May 292017
 

Since 1980, the New Orleans School of Cooking has been teaching locals and tourist the finer points of Creole cooking. Led by Kevin Belton, the school is a great place to learn to cook. Kevin recently published a new cookbook, Kevin Bolton’s Big Flavors of New Orleans. This week, I will share two recipes from it.

4 tablespoons Butter

3/4 cup Onion, chopped

4 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped

2 whole Bay Leaves

3/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning

1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

4 cups Seafood Broth, divided

5 ears fresh corn, kernels removed from cobs

3 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

1/2 cup Milk

1/2 cup Half-and-Half

18 ounces Lump Crabmeat, fresh picked from shell

1/4 cup Green Onions, chopped

Kosher Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a large heavy bottom stockpot, heat butter over medium heat until bubbling but not browned. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, bay leaves, cayenne, Creole seasoning and pepper. Sauté until you smell the garlic cooking, about 1-2 minutes. Stir continuously. Slowly and 3 3/4 cups broth. Bring to a boil and add corn. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Dissolve the flour in the remaining broth, stirring thoroughly to remove all lumps of flour. Add to the milk and mix thoroughly. Place in a blender, combine with half-and-half, and blend for about 30 seconds, until smooth.

Bring the soup heat back to medium and add the milk/flour combination slowly into the simmering soup and stir continuously until the soup begins to noticeably thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Lower heat to an easy simmer, stir in crabmeat and cook until warmed, about 3 minutes. Garnish with green onions and season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!!!

Good Cooking, Good eating and Good Living!!!

May 252017
 

Here is a flavor of ice pop that I’ll bet you did not have growing up.

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Sugar

4 cups sliced peeled ripe peaches (about 4 medium) or 16 ounces frozen sliced peaches, thawed

3/4 cup Half-and-Half

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 teaspoons Orange Liqueur (Optional)

Place sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Transfer syrup to a small bowl, and chill.

Purée syrup and peaches in a food processor until smooth. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium pitcher; strain, pressing on solids to extract about 2 1/4 cups purée. Whisk in remaining ingredients.

Divide among molds. Freeze 30 minutes, insert wooden or plastic sticks, and freeze until solid, about 12 hours. Dip bottoms of molds into hot water for 20 to 30 seconds to loosen pops.

Enjoy!!!

Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

May 222017
 

To continue on last weeks theme, here are two hot weather recipes. Both of them are upgrades on a old time summer treat, Ice Pops. You can find the molds in most grocery stores.

1 cup Mint Leaves

3/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice

3/4 cup Superfine Granulated Sugar

Purée all ingredients and 1 1/3 cups of water in a blender until smooth. Skim and foam before pouring into 8 (1/3 cup) ice pop molds. Freeze 30 minutes, insert wooden or plastic sticks, and freeze until solid, about 12 hours. Dip bottoms of molds in hot water for 20 to 30 seconds to loosen pops.

Enjoy!!!

Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

May 182017
 

Here is a great dish that can be served as an appetizer as well as a salad.

1/2 cup Cucumber, diced

1/2 cup Celery, diced

1/4 cup Onion, diced

1/4 cup green Bell Pepper, diced

1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced

1/2 cup Cottage Cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

2 Hard-Boiled Eggs, diced

1/2 teaspoon Salt

Black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons Italian Dressing

1/2 teaspoon Fresh Basil, chopped

6 Creole Tomatoes, chilled

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except tomatoes. Mix well, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Cut 3/4-inch off the top of each tomato and reserve. Using a teaspoon, scoop out tomato seeds and pulp. Turn tomatoes upside down and allow to drain well on paper towels. Dice one cup of sliced tomato tops and mix with well chilled vegetable mixture. When tomatoes are well drained, stuff each with an equal amount of vegetable mixture. Serve on top of your favorite lettuce.

Enjoy!!!

Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

 

May 152017
 

As the weather gets warmer, it gets hotter in the kitchen. This week, I will share with you two recipes that require no cooking. They both feature Creole Tomatoes.

1 can ( 19 ounce) Navy Beans

1/2 cup Ham, minced

1/2 cup Onions, minced

1/2 cup Celery, minced

1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper, minced

1/4 cup Fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon Garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme, chopped

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Hot Sauce to taste

6 small Creole Tomatoes

Drain and rinse beans well. In a large mixing bowl, blend together beans, ham, onions, celery, bell pepper, parsley, garlic and thyme. Mix in olive oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 6 hours.

Approximately 2 hours before serving, remove bean mixture from refrigerator and allow to reach room temperature, stirring occasionally  When ready to serve, cut top off each tomato. Using a teaspoon, scoop out pulp, removing as many seeds as possible. Mince pulp and stir thoroughly into bean mixture. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Lightly season inside of tomatoes with salt and pepper. Carefully spoon salad mixture evenly into tomatoes.

Enjoy!!!

Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

May 112017
 

Not often enough do I offer vegetarian recipes. Here is a great one for the grill.

3 small Zucchini, each about 6 inches long, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces

4 small Yellow Squash, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces

1 large Red Onion, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 large Red Bell Peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 large Green Bell Peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 bottle (12 ounce) Italian Salad Dressing

2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning

Thread the vegetables alternately on skewers. Put the kabobs in a large shallow bowl and pour in the salad dressing. Let sit, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Turn several times.

When ready to grill, drain off the marinade and sprinkle with Creole Seasoning. Put the kabobs on a preheated grill, close the lid of your pit and cook 8 to 10 minutes over a medium fire. Turn kabobs, close the lid and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the vegetables are just slightly soft.

Enjoy!!!

Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

May 082017
 

Summer is almost here. Time to break out the grills. This week, two kabob recipes for your outdoor cooking and dining.

12-16 large Garlic Cloves, peeled

1/3 cup Olive Oil

1/4 cup Tomato Sauce

2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

2 tablespoons Fresh Basil, chopped

2 teaspoons Garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Cayenne

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

Pinch of Sugar

2 pounds large Shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail left on.

Drop the whole garlic cloves into boiling water and boil for about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Combine olive oil, tomato sauce, vinegar, basil, minced garlic, salt, cayenne, black pepper, and sugar in a large bowl and stir to mix well. Add shrimp and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade and reserve any of the marinade left in the bowl.

Thread the shrimp and whole garlic cloves alternately on skewers. Put the skewers on a heated grill. Grill, turning skewers several times and brushing them with the reserved marinade for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the shrimp turn pink.

Enjoy!!!

Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

 

May 042017
 

This is a great addition to any meal.

1 tablespoon Canola Oil

1 small Onion, minced

1 clove Garlic, minced

4 ears corn, kernels cut off and reserved

1 (10oz) package frozen Lima Beans, thawed

1/2 pound Okra, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

1 1/2 cups Tomatoes, chopped (about 2 medium Tomatoes)

2 tablespoons Cane or Cider Vinegar

2 tablespoons Green Onions, chopped green part only

Tabasco to taste

Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat oil over moderate heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add corn, lima beans, okra and tomatoes and cook, stirring, until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in vinegar, green onions, Tabasco and salt and pepper.

 

Enjoy!!!

Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

May 012017
 

This week, I am switching my focus to vegetables. There is no meat of any kind in these recipes. The first one would feel at home in my mother’s kitchen. She loved to use artichokes as an ingredient.

2 cans Artichoke Hearts, thoroughly drained

2 cloves of Garlic

2 Eggs

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

3/4 to 1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs

3/4 cup Grated Italian Cheese, either Parmesan or Romano

Hot Sauce to taste

Preheat oven to 325℉.

Chop artichokes and garlic very fine. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. From into little balls a little less than 1-inch in diameter and bake for about 20 minutes. They should be lightly browned.

Enjoy!!!

Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!