Wednesday, July 18, 2018

JALAPEÑO POPPERS

When you remove the seeds and the white membrane from jalapeño peppers and bake them, they lose a lot of their heat. 
You will just notice a slight kick to the poppers. If you prefer, you can do the same with colorful little sweet peppers.



8 jalapeños, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
4 strips bacon, fried and crumbled
½ cup cream cheese softened
¾ cup shredded Gouda cheese
¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Zest and juice of ½ lime
2 T chopped cilantro
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place jalapeño halves on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix together the crumbled bacon, cream cheese, Gouda, Monterey Jack, lime zest and juice, and cilantro.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the cheese mixture between the jalapeño halves, pressing down to fill completely.
Bake until cheese bubbles and lightly browns, about 18 minutes.

Makes 16 poppers

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

EASY FRESH STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM

This is our second crop of strawberries and I made strawberry ice cream.  If you don't grow your own strawberries, buy some at your local farmers' market or supermarket. Try to buy sun-ripened, organic berries that are red through and through.




3 cups hulled strawberries, roughly chopped and divided
1 T fresh lemon juice or orange liqueur
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups heavy cream
1 t pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl mix 2 ½ cups strawberries, lemon juice or orange liqueur, and sugar.
Allow to sit on your counter for 20 minutes until strawberries have released some of their juices

Place strawberry mixture into a blender and blend for just a couple of seconds.
Pour the blended strawberry mixture back into the large bowl and mix in the reserved
½ cup of strawberries, half-and-half, cream, and vanilla.

Pour mixture into your ice cream mixer and freeze according to your manufacturer’s instructions.
Scoop ice cream into a large container fitted with a lid and freeze for 2 to 3 hours.
Allow the ice cream to sit on your counter for 10 minutes to soften before serving.

Makes about 2 quarts of ice cream

Monday, July 9, 2018

SMOKY GARLIC SHRIMP & CREAMY GOUDA GRITS

I am always thinking of different ways to make one of our favorite meals, shrimp and grits. This is another delicious way to make it with gouda cheese and a smoky shrimp sauce.



Grits
4 cups chicken stock 
1 cup stone ground yellow or white grits (I use Palmetto Farms grits)
3 T unsalted butter
8 oz gouda cheese, freshly grated
Sea salt and fine ground black pepper

Shrimp
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ t sea salt
½ t fine ground black pepper
½ t smoked paprika
½ t chipotle chile powder
¼ ground cumin
4 T unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 T lemon juice
Sea salt and fine ground black pepper
2 stems fresh chives, snipped
Hot sauce, preferably Louisiana or Crystal

For the Grits:
In a medium saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil.
Add grits, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, whisking often, until thick and creamy, about 20 to 22 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in butter and cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover and keep warm while making shrimp.

For the shrimp:
Season shrimp with salt, pepper, paprika, chipotle powder, and cumin.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add butter. 
When butter starts to sizzle, add the shrimp and cook on both sides until pink.
Stir in the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon grits into warmed bowls. Spoon on the shrimp mixture with juice and garnish with chives.

Serve with hot sauce, if desired.

Serves 2 to 4




Monday, July 2, 2018

PAN FRIED SCALLOPS

I don't know the reason but East Coast scallops are the sweetest scallops I have ever tasted. This is a simple and delicious way to pan fry them.



10 East Coast sea scallops
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 T unsalted butter, divided
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
3 T white wine or white vermouth
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
Snipped chives

Dry scallops with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat.
Add scallops and brown on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Do not flip over until at least 3 minutes to get a nice brown color.
Flip over and brown on the other side.
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Place scallops on two warm plates.
Add the wine, lemon zest, lemon juice, and the rest of the butter to the skillet and reduce for a couple more minutes.
Pour over scallops and garnish with snipped chives.

Serves 2


Saturday, June 30, 2018

SMOKED PAPRIKA GREEN BEANS

I am always finding new ways to make green beans. I found a very good quality of smoked paprika in a small market and used it in this recipe. These green beans may become addictive. . .that's how good they are!


2 lbs green beans, root end broken off
2 T avocado oil
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t smoked paprika
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing

Boil green beans in salted water for about 5 minutes.
Drain well and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
Add shallots and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another minute.
Add the paprika and cook another minute.
Add the beans and stir to completely coat.
Add the lemon zest and juice.
Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Spoon onto a warm platter and serve.

Serves 6

Thursday, June 28, 2018

MARYLAND-STYLE SHRIMP SALAD SANDWICHES

Shrimp salad sandwiches make a perfect light dinner or a hearty lunch. This is my version of a Maryland style shrimp salad complete with the subtle flavor of Old Bay Seasoning.




Shrimp Boil
3 cups water
1 lemon, cut in half, divided
3 to 4 sprigs celery leaves
1 T pickling spice
2 T Old Bay Seasoning
2 lbs. large shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined

Pour water into a large saucepan.  
Squeeze in the juice of ½ lemon and throw in the lemon half.  
Add the celery leaves, pickling spice, and Old Bay.
Bring to a boil and add the shrimp.
Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for another 4 minutes.
Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon to a bowl and let cool.
Slice in half, lengthwise and then cut into thirds and place in a medium bowl.

 

Dressing

½ cup mayonnaise
2 T chopped parsley
1 T chopped fresh dill
½ t celery salt
½ t Old Bay Seasoning
3 stalks celery, minced
3 scallions, minced
3 T minced red onion
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of ½ lemon

Mix above ingredients together in a small bowl.
Remove any of the remaining pickling spice from the shrimp and roughly chop.
Add shrimp to the bowl with the dressing and stir to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Serve on sandwich buns or croissants with lettuce



SHIRLEY TEMPLE DOLL


This was my Christmas gift in 1955 - she hasn't aged a bit!