Sunday, May 22, 2016

Grillades and Grits

Check it out here: Meal Plan Monday #15

Adapted from Grits to Gourmet, The Five Sisters Cookbook

Grillades & Creamy Grits

3 lbs. of rump roast, sliced 1/4" X 2" pieces
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp. Sugar or sweetener
2 Tbsp. Black pepper
1/2 cup lard or bacon grease divided
1 cup onion, chopped (I used Vidalia)
2 cups chopped green onion
2 cups chopped bell pepper
2 tsp. Minced garlic
1 tsp.Chipotle Tabasco
2 cans diced tomatoes or 4 cups fresh tomatoes, diced with juice
1 cup minced parsley 
1 Tbsp. Tarragon
2 Tbsp. Basil
3 tsp. Salt
1Tbsp. Fresh ground pepper 
1 cup Marsala wine or red wine
1-1/2 cups unsalted beef broth
1/2 cup flour

Dredge sliced meat in mixture of flour, sugar & black pepper. Brown in 4 Tbsp. Of the lard. Remove from pan. Add chopped onions, green onions & bell pepper. Sauté 5-10 minutes. Add garlic & cook 1 minute longer. Deglaze with the wine. Add tomatoes, Tabasco, parsley, tarragon. Basil, salt & pepper. 
In a heavy skillet, make a roux with the remaining 4 Tbsp. Of lard & 1/2 cup flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until a dark caramel color. Whisk into the tomato & vegetable mixture. Add the beef broth & the meat. 
Cover & cook over low heat for 2 hours.  
Serve over Creamy Grits or Rice.

Creamy Grits
2 cups unsalted chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 cup half & half
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
1 cup quick cooking grits
4 Tbsp. Unsalted butter

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil. Whisk in grits. Reduce to medium low heat and cook for 25-30 minutes until thickened. Stir in butter.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 2016 Newsletter



You are the breath of spring...
You bring a smile to my heart and face.
You are the cool, gentle breeze;
That brightens my day.
You are the breath of spring...
You bring the sunshine to light my way.
You are the cool, gentle breeze;
That brightens my day.
You are the breath of spring...
You bring happiness to my waking moments.
You are the cool, gentle breeze;
That brightens my day.
You are the breath of spring...
You bring love to my heart and soul.
You are the cool, gentle breeze;
That brightens my day.
You are My breath of Spring...
You bring Smiles, Sunshine, Happiness, Love.
You are the cool, gentle breeze;
That will always brighten my days.

Paula April 5, 2010

Food for the Tummy:Chicken Ole'

From Southern Living Cooking School

2-7 ounce packages Zatarain's Red or Black Beans w/Rice
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cans tomatoes & green chiles
2 cups water
2 Tbsp. lime juice
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shake 2 Tbsp. flour in large Reynolds Oven Bag.
Place in 13x9 pan. Add first five ingredients. Seal. Squeeze to blend. Top
with chicken breasts. Close with tie and cut 6 slits in top of bag. Bake for
45-55 minutes. Serve with desired toppings:
Shredded Mexican Cheese
Diced Green Onions
Sliced Black Olives
Diced Avocado
Sour Cream, Lettuce & Tomatoes

Beef Stroganoff
Had the steak on hand, so just played it by ear & made it up as I went along...success, very tasty!
1 lb. NY strip, cut in thin strips & seasoned with Montreal Steak Seasoning
4 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 cup red onion, cut in strips
8 oz. Baby Bella's, sliced
2 cloves minced, garlic
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
2 cups low sodium beef broth, divided
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. kitchen Bouquet
1/2 cup sour cream
cooked egg noodles
in medium skillet, heat, 2 Tbsp. Olive oil over med. heat. Add seasoned steak strips in batches, brown on each side and remove to plate. When beef is all browned, add remaining olive oil, add onion strips & cook 2 minutes, add mushrooms & cook another 2 minutes, add garlic & cook 1 minute. Add wine and turn heat to med. high, cook until reduced by half, add 1-1/2 cups of the beef broth, reduce heat & cook 2-3 minutes. Combine remaining beef broth, flour & Kitchen Bouquet. Stir in flour mixture and steak and heat until slightly thickened. turn off heat & stir in sour cream, garnish with parsley & serve over the cooked noodles.

Crab Cakes, My Way
Paula Smith

4-6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-1/2 cup small diced red onion (1 small onion)
1-1/2 cup small diced celery (3 stalks)
1-1/2 cup small diced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)

1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley or 2 tbsp. Dry parsley flakes
2tablespoon capers, drained
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp.  crab boil seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds lump crabmeat, drained and picked to remove shells
1-1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs
1 cup  mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
For frying:
Flour for dusting
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
Place the 4-6 tablespoons butter, 
 onion, celery, red and yellow bell peppers, parsley, capers, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, crab boil seasoning, salt, and pepper in a large saute pan over medium-low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, break the lump crabmeat into small pieces and toss with the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the cooked mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Shape into bite-sized crab cakes. I use  3 oz. scoop and scoop onto parchment lined baking sheet, freeze, store for later use.
For frying:
Heat butter and olive oil for frying over medium heat in a large saute pan. Lightly dust crab cakes with flour.  Add the crab cakes and fry for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until browned. Drain on paper towels; keep them warm in a 250 degree oven and serve hot.
For baking:
I thaw in fridge a few hours, dust with flour, place on buttered parchment lined baking sheet. Spray with non aerosol butter or olive oil. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 15 minutes until golden.
Can be coated with flour, deep fried until golden. Microwave for 45 seconds to make sure they are cooked through.


Balsamic glazed fruit

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
4 Tbsp. Honey
1 cinnamon stick
Strip of orange rind
2 qts. Fresh fruit or frozen, thawed (strawberries, diced, blackberries or blueberries)

Combine first 4 ingredients over med. heat, bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer 10 minutes. Strain & pour over fruit, return to saucepan & heat through.  Delicious as topping for crepes filled with cream cheese, confectioners sugar, whipped topping mixture. 

Commodity candy

Just thinking about using up a box of cornflakes and thought I would make a batch of what some call: Cornflake Candy, and I call it Commodity Candy, as Ma would make it with commodities when she received them. Of course, that was back in the 60's and peanut butter today is different than that old commodity peanut butter.
Easy to make: Butter a 13x9 pan.
In saucepan, combine 
1 cup corn syrup and 1 cup sugar, bring to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved. 
Stir in 1 cup peanut butter and 1 tsp. vanilla extract.
 Quickly stir in about 6 or 7 cups of cornflakes. 
Spread in the buttered pan and let set until firm. Cut into squares.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Capital Grille Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella

Capital Grille Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella

I have a new found favorite. I made this Sunday for Rick and I, he had what was left last night and then served it to 3 at the restaurant today! Have to give this one 5 thumbs up! Will definitely be making again!!! 

Also find it here...
Capital Grille Prosciutto-Wrapped Mozzarella


■1 pound large fresh mozzarella balls
■15 paper thin slices prosciutto
■10 ounces large or cherry heirloom tomatoes (mix of yellow and red)
■1 teaspoon kosher salt
■1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
■6 slices pain rustique bread, cut in 1/4-inch thick slices on the bias (see note)
■1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot clarified butter (divided)
■1/2 cup finely grated Grana Padano cheese (see note)
■1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
■3/4 ounce chiffonade cut basil leaves plus 3 sprigs fresh basil for
■2 tablespoons 12-year-old balsamic vinegar
■Slice the balls of mozzarella cheese into about 1/2-inch-thick slices weighing about 1 1/4 ounces each.
■Individually wrap the slices of mozzarella with slices of prosciutto, making certain to completely cover the cheese.
■Place the wrapped mozzarella on parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.
■Core tomatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Halve or quarter smaller heirlooms tomatoes and place in a mixing bowl. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Let tomatoes rest.
■Brush slices of bread on both sides with the 1/4 cup hot clarified butter and sprinkle both sides liberally with the grated cheese. Press cheese gently into the bread. Toast in a panini press over medium-high heat or in a hot sauté pan that has been coated with clarified butter, turning once, until golden brown and crisp on each side. This will take 1 to 2 minutes per side. If using a skillet, cook slices in batches; do not crowd pan.
■Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
■Place remaining 2 tablespoons clarified butter in a hot skillet. Gently set pieces of wrapped mozzarella in the skillet and sauté 2 minutes per side or until exterior is crisp. Place seared mozzarella balls on a cookie sheet then transfer to oven. Cook until cheese starts to melt and is hot, about 5 minutes.
■Meanwhile toss tomatoes with olive oil, the chiffonade of basil and the balsamic.
■To assemble: Mound a spoonful of the tomato salad in the centers of three large, warmed dinner plates. Arrange the grilled mozzarella, leaning it against the tomato salad, around the front and side edges of the plate. Lean two croutons on the backside of the plates. Place a sprig of basil in the center of the tomatoes and serve immediately.

Notes: Pain rustique has a thick crust similar to Italian bread.
Grana Padano cheese is available specialty food stores.
Parmigiano-Reggiano could be substituted.

Source: Jeff Beale, executive chef, The Capital Grille, Wisconsin

Nana's Alfredo Sauce

Meal Plan Monday #13

Nana's  Alfredo Sauce

For years, this has been a family favorite! With a few revisions,
we also served this at LuVici's...a favorite of many customers...
one lady told me she could just drink a bowl of sauce! haha
There are so many variations that can be used in this combo.
Saute chicken pieces or breast strips...blanched broccoli florets...
use leftovers of chicken & broccoli...Sauteed Chicken Strips & Sundried
Tomatoes or Sauteed Chicken Strips & Sauteed Mushrooms. My children love this
Alfredo Sauce and I have used the same recipe for years!
OH, several years ago I was on Sara's Secrets with Sara Moulton's
live phone call. We were discussing leftovers and this is the recipe
that I was talking about. They aired my picture as Sara was talking
with me. I also told her that my family has always called leftovers,
"re-runs" and many times they were incorporated to a totally
different realm, whether entree, side dish or soup!

Nana's Alfredo Sauce
Paula George Smith
1 stick butter 1/2 cup
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves chopped or 1 tsp. dried
2 tbsp. parsley chopped or 2 tsp. dried
1 Tbsp. basil leaves, julienned or 1 tsp. dried
1 tsp. garlic, minced or 1 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots or 1 tsp. onion powder
2 cups heavy cream
3 cups milk
1 cup shredded Provolone
1 cup shredded Parmesan
Optional: Sauté 2 cups sliced mushrooms in the butter.
(2 Tbsp. McCormick's Mediterranean Spiced Sea Salt can be used in lieu of the herbs & spices)

Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour and whisk until smooth.
Do not brown. Add seasonings, heavy cream & milk.
Heat over med heat until hot, reduce heat to low and whisk in
cheeses until melted. Adding 1/2 of each at a time makes it easier
to melt.
Sauteed Chicken Breast strips and blanched broccoli can be
added to sauce or plated on fettucine pouring the sauce over last.
Garnish with a sprinkling of Shredded Parmesan and Parsley or julienned basil. 

Chocolate Cobbler aka Brownie Pudding

See it here!
I have been making this for years, always a customer & family favorite. Thought it might be a nice comfort dessert for those that are snowed in! It doesn't have eggs, so is also pretty much basic pantry items & milk.

In 13x9 baking dish, melt 1-1/2 sticks butter.
1-1/2 cups self-rising flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Spread over melted butter.
1/2 cup cocoa
1-1/2 cups sugar
Bring 2-1/4 cups water to boil and combine with sugar/cocoa mixture. Pour over batter mixture in pan. Do not stir. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream.


8x8 pan.

1 cup SR flour
2 Tbsp. Cocoa
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. Oil
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Mix & stir in 3/4 cup chopped walnuts if desired.
Pour into greased pan.
Mix 3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa 
1-3/4 cup very hot water
Pour over, do not stir. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. 

Layer Yellow Cake with Homemade Fudge Icing

I'm not much on desserts but this is by far the Very Best Cake and Icing "EVER" known to man. This icing is great on brownies and on top of any homemade ice cream.
Reminds me of childhood days.

Layer Yellow cake with Homemade Fudge Icing (lots of layers)
Make the icing first~ What you'll need:*
3 cups sugar
3 1/2 blocks unsweetened baking chocolate
2 5-oz. cans evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
In a large, heavy 'pan' over medium-low heat add the sugar, chocolate, milk, butter, and vanilla all at one time. Cook slowly until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring frequently. Do not let this boil. It is important to make sure that the sugar is completely dissolved and no texture remains.
For the Cake layers~ What you'll need:
1 cup butter (room temp= unsalted)*
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs (room temp)*
3 1/2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1 3/4 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Now let's make and assemble this baby!!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease 8-10 9" cake pans with shortening and set aside.
1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Crack all the eggs in a separate bowl and add the eggs all at once and beat until well mixed.
2.Add the flour and water alternately, beginning and ending with flour. *Note: It is normal for the batter to appear curdled. Don't freak out!!*
3. Mix in the vanilla.
Now, pour approximately 3/4 cup batter into each greased prepared pan. Smooth the batter to the edges of the pans. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until layers are barely golden on top. Remove from oven and turn out onto cooling racks.
If you don't have enough pans, clean the pans, grease them and repeat baking. When next set of layers go into the oven, begin icing the cake.*
Place a still-warm layer on a cardboard round set atop a cooling rack inside a baking sheet. Spread 1/4 cup icing on the layer spreading it gently to the edges. Top with the next layer and repeat.
When all layers have been stacked and iced, spread remaining icing over top and sides of the cake. If the icing becomes thick, return the pan to "very low"heat until it returns to spreading consistency.

Lobster & Crab Pie

our last trip to the mountains, I talked Rick into lunch at The Wild Plum Tea Room. He had wanted to try their Lobster Pie, of course, they had sold out when we got there! I bought their cookbook and adapted the recipe for us after returning home. Very tasty, but very rich! Kind of like Brylcreem, "A little dab will do you! "

Lobster & Crab Pie
Paula Smith
adapted from Wild Plum Tea Room

4 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 shallots sliced thin
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup half & half
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup chopped artichoke hearts, not marinated
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup lobster tail meat
1 cup lump crabmeat 
1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano
Puff pastry
1 egg beaten w/ 1 Tbsp. water 

In medium skillet, sauté :butter, shallots, flour, cayenne & dry mustard for 2-3 minutes. Add heavy cream & half & half, bring to a slow boil & cook until thickened. Remove from heat & cool. Combine sour cream, artichokes, parsley, lobster, crabmeat & Romano. Stir in béchamel & spoon into 4 large ramekins. Cut puff pastry to fit top of ramekins, brush with egg wash. Bake in 425 preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden. Garnish with shredded cheese & fresh parsley.