Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Home Cooking in a Hurry: Boneless Pork Chops with Caper and Butter Sauce

This one clocked in at a 31 minute completion time!  Begin the water to boil for the pasta or rice before you start anything else.  You can easily substitute chicken broth for the white wine in this dish if you prefer.

Definitely a home cooking in a hurry classic that should be in your regular rotation.  

4 boneless pork chops, pounded thin
2 T. olive oil
1/2 cup self rising flour
salt and pepper

1 T. butter
1T. reserved flour
1/3 cup wine (or chicken broth)
1 T. coarse grain mustard
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. capers
1 T. butter

Add the olive oil to a large skillet and let heat over high heat until it shimmers.  

In a shallow plate, lightly mix flour with salt and pepper.  Lightly dredge pork chops and shake off excess.  Place in skillet and lower heat to medium.  Let chops cook 5 - 6 minutes per side until well browned and cooked though.

Remove chops from skillet and drain oil into a small bowl to be discarded.

Add 1 T. butter to skillet with 1 T. of the reserved flour.  Increase heat to medium high and, stirring constantly, let flour "cook" for a minute or so.  Add wine and let cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add mustard, capers, and lemon juice and continue stirring.  Remove from heat and add the last tablespoon of butter.  Stir to blend in and spoon over chops.  Serve immediately.

Add the other tablespoon of butter and stir to allow it to melt and blend in with the

Black Bean/Pinto Bean Stew with Jalapeno Cornmeal Dumplings

I drug out the Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven and made a great pot of Black Bean / Pinto Bean Stew. This would have delicious on its own, but the jalapeno and cornmeal dumplings pushed it over the top.  A little dollop of sour cream and a spoonful of my home made salsa rounded everything out beautifully.

Soaking the beans overnight will speed the cooking process.  If you don't want to use dried beans, canned beans will work perfectly.

For the stew:
1 ham hock or ham bone
1/2 lb. dried black beans
1/2 lb. dried pinto beans
Water to cover beans
2 T. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 jalapenos seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
2 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste
1 can Mexican style corn, drained

Rinse and sort the beans in a large bowl.  Discard any beans that are shriveled or bad.  Cover with fresh water and let soak overnight.

In a large Dutch oven, over medium heat, brown the ham bone or ham hock.

In a medium skillet, over medium high heat, add olive oil, onions, peppers and garlic.  Stirring frequently, let vegetables soften, but not browned.

Drain soaking water from beans, add to the Dutch oven and cover with water.  Add seasonings and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer and cover and cook for 2 - 3 hours stirring occasionally.  Add additional water if needed.

Approximately 30 minutes before serving, add corn and taste.  Add salt and pepper and additional seasonings if you want a more spicy taste. 

Now we'll make the dumplings: (from All Recipes)

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 T. cold butter, cut into cubes
1 fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
Zest of one lime
1/2 cup buttermilk

Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.    Add butter and use a pastry blender, two knives or a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add jalapeno and lime zest and toss to coat.  Add buttermilk and stir to form a dough.

Using generous tablespoonfuls of dough, drop 8 dumplings on top of the stew.  Cover and cook for 15 - 20 minutes until dumplings are cooked through.  Serve each portion of stew topped with a dumpling.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Easter 2015 - Dining Room Table

Every Easter, I attempt to change things just enough that it will look completely different, but basically use the same pieces I've owned for years.

For years, I used all my pastel Fiesta ware plates because they so remind me of Easter Eggs!

This year (even to my surprise!) I decided to use all white plates and have purple as my POP of color for the table.

I love this pretty Easter basket with his purple basket!

I found these little custard cups in a junk store a months ago.  Six for $5.  I think they look great with a little green crinkly paper grass and sparkly eggs for each place setting.

And yesterday's find at an antique mall.

I can't let the china cabinet go unadorned!

Waffle with Bourbon Sorghum Butter and Toasted Pecans

We decided that waffles sounded like the perfect breakfast today.  Remember last week when we made Bourbon Sorghum Butter?  It was delicious on the waffles.  I toasted some chopped pecans to add to the top for extra flavor and crunch!

And how about some Honey Bourbon, Brown Sugar, and Black Pepper Bacon as a side?  Why, yes, thank you!

Honey Bourbon, Brown Sugar and Black Pepper Bacon

This morning we chose waffles for breakfast and I thought I'd make some bourbon bacon to go along with the bourbon butter we made last weekend.  I used regular sliced bacon for this batch.  Next time I'll definitely go the thick sliced route.

Remember that the bacon will continue to "crisp" after it's removed from the oven and cools.  If you like your bacon more chewy (like me!), remove from oven at the earliest time.  If you like it really crunchy, cook it the full time.

1 lb. bacon, sliced in half to make half slices
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 T. honey bourbon
freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place a baking cooling rack on top of the parchment.

Carefully place bacon slices on the rack.  I used a pepper mill and cracked the black pepper directly onto the slices.

In a small bowl, combine light brown sugar and bourbon and stir until sugar melts into bourbon.  Brush the bourbon mixture onto the slices.

The cooking time will depend on how you like your bacon as I noted above.  Start checking the bacon at 20 minutes.  25 minutes will give you a very crispy, crunchy piece of bacon.  I removed mine from the oven at 22 minutes.

If you use thick sliced bacon, of course, the cooking time will be longer.

Doesn't this look delicious?  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Vegetable Breakfast Bake

I couldn't decide what to make for breakfast this morning. So, as I often do, I started with potatoes. And then the idea for a crustless quiche begin to form. The result is a delicious mixture of vegetables, eggs and the ever popular Boursin Cheese . If you've never tried this light and flavorful cheese, please do! It's easily spreadable on crackers or bread and, with this recipe, it added the perfect amount of flavors without being heavy or oily as some Cheddars are prone to do.

This recipe can be dressed up or down. If I had had some sun dried tomatoes or bell peppers or mushrooms, they would have made a wonderful addition. My recipe is simply a starting point. Mix or match your favorite vegetables. Some diced cooked ham or bacon would have been delicious as well.

2 T. olive oil
2 mediums potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1 cup packed baby spinach leaves, stemmed and torn into smaller pieces
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 - 5.2 oz. Boursin cheese
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking dish. I used an oversized deep dish pie plate.

In a large skillet over low heat, add olive oil and allow it to warm slightly. Add vegetables and salt and pepper. Let the vegetables cook, stirring often, just until they begin to soften, but not brown.

While vegetables are softening, in a large bowl, combine eggs and heavy cream. Lightly salt and pepper. Set aside.

Remove vegetables from stove top and crumble in the Boursin cheese. Stir to allow it to melt into the vegetables.  

Slowly pour in the eggs and stir to combine.  

Now add the eggs and vegetables to the prepared baking dish. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes until done. A knife inserted in the middle should come out clean. If you want the eggs to be more browned, turn on the broiler for a minute or so.

Serve immediately. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Nuremberg Bratwurst with Kraut and German Mustards

This is an excellent "one skillet meal." 

A little back story on the sausage from Live Like a German:

Nuremberg Bratwurst - as is well known, these sausages are the smallest in Germany, if not the world: They aren't allowed to be bigger than 8 cm long, must not weigh more than 25 grams, and are, accordingly thin, too.

Their history goes back to 1313, when they were first mentioned in written form, but of course, much of their ingredients and preparation has changed.

Why the small size?
At a time in the 16th century, when meat was very expensive and the sausages were sold one by one, as they are today, it was simply good for business to make them smaller. That way, the same amount of raw material gave more sausages, so that the Nuremberg butchers could get up to six times as much for their wares than other Franconian butchers.

As a specialty with protected region of origin, the original Nuremberg Rostbratw├╝rste may only be produced in this town - but of course, there's nothing speaking against consuming the tasty small sausages anywhere you want.

I purchased the sausages at ALDI.  
I simply browned these tasty little sausages in the skillet with a little oil over medium high heat until they were heated through and nicely browned.  I added a can of undrained kraut and mixed it all together and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.  Dinner was on the table in 8 minutes!  You can't beat that!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday Night Fish Fry

I know, the majority of the world has Friday Night Fish Frys.  But I tend to do things Lolly's way.  So let's have a Monday night fish fry!  My fish of choice (just to satisfy a mega-craving) was Mississippi Farm Raised Catfish.  

As you can see from the photo above, I brought out the fun, retro, "drive-in" style baskets and lined them with parchment paper.  A nice bowl of cole slaw, french fries and my favorite of all time hush puppies rounded out the meal with lemon wedges, ketchup and tartar sauce.

Let's fry some fish!

2 lbs. farm raised catfish filets, rinsed and patted dry
2 cups buttermilk
a few dashes of hot sauce
few grinds of black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, hot sauce and black pepper.  Add a dash or two of salt, if desired, but remember the hot sauce will contain a lot of sauce.  Add the catfish and let soak for at least 15 - 20 minutes.

In a shallow dish or baking pan, combine the following:

2 cups white, self-rising cornmeal
few grinds of black pepper
1/4 t. seasoned salt
1/4 t. granulated garlic

Pre-heat oil to 375 degrees either in a deep fryer or a heavy Dutch oven.  You will need enough oil to allow the fish to float to the surface.  

Take 2 - 3 pieces of fish (depending on their size and the size of your fryer) from the buttermilk mixture and let drain slightly.  Add it to the cornmeal and turn to coat both sides completely.

SLOWLY add the fish into the oil.  Let fish cook 5 - 6 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.  

Remove from oil using tongs or the basket with the fryer and place on a baking sheet.  Place in a warm oven to keep warm while you fry remaining fish.  Taste and sprinkle with a little salt if needed.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Lolly's Southern Hush Puppies Part II

If you're going to enjoy a fish fry, an absolute MUST is a crunchy, light hush puppy.  Southern tradition is that people cooking outdoors would fry up these little cornmeal bits along with their fish as a side delicacy and would feed a few to the dogs to keep them quiet while the humans were eating.  Get it?  “Hush, puppies!”  I love that story.

Here's my version:

1 1/2 cups self rising white cornmeal (White Lily please!)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped.
a few grinds of black pepper
1/4 t. granulated garlic
1/4 t. seasoned salt
cooking oil heated to 375 degrees

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, buttermilk and onions until thoroughly mixed together.  Add pepper and parsley and stir to mix.  

Heat canola or peanut oil in a deep fryer or in a heavy Dutch oven to a temperature of 375 degrees.  Using a 1 1/2 inch scoop, slowly release batter one hush puppy at a time.   Don't crowd the cooker.  Cook in batches for 5 - 6 minutes until golden brown, the hush puppies are floating in the oil and they are cooked through.

Continue until all the batter is used.  Serve immediately.

Miss Clara's Cole Slaw

I have been craving fried catfish and hush puppies for a week or so.  I cooked those tonight to still the craving and decided instead of my usual cole slaw recipe, I'd use my Grandmother Clara's recipe.  

I shred the cabbage when I make slaw, but she always chopped hers.  And no food processor chopping.  SHE was the food processor.  And look what I also was blessed to receive from her kitchen.  HER cabbage chopper.  Throughout her life, I'm positive that she "put up" thousands of quarts of kraut.  That cabbage didn't chop itself, you know.  And yes, she padded the handle with mattress ticking and tied it with twine.  Absolutely priceless. 

Here is her recipe:

3 cups chopped green cabbage
3 spring onions, thinly sliced (green onions)
3 T. mayonnaise
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. Mazola corn oil
a few shakes each of salt and pepper
1/2 t. of celery seeds

Add to a bowl and stir.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thank you dear one!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Miss Clara's Chicken Loaf

In case you're new to my blog or have missed previous posts, Miss Clara was my paternal grandmother.  I was privileged to receive her recipe collection after she passed.  You can learn more about her by following this link.

One of my favorite foods to enjoy at her house was her Chicken Loaf.  And it wasn't made like your typical ground meat loaf.  Her version includes shredded chicken, rice and eggs to help bind it all together.  Unfortunately, as happens so many times, there was no written recipe.  So....I have tried different versions, different methods, different ingredients and I think I have come as close to the chicken loaf from my childhood as I can.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

4 cups of shredded cooked chicken (I used all white meat)
2 cups cooked rice
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
2 slices of white bread, torn into small pieces
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 large jar of diced pimentos, drained
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 t. sweet paprika
1/2 t. poultry seasoning
1/4 t. ground sage

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease either a large cast iron skillet, two loaf pans or a large casserole dish.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  You can add a little more onion or celery if you like.  Sage, for some people, is an acquired taste.  (pun intended!)  So feel free to eliminate if you don't care for sage.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 - 35 minutes or until golden brown.  Let rest a few minutes before serving.

Thank you dear one!

Black Pepper Biscuits

I am always willing to attempt another go at biscuits. Cornbread? No problem. I can bake that in my sleep. Yeast rolls? Done. I even made two very successful loaves of French baguettes. Biscuits? They still intimidate me. But today.....today I was very happy with the result of these little bites of savory biscuits.

I served them with Bourbon Sorghum Butter  which was perfect with the country ham.

4 cups all purpose flour
1 T. plus 1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 stick plus 6 T. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
2 cups cold buttermilk, plus more for brushing

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, 2 t. of salt and 1 1/2 t. of pepper.

Scatter the cubed butter over the dry ingredients and, using your fingers, pinch the butter into the flour to form small sheets of butter, with some of the butter about the size of peas. Stir in the 2 cups of buttermilk just until a dry, shaggy dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead gently, folding the dough over itself 2 or 3 times to form a layered dough.

Pat the dough out to a 1 inch thick rectangle. Using a large, sharp knife, cut out as many 3 inch square biscuits as you can. Gently press the scraps together and cut out more biscuits.

Arrange the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet. Brush them with buttermilk and sprinkle with coarsely ground black pepper.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm with the bourbon sorghum butter.

From Bobby Flay in Food and Wine 2015 Annual Recipes

Bourbon Sorghum Butter

This Bobby Flay compound butter recipe was paired with a recipe for Black Pepper Biscuits. I also made those and this butter was surprisingly smooth and creamy and melted into the biscuits like, well, butter. 

I can't wait to use some of this delicious compound butter on a baked sweet potato. Oh yes. I think that would be sublime.

2 T. Sorghum Syrup (or unsulfured molasses)
1 T. Bourbon
small pinch of cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks unsalted softened butter
Pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, whisk the sorghum syrup with the bourbon and cinnamon.  Bring just to a boil, then cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Let cool completely.

In a food processor, combine the cooled bourbon/sorghum mixture with the butter and puree until smooth. Scrape the butter into a bowl and season with salt. Cover and refrigerate.

From Bobby Flay in the 2015 Food and Wine Annual Cookbook

Pimento Cheese Cheese Ball

Another version of the every popular Pimento Cheese. I had been craving it all week. And this time, I thought, why not make a cheese ball instead of just simply placing it in a serving bowl or on a platter?  

Again, I don't think I have ever made pimento cheese the same way twice, so this is yet another slightly altered version.  Enjoy!

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
16 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (don't use pre-shredded)
1/4 - 1/2 cup Duke's mayonnaise (depending on how creamy you want)
1 large jar diced pimentos, drained
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. granulated garlic
1/8 t. ground cayenne
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. sweet paprika (plus more for garnishing)

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Shape into a ball and place on serving platter or cheese board. Sprinkle with additional paprika, if desired.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Lolly's 17 Vegetable Vegetable Soup

As with most things that I attempt, what started out simply, grew and grew and grew....I thought I would make a simple pot of roasted vegetable soup. I would roast a few carrots, some leeks, a potato or three, add those to some homemade vegetable stock. Let that simmer a bit and add a few additional vegetables.  Well, I did that. Yes. I did. But then, I saw this vegetable in the freezer, and these vegetables in the crisper drawer and then, a peep into the pantry showed me I had some dried  lentils and canned black eyed peas........you see where this is going.  

Roasting the root vegetables first, brings out their natural sweetness and adds so much flavor to the soup.  If you're pressed for time, you don't have to do that step, but it certainly makes a difference.

As always, add the vegetables you like and have on hand. Portion sizes are based the same way, if you like some more than others, increase their amounts.

It's the first day of Spring, but it's a cool and rainy day here. This pot of delicious soup will certainly hit the spot tonight. Now be honest, don't you feel your cholesterol point dropping just looking at these lovely vegetables?

Here's the list of my vegetables and amounts.  Your mileage WILL vary.

2 1/2 quarts vegetable stock
4 medium carrots, sliced
2 leeks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (white and some green)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 T. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups green beans
2 cups canned black eyed peas
1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup dried lentils
4 cups chopped tomatoes with juice
1 can shoepeg corn
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup frozen lima beans
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 - 5 oz. bag baby spinach
1 bay leaf
1 T. Worcestershire sauce (optional)

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, over medium high heat, add vegetable stock and bring to a gentle simmer.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the carrots, leeks, potatoes and onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 - 20 minutes until the vegetables soften and begin to brown. Remove from oven.

Add those to the vegetable stock and then add the remaining ingredients. If you're using the Worcestershire Sauce add it now. Lower heat to low and cover. Allow to simmer for several hours until vegetables are tender. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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