Friday, July 25, 2014

Perfect Baked Potato

  • Idaho baking potato
  • vegetable oil
  • kosher salt
  • salt and pepper
  • butter
  • sour cream

Scrub potato.
Prick with fork to allow steam to escape while baking.
Rub potato with oil.
Roll in salt.
Bake on oven rack at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until tender.
Immediately slit potato when you remove it from oven.
Cut a X in top.
Hold hot potato with towel and push in to fluff.
Season with salt and pepper
Add butter.
Serve with sour cream.

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Mayonnaise Muffins

Easy last minute quick bread.

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup half and half or milk

Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
Grease a 6-cup muffin tin.
Spoon batter into muffin tin.
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 12 minutes.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Heirloom Tomato Salad

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 3 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, halved if small or cut into wedges if medium or large

Mix together red-wine vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard.
Add oil slowly, whisking constantly until dressing is emulsified.
Add tomatoes and toss in dressing to coat.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tomato Jam

 A tangy condiment for crab or shrimp cakes. 


  • 7 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon canning salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

Place all ingredients in saucepan and simmer about 45 minutes or until most of liquid has evaporated.
Ladle hot jam into prepared jars to 1/4 inch of top.
Top with two-piece lids.
Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.
Makes six half-cup jars.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tuna Stuffed Tomatoes


  • 2 5-ounces cans solid white Albacore tuna, drained
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons pickle relish
  • 1/3 cup minced onions
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 medium firm-ripe tomatoes
  • paprika
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • 1 Granny Smith apples, sliced thinly
  • crackers

Combine first 8 ingredients in a medium bowl.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavors to blend
Place tomato stem side down. Make 6 vertical cuts almost through tomato to form 6 petals.
Stuff at serving time.
Garnish with paprika, egg halves and apple slices.
Serve with crackers.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sweet and Sour Cucumbers

  • 2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill

Toss cucumbers, sugar and salt together.
Stir in vinegar and dill.
Chill 2 hours before serving.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Southern Field Peas

Nothing says summer like fresh purple-hulled peas and sliced ripe tomatoes.   A pot of peas simmered with cured pork and served with cornbread is as iconic Southern as it gets.


  • 4 cups fresh shelled field peas, any variety
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 ounces of salt pork
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 small whole okra pods
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Carefully wash and pick over the peas.
Put the peas in a pot and cover with water.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
The peas will produce a lot of foam, skim foam off.
When the foaming stops add salt pork, oil and salt.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Place okra pods on top of the peas, cover the pot, and simmer another 15 minutes or until the peas are tender.
Taste carefully for seasoning.
The amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your seasoning meat was.  
Serve hot with cornbread, fresh sliced tomatoes and a few slices of sweet onion.

Printable Recipe

Field pea and cowpea are names used for the southern pea. There are numerous types and varieties with many old family favorites. Gardeners classify peas in the following ways: seed color, pea size and shape, and pod color. Small-sized pea and pod types are referred to as lady peas. Other common types are crowders, creams, blackeyes, pinkeyes, purple hulls, and silver skins.
This legume is really not a pea, but a bean. Dried mature  field peas are high in protein (24%) and a complete protein. Unlike many other legumes, field peas are also a complete protein when picked fresh. The protein content in the fresh pea is lower, due to higher water content, but fresh peas have an excellent essential amino acid profile.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

No Knead Artisan Bread

A crusty classic boule.

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 cups unsifted unbleached all-purpose flour

Add the yeast to the water in a five-quart bowl.
Mix in the flour and salt.  Kneading is unnecessary.
Let rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse about two hours.
Dough can be used at any time after this first rise.
Store the dough in the refrigerator in a lidded, but not airtight container.
Use it over the next 14 days.
The flavor and texture improves over time becoming more like sourdough.
To make a loaf sprinkle the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour.
Cut off a grapefruit-size piece of dough using a serrated knife.
Add a little more flour as needed so it won't stick to your hands.
Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
Rest the loaf and let it rise for about 40 minutes
Depending on the age of the dough, you may not see much rise during this period.
Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place an empty pan for holding water on bottom rack.
Dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour.
Slash a quarter-inch deep cross, diagonal lines, or tic-tac-toe pattern on top using a serrated knife.
After a 20-minutes preheat of oven put bread in oven, even though the oven thermometer won't be at full temperature yet.
Pour about one cup of hot water into the empty pan and close the oven to trap the steam.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch.

Printable Recipe


Bake bread on a pizza stone.   An unglazed tile or clay pot drip pan may also be used.
Recipe makes three to four loaves.

Cost  about forty-four cents a loaf
Flour    1.23
yeast &
salt          .08

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Shrimp Egg Rolls

Shrimp Egg Rolls

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch julienne strips
  • 1 small red pepper, cut into 1-inch julienne strips
  • 1 head Napa cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 20 egg roll wrappers
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked minced shrimp

In a skillet, stir-fry the ginger and garlic in 1 tablespoon of oil about 30 seconds.
Add green onions, carrots, and red pepper and stir-fry over high heat for 2 minutes.
In a bowl, combine the water, soy sauce, and sugar.
Add the Napa cabbage and water mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.
Add sesame oil, cool for 15 minutes, and strain.
Fold in the minced shrimp.
Fill and roll the egg roll wrappers, using 2 tablespoons of filling for each roll.
Place the wrapper with one corner of the diamond closest to you.
Place filling in the center of the wrapper.
Roll the corner closest to you over the filling.
Brush the top corner with water.
Fold in the sides of the wrapper and continue rolling the egg roll up until it is closed.
Press to seal.
In a skillet set over moderately high heat, heat the remaining oil and saute the egg rolls until golden brown on all sides.
Serve with dipping sauce.

Printable Recipe
Dipping Sauce
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
    Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

    Store fresh ginger roots in freezer.  It grates easier when frozen.
    Eggrolls may be made ahead and frozen.


    Monday, July 7, 2014

    Gulf Shrimp Boil

    Boiled shrimp doesn't have to be just for a party or a crowd.  Spicy shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes makes a great summer meal when paired with a summer salad. 

    • 3 quarts water
    • 1/2 cup Zatarain's Crab Boil seasoning
    • 8 new red small potatoes
    • 1 onion
    • 1 lemon, halved
    • 2 ears fresh corn, cut in half
    • 1/2 pound smoked sausage, cut into 4 pieces
    • 2 pounds shrimp in shells

    In an 8-quart pot, bring Zatarain's Crab Boil, water and potatoes to boil on high heat. 
    Add onion and lemon halves.
    Cook 13 minutes.
    Add corn and sausage.
    Continue to cook 7 minutes.
    Add shrimp.
    Remove from heat.
    Let sit for 10 minutes.
    Drain and dump contents in the center of a newspaper-covered table. 
    Sprinkle additional Zatarain's Crab Boil seasoning over the top for flavor.

    Printable Recipe