Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Friday, May 31, 2013

Southern Fried Pork Chops

This is a family favorite way to enjoy pork chops.  Lightly seasoned and floured and pan fried to crispy doneness. 

6 - 8 bone in pork chops
1/2 cup self rising flour
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup canola oil

Mix flour with salt and pepper with a fork until blended. Press each pork chop into the flour mixture on both sides until well covered. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. 

Cook 2 - 3 pork chops at a time (depending on size of skillet) for 5 - 6 minutes each side. You will need to lower the heat to medium high to control the browning of the pork chops.

As pork chops are cooked and remaining ones are added to the skillet to cook, place on a plate in a warm oven to keep warm.

Comfort Food

While spending the day with my daughter, she requested this comfort food meal. 

Beginning at the noon spot on the plate: Cornbread, fried corn, fried zucchini, pinto beans, fried potatoes and a pan fried pork chop. 
This was a truly comforting meal!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spinach Salad with Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

I've been playing with these ingredients in my mind for a week.  Tonight I decided it was time to try to make all the ideas work.  I must say it turned out much better than I thought it would.  In fact, I ate an embarrassingly large plate of this great salad.  Loaded with fresh spinach, Granny Smith apples, super food blueberries and toasted pecans.  The blue cheese was the crowing touch. 
For the vinaigrette:
1 1/2 cup fresh (or frozen/thawed) Blueberries (plus 1/4 more for garnishing)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup honey
3 T. water
1 T. coarse grain Dijon Mustard
1 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. granulated garlic
3/4 cup olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
For the dressing, add all ingredients except olive oil and shallots into a blender.  Blend on slow speed for about a minute.  Stop blender and scrape sides down with a spatula.
Turn blender on low speed and slowly add the olive oil into the blender.  You will see the dressing begin to thicken with the addition of the olive oil.   Remove top of blender and add minced shallots.  Return the top of the blender and pulse a time or two.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Whisk well before using. 
If you'd like some toasted pecans or walnuts on your salad (and who wouldn't?!?), place a half cup or so of chopped pecans or walnut in a dry skillet over low heat.  Stir them gently and when you can smell the pecans after 5 minutes or so, they're nice and toasty.  Set them aside while you get the salad ready.
Now let's assemble the salad:
Place a nice serving of prewashed baby spinach on a plate.  Top each serving with crumbled blue cheese, toasted pecans, very thinly sliced Granny Smith apples and the remaining blueberries.  Drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Table

We had a great time with all the adult children and grandchildren in attendance at Chez Lolly this weekend.  Here's a few pics of the table and food.  Most of the food this time were tried and true favorites with recipes already posted on the blog.  Sweet Harold outdid himself on the pulled pork as always.


Millionaire Pound Cake with Blueberry Reduction Sauce

My son always requests a pound cake on his visits home.  I thought how could I go wrong with a pound cake named Millionaire Pound Cake?  I couldn't.  Wow.  This is probably the best pound cake recipe I've ever used.  The blueberry reduction sauce added a nice dimension without being overpowering.
2 cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1 t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Grease and lightly flour a 10 inch tube pan.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar beating well.  Add eggs, one a time time, beating just until yellow disappears.  Gradually add flour to butter mixture alternatively with milk, beating well after each addition, beginning and ending with flour.
Stir in extracts.  Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes.  Remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely, about one hour.
From Southern Living Heirloom Recipe Cookbook.
Blueberry Sauce
3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup water
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cold water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 t. amaretto
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, 1/4 cup of water, orange juice, and sugar. Stir gently, and bring to a boil.

In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water.  Gently stir the cornstarch mixture into the blueberries. Simmer gently.  It will thicken fairly quickly.  Remove from heat and stir in the amaretto and cinnamon.  If the sauce thickens to much, thin with a little water or orange juice.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Jicama Slaw with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

A jicama is often referred to as a Mexican yam or Mexican turnip.  The root's exterior definitely resembles a potato or turnip, but the inside is a lovely, creamy white color.  It's texture resembles a cross between an apple and a potato.  It's very crunchy!  It's usually eaten raw with maybe a sprinkling or salt or lemon or lime juice.  I adapted a recipe from the May/June issue of Cuisine at Home by adding more veggies and increasing the dressing amounts to compensate for that change.

This was an excellent side dish for our chicken enchiladas.  So flavorful and beautiful with the different colors and textures of the different vegetables.  Some of the ingredients were chopped, others sliced, others cut into matchstick shapes.  It was a wonderful contrast of ingredients.

4 cups jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and then cut into small chunks
1 green bell pepper, chopped
6 radishes, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced diagonally (white and some green)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 T. finely chopped jalapeno (seeded)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

For the dressing:
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
zest of one lime
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 t. honey
1/2 t. each ground cumin and coriander
dash of salt
2 T. minced cilantro

Combine all the slaw ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk the ingredients for the vinaigrette together and toss with the slaw ingredients.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tequila Sunrise

This is such a refreshing, colorful drink to enjoy during the summer.  The colors of the ingredients are layered to mimic a sunrise in a glass.  This version was invented by Bobby Lazoff and Billy Rice at the Trident Restaurant in Sausalito, California during the early 1970's.

You'll need a highball glass and crushed iced.

Pour one shot of clear tequila into the glass and add crushed ice.  Pour in orange juice to within an inch or so of the top of the glass.  

Slowly pour in an ounce of grenadine syrup until it settles in the bottom.  Garnish with a cherry and an orange slice.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Southwestern Eggs Benedict over Texas Toast

This morning's brunch idea was a play on one of favorites, Eggs Benedict.  At the end of the recipe will be a series of pictures showing the lovely yolk oozing down across the ham and the bread.  I honestly couldn't decide which picture to post, so I'm going to show you all of them. 

Four four servings:
4 pieces of Texas Toast style bread, toasted
1/4 pound thinly sliced deli-style ham, lightly warmed in a skillet
4 eggs for poaching*
1 small serrano pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 - 2 T. minced cilantro
Hollandaise sauce**

*To poach the eggs, bring a small saucepan 2/3 filled with water to a gently simmer.  Add 1 T. white vinegar.  Break 1 egg into a small ramekin or bowl.  With a spoon, gently stir the water and when you have it swirling, very carefully let the egg slip into the "whirlpool."  The white of the egg will form around the yolk.  Let the egg poach for 3 minutes and remove from its water bath and let it drain on a paper towel.  Repeat with the remaining eggs.

**To make the sauce you will need 2 room temperature eggs yolks, 1 1/2 T. lemon juice, 1/4 t. salt, 1/8 t. white pepper, 1/8 t. chili powder, 1/8 t. ground cayenne pepper and 6 T. melted butter. 

Add the eggs, lemon juice and seasonings to a blender.  Blend for about 30 seconds.  Then remove the top section of the blender lid and turn the blender onto low speed.  Slowly pour in the melted butter and you can actually hear the sauce begin to thicken.  When you have added all the butter, taste to see if you need to adjust the seasonings.

Now to assemble.
A few slices of the ham
Your beautifully poached egg
A few spoonfuls of the lovely sinful Hollandaise sauce
Then top with a garnish of the minced serrano and cilantro

Friday, May 17, 2013

Homemade Mayonnaise

This recipe comes from my good friend Marian.  This makes about 2/3 cup which is the perfect amount to have on hand for burger night or for those cold roast beef sandwiches.  The roast beef sandwich idea is Marian's recommendation.  Don't be intimidated.  It only takes about 10 minutes and you're good to go.  This method is delicious and easy.  This is the recipe exactly as I received it from her.  Enjoy!

1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1 T. lemon juice
4 t. Dijon Mustard or more to taste
A small clove of pressed or minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup vegetable oil

If I have some heavy cream, I've been known to add a dab.

Put all but the oil in a food processor, turn it on and pour the oils in a thin steam till incorporated.  That's it, you're done.

Strawberries & Whipped Cream served over Pound Cake

It's strawberry time in Alabama and one of my family's favorite ways to enjoy them are simply sliced with a little sugar added and served over a nice slice of pound cake.
It's a busy week at Chez Lolly and even though pound cake is my favorite cake to bake when I have time, tonight's version features a boxed pound cake mix baked in a loaf pan.

I washed, stemmed and sliced/chopped the strawberries and added to a small bowl with a few tablespoons each of water and sugar.  Let the strawberries chill in the fridge for an hour or so and the sugar and water will thicken with the strawberry juice to form a nice, thick fruity syrup.

Here's a few tips before we start to make the whipped cream:
  • Make sure the cream is well chilled.  It will whip much faster, the colder it is.
  • While the berries are in the fridge, place the bowl you will use to whip the cream and the mixer beaters into the fridge to chill as well.
  • One cup of cream will make about two cups of whipped cream.
  • Use powdered sugar instead of granulated.  It will dissolve easier.
  • Use about 2 T. of sugar for each cup of cream.  You may want more or less depending on your taste.
Pour the cream into the cold bowl and begin mixing with the mixer on low speed.  As the cream begins to thicken, increase the mixer speed and add the sugar. 

Continue beating the mixture until you have soft peaks.  You can go a little longer if you want stiffer peaks, but if you go too long.........you know what you get?  Butter.   

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Whole Wheat Penne Pasta Salad with Smoked Salmon, Tomatoes and Asparagus

Isn't that a lovely presentation?  This pasta salad was great as a weeknight dinner, but I can also envision it on a brunch buffet, a bridal or baby shower dish or a nice take to work lunch.  The flavors are great together plus you get the added bonus of whole wheat pasta and veggies!  In my opinion, it's better if made the day before to let the flavors blend.  

Ingredients for dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Greek vanilla flavored yogurt
1/3 cup finely grated red onion
1 T. finely chopped fresh dill
1 T. prepared horseradish
1/2 T. garlic powder
1/2 lime, juiced
1 T. powdered sugar (if, after tasting, you think it needs a little sweetness)
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the above listed ingredients and set aside.

1 box of whole wheat penne pasta, cooked al dente and drained
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces, blanched and drained
2 cups of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
4 green onions, thinly sliced
8 – 12 ounces of smoked salmon broken into bite sized chunks

Mix together the pasta, asparagus, tomatoes and green onions.  Gently stir in the dressing.

Then gently mix in the chunks of smoked salmon.  You want to leave bite sized pieces.

Garnish with a little more dill and a few more of the sliced tomatoes.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chocolate Chess Pie

Chess pies are a staple in almost every Southern kitchen's recipe bank.  I had never eaten or baked a chocolate version though.  But honestly, don't tell anyone, but I could have eaten this entire pie.  By myself.  Warm out of the oven.  I had planned on making whipped cream to go on top, but I couldn't wait to try a bite and when I did, I knew I couldn't wait.  Can you tell I'm going to be baking another one of these pies soon? 

Pastry for 1 9-inch single crust pie
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 square (1 oz). of unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten well
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 9 inch pie pan with crust and crimp edges decoratively.    Refrigerate until needed.

Combine the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring often, until the chocolate and butter melt and you can stir them together into a smooth sauce, 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove from the heat, add the sugar, and stir well.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and salt, and stir to combine everything evenly.

Pour the filling into the pie crust and place the pie on the bottom rack of the oven.  Bake until the pie is puffed up, fairly firm and handsomely browned, 35 - 45 minutes.

Place the pie on a cooling rack or folded kitchen towel and let cool for at least 10 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

This recipe comes from my most favorite pie cookbook:  Southern Pies by Nancie McDermott 

Cheesy Layered Hashbrowns

Tired of the old worn out hashbrown casserole recipe?  Don't want to get out the griddle and make 5 or 6 rounds of hashbrowns?  Then get a large, nonstick skillet and try this recipe.  Next time I make it I'm going to add some diced ham.  I think that would work.  (and taste great!)

4 - 5 large russet potatoes, peeled and grated either on a box grater or zipped through a food processor
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a dash of cayenne pepper
4 T. canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese (plus a few tablespoons more for garnish)
1 T. chopped chives

Take the grated potatoes and wring them dry in a clean dish towel or spin them dry in a salad spinner.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large, non-stick skillet until the it shimmers. Very carefully add half of the potatoes to the skillet and pat them down evenly with a wood spoon or spatula. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cayenne.

Lower the heat to medium low. Add cheese evenly over the layer of potatoes and then add other of potatoes over the cheese. Let cook, undisturbed, for 8 - 10 minutes. Periodically during the cooking time, very gently lift the edge of the potatoes  with a spatula and make sure potatoes are not browning too much, too soon. Adjust heat level accordingly.

At the end of the 8 - 10 minutes, very carefully turn the potatoes over in one movement with a wide spatula OR slide out onto a large plate and then invert the potatoes back into the skillet to brown the other side. Let good for 5 - 7 minutes longer and then slide out of skillet onto a serving platter.

Top with a little more shredded cheddar and chopped chives. Cut into wedges and serve.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Black Bean & Yellow Rice Quesadilla

I'm still repurposing the Cinco de Mayo leftovers.  Today I warmed some of the black beans and yellow rice and got out the tortillas and shredded Mexican blend cheese.
Lightly butter one side of a flour tortilla.  Place it in a medium skillet over medium high heat, buttered side down.  Add a layer of shredded cheese, a layer of each of the warmed beans and rice and top with another layer of shredded cheese.
Add another buttered tortilla, buttered side up.  When the bottom tortilla has browned, carefully flip the quesadilla over and let the other side brown to your desired doneness.
Place on plate and top with sour cream, salsa, pico, shredded lettuce or whatever topping you like.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mango Margarita

This is my new favorite margarita.  Slice up a nice juicy lime.  With one lime slice, gently moisten the rim of your glass.  Dip the rim in margarita salt.
Mix the following and pour into your pre-salted glass.  Add ice and stir.  Garnish glass with lime slice.
2 ounces of silver tequila
2 ounces mango margarita mix
lime and salt

Black Bean Nachos

With leftover from Cinco de Mayo still in the fridge, it was time to re-invent the dishes into a brand new meal.
Layer tortilla chips on a microwave or broiler safe plate.  Heat black beans until hot and spoon over chips.  Sprinkle your favorite shredded cheese over the chips and either put under the broiler until the cheese melts or zap in the microwave for about 20 seconds.  Top with sour cream and if you were lucky enough to have some leftover pico or tomatillo salsa add that to the mix.  Deeeeelicious.

Pico de Gallo

I love the fresh crunchiness of Pico. I will always choose it over salsa. This is an excellent version to top tacos or eat with chips. I would imagine some diced mango would be quite tasty in here as well.  

4 medium Roma tomatoes, finely diced
1 cup red onion, finely diced
1 cup minced cilantro
1 red jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 green jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 Serrano, seeded and finely diced
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 t. salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 t. sugar

Combine all ingredients in a medium serving bowl. Chill until ready to serve.

Salsa Verde: Green Tomatillo Salsa

This was the perfect topping for those black beans I cooked for Cinco.  Bright, vibrant flavors without overpowering heat.  It also worked well with the shrimp tacos and the chicken enchiladas.  I can see myself keeping a bowl of this in the fridge all summer.  

Adjust the pepper types and amounts to your comfortable heat level.  

5 - 6 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed well and quartered
1 Jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and rough chopped
1 Serrano, stemmed, seeded and rough chopped
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup chopped white onion
2 cloves garlic
splash of red wine vinegar
zest of one lime
1 t. salt

In a food processor or a blender, add all ingredients.    Pulse until the ingredients are pureed.  Chill until serving time or use immediately.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fiesta Beans

These were a definite hit at the party and using non-fat refried beans makes these healthy as well.  You can also use low or non-fat cheese to make these even more figure friendly.

1 16 oz. can nonfat refried beans
1 15 oz. pinto beans, drained
¾ cup prepared salsa (whatever heat level you wish)
1 cup shredded Mexican or Monterey Jack cheese
3 – 4 green onions, sliced on the diagonal

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine beans, salsa and ¼ cup cheese in a sauce pan and heat through over medium heat until the mixture is hot and the cheese melted.  This should only take a few minutes.

Pour the mixture into a greased, 2 quart baking dish and top with remaining cheese.  Place in oven for 10 – 15 minutes until bean mixture is bubbling and the cheese is browned.

Remove from oven and top with sliced green onions.

Another posting of the "Someday to be Famous" Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

1 - 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, poached and shredded
8 oz. cream cheese
Small can diced green chilies, drained
Chili powder & cumin, to taste
2 – 3 cloves minced garlic
Three small cans of green enchilada sauce (or one large)
Shredded jack cheese
Flour tortillas

After cooking and shredding chicken, heat a small amount of olive oil in large skillet.  Add chicken and garlic and then when mixture is heated through, cube cream cheese into 8 equally sized pieces, add to chicken mixture and stir constantly until cheese is melted.  Add seasonings and diced chilies and 2/3 can of sauce.  Remove from heat.  Pour a small amount of sauce into bottom of greased 9 x 13 casserole dish and spread evenly.

Pour one can of sauce into shallow dish.  Take tortilla, dip in sauce and coat both sides thoroughly.  Add a couple of spoonfuls of chicken mixture, then add amount of cheese you want and roll tightly.

Place seam side down in casserole dish.  Repeat until you've used up all the chicken mixture.  Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with cheese.

Cover with foil and cook in a 350 degree oven 25 - 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.  Remove foil 5 minutes before cooking is completed to allow cheese to brown a little. 

Top with sour cream, black olives, cilantro, diced green onions or whatever makes you happy.  Serve with chips and black bean/corn salsa if you like.


Cinco de Mayo 2013

Here's some photos of our dining table and the FOOD tables!  I hope you had fun celebrating the 5th of May like we did.  

Kentucky Hot Browns

Oh the deliciousness of a Kentucky Hot Brown.  Toasted bread, a thick layer of turkey, a nice cheesy sauce and then a slice of tomato topped with bacon.  What's not to love right?

The only "recipe" you will need for this one is for the sauce; the rest is just layering the ingredients.

The following will make 4 sandwiches:
4 slices thick sliced bread, toasted
1 lb. thick sliced turkey (you can either warm the turkey slices slightly or not)
Mornay Sauce
1 large ripe tomato, sliced
8 slices bacon, cooked and drained

Mornay Sauce:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Slowly whisk in the flour.  Whisking constantly, cook the roux for 1 minute.

Slowly add the milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly for a minute or two until the sauce has thickened.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

What a perfect dessert to serve at the end of our Kentucky Derby watching party! Sinfully rich though, so serve very small slices!

1 (9 inch pie shell)
1 cup white granulated sugar
½ cup white corn syrup
½ cup dark corn syrup
½ cup butter
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup Kentucky bourbon
1 t. vanilla
¼ t. salt
¾ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Over low heat, in a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrups and butter.  Stirring constantly, heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together beaten eggs, bourbon, vanilla and salt.  Very slowly pour the cooled sugar syrup mixture into the egg mixture. 

Carefully stir in the chocolate chips and pecan pieces.  Pour mixture into pie shell.  Place pie shell onto a baking sheet and place in oven. 

Bake for 55-60 minutes until the filling is set and golden.  If the pie crusts begins to brown too much, cover with strips of aluminum foil.

Let the pie cool before slicing & serving.

I served mine with freshly whipped cream with a little extra bourbon drizzled over the cream.  

Honey Bourbon & Bacon Cornbread Muffins

I have very recently learned to appreciate the wonderful flavor of bourbon.  My favorite right now is Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey.  Y'all know I like my cornbread the minimalist way....cornmeal, buttermilk, bacon grease.  Sugar and eggs and flour in cornbread is NOT the way I roll.  Ever.

I found a recipes on A Bread a Day and adapted it to include honey bourbon and cooked the batter in muffin form instead of a skillet or baking dish.  The result was fantastic and very unique.  Served up with the Kentucky Burgoo, it was a perfect accompaniment.

1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 cups buttermilk
6 slices bacon (reserve fat to equal 2 T.)
1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
1 ½ T. baking powder
¼ t. baking soda
1 t. salt
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup honey
3 large eggs
1 T. unsalted butter, melted and then cooled a little
1 ½ oz. (jigger) honey bourbon
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Fry the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels and let cool enough to crumble.  Set aside for now.

In a small bowl, mix together the cornmeal and buttermilk and set aside for a few minutes while you get the other ingredients ready.

Take a medium bowl and sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir in the sugar.

In another larger bowl, whisk up the eggs.  Add the cooled, melted butter and the bourbon.  Now pour in the cornmeal/buttermilk mixture and stir until well combined.

Taking a pastry brush, coat the insides of two 12 muffin, muffin pans with the bacon fat and put the pans in the preheated oven for a few minutes.

While the pans are heating, stir the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients.  Make sure that everything is combined well.  Now very carefully stir in the corn kernels.

Remove the muffin pans from the oven and carefully ladle in the batter until the cups are about 2/3 full.  Sprinkle the tops of the muffin batter with the crumbled bacon.

Bake for 16 – 18 minutes (depending on your oven’s temperament) until nicely browned.  Remove from oven and let rest in the pans for a few minutes before removing.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Kentucky Burgoo

There are as many recipes online and in cookbooks for Kentucky Burgoo as there are gumbo recipes in Louisiana or Brunswick Stew recipes in Georgia.  This one is based on a recipe from Simply Recipes.  I choose, pork, chicken and lamb for the proteins and added a red bell pepper to my version. 

I made this the day before the Kentucky Derby and let the flavors blend in the fridge overnight.  It warmed up beautifully and was absolutely delicious.  This lovely bowl of goodness won rave reviews from all party attendees!

This recipe makes a LOT.  Either half or have wonderful leftovers for lunches. It also freezes beautifully.

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3-4 pounds pork country styled ribs, cut into large pieces (3 to 4 inches wide)
2-3 pounds lam shanks (3 to 4 inches wide)
3-5 chicken legs or thighs (bone-in)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart beef stock
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 large potatoes (we used russets)
1 bag of frozen corn (about a pound)
1 bag of frozen lima beans (about 14 ounces)
Salt and pepper
4-8 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco or other hot sauce on the side

Heat vegetable oil on medium-high heat in a large soup pot (at least 8 quart size). I used my LARGEST Le Creuset 9 1/2 quart pot.  Salt the meats well on all sides. When the oil is shimmering hot, working in batches brown all the meats.   Do not crowd the pan!  Remember we talk about this all the time.  If it's crowded together, it won't brown well at all.   Those nice beautiful bits of browned goodness on the bottom of the pot are where the flavors are!  Try to get a lovely sear on the meat.

First the pork ribs.....

Now the lamb shanks......

And last but not least, the chicken thighs......

Remove the browned meats to a large plate.

Add the onions, carrots, celery and green and red pepper to the pot and saute' those until they're nice and soft.  If you need to, add a little more oil.   After a few minutes of cooking, sprinkle salt over the vegetables.  This will help bring out the moisture in the vegetables.  When the vegetables are well browned, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.  Watch carefully, really browned garlic is bitter!

Add the chicken and beef broths and stir to combine.

Add the tomatoes and stir.......

Add the meats back to the pot, bring to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2 hours.  At this point, if the windows are open at your house, neighbors will be knocking at the door asking for a dinner invitation.

Uncover and remove the meat from the pot.  Let the meat cool for a bit and then take the chicken off the bone and discard the skin. Tear the larger pieces of meat into smaller pieces.  By cooking the meat on the bone, you a much richer flavor to the burgoo.  Add all the meat back to the pot and bring it up to a strong simmer.

Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks about 1/2 inch square.  Add them to the pot.  They'll take about 15 minutes to become fork tender.   At this point, add the Worcestershire sauce and let simmer for a few minutes.  At this point you'll need to taste and check to see if you need to add a little salt.  I started out with the 4 T. of Worcestershire and then added the other 4 T. as well.  It gives an amazing depth of flavor.  
Now you'll add the corn and lima beans.  Mix well and cook for at least 10 minutes.  If you want the bright colors of the veggies to pop, you're ready to go at this point.  If you want a really thick mishmash of veggies and meat and potatoes, cook as long as you want on very low heat..

I decided to stop at this point and let it cool slightly and refrigerated overnight. Serve with crusty bread or cornbread and a bottle of hot sauce on the side.  And although the original recipe suggested the hot sauce, for once in my life, I didn't add any to my serving.  It was perfect as is.

Super thanks to Simply Recipes!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Derby Dogs

Thanks to The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council for this delicious recipe.  You can substitute apple cider for the bourbon if you wish. 

1/3 cup Kentucky bourbon
2/3 cup chili sauce
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
14-16 ounces cocktail franks, drained

Stir bourbon, chili sauce, sugar and onion together in a 2-quart saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until well-combined.  Stir in cocktail franks.

Reduce heat to low and gently simmer in an uncovered pan for 1 to 1½ hours, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes.  Cook until sauce thickens.

Transfer to a fondue pot and maintain a low heat while serving.

Benedictine Dip

A little background information for this wonderful dip.  Benedictine Dip or Benedictine Spread is a condiment made with cucumbers and cream cheese.  It was originally used to make cucumber sandwiches and was invented around the turn of the 20th century by Jennie Carter Benedict, a caterer and restaurateur in Louisville, Kentucky.  Benedict opened her restaurant in 1893.  It was there that she invented and originally served benedictine.  Originally used for sandwiches, benedictine has in recent years been used as a dip for chips and filling for potatoes.  (Thanks Wikipedia!)

1 large seedless cucumber, peeled and grated
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 T. grated onion
1/4 t. salt
1 T. mayonnaise
1/4 t. dried thyme
1 drop green food coloring

Squeeze as much moisture as possible from the cucumber.
Add the cucumber and remaining ingredients to a food processor and pulse until all the ingredients are well blended. Chill until ready to serve.

Serve with pita chips, spread on bread for sandwiches or eat with celery sticks.