22 August 2009

Aunt Fanny’s Baked Squash
3 pounds yellow summer squash
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup cracker meal or bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 black pepper (salt and pepper may be increased to suit taste)
2 eggs
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon sugar

Wash and cut up squash. Boil until tender, drain thoroughly, then mash. Add all ingredients except 1/2 of butter to squash. Melt remaining butter. Pour mixture in baking dish, then spread melted butter over top and sprinkle with cracker meal or bread crumbs. BAKE in 375 degree oven for approximately 1 hour or until brown on top.

10 March 2009

Traditional Irish dinner of corned beef, cabbage

1-4½ pound corned beef brisket
4 allspice berries
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 onion, quartered 1 bulb garlic, cut crosswise so each clove is cut in half
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 whole clove, optional
1 medium head cabbage, cut into eighths
1½ pounds small (about 1-inch diameter) red potoatoes

Cooking Instructions
1. Rinse corned beef under running water. Place in large pot. Add allspice, bay leaves, mustard seeds, onion, peppercorns, and clove. Add enough water to cover.
2. Bring to a boil, skim any scum if needed. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook about 4 hours, or until fork-tender. Remove and keep warm.
3. Strain out spices and vegetables from cooking water.
4. Add cabbage and potatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes until fork tender.

08 December 2008

The Traditional German Christmas Cake
Like many traditional dishes that originated in the country kitchens of Europe, there are as many recipes as there are cooks. So feel free to change this one. Although there seems to be a rather daunting list of ingredients and directions, stollen is really just a sweet bread mix with marzipan in the centre. If pressed for time, one of the easiest things is to substitute the list of dried fruits for the appropriate weight from a packet of assorted dried fruits and peel.

Recipe Enough For Two Loaves
This recipe makes two stollen loaves, which will keep in an airtight container for a couple of weeks. If you are making them to give as gifts, write the expiry date on the tags. The stollen also freeze very well; thaw overnight and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving for afternoon or morning teas, or for a special dessert.

Traditional Christmas Stollen

40 g dried yeast
700 grammes of warm plain flour
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
110 g sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten
250 g soft butter
300 g raisins
125 g currants
150 g mixed candied peel, chopped
4 tablespoons rum
Zest from one large lemon
150 g roughly chopped blanched almonds
1 teaspoon salt
250 packet of white marzipan
250 g melted butter, to brush on the stollen after baking
Icing sugar to dust
1. Mix together the yeast and 150 ml of warm water
2. Put the flour and spices in a large bowl and mix
3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture
4. Sprinkle it with a little flour, and leave to activate for 15 minutes
5. Mix the sugar and eggs in another bowl
6. Add to the flour mix, then add the butter
7. Mix everything together until it forms into a dough
8. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for five minutes until smooth
9. Add a little more flour if the mix is too wet, or more water if it is too dry
10. Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size – about two hours
11. Put the dried fruit and mixed peel into a bowl with the rum and leave to soak
12. After the dough has risen, turn onto a lightly floured board, and stretch into a rectangle 25 x 35 cm
13. Tip the fruit mix, the zest, the almonds, and the salt into the middle
14. Knead well until the fruit is spread through the dough
15. Divide the dough into two pieces
16. Also cut the marzipan roll into half, and roll each piece into a length of 25 cm
17. Shape the dough into two ovals approximately 30 cm
18. Press a rolling pin down the middle of the dough to make a trough
19. Put the marzipan into the trough, and fold the dough over it
20. Put the loaves onto a sheet, cover and leave to rest and rise for an hour
21. Put in the preheated oven – 180 C – and bake for approximately 35 to 45 minutes or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom
22. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then brush with the melted butter, using it all. This keeps the bread fresh for longer, and gives it a richer texture
23. Just before serving, dust with icing sugar
24. Serve plain in thin slices, or with whipped cream.

29 October 2008

Deep-dish apple cranberry pie
4 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2-1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup Splenda
1/4 teaspoon apply pie spice
9-inch ready pie crust, unbaked
Preheat oven to 378 degrees.
Stir all ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl and place in a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan.
Place one pie crust on top of the fruits. Cut 3 or 4 slits to allow the steam to escape. Bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour. Serve warm. Refrigerate any leftovers. Makes 10 servings.
Source: Dorothy Lee

27 July 2008

Poke salad was something growing wild that we ate when I was a kid in Tennessee. I also have seen it canned in grocery stores.

It must be boiled and rinsed multiple times to remove toxins (posionous, otherwise) or can be fried. One reference I read commented that frying removes the toxicity as well. I've often wondered why anyone would go to all that trouble to eat something that's toxic to some degree.

I recall it being similar to other "greens" like turnip, mustard and collard greens. Each one has it's individual taste though.

1 to 2 pounds Poke Salad
6 to 8 slices bacon
1 large onion
2 eggs

Pick and wash poke salad, bring to a rapid boil for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold tepid water. Bring to a rapid boil, starting with cold water, for a second boil for 20 minutes. Again drain and rinse with cold tepid water. Now for the third time, starting over cold tepid water bring to a rapid boil for 20 more minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Let drain completely.

Meantime fry bacon and save drippings; set aside. Clean and cut onion in quarters. Take drained poke salad. Cook in fry pan that you fried your bacon. Add 1/4 cup of drippings and shortening from bacon. Add onion, 1/4 cup of water, salt to taste. Let steam fry until onions are sauteed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve and garnish with hard boiled egg and bacon.

26 July 2008

Okra originated in West Africa. In the 1700s, seeds were brought to the United States and the Caribbean by slaves, who roasted them to make a coffee substitute. The seeds also were planted, and okra soon became popular throughout the South.

Today, okra is grown around the world, and recipes using it have an international flavor. It goes into spicy Indian curries and Asian stir-fries. Greek and Middle-Eastern cooks simmer it with olive oil and tomatoes. Brazilians marinate lightly cooked slices in a spicy vinaigrette.

Southern Fried Okra
1 pound fresh okra
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Vegetable oil

1. Wash and slice okra; pat dry with paper towels.
2. Combine eggs and buttermilk; add okra, and let stand for 10 minutes.
3. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper.
4. Drain okra, small portions at a time, using a slotted spoon.
5. Dredge okra, small portions at a time, in flour mixture.
6. Pour oil to depth of 2 to 3-inches in a Dutch oven of deep-fat fryer and heat to 375 degrees.
7. Fry okra until golden brown.
8. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
The popularity of Fried Green Tomatoes was not limited to the South as many would lead you to believe. The fact is, farmers everywhere had to find ways to use the last of the tomato crop, especially in the northern states where the tomatoes had to be picked green to protect them from the first frost. The Pennsylvania Dutch would can green tomato relishes with some. Others would be wrapped individually in newspaper and stored in a cool basement or root cellar to slowly ripen for later use. They also used many in preparations such as Green Tomato Pie or for frying. The only difference I can determine is that the Pa Dutch used flour as a coating (see recipe), as opposed to the flour and cornmeal mixture used by most Southerners. Either is very good. Tomatoes were fried in bacon grease or lard then, in later years, shortening, oil or butter. See the notes below for choosing tomatoes for frying.

3 to 4 unripened tomatoes, cut into approximately 3/8-inch slices
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
Vegetable oil, butter or bacon grease for frying
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat. Mix together the flour and cornmeal. Dredge the tomato slices in the flour mixture to coat both sides; shake off excess. Place in hot pan and brown quickly until slightly softened but not mushy, about 2 minutes per side. Adjust heat as needed. Add more oil as needed between batches. Place briefly on paper towels to remove excess oil, then on a large platter in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Serves 4

25 July 2008

Nassau Grits
In Pensacola, Florida, we enjoy a breakfast restaurant called The Coffee Cup where many gather to eat grits and eggs with bacon, ham, sausage and biscuits in the mornings.

An adaptation of The Coffee Cups' grits recipe in itself is a riff on one passed on to The Coffee Cup through many hands. Now, it passes to you.

If you'd like to read more about The Coffee Cup and other Southern delights, grab a copy of Southern Belly for yourself.

- makes 4 to 6 servings -

1/2 pound bacon
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3/4 cup ground or finely chopped ham (about 6 ounces)
1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
3/4 cup uncooked white grits
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning once, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Once cooled, crumble into bits and set aside.
2. Pour off all the bacon drippings except for 2 to 3 tablespoons. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until the onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the ham, stirring to mix well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and garlic and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook the grits as directed on the package instructions. When they reach a creamy state, stir in the ham and tomato mixture. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large serving bowl and crumble the bacon over the top. Serve immediately.

24 July 2008

Collard greens, Southern Style
Southerners love their greens. A time-honored tradition in southern kitchens, greens have held an important place on the table for well over a century, and there is no other vegetable that is quite so unique to the region. Greens are any sort of cabbage in which the green leaves do not form a compact head. They are mostly kale, collards, turnip, spinach, and mustard greens.

In the Southern states, a large quantity of greens to serve a family is commonly referred to as a "mess o' greens." The exact quantity that constitutes a "mess" varies with the size of the family.

Collard greens (whole collard heads or leaves)
2 ham hocks
4 medium size white potatoes, peeled (last 30 minutes)
Salt to taste
Toppings (suggestions follow)
Wash greens thoroughly, approximately 3 or 4 times to ensure they are clean and free of insects. Remove large stems.

Place ham hocks in an extra-large pot with enough water to completely cover them. Add salt and cook ham hocks at least 30 minutes before adding collards greens. Add collards, big leaves first (let them start boiling), then add remainder of greens. Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once about midway to ensure thorough cooking. Test for tenderness of stems at 45 minutes by piercing with a sharp knife. Cook additional time if necessary.

Remove from heat and drain in a colander, reserving the juice (pot likker). Chop collards with a collard chopper or a knife, leaving no large leaves or pieces. Add some of the pot likker if the greens are too dry.Salt to taste. Serve hot or at room temperature with your choice of toppings.

Hot pepper
Onions and vinegar (chopped onions and vinegar mixed together)

20 July 2008

A Southern-style turnip green recipe with salt pork
4 to 4 1/2 pounds turnip greens
1 pound salt pork, rinsed and diced
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar, optional
a dash of crushed red pepper, optional

Cut off and discard tough stems and discolored leaves from greens. Wash greens thoroughly and drain well. Cook salt pork in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp and brown. Add the turnip greens, water, onion, sugar, pepper, and crushed red pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 40 to 45 minutes or until greens are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.Serve with vinegar or pepper sauce and cornbread.
Serves 6