Jan 302017

It’s still cold here in Arkansas. Here is a play on one of my mom’s specialities, Stuffed Eggplant.

2 sticks Butter

6 cups Eggplant, peeled and diced

2 cups Onions, chopped

1 cup Celery, chopped

1 cup Green Bell Pepper, chopped

1 cup Red Bell Pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons Garlic, minced

2 cups Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

1 cup Flour

1 tablespoon Curry Powder

1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary, finely chopped

10 cups Chicken Stock

2 cups Heavy Cream

1 cup Andouille, cut into julienne strips

2 cups Small Shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt and Pepper

1/4 cup fresh Parsley, chopped

1/4 cup Green Onions, sliced

Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes then stir in the tomatoes. Stir in the flour, cook for 2 minutes, this stir in the curry and rosemary. Add the stock a little at a time, blending well after each addition. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Purée th soup, if you wish it to have a very smooth consistency, then return to the pot and add the heavy cream. Stir in the andouille and shrimp and cook just until the shrimp turn plump and opaque. Season to taste and garnish with the parsley and green onions.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!

Jan 262017

This is a great appetizer for a dinner. There is no sugar in this savory cheesecake.

3 1/2 tablespoons softened Butter, in all

1/2 cup Breadcrumbs

3/4 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese, in all

1 teaspoon Dill, minced

2 tablespoons Butter

1 cup Onion, minced

1 3/4 pounds Cream Cheese, softened

4 Eggs

1/3 cup Half-and-Half

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 pound Smoked Salmon, chopped

Preheat oven to 325℉. Butter a 9-inch springform pan with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter. Combine the breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of the Gruyere and the dill. Sprinkle into the pan turning to coat evenly. Refrigerate.

Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cover, cook until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside. Mix the cream cheese in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the eggs , the 1/2 cup remaining Gruyere, the half-and-half and salt. Mix until smooth. Blend in the onions and the salmon but do not purée. The filling should retain some texture.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Create a water bath. Set the pan in a roasting pan. Add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and cool the cheesecake in the oven for about 1 hour with the door ajar. Transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature before removing from the pan to serve.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!

Jan 232017

Time to take a break from entrées. This week, I will post two appetizers. Today’s recipe is great for a cocktail party.

16 large Mushrooms

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

4 tablespoons Italian Dressing

1 cup Onion, chopped

1 tablespoon Garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

1 teaspoon Lemon Pepper

1/2 teaspoon Parsley flakes

2 tablespoons Salsa

2 tablespoons Butter

1/3 cup Italian Breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup White Wine

Pull stems out of the mushroom caps. Set aside caps. Mince stems.

Place anon-stick skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, add olive oil and 2 tablespoons Italian dressing. Swirl in bottom of pan.

Once oil is hot, add onion and sauté 5 minutes, until onion starts to brown. Add garlic, chopped mushroom stems, Italian Seasoning, lemon pepper, parsley, and salsa. Stir and sauté 5 minutes.

Melt butter into mixture and stir in breadcrumbs. Add cheese and stir. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Spray a large glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Stuff mushrooms with mixture and arrange in bottom of baking dish. Mix together white wine and remaining two tablespoons Italian dressing and pour into bottom of pan.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking an additional 15 minutes until browned.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!

Jan 192017

Lamb is meat that most people don’t like. It has a grassy taste to the meat. I, on the other hand, love lamb and eat it every chance I can.

4 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 tablespoon Blackened Seasoning

8 (2-3 oz) Lamb Loin Chops, about 1 inch thick, well chilled

Place a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 7 minutes

As soon as the skillet is hot, lightly coat one side of each chop with oil, then sprinkle each oiled side evenly with 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning. Place chops in the skillet seasoned side down and sprinkle the top sides of all the chops evenly with the remaining seasoning.

Cook about 3 minutes. Turn the chops and, if the chops are extra lean, pour about 1/2 teaspoon olive oil on top of each. For medium rare, cook the chops 3 minutes more. ( For medium, cook 4 minutes per side.) Remove chops and place on a serving platter. Don’t stack the chops. Wipe the skillet clean and cook the remaining chops.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!

Jan 132017

I find that my recipes tend to stay with common main ingredients. So this week, I am going to change that up.

3 rabbits, skinned, dressed and cut into pieces

2 cups Onions, coarsely chopped

2 cups Milk

2 teaspoons Hot Sauce

4 cups All-purpose flour

3 teaspoons Creole Seasoning

2 tablespoons Kosher Salt

2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper

2 tablespoons coarse-ground Black Pepper

1 Egg, lightly beaten

1 cup Evaporated Milk

1/4 cup Water

1 quart Peanut Oil, for frying

Wash the rabbit, removing the fat. Set them in a non-reactive bowl. Sprinkle the onions over the pieces and immediately mix them with your hands. Blend together the whole milk and the hot sauce and pour it over the rabbits and onions to form a marinade. Marinate for at least 3 hours or longer (overnight is the best).

When you are ready to fry, heat peanut oil to 350℉ in a stovetop fry pan. Place the flour into a gallon-size zipper bag and sprinkle in the seasonings. Blend everything uniformly, to make sure the seasonings are well mixed. Whip together the egg, milk and water.

Take rabbit from the marinade, quickly dredge it in the flour, dip it into the egg wash, dredge it again in the flour, and drop it into the hot peanut oil. Fry for 12 to 16 minutes.



Good cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!

Jan 122017

Here is a wonderful dessert made in a Cast Iron Skillet.

6 cups sliced fresh Peaches

2 1/4 cups Sugar, in all

1/4 cup Water

1 1/4  cups All-Purpose Flour

1 pinch each of Salt, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Allspice

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

3/4 cup Milk

1/2 teaspoon Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 10-inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray. In the skillet, combine peaches, 1 1/2 cups sugar and water. Bring to a rolling boil  over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and allow peaches to cook until soft. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Pour into peaches and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Set aside to cool. In a bowl, combine remaining flour, sugar, baking powder and milk. Whisk until well blended.  Season with salt. Pour the batter over the center of the peach mixture. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!

Jan 092017

Most kitchens in the south contain at least one Cast Iron Skillet. Many people only cook with Cast Iron. This week I will feature a couple of recipes using a Cast Iron skillet.

1 cup Cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

3 Eggs

1 Onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup Canola Oil

1/2 pound shredded Cheddar Cheese

1 can Cream-Style Corn

1 pound Crawfish Tails

Creole Seasoning to taste

Chopped Jalapeno Peppers (optional)

Coat a cast iron skillet with cooking spray. In a bowl, mix first 3 ingredients, then add other ingredients and mix well. Pour into skillet. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!

Jan 052017

Crawfish season is starting to get in the swing. I have been seeing pictures of boils since early December. Of course, packaged crawfish will also work well in this dish.

12 ounces Crawfish Tail Meat

1 small Onion, finely diced

2 stalks celery, finely diced

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1/2 pound Cream Cheese

2 teaspoons Lemon Pepper

Dash Cayenne

1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning

1/2 teaspoon Crab Boil

3 small Cans Corn

1 bunch Green Onions, sliced


In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion, celery and garlic. Reduce heat. Add the crawfish tails. Sauté about one minute. Add the cream cheese. Stir until no lumps remain. Add the lemon pepper, cayenne, Creole seasoning and crab boil. Stir well. Add the corn and the liquid in the can. Add the green onions. Add milk until the soup is to your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning. Serve immediately.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living