Friday, July 31, 2009

Super Easy Shortcut Shrimp Etouffée

An easy shortcut cheater etouffee that uses cream soup as a roux shortcut and works well for both shrimp and crawfish.

Cheater Shrimp Etouffée

Before you scoff at the ingredients in this shortcut method, I say give it a try. I feel certain you will be surprised. It's a technique I learned many years ago from Sissy, a friend of mine from Starkville, Mississippi. I was at her house one day when I watched her whip this up while we stood in the kitchen chatting, and well, I was both fascinated and skeptical when I saw the ingredients. One taste convinced me though, because this is just delicious. The cream of mushroom soup takes the place of what would normally be a roux and believe it or not, it really works! Many years later I learned local folks down here in the Deep South use this shortcut a lot. Who knew?


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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chicken Pecan Fettuccine

Pan seared chicken breast in a buttery cream sauce tossed in fettuccine noodles with Parmesan cheese and toasted pecans.

Chicken Pecan Fettuccine

During the Christmas holidays last year, a popular food blogger posted a cranberry sauce recipe that very often, at least down south, has pecans in it, though this midwestern blogger could not understand why anybody would want to do that! Why everybody down south knows why... it's because pecans are good of course! And generally speaking, plentiful around here, though it seems less so these days.


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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Everyday Baked Macaroni and Cheese

A creamy baked macaroni and cheese that uses a combination of cheddar and Velveeta and a buttery roux.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Okay, you probably wouldn't want to eat this every day, but what I mean by that is that this is my 'regular' mac and cheese recipe, as opposed to my special occasion mac and cheese, which is excellent, but very rich, loaded with eggs, butter with cheese. I finally got around to makin' this one, and it, on the other hand, is a little, well, more reasonable, and what you could serve any day of the week.


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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Homemade Southern Banana Pudding

Banana pudding, layered with vanilla wafer cookies, bananas, and a made from scratch egg custard, topped with a homemade meringue.

Homemade Banana Pudding

Woohoo, it's homemade banana pudding y'all! And let me tell you - we southerners love our banana pudding, but we really love it, homemade, from scratch, with real custard, layered and meringue topped. Now that's southern banana pudding - the way banana pudding was meant to be eaten y'all.

So, yesterday y'all might have seen my tweet where I mentioned I was piddling about in the garage with the garage door wipe open, when I noticed there were a couple of birds sitting on my car in the driveway. One glance at their fuzzy little heads and I realized that it was the baby finches that had been birthed in one of my hanging plants on the front porch, finally flying the coup. Unfortunately, when I inadvertently walked up on them, I also frightened them, and they flew straight into the open garage.

Now, like many of you {c'mon now, I know I'm not in this alone}, I don't use my garage to park cars in. Rather, I use my garage to store stuff in.  There are boxes in there from heaven knows when, some I think from when I first moved into this house. Every once in awhile I go out and pick through and purge them and straighten up the garage. When those birds flew in there, well let's just say that I hadn't done that in awhile.

I had to shift and move around a lot of boxes and I finally found one of the babies fluttering about in an open box, so I carefully took what was in there out and then brought the box out to the driveway where he apparently found his way to his mama. The other baby I never found despite rearranging and digging through many open boxes, but I left the garage open all day and hoped that he would manage to find his way out too.

My Mama has been passed on for about 12 years now, and when we finally sold her house in 2002, since my brother and my sister live elsewhere, I was left with the chore of emptying out the house. Many things went to charity, some things I kept. And much of what is out there are boxes of some of my Mama's kitchen things. In all that digging and moving boxes around, I found something that I had been looking for, for a long time and frankly thought was lost. {You might have also seen me tweet about finding a ThighMaster in one of those boxes, but no ... we ain't goin' there!} I found a vintage Pyrex baking bowl.


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Friday, July 24, 2009

Weekend Cocktails - The Perfect Mojito

Making a fresh mojito is so easy! Here's how to make one.

The Perfect Mojito

I have loved mojitos since the first time I ever tasted one and while Cuba may have been the birthplace of the mojito, they always make me think of Miami and the Florida Keys. What a beautiful drive that is between the two, and that 7-mile bridge to Key West, a place so laid back that even the dogs saunter around so slowly they appear to be sleepwalking and the few traffic lights seem almost lazy. Where people get around on bicycles and scooters and nobody is in any kind of a hurry.


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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sour Cream Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Fig and Walnut Topping

A tender cake of lemon, sour cream and poppy seed is topped off with a glaze made from fresh figs and walnuts.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Fig and Walnut Topping

Growing up we always lived in a subdivision neighborhood. Things were pretty tight-knit in the old neighborhood, and everybody knew each other back in those days. We were constantly outside, playing and running around - nothing like today where many of us don't really know most of our neighbors and you barely even see children out and about.


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Monday, July 20, 2009

Creole Tomato Sauce

Creole tomato sauce made from garden fresh tomatoes, onion, green & red bell pepper, celery & seasonings.

Creole Tomato Sauce

For me, it was a busy weekend around here, and appropriately, much of it centered around food. I don't know why I didn't make some aspect of the food industry my career. Sure would have been fitting since I apparently love it so much! It would have been super cool to have done something like this and make a career with it for sure.


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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Easy Banana Cake with Quick Caramel Icing

Yellow cake mix gets a boost of banana, brown sugar and cinnamon, and is topped with a quick caramel icing and chopped pecans.

Easy Banana Cake with Quick Caramel Icing

This cake came about when I saw a from scratch, two layer banana cake that was just gorgeous and looked so darned good with a yummy butter and cream cheese icing and dotted with chunks of walnuts. I even bought the bananas with the intent of making it, but for some reason every time I thought about making it, I would look at the recipe and put it off. It seemed a bit daunting to me and I'm not a great layer cake baker.

Well, as bananas do, they were soon calling to be used, and knowing that I did have a couple of cake mixes in the pantry, I pulled out my trusty copy of the The Cake Mix Doctor and sure enough, there lay a recipe that I could shortcut! Yay!

I'll get around to a homemade banana cake when I'm in the mood, but for now this worked well and was excellent. I really love the caramel icing - very similar to my peanut butter icing in method, this would be a great frosting to liven up several kinds of different cakes.

Here's how to make it.


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Quick Caramel Icing


Another easy icing, similar in technique to my peanut butter icing, this caramel icing is fantastic paired with Easy Banana Cake, or would be great to top my Basic 1-2-3-4 Yellow Cake.

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Quick Caramel Icing
From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

1 stick of pure unsalted butter
1 cup of packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup of half and half
2 cups of sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar and cook over a slightly higher than medium fire, until mixture begins to boil. This will take anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes depending on your stove. Once it begins to boil, slowly whisk in the half and half until well blended. Bring back just to a boil, turn the burner to low, remove the saucepan from the heat, add the powdered sugar and vanilla and blend. Return the saucepan to the burner and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Icing will get stiff quickly so you'll need to immediately pour over cake and allow it to set.

Source:  http://deepsouthdish.com

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Check These Out Too!

Peanut Butter Icing
Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Basic Chocolate Frosting
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Authentic Mexican Shredded Beef Tacos

Authentic Mexican tacos made with a shredded, well seasoned beef roast, stuffed into a folded tortilla shell and deep fried.

Authentic Mexican Shredded Beef Tacos

Until I started reading up on them, I never knew that authentic Mexican tacos were made using shredded beef, rather than the Americanized version of Tex-Mex style ground beef tacos we are all accustomed to in the United States, and yes, even in our Mexican restaurants. The other day I was at the grocery store and it happened to be one of the days that they reduce meat, because I noticed lots of yellow stickers from across the aisle in the meat case. So, I wandered over to see what they had and found a great chuck roast for just a couple bucks.

When I decided I wanted a good authentic recipe for Mexican shredded beef, I stumbled upon this great blog belonging to David at Cooking Weblog - check him out sometime because he's got some great recipes there. I made some adaptations to his recipe and I have to tell you, this meat is incredible, and well, I had never heard of stuffing the taco and then frying it either, so that was also a totally new experience for me! Of course, you can always buy the corn taco shells to bake and stuff.


While you may not want to eat fried tacos on a daily basis, these tacos were totally over the top good - it may be hard to go back to tacos made with ground beef again.


If you think this sounds yummy, I'd sure it if you'd click to pin it, tweet it, stumble it, or share it on Facebook to help spread the word - thanks!

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Recipe: Authentic Mexican Shredded Beef Tacos

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 3 hour | Yield: About 12-15 tacos

Ingredients
  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) chuck roast, cut into chunks, fat trimmed
  • 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 small white or yellow onions, chopped fine
  • Oil for frying
  • Tortillas or taco shells
Ingredients

Put the chunks of meat into a stockpot and add all of the remaining seasoning ingredients, except for the onions. Cover with water plus about an inch and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Add the chopped onion and continue simmering, covered, for an additional hour. Uncover, stir to begin breaking up meat and continue simmering until liquid begins to reduce and meat fully shreds, about 1 more hour. Let cool.

Stuff meat into flour tortillas for soft tacos, or fold, pin with wooden toothpicks and fry in a skillet with about one inch of oil or deep fry. Alternatively, you can buy taco shells, bake them and then stuff them.

Note: Besides tacos, use this recipe for chalupas, flautas, taquitos, enchiladas, burritos, Mexican pizza and many of your favorite Tex-Mex recipes.

Crockpot: Add 3 cups of water to the slow cooker and whisk in the seasonings and onion. Add the meat, cover and let cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (depending on size of roast), or until meat is tender and falling apart.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too!

Tex-Mex Migas
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Posted by on May 17, 2009
Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, but please do not repost or republish elsewhere such as other blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Speedy Strawberry Lemonade

Super easy to make, using fresh or frozen strawberries and frozen lemonade concentrate, it's sure to become a spring and summer favorite!

Speedy Strawberry Lemonade

I've gotten a few inquiries about my recipe for the strawberry lemonade I mentioned the other day. Well, there's not a thing to it, because for this I use frozen concentrate. Lemons are a bit pricey unless you are lucky enough to have a mature tree, or you can catch them reduced. Since I have just one baby Meyer lemon tree that is barely 2 seasons old and produced exactly one lemon this year, I only tend to make fresh lemonade for special events and holidays.

Many times I use good ole concentrate just like everybody else, and this is one of them, so we'll call this a "speedy" version. Of course you can certainly make a fresh lemonade concentrate (minus the water) with simple syrup and simply add the pureed strawberries to that if you prefer to go from scratch.


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Monday, July 13, 2009

Shrimp and Crab Stuffed Mirlitons (Chayote Squash)

Chayote squash, known in the Deep South as mirliton or vegetable pears, are steamed and then filled with a seafood stuffing.

Shrimp and Crab Stuffed Mirlitons

Once found in the Deep South as a product of the states of Florida and Louisiana only during the fall months, Chayote squash is now generally available nearly year round thanks to California and Mexico. Chayote squash is really nothing more than what we affectionately know down here as mirlitons, or they are sometimes also called vegetable pears, and they are the perfect vehicle for a seafood stuffing.


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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Classic Southern Fried Shrimp

Gulf Coast Shrimp dusted with a light coating of seasoned flour & deep fried to crunchy perfection.

Classic Southern Fried Shrimp

We love our southern fried shrimp in this part of The Deep South and fried up in a deep fryer is the best way to go when you cook fried shrimp. A hot deep fryer cooks them so quickly, that there is far less absorption of the fat, leaving behind a crispy, crunchy and delicious fried shrimp.


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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Spicy Turkey & Egg Hash


I so love breakfast foods. Oh who am I kidding. I just love FOOD!

But seriously, since I have the time in the mornings I love making a hearty breakfast occasionally - especially oatmeal when the weather is cool - but eggs of any kind, any time. Okay. Sometimes muffins or some kind of sweet bread. But most often, eggs. They are a super food for sure, loaded with nutrition.

I really enjoy this hash because it's very satisfying and filling and super delicious and I almost always have all the ingredients on hand. I really love the spice of the Cajun fried turkey, but I've used regular deli turkey, and ham also works really well here. You can also switch up the cheese to your favorite of course.


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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Baked Salmon with Cajun Brown Sugar Citrus Rub

Wild Alaskan salmon dusted with a brown sugar, lemon zest and Cajun seasoned rub, baked and then caramelized under the broiler.

Baked Salmon with Cajun Brown Sugar Citrus Rub

I just love Alton Brown. I am a fan of his show Good Eats (sadly, no longer on the air), and I have all of his books of the same name because they are a true encyclopedia of cooking in my opinion. If you like to learn the science behind foods, you'll enjoy these book and get a few recipes as a bonus.


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Monday, July 6, 2009

How to Preserve Tomatoes in the Freezer

How to preserve those fresh tomatoes in your freezer - no canning necessary!

How to Preserve Tomatoes in the Freezer

If you think this sounds yummy, I'd sure it if you'd click to pin it, tweet it, stumble it, or share it on Facebook to help spread the word - thanks!

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I have sure been enjoying fresh tomatoes out of the garden the past few weeks, juicy and sliced nice & thick onto sandwiches, or as big, meaty chunks in a salad, and while I do have a few green ones still out there and a few more blossoms popping up, I think it's time to put a few away, don't you?

By the way, that is an untouched photograph y'all ... aren't they just gorgeous? I might not have gotten any peppers or beans to produce this year, but I sure had some purrtaay 'maters!!

Anyhoo... I haven't gotten into the whole canning thing with home vegetable gardening. For one, I just don't have that nice pantry storage space like many of you do. For another, I only do a small kitchen garden due to limited sunny areas in my yard, so I've never had a huge garden that really produced enough to "put away." What I do have, however, is a stand-alone freezer, so I like the freezer method of putting away tomatoes because 12 bags stacked up in the freezer sure take up a lot less space than jars in the pantry.

Now, you can't use these tomatoes as a substitute for fresh - you'll have to go pick one fresh out of your garden for those kinds of recipes, but these tomatoes are perfect for use in pan sauces, soups & stews, skillet dinners and casseroles - things like that, which is really mostly what I used canned tomatoes for anyway. Now if you prefer canning, well, I am only beginning to can minor things like jams and jelly, but there are tons of tutorials out there to show you how to put up tomatoes properly. The freezer method is just one good way to preserve tomatoes, but it's a great way to put up tomatoes if you don't want to fool with canning or lack the space for those jars.


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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Shrimp and Macaroni Salad

A macaroni salad with shrimp, onion, mayonnaise, seasoned with Old Bay, Cajun seasoning, lemon pepper and garlic salt. Chopped fresh tomatoes are tossed in just before serving.

Shrimp and Macaroni Salad

What a great, relaxing, wonderful weekend this has been! I hope all of y'all had a great one too - and maybe even an extra day off of work tomorrow?

The fireworks display for the 4th was just simply beautiful. I tell you what ... there is nothing like having a front row seat right on the Gulf of Mexico to watch those colorful explosions of light.


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Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Easiest (Cheater) Pulled Pork Ever, No Kidding

A 3-hour pulled pork that is tender and juicy and tastes like it simmered in the crockpot all day - no kidding.

The Easiest (Cheater) Pulled Pork Ever, No Kidding

This cheater pulled pork recipe kind of came on a flashback. No, not that kind y'all. But... years ago I really got into frugality, and one of the many places I frequented back then included the Dollar Stretcher website. Now I admit, I had kind of forgotten about Gary until I found him on Twitter and rediscovered him again.

Well one day, Gary tweeted an article from his site called The Pork Barbecue Secret, so of course I checked it out. The article is written by Dave Kessler, author of Skinny Cooks Can't Be Trusted, a collection of his recipes and articles from a column by the same name. With a title like that, I already liked the guy, because this is one of my most popular things to say when I watch these super skinny cooks on television. No offense to anybody who happens to be a skinny cook. I actually used to be one of those. Until my metabolism went south about the same time that I started blogging about food! Just sayin'...

Anyway, I was intrigued to say the least, so I marched off to the store, picked up a pork shoulder butt - isn't that such a funny contradiction in terms? First thing we all think, hey, how can a shoulder be a butt.... Well, I gave this method a try and my skepticism was doused with the first bite. Despite no seasonings, that's right, NONE, this was the most flavorful, tender, juicy pork, perfect for dousing with barbecue sauce for pulled pork sandwiches. There is something to be said about the natural fats in meats y'all and this is a winner, believe it or not. The bonus is that you get a wonderful broth leftover that is just perfect for a pot of soup like bean with bacon, or for a mess 'o greens.


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Friday, July 3, 2009

Weekend Cocktails - Vodka Slush

Vodka Slush, a refreshing adult drink made from a mixture of frozen lemonade, orange juice and limeade and vodka, or rum if you like. After freezing the mixture is combined with 7-up or Sprite to make a slush.

Vodka Slush

This one's for you Deb, because and it was you and Trish that inspired me to seek out this slushy drink after having a taste of Trish's freezer slush many, many years ago! (Hey, and send me your recipe would ya?)


This will certainly help keep you and your other over-21 friends cooled off during all the festivities, while the kids sip on their koolaide, fruit drinks and lemonade. Like a grown up slushie really.


Have a safe and fun holiday y'all, and remember, drink responsibly and don't drink and drive!


The original recipe said to freeze for 2 hours - but I recommend freezing it overnight.


Recipe: Vodka Slush

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Inactive time: 24 hours | Yield: About 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 (12 ounce) can of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 (6 ounce) can of frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 (10 to 12 ounce) can of limeade concentrate, or frozen margarita mix, thawed
  • 3-1/2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of vodka
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 liter bottle of 7 up or Sprite, chilled
Instructions

Mix the thawed lemonade, orange juice, and limeade into a large freezer safe container. Add the water, vodka and sugar, mix well and freeze overnight.

When ready to mix drinks, remove the frozen mixture from the freezer and scoop into glasses, or let sit for 5 to 10 minutes on the counter to soften, if desired. Fill glasses 1/2 to 3/4 full with the slush mixture, then top it off with the 7up or Sprite. Stir and serve immediately. Tiny umbrellas or mini flags totally optional but highly recommended. Enjoy!

Note: The original recipe said to freeze for 2 hours - but I recommend freezing it overnight.

Variation: Substitute rum for the vodka.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

Always Drink Responsibly and use a Designated Driver.

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©Deep South Dish

Adapted from Southern Living's Our Best Quick & Easy Recipes

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Check These Recipes Out Too!

Frozen Watermelon Margaritas
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Posted by on July 3, 2009

Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Recipes are offered for your own personal use only and while pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, please do not copy and paste post or recipe text to repost or republish elsewhere such as other Facebook pages, blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.
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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fried Jalapeno Poppers

Fresh jalapeno peppers are blanched then stuffed with a bacon and cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack blend, dipped in buttermilk, rolled in flour & deep fried. Yum!

Fried Jalapeno Poppers

We just don't do a lot of Tex-Mex recipes here along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and I'd venture to guess that most folks who live in my area probably buy their poppers from the freezer section at the grocery store! They are not the same as homemade folks, so I decided to make my own homemade version that I have come to love.


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