Tuesday, September 26, 2017

WILD RICE & BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

Wild rice is native to the Great Lakes region of North America. It is widely available in supermarkets all over North America. It is not a rice but a whole grain that is high in protein and dietary fiber. It is also naturally gluten free. You can also make these pancakes with a gluten-free flour. To save time, cook the wild rice the day before and refrigerate. I served the pancakes with applewood flavored bacon and pure maple syrup.



¼ cup uncooked wild rice
1½ cups water

2 T unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 ½ cups buttermilk
½ t vanilla extract

2 t baking powder

¼ t freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ t sea salt

½ cup blueberries


Place wild rice in a small saucepan and add the water. 
Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and slowly simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. 
Add a little more water, if it starts to dry out.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a 2-cup measuring pitcher, add the melted butter, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Whisk to combine.

In a large bowl, add the baking powder, nutmeg, flours, and salt. Whisk to combine.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredient and combine with a spoon.

Add the wild rice and mix in.

Add the blueberries and gently mix in.

Let the batter sit for about 15 minutes.

Brush a little oil onto a griddle and heat over medium-high heat.
Use a ladle to pour batter onto the hot griddle. You can also pour the batter into a larger pitcher to pour onto the griddle.

Keep pancakes warm in a 225 degree F oven while cooking the rest.


Makes about 16 pancakes



Monday, September 18, 2017

GRILLED CAJUN SHRIMP

If you love shrimp and Cajun cuisine, you will love this easy and fast entrée. It's a perfect end of summer barbecue recipe in under 30 minutes.


4 wooden or metal skewers
4 T unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 T Cajun spice (recipe follows)
1 T fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
3 scallions, finely chopped
Lemon wedges, for serving

If using wooden skewers, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes or more.


In a small saucepan, add the butter, garlic, Cajun spice, and lemon juice over medium heat.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Turn off heat and set aside.


Thread 5 shrimp on each skewer and place on baking sheet or in a long casserole dish.

Drizzle some of the marinade over the shrimp. Turn over and add a little more.

Prepare your barbecue grill for medium-high heat.
Place skewered shrimp over heat, close lid, and grill for 2 minutes.
Carefully flip over, using tongs, close lids, and grill another 2 minutes.

Place on a platter or 2 dinner plates. 

Drizzle with the rest of the marinade and sprinkle top with scallions.

Serve with lemon wedges.


Serves 2


Cajun Seasoning

3 T paprika
2 T sea salt
2 T ground black pepper
1 T ground white pepper
2 T garlic powder
2 T cayenne pepper
2 T onion powder
2 T dried thyme

Pour all ingredients in a jar fitted with a lid. Shake to combine and store up to one year.


Creole Seasoning

To the above ingredients add 1 T dried oregano and 1 T dried basil.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

PAN-ROASTED PORTERHOUSE STEAKS WITH BLUE CHEESE BUTTER

Porterhouse steaks are the same as T-Bone steaks, only larger, and that is because there is a larger portion of the tenderloin. Porterhouse is known as the "King of the T-Bones".
To test steaks for doneness, use an instant-read thermometer.
Rare - 125-130 F
Medium-rare - 130-140 F
Medium - 140-150 F
Medium-well - 150-155 F



Blue Cheese Butter
4 T unsalted butter, softened
3 T crumbled blue cheese
1 clove garlic, pressed 

Take steaks out of the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, mash the butter, blue cheese, and garlic with a fork.
Place on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a thick log of about 2 to 3 inches.
Place in refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes to harden slightly while cooking steaks.

2 Porterhouse steaks
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T avocado oil
2 T unsalted butter
2 T fresh rosemary, leaves chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Season the steaks with salt and pepper.

Place a large cast-iron skillet on the stove over high heat.
Add the avocado oil and butter.
Place steaks in pan and let sear for 2 minutes. 
Turn over and let sear for another 2 minutes.

Sprinkle in the rosemary leave and place skillet with steaks in the oven and bake for 4 to 6 minutes, depending upon how rare you like your steaks.


Bring out of the oven and add a pat of the Blue Cheese Butter to each steak and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.






DELMONICO POTATOES

Delmonico Potatoes originated in the famous Delmonico Hotel restaurant in lower Manhattan, New York City, in the mid 19th century. I serve these potatoes with pan roasted Porterhouse steaks and sautéed mushrooms.



5 medium size Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 T avocado oil
½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T unsalted butter
1 T avocado oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ t grated nutmeg
½ cup chicken stock or broth
¼ cup half-and-half
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a food processor, fitted with a coarse grater, grate the potatoes.

In a large skillet, sauté the onion in the tablespoon of oil until soft, about 5 minutes. 
Add the garlic and sauté another minute. 
Spoon into a bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet add the two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of avocado oil. Cook the potatoes over medium heat for about 10 minutes until a little golden.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Add the onion and garlic mixture to the potatoes and mix through. 
Add the nutmeg and chicken stock and cook another couple of minutes. 
Add the half-and-half and half of the grated cheese and mix through.

Pour into a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. 

Serves 4 to 6

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

BOURBON FRONT PORCH LEMONADE

Summertime and the livin' is easy. Having a cocktail on the front porch is such a southern tradition.


2 bunches fresh mint leave, plus 2 sprigs for garnish
4 oz Kentucky bourbon
6 oz lemonade (I used Simply Lemonade)
Juice of ½ lemon

2 oz ginger simple syrup

Lemon slices, for garnish

Ginger Simple Syrup

1 cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

Place ginger, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until reduced by half and slightly thickened.

Strain into a small pitcher or glass and let cool.

Place mint leaves in a cocktail shaker or small pitcher.

Muddle the leaves for a few seconds.
Fill container halfway with ice.
Add bourbon, lemonade, lemon juice, and 2 ounces of the ginger simple syrup.

Strain into two cocktail glasses with ice and garnish each drink with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint.


Serves 2



Monday, September 11, 2017

PICKLED GREEN TOMATOES

When you have an abundance of green tomatoes in your garden near the end of the growing season, it's time to make pickled green tomatoes.



4 quart-size wide mouth canning jars
6 cups filtered water or spring water
½ cup pickling salt or canning salt
16 to 20 small to medium size green tomatoes
20 to 24 green cherry tomatoes
1 small onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
4 whole cloves garlic, peeled
8 fresh bay leaves, thoroughly rinsed (provides tannins for crunchy tomatoes)
1 T yellow mustard seeds, per jar
2 t dehydrated minced onions, per jar
1 t coriander seeds, per jar
1 t black peppercorns, per jar
1 t dill seeds, per jar
½ t red pepper flakes, per jar (optional)

Sterilize the canning jars by immersing them in boiling water for 5 minutes.

Carefully remove from the boiling water and place upside down on a clean dry tea towel.

In a saucepan, bring the 6 cups of water to a boil. 

Add the salt and mix until the salt is fully dissolved.
Allow cooling to room temperature.

Rinse tomatoes under cold running water and then place them in a colander.

Remove stem end from tomatoes and cut the larger tomatoes in half or quarters.
Cut off any imperfections and place in a large bowl.
Using a large sewing needle, pierce a few of holes in the bottom of the cherry tomatoes and place in the bowl.

Equally, pack tomatoes into each canning jar. 

Add equal amounts of onion to each jar.
Add 1 clove garlic to each jar.
Add 2 bay leaves per jar and follow with the spices.

Pour the cool brine evenly over the tomatoes.

Cover loosely with the canning lids and seals and place the jars on a baking sheet or pizza pan.

Place in a cool, dark place 5 to 7 days. A perfect place is in your pantry.

Take the lids off everyday, after 3 days, to check for the progress of your fermentation.
It should develop a pleasant, lightly sour scent and fizz when opened.

Refrigerate after 5 to 7 days.

Allow to ferment for another 2 weeks in the refrigerator before eating.

Tomatoes will keep refrigerated for 2 to 3 months.


P.S. My were perfect after 5 days and then I refrigerated them. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

POMEGRANATE MARGARITAS

Margaritas are a favorite summertime cocktail. I didn't add a simple syrup which would have made this drink too sweet. The pomegranate juice and Cointreau sweeten it up enough.




3 limes
Sugar
2 oz pomegranate juice
4 oz tequila
2 oz lime juice (juice from 2 to 3 limes)
2 oz Cointreau

Cut three round slices from a lime and cut a slice into the lime circles.
Rub the rim of 2 glasses.
Grate the rest of the lime into a small plate or bowl.
Pour in sugar and mix with a spoon.
Dip rim of the glass into the sugar and place glasses in freezer.

In a cocktail shaker or pitcher, combine the pom, tequila, lime juice, and Cointreau.
Shake or stir and pour into the chilled glasses.

Garnish with the lime circles.

Makes 2 drinks

BRUNETTE, STRAWBERRY BLONDE, & TOWHEAD


Brunette with brown eyes, strawberry blonde with blue eyes, and towhead with green eyes...all from the same parents! We don't look very happy.

HICKORY SMOKED RIBS WITH TENNESSEE BARBECUE SAUCE

I make my own BBQ rub, but you can buy one in your supermarket. You can smoke these ribs on a regular small grill. Just be patient.

Lee's Kitchen Hints:  Spare ribs are cut from the belly of the pig where bacon comes from.  
St Louis style ribs are trimmed to a more rectangular shape.
Baby back ribs are cut from the loin section of the pig where pork chops come from.



Tennessee BBQ Sauce
3 cups ketchup
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup molasses
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
3 T unsalted butter
2 T prepared yellow mustard
2 T hot sauce
1 T smoked paprika
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
¼ t hickory liquid smoke
½ t fine ground black pepper
½ t sea salt
¼ cup Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey (optional) 

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan.  
Bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer 20 minutes.

Ribs
2 to 3 slabs baby back ribs
BBQ Rub
Hickory wood soaked in water for several hours 
½ cup apple juice

If there is silver skin attached to the bone or back side of the ribs. Take a knife and make a small cut under the membrane at the end and pull it off using "kitchen-only" needle-nose pliers or use a paper towel to grip it and pull.

Rub both sides with BBQ Rub. Cover and refrigerate a couple of hours.

Prepare the charcoal grill with about 40 coals on one side of the grill.
Throw some soaked wood chips on top of coals.
Place an oven-proof pan on the bottom of grill next to coals and half fill with apple juice.
Place ribs on a rib rack, insides together, on the cool side of the grill, cover with a lid and try to keep the temperature of the grill at 250-300 degrees by keeping vents mostly closed. You can also just lay ribs flat on the cool side of the grill. Close the lid and let ribs slowly cook for 90 minutes.

Pour the apple juice in a clean spray bottle. After 90 minutes, spray the ribs with some apple juice. Spray with apple juice every 30 minutes.   

After 4 hours on the grill, generously mop ribs with BBQ Sauce and grill for an additional 30 minutes. 

Transfer to a cutting board and let rest a few minutes.  
Cut between individual ribs and generously spoon on more BBQ sauce.

Serve with:
            Potato Salad
            Cole Slaw
            Corn on the cob
            Baked Beans