Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Grilled Lamb Burgers on Rosemary Bread

We've had grilled lamb burgers on the blog before served in a pita.  This time, we changed up the seasonings a bit and served the burgers open faced on grilled rosemary bread from Publix.  The density of the bread held up great against the burger and the toppings.

To make the burgers:

1 lb. ground lamb
1 T. EACH minced oregano and mint
2 t. minced garlic
salt and pepper

Shape into patties and grill 5 minutes on each side.

When the burgers are almost done, slice the rosemary bread into thick slices and coat with a thin layer of olive oil.  Grill on both sides until nicely browned.

To make the topping:
8 oz. Greek yogurt
1/2 T. minced mint
1/2 T. minced oregano
zest of one lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. cayenne powder
1/4 t. ground allspice

In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients.  Chill until ready to serve.

We topped these burgers with the yogurt sauce, sliced red onions, sliced seeded cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and crumbled feta.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Caramel Corn Squeezin's

A dear family friend provided our liquid version of corn for our meal.  Caramel Corn Moonshine!  No recipe for this one due to it being a family guarded secret, but I thought I'd post a pic!

Corn Ice Cream

I know what you're thinking.....corn...ice cream.  Yep, that's what you read.  

Guess what?  It's delicious!  But honestly how can anything that has half and half and Eagle Brand Milk not be delicious?
Bring 2 cups EACH half and half and fresh corn kernels to a simmer; season with salt and cook 5 minutes.  Cool slightly.  Puree with 1 cup Eagle Brand Milk in a blender until smooth.  Chill.  Churn in an ice cream freezer and then freeze until firm.

From Food Network Magazine

Corn Frittata

If you are a regular reader of the blog, you know that I love frittatas.  So easy to mix up and cook and the ingredient combinations are endless.

Following our corn themed meal, this one includes corn and peppers and cheese.  What's not to love, right?

Mix 8 eggs with 1/4 t. kosher salt, 1 cup cooked corn kernels, 1 each stemmed, seeded and minced jalapeno and Serrano pepper, a few grinds of black pepper, 3 thinly sliced green onions, white and light green parts and 1 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Pour into an oiled, oven proof skillet.  Cook over medium heat without stirring for about 5 minutes.

Then put it into a preheated 400 degree oven until it's set, usually about 13-15 minutes.

Garnish with sour cream and thinly sliced green onions.

Corn and Vegetable Pasta Salad

The key to this pasta salad is to cut the vegetables as close in size and shape as the ditali pasta which is very close in size and shape to the corn kernels.  It will take a little time to cut the zucchini this small which is why I used my handy dandy chopper contraption. 

Let's make our salad!

16 oz. ditali pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained and rinsed with cool water
1 small zucchini, diced
12 cherry tomatoes, diced
3 ears of corn, kernels removed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
zest of one lemon
2 T. chopped fresh basil

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and sour cream until well blended.  Place drained pasta and vegetables in a large bowl and mix well.  Add the dressing and fold until mixed. 

Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  You may need to add a little more mayo/sour cream mixture if you'd like it more moist.  Just before serving add the lemon zest and basil.

Corn, Italian Sausage & Shrimp Soup

When I began trying to decide on the soup for the corn themed meal, I automatically thought of corn chowder.  After checking out dozens of recipes, I decided that wasn't really what I had in mind.
This make up as you go along pot of goodness fit the bill perfectly.
1 T. olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 large potatoes, chopped
8 cups chicken stock
1 T. Italian seasoning
1/2 t. fennel seeds, ground
1 T. chopped parsley
3 cups corn kernels
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and freshly ground pepper
red pepper flakes (if desired)
In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, heat olive oil until shimmering.  Add sausage (about half a pound at a time) and cooked until both sides are well browned.  Drain on paper towels.
Drain all but 1 T. of fat from the Dutch oven and lower heat to low and add onions.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to brown, about 5 - 6 minutes.  Add garlic and cook a minute longer.
Next add tomatoes potatoes and chicken stock.  Raise heat and bring to a boil.  Add seasonings and corn and reduce heat to a simmer.
Let soup cook for 30 minutes or so and then add shrimp.  It will only take about 5 minutes for the shrimp to cook.  When they are a lovely shade of pink, you're ready to eat!
Check for seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Spicy Corn Muffins with Cream Cheese and Corn Cob Jelly

To start out our corn themed meal, I baked some spicy, yellow cornmeal mini muffins.  Fresh from the oven, with a little bit of softened cream cheese and then topped with a dab of the corn cob jelly.....these little bites are heaven on a plate.

I used a mini-muffin pan and the recipe made 36 of them.  Of course, you can use a regular sized muffin tin.  Adjust your cooking time accordingly.

1 3/4 cup yellow self-rising corn meal
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1 small jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 small Serrano pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (be sure to thaw kernels first)
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray the muffin tin with non-stick spray.  Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.  Let rest about 5 minutes.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. 

These would be excellent with chili or soup or stew.  But they were absolutely delicious spread with the cream cheese and topped with the jelly. 

Corn Cob Jelly

Southerners, in general, are not wasteful people.  Our ancestors gave us wonderful examples of making the most of what they had.  Have you ever heard of corn cob jelly?  The taste and texture is very close to honey. It's delicious on biscuits, toast or maybe these little spicy corn muffins?  The recipe for those will be posted as well.

Cut corn from a dozen or so ears and use them for another recipe.  

Get a large stock pot and put in the freshly cut cobs and cover with water.  Bring water to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes.

Discard the cobs and strain the liquid through several layers of cheese cloth.  Don't squeeze the cheesecloth, just let the liquid slowly drain through.  You should have close to 4 cups of liquid.  Add enough water to equal 4 cups.

Return the water to the stockpot and add a pouch of liquid pectin.  Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Add 4 cups of sugar all at once and stir constantly while it boils for 5 minutes.  

Remove from heat and quickly skim off the foam and discard.  

Ladle the jelly mixture into hot, sterilized pint or half pint jelly jars leaving 1/4 inch space at the top.  

Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp, clean paper towel and place hot, sterilized two-piece metal canning lids onto jars.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Carefully remove the jars from the water bath and let cool.  As the jars cool, you'll hear the distinctive "POP" as they seal.  Store in a cool, dark cabinet.

This recipe was found in a cookbook with both covers and a lot of pages missing. It obviously was very old.  I can't give credit, because it was literally falling apart. I don't know the name or author of the cookbook.

Celebrate corn with a John Deere table setting!

It's that time of year!  The corn is ready and how better to celebrate it's wonderful flavor than with a John Deere theme.

I used Fiestaware Shamrock and Sunflower colored plates and napkins. 

How about a nice half pint canning jar with popcorn as a candle holder?

The table covering was fabric purchased at Hobby Lobby

A lovely Mod Podge candle from Hobby Lobby

The glasses were a great deal from Kohl's.
The green design resemble ears of corn!

A favorite aunt gave me these corn dishes over 30 years ago!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Gin and Tonic

The hot and humid days of summer in Alabama are upon us.  This is Sweet Harold's most favorite summertime adult beverage. 

Fill Collins glass with ice.  Add 2 oz. Tanqueray gin.  Squeeze a little lime juice in the glass.  Fill with your favorite tonic water.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shrimp and Summer Vegetable Stuffed Poblano

The trip to the farmer's market yielded a wonderful bounty of poblano peppers.  Usually, I roast the peppers and let them stay in a bag for awhile to get the "skin" to loosen and then remove before using the peppers.

But this time, I decided to use them as is.  The addition of some chicken stock in the roasting pan helped to steam the peppers and they were as tender as could be.  I don't think I'll do the roast and peel method again.
Look at these beautiful peppers!

Let's make our filling.

2 T. olive oil
2 white onions, chopped
2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1 Serrano, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
2 small green bell peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ears of fresh corn, cut from the cob
1 can Rotel tomatoes (your choice of flavor)
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. cayenne
juice from one half lime
1 package yellow rice, cooked according to package directions
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into thirds
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
6 large poblano peppers
3/4 cup chicken stock

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onions and peppers and cook until softened.  Add garlic and cook for a minute more. 

At this point you will add the corn kernels, tomatoes, spices and lime juice.  Lower heat and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the cooked rice, shrimp and cheese.  Make sure all the ingredients are blended together.

On the stem end of the peppers, carefully cut two thirds away around the pepper and make a slit down the length of the pepper and carefully remove the seeds and membranes.
Remove filling from heat and carefully spoon it into the peppers and as each is filled, place in a large baking dish.  When all the peppers are filled, slowly pour the chicken stock around the peppers.

Here's a close up of one of the peppers ready to go into the oven.

Cover with foil and place in oven for 30 - 35 minutes.  Let rest a minute or so before serving.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Roasted Tomatillo & Chicken Stew

A trip to the nearby farmer's market resulted in a great buy on tomatillos and other assorted vegetables.  I have posted a recipe previously of a tomatillo and pork stew.  This time I decided to roast them a bit and use smoked chicken from a local bbq restaurant instead.  If you're not a fan of a lot of heat, adjust the amount of jalapenos and Serrano peppers accordingly.  If you love hot peppers, leave some of the seeds.

1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos, papery skins removed, rinsed and halved
3 T. olive oil
2 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded
2 Serrano peppers, stemmed and seeded
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 t. salt
juice of 1/2 lime

In a medium sized bowl, place the halved tomatillos and the olive oil.  Stir until they are well coated and then place face down on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Pour any remaining oil over the tomatillos.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 18-20 minutes. 

Let them cool slightly and then carefully spoon them into a blender with all the juices which have cooked out of them.  Add the peppers, garlic, salt  and lime juice.  Puree until smooth.  Set aside.

Now we'll make the Stew part of the recipe:

2 T. olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
1 T. oregano (preferably fresh)
1 T. Tone's S. W. Chipotle seasoning
2 cups chicken stock
1 lb. smoked chicken, cubed or shredded
Cilantro and/or sour cream for garnish

In a large Dutch oven, over medium high heat, add the olive oil and onions.  Let the onions cook until translucent, but not browned.  Add the garlic and seasonings and let cook with the onions for a minute or so.

Slowly add chicken stock and bring to a gentle boil.  Add the reserved tomatillo sauce and the chicken.  Let cook for 20 - 25 minutes at a simmer. 

Serve with chips or Mexican cornbread and garnish with cilantro and/or sour cream if desired.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Reese's Peanut Butter and Chcolate Pie

Peanut butter pies are a staple at Southern dessert tables.  There are dozens of variations, but this recipe is from Hershey's Best Loved Recipes, a cookbook I purchased a few years ago after a tour of the Hershey plant in Hershey, PA.  If you ever have an opportunity to visit, please take the time to go.  You'll enjoy it!
1 1/3 cups Hershey's mini kisses, semi-sweet or milk chocolate baking pieces, divided
2 T. milk
1 packaged crumbed crust (I used a chocolate version)
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup Reese's Creamy or Crunchy peanut butter
8 oz. frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
Place 2/3 cup chocolate chips and milk in a small microwavable bowl.  Microwave at high (100%) for 30-45 seconds or just until blended and smooth when served; spread evenly onto bottom of crust.  Cover; refrigerate.
Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth.  Gradually beat in sugar.  On low speed, blend in peanut butter and then whipped topping.  Spoon evenly into crust over chocolate mixture.  Cover; refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.
Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over pie right before serving.  Serve cold, cover and refrigerate leftover pie.

Baked Crunchy Zucchini Rounds

Looking for another way to use up the zucchini at your house? Tired of baking into bread or muffins, frying in the skillet or sautéing? I decided to thinly slice them, coat with panko and Parmesan and bake. Fast, healthy and delicious.

1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (1/4 inch)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
dash of salt and a few grinds of black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Light spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

Pour olive oil into a shallow baking dish. In another shallow baking dish, combine panko, cheese and salt and pepper.

Taking a few slices of zucchini at a time, dip them into the olive oil and then press them down individually into the breading mixture and place on baking sheet.

Repeat until all the slices are coated. Place in oven and bake for 18- 22 minutes until browned and crunchy. Watch carefully because you don't want them to get too brown. Depending on your oven, you may need to let them cook a little longer. Taste one and if it's your perfect definition of crispy/crunchy, you'll know they're ready.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pizza Making/Baking Party

A few weekends ago, we decided to host a pizza making/baking party. I had purchased individual square pizza stones and I found that Mama Mary now has pizza crusts in a rectangular shape. Each long pizza dough rectangle was cut into 9 pieces.

Our toppings included: shredded chicken, homemade pesto, goat cheese, mozzarella pearls, pizza sauce, wing sauce, blue cheese, balsamic vinegar glaze, smoked sausage, queso........and on and on.

Here's some pictures and descriptions of the pizzas. All were delicious. Next time you have friends over, instead of automatically calling for delivery, try making your own. It was a fun time.

Sauce, Smoked Sausage, Peppers, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Pesto, Tomatoes and Mozzarella with Balsamic Glaze

Pesto, Shredded Chicken and Mozzarella

Buffalo Wing Sauce, Shredded Chicken, Blue Cheese

Pizza Sauce, Smoked Sausage, Diced Jalapenos, Banana and Serrano Peppers, Queso

Pasta Salad with Smoked Salmon and Vegetables

8 oz. angel hair pasta, broken into 3 inch pieces
12 oz. smoked salmon gently broken into bite sized pieces with a fork
1 bunch thin asparagus
1/4 cup olive oil
2 small yellow squash, chopped in bite sized pieces
5 cloves of garlic, minced
6 - 8 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
A mixture of fresh basil, rosemary and parsley, chopped...enough to equal 1/2 cup
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions and then rinse with cold water and drain well.  While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the squash first and saute for 1 - 2 minutes then add the asparagus and garlic and let those cook for 1 minute.  You want the veggies to barely soften.  Remove from heat and let cool.

When vegetables have cooled, combine the drained pasta, salmon and vegetables in a large bowl which has a lid available. Add the olive oil in which the squash, asparagus and garlic cooked.  Mix in the tomatoes, onion and herbs.  Add desired amount of salt and pepper.  Put the lid on the bowl and shake to combine all the ingredients.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.   Check taste and adjust seasoning if needed.  If you'd like, you can also add a little additional olive oil.  

Top with freshly grated Parmesan if desired.

Not your average BLT (Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato)

This BLT is definitely not your ordinary BLT.  This one is served open faced with thick sliced bacon, red onions, crisp iceberg lettuce and spicy mayo.

Thick slices of bread
Olive oil
pinch of cayenne
1/4 t. horseradish
1/2 pound thick sliced bacon, fried and drained well
1 large very ripe tomato, sliced
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Thinly sliced red onion
Fresh dill
Sliced avocado

Let's begin!

We used thick slices of rosemary bread.  You can choose any sort of bread you like, but make sure it is thick sliced.  A nice "country styled" bread would be an excellent choice.  Heat a grill pan over high heat and brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil.  Let the bread heat until you have nice grill marks and then flip slices over and repeat.

That's just pretty isn't it?

Depending on how many sandwiches you're making, take 1/4 - 1/3 cup of your favorite mayonnaise and add cayenne and horseradish.  As always, adjust the amounts to the heat level you like.  Blend it in well and spread on the bread.

Now add a layer of the bacon

You'll need to turn the broiler on and place the tomato slices on a baking sheet.  Put the tomatoes under the broiler just until they begin to soften.  Add them on top of your bacon slices.

Next add the thinly sliced red onion and shredded iceberg lettuce.

Add a few sprigs of dill

And top with sliced avocados if you'd like.

Yep, you're going to need a fork!