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

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

White Turnip Soup With Rice

This is a wonderful soup that I found in one of the books Joyce sent, Italian Soup Cook Book.  I made a few changes because of available ingredients.  Nothing major.  And as I've mentioned before the turnips are marvelous this year.

I need to mention I may be missing in action for a few days.  There is lots to do before our church auction on Saturday. 

servings 6-8
print recipe

3 large white turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 4 cups
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ounce pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
8 cups basic homemade beef broth or canned low-sodium beef broth
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Salt (optional)
1 1/4 cups rice, preferably Arborio
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1.  Cook the turnips in a large saucepan in salted boiling water to cover just until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

2.  Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat.  Add the turnips and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

3.  Saute the pancetta in a large soup pot over medium heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the broth and black pepper.  Taste and season with salt, if needed.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.

4.  Add the rice and reduce the heat to a very slow but steady simmer.  Cover and cook until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes.  Stir in the turnips and parsley and remove from the heat.  Lade the soup into warmed bowls and serve, passing the grated cheese alongside. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes

What is it about fall and cooler weather that makes me think of pancakes?  These are sooo much better than regular pancakes, thicker and denser, and lighter on the spicing to highlight the pumpkin flavor.  You can use any winter squash to make these.  It really is fine to have pancakes for supper. 

Serves 4 or more
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1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
one 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
Vegetable oil for frying
Unsalted butter, softened
Sorghum syrup or real maple syrup, warmed

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and vanilla until frothy.  Whisk in the pumpkin until combined.  Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined, with a few streaks remaining.  The batter will be fairly thick.  Add tablespoons of water as necessary to make it spoonable but short of runny.

Warm a griddle or large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Pour a thin film of oil onto the griddle.  Pour or spoon out the batter onto the hot griddle, where it should sizzle and hiss.  A generous 1/4 cup of batter will make a 4-inch pancake.  Make as many cakes as you can fit without crowding.

Cook the pancakes until their top surface is pocked with little bubbles but before all the bubbles pop, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.  This batter forms fewer bubbles than many pancakes, so also watch for the edges to look just a bit firm and dry before turning.  Flip the pancakes and cook until the second side is golden brown, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer.  Repeat with the remaining batter, adding a bit more oil to the griddle as needed.

Serve immediately with butter and syrup.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sausage-Apple Loaf

Like it or not, it is October.  Fall is just time for real comfort food.  Canning and freezing are basically finished, now it's time for soups and stews and anything else that'swarm and soothing.Like this wonderful breakfast meatloaf.  I use Jimmy Dean Sage (1 pound), and Jimmy Dean Hot (1/2 pound).  The important thing is that it have sage and a little heat.  You will love this I promise.  Any leftovers can be reheated and served the next day on a big fluffy biscuit.

Serves 6
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1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons real maple syrup, divided
1 1/2 pounds well-seasoned bulk breakfast sausage
1 cup grated apple
2/3 cup dried bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Warm the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute' until very soft, about 5 minutes.  Scrape the onion into a large mixing bowl and let it cool briefly.  Add 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup and the remaining ingredients.  Mix well.

Pack the mixture into a loaf pan, mounding it a bit in the center.  Brush the remaining maple syrup over it.

Bake until the loaf is well browned with an internal temperature of 165 F to 170 F.  at the center, about 1 hour.  Pour off the accumulated grease and let the loaf sit for about 10 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.