Thursday, July 26, 2012

Curry Chicken Casserole

Here's a new twist on an old fave! I found the basis for this recipe years ago in an old cookbook by Sally Goldman. I've been tweaking it for years and by George I think I've got it down just right!
Hope you like it and please forgive the Southern/extremely country twang in my voice. It's all natural and embarrassing as well. Please excuse the video taping as well. I do it all alone and it's a little more difficult than I thought it was going to be...
Gotta start somewhere!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

White Barbecue, Alabama Style!

What? White barbecue sauce? Yep and if you haven't tried it, you're missing out on a real treat! It isn't what comes to mind when you think of bbq sauces, but it's a wonderful diversion from the traditional. It's amazingly light and refreshing, perfect for summer!
Makes four servings.
1 whole chicken, cut in half, gizzards and liver removed. I always ask the butcher to cut it in half and remove the parts I'm not going to use. It's no extra charge and easy on me!
For the rub:
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Blend all of the above ingredients in a small bowl.
Wash the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the chicken halves skin side up onto the foil. 

Rub the chicken with the seasoning mixture all over on both sides.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook for one hour skin side up, turn and continue cooking for thirty more minutes.
Note: We had intended to grill the chicken, which is my preferred method but afternoon thunderstorms got in the way. If you grill it, heat one side of the grill on medium and leave the other burner off. Cook the chicken on the cool side of the grill, skin up until it's done on the first side. Turn it over and continue cooking until the juices run clear. 

For the sauce:
Yields 3 and 1/2 cups. I only made a half batch of the recipe and it was plenty.
2 cups mayonnaise
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Mix mayonnaise and seasonings in a small bowl, or use a Mason jar like I did. Add the vinegar and lemon juice and whisk until it's well blended.

Love the golden skin on the chicken, it's so crispy and ready for a swim in the sauce. Don't brush the sauce onto the chicken like you normally would. Just cover it with the sauce before serving or place the jar on the table and let everyone add as much or as little as they like. If you like mayonnaise, chances are that you're going to love this, just go into it with an open mind, it really is not only delicious but addictive as well. After all, if the folks in Alabama have stuck with it all these years, there must be something to it!

For the side salad:

Chop fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and banana peppers. Just before serving, sprinkle with olive oil, Italian seasoning, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste and toss. 
It's a light supper but filling and what I crave for a summer evening!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes!

I don't think anything says summer for me quite like fried green tomatoes. Pretty sure of it. I could eat them every single night with dinner. They go with anything. Well, except maybe Mexican but I don't know, they might even work with a taco!

This recipe is for eight servings.
8 small or 6 medium tomatoes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, seasoned with 2 teaspoons sea salt and 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 cups white cornmeal mix plus 1/2 cup all purpose flour sifted together, seasoned with 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups canola oil for frying

Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat until it reaches 375 degrees.
Wash and dry the tomatoes. Slice them into 1/2 inch slices.

Lightly dredge them in the seasoned flour.

Coat both sides with the buttermilk.

Place them into the seasoned cornmeal/flour mixture and coat both sides evenly.

Gently place them into the heated oil and cook until golden on the first side.

Turn to cook on the second side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. 

I plated up a few (A good cook always tastes her food!) just for the photo, but I serve them as a side dish with really, just about anything.
I have a great dipping sauce recipe that I'll make soon and get that posted.
It also goes with just about anything. 
I love versatility!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Confetti Macaroni Salad!

This is one of those recipes that takes me longer to post than it does to make. You can add whatever you like, but I've found that when taking this to a gathering, simple usually gets more attention than complex. Know what I mean? :)

Eight servings
1- 16 ounce box macaroni
4 tablespoons Duke's mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
1 small bell pepper, seeded and chopped

Bring 6 cups water to boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon sea salt to the water and add the macaroni. Stir gently throughout cooking time. Boil until it's just tender. 

I like to remove the macaroni with a Chinese strainer like the one pictured above, instead of draining it in a colander. This method prevents the pasta from drying out too much, therefore using less mayo.

Immediately after straining the pasta, while it's still warm, place it into a large bowl and add the lemon zest and seasonings. Even though you're going to chill the macaroni, it takes the dressing and seasoning better while it's still warm.

Add the mayonnaise and stir until it's well blended. Now pop it into the fridge while you prepare the vegetables.

Seed the pepper and slice it into thin strips.

Chop the strips into small pieces.

Remove the seeds from the tomato.

Slice it into strips.

Chop the strips into pieces.

Add the vegetables to the salad and refrigerate until serving. It won't hurt it at all to keep this refrigerated until the next day. That will let the flavors meld even more.

This is a great summer time diversion from the regular fries when serving burgers and it's also a wonderful side dish for the stacked bltocp sandwich, a great idea for those weekend brunches!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Stacked...B.L.T.O.C.P. Saturday Lunch

Big is just right. If I'm gonna eat a sandwich, then I want it to count. And this one does! And if you haven't tried roasted corn seasoned with lemon pepper, then please do!
Here's what's on the team:

Lettuce leaves, washed and dried.

Sliced onions, we like 'em hot...

Sliced bell pepper, cayenne and jalapenos.

Sliced tomatoes, fresh from the garden. (not mine, they're still green, these are from JD's mother)

Bacon. A whole pound. Divided by JD and myself. Yep. 
I cook it in the oven on a foil lined sheet on 325 degrees for about 30 minutes.
No splatter!
Two very important team members that aren't pictured here are:
Dukes mayonnaise and American cheese, the good kind, don't skimp!

I normally cook corn in the shucks, but I wanted to get the shucks out to the compost pile and close up the door for the evening. The heat of this summer has made me crazy that way:)
Pull the shucks back, and remove the silks. Liberally rub with softened butter and sprinkle heavily with lemon pepper and salt. Wrap in foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

First on board is the Duke's mayo and onions.

Now add one half pound of bacon. Go ahead, don't be skeerd.

Now for the cheese. At least one piece...

Pile on the peppers!

Slather some mayonnaise on the other side of the bread and add your lettuce. Now your corn should be cool enough to eat. This is a wonderful indulgence into bacon decadence, and I enjoyed every moment...