Dessert Delight

Dessert Delight

Citrus Marinated Feta and Olives

This gorgeous make ahead dish is a crowd pleaser at any gathering, and it's so easy to prepare.

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 garlic clove-minced
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 cup pimiento stuffed Spanish olives
1 (8 oz) feta cheese block, cubed

Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a medium size glass bowl; gently stir in olives and cheese. Cover and chill 24 hours before serving.

Salt and Pepper Roasted Turkey

With a turkey this simple and with so few ingredients, focus on the techniques that matter most. First, pat the turkey very dry, which will help it achieve a crispier skin in the oven. Then season liberally with kosher salt; season the cavity, gently under the skin and again on the surface of the skin to enhance the flavor from the skin to the bone.

1 (11 to 12 lb) whole fresh turkey
1/3 cup canola oil, divided
2 Tbsp. kosher salt, divided
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
Kitchen string

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavity and if desired, reserve for gravy. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Drain cavity well; pat dry. Loosen and lift skin from turkey breast without totally detaching skin. Rub 2 Tbsp. oil, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp pepper under skin and inside cavity.

2. Place turkey, breast side up, on a lightly greased roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Tie ends of legs together with kitchen string tuck wing tips under. Brush turkey with remaining oil, and sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper.

3. Bake at 325 degrees for 3 hours and 45 minutes to 4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thigh registers 165 degrees. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.

Crispy Goat Cheese Topped Arugula Salad

4 (4 oz.) goat cheese logs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large egg whites
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 (5 oz) containers baby arugula
4 large navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Garnish: pomegranate seeds

1. Cut each goat cheese log into 6 (1/2 inch wide) slices. Combine flour and black pepper in a shallow dish. Whisk together egg whites and 2 tbsp. water in another shallow dish. Place panko in a third shallow dish. Dredge goat cheese in flour mixture, dip in egg mixture, and dredge in panko. Arrange goat cheese in a single layer in a aluminum foil lined jelly roll pan; cover and chill 30 minutes to 4 hours.

2. Cook half of goat cheese rounds in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned; drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining oil and goat cheese rounds.

3. Divide arugula and orange sections among 8 plates; drizzle with Pomegranate Vinaigrette. Top each salad with 3 goat cheese rounds.

Balsamic Green Beans

1 lb. fresh haricots verts (thin green beans) trimmed
6 large shallots
Vegetable oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup lightly salted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon (about 5 slices)

1. Cook bean sin boiling salted water to cover 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge beans into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain.

2. Cut shallots crosswise into thin slices; separate into rings. Pour oil to depth of 1 inch in a heavy sauce pan; heat over medium high heat to 350. Fry shallots, in batches, 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp. Remove from skillet using a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.

3. Cook vinegar and sugar in a large skillet over medium high heat; stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes or until reduced to 3 Tbsp. Stir in butter until blended. Add beans, and saute 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated; add salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on a serving platter. Top with shallots, almonds, and bacon. Serve immediately.

Lemon Broccolini

1 cup (1/2 inch) french bread baguette cubes
2 tbsp. butter
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/2 lb fresh Broccolini
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil

1. Process bread in a food processor 30 seconds to 1 minute or until coarsely crumbled.

2. Melt butter with garlic in a large skillet over medium heat; add breadcrumbs, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat, and stir in parsley and lemon zest.

3. Cook Broccolini in boiling salted water to cover 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp tender; drain well. Toss Broccolini with lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle and breadcrumb mixture.

Spuds in a Blanket

1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2 teaspoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
12 slices bacon
48 extra-crispy tater tots

1. Preheat over to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with pam. Place a cooling rack on top of baking sheet. Or you can omit this part.
2. In a small bowl, combine ketchup, barbecue sauce, and brown sugar and mix well. Brush both sides of bacon with ketchup mixture. Cut each slice in half crosswise and then in half length wise. Wrap each prepared piece of bacon around a tater tot, and place seam side down on rack. Brush tops of prepared tater tots with remaining ketchup mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

Toasted Walnut Fudge

3 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
2 cups chopped toasted walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with non stick aluminum foil.  Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a dutch oven, heat sugar, butter and milk over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in marshmallow cream and chocolate morsels; stir just until melted and smooth. Stir in walnuts, vanilla and salt. Spoon mixture evenly into prepared pan. Let stand for 1 hour or until set. Cut into 2 inch pieces.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1/2 (14.1 ounce) package refrigerated pie crust or you can use a deep dish pie crust-in freezer section
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 (12-ounce) bag mini semisweet chocolate morsels

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry to a 12-inch circle. Fit pie crust into a 9 inch deep dish pie plate. (or use a ready made one) trim excess pastry 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold edges under, and crimp. Cover bottom of pastry with pie weights. Bake for 8 minutes, removing pie weight, and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and corn syrups. Whisk in melted butter and eggs until well combined. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Stir in pecans and chocolate morsels. Spoon pecan mixture into prepared crust. Bake for 35 minutes or until center is set.

Cheeseburger Soup

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled*
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots
  • ¾ cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cups milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  1. Brown the ground beef in 3 quart saucepan. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same saucepan add 1 T butter and add onion, shredded carrots, parsley flakes, basil and celery. Saute until tender.
  3. Add the broth, potatoes and beef and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. In small skillet melt remaining butter (3 T) and add the flour. Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to the soup and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Stir in the cheese, milk, heavy cream salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Stir in the cooked and crumbled bacon.Remove from heat and blend in sour cream.

Mexican Black Bean Chili

1 cup frozen chopped onion, thawed (or fresh chopped)
1 cup frozen bell pepper strips, thawed and chopped
1 pound ground sirloin
1 1/2 cup fat free, lower sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 (14.5 ounces) cans no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (15 ounces) cans non salt added black beans, drained
6 tablespoon light sour cream

Place a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add first 3 ingredients; cook until browned, stirring to crumble meat. Drain; well; return meat mixture to pan. Add broth and next 8 ingredients (through black beans); bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Ladle chili into soup bowls; top with sour cream.

Macerated Berries

2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoon Grand Mariner (orange-flavored liqueur)
Mint sprigs (optional)

Combine all ingredients except mint sprigs in a medium bowl, stirring gently. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally. Garnish with mint and serve.

Grilled Chicken with Mustard-Tarragon Sauce

This tangy sauce enlivens simple grilled chicken breasts, a hint of sugar balances the flavors.

4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
3 tablespoon minced shallots
3 tables Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry tarragon
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 cups gourmet salad green (optional)

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat or skillet. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salad and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Coat pan with cooking spray. Place chicken in pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, shallots, and next 6 ingredients (through sugar) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Pour on top of warm chicken; Serve chicken over green or any other side dish.

Rosemary Pork Chops

1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry rosemary
2 teaspoon bottle minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (4 ounce) boneless center cut lion port chops (about 1/2 inch thick)

Preheat broiler

Combine first 4 ingredients. Rub mixture over both sides of pork chops. Place pork chops on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Enlightened Greek Salad

You can find almost all of these fresh ingredients on a well stocked salad bar at your supermarket. They might even have the artichoke hearts.

8 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup (1/8 inch thick) red onion slices, separated into rings
1/2 cup sliced pitted rip black olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
8 drained canned artichoke hearts, rinsed and halved
1 English cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and sliced
Enlightened Greek Dressing (recipe below)

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle lettuce mixture with Enlightened Greek Dressing.


1 can anchovy fillet
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, pressed.

Mash anchovy fillet in a small bowl with a fork. Add lemon juice and remaining ingredients stirring with a whisk until blended. Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Buttermilk Biscuits

This versatile biscuit recipe takes only three ingredients to make.

1/2 cup cold butter
2 1/4 cups self-rising soft wheat flour
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Self rising soft wheat flour (for rolling on surface)
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut 1/2 cup cold butter with a sharp knife or pastry blender into 1/4 inch thick slices. Sprinkle butter slices over 2 1/4 cups flour in a large bowl.  Toss butter with flour. Cut butter into flour with pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 to 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over onto itself in 3 sections, starting with a 1 short end (fold dough rectangle as if folding a letter size piece of paper. repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).

Press or pat dough into 1/2 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut into 2 x 2 inch squares with a pastry cutter, or cut with a 2 inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper lined or lightly greased jelly roll pan. (dough squares or rounds should touch).

Bake at 450 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.

Okra-and-Corn Maque Choux

1/4 lb spicy smoked sausage, diced
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fresh corn kernels
1 cup sliced fresh okra
1 cup peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes (1/2 lb.)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Saute sausage in a large skillet over medium high heat about 3 minutes or until browned. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic, saute 5 minutes or until tender.  Add corn, okra, and tomatoes; cook stirring often, 10 minute, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Hot Pepper Sauce

Here in the South this is a staple on just about every table and it's so easy to make. A little bit of this spicy sauce goes a long way. Use it in place of your favorite hot sauce on dishes such as sauteed greens.


1 cup red and green Thai Chile peppers stemmed
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

Fill 1 (14 oz) glass jar with red and green Thai Chile Peppers, filling to about 1 inch from top of jar. Bring vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until salt and sugar are dissolved (about 2 to 3 minutes). Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Pour hot mixture over peppers in jar. Cover and chill 3 weeks. Store in the refrigerator up to 6 months.

Kitchen note: Chilling for 3 weeks allows the peppers to fire up the vinegar mixture. The longer it sits, the spicer it becomes.

Mexican Grilled Shrimp

If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them at least 30 minutes before grilling to prevent from catching on fire.

2 lb. unpeeled, large raw shrimp (or you can buy peeled shrimp with tails on)
20 (12-inch skewers)
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, minced
2 Tbsp. rum
1 Tbsp. adobe sauce
1 Tbsp. tamarind paste
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Peel Shrimp, leaving tails on; devein, if desired. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Set aside.

Cook brown sugar in a small heavy saucepan over low heat until melted, Add garlic, 2 Tbsp. water, and the next 5 ingredients. Cook 5 minutes or until tamarind paste melts. Remove from heat.

Brush shrimp with olive oil. Grill, uncovered, over medium high heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until shrimp turns pink, turning once,  basting with the tamarind glaze.

Sizzling Flounder

While flounder is a favorite, use any firm fleshed fish such as tilapia, grouper, or catfish. Adjust the cooking time according to the thickness of the fish.

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. paprika
4 (6 oz.) flounder fillets
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Place 1 oven rack 5 inches from heat; place a second rack in the middle of oven. Combine Parmesan cheese and paprika.  Season fish with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat butter in a broiler-safe 13 x 9 inch baking dish in oven 8 minutes or until butter is melted and beginning to brown. Place fish in hot butter, skin side up.

Bake at 450 on middle oven rack 10 minutes. Carefully flip fish; baste with pan juices. Sprinkle with lemon juice and Parmesan cheese mixture. Bake 5 more minutes or just until fish flakes with a fork. Remove from oven, increase oven temperature to broil.

Broil fish on oven rack 5 inches from heat 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Make-Your-Own-Taco bar

Chipotle Turkey Filling

1 teaspoon EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast, the average weight of 1 package
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 chipotles in adobe sauce, chopped
1 round tablespoon chili powder
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
salt (to taste)

Pork & Bell Pepper Filling

1 tablespoon EVOO
1 1/3 pounds ground pork
1/2 red  bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
several drops of cayenne pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon allspice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup water
10 jumbo taco shells, warmed to package direction


1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar or smoked Cheddar, about 1 pound
1 1/3 cups shredded Monterey pepper Jack, about 1 pound
Shredded romaine lettuce, 2 hearts
6 scallions, chopped
Diced red plum tomatoes
Yellow Pico De Gallo (recipe below)
Taco Sauce of any kind

Yellow Pico De Gallo

3 yellow wine ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Coarse salt to taste

To make Chipotle Turkey filling:

In a medium skillet preheat over medium high heat, add the oil and turkey meat. Brown the meat for 2 to 3 minutes, breaking up any lumps, then add the onions and garlic. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, Stir in the chipotles in adobo chili powder, and tomato sauce. Add water and season the filing with salt to taste. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until ready to serve.

To make the Pork and Bell Pepper Filling:

In a medium skillet preheat over medium high heat add the oil and pork. Brown the meat for 2 to 3 minutes, breaking up any lumps. Strain off any excess oil. Add the peppers, cumin, cayenne sauce to taste, allspice, and salt and pepper to taste and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add water and reduce the heat to medium low and keep the filling warm.

To assemble the bar, arrange the taco shells next to the stove top. Serve the fillings from the skillets that they are cooked in. Place toppings in small dishes on the opposite side of the stove top. Serve with a side of Red beans and rice or store bought refried beans.

Taco Bites

These tasty morsels are always the first to go. I have to be careful not to make too many because everyone fills up on them.

1 Jar or homemade salsa
2 to 2 1/2 cups Guacamole
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 pound ground chuck
2 tablespoons taco seasonings
1/4 cup water
1 package mini-filo-shells (you can find them in the frozen food section)
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded small (I like to use the white cheddar, but yell is fine or mix)

Leaves from 2 to 3 cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)

Heat a heavy skillet on medium high heat. Add the oil and swirl it around the pan. Add the ground chuck, breaking the meat into really fine bits with a metal spatula. Brown until the beef starts to form a crust and most of the juices have evaporated.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning over the beef. Add water and cook until all the water has evaporated and the meat starts to sizzle. Keep breaking up the beef into the smallest pieces possible using the metal spatula.

Place a bowl underneath a mesh strainer and pour the beef into the strainer to strain out the excess oil. Discard the oil.

Heat the filo cups according to the package directions. Cool.

Place 1 teaspoon of the beef on the bottom of the filo cups. Spread a teaspoon of the guacamole over the beef as you would icing on a cake. Add 1 teaspoon of the shredded cheese, and top with a touch of salsa. Add one small cilantro leaf on the top for garnish.

Southern Buttermilk Fried Chicken

A platter of this crispy, tender, golden brown chicken would be a hit at almost any potluck or picnic. Immersing the chicken pieces in the buttermilk brine for several hours gives the chicken loads of flavor and helps keep the meat moist as it fries.

4 cups Buttermilk
Fine sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons rosemary
2 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Whole chicken (cut up about 3 1/3 pounds)
Canola oil for deep frying
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup salt

To make the buttermilk brine, in a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and 1/3 cup salt. In a mortar, crush together the oregano, thyme, rosemary and sage with a pestle (or pulse in a spice grinder) until finely ground. Whisk the ground herbs, garlic, and cayenne pepper into the buttermilk mixture. Cute the chicken into 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, 2 wings, and 2 breast halves, reserving the back and giblets for another use. Cut each breast half crosswise to make 4 breast portions, for a total of 10 chicken pieces. Add the butter milk brine, making sure that the chicken is submerged. (If it isn't, transfer everything to a smaller bowl) or plastic zip lock bag. Cover and refrigerate for a least 4 to 6 hours.

Pour oil to a depth of at least 3 inches into a large, heavy saucepan and heat over high heat to 350 degrees on a deep frying thermometer. Set a large wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and place near the stove. Have ready a second rimmed baking sheet.  While the oil is heating, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Remove half of the chicken from the buttermilk brine, letting the excess brine drip back into the bowl. Add the chicken to the flour mixture and toss to coat evenly, then transfer to the second baking sheet.

When the oil is ready, in batches to avoid crowding, carefully slip the chicken pieces into the hot oil. The temperature will drop, but adjust the heat to keep the oil bubbling steadily at about 325 degrees. Deep fry the chicken pieces, turning them occasionally with tongs, until they are golden brown and show no sign of pink when pierced at the thickest part, about 12 minutes. Using a wire skimmer, transfer the chicken to the rack to drain. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Serve warm.

To make gravy:

After frying the chicken, in a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil over medium heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons flour, simmer for 1 minute, then whisk in 2 cups heated half and half or mild. Bring to a oil, then simmer until thickened about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over rice and your chicken.

Baby Back Ribs

Folks can't eat these tasty ribs without licking their fingers. The double-cooking method first rubbed with pungent spices and slowly baked, then finished outdoors on a hot grill with a zesty glaze.

2 racks (about 5 pounds total) Baby back ribs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Smoked Spanish Paprika
1 teaspoon Dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup peach or apricot preserves
2 tablespoons dark molasses
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Canola oil for grilling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut each rib rack into 2 or 3 section. Mix together the salt, paprika, oregano, thyme, granulated garlic, onion powder and pepper.  Sprinkle the mixture on both sides of the ribs and rub into the meat.

Arrange the ribs, overlapping slightly if necessary, in a large roasting pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, place in the oven, cook for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the ribs, and return to the oven. Continue cooking until the ribs are tender and browned, about 30 minute more.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.  In a small sauce pan, stir together the chili sauce, peach preserves, molasses, vinegar, mustard and hot sauces and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.

While the ribs are cooking, prepare a grill for direct heat cooking over medium high heat. Lightly oil the cooking grate.  Brush both sides of the ribs with the sauce. place on the grill, cover, turning once until shiny and glazed, about 3 minutes per side. (Alternatively, increase the oven temperature to 425. Pour off the fat in the roasting pan, then return the ribs to the pan. Brush the ribs with some of the sauce and cook until the ribs are shiny and glazed, about 5 minutes. Turn, brush with more of the sauce, and cook to glaze the other side, about 5 minutes more.

Transfer the ribs to a craving board and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut between the bones into individual ribs, heap on a platter, and serve with any remaining sauce.

Put a spin on it: Pork spareribs are also excellent prepared with the oven barbecue method. They are larger, meatier and a little tougher than baby back ribs, so they will take about 45 minutes of covered baking, another 45 minutes uncovered and a final 15 minutes for the glazing on the grill.

Ruben Sandwiches

2/3 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Ketchup styled chili sauce
2 tablespoon finely chopped bread-and-butter pickles
Cooked corned beef (about 3/4 pound, sliced)
8 slices Rye Bread
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 cup well drained refrigerated sauerkraut
1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)

To make the Russian dressing, in a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, chili sauce, and chopped pickles. Set aside

To make the sandwiches, preheat a griddle or 2 large frying pans over medium heat. Add the corned beef and cook, turning occasionally, just until heated but not browned, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Lay the bread slices on a work surface and spread each slice with 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Trim the slices of Swiss cheese to fit the bread slices, then place 1 cheese slice on each of the 4 bread slices. Top each with one fourth of the corned beef, followed by 1/4 cup of the sauerkraut, and then 1 more slices of cheese. Top with the remaining bread slices, dressing side down. Spread the outside top and bottom of each sandwich with 2 tablespoon of butter.  Place the sandwiches on the griddle and reduce the heat to medium-low. The sandwiches should cook fairly show to allow the bread to grow without burning while the cheese melts, Flip the sandwiches and brown the second sides, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half.

Philly Cheesesteak

Boneless beef top loin or rib-eye steak
1 1/4 pounds, in one piece
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 large yellow onion thinly sliced
1 red large seeded and thinly sliced red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Canola oil for cooking
6 ounces, thinly sliced provolone cheese
4 Crusty French or Italian rolls

Freeze the meat until it is firm but not frozen, about 1 hour. Using a sharp thin bladed knife, cut the meat across the grain into slices 1/4 inch thick.. Using a meat mallet, pound  the meat until it is a uniform 1/8 inch or thinner. Cut into pieces about 3 - 4 inches.

Meanwhile, in a frying pay, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and stir well. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 23-30 minutes. Uncover and stir in the garlic. Cook until the garlic is tender, 2-3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat the broiler. Heat a large griddle or 2 frying pans over medium high heat until hot. Lightly oil the griddle, or add 1 tablespoon oil to each frying pan and tilt to coat the bottom evenly with the oil. Add the meat slices and cook until browned on the undersides, about 1 minute. Turn the meat slices and divide on the griddle into 4 equal mounds. Top each mound with the equal amount of the Provolone. Cook until the undersides of the mounds are browned and the cheese is beginning to melt, about 1 minute longer.

Meanwhile, place the rolls, split side up, on a baking sheet and toast in the broiler until lightly crisp, about 1 minute. Transfer the rolls to plates. Using a metal spatula, transfer each mound of beef and cheese into the toasted roll bottom. Spoon equal amounts of the onion-pepper mixture onto each mound, place the top of the roll on top and serve at once.

Note: if you want you can add Mozzarella, mild cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese are all good choices to replace the provolone.

Stuffed Bean Poblano Chiles


  • Preparation
  • medium poblano chiles, halved and seeded
  • (16-ounce) can fat-free refried beans
  • (8.8-ounce) pouch microwaveable cooked long-grain rice (such as Uncle Ben's Original Ready Rice) $
  • 1/2 cup picante sauce $
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional) $
  1. 1. Place chile halves, cut sides up, on a round microwave-safe plate. Cover with wax paper; microwave at HIGH 3 minutes.
  2. 2. While chiles cook, combine beans, rice, and picante sauce in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spoon bean mixture evenly into chile halves. Cover with wax paper; microwave at HIGH 2 minutes. Uncover chiles, sprinkle each half with 2 tablespoons cheese, and microwave at HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with cilantro, if desired.

Pesto Sauce


2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese


Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

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Linguine with Shiitake (or button mushrooms) with Cream Sauce

5 to 6 dried shiitake mushrooms (or button mushrooms)
1 pound uncooked linguine
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup whipping cream

In a small bowl, cover shiitakes with 1 1/2 cup boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes to re- hydrate.  Drain mushrooms, reserving water.  Chopping the mushrooms, and place between paper towels to dry.  If using button mushrooms, slice mushrooms and saute with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Salt to bring out the excess water. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare linguine according to package directions; drain and keep warm

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and coat stirring, 1 minute or until fragrant but not brown.  Carefully add wine and simmer until reduced by half.  Add mushroom water and reduce again by half. When the water level gets low, turn heat down significantly. Add mushrooms and cream; reduce until desired consistency.  Add cooked linguine and toss to coat. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

What's for dinner? Mom: Pesto Chicken Pasta

What's for dinner? Mom: Pesto Chicken Pasta: 1 16-ounce package uncooked penne pasta (or any shape) 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves Montreal chicken seasoning (optiona...

Pesto Chicken Pasta

1 16-ounce package uncooked penne pasta (or any shape)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Montreal chicken seasoning (optional)
Salt and ground black pepper
1 7 ounce container refrigerated basil pesto (or homemade)
1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta al dente according to the package directions. Add pasta to salted water that's at a rolling boil. Boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat, cover and let sit for 7 minutes undisturbed. Drain. Perfect every time with any pasta.

Season chicken breast halves with Montreal chicken seasoning, if desired, and salt and pepper.  In a large nonstick skillet cook chicken 8 to 12 minutes or until no longer pink.; turning once. Transfer to a cutting board and slice thinly.

In a serving bowl, combine cooked pasta, chicken, pesto and Parmesan cheese.

Serve immediately.

Fresh Spring Rolls


10 to 12 sheets round rice paper
1 cup shredded raw carrots
1 cup bean sprouts, rinsed and patted dry
1 cucumber, seeded and cut into thin 2 inch long strips
1 1/2 cups cooked rice noodles
1/2 cup finely chopped peanuts or cashews
10 to 15 large fresh basil or mint leaves
Purchased peanut sauce or hoisin sauce

Line a large baking sheet with plastic wrap; if desired spray very lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Bring a large skillet of water to a simmer over high heat, reduce heat to low. Place 1 sheet spring roll rice paper in the skillet for 5 to 10 seconds to soften; very carefully remove with two pairs of tongs (paper tears easily so be gentle).

Place rice paper flat on a clean work surface. Working quickly. Place a small amount of carrot and bean sprouts at one end of the paper. Top with some cumber strips, rice noodles and chopped peanuts. place 1 to 2 basil leaves flat on the top of the file of filing. Fold the bottom of the rice paper over the filing, fold in rice paper sides (as if rolling up a burrito or egg roll). Tightly roll up rice paper and filling; place seam side down on prepared sheet pan. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with peanut or hoisin sauce. Makes 5 to 6 spring rolls.

Diana's Almond Butter Cake


1 cup butter (no substitutes), at room temperature
1 cup almond paste (do not us almond filling)
2 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg white
sliced almonds
Coarse decorating sugar

In a large bowl, combine butter, almond paste, 2 eggs, granulated sugar, and almond flavoring. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. add flour and blend well.

Spread batter into two 8 inch round cake pans that have been buttered, floured, and lined with parchment paper. In a small bowl, beat 1 egg white with 1 tablespoon water.  Brush egg mixture on the two cakes.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds and coarse decorating sugar. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 40 minutes to 42 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Makes 16 servings.

What's for dinner? Mom: Stuffed Flank Steak Roll

What's for dinner? Mom: Stuffed Flank Steak Roll: 1/3 cup finely chopped onion (1 small) 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 10-ounces package frozen chopped spinach,...

Stuffed Flank Steak Roll

1/3 cup finely chopped onion (1 small)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 10-ounces package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1/3 cup golden raisins, snipped (optional)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 finely shredded Asiago cheese
1 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
ground black pepper
1 2-pound beef flank steak, cut 1 inch thick
6 slices smoked provolone cheese (4 ounces)
2 ounces very thinly sliced prosciutto
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 425 degree. In a large skillet cook onion and garlic in the 1 tablespoon hot olive oil over medium heat about 4 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, raisins, pine nuts, Asiago cheese, lemon peel, and salt pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. Butterfly the flank steak by cutting it in half horizontally to, but not through, the opposite side, opening the steak like a book.  Place the steak between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound steak lightly into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Discard plastic wrap. NOTE: you can always ask your meat market to do this for you.

3. Spread spinach mixture evenly over flank steak to within 1 inch of edges. Layer provolone cheese and then prosciutto over top. Fold steak into a spiral, making sure the ends stay tucked in. Using heavy 100-percent cotton kitchen string, tie roll at a 2-inch intervals. Place roll on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush roll all over with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with additional salt and pepper.  Insert an oven going meat thermometer into the center of the roll.

4. Roast, uncovered, about 45 minutes or until internal temperature registers 135 F for medium rare. Cover with foil; let stand for 15 minutes before slicing. Temperature of the meat after standing should be 145 F. For medium, roast for 55 minutes or until internal temperature registers 150 F. Cover with foil; let stand for 15 minutes. Temperature of meat after standing should be 160 F. Slice meat into 3/4 inch thick slices.
Makes 16 servings.

Veggie Bars

Recipe from Jeannie Majka-Sherwood, Kenneth City, Florida

Nonstick cooking spray

2 8-ounces refrigerated crescent rolls (8)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 8-ounces packages cream cheese, softened
1 1-ounces envelope ranch dip mix
1 medium green and/or red sweet peppers, sliced
1 cup small broccoli florets
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup coarsely shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 8-ounces package shredded cheddar cheese

1. Lightly coat a 15-10-x inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Unroll and place crescent roll strips on the prepared pan. Shape to form crust going only lightly up sides. Bake according to package directions or until slightly browned. Cool completely on a wire wrack.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl stir together mayonnaise, cream cheese and ranch dip mix. Spread over cooled crust.
4. Arrange veggies on top of cream cheese mixture. Press lightly into cream cheese mixture.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Top with plastic wrap and chill 3 hours or overnight.

Makes 12-24 servings.

Lupe Tortilla's Lime Beef Fajitas

Lupe Tortilla's Fajitas

2 lbs skirt steak
3 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
1/3 cup vegetable oil, plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons tequila
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from real limes)
1 large white onion, sliced into thin crescents (half rings)
3 green bell peppers or assorted color bell peppers, cut into strips
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Cut the steak into pieces that will fit on your grill, or into your grill pan or skillet.

Place the pieces of meat into a non-reactive bowl.
Mix the garlic, lime juice, cumin, tequila, salt, and 1/3 cup vegetable oil.
Pour over the meat and marinade for 2 hours.

Remove the meat from the marinade and grill over hot coals or in a
grill pan or skillet over med-high heat. Do not allow meat to dry by overcooking.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp vegetable oil and sauté peppers and onions over
med-high heat until they are crisp/tender.

Cut the grilled meat into strips and serve with pepper and onion mixture.

Serve with warm flour or corn tortillas.
Can also serve with optional sides: sour cream, avocados, guacamole, salsa, cheese

La Madeline's Bowtie Pasta Salad

~la Madeleine's Bowtie Pasta Salad~

16 oz. bowtie pasta
8 Tbsp. pesto
1/2 Cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
1/2 Cup Roma tomatoes, diced
4 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 Cup spinach, diced
1/2 Cup green onions, diced
4 Tbsp. Caesar dressing

*Cook pasta until al dente. Let cool slightly. Add all the other ingredients
& mix well. Serve chilled with hot soup or alongside
crusty bread. Enjoy!*

Lemon Butter Chicken Breasts

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast - halves (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
1/3 cup butter
2 lemons, sliced
2 tablespoon lemon juice
Hot cooked rice (optional)

  1. Place each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap, using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken lightly to 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap. In a shallow dish, stir together flour and salt. Dip chicken into flour mixture, turning to coat each side. Sprinkle chicken with lemon pepper seasoning.
  2. In a 12 inch skillet, cook chicken, half at a time, in hot butter over medium high heat about 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning once. Remove chicken from skillet. Add lemon slices to skillet; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once.
  3. Return all chicken to skillet, overlapping pieces slightly and arrange lemon slices around chicken. Drizzle with lemon juice. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until pan juices are slightly reduced. Transfer chicken and lemon slices to a serving plate. Pour pan juices over chicken. If desired, serve with hot cooked rice.

Mixed Berry-Limoncello Sangria

1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup halved fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 of a 12 ounce can (3/4 cup) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur)
1 750 milliliter bottles Prosecco or sparkling wine, chilled

  1. In a large pitcher or glass jar combine raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and lemon slices. Stir in lemonade concentrate and limoncello. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours to blend flavors.
  2. Before serving; slowly pour Prosesso into fruit mixture; stir gently. Serve sangria in glasses over ice.

Fresh Strawberry Lemon Pie

1 recipe Pastry for a single crust pie or frozen pie crust
9 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and halved
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Several drops red food coloring (optional)
Fresh Mint Leaves (optional)
Finely Shredded lemon Peel

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare pastry for pie crust or use ready made crust (frozen). Bake in oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. For strawberry glaze, in a food processor or blender combine 1 1/2 cups of the strawberries and the water. Cover and process or blend until smooth. In a medium saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch; stir in pureed strawberries, Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 3 minutes more. If desired, stir in red food coloring. Remove from heat; cool for 10 minutes without stirring.
  3. In a large bowl combine the remaining 7 1/2 cups strawberries and the strawberry blaze; toss gently to coat. Transfer strawberry mixture to the baked shell.
  4. Chill pie for 1 to 3 hours. (After 3 ours, the bottom of the pastry will start to soften) If desired, top with lemon peel and fresh mint leaves. 

Crumly Cogwhells Tortilla Soup

Crumly Cogwheels Tortilla Soup

Recipe By     : Crumly Cogwheels & Houston Chronicle, May 1997
Serving Size  : 10   Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : Mexican/Tex-Mex                  Soups & Stews

   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
    1      bunch         cilantro -- washed well
                         -- (leaves only)
    4                    garlic cloves
    1      small         onion -- chopped
    2                    fresh serrano peppers
    1      can           (10-ounce) tomatoes with green chilies
    3      quarts        chicken stock
    1      can           tomato sauce (8 oz)
    2      teaspoons     ground cumin (cominos) -- (2 to 3)
    1      teaspoon      salt -- (up to 2)
    2      tablespoons   cornstarch dissolved in a small amount of
                         -- water
                         corn tortillas (about 20) -- cut into thin
                         -- strips
                         vegetable oil
    2      cups          shredded grilled or poached chicken
                         -- breasts (about 2 ounces per serving)
    1      1/2 cups      shredded monterey jack cheese -- (up to 1)
                         -- (about 1 ounce per serving)
    2                    avocados -- peeled, pitted and
                         -- sliced

Purée cilantro, garlic, onion, peppers and tomatoes with green chilies in a
blender or food processor. Heat stock and add puréed mixture with tomato
sauce, cumin and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 1
hour. Stir dissolved cornstarch into stock. Fry tortillas strips in oil
until crisp; drain well. Divide tortilla strips among 10 to 12 bowls. Top
with chicken and ladle the stock over top. Garnish with shredded cheese and
2 or 3 avocado slices. Makes 10 to 12 servings

Lemony Jalapeno Hummus

You Will Need

  • One 15-ounce can (425 grams) chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
  • 2  large garlic clove, minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
  • Dash of ground paprika for serving
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 jalapeno

Blend garlic cloves, lemon juice and jalapeno's in blender. Add in chickpeas and all seasoning and blended in blender on high speed until creamy. If needed add in more olive oil. Taste and more seasonings as needed.

Shrimp Scampi with garlic wine butter sauce


3/4 stick of butter
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
1/4 cup finely red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely green bell pepper
1 or 2 large finely grated garlic clove
1/2 dry while wine
1 juice of a whole lemon 
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
dash of red pepper flakes (optional)

Once shrimp are done add in the same pan with drippings the all of the above except wine. When veggies are tender add wine and serve alone or over pasta.

How to make it

  • mix the flour, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper together in a small bowl. also, mince the garlic (or squeeze it through a garlic press) and mix it up with the and basil. set aside for step 3. and don’t forget to start the pasta.
  • the next step is to dip the shrimp in flour, coat well, and lightly fry them on both sides in a skillet with olive oil and butter until golden. a few minutes per side should do. (note: the reason i don’t just dip them all in flour and saute them all at once is that the flour coating tends to get loose and fall off...)

Greek Spinach Veggie Burger

1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried dill (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup toasted bread cubes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces) or shredded Italian blend cheeses
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, slit and toasted, or baguette slices
Assorted  toppers, such as crumbled feta cheese, plain yogurt, sliced roasted red peppers or sliced red onion.

  1. In a medium bowl combine oil, garlic, oregano, dill (if desired) and black pepper.   Add bread cubes, stirring to coat thoroughly. Stir in eggs, spinach, and the 1/2 cup feta cheese; mix well. Using your hands, shape mixture into four 1/2 inch thick patties. 
  2. Heat a griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add patties, cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until browned and cooked through (160 F) turning once halfway through cooking.  Serve in buns with assorted toppers (if using) 
Tip: For toasted bread cubes, cut four 1/2 inch slices of baguette into 1-inch cubes. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Red Beans and Rice

  • 1 lb. kidney beans (dry) $1.36
  • 1 medium yellow onion $0.83
  • 3 stalks celery $0.29
  • 1 large green bell pepper $0.98
  • 1 lb. hot sausage (andouille or kielbasa) $3.28
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil $0.04
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.09
  • 2 whole bay leaves $0.05
  • 1 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 3 cubes chicken bouillon $0.36
  • 1 tsp/to taste tony chachere’s / cajun seasoning $0.05
  • 6 sliced green onions (garnish) $0.45
  • 2 cups uncooked long grain rice $0.60
  1. The night before cooking, place your beans in a large bowl and cover with double the amount of water. Let soak at room temperature over night. If you forget to do this (like I did), begin with step 1b.
  2. To quick soak your beans, place them in a pot with double the amount of cold water. Bring the pot to a boil with a lid and let boil for 2 minutes. Remove the beans from the heat after two minutes and let sit, tightly covered, for one hour.
  3. While the beans are soaking, slice the sausage. Some people like to quarter the links lengthwise, then slice to yield small triangular bits. Some like to slice them into half moons but I prefer medallions. Saute the sausage in a large pot over medium/high heat until they are cooked through and nicely browned. Remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon (leave the grease) and refrigerate until later.
  4. Clean and dice the onion, celery, green bell pepper and garlic. Add these to the large pot containing the sausage grease and add 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil if needed. Saute the vegetables until they are soft and transparent (about 10 minutes).
  5. Drain the soaking water off of the beans, rinse them then add them to the pot. Also add 7 cups of water, the bullion, bay leaves, thyme and oregano. Stir it all together well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly (medium) and boil until the beans are soft (without a lid, about one hour). If the mixture gets dry, add more water (mine had plenty but keep an eye on it).
  6. Once the beans are soft, use the back of a large spoon to smash about half of the beans against the side of the pot. This will give the beans a nice thick “creamy” texture. Add the sausage back into the pot and continue to boil the mixture until it is to your desired thickness (without a lid, mine took one more hour). Add Tony Chachere’s or other Cajun seasoning to your liking. The seasoning contains salt so you will probably not need to add that separately.
  7. During the last hour of cooking, prepare the rice. In another large pot, combine two cups of dry rice with 3.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil with a lid then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until all of the water has absorbed (about 30 minutes).
  8. Serve the beans in a bowl (about 1 cup of beans & sausage) with a pile of rice on top (.5-.75 cups of rice). Top the bowl with some freshly sliced green onions.