Friday, July 5, 2013

JULY 2013 Newsletter

Hi Everyone!

Hope this finds all doing well. Enjoy the upcoming holiday celebrating safely with family and friends!



Reflecting Independence
by Paula George
June 26, 2006

As Independence Day approaches, many thoughts and memories travel through my
mind and heart.

Thoughts of the freedoms, others have sacrificed home and lives for bringing us
to this point in time.

Families divided, others brought closer as they faced enemies seeking to destroy
these freedoms.

Goodbyes said as loved ones shipped to foreign lands, never to return, yet;
giving their lives to protect their homeland.

Unfortunate the divisions in our own homeland, families divided, others
reunited...infiltrated within by...

Outsiders...taking advantage of our freedoms and government, unwilling to accept
our land according to the laws it was founded upon.

Only taking of the opportunities...unwilling to become an intricate part of the
Independence we have because of lives sacrificed.

Reflections still remain that I have the opportunity to live in "freedom" and I
am a "citizen" of the "Land of Independence".

Refections of those who serve in our military forces...those near and
far...those past and present...those willing to sacrifice home and family to
protect our freedom and homeland..."Reflecting Independence".

I made this a few years ago for Rick's birthday at his request...very rich, made 4 generous servings but it is delicious! He had eaten it in LA while visiting down on the Bayou. He said this was as delicious if not better than he remembered.
Crab Au Gratin is a rich dish that goes well as a side with other seafood main courses such as stuffed flounder.
Mix 1
1 med. onion - finely chopped
1 rib celery - finely chopped
4 leaves green onion tops - finely chopped
1 stick butter
Mix 2
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 Tsp. of dried parsley flakes or small handful of fresh chopped
1 Tsp. Worcestershire
1/4 Tsp. "Old Bay" & 1/4 tsp Tony's seasoning
pinch of garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 egg yolks beaten well
1 pound lump crabmeat (see note below)
Gratin Dishes or shallow casserole
12 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, or, your favorite ( I used 1/2 sharp cheddar & 1 half white cheddar)

In a saucepan on med-low heat melt the butter. Add the remainder of mix 1 above. Cook until onions are clear and soft, don't brown.
Stir in mix 2 in the order given (except egg) thoroughly mixing in each ingredient before the next is added. Add the milk a little at a time as you stir. Raise heat to med. and get the mixture bubbling then remove from heat. Take a spoon out to taste. Add the egg and mix well. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Add seasoning if needed (see note below).
Note: Crab meat purchased at the grocery will not be seasoned. If you're using crab meat that you peeled from a batch of boiled crabs it will be seasoned. Keep this in mind when adding seasoning. Using boiled and peeled meat will flavor the dish so taste it before adding any seasoning.
Add crab meat to saucepan and mix well. Fill gratin dishs to 1/4" from top of dish, smooth top with a spoon and sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake at 375ºF until cheese is brown and crusty.

Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp & Pina Colada Dipping Sauce
Serves: 4
Prep. Time: 0:35
1 1/2 cup corn starch - divided
2 cups plain bread crumbs
2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1 1/2 cup liquid piña colada drink mix - divided
2 Tbls. powdered sugar
1/3 cup spiced rum
1 lb. raw jumbo shrimp - peeled, deveined, butterflied
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup canned crushed pineapple - drained

-Place 1 cup corn starch in a bowl; set aside.
-Combine bread crumbs, 1/2 cup corn starch, and coconut flakes in a separate bowl; set aside.
-Combine 1 cup pina colada drink mix, powdered sugar, and rum in a separate bowl; set aside.
-Coat shrimp in corn starch, then dip in pina colada mixture, then in coconut mixture, back into pina colada mixture, and back into coconut mixture.
-Carefully drop each coated shrimp into 375 degree oil, fry until golden brown; drain on brown paper bags.
-To make sauce, combine 1/2 cup piña colada drink mix, sour cream, and pineapple.
-Dip fried shrimp in sauce.
Corn & Crab Bisque

"This creamy, Cajun crab soup has been in my family for years. It's comfort food during the winter, a 'stick to your bones' soup!!"

Prep Time:
20 MinCook Time:
30 MinReady In:
50 Min
Original Recipe Yield 8 servings
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large celery stalk, minced
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
Cajun seasoning to taste
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 bay leaf
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon liquid shrimp and crab boil seasoning
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and black pepper to taste
Additional chopped green onions
1.Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; then gradually whisk in the flour. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, whisking constantly, until a golden roux forms; set aside.
2.Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Combine the onion, garlic, and celery and cook 1 minute. Add the Cajun seasoning to taste. Stir in the broth, corn, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, then pour in the milk, cream, and liquid crab boil. When the mixture begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer 7 minutes. Stir in the roux, 1 tablespoon at a time, blending thoroughly. Continue to cook, on low heat, whisking until mixture thickens. Stir in crabmeat, green onions, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer 6 to 8 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Momma's Deviled Crab (Alberta George)
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup milk
Saute flour in butter. Whisk in milk. Heat until
thickened. Remove from heat.
Combine with 1 packet saltine crackers, crushed.
1 sm onion, diced or grated
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1 lb. flaked crabmeat
Shape into small mini loaves or spoon into foil
shells. Bake at 400 degrees until golden.

Marinated Shrimp Salad
3 lb. 21-25 shrimp boiled in Old Bay seasoning, peeled & deveined
1 can black olives
1 jar pimento stuffed green olives
6 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 large red onion, cut in circles
1 lg. bottle Zesty Italian dressing
1 qt. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 qt. cherry tomatoes, halved
3 stalks celery chopped
Fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
Boil & Peel Shrimp. Put all ingredients in glass or plastic bowl, cover and refridgerate for 24 hours before serving.
Shake or stir often. Serve on bed of lettuce with crackers or tortilla chips.

Apple Brown Betty from Ree Drummond
  3 whole Apples, Preferably Granny Smith
  7 slices Wheat Bread
  3/4 cups Regular Salted Butter
  1-1/2 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  3 Tablespoons (to 4 Tablespoons) Water
Preparation Instructions
Peel and thinly slice 3 apples. Slice bread into a small dice, or tear into very
small pieces.
Coat a small baking dish or pie plate with butter. Then add 1/3 of the brown
sugar, 1/3 of the apple slices, and 1/3 of the breadcrumbs. Repeat these layers
twice more, ending with breadcrumbs.
Slice butter and lay slices all over the top of the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle dish
with water and a little more brown sugar, and bake in a 375-degree oven, covered
in foil, until done – about 45 minutes. Remove foil in last few minutes of
baking to brown the top.
Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or Reddi Whip, if you’re feeling ornery.
The Cast of Characters: Wheat sandwich bread, apples, brown sugar, butter, and
water. Um…shouldn’t there be something more complicated here? Flour, perhaps?
Baking soda? Whole vanilla beans?

Begin by slicing 7 pieces of bread into thin strips…

Then rotate the slices 90 degrees…

…And slice again to create a dice.

Keep cutting…

Going over it a few times to get the bread into small pieces. You can also tear
the bread into small chunks if that floats your boat.

Now core and peel 3 apples…

And slice them thinly.

And try not to eat them all. Mmmm. Isn’t there something so inviting about a
stack of freshly sliced apples?

Now rub a baking dish very, very generously with butter.

I said very, very generously. Please don’t be afraid of the butter. Because you
know what? You’re going to see a lot more than this here in about 45 seconds.

To assemble…

Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar in the bottom of the dish.

Follow this with a layer of about 1/3 of your sliced apples, then sprinkle 1/3
of your bread crumbs on top.
(You can actually use a little less than a third of your crumbs, as you’ll want
to be sure to have enough for the very top layer.

Next, start in with 1/2 cup brown sugar again…

Followed by a layer of apples…

And another layer of breadcrumbs. Breadchunks. Breadcubes. Whatever.

Repeat this one last time: The rest of the sugar…

The rest of the apples…

And the remaining breadcrumbs. Don’t you just love layered dishes? There’s
something about it that satisfies my deep need for order and symmetry and
Symbiosis? That didn’t fit at all. But oooh, I love that word and I try to use
it in my everyday speech at least twice a month.

Next, slice 1 1/2 sticks butter (regular, salted) and begin placing the slices
all over the top of the breadcrumbs.

I warned you earlier: do not be afraid of the butter. Do not be afraid of the
butter. Do not be afraid of the butter. (Repeat this an additional seven times.
Then go get on the Stairmaster.)
Finally, sprinkle 3 to 4 tablespoons of water all over the top, give it a final
sprinkle of brown sugar, and bake on 375—covered in foil—for approximately 45
minutes. When you have about five minutes remaining, remove the foil from the
dish. You’ll want to watch it in the oven to make sure it doesn’t get too brown.
When it’s hot and bubbly, take it out of the oven.
Mine almost got too brown, but I’m not afraid of a little color in my cookin’.

To serve, just stick a big ol’ spoon in there…

And dish it up.

Paula aka mecookin

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