My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quaker Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

They changed the recipe on the lid of the cylinder! I've been using that recipe as long as I've been making cookies. They are the best oatmeal raisin cookies in the world, why would they change it? There was no reason to write it down, it was always there.

If you have the lid from an older box of oatmeal you better save it. Thank goodness I did. If not and you want me to post it let me know. I can't do right now because I'm too annoyed.

I was going to whip up a batch of these for a friend and her son that are driving to Florida Saturday. You know you have to have munchies in the car for kids. That is when I noticed the strange amounts for the butter and brown sugar. Don't change the butter and sugar in my cookies. If I wanted a healthy cookie I'd eat a graham cracker.

Just thought you would like to know about this. I really think this calls for a letter or email to The Quaker Oat Company. I'll let you know what they say.

Thanks for listening, I feel better already.

Turnip Slaw

I'm always looking for a new salad recipe, especially in the colder months, and before the garden is ready. This is just delightful with almost any meat, fish or poultry.

Turnip Slaw
4-6 servings
print recipe

3 or 4 medium turnips
2 stalks celery
2 green onions, with bottoms trimmed but green parts left on
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Peel the turnips and cut first into quarters, then into very thin strips. Place in a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Blanch until just tender, 2-3 minutes, drain and set aside in a large bowl.

2. Slice celery and green onions at a sharp angle and as thinly as possible. Add to the bowl of turnips.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix until smooth. Add the capers, sage, and parsley and stir gently. Pour dressing over the turnip mixture, toss gently, and serve.

Lets go to Miz Helen's Country Cottage for Full Plate Thurday. See you there!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Green Beans With Sour Cream

This is sooo good, you will not believe it. This is one of those things you do when you really need to go to the grocery and you're making do until the temperature gets above freezing. Actually the temperature is above freezing but it's still cold. My picky nephew loves these.

Green Beans With Sour Cream
about 4 servings
print recipe

Drain one small can whole mushrooms and brown lightly in two tablespoons butter. Add three cups hot, cooked green beans, cut French style, (I have used canned and frozen), and one-half cup sour cream. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and heat through DO NOT BOIL. Serve immediately.

This is a great side dish for almost any meat.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Best Iced Tea Ever

Of course you know this is "sweet tea". I have no idea how many sweet tea recipes I've tried. This one I found in a wonderful Southern cookbook, Dori Sanders' Country Cooking. I made this for the first time yesterday and as far as I'm concerned this is it, the one I'll make from now on. Make ssure to remove the rind from the lemon (a potato peeler makes it easy) before squeezing out the juice.

Best Iced Tea Ever
makes 2 quarts
print recipe

1 "running over" cup of sugar
2 quarts cold water
the juice and rind (in strips) of 2 lemons
5 regular tea bags

1. Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

2. Add the lemon rind and tea bags, cover the pan, and allow to steep 20 minutes.

3. Strain the tea into a large pitcher, chill, and serve over ice.

Hal's Salad

This is the perfect salad to serve with Papa's Pasta E. Fagioli. This is from an old Southern Living Party Cookbook, out of print, but you might try I have seen a few on there.

I have no idea who Hal is, but his salad is wonderful and perfect for winter because it does not involve any cardboard tomatoes. You can add a few cherry or grape tomatoes if they look nice.

Hal's Salad
Servings 4-6
print recipe

Mixed salad greens (enough for 4-6 servings)
1 (6 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, undrained)
1 (2-ounce can anchovy filets, undrained)
1/2 cup halved or sliced small stuffed olives
1/2 cup of red or white wine vinegar

Tear greens into bite size pieces. Cut artichoke hearts into three or four pieces. Combine with greens and other ingredients in large salad bowl; toss well. Great to serve with any pasta dish.

Now lets solve the problem of the family and friends that think they hate anchovies and maybe even olives. Drain the artichoke heart marinate into a blender or food proccessor along with the undrained anchovies and olives, if they hate olives also, add the wine vinegar and pulse until you can not tell what is in it. They will think it's the best dressing they ever had. Trust me I do it all the time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tuna & Hummus Sourdough Sandwiches

Doesn't the name just sound like spring/summer? We are going to have a heat wave today so this will be wonderful, 65-70 degrees. Don't throw this on any bread you have lying around. Visit Joyce at October Farm and look for her Sourdough Bread or No Knead Sourdough Bread on the sidebar. Stay a while and look around. This lady knows what she's doing. Buy a loaf if you have to. The No Knead Sourdough is so easy a monkey could make it. I do, a lot.

The best way to serve these sandwiches is with Sweet Iced Tea and a pot of daffodils sitting in the middle of the table. Spring is here!

Tuna & Hummus Sourdough Sandwiches
makes 6 sandwiches - open face
print recipe

14 ounces Italian tuna in olive oil, jar or can
1/4 cup minced celery
2 tablespoon minced onion
2 tablespoons minced cornichons
2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh please
2 tablespoons good mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

Sourdough bread, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
Hummus, store-bought or homemade (recipe as separate post today)

Drain the oil from tuna, reserving the oil. Place the tuna in a mixing bowl and flake with a fork. Add the celery, onion, cornichons, mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of the reserved tuna oil, mustard, lemon juice and pepper and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to develop.

Toast the bread and spread each slice with a nice layer of hummus. Spread tuna salad on each piece of bread, garnish with slices of radish, or anything spring looking, and serve immediately.

Hummus - Simple and Easy

This is the hummus I used for the Tuna & Hummus Sourdough Sandwiches.

makes about 2 cups
print recipe

2 (15.5-ounce cans) canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1/3 cup tahini or sesame paste
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
8 dashes Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Place the chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid, the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, Tabasco, and salt in the bowl of a food processor with steel blade and process until coarsely pureed. The hummus should be moist and thick; add more lemon juice or reserved chickpea liquid to thin,if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for several hours for the flavors to blend. Taste for seasonings.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - The Teacher Will Appear

For some reason I felt like a meditation today instead of a scripture. Even though this is scripture in a different form.

The future is made of the same stuff as the present. - Simone Weil

The only lessons that matter for our lives at this time will come to us today. Just as what we needed and were ready for yesterday came yesterday, tomorrow insures more of the same. Concerning ourselves with any other moment but the present prevents us from responding when "the teacher appears".

In years gone by, we perhaps hung onto yesterday's problems. We may still struggle to hang onto them. Or perhaps we try to see too far ahead. But we are learning that there is a right time for all growth. A right time for all experiences. And the right time may not fit our timetable. What doesn't come our way today, will come when the time is right. Each day we are granted just what is needed. We need not worry about the future. It will offer us whatever rightly comes next, but it can't do so until we have experienced these 24 hours before us.

There is wonder and joy awaiting me, each day. The growth I experience is just what is needed at this time. I am a student, and the teacher will appear.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kentucky Style Scrambled Eggs

A favorite in Kentucky, this hearty dish of eggs, bacon and corn is typical of the rich, energy-building foods served for breakfast throughout the Old South. And you know you have to have a big glob of creamy, buttery grits and hot biscuits to go with this.

Kentucky Style Scrambled Eggs
serves 4-6
print recipe

8 meaty bacon slices
1 (8-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained well
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
4 green onions (including tops), chopped
10 eggs
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt and Tabasco sauce to taste

Cook bacon in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium heat until golden brown and crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from skillet (reserve drippings), drain on paper towels, crumble and set aside. Add corn, bell pepper and green onions to drippings and cook over medium heat until vegetables are wilted , about 8-10 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, lukewarm water, black pepper, mustard, salt and Tabasco sauce until frothy. Add egg mixture and crumbled bacon to skillet and cook, stirring often, until eggs are almost completely set but still slightly creamy, about 4 minutes. Serve piping hot with grits and hot biscuits.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Salmon Steak Supreme

The salmon looked really, really good this week! If you haven't had time to stop by Lowe's or Home Depot to pick up your cedar planks this week don't worry, you don't need them for this one.

If you liked the Rustic Rub on the trout last week use a little on the salmon this week. Light and Easy!

Salmon Steak Supreme
3-4 large servings
print recipe

1/4 cup butter
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pepper, freshly ground
minced fresh parsley for garnish
about 2 pounds salmon steaks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

On a shallow pan melt the butter, add the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, paprika and pepper. Baste salmon with this mixture and place steaks in pan. Bake 15 minutes or until fish flakes with fork and is no longer translucent in the center. Don't over cook. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shrimp Rabbit

Stop worrying this has nothing to do with the Easter Bunny! This old North Carolina coastal dish probably evolved from the classic Welsh Rarebit. Perfect for a fancy lunch or family supper. Serve with a simple salad and your favorite Southern bread, if you like.

Shrimp Rabbit
4 to 6 servings
print recipe

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 pound American cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt to taste, go easy
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup beer
6 green onions (including green tops), chopped
2 pounds shelled, deveined cooked small to medium shrimp
2 eggs, beaten
Holland rusks or toast points
Curly leaf parsley sprigs, for garnish

Melt butter in top of a double boiler over hot water. Add cheese and cook, stirring until melted (about 15 minutes). Do not allow mixture to boil. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt, mustard, cayenne pepper and beer. Whisk to blend; stir in green onions and shrimp. Cook just until heated through (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and cook, stirring vigorously just until mixture is thickened (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat and serve at once over rusks or toast points. Garnish with parsley sprigs.

I'm taking this to Miz Helen's Country Cottage - Full Plate Thursday. Come join us.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pigs' Feet

Mom's Sunday Cafe - Things We Are Not Eating, is a wonderful blog I have recently found and on Wednesdays she post recipes that she wouldn't eat. However I haven't found one of them that I find uneatable. Now in my opinion this is a recipe that I have no desire to make or eat.

This is very southern and a lot of people like this. I'm not one of them. From what I understand these are to be served with peas and rice and collard greens. Good Luck!

The only thing I can think of worse than this would be Hogs' Head Cheese. If you are really kind to me I'll share that with you later.

I actually saw pig's feet in the meat section of my grocery on Monday this week. I couldn't find Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, but they had pig's feet.

Pigs' Feet
4 servings
I don't think a printable version of this is necessary

6 pigs' feet split in half lengthwise (4 1/2 to 5 pounds)
1 1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup ketchup

1. Rinse pigs' feet

2. In a 6-quart pot, combine the water, vinegar, lemon pepper, salt, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pigs' feet, onion, and celery. Return to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 1 to 2 hours or until tender.

3. Add the green pepper and ketchup to the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes longer.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Apple and Sausage Casserole

We have all make the regular sausage and cheese casserole for years. With the addition of crisp, tart Granny Smith apples this is really special. If you can find Smithfield Country Ham Sausage it will be double special.

This easy to prepare dish may be assembled in advance, then baked before serving. Great for company brunch or a plain old family breakfast or Sunday night supper.

Apple and Sausage Casserole
4-6 servings
print recipe

1 pound bulk-style pork sausage, I use Jimmy Dean Hot or Smithfield Country Ham
2 cups stale French bread cubes
6 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 medium Granny Smith apples (about 1-1/4 pounds, total), peeled cored, chopped
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees when ready to bake.

Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish and set aside. In a 12-inch skillet, cook sausage until browned; turn out into a fine strainer and press out all fat. Combine sausage, bread cubs, cheese and apples in a bowl; toss to blend and turn out into buttered baking dish, spreading evenly. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs milk, salt and mustard; pour over sausage mixture. Refrigerate until ready to bake.

Bake uncovered in preheated oven until golden brown and set in center 45-60 minutes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Heavenly Spinach

What an appropriate name for this recipe since one of the ladies at church made this last week for our appreciation luncheon for our ministers. Everyone was raving about this dish. Mary Krol, my friend, thanks so much for letting me share this.

This can also be made ahead and refrigerated.

Heavenly Spinach
Serves 10 - Can easily be cut in half
print recipe

4 10-ounce packages of frozen chopped spinach
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesand cheese
18-ounces (drained weight) artichoke hearts - drained and quartered
3 or 4 large tomatoes. If not in season use two cans stewed tomatoes - drained
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs, flavored if you wish
Salt and pepper

Cook spinach according to package directions and drain well-pressing all liquids out. Saute' mushrooms in butter or oil. Combine mayo, sour cream and parmesaan cheese. Stir in artichoke hearts, spinach and mushrooms.

Pour all into a greased 9x13-inch glass dish. Slice tomatoes 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick and place on top. If Using canned tomatoes, distribute evenly. Salt and pepper to taste. Brown bread crumbs in butter and sprinkle over all. Can also substitute dried onions if desired.

Bake at 325 degrees F. for at least 30 minutes or until heated through. If made ahead and refrigerated, bake at 350 degrees F for about 50 minutes.

Leftovers are great reheated in the microwave.

I will be sharing this at Tuesdays at the Table. Come join us.

Red-Eye Gravy Was Named By

Mark Twin is reputed to have named the coffee-based gravy when dining with a friend one morning. It seems that the cook, an unkempt and sottish man, delivered the plates personally. Looking up, the great humorist commented, "That cook's eyes are as red as this gravy is black" - and the gravy was known as "red-eye" from that point on!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vegetable Salad

It is beautiful here today. Broccoli, brussel sprouts and artichoke hearts, doesn't that just scream spring. The absolute best part is it has to be made 24 hours ahead.

Vegetable Salad
8 servings
print recipe

1 large bunch broccoli
1 pint brussel sprouts
2 (9-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts
1 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup sliced sweet onion
1/4 cup sliced green olives
1/2 cup chopped pecans

2/3 cup salad oil
1/3 cup wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Cook just until crisp-tender and drain vegetables.

Cut broccoli and sprouts into fairly small pieces. Combine all the dressing ingredients and blend well. Marinate all the vegetables and the olives in the dressing for 24 hours. Just before serving add chopped pecans.

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - Jesus In His Glory

During Lent we are having extra Bible study at our church. This Sunday night we will be studying;

Luke 9: 28-36 Jesus In His Glory

About eight days after saying this, he climbed the mountain to pray, taking Peter, John and James along. While he was in prayer, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became blinding white. At once two men were there talking with him. They turned out to be Moses and Elijah - and what a glorious appearance they made! They talked over his exodus, the one Jesus was about to complete in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Peter and those with him slumped over in sleep. When they came to, rubbing their eyes, they saw Jesus in his glory and the two men standing with hi. When Moses and Elijah had left, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, this is a great moment! Let's build three memorials: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He blurted this out without thinking.

While he was babbling on like this, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them. As they found themselves buried in the cloud, they became deeply aware of God. Then there was a voice out of the cloud: "This is my Son, the Chosen!. Listen to him."

When the sound of the voice died away, the saw Jesus there alone. They were speechless. And they continued speechless, said not one thing to anyone during those days of what they had seen.

For more Saint and Scriptures, let's join Dianna at The Kennedy Adventures each Sunday.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wonderful Waffles

How long has it been since you made waffles. I mean real waffles, not Bisquick, or pop in the toaster waffles. To be honest I haven't made them in a few years myself. This is a wonderful old recipe that I did use. I loved it because they were light and tender and the batter could be made the night before.

These also make a wonderful base for Turkey/Chicken Hash.

Wonderful Waffles
Makes 6
print recipe

4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs, separated
1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream butter. Add well-beaten egg yolks and beat 2 minutes. Add flour, milk and cream slowly. Add salt to egg whites, beat until stiff and fold into yolk mixture gently with a rubber spatula. Bake on a hot waffle iron until golden. Batter will keep a day or two in refrigerator. Top with powdered sugar and serve with strawberries, bacon and maple syrup for a wonderful breakfast.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Seafood Lasagna

This should not be saved just for Lent. Personally I would rather have this than regular lasagna. So would my nephew. Salad and garlic bread and you are done.

Seafood Lasagna
8 servings
print recipe

12 lasagna noodles (sometimes I only use 9)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups half and half
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 pound sea scallops, cut in half or quartered if very large
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
4-6 ounces crab meat (optional)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 13 x 10-inch aluminum foil pa with vegetable cooking spray. Trust me you don't want to clean the pan.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the lasagna noodles until they are just done, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet and cook the onion over low heat until very soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute more. Over medium-low heat, stir in the flour with a whisk, then gradually add the half-and-half, allowing the sauce to thicken slightly before adding more. When the sauce has thickened to about the consistency of whipping cream, add the cheese and stir well. Add the salt and pepper and stir again. Add the scallops and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, then add the shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or just until the shrimp turn pink. Turn off the heat.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the sauce from the skillet into the prepared pan. Cover the bottom with 4 noodles, placing them side by side. Spoon 1/3 of the sauce over the noodles, distributing half of the seafood evenly. Layer 4 more noodles, 1/3 of the sauce, and remaining seafood. Cover with the last 4 noodles and the remaining sauce. (For the top layer, do not spoon any seafood on top of the noodles; just the sauce.) Tuck in any edges of the noodles so they're coated with sauce. Top with the Parmesan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, uncovered, until bubbly. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Country Ham with Red-Eye Gravy

Does anyone know how Red-Eye Gravy got its name, or who named it? It's someone you will all recognize. I'll tell you later if no one knows.

Skillet-fried country ham topped with rich, dark re-eye gravy is doubtless the South's most famous breakfast dish. You will always see this at a Kentucky Derby breakfast. This dish is usually served wit hot buttered grits and biscuits.

Country Ham with Red-Eye Gravy
4 servings
print recipe

1 1/2 pounds country ham, cut 1/4-inch thick
1/3 cup bacon drippings or lard
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup strong black coffee
1 cup canned beef broth, or homemade brown stock

Score the fat edges of ham slices at several points to prevent curling. Heat bacon drippings or lard in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add ham slices and sprinkle liberally with pepper; cook, turning often, until golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes. Remove ham from skillet; keep warm. Add flour to skillet all at once and stir to blend with the drippings. Cook , stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in coffee, scraping up all browned bits from the bottom of skillet. Boil over medium-high heat until reduced to a thick glaze, about 4-5 minutes. Add stock and again cook until thicken, about 5 minutes. To serve top hot ham slices generously with gravy.

Corned Beef Hash Patties

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all. Have a green beer for me. At the end of the day you will be wondering what to do with some of that leftover corned beef. This is it!

This is the same post from last years St. Paddy's day. Do you want to know why? Because it is sooo good and you will not see it posted on every blog on the net. I do prefer to bake my corned beef. But it's still served with colcannon, Irish soda bread and Brandied Carrots.

Is there anything better on a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning than a fabulous breakfast? Corned beef hash is a real "favorite thing" for me, with poached or scrambled eggs. Like most everything, homemade is better. In a pinch I have used canned corned beef, which is fine. These freeze beautifully.

Just a warning, once you make these you will never go back to what you were using before.

Corned Beef Hash Patties
6 servings
print recipe

1 pound cooked or canned corned beef
2 cups cooked potatoes (3-4 medium potatoes)
1 small onion
1/2 green bell pepper
1 small stalk celery
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup light cream (may not need all)
4 tablespoons of butter for frying patties
Minced parsley for garnish

Put beef, potatoes, onion, green pepper, and celery through coarse blade of food grinder, or chop in a wooden bowl, or pulse in processor. Add black pepper, then gradually cream, until well blended. The mixture should hold together, but not be overly moist. Turn out onto a sheet of waxed paper and pat out about 1-inch thick. Using a 3-inch cutter (if you don't have one improvise, using a large glass or anything else of proper size. Cut six patties. Heat butter in large skillet and brown patties on both sides. Scatter minced parsley over top to serve.

These can be made and frozen on a cookie sheet, then stored in a plastic freezer bag for use as needed.

Let's go visit Miz Helen's Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Traditional Irish Stew

You will find lots of recipes for Irish stew this time of the year. This is the one I've used for more years than I care to remember. I actually think it was a really old one from Gourmet Magazine. Heaven only knows what I've changed, maybe nothing.

Remember the Irish were a very poor people for a lot of years and meat was something usually reserved for special meals. A traditional stews didn't have a lot of fancy stuff added.

Traditional Irish Stew
about 8 servings
print recipe

3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
6 cups chicken broth or stock
3 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 stalks celery, trimmed and ribs cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil

In a 7 to 8-quart kettle simmer lamb, parsley, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste in 4 cups broth, covered, 1 1/2-hours. To lamb mixture add potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, and remaining 2 cups broth and simmer, covered 1 hour.

In a small bowl whisk together flour and oil until smooth and stir into simmering stew until well incorporated. Simmer stew, uncovered, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chicken Mediterranean

For some reason I don't do a lot of food in the slow cooker. No reason. But this is a wonderful tasty dish for the days when you have too many other things to do.

I like to salt and pepper my chicken and let it set overnight in the refrigerator. But if you forget, don't worry about it.

Chicken Mediterranean
4-6 servings
print recipe

1 cut-up frying chicken, or your favorite parts, about 3 pounds
1 pound fresh mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound can of tomatoes, use your home canned
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons basil leaves
2 medium zucchini, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 green pepper, cut into strips

Put chicken into slow cooker. Add rest of ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. When ready to serve, if desired, you may slightly thicken the sauce and serve with rice or noodles.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just a Little Venting!

Thought I would let you know the luncheon for our ministers was beautiful yesterday. A hundred plus people. The food more lovely than even I expected. I could go on and on about this, but that's not the reason for this post.

No paper plates or plastic forks and spoons at this affair. Also no dishwasher. My friend Janice washed every plate and every piece of silverware, plus glasses. Three of us dried and put them away. Several of the ladies made plates for sick and elderly friends that could not attend.

What did the men do? Nothing, I mean nothing. In all fairness Janice's husband Jerry did make and deliver some of the plates, and Scott, our minister, offered to take out the garbage. It was his luncheon, we said no way. Not one of the 40 plus other men offered to move tables, return chairs to the different rooms or blow out a candle. And heaven forbid take out the trash.

Were these men raise in a barn! Is this a community tradition or something. I was more than a little disappointed in the men of our church. Why do wives let their husbands get away with this? You know men have to be told what to do.

Am I wrong here?

Portuguese Pancake

After all the heavy food in my life the past few days I'm ready to lighten it up a little. Plus we have St. Patty's Day this week.

First let me say that I have no idea why this is Portuguese or why it's called a pancake. It really is more like an omelet, except better. Perfect for brunch/lunch or light supper.

Portuguese Pancake
Serves 4
print recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound zucchini, chopper
1 small onion chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 stalk celery, chopped
fresh parsley
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 chopped tomato or 1/2 cup tomato sauce
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk or half and half
salt, pepper, paprika
1/2 cup grated cheese, your choice

Toss vegetables into a heavy frying pan which has a lid. Brown in oil for about 5 minutes. Add seasoinings and tomatoes or sauce. Simmer until barely moist. Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour over vegetable mixture. Cover, cook until eggs begin to set. Sprinkle with cheese and paprika and brown under broiler, about 10 minutes. Serve in pie shaped wedges with a good crusty bread.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - Scott and Susan Winkler, Our Pastors

In the 188 years of Old Union Christian Church, Scott and Susan Winkler are the second pastors of 20 years or more service. We are celebrating today with a huge potluck lunch after services this morning. I can hardly wait to see all the food. There will be ham, fried chicken, roast beef, meatloaf, green beans, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, butter beans, on and on. Salads I've never heard of, and desserts that will make you cry.

The wonderful Christian Women's Fellowship of the church provide and serve this beautiful meal. They are amazing. I'm honored that they let me be a part of the group. My contribution today will be Peach and Blueberry Cobbler. Of course it just happens to be Scott's favorite. I'm always trying to have someone put in a good word for me with the Lord.

I hope they know how much they are loved and appreciated by all of us. Their two precious children, Michael and Anna are so loved by everyone. They have more grandmothers than anyone I know. Wish all of you could be here today to enjoy this meal and meet Scott, Susan, Michael and Anna.

Remember to tell your pastor, priest, rabbi, etc., how much you appreciate them today.

Romans 12:6-8 From The Message

If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else; if you help just help, don't take over, if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance,, be careful that you don't get bossy; if you're put in charge, don't manipulate; if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

Scott and Susan never fail to remember this passage.

Dianna will have more Saint and Scripture at The Kennedy Adventures. Drop by and see what she and others are sharing for the first Sunday in Lent.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Harvey Wallbanger Cake

A little while ago I posted a recipe for Better Than Sex Cake and one of my wonderful followers, Nancy@Promises To Keep reminded me of the Harvey Wallbanger Cake, another old 70's cake.

I go searching through what is suppose to be my recipe files, what a disaster, I can't believe I find anything. But there it was.

This taste just like the cocktail only in cake form.

Harvey Wallbanger Cake
12 servings
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1 (18.25 ounce) package orange deluxe cake mix, I use Duncan Hines
1 (3.5-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 ounce Galliano liqueur
2 ounce vodka
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one 10-inch tube or bundt pan.

Combine cake mix and pudding mix in a large bowl. Blend in eggs, vegetable oil, 4 ounces Galliano, 1 ounce vodka, and 4 ounces orange juice. Mix batter until smooth and thick and pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove and place on cooling rack. Spoon glaze over cake while it is still warm.

To make Glaze: Combine the remaining 1 ounce Galliano, 1 ounce vodka, and 1 ounce orange juice with the confectioners' sugar and blend until smooth. Spoon glaze over warm cake.

Friday, March 11, 2011

King Crab Quiche

I honestly forget how old I am sometimes. I start looking back in all these old recipes and think, how could I have had this since 1981. I don't even remember 1981. It's true, this recipe came from The Cross Roads, an Atlanta seafood restaurant in 1981.

This is perfect for Lent. And yes, men do eat quiche. If you don't have king crab, use shrimp or crab claw meat. Serve with a simple salad and fresh roasted asparagus.

King Crab Quiche
Serves 6
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1 unbaked deep-dish pie crust (9-inch) or 6 individual tart shells
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1/4 cup pimento, diced
salt and white pepper to taste
2 tablespoons sherry (not cooking sherry)
1 cup Alaskan King crab meat
2 eggs and 2 egg yolks
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt butter. Add garlic clove. Saute vegetables in butter and garlic. Vegetables should not be cooked until soft, just tender and still retain their natural colors. Add seasonings. Drain butter. Remove garlic. Add sherry and reduce until no liquid is remaining. Cool vegetables. Add crab meat. Set aside.

Beat eggs and yolk with half and half until fluffy. Pour vegetables into unbaked pie shell(s). Pour egg and cream mixture over crab meat and vegetables. Bake 25 to 30 minutes in 375 degree F oven, or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fricassee of Pork and Turnips

Since I posted the Rustic Rub recipe yesterday I thought I'd give you another use for it, and probably several more. But the main reason is that I still have about 10 pounds of pork loin in my freezer.

This is sooo good. If you don't like turnips you can use potatoes, but it will not be as good. My nephew, Randy, hates turnips, so when he ask me what kind of potatoes were in the stew I just said "new". He loved it. If it's served over rice he'll eat anything.

Fricassee of Pork and Turnips
4 servings
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1 pound boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon Rustic Rub
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons flour
1 pound turnips, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
2 cups chicken broth, homemade, boxed or canned

Toss the pork with the rub in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Overnight is better.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and brown evenly. Season with onions, bell peppers, and celery with the salt and cayenne. When pork is brown, remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Set aside.

Add flour to the oil in the skillet. Stirring constantly for 4 to 5 minute, make a medium brown roux, the color of peanut butter.

Add the onion,s bell peppers, and celery and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Return the pork to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the turnips and broth. Stir to mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook stirring occasionally, for 40-50 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cedar Plank Trout

Actually I went to the store thinking "salmon", but the trout looked better, so trout it is. This is from an old James Beard cook book with changes made by Emeril in one of his cookbooks and of course I had to put my two cents in the pot, or in this case on the shingle.

Untreated cedar shingles are available at home-improvement centers and lumberyards. Actually my grocery store has them in the summer. Please make sure they are untreated.

Nice dish to start the Lenten season.

I'll be sharing this at Miz Helen's Country Cottage - Full Plate Thursday. Come join us.

Cedar Plank Trout
2 servings
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2 untreated cedar shingles about 5 1/2 x 10-inches each
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 trout fillets (8-10 ounces each
1 teaspoon Emeril's Rustic Rub.
1/2 cup peeled and grated fresh horseradish root or drained bottled white horseradish
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons sugar

Prepare and light the grill. Rub 1 side of each shingle with 1/2 teaspoon oil.

Season the fish on both sides with the rub. Place a fillet on each oiled shingle. Combine the horseradish, orange zest, lemon zest, salt, cayenne, and sugar in a small bowl. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions and place on top of the fish.

Place the shingles in the center of a hot barbecue grill. Close the lid and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove the shingles from the frill using a long handled spatula. If the shingles catch fire, sprinkle with a little water.

Put the shingles in the center of large platter to serve. Your favorite slaw is a nice touch with this.

Rustic Rub

At one time I bought this stuff every time I went to the grocery. Never thinking I might be able to find a recipe to make it myself. Emeril is such a nice guy he puts it in all his cookbooks. In my opinion it has just the right amount of heat for most of your Louisiana cuisine. It's good for pork, beef, seafood, duck, etc. Not to mention it is so much cheaper to make your own.

Rustic Rub
about 2 cups
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8 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons cayenne
5 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons onion powder
6 tablespoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme

Combine all the ingredients in a Mixing bowl. Blend well.

Can be stored in an airtight container in your cabinet for up to 3 months.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Andouille and Chicken Jambalaya

Happy Mardi Gras-Fat Tuesday-Shrove Tuesday. What could be better for this day than a great jambalaya with tender moist rice.

There are so many versions of jambalaya, some have tomatoes, others not. You might find a jambalaya made with beef, pork ribs, duck and even crawfish, depending on what is available. The only common ingredient is rice. Create your own jambalaya.

This is really very easy. My instructions are just a bit lengthy. Also linking to Tuesdays at the Table. Come join us.

Andouille and Chicken Jambalaya
10-12 servings
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1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell pepper
3 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 pound andouille, chorizo, or other smoked sausage, cut crosswise in 1/4-inch slices
1 1/2 pounds boneless white and dark chicken meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 bay leaves
3 cups medium-grain white rice
6 cups water
1 cup chopped green onions

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoonn of the cayenne. Stirring often, brown the vegetables for about 20 minutes, or until they are caramelized and dark brown in color. Scrape the bottom and sides of the pot to loosen any browned particles. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often for 10 to 15 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot to loosen any browned particles.

Season the chicken with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne. Add the chicken and the bay leaves to the pot. Brown the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned particles.

Add the rice and stir for 2 or 3 minutes to coat it evenly. Add the water, stir to combine, and cover. Cook over medium heat for 30 to 35 minutes, without stirring, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.

Stir in the green onions and serve.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mixed Up Mess

What did you call this when you were growing up? We've all eaten it! They even served it in the school cafeteria. I've heard names like, Train Wreck, Goop, Garbage, Sloparoni and Slumgullen. I'm sure there are more. Whatever you call it I still love it. You will have no trouble getting the kids to eat this. Let them give it their own name.

Mixed Up Mess
4 servings
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1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
Dash crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 large can (28-ounces) of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cups uncooked macaroni

Cook macaroni in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions.

In a skillet, brown the ground beef in a tablespoon olive oil on high heat. Stir only infrequently so that the beef has an opportunity to brown.

In a large skillet, saute chopped onion with a tablespoon olive oil on medium high heat. Add the beef and lower the heat to medium. Add a dash of crushed red pepper. Add seasoned salt. Add celery seed. Add canned tomatoes. Add Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in the drained and cooked macaroni and parsley. Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Freezing Cabbage

Thanks for requesting how to freeze cabbage. This is so handy to have on hand for soups, stews, Creole Cabbage or Country Fried Cabbage. Or anything else you might think of.

Remove outer leaves and core of cabbage. Cut into wedges or big rough chop. Spread cabbage on large sheet pan and freeze until solid. No blanching required. I leave mine all day or overnight. Remove and place in a large zip lock bag and back in the freezer. Remove as much as you need without any problem. Don't forget to label and date the bag.

This is best used only for cooking not your favorite coleslaw.

Saint and Scriptures Sunday- Their Eyes are Blinded

John 12:44-50 From The Message

Jesus summed it all up when he cried out, "Whoever believes in me, believes not just in me but in the One who sent me. Whoever looks at me is looking, in fact, at the One who sent me. I am Light that has come into the world so all who believe in me won't have to stay any longer in the dark.

"If anyone hears what I am saying and doesn't take it seriously, I don't reject him. I did not come to reject the world; I came to save the world. But you need to know that whoever puts me off, refusing to take in what I'm saying, is willfully choosing rejection. The Word, the Word-made-flesh that I have spoken and that I am, that Word and no other is the last word. I'm not making any of this up on my own. The Father who sent me gave me orders, told me what to say and how to say it. And I know exactly what his command produces; real and eternal life. That's all I have to say. What the Father told me, I tell you."

This week we will enter into The Season of Lent, a time for prayer and penance before Easter. Are you doing anything special or different this year?

This will be linked to The Kennedy Adventures - Saint and Scriptures Sunday. Please join us.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Healthy Vegetable Soup

National Soup Month is over, but that doesn't mean the cold weather is totally gone. I love soup anytime of the year. This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Serving You Well Cookbook. This is perfect for everyone, vegetarian or vegan. You will not believe the fabulous flavors. Truly a no guilt, satisfying soup.

Healthy Winter Vegetable Soup
16 cups
1 1/4 cups +1 vegetable serving
100 calories per cup
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10 cups water or broth (about 6 13-ounce cans of broth)
3 large potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch chunks
nonstick cooking spray
3 cups onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup celery, diced
3 cups broccoli florets
2 cups carrots, diced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dried tarragon
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white wine (optional)
15-ounce can white cannelloni beans, rinsed, drained
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas
10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach or kale
black pepper to taste

Boil 1/2 of the potato chunks in 2 cups of the water or broth until tender. Drain the potatoes and puree in blender or food processor. Set aside.

Spray a large soup pot with nonstick spray. Saute onions and garlic for 5 or 6 minutes. Don't burn the garlic. Add celery, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, soy sauce, herbs, salt and the remaining 8 cups of water or broth. Mix in the pureed potatoes.

Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours stirring occasionally. Add wine, cannelloni beans, green peas and spinach. Cook 10 minutes more. Add pepper.

COOK'S NOTE: I like replacing the spinach with fresh cabbage sometimes, 3-4 cups chopped and added with the celery, broccoli, etc.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Country Fried Cabbage

The next time you need something to serve with that pork roast, have a skillet of Country Fried Cabbage. I love cabbage any way you fix it. I use the cabbage that I froze last fall and it works great. There were six bags of cabbage hidden under the peaches and blueberries.

In a heavy skillet, fry 4 strips of bacon. Remove when crisp and set aside. Core the cabbage and divide into quarters. Place in the skillet, cooking over a medium flame. Add a pinch of sugar. Salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir, allowing the cabbage to wilt and brown. Garnish with the crumbled bacon.

Don't forget the cornbread.

Bayou Potato Salad

We all have many potato salad recipes, why not one more. This is great because it has not a drop of mayonnaise to turn if you are going on a picnic.

Bayou Potato Salad
6-8 servings
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2 1/2 pounds red potatoes
3 boiled eggs
1 packet shrimp or crab boil
5 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 cup vinegar*
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
Fresh parsley

Boil the potatoes with the crab boil packet, until just tender. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, mustard, and olive oil.

When the potatoes are tender, drain. Do not peel, unless you are finicky about these things. Cut the potatoes into rough cubes or slices. Peel and chop the eggs. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, potatoes and chopped onion. Add the vinaigrette. Let the salad sit at room temperature for 3 hours before serving so the potatoes can absorb the dressing. Garnish with crumbled bacon and parsley.

* White wine vinegar works well, but feel free to experiment. I've used tarragon, dill, and garlic-rosemary.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pecan Cake/Bread

In the south this is called cake, but it's more like a dessert bread, minus icing. The secret is to use lots of pecans, and on occasion chopped walnuts, which makes it even more delicious. This is wonderful for dessert, breakfast, or with a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon.

If after making this the first time you feel the need to add more nuts in the next cake that is no problem.

Pecan Cake/Bread
about 8 servings
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2 3/4 cups self-rising flour
2 or 3 cups chopped pecans (go for the 3 cups, or mix pecans and walnuts)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/3 sticks butter, melted
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whole milk or buttermilk (enough for batter consistency)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Mix all ingredients together and add enough milk to make the mix the consistency of a cake batter. Pour into a large, greased iron skillet or greased cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until done when toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fried Green Tomato Sandwich

Another sandwich to help if you are having a gloomy day. How could you be having a gloomy day if you have green tomatoes on the vine. That must mean the sun is shining or has been. Maybe you are trying to clean out your freeze, like me. Or just buy them at the grocery. Regardless this will make you feel better.

To build a fried green tomato sandwich you are going to have to fry some bacon and then fry your tomatoes in a little canola oil and some of the dripping left from the bacon. Next, find a loaf of good bread, of course it should be homemade. Whatever. Next glob on a large quantities of mayonnaise. Feel free to add Dijon, celery salt, Tabasco. (Add jalapenos and you have created a fried green tomato, bacon, and jalapeno sandwich). After you have spread the mayonnaise, layer lettuce on the bread. Now add the bacon and fried tomato slices. Place your sandwich on a bone china plate or wrap it in a paper towel and go eat it on the back porch. If you already have potato salad made have some of that also. Traditionally this is served with sweet tea, but a mug of beer is okay also.

You will feel better in 20 minutes. I promise.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Sweetgrass Cafe in Charleston, South Carolina has the best fried green tomatoes ever. This recipe is either from them or I stole it from Fannie Flagg. I really should pay more attention to some things.

Fried Green Tomatoes
4 to 6 servings
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3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper, I like lots
Dash cayenne (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
4 green tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick

Mix the dry ingredients in a deep bowl. Use a pie plate so you can coat several at a time. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet. Meanwhile, dredge the tomatoes in the flour mixture. make sure you get both sides, and really pack it on. Using great caution place the tomatoes into the pan. Tongs or a spatula are both acceptable for this procedure. Fry the tomatoes for 3 to 5 minutes per side. They'll be golden brown and crusted. Drain the slices on paper towels or brown paper grocery bags. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spaghetti With Garlic And Olive Oil

Still one of my favorite dishes. Fabulous as is or dress it up for company with roast shrimp and broccoli. If you're having company it is referred to as Spaghetti Aglio E Olio.

Don't worry about the amount of garlic, it gets sweeter when you cook it in the oil.

Spaghetti With Garlic And Olive Oil
4 servings
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Kosher salt
1 pound good dried spaghetti
1/3 cup good olive oil
8 large cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch saute pan or a large shallow pot. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes,, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden brown on the edges-don't overcook it!. Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduce by about a third.

Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss. Off the heat, add the parsley and Parmesan and toss well. Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side.