Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Florida Style Shepherd's Pie

- 1/2 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 1 can french cut green beans
- 1 small can carrots
- 1 small can corn
- 1 small can sweet peas
- 2 cans Campbell's golden mushroom soup
- Instant mashed potatoes (8 servings, prepared)
- 1/4 cup Bisquick
- Garlic powder, Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

- Large Skillet
- Large Saucepan
- Large Casserole

Heat oven to 400.

In saucepan over medium heat, empty cans of soup and 2 cans of water, add all of the veggies, garlic, salt and pepper. Let simmer.

Over medium high heat, brown the ground beef and pork in the skillet. Drain well.

Once the veggies and soup have been boiling for at least 6 minutes, add the Bisquick, one tablespoon at a time. It will start to thicken. Add the meat mixture and transfer to the casserole dish. Top the mixture with mashed potatoes, making sure to spread out all across the top, sealing off the dish. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the potatoes.

Bake for 20 min.

Peach Cobbler

- 1 stick butter
- 1 c. flour
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 c. milk
- 1 lg. can sliced peaches, drained

- Glass casserole
- Large mixing bowl

Heat oven to 350.

Melt butter in glass loaf pan in the oven. Mix together in mixing bowl flour, sugar, baking powder, and milk. When smooth, add drained peaches. Pour on top of melted butter in loaf pan.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. Top should be golden brown when finished.

Grilled BBQ Boneless Ribs

The key to these ribs is the rub/sauce combo. Rub goes on first, Sauce goes on 4-5 minutes before removing from the grill.

Kerri's Meat Train Rub
Get an empty shaker and keep what's left for next time!
5 tablespoons of
- Paprika
- Brown Sugar
- Red pepper flakes
- Black peppercorns

3 tablespoons of
- Salt
- Cayenne Pepper
- Italian seasoning
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder

Food processor
Large kitchen knife

Using the side of the large kitchen knife, blade facing away from you, press down to crack peppercorns coarsely.
All ingredients go in, process until completely combined.
Pour into shaker.

- 1 lb boneless country style pork ribs
- Kerri's Meat train rub
- BBQ sauce, Your favorite mopping sauce

- 1 Large plate
- Grill tongs
- Grill mop or brush
- Leave the kitchen, go directly to the grill.

Sprinkle the rub generously over all sides of ribs, and rub in. Allow to sit for at least 20 min.

Light the charcoal and let burn down to embers.

Put the ribs on the middle of the grill. Put the lid on and let it cook for 4 minutes. Turn each rib 1/4 turn. Lid and cook another 4 minutes. Repeat. Once all sides are browned, mop sauce all over the ribs and return to the heat for 2 minutes. Turn 1/2 turn for another 2 minutes.

Mop a little more as you return the ribs to the plate, and serve!

Orange Fried Chicken

- 1 cup of orange juice (with pulp is best)
- 1 lb of chicken, cut into pieces, or 2 cornish game hens
- 1 cup flour for dredging
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 3 pinches of Salt and pepper
- 3 Heaping Tbsp Shortening, butter flavor

- Large Cast Iron Skillet
- Tongs or Long Handled fork
- Large working surface
- 3 shallow bowls for dredging
- Large plastic zipper bag
- Baking racks
- Paper towels

Mix orange juice and cayenne pepper in a large zipper bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight.

Heat shortening in skillet over medium to medium high heat. (about 365 degrees)

Put flour in a shallow bowl, add salt and pepper. Separate and put half in another bowl. Put beaten eggs in a separate shallow bowl. Set bowls up near skillet: Flour, egg, flour.
Remove chicken from marinade with tongs and dredge in flour mixture completely covering the chicken, tap off excess, and dunk in egg mixture. Allow egg to drip off excess, and dredge in 2nd flour bowl. Don't tap off excess this time, but place directly into hot skillet. Repeat with remaining chicken, but don't overfill the pan.

Allow chicken to cook on each side for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Drain on baking racks over paper towels, cover only with a towel to keep crisp.

Country Fried Potatoes

This recipe, ever so simple, has been passed to me by my grandmother, and I include it as my favorite recipe. I'll NEVER make it like she did, but I'm still trying!

- 4 Medium Sized Russet Potatoes
- 5 tbsp Shortening
- 2 pinches of Salt and pepper
- 1 pinch of garlic powder
- 1 pinch of paprika

- Large Skillet with a lid (don't use non-stick)
- Large spatula
- Large Mixing bowl with ice water

Peel and cut potatoes in half, length-wise. Slice 1/4" slices width-wise and blanch in ice water for 5-10 min.

Heat Shortening in skillet over medium to medium high heat.

Drain potatoes and pat dry with paper towels. Toss with salt, pepper and spices until combined. Put enough potatoes in the skillet to cover the bottom of the pan, no more. Cover for 1 min, turn with spatula. Repeat covering, turning, until the potatoes are golden brown.

Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Continue until all of the potatoes are done.

Punk Nut Bread

(AKA: Banana Nut Bread)

- 5 over ripe bananas
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1/2 c. applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 c. flour

- Large Mixing Bowl
- Potato Masher
- Strong arm or Electric Mixer
- Nonstick Spray
- 1 9"x 5" loaf pan, or 3 2"x 4" aluminum loaf pans

Heat oven to 350.

Place bananas in mixing bowl and mash with potato masher. Fold in the sugar and let stand 15 minutes. Add the applesauce, nuts and eggs and beat like a punk. Beat in the baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla, then gradually beat in the flour, mixing thoroughly.

Pour into loaf pan(s) that has been coated with nonstick spray.

Bake for 45 minutes for loaf pan (30 min for small pans) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

Grit Cakes with Bacon Cream

Grit Cakes

- 4 1/2 cups instant grits
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2+ cups of vegetable oil
- extra flour for dredging

- Medium sauce pan
- Wooden Spoon
- Large Casserole dish
- Large skillet (or deep fryer)

Prepare Grits according to package in medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Cool completely. Mix in garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, and spread into the casserole dish, using the wooden spoon to flatten out and press down. Place in refrigerator for no less than 2 hours, overnight is even better, but about 4 hours is perfect.

Cut grits into brownie sized squares, and dredge in flour.

Over medium high heat, fill skillet to around 1" full of oil. Once oil is hot, Fry each grit cake for about 2 minutes on each side, and drain on paper towels.

Bacon Cream

- 6-8 slices thick cut bacon
- 2-3 Chopped green onions
- 2 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup milk
- 4-5 pinches of salt
- Pepper to taste

- Large Cast Iron or Aluminum Skillet
- Wisk
- Large Kitchen Knife Sharpened

Put skillet over medium heat.
Cut up bacon into 1" squares, and brown in hot skillet for 3 minutes, continually stirring, until bacon is golden but not crispy. Add green onions and Old Bay, cook for about 1 minute.

Sprinkle flour, a spoonful at a time, wisking it into the grease until it's bubbling and starting to brown. Add the milk slowly, wisking vigorously. (you may not need all the milk, and you may need more) Add salt and pepper, and cook until it thickens.

Serve over grit cakes.

Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Bacon Gravy


- 2 cups flour
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. shortening
- 2 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 pinches of salt
- 1 cup cold buttermilk

- Large Mixing Bowl
- Large work area
- Wax Paper or Parchment paper
- Flour for dusting
- Drinking glass or large biscuit cutter
- Cookie Sheet
- Rolling Pin (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (be quick about it, or the fats will melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough should be sticky with the consistency of super-thick paste.

Lay out Parchment paper onto your working surface and dust with flour. Drop dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. If you're using a rolling pin, top dough with another sheet of parchment paper and roll dough into a 1-inch thick round.

Cut out biscuits with floured cutter or drinking glass, being sure to push straight down through the dough, and wiggle a little to loosen them up, but not bunch up the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting.

Bake until biscuits are tall and golden on top, about 16 to 20 minutes.

Sausage and Bacon Gravy

- 1 lb. mild or hot sausage
- 6 slices thick cut bacon
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 4-5 pinches of salt
- Pepper to taste

- Large Cast Iron or Aluminum Skillet
- Wisk
- Large Kitchen Knife Sharpened
-Large mixing bowl

Put skillet over medium heat.
Cut up bacon into 1" squares, and brown in hot skillet for 3-4 minutes, continually stirring, until bacon is golden but not crispy. Add sausage, and brown. Once Sausage/Bacon is completely browned, transfer from the skillet to the mixing bowl. Turn heat down to medium low.

There should be about 3-4 tablespoons of grease and little bits of meat remaining in the skillet. Sprinkle flour, a spoonful at a time, wisking it into the grease until it's bubbling and starting to brown. It should thicken but still be liquid. (If you add too much flour, it will clump up and burn. Add some shortening, about a tsp at a time if this happens.) As the flour thickens to the point where it starts to clump a little, turn up the heat and add the heavy cream, wisking quickly as you pour.

Wisk and let the mix start to thicken again, and add the milk slowly, wisking vigorously. (you may not need all the milk, and you may need more) Add salt and pepper. If the gravy doesn't start bubbling within 1 minute, turn up the heat until it does. Let it bubble and thicken, and add the sausage and bacon back into the gravy and incorporate completely. Remove from heat and serve over the buttermilk biscuits.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hot Water Cornbread

- 1 cup cornmeal
- 3 pinches of salt
- 1 pinch of sugar
- 2 tbsp. dehydrated onion flakes
- 1 cup boiling water

Big Cast Iron Skillet
Vegetable Oil or Crisco - about 1/2" in the pan
Metal Spatula
Plate lined with paper towels

Heat oil over medium high.

Combine all the dry ingredients. Boil water and combine 1/2 cup quickly. Add a little at a time, until it's the consistency of spackle.

Get a spoonful and flatten into a patty about the size of your palm. Place in oil. Careful! It should really fry up almost violently, so stand back between placing patties in. Each side should fry for about 1-2 minutes.

Drain and place on paper towel lined plate.

Serve with honey or butter.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sorta Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

Choosing your chicken:
I buy only the thighs with skin on for more flavor, but have substituted skinless breasts for a healthier alternative. Either way, you want bone-in bird. For a larger feast, double the ingredients, and use a whole chicken, cut into 8 sections.

Serves 4

- 1 lb. chicken thighs
- 1 Tbsp. Butter
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
- 3 Tbsp. Powdered Chicken Broth Mix
- 4 cups water
- 3 pinches of Kosher Salt and Cracked Pepper

- 3 cups bisquick
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Pinch of salt

- Large Dutch Oven or Heavy Stock Pot with lid
- Mixing Bowl
- Cutting Board
- Clear plastic wrap

With the dutch oven, melt the butter on medium heat and sweat the onions completely. Add garlic, italian seasoning and broth mix and saute for one minute.

Add the water, salt & pepper, raise the heat to medium high, and add the chicken. Bring to a boil. Make sure the water just covers the chicken, so add more if you need to. Boil the chicken until the juices run clear.

In a large mixing bowl, combine Bisquick, salt, milk and heavy cream, and stir until a gooey dough forms. Cover with clear plastic wrap and set aside.

Remove chicken from pot and place on cutting board to cool, turn heat to low. Let chicken sit for about 10 minutes, and then seperate the skin, meat and bones, adding the meat back to the pot.

Bring the heat back to medium until it begins to bubble, and gently drop spoonfull sized dumplings to the boiling water. Boil for about 12 minutes.

The dumplings should thicken the stock to a gravy, but if you'd like to thicken it, use 1 tablespoon of corn starch in a small cup of cold water, mix until dissolved, and slowly add to pot, continuously stirring.

Chocolate Salty Balls

- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 heaping tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt
- 1 bag marshmallows
- 6 cups Chocolate Krispy Cereal
- Extra Butter for your hands at Room Temperature
- Spray Oil

- Large Stock Pot (nonstick makes it easier)
- Medium Casserole, brownie pan, or plastic container
- Large Sturdy Spatula
- Aluminum Foil

Grease Casserole dish with the spray oil thoroughly. Roll out Aluminum Foil onto the counter and spray with oil too.

Melt butter over medium heat, stirring often/constantly. Butter will bubble, then foam, then go clear again, so keep stirring. Butter should have a nutty aroma and turn a golden color as it starts to brown.

Keep stirring over medium heat for about 1 minute longer, and dump the bag of marshmallows and salt into the butter, and immediately take the pot off the heat, stirring vigorously to allow the butter to melt the marshmallows. It should take about 5 min for the marshmallows to completely melt, so return the pot to low heat if you need to.

Once the marshmallows are completely melted, pour in 1 cup at a time of the Chocolate Krispy Cereal and stir. This is where you may get a brief upper body workout, the more cereal you add, the more resistance you get when stirring. Push on until the cereal is completely incorporated.

Before you dump it into the aluminum foil, taste a bit to see if you'd like to add another pinch or two of salt. (I usually do.)

Get a pinch or two of softened butter and rub it on your hands like lotion. Pinch some cereal mix off and roll into a ball. The balls should be a little smaller than a golf ball. Place in the casserole dish as you go. You may need more butter for your hands, I usually use about 4 tablespoons.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kerri's Baked Macaroni and Cheese

- 2/3 16 oz. box of elbow macaroni (any pasta you like will work)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 stick salted butter (1/2 cup)
- 2 tsp. ground mustard
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 to 2 cups of milk (whole is great, but I use 2%)
- 4 cups shredded cheese
- 5 pinches of salt
- Additional 2 tbsp. salted butter
- 1 cup Breadcrumbs
- Pepper to taste

1 Medium sized pot for boiling pasta
1 Large Skillet
1 Wisk
1 Pasta strainer (optional)
1 casserole dish

Heat oven to 400°

Fill Pot halfway with water and bring to high heat. Once water is boiling add 2 pinches of salt and a turn of olive oil. Add macaroni and stir until boiling again.
Set kitchen timer for 8 minutes. Pasta should be slightly underdone, or al dente. The best way to check the pasta is to bite it and chew. It should be firm but not crunchy. Also, if you squeeze it and it bounces back to shape, it's not over cooked. Drain water and wash pasta with cold water. Set aside.

Melt butter in the skillet over medium heat. Once butter is completely melted and bubbling, add mustard and flour. Lower heat to medium low. Stir with wisk until the consistency is almost paste-like and bubbling. (Add in more flour to thicken. I eyeball it.) Slowly wisk in heavy cream and stir until it thickens evenly. It should thicken up to a smooth paste. Stir for about 1 minute, and slowly wisk in the milk. Keep wisking as you add 3/4 of the cheese, (about 3 cups) a handful at a time. Add in Salt and Pepper to taste. Bring the heat back up to medium and wisk until the cheese just begins to melt.

Return the pasta to the pot. Remove cheese mixture from heat and pour over the pasta. Combine the pasta and cheese thoroughly and pour into the casserole dish, spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the macaroni.

In the microwave, heat the breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp butter for about 20 seconds. Remove and stir until the butter is completely incorporated. Sprinkle evenly over the dish.

Bake on center rack for 25-35 minutes, depending on how toasted you like the top.