Sunday, June 13, 2021

SOUTHERN BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

I mostly use White Lily flour or Southern Biscuit flour for making biscuits. They are made with soft red winter wheat that makes biscuits so tender and fluffy. They also have a low protein content of 8 to 9.5 %. If you can’t find one in your super market, you can order it online. I don’t use the self-rising flour because I like to add my own aluminum-free baking powder.


Lee's Kitchen Tips:  
If you don't have buttermilk on hand; pour one cup of milk into a glass measuring pitcher and add one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Stir and set aside for 15 minutes, then refrigerate if not using right away.



2 cups all-purpose White Lily, Martha White, or Southern Biscuit flour
½ cup cake or pastry flour
2 T aluminum-free baking powder (If you can find it)
1 t baking soda
2 t granulated sugar
1 t fine sea salt
8 T (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup cold buttermilk

1 T melted butter, for brushing on biscuits

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place rack in center of oven.

Sift flours with baking powder and baking soda into a bowl.
Whisk in the sugar and salt.

Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture.

Quickly mix with a spoon and then make a well in the center and stir in the buttermilk
With floured hands, place on a lightly floured surface.

Gently fold the dough in thirds and repeat four more times. 
This creates layers, but you don’t want to overwork your dough.
Sprinkle top with flour and gently pat down with your hands into a circle. 
Using a rolling pin, roll out very gently to an even thickness of about 1-inch.
Cut with a floured 2 to 2 ¾-inch biscuit cutter. Do no twist the biscuit cutter.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet with biscuits lightly touching each other.
Brush tops with melted butter.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown.

Makes 12 to 15 biscuits 

Friday, June 11, 2021

CAJUN SHRIMP WITH CORN AND PEPPERS

Cajun and Creole cuisine is a big hit with us.  This Cajun meal is so simple to put together and you can serve it with rice or dirty rice or no rice at all.  Serve hot sauce along with this and possibly some crusty bread and a green salad.


2 T avocado oil, divided
½ small yellow onion, finely diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
½ cup frozen corn
1 clove garlic minced or pressed
1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
2 t Cajun seasoning
½ t sea salt
½ t freshly ground black pepper
2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T minced Italian parsley
2 scallions, thinly sliced

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat.
Add the onion and bell peppers and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the corn and cook another 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Remove with a large spoon to a bowl and set aside.
Add the last tablespoon of oil and stir in the Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Raise heat to medium-high and cook the shrimp in a single layer for about 2 minutes per side.
Return the vegetables to the skillet along with the shrimp, and give it a quick stir.
Turn off heat and add the lemon juice.

Spoon into two bowls and sprinkle with parsley and scallions.

Serves 2

Thursday, June 10, 2021

LEMON CURD CHEESECAKE CUPS

This is an easy recipe to make even up to a day ahead.  Add the whipped cream and lemon slice, and mint right before serving.



½ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 ½ T unsalted butter, melted

6 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup lemon curd (available in jars)
⅔ cup confectioners' sugar
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 t pure lemon extract
Whipped cream, for garnish
Thin slices lemon, for garnish
Fresh mint, for garnish

In a small bowl, mix together the cracker crumbs and melted butter
Divide between 4 (1 cup) serving containers
Place in freezer for 30 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and lemon curd at medium speed until smooth.
Turn the speed down to low and add the confectioners' sugar.  Raise speed to medium; add the heavy whipping cream and lemon extract and beat until mixture has thickened.
Evenly divide between the 4 serving containers
Cover and freeze until set, about 4 to 6 hours.
Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Garnish with fresh whipped cream, lemon slices, and mint.

Serves 4


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

CAJUN RED BEANS & RICE

Every time I male this dish, I think of Louis Armstrong.  Red beans & rice was his favorite meal.  He was born in New Orleans and asked his wife to make this for him before they married.  Later in life, he signed his letters, "Red Beans & Ricely Yours".


4 slices bacon, diced
1 13.5-oz package Andouille sausage, cut in half, lengthwise and sliced ¼-inch thick
1 T avocado oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T all-purpose flour
4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth or stock
2 cans red kidney beans, drained
2 bay leaves
2 T Cajun seasoning
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 t smoked paprika
½ t cayenne pepper
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 T chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
3 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
Steamed rice
Louisiana or Crystal hot sauce

In a Dutch oven add the diced bacon and sausage and cook until browned. 
Remove with a spoon to a bowl and set aside.
Add the oil and sauté the onion, celery, and bell pepper and for 5 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another minute.
Add the flour and cook a couple of minutes.

Add the water, chicken stock or broth, beans, bay leaves, Cajun seasoning, Worcestershire, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover and slowly simmer for 1 hour. 
Mash some of the beans against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.
Add the sausage and bacon and cook another 30 to 40 minutes.
Ladle into bowl and add a scoop of steamed rice. 
Garnish with parsley and scallions and serve with hot sauce, on the side.

Serves 4

CASA OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER

My husband loves oysters. . .raw, fried, and baked like these oysters.  He had them in Antoine's Restaurant at the French Quarter in New Orleans, but loves these even more.  Chef Jules Alciatore created them in 1899 at Antoine's Restaurant.  My husband is very good at shucking the oysters.  He has a steel glove and a really nice oyster knife.  It is still oyster season here in eastern Virginia.  The typical liqueur to use in Oysters Rockefeller is anise-flavored Pernod, but we prefer dry Vermouth.


12 live oysters
3 T unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup minced & packed baby spinach
¼ cup white Italian vermouth
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T fresh lemon juice
¼ t freshly ground black pepper
¼ t Louisiana or Crystal hot sauce
2 T minced fresh Italian parsley
2 T minced fresh watercress or arugula
½ cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 T unsalted butter, melted

Lemon wedges for serving

Shuck oysters over a newspaper lined counter or table.  Discard the top shallow shell. Using the oyster knife, separate the oyster in the deeper shell and flip it over to the smooth side.  
Place the oysters in their shell on a platter or baking sheet and place in the bottom of the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Melt butter in a medium skillet.
Add shallot and sauté 3 to 4 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another minute.
Add the spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.
Add the vermouth, Worcestershire, lemon juice, black pepper, hot sauce, parsley, and watercress or arugula.
Turn off heat and mix until combined.
Mix in the half of the grated cheese.

Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so to slightly solidify.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove tray of oysters from refrigerator.

Place a tablespoon of spinach filling on top of each oyster.
Top each oyster with panko bread crumbs.
Top each oyster again with the extra grated cheese.
Drizzle with melted butter.

Place oysters on an oyster baking sheet or a cast-iron skillet with 1-inch of ice cream salt.  Bake oysters for 12 to 14 minutes until topping is golden brown.

Serve oysters on a bed of ice cream salt with lemon wedges.





Monday, June 7, 2021

CLAMS, SCALLOPS, AND SHRIMP POT

Do you need an idea for Father's Day dinner? I have a wonderful little herb garden and I picked the oregano, Italian parsley, and basil for this recipe.  He said this was his absolute favorite shell fish pot!
Serve this with crusty bread for soaking up all the great juices in the bowl.


24 Littleneck clams
18 sea scallops
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T avocado oil
1 T unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
½ to 1 t red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
18 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 T fresh oregano leaves
4 basil leaves, torn
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Crusty bread

Place clams in a bowl of cold water for no more than 30 minutes.
Dry scallops with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper. 
Meanwhile, heat oil and butter over medium heat in a large heavy pot, fitted with a lid.
Add half of the scallops to pot and brown on both sides.  Remove to a dish and brown the rest of the scallops.  Add them to the dish with the rest of the scallops.
Add the shallot to the pot and saute f
or 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute another minute.
Add the wine and bring to a simmer.
Drain the clams and add to the wine in the pot.
Cover with a lid and let simmer for 6 minutes, until clams open.
Add the shrimp, cover and simmer another 2 minutes.
Add the scallops, tomatoes, oregano, basil, and parsley.
Cover and simmer another minute.

Dish into 4 warm bowls and serve with warm crusty bread and a green salad.

Serves 4






Monday, May 31, 2021

CREOLE-STYLE JAMBALAYA WITH ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE, CHICKEN, & SHRIMP

 "Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and file' gumbo . . . " I love Creole food and my daddy loved that song by Hank Williams, but I think he was singing about Cajun-Style Jambalaya. Jambalaya is pronounced "Jum-ba-li-ah". Cajun-Style Jambalaya is more rural and can include a combination of crawfish, shrimp, oysters, alligator, duck, turtle, rabbit, squirrel, venison, and anything that was part of the hunt that day. Cajun-Style Jambalaya does not have tomatoes and has a roux base. Creole-Style Jambalaya has tomatoes. It originated from the French Quarter of New Orleans. This is best if you serve this on the day you make it. 


2 T avocado oil
2 T unsalted butter
1 lb Andouille smoked sausage, sliced
2 boneless chicken breasts cut into large chunks
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup long grain white rice
1 t dried thyme 
2 (14-oz) cans fire roasted or plain diced tomatoes 
3 cups chicken stock or broth
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T Creole Seasoning
1 t smoked paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. medium to large shrimp, peeled & deveined

2 T chopped flat leaf parsley
4 scallions (green onions) thinly sliced

Crystal or Louisiana hot sauce, for the table
Sliced French bread, for the table

In a large Dutch oven or large heavy flat bottom skillet, add oil and butter and brown sausage over medium heat. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large bowl and set aside.
Add chicken, and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon to the bowl with the sausages.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add the "holy trinity", onion, green bell pepper, and celery, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, rice, thyme, and cook another 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, Worcestershire, Creole Seasoning, and paprika. 
Return the browned sausage and chicken to the pot.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Briefly bring to a boil then reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  
Stir once and simmer another 5 minutes. 

Add shrimp, cover and simmer 5 more minutes.
Turn off heat, keep covered, and let sit another 5 minutes. . .while you set the table.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and sliced scallions.
Take the pot to the table and serve family style or spoon onto 4 warm bowls or plates.

Serve with French bread and hot sauce.


Serves 4 to 6