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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Greek Salad...again?

6 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp. kosher salt, or more to taste
1 C extra virgin oil, preferably Greek
2 tsp. fresh oregano, minced
Black pepper
1 head romaine lettuce, washed, tough stems removed and torn into bite sized pieces
1 C calamata olives
½# Feta, crumbled
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
12oz. vine ripened tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, sliced in strips
¼ green pepper, sliced in short strips

In small container with lid, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, salt and oil; stir in oregano and pepper to taste. Make this ahead to allow flavors to marry. When read to serve, in large bowl, lightly toss lettuce with some of the dressing. Then divide lettuce among 4 salad plates. Scatter olives, cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, onion and peppers over lettuce. Serve, and pass remaining dressing at table.
This salad was on the menu for my hubby's 70th birthday. It is from the Food Network Kitchens. Very good!

Grilled Lamb Chops with Rosemary and Garlic

8 4oz. New Zealand lamb chops
¼ C extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. finely minced garlic
1 TBS fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
Juice of ½ large lemon
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients except lamb. Rub chops with mixture, and put in refrigerator for a couple of hours. Preheat grill to 400*. Cook on each side about 6 minutes, or until desired doneness. May also be cooked in oven.
My husband loves lamb, but I never cook it. For his 70th birthday I decided to finally give it a try. I found this recipe on Food Network, and made a fantastic meal of Tzatziki with pita bread, Greek salad, grilled lamb. Wayne's Risotto, and Buttery Minted Peas. A great combination!

Buttery Minted Peas

•2 tablespoons butter
•1 tablespoon mint jelly
•1 tablespoon water
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1 bag frozen peas, defrosted and drained
•2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

Melt butter, mint jelly, water, and salt together. Toss with the defrosted, drained peas. May be prepared ahead up to this point and refrigerated.
Heat gently at serving time, just until done, and sprinkle with the fresh mint leaves.
You would never believe these peas are from the supermarket freezer. The mint jelly, butter, and fresh mint bring them up to the quality of a vegetable at a good restaurant. I found this recipe at about.com

Simple Marinara Sauce

This basic and easy sauce is from Mario Batali.  It can be made quickly, and is very versatile.

¼ C olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 TBS fresh thyme
½ medium carrot, finely shredded
2 28 oz. cans Cento San Marzano Italian tomatoes

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add thyme and carrot, cook until carrot is soft, about 5 minutes. Break up tomatoes. Add tomatoes and juice, bring to boil, stirring often. Lower heat and simmer until it thickens. Salt to taste.

Tilapia Filets with Tomatoes, Garlic and Capers

This is a very tasty, quick and easy way to prepare fish.  My family loves it.  I serve it with a side of thin spaghetti with marinara sauce, a green salad and crusty bread!

3 TBS oil; divided use
½ C flour
½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper
4 Tilapia filets (6-8oz. each), or other mild whitefish filets; snapper, cod
¼ C onion, minced
1 C ripe tomato, coarsely chopped and seed removed
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 TBS capers
¼ C dry white wine, such as Chardonnay
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
4 TBS butter

Heat 2 TBS of the oil in a 12” skillet over medium heat. Mix flour, salt and pepper; lightly coat fillets. Place coated fish in the hot oil, and cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Add remaining oil to skillet along with onions; stir and cook until onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add tomato, garlic and capers and stir well. Add wine to the pan, stirring to loosen any brown bits from bottom of pan. Add lemon juice, and boil until liquid is reduced by half. Reduce heat to low and add butter; mix in and melt slowly. Place fillets on serving plates and spoon on sauce. Serve immediately.
Sharing this with Foodie Friday.

Sloppy Joe's

1 # ground beef
½ onion, finely chopped
¼ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. pepper
1 C catsup
2 TBS yellow mustard
1 TBS cider vinegar
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS brown sugar.

Sauté beef and onion until done. Add remaining ingredients, simmer 15 minutes. Serve on hamburger buns.
My husband, children, and grandchldren always enjoy these messy, but good, treats.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Emma's Beer Batter Onion Rings

3 large Vidalia onion
Crisco oil
¾ C plain flour
¾ C self-rising flour
1 ½ C beer
Mix flour and beer in smooth batter. Let stand at least 3 hours. Slice onions and separate into rings. Drop into batter, fry in medium hot oil until golden brown.
The Dodd boys of all ages used to stand around the fryer and wait for the hot, crispy onion rings .

Fudge Walnut Pie

4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2 sticks butter
2 C sugar
1/3 C self-rising flour
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ C walnuts or pecans
1 C heavy cream
1/8 tsp. salt

Melt one stick of butter with 2 squares baking chocolate in saucepan. In a bowl, combine 1 C sugar, 1/3 C self-rising flour, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla and nuts. Combine the two mixtures together, and pour in a buttered pie pan. Bake at 325* for 25-30 minutes.
Make hot fudge sauce by melting 1 stick butter, 2 squares of chocolate. Blend in 1 C sugar and stir until melted. Let cool a minute, then add 1 C heavy cream, vanilla and 1/8 tsp. salt; cook five minutes, stirring. While still warm, put scoop of Blue Bell vanilla on top of pie, then pour warm fudge sauce over.
This recipe was given to me by two friends who owned a popular restaurant in Rock Hill, SC. It is delicious.

GiGi's Pig Cake

1 package orange or yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
stick of margarine, softened
1 C mandarin oranges (use 1/2 C juice in mix)

Beat together, pour in greased and floured pan, and bake 350 for 20 minutes, let cool

1 large Cool Whip
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
1/2 C powdered sugar
20oz can crushed pineapple and juice
1 small can of mandarin oranges (drained)

Combine ingredients well, and use to frost cake.
My grandchildren love this cake that their great-grandmother Roberts used to make.   It is usually found at church dinners in the South.  It is very tasty!

Texas Hot Water Cake

2 C all-purpose flour
2 C sugar
1 tsp. soda
Mix and set aside

Put in a pot and bring to a boil:
1 stick butter
3 ½ TBS Hershey’s Cocoa
1 C water
½ C Crisco oil
Combine with above dry ingredients as soon as removed from stove.

Then Add:
1/3 C buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix by hand, pour into 9x13 pan that has been greased and floured. Bake at 400* for 20 minutes.

1 stick butter
3 ½ TBS Hershey’s Cocoa
1/3 C whole milk
Boil together until well mixed.
Add immediately to:
1# box powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans.
Mix well and pour over cooled cake. This icing gets hard really fast, so spread it quickly.
My neighbor gave me this recipe when I moved to Texas over 25 years ago. This cake tastes even better the next day! Make it and enjoy a taste of TEXAS!

Quick Banana Pudding

8 Bananas
Vanilla Wafers
2 large pkg. Jell-O Vanilla Pudding (cooking kind, not instant)
Whole milk

Cook pudding according to package instructions. Layer wafers, then bananas, then spoon pudding on top. Continue to top of dish, ending with wafers. I like it room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers.
This very easy pudding is quite good. It is better when you use a lot of the pudding, so that dish is not dry.

Georgia Grits Casserole

4 C milk
¼ C butter
1 C quick-cooking, NOT instant grits
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼ C grated parmesan cheese

Bring milk just to boil over medium heat; gradually whisk in grits, then butter. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly 5-7 minutes or until grits are done. Remove from heat and whisk in eggs, seasonings and cheddar. Pour into greased baking dish, sprinkle evenly with parmesan, and bake covered at 350* for 35-40 minutes until mixture is set.
A great side dish for brunch!

Monkey Bread

4 cans butter biscuits
¾ C. chopped pecans
½ C brown sugar
1 TBS cinnamon, approx.
1 stick butter

Grease a tube pan or Bundt pan with butter. Open biscuits and cut each into quarters. Sprinkle 1/3 pecans around bottom of pan. Add in 1/3 dough pieces. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Repeat until all dough is used. Melt butter with brown sugar. Pour over dough. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.
Another old and easy recipe, but still a good breakfast treat!

Three Cheese Artichoke Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C mayonnaise
1 14oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 green onions, sliced thin
½ C grated Parmesan
1 C shredded mozzarella
½ tsp. lemon juice
Dash of hot sauce
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Beat cream cheese with hand mixer until smooth; add mayo and beat until smooth. Mix in remaining ingredients until well combined. Pour into pie pan or shallow dish. Bake in 450* oven for 30-40 minutes until top is golden brown and bubbly. Serve hot with crackers. crostini, veggies or tortilla chips.
This tasty dip recipe was given to me by my "Susta", Sharon.

Marscarpone and Fig Puff Pastry

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1/2 C mascarpone
1/3 C blue cheese
½ C chopped dried Mission Figs
Olive oil to spray

Mix all ingredients. Unfold puff pastry and spread with mixture. Cut sides of pastry in diagonal strips (\), but leave attached to center piece. Fold cut pieces over mixture alternating sides. Spray with a bit of olive oil. Bake at 350* until pastry is golden brown.
Another great recipe from Carol. This disappears quickly at parties!

Crostini with Mushrooms

3 TBS butter
1/2 # white mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
4 oz. crimini mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ C whipping cream
½ C crumbled blue cheese (about 2 oz.)
½ C chopped thinly sliced prosciutto (about 2 ½ oz.)
18 crostini- ½ thick slices of French baguette, toasted
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley, optional

Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté until mushrooms are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add cream and boil until liquid is absorbed. Add blue cheese and stir until it melts. Mix in prosciutto. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This can be made one day ahead and refrigerated. Preheat oven to 375*. Arrange bread slices on baking sheet. Bake until just golden, about 5 minutes. Mound 1 generous TBS mushroom mixture on each slice. Return to oven; bake until heated through, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.
Another delicious dish from my friend Carol!

Quiche Lorraine

4 large eggs
2 C whole milk
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. nutmeg
6 slices bacon, fried
½ C chopped onion
2 C Swiss cheese, grated
1 pie shell

Bake pie shell for 5 minutes in 400* oven. Fry bacon, drain. Reserve 1 TBS drippings. Sauté onion in drippings until soft. Layer cheese in pie shell, add bacon and onions. Beat eggs, add milk and seasonings. Pour over other ingredients. Bake 10 minutes at 400*, then lower oven to 350*. Bake 15-20 minutes more till center is almost set.
I made his a lot in the 70's, and brought the recipe out again a few years ago. It still makes a great brunch or light supper dish.

Southern Sweet Tea

1½-2 quart tea pitcher
4-5 family size Luzianne tea bags
1 C sugar or Splenda
Lemon wedges

Boil 3 cups of water in a pot. (Always use the same pot, and do not use it to cook anything else.) When water boils, add tea bags and remove from heat. Steep (let tea bags sit undisturbed) for 5 minutes. Put one cup of sugar into your pitcher, then tea while it is still warm, so the sugar will melt. Add more water up to top of pitcher; remove tea bags, squeeze and discard. Serve with lots of ice and lemon wedges or fresh mint.
Served in the South year round, sweet tea is an essential. Made SWEET, as it should be!

My Grandmother's Chicken and Dumplings

Whole chicken, about 3#
1 box Swanson’s chicken stock
1 C water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 C Self-rising flour
¼ C Crisco
About ¾ C milk

Make biscuit dough using last three ingredients. Roll thin like a pie crust, and cut in strips with pizza cutter. Cut in opposite direction to make 1-2” rectangles. Let set until firm, so dumplings won't be doughy. Boil chicken in stock and water until done, probably about an hour. Cool chicken, and take off bones. Bring broth from chicken to a soft rolling boil. Drop in dumplings a few at a time, stirring frequently. Cook until done, about 20 minutes. Add chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Bring back to soft boil. If broth gets too thick, and water or more stock a little at a time until desired consistency.
My grandmother, Ruby Hodges Yancey, was a true Southern cook. Simple dishes with fresh ingredients, and always delicious! I miss her every day of my life.

New Orleans Stuffed Artichokes

4 medium artichokes
½ C grated parmesan
1 1/3 C Progresso Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1 TBS finely minced garlic
1 ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. salt
1//2 tsp. pepper
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 C olive oil
4 round lemon slices

Cut stems off chokes, to make them flat on bottom. Snip points off each leaf. Turn upside down, bang on counter to loosen leaves, remove tough leaves. Open leaves, wash and drain. Combine crumbs, garlic, cheese, lemon juice, herbs, s&p and ¼ C of the oil. Spread leaves wide and stuff inside each leaf. Put chokes in large Dutch oven so they won’t tip over. Pour ½ C olive oil over chokes, and put lemon round on top. Carefully add about ½” water. Do not get stuffing wet. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for about 45 min.
I got this recipe from "The New Orleans Cookbook" when I lived there in 1975. My family is always happy to see these on the table. Messy, but good!

Honey Cheddar Cheese Ball

¼ C Sue Bee Honey
2 8oz. pkgs. Cream cheese
12oz. shredded sharp cheddar
1 4.5oz. can diced jalapeno peppers, drained
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
4-6 green onions, chopped

Mix all ingredients well and roll into ball. Refrigerate overnight. Serve with your favorite crackers.
My sister-in-law Kathy shared this recipe from Sue Bee Honey with me. I do not like cheese balls, but could not get enough of this one! It is excellent

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wayne's Risotto

1/2 TBS olive oil
1/2 C onion, chopped
½ tsp. salt and pepper
3 C chicken STOCK
1 tsp. garlic, chopped
1 C Arborio rice
1/2 C baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 TBS butter
¼ C heavy cream
½ C good parmesan, grated
1 TBS green onion, green part mostly, chopped
1/2 TBS white truffle oil

Heat oil, add onion, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until soft. Add stock; simmer 6 minutes. Add rice; simmer, stirring for 10 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook and stir 10 minutes. Add butter, heavy cream, cheese, green onions and truffle oil; cook 2 minutes more, or until rice is done, and risotto is thick enough to sit on a plate without running.
This was shared by my friend Carol B., it is a little labor intensive, but well worth it! Delicious!

My Aunt Ticky's Chicken Soup

Whole chicken, about 3#
1 box Swanson’s chicken stock
Large onion, chopped
4-5 potatoes, cubed
2-3 cans finely diced tomatoes
I can niblets corn, drained
2 small green Tabasco peppers (the ones in vinegar in a small jar-optional)

Wash chicken, place in large Dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper. Add all the stock. Cover and boil until done. Remove chicken, let it cool. Add onions, and tomatoes to broth. Simmer until onions are clear. Add cubed potatoes, cook until done. Remove chicken from skin and bone, add back to soup.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  Add drained corn. When well heated, it is ready to serve with saltine crackers and Tabasco Sauce for those who like it.
I always called my Aunt Zulee "Ticky", and I'm not sure why. She used to make this soup when we came to visit. It is a very simple, but delicious soup. The original recipe was created by my Uncle Len, who made it with different types of game when he went hunting.

Cream of Artichoke Soup

2 cans artichokes, not marinated
½ stick butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ½ cans evaporated milk
1 ½ cans chicken stock
1 bay leaf

Drain artichokes; reserve liquid. Quarter artichokes. Saute chokes, onions and garlic in butter in a soup pot. When soft, add stock, artichoke water, bay leaf and the evaporated milk. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, being careful not to scorch or boil. It will curdle if it boils!
I usually serve this as my soup course for Christmas Dinner.  It is delicious.

Southern Pimento Cheese

8 oz. grated Kraft Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar
4 oz. jar diced pimentos, drained
¼ C Kraft mayo, add more if needed
½ tsp. sugar, add more if needed

Drain pimentos and dice even finer. Grate cheese in bowl and add pimentos, sugar and mayo. Mix well and add more mayo or sugar to taste. Spread on white bread to make a traditional Southern sandwich. Also good stuffed in celery!
My grandmother taught me to make this when I was eleven years old. One of the first things I "cooked".

Shrimp Pastries

24 medium-large shrimp, peeled
1 can Pillsbury Crescent rolls
4 TBS butter
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried marjoram

Peel and devein shrimp, rinse and pat dry. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Cut each triangle into 3 triangles. Melt butter in small saucepan; stir in spices and salt and pepper to taste. Cool a bit. Dip each shrimp into butter mixture. Place shrimp on triangle base and roll to the opposite point. Place point side down on greased baking sheet. If I have any butter mixture left over, I baste the pastries with it. Bake 375* for 10-12 minutes.
My daughter-in-law gave me this recipe years ago, and I have served them many times. They disappear quickly!

Cabbage Rolls

12 large cabbage leaves
Filling: 1 ½# ground chuck
¾ C cooked rice
½ C finely chopped onion
1 egg
1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper
½ tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ C milk.
Sauce: 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 can finely diced tomatoes
2 TBS sugar
2 TBS cider vinegar
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ C water
2 TBS cornstarch mixed with ¼ C cold water

Drop cabbage leaves in boiling water for about 3 minutes; remove and drain. Combine beef, rice, onion, egg, salt, pepper, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce and milk. Mix well. Form oblong pieces of meat mixture; put in center of cabbage leaf and roll up. Place loose side down in baking dish. Make sauce; combine all sauce ingredients, mix well, then pour over cabbage rolls. Bake at 350* for 40-50 minutes. Remove rolls and place pan juices over medium heat; stir in cornstarch mixture; bring to boil and stir until thickened.
These are very tasty, and pretty easy to make.

Fresh Apple Cake

This cake is perfect for this time of year! The new crop of apples is in, and it is a delicious cake. My two favorite cousins, Billie and Gwen make it every year for Thanksgiving. another old family recipe!

1 ¼ C. Wesson oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. white sugar
1 C. chopped pecans
3 large eggs
3 C. Granny Smith apples, chopped
3 C. self-rising flour
1/4 C. apple juice

Mix oil and sugars, add eggs and apple juice. Combine flour and cinnamon, and blend with wet ingredients, beginning and ending with flour. Add apples and pecans, then pour into greased tube pan. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325*.

1 C. Brown sugar
1 stick butter
½ C. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Bring to boil for 4 minutes, pour half or more on hot cake.
I am sharing this with Tea Party Tuesday.

Eggs and Mushrooms in Ham Cups

2 TBS butter
3/4 C mushrooms, trimmed and finely chopped
1/4 C minced shallots
1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 TBS sour cream or crème fraiche
1 TBS finely chopped Tarragon
12 slices Black Forest ham, sliced so it is a solid piece with no holes
12 eggs

Melt butter in skillet; add mushrooms, shallots, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until mushrooms are tender and liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream and tarragon. Lightly oil muffin cups. Fit one piece of ham in each (ends will hang over edges). Divide mushroom mixture among cups, crack egg in each cup. Bake until whites are set, but yolks are still runny, about 15 minutes, Salt and pepper, and carefully remove from muffin cups. Garnish with tarragon leaves, if desired.
This is a very nice brunch dish given to me by my good friend Carol B!

Spaghetti with Meatballs and Italian Sausage

This is an easy recipe, but it is very good. It always gets rave reviews!

Meat balls:
1# ground chuck
1 large clove garlic or 2 small, minced
¼ C Progresso Italian bread crumbs
¼ C milk
1 egg
3/4 tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper
3 Italian sausage (I use hot)
¼ C olive oil
1 jar Prego with mushrooms
1 jar Ragu with mushrooms
2 whole bay leaves
½ C red wine
½ C water
1 box spaghetti, cooked al dente, drained.

Put meat in bowl, add garlic, crumbs, milk, salt and pepper, mix well and form into balls. Put olive oil in large pot, brown sausage until done;remove from pan. Put meatballs in drippings, brown and cook until done. Cut sausage into 2” pieces and put back in pan, make sure all meat is cooked through. Add jars of sauce, wine, water,bay leaves and meat. Simmer all together until sauce thickens. Cook pasta using instructions on package for al dente. Drain pasta, top with sauce and meat. Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese.