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Not your Mama’s Corn Casserole

Corn Casserole

Corn Casserole

Mark loves corn casserole….but if you have followed me for any time at all you realize I just have to add some of my favorite ingredients. So here is my version of a Corn Casserole.

Ingredients:  yields 10-15 servings

  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 can cream-style corn
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh sweet corn kernels, or 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 Kale leaves, pulled from the stem and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper plus a good couple of shakes
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • DSC_09011 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

Preheat your oven to 350.

Slice butter and place the slices in a 8 x 12 baking pan. Place in oven until the butter is melted. In a medium bowl mix together the cream-style corn, corn kernels, Kale, garlic, cheddar cheese, cayenne pepper, sour cream, salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs, add into the corn mixture along with the Jiffy corn muffin mix and stir well. Pour into the hot buttered dish and bake 45 to 60 minutes until golden brown.

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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Casseroles, Vegetables

 

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Easy Gumbo (Leftover Delight)

Gumbo

Gumbo

I love Gumbo. It’s usually on my menu plan for the days following Christmas. The reason being that you can use your holiday leftovers when making it. I had leftover ham from a Christmas Party, about 2 pounds of leftover roasted chicken from Christmas night and 4 large homemade sausage links the neighbor down the street gave to us. That’s not to mention the veggies, all leftovers from my holiday cooking.

Ingredients:  8 or so servings

  • 2 Tb unsalted butter (or bacon grease)
  • 2 Tb flour (or almond flour)
  • a handful or so of shredded carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped, (I use whatever I’ve got left in the refrigerator, a little green, a little red, a little yellow)
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 to 4 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey, (I use whatever I have leftover from our holiday dinners. Whether it be chicken or turkey.)
  • 1 cup or so of diced ham (again leftovers from a holiday meal)
  • 4 pork sausage links, casings removed and sliced
  • 1 can @ 28 oz whole tomatoes, use juice and tomatoes, break the tomatoes up with a fork.
  • 1 can @ 10oz RoTel diced tomatoes, use juice and tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground sage
  • 2 tsp file powder
  • salt and pepper (if needed, we never add it)

DSC_0497 (2)In a large stock pot over medium heat melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the roux reaches a light caramel color. Add the carrots, celery, onions, bell peppers and garlic. Stir the items well so they become fully coated with the roux. Continue to cook these for another 3 minutes or so. Add the chicken or turkey, ham, sliced sausage, whole tomatoes and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine all ingredients. Pour in the chicken broth then stir in the thyme, cayenne pepper and ground sage. Bring the gumbo to a low boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Sprinkle the file powder over the Gumbo, stir well and serve. We love our Gumbo served in a nice size bowl over rice, usually my “Spanish Rice”, but any rice would be fine.

Suggestions: Do you want to make this in your crock pot? Well start it in your stock pot on the stove then right before you are to add the chicken broth and spices put the mixture into your crock pot. Once in the crock pot add the broth and spices, stir well to combine and cook on low for the entire day. Right before serving add the file powder. This recipe is great for freezing. There’s only 2 of us so after our meal I freeze the remainder for some other time. If you want a more traditional Gumbo, just add 12 ounces or so of fresh deveined, tail removed shrimp right before the file, cook until they turn pink, then add the file, stir and serve.

 

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Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Have I mentioned how I love Thanksgiving? I’m sure I have. It’s my most favorite holiday.

I have such wonderful memories of my Grandmother and the way she made me feel so loved and cherished with her Thanksgiving Day dishes. She is/was my hero and my role model in every way. This is just another dish that is a must in some form on my table that day.

Ingredients:   6 to 8 servings

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tb unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, minced
  • 4 slices of bacon, light fried, cut into small pieces

Pierce the sweet potatoes several times with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and cook in a 325 oven for about 1 hour to 90 minutes, until they are very soft. You can tell they’re soft enough when you can easily pierce into the middle of them with a fork. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Once they are cool enough to handle cut in half and scoop out the flesh from the skins.

In a large bowl combine the sweet potato flesh, brown sugar, cream, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla and salt. Using an electric mixer on medium speed beat all those ingredients until smooth, a couple of minutes or so.

Spoon the mixture into a buttered baking dish. Combine all of the topping ingredients, stir until mixed well and sprinkle over the potato mixture. (Make ahead option: At this point you can cover the casserole with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days to be baked in the future. When ready to bake, microwave on warm setting for about 5 minutes then proceed with baking directions.)

Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes until thoroughly heated. Serve warm and from the baking dish.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Casseroles, Thanksgiving, Vegetables

 

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Corn Casserole

Corn Casserole

As I looked around the internet and cook books I found this is a universal recipe but it’s also a staple on the Thanksgiving table for Mark’s family. He just loves it. As for me, I had never had it until I moved out here to Indiana. It seems popular for many people here. This is Mark’s Aunt Debbie’s recipe, given to me by Mark’s sister. It originally called for 2 sticks of butter, I had to change that as after baking the casserole it was obviously a mistake in the recipe.

Ingredients:  yields 10-15 servings

  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 can cream-style corn
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

Preheat your oven to 350.

Slice butter and place the slices in a 8 x 12 baking pan. Place in oven until the butter is melted. In a medium bowl mix together the cream-style corn, corn kernels, sour cream, salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs, add into the corn mixture along with the Jiffy corn muffin mix and stir well. Pour into the hot buttered dish and bake 45 to 60 minutes until golden brown.

This is an amazingly inexpensive dish. The cost today for this corn casserole was $4.84. That’s 48 to 32 cents per serving, you can’t beat that at any restaurant. My goal is to try making this casserole with home-grown sweet corn, then trying to pass it by Mark and see if he can tell the difference.

 

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Paula Deen’s “Hoecakes”

Paula Deen’s recipe for “Hoecakes”

I’ve had hoecakes from all over the south. To date I thought the ones from the “Loveless Cafe” in Tennessee were the best. Until now I was under the impression they were suppose to bland, probably because they were used to sopped up juices and barbecue sauce. Thanks to Mark and a quick trip to Savannah, Georgia I was able to try Paula Deen’s version of Hoecakes. So flavorful, so different from all the rest, definitely my hoecake of choice from now on. If any of you find a tastier, easier recipe, please let me know.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup self-rising cornmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tb sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tb of water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or bacon grease
  • Oil or butter for frying

Mix all ingredients well except for frying oil. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls into the hot skillet. Use approximately 2 tablespoons of batter per hoecake. Brown until crisp; turn and brown on the other side. Drain on paper towels.

Suggestion: You can bet I will be tweaking this recipe a little down the line. Maybe some garlic and onions added. How about adding a bit of jalapeno? Anything is possible with Paula Deen’s recipe as the base.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Breads

 

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Baked Potatoes (Hasselback style)

Hasselback Baked Potato

I just love baking potatoes using this method. So simple, so easy, so yummy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 baking potatoes, I use Russet potatoes
  • 3 Tb Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced & mashed
  • 1 Tb chopped fresh Basil
  • 1 Tb chopped fresh parsley
  • a pinch of kosher salt plus enough to sprinkle the baking dish with.
  • a pinch of ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 and sprinkle kosher salt in the bottom of a glass baking dish.

Tip: to mash minced garlic sprinkle some kosher salt over the minced garlic, then smash the mixture against the cutting board with the side of the knife blade.

In a small bowl combine the Olive Oil, mashed garlic, basil, parsley, kosher salt and black pepper and set aside.

Thinly slice your potatoes almost completely through.  Tip: I use 2 table butter knives butted up along each side of the potato to ensure I don’t cut them all the way through.

Place the sliced potatoes in the baking dish and brush the oil mixture over the potatoes. Tent with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and brush more of the oil mixture and continue to bake without the foil for 30 more minutes, basting occasionally.

Suggestions: Serve with a few thin pats of butter in a couple of the slices, a dollop of sour cream and some crumbled fried bacon and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Vegetables

 

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Cherry Flan (Clafouti)

Julia Child’s Clafouti, Cherry Flan

This is a Julia Child recipe, from her book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. As she has inspired many cooks she also has inspired me. Her recipes are thorough yet simple to make. Her definitions of methods and techniques are as informative as having your own cooking tutor right there in the kitchen with you. Needless to say I adore Julia. Mark refers to this recipe as the french version of a cherry cobbler. I hope you will try this one as it is out of this world delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups pitted black cherries (I used fresh cherries that I pitted myself, but in her recipe she says you could use canned which have been drained or frozen that have been thawed.)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided use
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tb vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup flour

Preheat your oven to 350 and butter a deep dish Pyrex pie pan.

Pit, drain or thaw your cherries and set aside. Using a blender place the following ingredients in the blender in this order. Milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and lastly flour. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. Pour a 1/4-inch layer of the batter in the pie pan and set over moderate heat (medium) on your stove top for 2 minutes until a film of batter has set in the bottom of the dish. Remove from heat, spread the cherries over the batter then sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar over the cherries. Pour the rest of the batter on top of this and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until it has puffed and browned and a knife plunged into its center comes out clean. Before serving sprinkle with powdered sugar. This doesn’t need to be served hot, but should still be warm. The Clafouti may sink down slightly as it cools.

Suggestions: I think a little bit of vanilla ice cream would be fabulous with this as a dessert.

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Breakfast, Desserts

 

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