Friday, March 23, 2012

Everybody Loves Jesse...Here Is Some More

I noticed while looking at my blog stats, a lot of you love the Jesse Willis Lewis recipes I shared last month. They are some of my top pages viewed. Well, I figured that there is no reason to forget Jesse just because Black History Month is over. People from all over the world are loving the Crawfish  and Squirrel Recipes! So, I am giving you what I think you want, more Jesse. Following are a few more. I do believe that Edith and John Watts were on to something back in 1954 when they published this book. I think it had a second release sometime in the 80's. It is a somewhat rare book, from what I can tell. There aren't many copies available online, and some are quite pricey. For those of you who do not care for these recipes, I will get back to posting some more of my favorite soon, I just find this interesting, and obviously people in Singapore, Thailand, Pakistan, Poland, the UK, Argentina as well as many other places are digging it! So here's some more Jesse Willis Lewis for y'all!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pineapple Cheese Casserole

Sometimes I like to add a little sweetness to my side dishes. This one is really good with ham. I figured since Easter is coming up, and a lot of people prepare a big impressive ham for Easter Dinner, this would be a good time to share this. It is simple and beautiful. Sorry I don't have a picture, I don't make this often. It has been quite a few years since I have made it, actually. I found it in my over stuffed recipe collection and thought it deserves a mention. If I remember correctly, you can also used crushed pineapple, or a combination of both. I bet fresh pineapple would be awesome in this as well.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 - 20oz  cans pineapple chunks
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons sugar
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup Ritz crackers (crushed)

Drain pineapple, reserving 6 tablespoons juice
Combine sugar and flour, stir in juice
Add cheese and pineapple
Place in a greased medium size casserole dish
Melt the butter and add crackers.
Top the casserole with the buttery crackers
Bake uncovered for about 35 minutes
If desired, you can broil it for a couple of minutes to crisp the top.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Beef Burgundy Pot Roast (Crock Pot)

I recently purchased a gallon jug of Burgundy wine. One might ask why would I do such a thing, since I don't even drink the stuff. Well, I purchased it mainly for the jug. I am making this wonderful elixir, cordial type concoction with vanilla, vodka and some other stuff and it needs has to be made in a gallon jug. In case you haven't noticed, not much stuff comes in gallon glass jugs these days. I needed an extra one, because I want to get two batches going, and I didn't see the point of ordering an empty jug for the same price as one filled with wine. My husband will drink some of it and I am coming up with some pretty delicious ways to get rid of it! This easy roast is one of them. I encourage you to give it a try. You don't have to buy a whole gallon, a cup or so will work just fine! If you find yourself in my neighborhood, why not drop by for a glass or two of wine? I got plenty! Come on over, I got you covered!

Start with a lean beef roast around 3 pounds.
1 cup burgundy wine
1 cup water
1/4 to 1/2 cup celery, chopped very fine
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 pkg fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 bay leaf
1 can golden mushroom soup
2 tablespoons oil (for browning roast)
salt and pepper to taste
a few dashes of worcestershire sauce, to taste
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning

Place chopped onion, mushrooms, garlic and celery in bottom of crock pot.
Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high heat.
Rub salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash on both sides of roast.
Brown both sides in skillet.
Place on top of veggies in crock pot.
Mix water, soup, worcestershire sauce and wine together and pour over roast.
Add bay leaf and cook on low for about 6 to 7 hours or until falling apart.
If desired, you can remove roast when finished, and thicken the flavorful drippings with a combination of  corn starch and water added to the crock pot and cooked for an additional half hour or so. I usually do this step on top of the stove in a saucepan on medium heat, whisking frequently until thickened.
serve with hot noodles, if desired.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Potato Leek Soup

I have discovered a creamy delicious soup that is not as unhealthy as you might think. Usually when we think of cream soups, heavy cream or half in half come to mind, if not milk. I had some leeks on hand and needed a soup that was dairy free. This soup is very satisfying and a perfect balance between hearty and healthy. I didn't miss the milk at all in this tasty soup, perfect for lunch or dinner.
If you aren't familiar with leeks, it is very important that you clean them well. They are very dirty and gritty throughout. I suggest soaking whole, then slicing vertically into quarters and rinsing multiple times before chopping, then rinsing again in a colander. I know it sounds extreme, but it is necessary. The first time I cooked with leeks I thought I had cleaned them well only to discover grit in my finished product. Never again. I encourage you to give this flavorful simple soup a try.

 2 large leeks, cut lengthwise, separated and cleaned. Discard the darker green tops and chop leeks.
2 to 3 tablespoons Earth Balance butter, or regular butter
2 cups water
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 to 4 potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, or 2 tablespoons, if using fresh
Dash of Tabasco sauce, if desired
Salt and pepper

Melt butter over low heat in a 4 to 5 quart saucepan
Add leeks some salt and pepper, cover and gently cook for about 15 to 20 minutes on low, taking care not to burn the leeks. They do not need to be browned.
Add water, broth and potatoes. Bring to a low boil and cook, loosely covered for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
Add thyme, a little more salt and pepper, if desired and half of the parsley.
Stir and remove about half of the soup mixture, placing it into a blender.
Puree and return to pot.
Add remaining parsley and a dash or two of Tabasco, if desired.
Stir and serve.