Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cracker-Breaded Fried Shrimp

We love fried shrimp at our house and this is a nice buttery crispy shrimp that we really enjoyed.  Hope you enjoy it as well. This recipe comes from Julianne Polaha from Tuluca Lake, California.
We found that coarsely crushed crackers work best for this recipe. Place crackers in a zip-top plastic bag, and crush with a rolling pin.

Printable Version:

2 pounds unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
1 1/2 cups crushed buttery round crackers (about 26 crackers)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2-3 drops hot sauce
1 large egg
vegetable oil
Peel, shrimp, leaving tails intact, and devin
Combine crushed crackers, flour, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and salt in a shallow dish. Stir together buttermilk, hot sauce, egg, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl until blended. Dip shrimp in buttermilk mixture; dredge in cracker mixture.
Pour oil to a depth of 2 1/2 inches into a large, deep cast-iron or heavy-duty skillet; heat to 375 degrees F. Fry shrimp, in batches, 1-2 minutes or until golden; drain on wire racks over paper towels

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brie En Croute

 This is probably my favorite appetizer. I could probably eat the whole thing, if I would allow myself the luxury.  But I was a good girl and only had two little slices. It tastes like you worked all day, and it probably only takes about 10 minutes to prepare this dish once the puff-pastry has defrosted.  Recipe from Paula Deen of Foodnetwork

Printable Version:
1 sheet frozen Pepperidge Farm puff pastry
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup walnuts
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (8oz) wheel of Brie cheese
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
Crackers for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Defrost puff pastry for approximately 15-20 minutes and unfold.
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the walnuts in the butter until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes.  Add the cinnamon and stir until walnuts are coated well. Place the brie in the middle of the puff-pastry. Place the walnut mixture on top of the brie and sprinkle the brown sugar over the mixture. Gather up the edges of the brie, pressing around the brie and gather at the top. Gently squeeze together the excess dough and tie together with a piece of kitchen twine. Brush the beaten egg over top and side of puff-pastry. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Serve with crackers.

Savory Palmiers

I made several appetizers and the lemon tea cakes for Jud's book celebration at the Flynn's.  These were a hit, and if you try them, you will know why.  I probably should have made more, but we really didn't have a clue how many would come. Hope you will try these.

Printable Version:

1 package frozen PepperidgeFarm puff pastry sheets, defrosted
1/4 cup prepared pesto, store bought or homemade (recipe follows)
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
kosher salt

Lightly flour a board and carefully unfold one sheet of puff pastry. Roll the pastry lightly with a rolling pin until it's 9 1/2" X 11 1/2" Spread the sheet of puff-pastry with 1/2 the pesto, then sprinkle with 1/2 the goat cheese, 1/2 the sundried tomatoes, and 1/2 the pine nuts. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Working from the short end, fold each end 1/2way to the center. Then fold each side again towards the center until the folded edges almost touch. Fold one side over the other and press lightly. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat the entire instructions for the second sheet of puff pastry using the remaining ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes.  I chilled it overnight so I could do as much ahead of the party as possible.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the prepared rolls of puff pastry in 1/4 " thick slices and place them face up 2 inches apart on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 14 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm.

Homemade Pesto:
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is finely pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer. A fine film of olive oil will be on top.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

My daughter-in-law, Juanita made these for a family party and we all enjoyed it so much that I knew I wanted to make it for Jud's book celebration party.  It turned out good, but I think her's was better.

2 (8oz) packages cream cheese
1 jar blue cheese dressing (in cold section of produce department)
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 jar Franks hot wing sauce (with barbeque sauce in grocery store)
4 cooked chicken breasts
8 oz grated cheddar cheese
In a 9" X 13" pan layer the following
1. Cream cheese cut in chunks
2. Cooked chicken mixed with the hot wing sauce.  I place my chicken breasts on a cookie sheet and baked it at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until done.
3. Chopped celery
4. Blue cheese dressing
5. grated cheddar on top
Bake at 350 degrees covered with alluminum foil for 20 minutes
Uncover and bake 20 additional minutes.
Let rest for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Lemon Tea Cakes

My mom gave me this recipe in the cookbook she made for me. The recipe came from my great grandmother, Cora Ashley.  I added the lemon juice and lemon zest because I thought it needed a little added flavor.  I think I would probably glaze them with a lemon juice and powdered sugar next time.  I needed them to be a little sweeter for my taste.  I had a dozen left-over from the book celebration, so I made some lemon icing.  I used about 1/4 of an 8oz. cream cheese, zest of one lemon, and juice of one lemon and enough powdered sugar to make it the right consistency.  I probably won't make these cookies again. Not worth the calories.

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and soda. Mix well and add flour. Turn dough onto a floured surface, working by hand until you can handel the dough. Rool out about a 1/2 thick and cut with a round cookie cutter.  My mom said that one time she rolled them in wax paper and put them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.  I put them in overnight. Then she sliced them and baked at 350 degrees about 13-15 minutes.  I sprinkled them with sugar.  Next time I will ice them. I admit it, I love sweet things.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Country French omelet

This will be a repeat.  I doubled this recipe and this is what was left-over from 4 people.  Delicious!

Printable Version:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil- I didn't use this
3 slices bacon
1 cup unpeeled yukon gold potatoes
salt and pepper
5- extra large eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chives
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat extra virgin olive in an ovenproof skillet. Add bacon and cook 3-5 minutes or until they way you like it. Remove bacon and set aside. Place cubed potatoes in the pan of bacon grease. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook 8-10 minutes until tender and browned. Remove potatoes to bacon plate. Beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper with a fork. Remove fat from bacon pan. Add butter. Lower heat and pour egg mixture into pan. Sprinkle bacon, potatoes, and chives over top of egg mixture. Bake 8-10 minutes until set.

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

When Jud worked at the church, Sharon Sheriff made something wonderful for the staff every Tuesday for their staff meeting. These were some of Jud's favorite. She gave me the recipe, but this is the first time I have made them. I can see why they are Jud's favorite. Thanks, Sharon!

Printable Version:

4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large whole egg, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar, divided (less 1 teaspoon for yeast mixture)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 ounces buttermilk, room temperature
4 cups flour, plus additional for dusting
1 package instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon warm water, plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
vegetable oil
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened, approximately 1/4 cup
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
Directions for dough:
For the dough: In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in 1 tablespoon warm water with 1 teaspoon sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, buttermilk, and yeast mixture. Add 2 cups of flour and salt. Whisk until moistened and combined. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook. Add all but 3/4 cup of remaining flour; the dough should feel soft and moist but not sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 30 seconds. Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, turning over dough so that top is oiled. Cover and let double in volume, 2-2 1/2 hours.
For the Filling:
Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Set aside until ready to use.

Butter a 9" X 13" glass baking dish. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle with the long side nearest you. Roll into an 18" X 12" rectanghle. Brush the dough with the melted butter, leaving a 1/2 inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4 " border along the top edge. Gently press the filling into the dough. Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Firmly pinch the seam to seal and roll the cylinder seam side down. Very gently squeeze the cylinder to create even thickness. Using a serrated knife, slice the cylinder into 1 1/2 " rolls; yielding 12 rolls. Arrange rolls cut side down in the baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight or up to 16 hours.

Remove the rolls from the refrigerator, leaving plastic wrap on, and place in an oven that is turned off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3 full of boiling water and set on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven door and let the rolls rise until they look slightly puffy; approximately 30 minutes. Remove the rolls and the shallow pan of water from the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

When the oven is ready, place the uncovered rolls on the middle rack and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.  Mine only took about 20-25 minutes.

While rolls are cooling slightly, make the icing by whisking the cream cheese in a bowl with a mixer. Add the milk and whisk until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, and whisk until smooth. Spread over the rolls and serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Anything that Paula Deen cooks you can almost guarantee to be good.  She does not worry about calories, but you usually go away from the table saying that it was worth the calories.  I know I plan to have at least a small slice.  What a beautiful presentation.

Printable Version:

1- 21 ounce can apple pie filling
1- 9" graham cracker crust
2- 8ounce cream cheese - room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup carmel topping
12 pecan halves + 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Reserve 3/4 cup apple pie filling; set aside.
3. Spoon remaining filling into the bottom of the crust.
4. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
5. Add eggs and mix well. Pour over apple pie filling. Bake 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
6. Mix reserved pie filling and carmel topping in saucepan and heat 1 minute. Spoon mixture over top of cheesecake and spread evenly in the middle. Decorate the edges with the whole pecans. Add chopped pecans in the middle. Refrigerate.

Gouda-Stuffed Pork Chops

I really enjoy stuffed pork chops, but sometimes they turn out dry.  The brine really helps to keep it moist. Not sure I would use the onions and apple again. I would probably do some kind of cherry compost.

For the Brine:
4 cups of water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
For the Pork Chops:
4 thick-cut bone-in pork chops (1 1/2" thick)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
8 fresh sage leaves, minced
1 cup grated aged Gouda cheese
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 large apple, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1. For the brine, bring the water and vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan, and add the salt, brown sugar, and peppercorns. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Put the pork chops in a large baking dish and pour the brining liquid over them. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the pork chops from the brine and rince thorouyghly, then pat very dry with a paper towel. Set them aside to air-dry a little longer, while you make the stuffing.
3. Coat a large cast-iron skillet with olive oil and set it over medium-high heat. Heat the olive oil, then add the garlic. Turn the heat to low, and cook the garlic for 5 minutes. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring constantly, for another 3-4 minutes, or until the bread crumbs brown.
4. Put the garlic and bread crumbs in a medium size bowl and mix with the parsley, sage, Gouda cheese, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
5. Take each pork chop and slice it almost in 1/2 lengthwise, so that it has an open pocket in the center. Stuff the Gouda mixture into each pocket. (At this point the pork chops can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
6. Heat the skillet again over medium-high heat and coat it with olive oil. Carefully add the stuffed pork chops. Brown on each side for 2 minutes, or until the pork chops are golden brown. Remove the chops and spread the apple and onion slices in the skillet. Place the pork chops on top and pour in the white wine. Cover the skillet with aluminum foil.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the stuffing registers 160 degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer and the Gouda is melted. Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


It is Thursday night and Jud made this for dinner tonight. I bought some ciabatta bread and toasted it in the oven.  That was dinner and it was oh-so-good. Pictures never show how good something is.  Before leaving for Oregon this Summer, I had some left-over celery, bell pepper, garlic, and onion.  I sweated it out before leaving and froze it.  Jud got to use it in his gumbo. He said it really was nice not having to chop everything. I'll have to remember to do that again.  Recipe from Paula Deen of Foodnetwork

Printable Version:

3 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4" slices
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons margarine or butter
1 large onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped, plus chopped leaves for garnish
4 cups hot water Jud used beef stock
5 beeef bouillon cubes not needed if you use beef stock
1 (14 oz. can) stewed tomatoes with juice
2 cups frozen sliced okra
4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts
1/2 pound small shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides and remove. Add the sausage and cook until browned, then remove. Sprinkle the flour over the oil, add 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Let the roux cool.
Return the Dutch oven to low heat and melt the remaining 3 tablespoons margarine. Add the onions, garlic, green pepper, and celery. Cook for 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, to taste and the 1/4 bunch parsley. Cook, while stirring frequently for 10 minutes. Add 4 cups hot water and bouillon cubes (or 4 cups beef broth)whisking constantly. Add the chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Just before serving add the green onions, shrimp, and chopped parsley.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken Florentine Style

This is a winner.  I  made only 1/2 of the sauce recipe.  It was really good so I should have made the whole recipe because I had made 4 chicken breasts and would have enjoyed having a little extra gravy for the rice.
Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis

Printable Version:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground black pepper
all-purpose flour, for dredging (since I am trying to stay away from grains, I used coconut flour instead.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided use)
2 tablespoons shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 (10oz.) packages frozen cut-leaf spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour to coat lightly. Shake off any excess flour. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep it warm.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute until the shallots are translucent, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet, about 1 minute. Add the wine. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and boil until the sauce reduces by half, stirring often, about 3 additional minutes. Stir in the parsley. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the sauce, and turn the chicken to coat in the sauce.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a separate large skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach and saute until heated through. Season the spinach to taste, with salt and pepper. Arrange the spinach over a platter. Place the chicken atop the spinach. Pour the sauce over and serve.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Baked Gruyere and Sausage Omelet

This is a really good casserole that is nice enough for company, but easy enough for family.  It would warm easily for left-overs later in the week.  We had it for lunch, but it would be great for breakfast or a supper dish. I sliced tomatoes and called it lunch.  I got this recipe from Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis in 2008 

Printable Version:

butter, for greasing baking dish I used cooking spray.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 pound milk turkey sausage, casings removed I used italian sausage, but whatever you like is fine.
8 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups (4 oz.) grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly butter or spray with cooking spray an 8" X 8" baking dish
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Set the pan aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper to taste, until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add the red bell pepper, 1 cup of Gruyere cheese and 1/4 cup parsley. Stir in the onion mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Cut the baked omelet into wedges and sprinkle with remaining parsley before serving.
Cook's note: To make individual servings, divide the batter between 4 buttered 8'ounce ramekins. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sausage and Peach Stuffed Pork Chops

Saw Paula Deen cooked this on her Food Network show and I knew that we would love it.  Since I only made two butterfly pork chops, each side stuffed, I cut the stuffing  recipe in 1/2. Next time I would probably not cut the stuffing in 1/2 because it was really good, and we didn't have enough to have some in every bite.  Next time I will stuff it, but then have extra to serve on the side.

Printable Version:
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 pound hot or sweet sausage, casings removed, crumbled
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 peaches, peeled and diced
1 cup (1/4 pound) grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon pepper, plus more for seasoning
6 (12-oz.) 1-inch thick center-cut boneless pork chops
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add the sausage and brown, breaking the meat up with a fork, for about 3 minutes. Stir in the sage and cook for 1 minute more. Pour off the fat and transfer the sausage to a bowl. Stir in the peaches, cheese, and pepper.

With a sharp knife, cut a pocket in the side of each chop, slicing horizontally, almost through to the other side. Season with salt and additional pepper, and then stuff the chops generously with the filling.

In a large ovenproof skillet, working in 2 batches if necessary, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons oil until very hot. Sear the chops on one side until browned 3-4 minutes. Turn the chops and transfer the skillet to the oven to finish cooking, 20-25 minutes more. Serve immediately, spooning over any stuffing that might fall out.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables with Curly Endive

I really enjoyed this dish.  I ate it twice while Jud was out-of-town and decided to have this as I side dish with grilled chicken.  Most people have roasted vegetables, the  extra layer of flavor in this dish is the curly endive. 

Printable Version:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Choose at least 4 of the following vegetables to equal 1 pound of diced root vegetables.

Parsnips, Red or Yukon Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes,Turnips, Carrots

Place these in a large bowl and add 2 shallots cut in thick slices along with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil salt, and pepper.  Mix thoroughly and spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Bake for 45 minutes and then add about 1/2 head of curly endive. Season with more salt and pepper and mix well.  Bake for another 20 minutes until endive has wilted.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Massaged Kale Salad

I thought I had posted this salad before, but I couldn't find it when I got ready to make it yesterday.  Last time I made it, I thought it was even better the next day, so this time, I decided to make it a day ahead of when I plan to eat it.  Jud is out-of-town so I will probably have this for lunch with some baked chicken, and then eat it for dinner tonight with some shrimp cocktail.
I got this recipe from Aarti Sequeira from Food Network.

Printable Version:
1 bunch of kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced. I haven't been able to find the black kale at H.E.B.
1 lemon, juiced--I also zest the lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons honey
freshly ground black pepper
1 mango, diced (about 1 cup)
Small handful toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), about 2T.
In a large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice and zest if using, a drizzle of olive oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2-3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk remaining 1/2 of lemon juice and the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of olive oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes. Pour dressing over kale and add mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.