Saturday, August 17, 2013

Brussels Sprouts

These may be just a bit over the top... but oh.... I thought I was making enough for two.

Brussels sprouts. I started with frozen.
 Bacon- two strips- or one per person
chopped onion.

As usual, I cooked in a cast iron skillet!

Brown the bacon.
 Slice the Brussels sprouts in half.
 Add the onion and Brussels sprouts to the bacon and bacon grease in the skillet.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Oven "Fried" Jalepeno Chicken Tenders

Here is the link! Oven "Fried" Jalapeno Chicken Tenders

Jalapeño Jelly

Jalapeño Jelly
This is one of the easiest jellies you can make!
10-15 jalapeño peppers (red or green, or both)
6 1/2 cups of white sugar

1 1/2 cups Apple cider vinegar
6 fluid oz. liquid fruit pectin 
(The box contains two three oz. packets- use both!)
You will also need a few simple tools:
7 half pint jelly jars, with rings and new lids. (Wash, rinse, and allow to sit in hot water until ready to fill.)
A wide mouth funnel.
A Ladle.
A jar lifter.
A non-metallic, heat proof spoon/spatula for stirring.

 Wearing gloves, remove the stem and seeds from the jalapeño peppers. Then, chop them fine, OR... Use a food processor!

 In a stainless steel (or other non-aluminum pot) bring to a boil the vinegar, sugar, and jalapeño peppers. 

 Once it reaches a rolling boil, add the six oz. of fruit pectin.  Return to boil and cook for FIVE MINUTES.
Turn off the heat.
I use a towel to protect my counter top from spills, and set the hot, clean jars on it. Using the wide mouth funnel to help keep the jar rims clean, I ladle the jelly into the jars.
Use a clean, damp cloth or paper towel to wipe the rims clean.
Place a lid on each jar, and screw a jar ring down finger tight.
Lift the jars into a pot of boiling water. Jars should have ONE inch of boiling water covering their tops.
Boil for 10 minutes.
Remove from boiling water bath. (Use the jar lifter!)
Set in a draft free place to cool.
When cooled, check to be sure the jar is sealed by gently pressing down on center. If it "pops", then place this jar into the fridge and use soon.
Sealed jars need not be refrigerated.

So.... What can you DO with Jalapeño Jelly?
Some people like it over toast. Some people warm it a bit and pour it over a block of cream cheese and serve it with fancy crackers. But THIS is our favorite way to use it:  Panko Jalapeño  Chicken Bake


Sunday, August 4, 2013

how to make onion rings

Onions, sliced
corn meal
cajun seasoning or seasoning salt

in a mixing bowl mix 1 part corn meal to to 2 parts flour and add seasoning to taste,
in a separate bowl beat 1 or 2 eggs
heat oil in a cast iron skillet

one at a time put onion slices in eggs, turn onion slice over, remove and place in flour mix and cover onion slice in mix

place egg laden, flour mix covered onion slice in now hot pan of oil. let brown (or blacken) flip browned onion slice and brown other side. Remove from pan and repeat process with remaining onion slices until you run out of onions in your house, and if you want you could try eating these

Crispy Tater Bacon Casserole

Crispy Tater Bacon Casserole
One medium potato per person, thinly sliced.
+ One potato "for the pot" for every 4 people. (Example: four people = five potatoes. Two people I would still use three potatoes!)
Chopped onion
minced garlic
minced jalapeño pepper
shredded cheese (your favorite variety)
thin sliced bacon (uncooked) cut into 1" pieces
I started with lightly oiling a cast iron skillet. With the amount of bacon I used, this may of been unnecessary!
Place a layer of bacon in the bottom of the skillet (or casserole dish.) I did NOT solidly cover the bottom, but left room between the pieces.
Over this I placed a layer of sliced potatoes.
Next, onion, garlic, and jalapeño peppers. (As much of these as you like- I used one jalapeño in the entire dish, one onion, and three small cloves of garlic)
Another layer of potatoes.
Top with shredded cheese, and more bacon on top of that.
Shove the skillet into a hot oven (450*) for about 20-25 minutes- until it begins to be a beautiful brown.
Remove from oven, tilt to drain grease off!
Serve hot!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Grilled Jalapeno Popper Squash Casserole

Grilled Jalapeño Popper Squash Casserole
You may of noticed a theme in my most recent rash of recipes. Squash. I am trying to keep a happy face with every batch that comes in from the garden. I tell myself- $1.89 a lb... The current cost of fresh squash at the grocery stores here. We are rich!
Today's adventure is totally off the cuff.
In a disposable foil pan, add enough coconut (or olive) oil to coat the bottom.
Place a single layer of thin sliced bacon strips (cut the strips to fit, or into bite sized pieces if you like.) into the pan.
 Next, I added sliced squash. I cut it about 1/4 inch thick. I added two layers, because that will feed the four of us. I used both yellow and zucchini squash. Over each layer, I sprinkled garlic powder and Tony Chachere's  Creole seasoning.
Then, I sliced several jalapeño peppers lengthwise, and removed the seeds. (Recommend gloves for this!) I laid these cut side UP on top of the squash.
I filled each of the jalapeños with ricotta cheese, then dolloped more ricotta between the peppers.
Add a generous sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese.
Finish with more thin sliced bacon strips.
I plan to grill this until it is done- squash tender and I HOPE the bacon on top crisps up. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pickled Green Beans

Pickled Green Beans
One year in the early 90's, I made some pickled green beans. We tried them right away... and YECH! I ended up giving all the rest of them away.
Only later, people to whom the beans had been given began giving me feedback.
"They were awesome!"
"Can I get more?"
"Can I get the recipe?"
Clearly, they had not had the same beans as we did.
As it turns out, when you pickle a vegetable, you need to give it several weeks to mature the flavors!
I tried the pickled green beans again in recent years. This time I let the pickled beans rest a few weeks before we tried them. They are awesome! And here is my so called recipe:
Fresh, fairly straight green beans
fresh garlic
dill (fresh or dried)
Vinegar (I used apple cider because I had it on hand)
canning salt
jalapeno peppers, split in half and seeds removed, if desired
clean pint canning jars and lids, sterilized
Bring the hot water in a deep pot to a boil, for the boiling water bath.
In a stainless or ceramic pot, mix 2 parts vinegar to 1.5 parts water. Begin heating to a boil.
(I added 1 teaspoon mustard seed and 1 teaspoon black peppercorns to this. I'll let you know how THAT turns out!) (I used 4 cups of vinegar to 3 cups of water. I had leftover from filling 6 pints)
Wash and trim the ends off of the green beans.
Peel and smash a clove of garlic for each jar.
I used 1/2 jalapeno pepper in each jar.
I stood the green beans in the jars on their ends, poking them into the jar until the jars are packed full. (I found it helpful to lean the jars nearly sideways.)
Once green beans are packed into the jars, I added 1/4 teaspoon of dried dill and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to each jar. (This year the grasshoppers ate my fresh dill. Feel free to add a sprig of fresh dill to each jar instead of the dried)
Fill each jar with the boiling vinegar/ water mixture.
Wipe rims. Add jar rings.
Place in boiling water "bath".
 I boiled mine for 15 minutes once the water returned to a boil.
Remove from bath, allow to cool.
Check to be sure jars have sealed after they cool. If not, refrigerate.
Please let these sit for at least 4 weeks or more before you taste test them
I found that an opened jar is an empty jar. We simply do not have leftovers when pickled green beans are served. Wish I could say as much about regular green beans!