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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gulf Coast Gumbo



I can't eat seafood....Allergic...Can't even stand the smell of it...but people enjoy themselves so when they are eating it that I just can't ignore it's appeal or ignore those of you that might want to see a seafood recipe on here.

This isn't exactly a seafood recipe....It's a recipe for Gumbo....and this Gumbo contains a good deal of seafood....Check it out-


INGREDIENTS:

4 pounds medium shrimp - peeled and deveined

1/2 cup corn oil

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

1 (3 pound) whole chicken

2 onions, chopped

5 stalks celery, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

5 large tomatoes, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning TM

1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper

3 (6 ounce) cans crab meat, drained

1 pound andouille sausage, diced

2 tablespoons file powder


DIRECTIONS:

1.Peel and devein the shrimp. Refrigerate shrimp meat. Place the shrimp heads and shells in a large pot, and cover with 2 quarts of water. Cover, and simmer over medium low heat until liquid is reduced by half. Strain out the shrimp heads and shells.

2.Select a large stock pot capable of holding all the ingredients. Add oil to the pot, and heat over medium high heat. Using a long handled spoon, stir in flour; cook and stir for several minutes until dark brown. At that point, the flour suddenly puffs and absorbs the oil. Slowly stir in chicken broth and an equal amount of water. Place chicken in the pot. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, Old Bay seasoning, and salt. Boil for about 1 1/2 hours, or until chicken meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

3.Remove chicken from the pot, and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove bones, and chop the chicken into about one inch pieces.

4.Add chicken meat, shrimp broth, crab meat, sausage, and shrimp to . Add the file powder, and stir from the bottom of the pot. When the gumbo comes to a boil, remove from heat. Continue to stir from the bottom for 1 minute. Serve

A nice Red wine would go well with this-

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Liver & Onions



When I met my wife...Many years ago....The first meal that she cooked for me was Liver & Onions....I had had it in the Air Force and in both high School and college cafeterias and yet none was as good as my future wife's Liver & Onions....You might say that this was just the judgement of a young man in love....but I'm not so sure....Her Liver & Onions was the best I'd ever had and even today ,I refuse to eat anyone else's but hers..

So I've decided to share with you, her special recipe for this delicious ,but often disregarded meal...Here it is.

INGREDIENTS:


* 1 pound sliced liver, half inch thick

* 2 large onions

* 1 teaspoon chopped marjoram

* 1 teaspoon thyme

* 1 teaspoon parsley flakes

* 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

* 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard

* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

* 1/2 cup flour

* 1/2 cup vegetable oil

* ice cold milk

Cookware and Utensils:

* 1 large heavy or cast iron skillet

* 1 small mixing bowl

* 1 medium food storage container

* 1 measuring spoons

DIRECTIONS:

As always,remember that the key to good cooking is to be prepared and to use quality ingredients.

1. Prepare your liver 1-hour before cooking.

2. Rinse sliced liver under cold running water and place in ice-cold milk for about 40 minutes.

3. Peel and slice onions, then set aside.

4. In a small mixing bowl combine together chopped marjoram, thyme, parsley flakes, seasoned salt, prepared mustard and black pepper. Crush and mix all of the ingredients together to form your seasoning mixture.

5. After about 40 minutes, remove sliced liver from milk and pat dry with paper towels. Coat each piece of liver first with seasoning mixture and then with flour.

6. Heat vegetable oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the liver to your desired doneness.

7. Removed cooked liver and place on a warmed plate until onions are done. Place onions into skillet, season with salt and pepper and brown, turning occasionally.


Serve with Mashed Potatoes-


and Green Peas:





Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Banana Pancakes


It's time for Breakfast!  Here is a breakfast recipe...Banana Pancakes.. I'm inspired to write this because I've just come from IHOP , where I've had some scrumptious (Is that even a word?) Banana Pancakes...

Anyway..If you wake up on a Saturday Morning and don't feel like driving to your nearest IHOP...Here is a way to make your own at home...Make sure you first do some grocery shopping the day before so that you have these-

INGREDIENTS:


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon white sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 ripe bananas, mashed


If you have those things , here are the

DIRECTIONS:

1.Combine flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, vegetable oil and bananas.

2.Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy.

3.Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot.

Haven't had this syrup since I was a child, but serve this syrup with your pancakes-


And don't forget..some Hot suasage links-




and of course a glass of milk!


Enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Autumn Pork Chops



It's Autumn...Has been for about two weeks now....So I suppose it's time for Autumn Pork Chops...A delicious early fall recipe I am about to showcase here-


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Celery Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice or water
  • 2 tablespoons spicy-brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Generous dash ground black pepper
  • Hot cooked medium egg noodles

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in skillet. Cook chops 10 minutes or until browned. Add soup, apple juice, mustard, honey and black pepper. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 5 minutes or until chops are done. Serve with noodles.

Tip: Serve with a sauteed squash medley: zucchini and yellow squash with red onion and garlic. For dessert serve apple crisp.


Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cornbread Dressing



This is a favorite of mine that few people prepare now of days.  When I was growing up this was almost always served alongside a Honey glazed Ham or a Turkey on either Easter or Thanksgiving.

INGREDIENTS:

* 2 cup self rising corn meal

* 1-2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

* 1 1/2 cup milk

* 1 egg

* 3 tablespoon vegetable shortening oil or dripping

* 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken gizzard

* 1 cup finely chopped celery

* 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped

* 1 teaspoon sage (adjust to taste)

* 1 teaspoon poultry season (adjust to taste)

* 1 cup finely chopped onions (optional)
* 5-8 cups chicken broth

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine corn meal and sugar. Add milk and egg. Mix until blended, then add shortening and again mix until well blended. Pour cornbread mixture into greased pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Once done remove from oven and allow to cool. Grease a 8 or 9 inch baking pan and set aside.

3. To make dressing, crumble up cornbread, add chicken gizzards, celery, green bell pepper, sage and poultry seasoning to taste. Add chopped onions if you like.

4. Next pour 5 to 8 cups of chicken broth into cornbread mixture. Mix well and then pour unto greased baking pan. Bake dressing at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until dressing is browned to your liking.

5. For large families you can double or triple this recipe. Just make double or triple the amount of corn bread and do the same for chicken gizzards, celery, bell peppers, etc. Add sage and poultry seasoning to taste. Then 5. pour in enough chicken broth to make your mixture somewhat soupy. Pop the cornbread dressing into the oven and cook until browned.

Be sure to pour giblet gravy on top of your corn bread dressing.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Blackened Chicken



It's back to New Orleans for this mouth watering chicken recipe...

INGREDIENTS:

* 2 to 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts

* 1 stick butter melted

* 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Blackened Seasoning:

* 1 tablespoon salt
* 2 teaspoons paprika
* 2 teaspoons onion powder
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 2 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 teaspoon white pepper
* 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1 teaspoon ground oregano

To prepare blackened seasoning: Mix all ingredients thoroughly and place in empty shaker. Shake well before using. Leftovers should be stored in cool, dry place.

Marinade:

* 2 cups water

* 2 tablespoons lemon juice

* 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

* 1 tablespoon lime juice

* 1 tablespoon of Worchester sauce

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare you meat the night before you plan to cook. You can use fresh or frozen chicken as the main ingredient to this chicken breast recipe. If you use frozen allow for ample time to thaw the chicken.

1. Place your chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper and pound to an even thickness of 1/2 inch. This will enable you to easily cook your chicken to the desired doneness.

2. Rinse your chicken under running cold water and pat each chicken breast dry with paper towels and set aside.

3. Place chicken in container and mix well with marinade ingredients. Seal container and refrigerate. For best results its best to marinate you meat over night. Okay that was the hard part, now its time to cook the blackened chicken.

4. Remove chicken from marinade, pat dry with paper towels, and set aside. Melt 1 stick of butter. Moisten chicken breast with butter and then generously apply blackened seasoning mixture on both sides, set aside.

5. Add vegetable oil to a heavy bottom or cast iron skillet, and heat on high until skillet is sufficiently hot.

6. Add chicken breast to the skillet, cook for 2 minutes. Turn after two minutes and cook the other side. The chicken breast is done when its center has reached an internal temperature of 160-165 degrees. Do not overcrowd the skillet because this will cause uneven cooking.

Serve this with-







and wash it down with some Sweet Tea...





Enjoy!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mozerella Sticks




Here is a cool recipe for a nice snack to serve when fiends are over watching the Baseball game...Of course since my Phillies lost to the St.Louis Cardinals Friday...and my Eagles have lost three straight as of this writing ,I won't be having anybody over to watch sports anytime soon...but still these Mozzarella Sticks are good eatin and go well on a lazy Saturday or Sunday after noon, when you're in sweats and watching TV...or curled up reading a book on your kindle.....Hahahah, see how I stay current?  Anyway...check out this recipe from "Hungry Girl"


INGREDIENTS:

2 light mozzarella sticks (50-60 calories and 2.5g fat per stick)

1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original)

2 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute

salt, pepper & Italian seasonings; to taste

Optional: low-fat marinara sauce (for dipping)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor or blender, grind Fiber One to a breadcrumb-like consistency.

Place crumbs in a small plastic container with a lid. Season crumbs with as much salt, pepper and Italian seasonings as you like.

Set aside. Cut cheese sticks in half, so that you have 4 sticks. Place sticks in a small bowl, and pour egg substitute over the top of the sticks. Swirl egg substitute around so that it thoroughly coats the sticks. One by one, transfer sticks to the container with the crumbs.

Cover container, and give it a shake to coat the sticks in the crumbs. Carefully return sticks to the dish with the egg substitute, and coat them again.

Next, put sticks back in the crumbs container, cover, and shake once more to coat (try doing this two at a time the second time around). Place sticks on a baking dish sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Spritz the tops of the sticks with a quick mist of the spray.


Place dish in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes (or until the first sign of cheese oozing out). If desired, serve with warm marinara sauce. Best when eaten immediately, while cheese is hot and gooey!


Enjoy with a cold stout!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hazelnut Cake



Alright folks, it's dessert time again....I got to thinking about this cake especially because a friend and fellow blogger who also knows his way around the kitchen recently did a post about how he baked himself this particular cake to celebrate four years on his current job.   In today's climate..four years at any job is a reason to celebrate...


INGREDIENTS:

Triple Hazelnut Cake:

Shortening, for greasing pans

2 tablespoons cake flour, plus 3 1/3 cups, divided

4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten

1/3 cup hazelnut-flavored liqueur (recommended: Frangelico)

1 teaspoon hazelnut extract

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

1 cup peeled, toasted and finely chopped or ground hazelnuts

3 sticks (24 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

Hazelnut Filling:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup peeled, toasted and finely chopped hazelnuts

1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

1 tablespoon hazelnut-flavored liqueur (recommended: Frangelico)

1 teaspoon hazelnut extract

2 tablespoons finely chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate disks
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped or chocolate disks

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup egg whites, at room temperature (from 7 to 8 large eggs)

4 sticks (32 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon hazelnut extract

Garnishes:

2 cups peeled, toasted and finely chopped hazelnuts

8 whole peeled, toasted hazelnuts

8 milk chocolate curls

DIRECTIONS:

To make the cake, grease 2 (9 by 2-inch) round cake pans with shortening and line bottoms with parchment rounds. Grease parchment and dust each pan with 1 tablespoon flour, shaking out excess. Set pans aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, liqueur, and hazelnut extract until blended and set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer, gently combine on low speed 3 1/3 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and hazelnuts until blended. Add the butter and sour cream and beat on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened.

Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 1/2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.

In 3 separate additions, add the egg mixture to the batter, beating for 30 seconds after each addition.

Divide batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake on the center rack for 40 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.

Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes.

Remove from pans, discard parchment and cool cakes completely on wire racks, 1 to 2 hours.

To make the hazelnut filling, in a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat

Sprinkle with flour and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the sugar and cream and cook, whisking constantly, for 7 to 10 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Stir in the hazelnuts, salt, liqueur, hazelnut extract, and chocolate and cook just until chocolate melts. Set aside in a bowl and cool completely.

To make the chocolate buttercream frosting, melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler over medium heat until smooth. Set aside, off the heat, and cool completely. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and egg whites until blended. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until mixture reaches 140 degrees Farenheit.

Remove mixture to a large bowl of a stand mixture with a whisk attachment and beat on low speed for 1 minute to cool slightly. Increase speed to high and beat for 4 minutes or until mixture is cool to the touch and doubled in volume. Reduce speed to low and add the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until all of the butter has been added. Continue to beat until mixture looks smooth. Fold in the melted chocolate and the hazelnut extract and beat until fluffy.

To assemble the cake, split each cake layer horizontally in half to make 4 separate layers. Spread equal amounts of the hazelnut filling between each layer and frost top and sides of cake with the buttercream. To garnish, press chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake. Using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, pipe rosettes around the top rim using remaining frosting. Place whole hazelnuts and chocolate curls on the top of the cake.

TIP: To make this cake an easier undertaking, take the time to search out hazelnuts that have already been peeled. If peeled nuts are unavailable, working in batches, boil nuts in 2 cups water along with 2 tablespoons baking soda for 1 to 2 minutes.

Run nuts under water and slip off skins. Dry the nuts well and toast on a baking sheet in a 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool and finely chop and proceed with recipe. If you purchase the nuts already peeled, toast in a 350 degree F oven for only 15 minutes.

GOOD FOODIE NOTE: I overlapped cooking times (the filling can be made while the cake cooks, for example, and the frosting can be fully prepared while the cake cools).






Like all good desserts...This goes best with a tall glass of milk!

Enjoy!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pecan Pie



After seeing the movie "The Help" I have to admit...It was a while before I could bring myself to eat a pie...Long story...If you haven't seen the movie you don't know what I'm talking about ...and if I were you, I wouldn't worry about it, if you haven't seen it.

It's the weekend and the first day of October...Dessert time...Don't bother to ask what one has to do with the other...just check out this recipe for Pecan Pie.


INGREDIENTS:

 2 frozen unbaked 8 or 9 inch pie shells

 1/2 pound butter or margarine

 2 cups pure finely granulated sugar

 6 eggs

 1/2 cup white corn syrup

 2 cups finely chopped pecans

Cookware and Utensils:

 1 measuring cup

 1 mixing bowl

 1 stirring spoon

 1 bending machine

DIRECTIONS:

As always the key to great cooking is preparation and quality ingredients.

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. For starters, go ahead and cream your butter. Once the butter is creamed add sugar and continue to cream until your mixture is light and fluffy.

3. Next add your slightly beaten eggs and the other ingredients. Give your mixture one final mixing.

4. Finally, pour your mixture evenly into your two unbaked pie shells. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees on your lower oven rake.


As usual...Serve with a nice tall glass of milk!   Enjoy.


Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.


1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as Cooking.com.

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website Recalls.gov






Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household