Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Happy Thanksgiving MMP

This week's MMP, by IvoryTowerDenizen, was dedicated to both giving thanks and the food we gave thanks with.  Lots of yummy recipes and food references.  I'll get the recipes posted and linked eventually.  For now, here's the MMP.

Recipes mentioned in the MMP:

ITD's own Herb and Leek Dressing

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cooking Now! (Link)

Cooking Now!

Shared by: VunderBob

From: The Onion

Thursday, November 10, 2011

About Jambalaya

About Jambalaya
From the MMP

swampbear: "As far as jambalaya is concerned, my recipe is close to Rebo's but always includes shrimp and I don't use tomatoes cause I don't like tomatoes in jambalaya. Like Bumba says there are as many ways to make jambalaya as there are folks who make jambalaya."

Bumba: "For some strange reason I feel like making Jambalaya. But that would entail going back to the store for bell pepper and celery.
It's a puzzlement."

See also recipes for Jambalaya: I and II.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jambalaya II

Jambalaya II
From: Bumbazine

Two notes from Bumba:
1) I apologize about my recipe.... Apparently I would have you add your chicken to the pot twice. You don't have to do that. Once is enough. 

2) Jambalaya is kind of like spaghetti in that everyone has their own recipe, and no two ever seem to be the same. Please keep that in mind.

Anyway, here it is:


about 1 lb. chicken parts
1 lb shrimp, preferably medium sized
1 BIG yellow onion, chopped
1-2 cups long grain white rice
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 green, or red, or yellow, bell pepper
2 regular sized cans of stewed chunked tomatoes
2 (or more) cans of chicken broth
1-2 Tbsp chili powder
cayenne pepper
cooking oil

optional (see text):
a pound of Andoille or other sausage
bay leaves
Old Bay Seasoning
poultry seasoning
Crab and Shrimp boil

Jambalaya is kind of like spaghetti in that everyone has their own recipe, and no two ever seem to be the same, but the basic premise is: two or more kinds of meat, or shellfish, cooked with rice, tomatoes and other vegetables.
The variation most often asked for around my house is chicken and shrimp, and I do it this way: (How you do it is up to you. Improvise.)

In a sauce pan, boil your chicken parts seasoned with salt, pepper, a little poultry seasoning, and bay leaves (or just salt and pepper, if you’d rather.)
Meanwhile, chop up one big yellow onion, three or four celery stalks, three or four cloves of garlic, and a green bell pepper. Taste the pepper when you chop, sometimes they’re bitter. A red or yellow bell would be more than welcome here instead, if you like.
Coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and sauté the onion, garlic, celery and pepper over medium heat until the onion is translucent, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.
If you're putting in sausage, chop it up and put it in now. Saute it a bit.
Pour in at least two cans of chicken broth and two cans of peeled tomato chunks.
As soon as your chicken parts are cool enough, skin and de-bone them and chop or shred, then add to the pot.
Put in at least a tablespoon of chili powder. Most folks also add cayenne pepper, but my friends and family are a little timid about that stuff, so I take it easy on them. A little dried thyme would be welcome here also. Taste! Taste! Taste!
Strain off the chicken, and add the broth to the pot. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and add to the pot.
When the pot comes up to a slow boil, add at least a cup of long grain white rice. Remember that a cup of rice will absorb about two and a half cups of liquid, so adjust your liquids accordingly.
If you want the rice to absorb all the liquid, the traditional way, cover, and reduce to a simmer, just as if you were cooking any rice dish. You may, at your discretion, come back and stir the top down to the bottom part way through.
If you are serving it as a soup, (some people do), put in more liquid and stir every few minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse out the saucepan and cook the shrimp as you would normally do, using crab and shrimp boil, Old Bay Seasoning, or whatever you prefer. At least use some chili powder or something. You may add this stock to the pot later if you wish. I always do.
When the shrimp are done, drain and peel and set aside.
When the rice is done, (half an hour to an hour), turn off the heat, stir in the shrimp, and, as soon as the shrimp are hot again, serve, with Louisiana Hot Sauce on the table.

If the proportions seem sketchy, I’m sorry. I taste as I go, and so should you, and by all means, use fresh ingredients instead of canned if you have them.

The above recipe isn't quite what I do these days. I cook the shrimp earlier and add the shrimp broth to the pot before putting in the rice. Also, if you're using sausage, you put it in and saute with the onions, etc, before adding the broth. Some people put in some tomato paste after the onion is translucent and saute everything some more til the tomato paste gets brown some. I don't, but I'm just sayin'

Jambalaya I

Jambalaya I
From Dolores Reborn

What you need:
approximately 1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cubed
1 lb. andouille sausage, cubed (or smoked sausage)
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2-3 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lb. rice
1 small can tomato paste
approximately 64 oz. chicken stock
15 oz can diced tomatoes (optional)
salt and pepper
1/2 to1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/2 to1 tsp cajun seasoning (to taste)

STEP 1: heat 1 tablespoon lard, if you have it, vegetable oil if you dont. Season chicken and sausage with salt and pepper. Add to hot oil and brown.
STEP 2: remove chicken and sausage from pan, but leave the juices in the pan. Add garlic, pepper, celery, and onion. DO NOT BROWN! Cook until translucent. remove from pan.
STEP 3: Put chicken and sausage back in pan, making sure it fully covers the bottom. Layer peppers, onions, celery, and garlic on top. If you are adding chopped tomatoes, add them now. Pour rice on top and spread it out so that it forms an even layer. In a separate dish, combine tomato paste and some of the broth and blend. Add to pan, as well as the remaining broth. DO NOT STIR!!!!
STEP 4: Season! Add cayenne pepper and cajun seasoning to taste. Keep in mind that the cajun seasoning does have cayenne pepper in it.
STEP 5: Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Let simmer, covered, for about an hour. DO NOT STIR!!!! It is done when the rice is tender. You can tell when most of the broth is gone. If there is little or no broth left and the rice isn't done, add some more broth. DO NOT STIR!!!
-if you can't get andouille sausage, you can use a good smoked sausage, preferably with pork
-it is very important that you don't stir this after you add the rice and broth. If you do, the rice rises to the top and does not cook will have crunchy jambalaya
-it is also good to use a large stockpot with a heavy bottom, so the chicken and sausage doesn't burn.

(This makes a ton!!!)

Fresh Fruit Crisp

Fresh Fruit Crisp

From FairyChatMom

The apple crisp recipe is from my tattered old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

Preheat oven to 350°

1/2 c quick rolled oats
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I also add about 1/8 tsp nutmeg)
1/4 c butter or margarine
2 pounds apples or 2 1/2 pounds peaches
2 tbsp sugar (I don't use this, but it's in the recipe)

Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and a dash of salt. Cut in butter to make coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Peel, core, and slice fruit to make 5-6 cups. Place fruit in a 10X6 baking dish (I used 8X8) sprinkle with sugar (like I said, I don't do this, but I do sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg on the apples at this point.) Sprinkle crumb mixture over all. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes.

It does keep in the fridge - at least for one day. It's never lasted that long here. And I made a big batch today - 6 Granny Smith apples and doubled the topping.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Twice-baked Potatoes - Twice

Twice-baked Potatoes - Twice
From: Dolores Reborn and FairyChatMom

A request from congodwarf elicited two responses.  Since we're talking about twice-baked N.O.T. (MumpSpeak for potatoes), it only seemed right to include two recipes in a single post. I've added them in chronological order.

From Rebo: 

Twice-Baked N.O.T.

Bake some N.O.T.. I like to use red ones, but use whatever you like. (350° for 1 to 1-1/2 hrs, depending on the size. Don't turn off the oven.) Put on an oven mitt. Trying not to burn yourself, cut a thin slice off the top. With a small spoon, scoop out the innards into a bowl, taking care to leave some potato "wall" in there. Place the skins on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment.

Into the bowl, add any or all of the following:

Sliced green onions
shredded cheese
sour cream
bacon bits
salt and pepper

Mix it all up in the bowl, then put the mixture into a gallon ziploc bag. Moosh it up some more. Push it all down into one corner, then snip off the corner and pipe into the N.O.T. skins. Put them back in the oven for about 30 minutes, until very hot and starting to brown.

From FCM:

I use russets and I let them cool after the first baking. I mix the innards with butter, cheese (swiss, cheddar, whatever), diced onions, sour cream, till well blended, then I load the mixture into the skins, with a little extra mounded out the top. At this point, they can be wrapped and frozen for future meals, or put back in the oven till heated thru. And frozen ones can be nuked if you don't want to wait for them to thaw and bake.

No ingredient amounts, sorry - I just throw together what I've got.

The bit that you cut off the top can be cheesed and broiled for a tasty appetizer!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Miracle Chicken

Miracle Chicken
From: janis_and_c0

It is ridiculously easy. Mix 3/4 c  Miracle Whip, 1/2 c parmesan cheese and 1 t oregano, coat chicken pieces/quarters, bake in oven. easy peasy. 

Panko Breaded Pork Chops

Panko Breaded Pork Chops
From: Taters

I've got panko breaded chops in the oven. I brushed the chops with a mixture of mayo, honey and dijon after I salted and peppered them. After I coated them with the mayo mixture, I pressed them into the seasoned crumbs.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Baked Compote

Baked Compote
From: gardentraveler

Improvised this and it turned out yummy.

1 small winter squash, halved, with seeds scooped out
1 small sweet potato, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly
1 large firm apple, cut into eighths and then in 1/2 crosswise to make large chunks (I suppose you could peel the apple, but I'm lazy, so I didn't).

Bake the squash at 350 degrees F for about an hour, until tender. Put a little butter in each cavity and put maybe 1/4 inch of water in the baking pan. Let cool. (I did this the day before I baked the apples and sweet potato; you could bake it at the same time as the other ingredients, though. You probably want to give the squash a little bit of a head start, or peel it and cut it into smallish cubes (larger than the sweet potato but smaller than the apples) and mix with other ingredients.

In a microwavable baking dish (I have a 2-quart Corning-ware baking dish with a lid), melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar or white sugar and a few drops of molasses and mix well. Add 1/4 teaspoon or so cinnamon or Penzey's Baking Spice (or some similar spice - 5-spice powder or a mild curry powder would probably be good too) and mix well. Add apple and sweet potato slices and mix well to coat with butter mixture.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

I scooped out cooked squash, cut into fairly large pieces and mixed it in about 30 minutes into the baking period. Serve with a bit more brown sugar and spices on top.

Monday, September 5, 2011

VunderBob's Kickass Hurricane Force Tomato Salsa

VunderBob's Kickass Hurricane Force Tomato Salsa
From: VunderBob

Next version of this recipe. The difference is no cumin and added lime juice.

12 tomatoes, bigger than a baseball
6 jalapeno peppers
12 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 medium onions
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vinegar
2 T lime juice

Core the tomatoes, cut the stems from the peppers and halve them, and peel the garlic cloves.

If you don't want the salsa to be real hot, now is the time to remove the inner membrane and seed from the pepper halves.

Place all on a cooking sheet, and spray everything lightly with the cooking spray. Place sheet in the oven set to broil, and let go for 10-12 minutes, until the skin on the tomatoes chars and starts to peel. Keep an eye on the garlic, because it may burn first.

Peel the tomatoes, and chop them up the way you prefer. I'm lazy so I used a food processor, and I drained the liquid out of the chopped tomatoes to leave pulp only.

Chop the peppers, garlic, onion, and cilantro, and add to tomatoes. Add salt and cumin, and adjust for taste. Add the vinegar, too. If you're going to serve this fresh, stop here.

Refrigerate about 2 hours before serving.

I canned mine via water bath. To do this, double the batch above, and prepare as directed, Place salsa in sterilized pint jars, add lids, and immerse completely in boiling water. Boil for 15 minutes, then remove. Let the jars cool, and the lids should indent. If the lid does not seal, refrigerate that jar immediately.

The double batch yielded 6 pints.

Why is it Hurricane Force? I made this the morning of Hurricane Irene.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Greek Chicken Koftas

Greek Chicken Koftas
From: Clockwork Jackal

1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons fresh mint
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

More olive oil, for oiling the grill

Chopped tomatoes
Chopped cucumbers
Thinly sliced red onion
Store bought Tzatiki
Greek style pitas

Equipment: Metal or wooden skewers and a grill

In a large bowl, mix together chicken, spices, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Git in there and use your hands. Form into 5 long meatballs around 5 metal or wooden skewers. Heeee... they look like...thingys. Heeeeee. Refridgerate for at least 15 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat your grill to high and chop your toppings.

Oil the grill REALLY WELL, and cook the koftas until cooked through, remember it's ground meat, (about 4 minutes each side.) Heat the pitas on the grill for a minute or so, just til warm.

To serve, spread a pita with tzatiki, place a koftka in the centre, and top with tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion. Watch your family devour them.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Strawberry Scrumdiddilyumptious Cake

Strawberry Scrumdiddilyumptious Cake
From: janis_and_c0

1 Yellow cake mix
1 box Strawberry jello
1/4 cup sugar
2 small tubs whipped cream
1 carton strawberries

Make cake according to package directions
Heat up Jello & sugar in water (in about 1-2 cups water) until boiling
slice strawberries and add to jello
keep jello hot until cake comes out of oven
pour hot jello & strawberries evenly over cake
frost cake with whipped cream
(what I did was frost cake with 1 tub whipped cream while the cake was still hot, it kinda melted and once the cake was chilled I used the other tub. you can do this or wait till cake is chilled to frost)
Garnish with more sliced strawberries on the top.
It was nom.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fruited & Curried Chicken Salad

Fruited & Curried Chicken Salad
Shared by gardentraveler

Inspired by this recipe on Allrecipes.

8 oz. finely chopped chicken (about 2 cups; I used leftovers from a rotisserie chicken)
2 oz. finely chopped celery (about 1/2 cup, 1 rib)
2 oz. finely chopped red pepper (about 1/2 cup, 1/2 a medium red pepper)
1/2 oz. finely chopped white onion (about 2 T)
4 oz. finely chopped apple (I used 1/2 of a large Pink Lady, about 1 c.)
3 oz. seedless green grapes, quartered (about 1/2 cup)
1 oz. dried cranberries (about 1/4 c.)
1 oz. golden raisins, (about 1/4 c.)
1 T, chives, chopped (about 1T.)
1/2 t., mint, cut into very thin strips (about 3 small leaves)
1 oz. pecan pieces coarsely chopped and toasted (about 1/3 c.)

1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 T. Greek yogurt
1/4 t. sweet curry
1/4 t. Maharajah curry
1/8 t. fresh ground pepper

Combine salad ingredients well. Combine dressing ingredients well and then add to salad, mixing thoroughly. Salad will be lightly dressed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Creme Brulee French Toasts (Link)

Creme Brulee French Toasts
Shared by: taxi78cab
From: Smitten Kitchen

taxi's comment: The french toast was good, but it didn't need the crunchy sugar topping. I liked baking it though. That's way easier than standing over a griddle, cooking two pieces at a time!

Maple Bacon Ice Cream (Link)

Maple Bacon Ice Cream

Shared by: taxi78cab
From: Food Network

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lighter-Than-Air Chocolate Cake (Link)

Lighter-Than-Air Chocolate Cake
Shared by: taxi78cab
From: smitten kitchen

Grilled Lasagna (Link)

Grilled Lasagna
Shared by: taxi78cab
From: Food Network Magazine

Ginger Lemonade

Ginger Lemonade
From: Silver Tyger Girl

The original version of this was pretty much ginger ale mixed with lemonade. I reduced the amount of ginger A LOT, but it's still good for heat and upset tummies.

I'm going to make about three gallons for Ren Faire next weekend and had to retest the recipe (I made it once before and it still had too much ginger. It originally called for two large pieces. I did one. Below is just about perfect)

Kitty's Ginger Lemonade

ginger (unpeeled), about 1” cube (more or less). Cut up into small chunks.
2 limes
3 large lemons

Chuck the ginger in a pot with four cups of water.

Cut the peels off the lemons. Put the peels in the pot. Cut out the seeds.

Juice the limes and lemons and add the peels to the pot.

Heat the water, ginger, and peels on high and simmer for four minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and strain.

Combine the liquids. This is your concentrate. You end up with about 4 1/2 cups of liquid.

If you just want to make a glass, combine 1/2 cup concentrate, 3/4 cup water, and 1/3 tsp sugar.

To mix up the whole batch, add 3 tsp sugar and 6 3/4 cups water. (It ends up being 11 1/4 cups or a little over two-thirds of a gallon)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Jerk Marinade

Jerk Marinade
From: Dolores Reborn

It's very forgiving, and I substitute or omit stuff if I don't have it.

2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 c soy sauce
1 c orange juice
juice of 1 lime
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch of ginger, chopped
1 habanero pepper, optional!!! (I leave it out)
pinch of salt
small pinch of black pepper

Blend (in a blender or food processor) all ingredients. Marinade shrimp only 30 minutes. Chicken can be marinaded for a couple of hours.

swampbear suggested that jalapeño might work instead of habanero.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dead-easy Chicken and Rice

Dead-easy Chicken and Rice
(A variation on Death Chicken, as it turns out...)
From: gotpasswords

The original recipe is one cup of rice* one cup water and 2 cans cream-of-_____ soup. The old standard is c-o-mushroom, but c-o-chicken works well, or even c-o-broccoli. Mix that together in a 9x13 pan then lay on chicken parts. Season the chicken (I usually use lemon pepper and salt) and bake at 350 for 75 minutes.

* You need a "normal" rice like Uncle Ben's Converted. Do not use instant unless you want savory rice pudding, and Calrose / Japanese type rice will come out crunchy. I don't know that instant would really result in something like rice pudding - it would probably just make gloop.

I normally use nothing but Hinode Calrose at home, but this dish is the only thing I buy Uncle Ben's for. The only other refinement to the recipe that I do is to lop off the globs of fat that are usually left on thighs these days and to cut off the tails. Otherwise, when it's done cooking, you'll have a quarter-inch layer of liquid chicken fat on top of the rice.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese
from swampbear

Pimento Cheese is not an exact science. This is my basic recipe:

1 lb. extra sharp cheddar cheese grated.
2 small jars of diced pimentos
One smallish onion chopped fine (onion is optional)
3/4 cup mayo (I suggest startin' with 1/2 cup and adjustin' to taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste (Optional. I don't add salt cause the cheese is salty enough for my taste)
Cayenne Pepper to taste (Optional but it does give it a zing)

Mash or chop pimentos. Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. One might also just dump it all in a food processor and have at it but mixin' by hand is therapeutic. What? It is! Try it! Chill for a couple of hours. Eat.

Other options include such things as addin' cream cheese, which is not a bad thing but I say it's guildin' the lily. Also one might add some chopped pecans (weird but different!), minced garlic (not a bad option!) and sometimes even *shudder* Velveeta (GAG!!!111).

We southerners use it as a sammich spread, a dip and also spread it on celery as an appetizer. Makes a killer grilled cheese sammich! As a wee cub, pimento cheese sammiches were always a part of any picnic. I think it was a law back then cause everybody always had pimento cheese sammiches at picnics.

Thus endeth the lesson on pimento cheese.

Until swampy encountered a new variation at an anniversary party, made by the couple's son:

Also turns out not to be pimento cheese. He told me he uses roasted red peppers instead of pimentos and throws in a finely chopped jalapeno and blackened cajun seasonin' along with extra sharp cheddar cheese and mayo.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ron's Chunky Sallit

Ron's Chunky Sallit
From: swampbear

y'all might remember me talkin' about my good friend Ron who died last November. This is his sallit. Basically it is any veggies one desires cut up in chunks. The only rules bein' there must be onion, some kind of tomato and one's favorite Eyetalian dressin' but if Eyetalian dressin' oogys ya, another kind of sallit dressin' is fine. Bonus if'n it includes chunks of whatever kind of cheese ya might fancy. Oh, also, no lettuce. Lettuce (meanin' any kind of leafy veggie) of any sort is an abomination unto chunky sallit. This last sentence is a proclamation directly from Ron and must not be violated. I don't know what the consequences would be but I am sure they would be dire, so it's best not to violate said proclamation. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Catman's Duck

The Catman's Duck
From: Man with a Cat

He reports that it's the simplest bird to roast:

1) hack duck in half.
B) wash, make slits in skin so the fat can get out, salt liberally.
3) put duck on a rack in a roasting pan in a 450 oven for 15 minutes, then turn down for the last 90-100 minutes at 325.
B.1) During the last half hour, glaze with with whatever is in your pantry that sounds like it will make a yummy glaze. Sundays was extra strong black tea, honey, orange rind and blackberry jam, slowly cooked down to a glaze.

Duxk is my favorite bird because it's all dark meat, the skin is amazingly tasty, and cut in half like that it's the perfect serving size.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

TV Dinner Cupcakes (Link)

TV Dinner Cupcakes

Shared with horror by swampbear

As seen on Paula Deen's show

Cheerwine Cake (Link)

Cheerwine Cake

Shared by SpazCat, who hails from the same place as Cheerwine does. Approximately.

From: Yes You Can Cook

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Country Fried Steak and Field Peas (Links)

This post from swampbear elicited questions about both Country Fried Steak and Field Peas.

Here are the answers from the thread as well as some additional links:

Answers to "what are field peas?":
From the thread:
Rebo's answer.
swampy's answer.
More than you wanted to know; with recipes. From

Answers to "what is country fried steak?", which is, by the way, also known as chicken-fried steak or pan-fried steak:
From Bobbio.
Wikipedia entry
More info and recipes from

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Taco Soup

Taco Soup
From: swampbear

[Marie Antoinette] Let them eat soup! [/Marie Antoinette]

2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 can pinto beans (black beans work too)
1 can whole kernel corn ,drained
1 can stewed tomatoes - mexican style
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
1 pkg. ranch dressing (optional. I do if'n I have some and don't if'n I don't. I'm a rebel!)
2 1/2 cups water or more, to make soup broth

Brown ground beef and onions. Combine all ingredients in large pot and let simmer. It can be made on the stovetop in about an hour and a half or let hang out all day on low setting in your slow cooker/crock pot. I usually double the recipe and let it go all day in the slow cooker cause I like to make a lot. It freezes well.

Serve with grated cheese (your choice, be wild and crazy!) chopped onions, big glops of sour cream and tortilla chips. Don't be shy, go ahead and lick the bowl clean. I don't judge. Remember I'm a rebel with ranch dressin'!