Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cracker classics wif' a twist

Collard Greens and Sweet Corn Slaw

One bunch of fresh collard greens, trimmed of all stem sections, cut in strips 1/4 inch wide.
Four ears of fresh sweet corn, cleaned of all silk, scrape kernels from the cob.
2 tbs sweet pickle relish
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 c prepared cole slaw dressing (Marzetti's is fine)
1-2 tbs apple cider vinegar
Two red onions sliced thin

Blanch the greens in a large pot of boiling water for 3 minutes, pour off the water, fill the pot with water, add 1 teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil again, turn heat to simmer and cook until the greens are tender--about 1 1/4 hours. Drain in a colander.

Blanch corn in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain.

Combine corn, slaw dressing, pepper and pickle relish and vinegar, then add greens and toss gently. Adjust for salt. (more vinegar to taste). Chill 2 hours. Serve on a bed of sliced red onions. Great on a hot day!

Orange Crush, carrot and ginger aspic

1 bottle of Orange Crush
2 C of carrot juice
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
juice of two key limes
2 envelopes of gelatin
mint sprigs

Optional: 1/2 c sour cream sweetened 1 teaspoon coconut cream.

Put one cup of carrot juice in measuring cup with ginger and microwave on high for 1.5 minutes (do not boil) then let stand 10 minutes. Strain juice, discard ginger. Soften gelatin in the warm carrot juice.

In a large bowl pout the Orange Crush, the carrot juice including the ginger perfumed carrot juice, the lime juice and a dash of salt. Stir until well blended.

Lightly oil an aspic mold ( or 6 individual molds) with light oil such as sunflower oil. Pour in juice blend and chill until set (at least 6 hours).

Unmold, top with mint sprig. (and small dollop of coconut-sour cream if desired).

Venison Sausage, Fried Sage and Black Olive Pizza
(makes 2 10 inch pizzas)

1 pound pizza dough cut in half (or use frozen crusts)

1 pound of bulk venison sausage (not links)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small cans of sliced black olives
1 cup grated mozzarella
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
3-4 ripe Roma tomatoes, cut into thin slices
1 large clove of garlic minced,
6- 8 fresh sage leaves patted dry

Heat oven to 450 degrees

roll (throw!) pizza dough to 9-10 inch diameter, put each on an oiled cookie sheet sprinkled with a spoonful of cornmeal ( or use a pizza stone if you have one.)

In a small saute pan heat 2 spoons of olive oil over medium heat , gently "fry" the sage leaves, remove and cool leaves.

Saute the venison sausage in a little olive oil breaking it into small pieces as you stir until just done. Turn off heat.

Brush pizza dough with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and garlic.

Lay tomato slices in one layer over the dough and distribute half the mozzarella over each pizza.

Divide cooked sausage bits over each pizza, top each with one can of sliced olives, then crumble the fried sage over the pizzas.

Sprinkle Pecorino cheese over each pizza, slide into oven on center rack

Bake 12-14 minutes, remove pizzas and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, serve.

Watermelon Granita

6 cups ripe seeded (or seedless) watermelon chunks
3/4 cup sugar
juice of two key limes
1/4 c mint syrup (recipe follows)
6 fresh mint sprigs

Blend watermelon sugar and lime in food processor
pour into shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap and freeze.
When frozen, remove and, using a large spoon or fork, scrape across the the frozen melon so that it is sort of shaved --refreeze for one hour, removes and scrape again, recover and freeze another hour.

To serve, scrape once more until light and airy but still frozen. Pile into parfait (or martini) glasses, drizzle with mint syrup and top with a mint sprig

Mint Syrup

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
8-10 large mint leaves

whirl mint and water in blender one minute
measure cup of sugar into large measuring cup
add mint water to sugar, stir to blend
microwave on high 3 minutes until mint sugar mix is a light syrup

Syrup may be used in iced tea, cocktails, over fruit dishes etc. Keeps at room temperature for several days if stored covered in bottle or jar. Aunty keeps a pretty bottle of mint syrup on the counter fer quick splashes into mah Iced Tea.

Avocado Ice Cream

1 large ripe Avocado (Alligator pear!)
juice of one fresh lime
1/2 c superfine sugar
1/2 c heavy cream 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 cups French Vanilla ice cream softened

peel avocado and whirl in food processor with lime juice, sugar and heavy cream. Blend the avocado cream into softened vanilla ice cream, pile into your prettiest parfait glasses, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze one-2 hours until serving time. Garnish with thin slice of lime.

Grilled sweet and spicy pork on sugarcane skewers

One 10-12 inch length of fresh sugar cane
3 pound boneless pork roast, cubed into approximately 1 inch square chunks
1 jar of green or red pepper jelly
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 c soy sauce
one fresh jalepeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup olive oil
one fresh pineapple cut into inch cubes(optional)
1/2 c olive oil blended with a tsp Tabasco or Crystal
1/2 c bourbon or rum (optional)

Peel the cane and cut in half lengthwise, then cut into long skewers 1/4-1/2 inch wide, cutting a slanted point at the end to spear the pork cubes. (optional:Lay the skewers flat in shallow baking dish and pour bourbon or rum over them)

Combine next 7 ingredients in a large ziplock bag and marinate in refrigerator at least 12 hours.

Set grill on medium high heat. remove pork from marinade and skewer onto cane sticks (alternate with pineapple if desired)

Grill meat, brushing once with Tabasco oil when turned. Do not overcook this tender pork--keep it juicy. Serve still on sugar cane sticks--menfolk will thank you fer soakin' their's in spirits.

Cafe Brulot

This is a N'awlins favorite that Floridians with plentiful oranges serve after elegant dinners. It is a showstopper, but this is Emeril's version. Aunty doan put cinnamon in hers.

  • 1 orange peel, cut into 1 by 1/8-inch strips, plus 1 orange, peel cut into 1 long, intact spiral
  • 1 lemon peel, cut into 1 by 1/8-inch strips
  • 4 sugar cubes
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup orange flavored liqueur
  • 2 cups hot, freshly brewed, strong black coffee

Light the burner under a brulot bowl or chafing dish and adjust the flame to low. Into the bowl place the orange and lemon peels, sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick and orange liqueur. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a long-handled ladle, to dissolve the sugar and warm the ingredients.

When the mixture is warm, stir in the hot coffee, and ignite with a match.

Quickly, while the mixture is still flaming, hold the spiraled orange peel with the prongs of a fork over the bowl, and ladle the flaming coffee mixture down the peel several times into the bowl for a spectacular presentation.

Ladle the Cafe Brulot into brulot or demi-tasse cups, being careful to leave the flavorings (peels, cloves, cinnamon) in the bowl. Serve immediately while hot.

The coffee is prepared in and served from a special decorative bowl positioned over a flame, and the finale consists of the flaming coffee being ladled down a long spiral of orange peel back into the bowl. A Brulot ladle is specially designed with a small strainer at the end so that the bits of peel, cloves and cinnamon do not get served to guests. The finished beverage is served in tall, thin, footed mugs, often decorated with a full-length portrait of the devil, reference to the drink's other name, "Cafe Diabolique" or "Devil's Coffee," perhaps so named for the punch it packs!

I ain't holdin' back on y'all, jes runnin' outa steam, so iffin' ya want recipes of any of the other dishes mentioned, jes' holler an' I'll post 'em!

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