Monday, January 17, 2011

Miracle Drop Biscuits

Only 2 ingredients can produce biscuits.

Mix the two gently together, drop on a pan and put in a hot oven.

And then you have biscuits for dinner.

Tastewise, I thought they turned out basically like a Bisquick biscuit. I don't like buttered biscuits, but I probably should have at least brushed some melted butter on them. That may have made them a little better. They did taste good crumbled up in my tomato soup the next day though.

Breakfast Shrimp Gravy

Moving on into the Gravy chapter. Is there any other cookbook in America that has a gravy chapter?

The first recipe is from South Carolina, a Breakfast Shrimp Gravy, clearly the birthplace of the shrimp and grits which once upon a time seemed innovative, but now have been on menus so long that I never bother with them. And I won't bother with restaurant shrimp and grits anymore now that I can make these.

Here's all it takes.

Basically you cook bacon which produces grease and into that you add onions then flour to make a roux. I'm sure you could make the roux lighter or darker depending on your preference. Mine is a light copper. Then you cook the shrimp in the roux

and serve over grits. (I confess I used quick grits, never instant!; I didn't want to cook grits for longer than it took to cook everything else.)

As good as any shrimp and grits I've paid $20 for.

The recipe was easy to follow, but I did find I needed to reduce the heat and/or the cooking time throughout.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cheese Boxes

Recipe No. 3

Combine shredded cheese (I did it by hand), softened butter, spices including dry mustard and cayenne which gives them their kick. Then whip an egg white. I did this by hand too. What a workout. Fold in the egg

and spread on bread cubes made from a loaf of soft white bread. I bought an unsliced loaf from Fresh Market. Allow to chill in the fridge until the spread re-hardens.

Then bake for 10 minutes.

Really delicious little bites of cheesy buttery bready goodness. I served them with the chili on Day 2 of the chili's life.

I froze the unbaked bites and cooked as directed the next day. They were equally delicious. This is definitely something I want to make again.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Best Chili of Your Life

Monday night is the BCS Championship -- Auburn vs. Oregon at 7:30 pm. And what do you eat with football? Chili.

Normally I would make a basic red ground beef chili or a green pork chili, but over the New Year I found this recipe from The Amateur Gourmet claiming to be "The Best Chili of Your Life." Sounds like the perfect accompaniment for what I hope is best rout of my life when Auburn beats Oregon by a whole lot to nothing.

Despite being from a restaurant chef, Michael Symon, the recipe isn't overly complicated or difficult.

I say that and yet the first step was pan roasting and grinding my own corriander.

Then you coat the cubed pork roast in the corriander, sweet smoked paprika (which smells wonderful!), cumin, salt and paper and brown.

Then you add pound of slab bacon,

then the veggies -- onion, garlic, red bell pepper and jalapenos -- a beer, I used one of my Abita Christmas Ales, chicken stock, San Marzano tomatoes (I used diced), chipotles and dried black eyed peas.

Then it cooks for 2 1/2 hours. I'm planning to stick it in the fridge overnight and reheat and serve tomorrow. But we may have some tonight if the predicted snow arrives.

And after 2 1/2 hours you get this.

 Which dishes out like this.

And is doctored up with cilantro, green onions, smoked cheddar and sour cream like this.

The chili is quite spicy, I think due to the chipotles even though there's only two. But it's quite delicious. And tonight we'll see how it reheats.

Call and Snow = Crockpot Cooking

Mel is on call this weekend meaning when he is home to eat all weekend is very, very unpredictable. What's more they are saying there's a 50% chance of a lot of snow come Sunday. Thus I'm making food that will lead to leftovers. At least I hope it will.

Today's crockpot recipe comes from A Year of Slow Cooking. It's Peperoncini Beef Sandwiches.

Here's the ingredients, minus the cheese, mozzarella, and rolls.

And there it is in the crockpot.

And after eight hours you get these components,

which I put on a hoagie roll with mozzarella and into the oven to melt the cheese.

Delicious, but tricky to reheat without drying out the meat.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Duck, It's What's For Dinner

My son Sam has been craving some duck. He has a vague memory of liking it in the past, but it's been a number of years since Mel, our primary source of duck, has gone hunting. But over Christmas our nephew Matthew went hunting and gave me some breasts.

I soaked them for 8 or so hours in lime juice, then dipped them in melted butter and grilled them over high heat for 6 minutes. I think the lime was a little overpowering, perhaps because I used Persian limes. But then duck is never my favorite, and at least they didn't taste gamey. I served the duck with roasted red potatoes and roasted asparagus (only 1 dirty pan!)

A final dinner note. I served this the Thursday before the BCS Championship game pitting my beloved Auburn Tigers against the Oregon Ducks. Thus I named the duck I ate LaMichael James, Sam's was Darron "Loser" Thomas, (he insisted on the Loser nomenclature), and Mel's Casey Matthews. Hopefully Auburn will eat up the Ducks just like we did.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Elvis' Favorite Peanut Butter Sandwich

Lunchtime came and since I live in Memphis and it's almost Elvis' birthday, today I celebrated with an Elvis sandwich.

First the ingredients.

I substituted my homemade mayo for the butter on the outside of the bread. It leads to nice browning and is so much easier to spread than the butter I had.

Here's the sandwich pre-browning.

Peanut butter, banana, bacon, honey!

Then it cooks on the griddle.

And finally, the finished product.

 A large glass of milk is the perfect accompaniment.