Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Egg Salad

I love the little sandwiches served at a tea.  Egg Salad is a traditional tea sandwich, but I don't think this is the recipe they use at "The Windsor Court".  This is an egg salad, kicked up a notch.  It is an Emeril recipe.
  • 6 large eggs
  • ¼ C. mayonnaise
  • 1 T. grated shallot, about 1/2 of a small one
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • ½ t. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  1. Boil eggs in a pot where each egg has room to move
  2. As soon a the water begins to boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot
  3. Allow to sit for 15 minutes
  4. Drain the hot water and fill pot with cool water and ice
  5. Allow eggs to cool quickly, then peel
  6. Cut into small pieces and place in a bowl
  7. Mix in all the other ingredients
  8. Refrigerate for several hours before serving
 Tips and Tricks:
  • I like egg salad with crackers, but it is also good on fresh white bread.
  • I use a microplane to grate the shallot.  It gives the egg salad a great flavor, minus the crunching on a piece of onion.
  • I cut my eggs with an egg slicer both ways.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Baked Manicotti with Sausage and Peas

My friend Gina is a Manicotti fan.  I have never made Manicotti, so I found this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis.  It is work, but it is GOOD.  Ok, Gina, now I'm ready!
  • ¾ C. whole milk
  • ½ C. heavy cream
  • 6 oz. (3 C.) grated Pecorino Romano
  • ¼ C. chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • ½ t. black pepper
  • ¼ C. white wine
  • 1 C. petit pois peas, drained
  • ½ C. whole milk ricotta
  • 12 manicotti shells
  • 1 (26 oz.) jar of marinara sauce
  • 2 C. shredded mozzarella
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13x9x2 glass baking dish with cooking spray
  2. You need 3 pots and 3 burners going at the same time to make this recipe.  A large pot to boil the manicotti shells, a medium sauce pan to make the fonduta sauce, and a skillet to make the meat mixture.
  3. Start the large pot of water to boil over high heat
  4. Pour the cream and milk in the sauce pan and set to a medium heat, when the milk begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low and add the Pecorino Romano and whisk until smooth
  5. Cut the heat, then add the basil
  6. Stir well and set aside
  7. Add the manicotti shells to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain when cooked and set aside.
  8. Heat the olive oil and shallots in the skillet over medium heat
  9. Cook for several minutes, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute
  10. Add the sausage that has been broken into small pieces, about ½ inch thick
  11. Add salt and pepper and cook until sausage is brown, about 5 minutes
  12. Increase the heat to high and add the wine, cook for 2 minutes and scrape the bottom of the skillet
  13. Turn the heat off, add the ricotta, 1 C. of the fonduta sauce, and the peas
  14. Mix well
  15. Pour half of the marinara sauce into the bottom of the baking dish
  16. Fill each of the shells with the meat mixture and place in the baking dish
  17. Pour the other half of the marinara sauce into the fonduta sauce and mix well
  18. Pour over the manicotti, then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese
  19. Bake for 35 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown
  20. Allow the dish to set for 5 minutes, then serve
Tips and Tricks:
  • You can use any bottled marinara sauce, but I bottle the Scaccia Family Red Sauce and freeze it.  It works well with this recipe. Follow my link to get the recipe.
  • I use Dubon or LeSueur petit pois peas.
  • This recipe is LABOR INTESIVE, but it is worth it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Long Island Iced Tea

This is a great drink to serve when you are entertaining outside.  It's a strong drink, but it is served over ice. People will sip on these and you won't have to keep making drinks for everyone, because they are pre-made in a pitcher.  I got the recipe on the Food Network.  This will make about 8 servings, so adjust accordingly.
  • ½ C. of vodka
  • ½ C. of gin
  • ½ C. of white tequila
  • ½ C. of white rum
  • ¼ C. of Triple Sec
  • ½ C. of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 C. of Coke
  1. Pour all the liquors and the lemon juice in a pitcher and mix well
  2. Pour the Coke into the pitcher
  3. Pour 2 C. of ice into the pitcher and stir
  4. Serve over a tall glass of ice
  5. Garnish with a lemon wedge
Tips and Tricks:
  • I use Cointreau in the place of the Triple Sec.
  • I use ½ Diet Coke and ½ Coke.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

7 Layer Dip

It's football season!  You have to know how to make a good 7 Layer Dip during football season.  This is how I make it, no tomatoes, no lettuce, that's for tacos, not DIP.  
  • 1 can of refried beans (black or pinto)
  • 1 pack of Taco Seasoning
  • 1 (8oz.)  Guacamole (1 C.)
  • 1 (8oz.) sour cream (1 C.)
  • 1 (8oz.) salsa (1 C.)
  • 1 bag of Mexican finely shredded cheese (2 C.)
  • ½ jar of Jalapeño slices
  • 1 (2oz.) sliced black olives
  1. Combine the beans and taco seasoning in a bowl and mix well
  2. In a 13x9x 2 dish, spread the bean mixture to cover the bottom of the dish
  3. Layer each of the other ingredients, in order, to create the 7 layers
  4. Refrigerate for several hours before serving
  5. Serve with tortilla chips
Tips and Tricks:
  • Do not try to serve this dip with Tostitos Scoops.  You need a chip that has a flat edge to scrap the dip up and out of the dish.
  • I don’t recommend using light sour cream for this recipe.  To create the 7 layers you need the consistency of the full leaded sour cream.
  • I like to make my own guacamole, but for this recipe save yourself the time, it’s not necessary.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spicy Corn Chowder

This is a recipe from the Neelys.  It's spicy and hearty and it feeds about 8 people.  I made this with leftover corn and potatoes from a seafood boil.  It came out great!
  • ½ lb. of bacon, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium, red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, chopped (seeds and ribs removed)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • ¼ C. all-purpose flour
  • 6 C. chicken stock
  • 2 large red potatoes, small diced
  • 1 C. heavy cream
  • 1 lb. frozen corn or 6 fresh ears
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the bacon until crisp then remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and reserve
  2. Add the onions and red peppers to the pot and sauté until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes
  3. Add the salt, garlic, and jalapeño and sauté for 1 minute
  4. Add the flour and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently
  5. Stir in the chicken stock and the potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender
  6. Add the bacon, cream, corn, cayenne, and bay leaf
  7. Simmer for 20 minute
  8. Remove the bay leaf and about 4 C. of the chowder into a bowl
  9. Puree the 4 C. of chowder in a blender or use an immersion blender
  10. Return to the pot and stir well
  11. Serve hot
Tips and Tricks:
  • Do NOT scrap the seeds of a jalapeno pepper out with your fingernails.  You WILL regret this.  Scrap with a teaspoon and save your skin.
  • Making your own chicken stock for this recipe is cheaper and tastes better. Follow my link to find out how I make mine.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Gorilla Bread

This is a great weekend breakfast.  I have made Monkey Bread on Christmas morning for years. This is similar to that, but with cream cheese.  It is a Paula Deen recipe, so bring out the butter.  It makes enough for 10 people, so put on a pot of coffee and gather your family or friends.
  • 2 cans of buttermilk biscuits, (10 count)
  • 1 T. ground cinnamon
  • ½ C. granulated sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 C. brown sugar
  • 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1 ½ C. chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt a stick of butter on low heat
  4. Add the brown sugar and stir until fully incorporated
  5. In a medium sized bowl, combine the cinnamon and granulated sugar
  6. Cut the cream cheese into 20 equal squares
  7. Press the biscuits out with your fingers and sprinkle each with ½ t. of the cinnamon sugar
  8. Place a cube of cream cheese in the center of each biscuit and seal the dough around the cream cheese
  9. Sprinkle ½ C. of nuts and 1/3 of the mixture in the sauce pan into the bottom of the Bundt pan
  10. Place 10 of the stuffed biscuits into the pan
  11. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and pour another third of the mixture in the sauce pan and ½ C. nuts
  12. Place the next 10 stuffed biscuits into the pan
  13. Pour the remaining mixture from the sauce pan, nuts, and cinnamon sugar over the biscuits
  14. Bake for 45 minutes
  15. Remove from the oven and let the Gorilla Bread cool for 5 minutes
  16. Place a plate on top of the Bundt pan and invert
Tips and Tricks:
  • I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese.
  • To manipulate the biscuits, just pat the biscuit flat between your palms.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar, then crimp the edges of the biscuit around the cream cheese forming a semi-circle.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Baked Ham

Baked Ham is a holiday treat, but in our family we eat it year round.  This recipe is my sister-in-law Donna's specialty.  
  • Smoked Ham, bone-in, whole or shank
  • 1 box of light brown sugar, reserve 2/3 C. for the topping
  • 1 (12 oz.) bottle of Dijon mustard
  • 1 (12 oz.) bottle of honey
  • 3/4 C. of beer
  • 3/4 C. of Coke
  • 1 can of sliced pineapples
  • 2 T. corn starch
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. In a medium sized pot on low heat, melt the honey, then whisk in the mustard then whisk in the sugar, then add the beer, and finally the Coke until all are combined
  3. Place the ham in a roaster with a cover
  4. Score the ham and attach the pineapples to the top of the ham with toothpicks
  5. Pour the sauce over the ham, then pack the reserved brown sugar into the top
  6. Cover the ham, or if you are using a baking pan cover with foil
  7. Bake for 1 hour
  8. Reduce the temperature to 200 degrees and bake for 8 hours
  9. Raise the temperature to 300 degrees and remove the cover for the last hour - Total baking time will be 10 hours
  10. Remove the ham from the roaster and place on a cutting board
  11. Put the roaster on the stove and heat the sauce to a medium heat
  12. Add ½ C. of cold water to the corn starch in a small bowl, whisk until fully dissolved
  13. Add to the sauce and cook until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes
  14. Carve the ham and serve with the sauce
 Tips and Tricks:
  • Add water to corn starch, NOT corn starch to water.  It makes a difference.  Whisking helps also, you don’t want lumps.
  • When you carve a ham, you should carve the meat so your knife is perpendicular to the bone.  An electric knife works well for this project.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mac and Cheese

Comfort food at its best.  Creamy and cheesy, Yum!  This is a combination of my Mom's recipe and a Paula Deen recipe.

  • 4 C. elbow macaroni, cooked
  • ½ lb. Velveeta cheese, cut into squares
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • ½ C. sour cream
  • 4 T. butter, cut into small squares
  • 1 C. evaporated milk
  • ½ T. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • 1 C. finely grated Cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cook the macaroni as directed on the package and drain
  3. In a large bowl, combine all of the following ingredients, except the Cheddar cheese
  4. Add the macaroni and mix well
  5. Transfer the mixture into a baking dish
  6. Bake for 30 minutes
  7. Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle with the Cheddar cheese
  8. Return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese
  9. Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes before serving
Tips and Tricks:
  • Don’t be tempted to cook the macaroni, al dente.  The macaroni should be fully cooked before mixing in the other ingredients.
  • 2 C. of uncooked macaroni will yield 4 C. of cooked macaroni. 
  • If you are making this for a special occasion, you can prepare this ahead of time, but wait to bake it the day it is to be served.