Friday, November 27, 2015

Pecan Pie with a touch of Bourbon

Pie Crust :
2 cups all-purpose flour

cups light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon  fine sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter
7 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar

1½ teaspoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon  fine sea salt
4 large eggs
1½ cups cane, sorghum or dark corn syrup, or honey
3 tablespoons bourbon
1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1¾ cups unsalted pecan halves

1 .  Make the Piecrust: In a bowl, whisk the flour with the brown sugar and salt. Stir in the butter until the dough comes together into a ball. Transfer the dough to a deep 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Using your fingers, press the dough over the bottom and up the side of the plate to the rim. Crimp the edge with your fingers or a fork. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 3 days.

2 .  Make the Filling: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F*. In a bowl, whisk both sugars with the flour, salt and eggs until smooth, then mix in the syrup or honey. Add the bourbon, butter and vanilla and fold in the pecans.

3 .  Pour the filling into the chilled crust and transfer the pie to a foil-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour, until the filling is nearly set. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely, about 4 hours, before serving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 minutes  + soaking     Cook: 40 minutes MAKES: 8 servings

1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1/2 pound bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt to taste
Additional cooked and crumbled bacon, optional

1 .  Rinse and sort black-eyed peas. Place peas and bacon in a Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to a boil; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let soak, covered, 1 hour. Do not drain.

2 .  In a skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in thyme.

3 .  Stir into pea mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 30-40 minutes or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with salt to taste. If desired, serve with additional crumbled bacon. Yield: 8 servings.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Icebox Cookies

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch MAKES: 102 servings

6 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups chopped nuts

1 .   Sift together first five ingredients; set aside. In a bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon extract; beat well. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in nuts.

2.    Divide dough into four parts and shape into 1-1/2-in. x 11-in. rolls. Wrap in foil and chill overnight. Slice cookies 3/8 in. thick.

Bake on greased baking sheets at 350° for about 10 minutes.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Cake _Apple Cheese Filling ---- Bundt Cake

Prep / Total time: 4 hours 10 minutes Makes 12 servings

1         (8-ounces) package cream cheese, softened
1/4      cup butter, softened
1/2      cup granulated sugar
1         large egg
2         tablespoons all-purpose flour
1         teaspoon vanilla extract

1        cup finely chopped pecans
3        cups all-purpose flour
1        cup granulated sugar
1        cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2        teaspoons ground cinnamon
1        teaspoon salt
1        teaspoon baking soda
1        teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2     teaspoon ground allspice
3        large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4     cup canola oil
3/4     cup applesauce
1        teaspoon vanilla extract
3        cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 1-1/2 pound)

1/2      cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4      cup butter
3         tablespoons milk
1         teaspoon vanilla extract
1         cup powdered sugar

1.     Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.
2.     Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.
3.     Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.
4.     Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).
5.     Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately over cooled cake.

This delicious apple bundt  cake features a sweet cream cheese filling and homemade praline frosting. Garnish the frosting with extra toasted pecans. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pasta & Bean Soup

Perfect for a cold weather day, this hearty soup features cranberry beans and pork. Cranberry beans are also called shell beans or shell out and are known as borlotti beans in Italy.

2          tablespoons chopped yellow onion
1/4       cup olive oil (less if there is much fat on the pork you are using)
3          tablespoons chopped carrot
3          tablespoons chopped celery
3/4       pork ribs or a ham bone with some meat on or 2 small pork chops (do not use smoked pork)
2/3      cup canned Italian tomatoes, cut up, with their juices

Prepare the Beans:
2         pounds fresh cranberry beans, unshelled weight (If they are not available, use 1 20-oz can white kidney beans or other white bean, such as Great Northern)
3         cups homemade meat broth
Fresh ground pepper

Add Pasta & Serve
6       ounces of tubular pasta
Grated Parmesan cheese

Put onion in a stockpot with oil and sauté over medium heat until pale gold. Add carrot, celery and pork and sauté for about 10 minutes more. Add chopped tomatoes and their juice. Turn heat down to medium low and cook for 10 minutes.

Prepare the Beans:
1      If using fresh cranberry beans, shell, rinse them in cold water and add to the pot. Stir, then add the broth. Cover the pot, and adjust heat to a moderate boil. Cook for 1 hour, or until beans are tender. (If using precooked beans, cook the tomatoes for 20 minutes, instead of 10, then add the drained beans. Let the beans cook in the tomatoes for 5 minutes, stirring thoroughly, then add the broth and bring to a moderate boil.)
2      Scoop up about 2/3 cup of beans and mash them through a food mill back into the pot. Add the salt and pepper.

Add Pasta & Serve
 Check soup for density. It should be like a thick cream soup. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. The soup should rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Swirl in some grated cheese before serving. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese at the table.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Tilapia Tacos

Inexpensive tilapia is readily available and sustainable. Broiling makes this a no-fuss fish dish. The tilapia cooks fast, so make sure all the other components for the taco are ready before you put it under the heat .        Serves 6 (serving size: 2 tacos)       
My  family  love  these  tacos  , so easy and the  clean up is  not  much fuss  .

1         teaspoon garlic powder
1         teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
1/4      teaspoon ground coriander
1/4      teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/8      teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2         pounds tilapia fillets 
1         tablespoon olive oil
1         tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
2         teaspoons canned chopped green chiles
1        diced peeled avocado
12      (6-inch) corn tortillas
Cooking spray
6        lime wedges

1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Combine first 4 ingredients and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Brush fillets with oil, and sprinkle with spice mixture. Place fillets on a baking sheet. Broil 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

3. Combine remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, cilantro, chiles, and avocado in a bowl; lightly mash with a fork.

4. Heat tortillas on a grill pan coated with cooking spray 20 seconds on each side or until lightly charred. Divide avocado mixture and fish among tortillas. Serve with lime wedges.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cajun Catfish Fillets

The spicy cornmeal breading stays crispy when the fish is baked on a ventilated broiler pan. You can also use yellow cornmeal. Try this breading on other white fish fillets.

6 servings (serving size: 1 fillet and 1 lemon wedge) Total time: 23 Minutes

2             tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1-1/2      teaspoons seasoned salt
1-1/2      teaspoons dried oregano
1            teaspoon garlic powder
1            teaspoon onion powder
3/4         teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2         teaspoon chili powder
1/4         teaspoon ground cumin
1/4         teaspoon black pepper
6            (6-ounce) catfish fillets
Cooking spray
6            lemon wedges (optional)

Preheat broiler.:

Combine first 9 ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag. Add 1 catfish fillet. Seal bag, and shake well. Remove fillet from bag, and place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with the remaining fillets and cornmeal mixture. Broil 6 inches from heat for 6 minutes. Carefully turn fillets over, and broil 6 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic

1            tablespoon kosher salt
8           ounces uncooked spaghetti
1/4        cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2           pints multicolored cherry tomatoes
4           garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2        teaspoon kosher salt
1/4        teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2           ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
1/4        cup small basil leaves

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt. Add pasta; cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 6 tablespoons cooking liquid. Return pasta to pan. Combine reserved cooking liquid and 2 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil 4 minutes or until mixture measures 1/3 cup. Add oil mixture to pan with pasta; toss to coat.

3. While pasta cooks, combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, tomatoes, and garlic on a jelly-roll pan, tossing to combine. Bake at 450° for 11 minutes or until tomatoes are lightly browned and begin to burst. Add tomato mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to pasta; toss to coat. Top with cheese and basil.