour gently with a rubber spatula scarping along the sides and bottom to incorporate well. Repeat 2 more times until flour is folded into batter.

Pour into a prepared pan, even out and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 300 degrees F. and bake for about 40 minutes or until sides separate from the pan and center is tested done (toothpick comes out clean). Let cool for 30 minutes before inverting on wire rack. When completely cooled, about 3 hours, frost with a pecan or lemon glaze if desired.

November 23, 2009

Peanut Brittle

A favorite for gift giving and a treat to eat as well.

Peanut Brittle
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
3 cups raw shelled Virginia style peanuts -skins on
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp butter extract, or vanilla
2 tsp baking soda

In a heavy saucepan (4 quarts or larger), heat sugar, corn syrup, cayenne, salt and water to a rolling boil. Add peanuts. Reduce heat to medium and stir constantly. This will take about 35 to 40 minutes and should not be hurried by heating at a higher temperature. It takes the full time to cook the peanuts and even marginally uncooked peanuts are not as tasty as fully cooked ones.

Using the candy thermometer, cook to a hard crack stage(293 degrees.) Add butter, stir until completely melted and mixed. Add baking soda and stir rapidly until frothy looking the candy will "grow" rapidly when you add the baking soda. Stir in the butter extract.

Be near your pouring surface so you don't end up with a partial batch on the kitchen floor. Pour onto a buttered surface and spread until about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Break into pieces when cool. The best surface on which to pour this is a cooled slab of marble. Next best is some other cooled surface such as a cookie sheet. The surface should be liberally buttered but not so much as to make the bottom of the candy excessively oily.

You need to check the candy at about 3-5 minute intervals immediately after pouring it out and lift it gently with a spatula from the cooling surface so that it does not stick. This needs to be done about three times and then you can let it cool thoroughly before breaking it into serving size pieces. Cooling time is about 60 minutes.

Store in dry and airtight containers or bags or in a gift giving tin with the recipe. Your friends will love it.
recipe adapted from Real Cajun Recipes

November 22, 2009

Beef Tips in Wine Sauce

Sunday Dinner Idea

Most folks are thinking turkey or ham, or both this week. Today is a good day for serving beef and this is one fine way to do just that. Enjoy!

Beef Tips in Wine Sauce
serves 6

2 medium onions, sliced
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 pounds beef filet, 1-inch cubed
1/2 cup flour
1 -10.5 oz beef bouillon
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
Salt & pepper to taste
Dried thyme, oregano, basil and fresh parsley

In a large skillet, sauté onions in the butter and oil until onions are transparent. Add mushrooms and cook until barely limp. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the beef and cook until lightly brown on all sides. Remove from skillet and set aside. To the juices in the pan, stir flour with a whisk mixing thoroughly. Slowly add the bouillon and wine to form the sauce. Add the herbs, use which ever or all if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste and more liquid if needed to make desired thickness. Return beef to the sauce and simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes. Add onions and mushrooms and heat thoroughly. Serve over cooked rice.

This is a great dish for a buffet using a chafing dish.

November 21, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

How many chicken enchiladas are there? Let me start over. How many different recipes have you tried?
If you are like me, your list is endless. There are two groups of enchilada recipes that I favor. First are those that are more authentic in ingredients and preparation and the other group are where most recipes fall in to . . . easy, affordable and down right delicious. That is what today’s recipe is all about – and might just be my best one yet! Enjoy!

Chicken Enchiladas
about 6 servings

12 flour tortillas (8-inch size)
1 -16 oz can refried beans
1 -10.75 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Mexican seasoning
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (I like to purchase a roasted one from the deli)
3 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 jalapeños, diced
1 large can enchilada sauce (or make your own)
1/2 cup chopped green onions, divided
1/4 cup ripe black olives, optional

Heat the tortillas in the microwave to soften. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F,

Combine the chicken soup, sour cream and Mexican seasoning in a bowl. Fold in the chicken. In another bowl, mix the white onions and 1/4 cup green onions with the jalapeños.

In a greased 13x9 oblong casserole dish, cover the bottom with some of the enchilada sauce.

Using a spatula, spread a thin layer (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)of the refried beans to cover the tortilla. Spoon 1/3 cup chicken mixture over the beans. Top with a sprinkle of cheese and with the onion mixture. Roll up and place seam side down in the casserole.

Continue until completed and cover the top with the enchilada sauce.

Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through. Serve with the remaining green onions and olives if desired. We like additional sour cream and pickled jalapeños on top of ours.

November 20, 2009

Velvet Fish Soup

A warm and creamy fish base soup served over fried vermicelli.

Velvet Fish Soup

1/2 pound vermicelli
oil for deep frying
1/2 pint half-and-half (single cream)
2 cups fish stock (or chicken)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup arugula or watercress, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup creamed corn
3 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 oz cooked white fish, flaked

Cook the vermicelli in boiling water until almost tender. Drain well and spread on paper towels to completely dry.

Heat an inch or so of oil in a frying pan to 365 degrees F. Slowly lower the noodles into the hot oil and fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain. Place in the bottom of warm soup bowls and set aside.

Place the cream, 1 1/2 cups of fish stock, sugar, salt and pepper to taste in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and temper in the eggs. Add arugula, green onion and corn and bring to a low simmer.

Dissolve the cornstarch in remaining fish stock and add to the soup. Stir in the paprika, cayenne and simmer until thick. Fold in the flaked fish and cook for 3 minutes or until heated through.

Ladle the soup over the noodles, sprinkle with chives or additonal green onions if desired and serve immediately.

Note: Another recipe I have uses grated ginger and Asian hot sauce rather than the paprika and cayenne. This is also really good with crabmeat.

November 19, 2009

Blue Cheese Olive Ball, Open Face Cocktail Reuben-ettes, Olive Meatballs

The Men’s Room
Tailgate Thursday - week 12

Not what you think ladies . . . nothing going in here other than our normal business which brings us toward the end of college football and all the great foods we enjoyed eating our way to this point. Thank you moms, wives, girlfriends and couch buddies for all the great tailgating foods you have presented to us. For this weekend, I’m going back to the comfort of my living room and I hope you will to, with the warmth of pals and football buds, nestling into a soft cushiony lazy-boy with a cold drink in hand. Okay, you girls are invited too, mainly since many of you prepared all those snacks and foodstuff for us football watching men folks.

Blue Cheese Olive Ball

12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 -4.5 oz can chopped black ripe olives
2 tablespoons minced green onions, tops only
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Blend the two cheeses with the butter, stir in the olives and onion. Place in the refrigerator to chill in helping form into a ball. Form into a ball and roll into the parsley. Decorate with pecan halves if desired and serve with crackers. Also good for stuffed celery sticks.

Open Face Cocktail Reuben-ettes

Butter or margarine
Party rye bread
Cooked corned beef, sliced thin
Swiss cheese, sliced thin
Jar of sauerkraut, well drained and chopped
Thousand Island dressing

Seal the bread by spreading a thin layer of butter on one side. Place a dollop of dressing on the butter and spread to cover. Tear the corned beef in pieces and place on top of the dressing followed with the sauerkraut. Top with the Swiss cheese. Bake in a 375 degree F, oven until cheese melts. Serve warm.

Olive Meatballs

1/2 pound ground lean beef
1 egg
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup 7-Up
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
24 small pimento or jalapeño stuffed olives

Combine all ingredients except olives in a bowl. Roll 1 tablespoon of mixture in the palm of your hand forming a ball. Flatten out to make a patty and place an olive in the center. Enclose the olive with the meat mixture forming a ball. Place on a pan and broil 2 to 3 inches from the heat source turning over midway for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain, insert toothpicks and serve while hot.

Well folks, this concludes the series for now. Next Thursday, I’ll enjoy family and friends with the feast of tradition. Happy Thanksgiving and who knows, I might have another post for the bowl games.

November 18, 2009

Pan Fried Shrimp with Roasted Garlic Sauce

Shrimp and Garlic ~ a great combo.

Simple way to cook shrimp and to serve it with an all time, favorite sauce.

Pan Fried Shrimp with Roasted Garlic Sauce

Roasted Garlic Sauce

2 -28 oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 -6 oz cans tomato paste
1 whole head garlic, roasted (see below)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely diced red bell peppers
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

In a large saucepan, bring all ingredients except cheese to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in the Romano cheese and remove from heat.

Note: This will make about 4 cups, more than enough for the shrimp. It will keep in the refrigerator for about a week and it freezes well.  

Roasting Garlic: Slice the top from a large head of garlic revealing the pods, drizzle in olive oil and wrap in foil. Place in a 375 degree oven F. for 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool and squeeze out the pods.

Pan Fried Shrimp

1 1/2 pounds medium to large shrimp
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

Remove heads, shells and devein the shrimp. Wash under cold water and pat thoroughly dry. Dust with the flour.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.

Add oil first and then the butter and heat until butter has settled.

Place shrimp in a single layer not over crowding the pan. Season lightly with salt and cook for a couple of minutes on each side or until done. (Shrimp is done when completely pink in color and opaque throughout.) Remove and keep warm. Add more oil and butter if needed and fry remaining shrimp.

Serve shrimp with a generous amount of the sauce along with a vegetable or salad and crusty bread.

November 17, 2009

Wild Game Stew

A while back, I posted of Camp Stew made from leftover BBQ meats. Today’s stew is a bit different. Hunting season is gearing up around here with dove and quail hunters getting their best shots in. Duck season starts a little later while geese hunters get one more crack after November 27. Turkey season is only open in a few counties; the state favors most areas during the spring, not fall. Deer will soon be running for cover as hunters stalk and chase, sometimes with dogs, on private or leased lands. Hunt clubs abound throughout the state for this one reason. Nevertheless, many wild animals have been chased around since early September like opossum and raccoon, not that I know of any hunters for these. Today’s recipe is for local hunters and those who seek big game too, and is for a tasty, true hunt camp stew. It is what I imagine one would eat if really living off the land. There are no quantities in this recipe – cook what you need. For city dwellers, it’s a great meal when combining neighbors and friends wild game too, just raid their freezers and invite them to some fine eating. Enjoy!

Wild Game Stew

Boned game meat
Salt and pepper to taste
Worcestershire sauce
Garlic pods
Canned tomatoes, undrained
Canned whole kernel corn, drained
Cubed Potatoes
Sliced onions
Sliced carrots

Any wild game works here – deer, squirrel, dove, quail, turkey, bear, elk, moose, wild hog, possum, coon – just about anything (except goat, it will stink up the place)

If frozen, thaw the meat and cut into cubes. Place in a stockpot, cover with water and season with salt, pepper, garlic and liberal amount of Worcestershire. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer cooking for an hour. Add the vegetables and simmer for 3 to 5 hours. After a couple of hours, sample the stew and season to taste with additions seasonings if desired.

Recipe from Dr. Sidney Taylor and from my hometown in Greenville AL

November 16, 2009

Creole Chicken

Mondays are busy days for everyone I know and when five o’clock rolls around, as much as I enjoy cooking, the last thing I need is to spend hours preparing dinner. Sometimes Monday dinner is Sunday’s left-overs and when not, I like to think of simple, quick solutions to cooking an appetizing meal. Today’s recipe is just that. Baked chicken breast with a wonderful Creole sauce (make this a day or two before) paired with roasted asparagus makes for an ever so easy meal. Enjoy!

Red Creole Sauce
~this is a really good sauce for many kinds of dishes and especially good with crawfish

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 -28 oz can tomato sauce
1 -28 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon mustard seed, optional
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less)

Over medium heat, warm the oil in a large skillet. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté for about 3 minutes until the onions are translucent. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook about 15 minutes until sauce has thickened. Remove bay leaf and keep warm.

Creole Chicken

4 chicken breast -bone in, skin removed
Salt & pepper
Vegetable oil
Red Creole Sauce –from above

Score the chicken meat several times cutting down to the rib cage on each breast. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper rubbing into the cuts.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a little oil in an ovenproof skillet and brown chicken. Remove from heat and spoon about a third of the sauce over the breast.

Place skillet in the oven and bake until chicken is done, about 20 minutes. Check meat to be sure juices run clear.

Remove from oven and plate with added sauce.

Roasted Asparagus

A very simple side ~ Wash and trim ends of spears. Take a ring from a red pepper and use to hold spears. Place in a pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs or seasoning of choice. Roast in a 500 degree F. oven for about 15 minutes.

November 15, 2009

Greek Stuffed Chicken

I stumbled across a recipe a while back by Judy at Easy and Tasty Food and I liked it so much, I thought I would do it myself. Of course, since recipes are only guidelines as someone mentioned last week, I took my usually liberty of adapting it my way. A few additions of ingredients, another whole way of cooking it and well, by the time I finished, I don’t really think it was any thing like Judy’s but I still want to give her the credit. So here it is and the photo is from her site too sans tomatoes and noodles - darnest thing - I didn’t take a picture!

Greek Stuffed Chicken

~ with spinach & Feta over noodles
6 servings

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, about 4 ounces each
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 onion, diced
5 ounces crumbled feta cheese, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 -14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes with onions, drained
1/2 cup white wine
1 package narrow width egg noodles, cooked & drained (if desired)
1 lemon, sectioned

Flatten chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. Combine spinach, onion and 1/2 cup feta cheese; spoon down the center of each chicken breast half. Fold chicken over filling and secure with toothpicks. Combine the flour, oregano, salt, pepper and coat the chicken.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil on all sides. Discard toothpicks. Place chicken in a greased shallow 3-quart casserole dish. Top with tomatoes, wine and remaining feta cheese.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and cheese melts. Serve over noodles if desired and with a squeeze of lemon.

November 14, 2009


Sabado Mexicano
When the Spaniards and French introduced pastries and puddings to Mexican cooks, they also brought with them many spices like cinnamon. Old-fashioned cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon is the most preferred with its true complex yet less sweet flavor from that of the common Cassia bark that is sold in the states. Mexican bread pudding is very different than the ones I grew up eating and containing pecans with a bourbon sauce. Served with Mexican cheese and creamy crema or crème fraiche, this pudding contains apples, almonds and plantains and like the ones I grew up eating, this one is ever so delicious and really easy to make.

Mexican Bread Pudding

2 cups torn firm texture bread (French will do)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 inch stick of cinnamon
2 whole cloves
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 ripe medium plantain (or a large firm banana), sliced
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
1/2 cup shredded asadero, Chihuahua or Monterey jack cheese
Crema Mexicana, crème fraiche or dairy sour cream

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Dry the torn bread on a baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes or until dried.

Make a syrup in a small saucepan with the water, brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until reduced to 3/4 cup. Strain and discard spices.

Toss the bread with the syrup and fold in the apples, plantain, raisins and almonds. Place in a 2 quart baking dish and bake covered for 35 to 40 minutes or until apples are tender.

Serve warm with a sprinkle of the cheese and with the crema.

November 13, 2009

Hot Fish Dip, Tuna Walnut Spread & Fish Pate

Pate, Spread, Dip

...sounds like a little happy hour jig but it is actually 3 great appetizers to start off the weekend.

Fish Pate

1 1/2 cups cooked fish fillets (or smoked)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pecorino and fresh dill for garnish

Using a food processor with a steel blade, combine all ingredients well. Pack into a small bowl or crock and chill overnight or at least 6 hours. Best served on crackers or toast points. Garnish with a sliver of pecorino cheese and fresh dill.

Note: if mixing by hand, mash fish with a fork and blend with the butter and remaining ingredients.

Tuna Walnut Spread

1 -3 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 -6 oz can tuna, drain well
Half an onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
Bread and Butter pickles, as desired
Toasted chopped walnuts, as desired
Lemon juice to taste

Mix the onions with desired amount of chopped pickles, add the walnuts and incorporate into the cream cheese. Fold in the parsley and tuna and add lemon juice to taste.

Serve with crisp crackers.

Hot Fish Dip

2 tablespoons butter
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cup white American cheese (or your favorite)
1 cup cooked finely minced white fish fillets
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a saucepan until bubbly. Add onions, stir in the sherry and cook for 1 minute. Add in the flour and stir cooking for 2 or 3 minutes until smooth. Add half-and-half and cook for several minutes until thicken and heated. Stir in the cheese blending well; fold in the fish, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Add red pepper if desired.

Serve warm with crackers.

November 12, 2009

Chicken Wing Dip, Grilled Lemon-Oregano Chicken Drumsticks, Pimento Cheeseburgers, BBQ Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

Backyard Tailgating

I mentioned last week of getting back outside for some more tailgate cooking and after spending a few days inside, waiting for Hurricane Ida to do its thing, this Saturday is a great time to get back outside and to the grill. First up is a wonderful dip, made inside but with great chicken wing flavor to get us all in the mood. Enjoy!

Chicken Wing Dip
-adapted from

2 -8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup Marzetti’s Blue Cheese Dressing or Ranch Dressing
3/4 cup pepper sauce -such as Crystal or Tabasco
2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup shredded Mozzarella or Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a 13x9 inch casserole dish, spread the cream cheese on the bottom and spoon the blue cheese dressing on top. Mix the hot pepper sauce with the chicken until well blended and spoon on top of the blue cheese. Sprinkle with the mozzarella (or cheddar if using ranch dressing) on top and bake for 30 minutes.

If oil collects on the top, dab it off using a paper towel. Serve with tortilla chips, celery and carrot sticks.

Grilled Lemon-Oregano Chicken Drumsticks
-adapted from Bon Appétit, August 2009

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
8 chicken drumsticks

Whisk first 7 ingredients in small bowl. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Pour marinade into 1-gallon re-sealable plastic bag; add chicken and seal. Turn bag to coat chicken. Marinate at room temperature 30 minutes or in refrigerator up to 2 days, turning occasionally.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Place chicken, with some marinade still clinging, on grill rack; grill chicken until cooked through and golden brown on all sides, turning frequently, about 30 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve.

Pimento Cheeseburgers
-from Epicurious, August 2009

1 small white onion, grated
8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces mild Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup good-quality mayonnaise
1 -2 ounce jar diced pimientos, drained
2 finely diced seeded jalapenos -optional
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds 80% lean ground chuck, or 1 1/2 pounds 80% lean ground chuck plus 8 ounces 90% lean ground sirloin
1 -1 ounce package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Kosher salt
6 hamburger buns, preferably onion flavored

In a medium bowl, mix together the onion, both cheeses, mayonnaise, pimientos and jalapenos if desired. If you need additional mayonnaise to make it creamy, add a little bit at a time. Grind copious amounts of black pepper and stir that into the cheese mixture.

Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the beef and mix to incorporate. Divide the ground beef into 6 equal portions and shape into patties about 3/4 inch thick. Remember to put a slight indentation into the center of each patty. Season both sides of the burgers liberally with salt and pepper.

Oil the grill racks. Preheat your grill using all burners set on high and with the lid closed for 10 to 12 minutes.

Place the burgers on the grill and lower the heat to medium. Grill for about 5 minutes. Turn the patties and continue grilling until they reach your desired doneness, about 4 additional minutes for medium, 6 minutes for medium-well. During the last 2 minutes of cooking time, add the buns, cut side down. At the last minute before taking the hamburgers off the grill, put a generous spoonful of pimiento cheese on each. Take the buns from the grill, place on a platter, set a burger on each bun bottom and serve.

BBQ Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches
Recipe adapted from

1 large pork tenderloin, cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 bottle of your favorite Italian Dressing
6 to 8 thick Hoagie Rolls or Kaiser Rolls

The night before the game, take the pork and poke holes in each

using a fork. Place pork in a large pan and pour the Italian Dressing over to cover. Cover with foil and refrigerate over night. When you are ready to grill, take out of the marinade, and place on the grill, they should only take about 2-3 min. per side. Next, LET THEM SIT FOR 10 MINUTES away from the heat and in a warm place. This is as important as cooking them, the juices must re-disperse throughout the meat. Finally smother in BBQ sauce, and place on your roll...they are UNREAL... enjoy

See ya next Thursday for another round of great football food.

November 11, 2009

Mardi Gras Shrimp Mold

Shrimp of the Week

The parades do not roll along downtown streets of Mobile until late February but to many, Mardi Gras officially starts in a couple of weeks. Thanksgiving Day has for many years been the kick off event for the carnival season here with the first official dance being the Camellia Ball by the Mobile Area Carnival Association. Debutantes adorned in pink bring with them a host of duties not to mention attending the many parties following and social events that leads up to Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras Day as most call it. So, it is no surprise for many of us to start honing our skills in preparing for the upcoming round of parties.
Today’s shrimp recipe is a fine example of good eats that are found on many tables during the coming months.

Mardi Gras Shrimp Mold

1 envelope Knox gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 can tomato soup, undiluted
1 large package cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup whipped cream
1/2 cup chopped olives
1 tablespoon onion juice
1 tablespoon butter
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 pound boiled chopped shrimp

Heat the soup in a double boiler over low simmering water. Add cheese, onion juice and butter. While this is heating, mix gelatin with the water. When the cheese mixture is heated and smooth, stir in the gelatin mixture and let cool. Stir in the mayonnaise and whipped cream evenly. Fold in the remaining ingredients and turn into a wet mold or one that has been greased with mayonnaise. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This can also be frozen.

November 10, 2009

Monterey Jack Cheese Soup

Recipe from my newest member of cookbooks
 I mentioned last week of receiving a cookbook from my friend Sherry in Texas after she cleverly mentioned of us exchanging cookbooks. I will tell you now, when she asked me, I immediately said yes, what a great idea. However, I hoped her cookbook would be similar to my cookbook which contains over 1200 recipes, if you count a few variations or about 1185 if you don’t. The making of it was a 3-year task to gather my family favorites with long hours of checking ingredients, quantities and, well, you get the idea. I value my work and its three generations of recipes and did not want to give it away for a 30-page picture book with only 10 recipes.

The day it arrived, I immediately held the box. It weighed pretty well so it must contain a good amount of recipes, now what about the quality. Well, I ripped opened the box and quickly became impressed, very impressed. My new bequest was indeed worthy of our exchange. I spent most of that day reading wonderful recipes, many with delightful new twists of some of my favorites and whole lot of new, tempting ones to try. Each and every one sounded tasty enough to make right then and easy enough to do it. Written by Sherry and her twin sister Terry, Two Peas in a Pod is a must have cookbook to add to your collection and I am very happy it has found a place in mine. It would also make a wonderful holiday gift for your cooking friends. Contact Sherry at her blog site Rosemary and the Goat by leaving a comment for more information.

Here is the first recipe I discovered when I flipped open the book and like all the others, sounded so darn good. Enjoy!

Monterey Jack Cheese Soup
From the cookbook Two Peas in a Pod

1 cup finely chopped onions
7 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped green chiles
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
6 tablespoons flour
5 cups milk or half & half
1 cup diced tomatoes
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish

In a saucepan, sauté onion in 1 tablespoons of butter for 5 minutes. Add broth, chiles and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. In a large saucepan, melt remaining butter and add flour. Cook over low heat stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Heat milk and gradually add to the butter/flour mixture. Cook over low heat about 10 minutes until thickened stirring frequently. Remove broth from heat and gradually add to the milk mixture. Add tomatoes, cheese and soda to prevent curdling. Heat thoroughly stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley.
Serves 8
 Note: As this comes to post and as hurricane Ida made shore, this soup was a comforting meal and a cherished dose of therapy, thanks again Sherry. I hurriedly snapped this photo in hopes the power would not go out.

November 9, 2009

Eggplant Fritters with Horseradish Cream

Cajun Monday - Eggplant & Horseradish
Although the eggplant is native to India, most gardeners in the south find room for several of these plants when filling out their vegetable garden. One that does really well here is the narrow, dark purple variety called Little Fingers, which is best when it reaches about 1-inch in diameter and can be sliced just like a cucumber. A favorite in Louisiana gardens is the slim, green skin Louisiana Long pictured at left. The use of eggplants are in many Cajun recipes, as it is one vegetable that does really well along the inland coasts. This recipe today is a favorite among many folks in the south and I like to serve these with a little sauce on the side. The Horseradish Cream is posted for my good friend Kristy in Malaysia.

Eggplant Fritters

1 large eggplant -about 1 1/2 lbs
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups fine dry breadcrumbs
2 eggs -slightly beaten
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons parsley
1 small onion -chopped very fine
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
Red pepper hot sauce, several dashes
Vegetable oil for frying

Peel eggplant and cut into 1-inch cubes. Cook in a small amount of boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well and mash with a large spoon. Add remaining ingredients except oil mixing well. Add more breadcrumbs it the mixture is too soft.

Shape into 16 balls and flatten each to make a patty. Add about 2 inches of oil in a large skillet and heat to 375 degree F. Fry fritters turning halfway until golden brown on both sides. Serve with Horseradish Cream.
Note: Reduce size of fritters for an appetizer.

Horseradish Cream

1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
4 to 6 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh herbs, chives, dill or parsley -minced

Pour cream into a medium bowl and Using a hand-held mixer, whisk to just under soft peaks. Fold in remaining ingredients.  Use herbs that will compliment the type of food served.

November 8, 2009

Southern Breakfast Pie

Sunday Mornings should be easy

.... so is this recipe. The hardest part is waiting to eat it!

Gather ‘round the breakfast table as soon as this comes out of the oven or you just might miss out on a fantastic breakfast indulgence we like to eat in lower Alabama.

Southern Breakfast Pie

makes 4 servings

2 or 3 medium white potatoes
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
5 Tablespoons melted butter
1 cup  chopped cooked ham
1/2 cup finely onions
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
1 packed cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely diced seeded tomatoes
4 slices crisped cooked, crumbled bacon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel the potatoes and put through the food chopper using a shredder disk or thinly slice into quarter-inch slivers. You will need about 3 cups. Place between paper towels and cook in the microwave until almost done. They need to retain a just cooked, tender texture. Let cool.

Heavily butter the bottom and sides of a quiche pan or 10-inch pie plate. Press potatoes in the bottom and up the sides.

Brush or drizzle remaining butter over the potato crust.

Bake the crust for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.

Reduce oven heat to 375.

In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together.

Make the pie by layering in order - ham, onions, peppers and cheese. Pour egg mixture over the cheese and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove when the center is firm and cooked throughly.

Let stand 10 minutes and serve with a sprinkle of the tomatoes and crumbled bacon.

November 7, 2009

Beefy Chiconas

Sabado Mexicano

In some Mexican circles, the term Chiconas refers to hot-to-trot women, getto-ho-fab girls, and what we in the south call, hoochie mamas. You know the ones I’m talking about, women who got everything going on and normally gets anything she wants. Not necessarily a slut, she just flirts around with men and dresses very provocatively. Their offspring are what we call little hootchie coochies.

So where did the name for this recipe originate and what does Chiconas have to do with a form of tacos? I’m not sure, but with such a full-bodied taste, I could possibly conceive the notion of a mistranslation of this recipe's name. Robust Beef = Beefy Chiconas. Okay, it’s a great leap in thinking such a thing but it is a great recipe, one that I’ve had in my collection for some time now. Enjoy!

Beefy Chiconas

5 pounds of lean stew meat
Olive oil
3 cups chopped onions
3 jalapeño peppers, chopped
2 1/2 cups chopped green peppers
2 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons granulated onion
2 tablespoons cumin
1 -16 oz can whole tomatoes
1 -6 oz can tomato paste
4 beef bouillon cubes
2 1/4 cups water
Salt to taste
Large Flour Tortillas

In a small saucepan, bring water to a simmer, add bouillon cubes and stir to dissolve, set aside.

In a large stockpot, add oil and heat over medium heat. Add the stew meat and cook until brown on all sides. Add remaining ingredients except flour tortillas. Bring to a low boil and simmer on low for about 2 hours.

Warm tortillas in oven or microwave and keep warm.

Serve Beefy Chiconas rolled up in the tortillas with a Mexican bean or corn dish on the side.

November 6, 2009

Salmon Croquettes with Creole Rémoulade Sauce

Make this up a day ahead for a nifty, delectable supper.

When I was a child, my mother would make croquettes every so often using different types of meat. At the time, I did not care for salmon so she would make two versions - ones that looked like salmon but consisted of chicken and the ever so staple salmon version. She did this for two reasons, so that I would have something to eat and so that my dad would not know. Maybe you can relate as in “If it’s good enough for me, then it’s good enough for everyone.” I do not have her recipe for either but I do have a few from family and friends and this one for salmon is pretty darn good.

Accompanying the croquettes, I suggest the following Creole Remoulade. I know there are more Creole sauces than I could ever imagine and I have quite a few in my gamut of recipes. On Wednesday, I posted one to accompany the spicy shrimp and the base of that sauce is Creole mustard and horseradish. It is a versatile accompaniment for all types of seafood and can be used as a dipping type of sauce, a garnish sauce, and even is a great marinade for boiled shrimp. Another great sauce is Louis sauce that I posted back in July. It is a creamier sauce which I love serving with cold seafood and seafood salads.

Salmon Croquettes with Creole Rémoulade Sauce

3 1/2 cups crumbled saltine crackers
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large shallots
2 ounces Asiago cheese, grated
1 egg
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 large can pink flaky salmon
Vegetable oil for frying

In a large bowl, add half of the saltine crumbs (1 3/4 cups) and mix in the remaining ingredients except for the oil.

Chill mixture for several hours.

Shape mixture into patties about 3/8 of an inch thick. Press patties into remaining saltine crumbs covering all sides, set aside.

Cover the bottom of a large skillet, preferably electric, with a little oil and heat to 375 degrees F.

Cook croquettes until brown on both sides. Remove and keep warm as you cook remaining croquettes.

Serve with the sauce below and a side vegetable.

Creole Rémoulade Sauce

1 small onion -minced
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup Wesson oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
Dash paprika
Dash Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons Creole mustard

Blend all ingredients together well - chill for several hours.

November 5, 2009

Creamy Tortilla Pinwheels, Parmesan Bacon Wraps, Parmesan Potato Chips, Sweet Crumb Savoury Buns

Cheezy Football Day
Tailgate Thursday - week 10

Just about every football game has penalties called, rumbling and shoving going on and lots of in-your-face name calling….but when you see players actually gouging the eyes of the opposing players as I did in two different games last week; you just have to say….now that's a bad thing ....and a bit cheesy. And that sports fans, brings us to the recipes for today’s game …cheese and this time, it is a good thing!

First up is an appetizer by the very creative cooking extraordinaire  Rachael in California and from her blog La Fugi Mama. I have made several variations of this but this one is the best. Enjoy!

Creamy Tortilla Pinwheels

1 package (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened
10 -12 oz. sour cream
1 4-oz. can of diced green chiles (drained)
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 small can (4.25-oz.) diced olives
2 c. finely grated cheddar cheese
5-6 burrito size flour tortillas (or 2 1/2 wrap size)

Whip softened cream cheese until a bit lighter and fluffier.

Begin mixing in sour cream a bit at a time until you reach a consistency and flavor that you like.

Mix in chilies, green onions, olives, and cheddar cheese until well mixed.

Spread on tortillas, then roll up.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (I like to make mine the day before so that I can refrigerate them overnight).

Slice into 1/2 - 1 inch slices and serve.

Next up is a treat that is so easy and so very tasty. It is from my good friend Sherry in Texas and her site, Rosemary and The Goat. By the way, I have just received one of her cookbooks in the mail and I can’t wait to cook everything in it. But I will post more of that later. Now, back to this simple indulgence.

Parmesan Bacon Wraps

Here’s what you are going to need. Bacon, Parmesan Cheese and Club Crackers. Depending on how many you want I usually calculate things this way. There are 11-12 pieces of bacon in a pound and you cut that into giving you somewhere between 22-24 bacon wraps per pound of bacon.

Start by putting a small amount of Parmesan cheese on top of the cracker. Take 1/2 piece of bacon and wrap it around the cracker enclosing the Parmesan cheese. Line these up on a broiler rack (this will catch the grease that cooks out of the bacon.

I usually bake these at 250° in my two convection ovens. I use all three racks. If you don’t have a convection oven, still use all three racks and bake at 250° for 1 1/2 -2 hours or until crisp and brown. If you only have one broiler rack you can also put a cookie cooling rack inside a sheet pan (with edge). Make sure you use the sheet pan because you don’t want grease spilling over in your oven.

If you are serving these immediately, drain on paper towels and then heap up on serving dish. If you will be eating these later, cool on racks, then put in ziplock bags and freeze. When ready to serve, thaw and heat in 350° for about 10-12 minutes. Drain on paper towels before serving.

These will be a hit.

Another tasty snack, this one for the kid in all of us is from Miranda in Florida. Her blog, My Food and Life Encounters is a fun read with wonderful recipes.

Parmesan Potato Chips

For each batch:

1 medium potato sliced very very thin ( I used my KA Mandolin)
1/2 tsp salt
2 TB of Parmesan cheese

Quart of oil for deep frying.

Heat oil to 350.

Slice the potatoes really thin and drop in the hot oil. I cut them right before I fried them.

As soon as you remove them from the oil season.

These keep really well in a freezer safe baggy...
I made cracked black pepper and salt for the adult....
I also made fried sweet potato chips with cinnamon and sugar.

For something cheesy that will stick to your ribs, my good friend Kristy in Malaysia is responsible for this wonderful ham and cheese filled bun recipe. Thanks Kristy! Visit her on her blog, My Little Space.

Sweet Crumb Savoury Buns

500gm bread flour (a tad over 2 cups)

1 tbsp yeast
3 tbsp sugar
1 tspn salt
1 egg, beaten
250ml warmed water (almost 8.5 oz)
2-1/2 tbsp butter

Filling and Topping :

12 slices chicken ham
12 slice of cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter cookies crumb
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
egg glaze
Mayo (optional

- combine all ingredients together to form a soft dough.

- leave to proof for 1 hour.

- divide dough into 12 portion.

- roll dough flat into oval shape, place in a roll up ham & cheese.

- seal up the dough and place onto a baking tray.

- leave for 2nd proof for 30 mins.

- brush on egg glaze; place on mayo; place on grated cheese; sprinkle cookies crumb over the bun dough.

- then bake for 20mins at 200'c or until golden brown.

- leave cool before lifting.

See ya next week with more tailgating foods. We just might venture outside!

November 4, 2009

Spicy Sautéed Shrimp with Vegetables and Creole Sauce

I'm telling ya'll right now, this is a whole lot of flavor that you are just going to have to try.
It's the best in mixing Mobile Bayou with New Orleans Creole.

Spicy Sautéed Shrimp with Vegetables and Creole Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds medium shrimp -about 60, de-headed in shells
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper -coarsely ground
1 teaspoon fresh oregano -minced (1 tablespoon dried)
1/2 cup bell pepper -thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced okra
1 -14.5 oz can yellow corn kernels -drained
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
2 Louisiana Tabasco peppers -sliced with seeds (Serrano or jalapeños will do)
Juice of 2 limes or 1 lemon

In a wok or large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add shrimp stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Add the next 9 ingredients and cook another 2 or 3 minutes stirring all while until shrimp are pink throughout. Add lemon juice, stir and remove shrimp to a platter. Turn up heat if needed and cook vegetables until tender. Serve shrimp with the Creole Sauce and with the vegetables on the side.

Creole Seafood Sauce

4 ounces Creole mustard
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves -minced
1 cup light olive oil
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
2 to 3 oz prepared horseradish
1 green onion -minced (optional)
1/2 cup minced celery hearts

Beat first 9 ingredients all together and then fold in the onion and celery. Refrigerate to meld flavors.

Note: This sauce is also outstanding as a dip and as an overnight marinate for boiled shrimp.