Friday, June 27, 2008

Chicken Gumbo

Ok, so I left out the okra. String me up and beat me with wet noodles.

~1 roasted chicken carcass
(you can get a lovely rotisserie chicken at the grocery store and use 1/2 of the meat for a chicken salad, then use the rest of the meaty carcass for this!)

Simmer the carcass in about 3 quarts of water for about an hour. Once the stock is rich and brown, remove the carcass. Strip off the meat and add back to the stock, set aside.
In another large pot add the following:

~1/4 c. vegetable oil
~1/3 c. flour

whisk together and slowly cook this over medium heat until it is the color of a terra cotta pot. The keyword here is slowly, you do NOT want to burn this or you'll have to start all over. This roux is the key for true gumbo flavor.
whisk, whisk, whisk!!!
Once the roux is ready, carefully pour the stock into the pot and whisk again to incorporate. Then add:

~14-15 oz. can diced stewed tomatoes w/juice
(I used a can of petite diced with green chilies because I'm a creole rebel.)
~1 med. onion, sliced
~couple cloves of garlic or a dash of garlic powder
~dash of parsley or any other favorite herb that goes with a tomato base, but don't overdo it!
~2 c. instant rice, uncooked
(This is the part where if you may add a cup or two of frozen okra. Green beans are a nice substitute as well)

Cook the mixture until the rice is soft and the broth is thickened.
I like to serve this with hot rolls, because frankly, there just isn't enough carbs with a pot full of rice. =D

Here is when you can salt and pepper to taste...add some tabasco if you like it hot!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sour Cream Pancakes

Light, fluffy, tender, undescribably decadent. Every now and then, you just need a hot stack of pancakes to start the day. This recipe is the best I've found yet and are very versatile with any favorite addition!

~2 T. butter, melted
~1/2 c. sour cream
~1 egg, large
~3/4 c. milk or half and half
~1 T. lemon juice
~2 T. sugar
~1 c. flour
~2 t. baking powder
~1 t. baking soda
~dash salt

Melt the butter and add to it the sour cream, egg, milk, lemon juice and sugar. Mix well. Then add the dry ingredients, mix till smooth.
If the batter seems too thick, you can add some milk, a tablespoon at a time till you have a desired consistancy.

Heat up a skillet (medium low), grease or spray with a non-stick spray.
Pour the batter (about 1/4 c.) on to hot skillet.
Now this is the point where if you want blueberry pancakes to drop some berries onto the uncooked side of the pancake...or sliced bananas, chocolate chips, raspberries...mmm...
I suggest adding berries or whatever in this manner so they don't get all broken up and mushy in the batter by stirring them in.

When you start to see the top bubble all over, flip and finish on the other side.
The first pancake is usually a sounding board for testing the skillet heat, it won't always come out nicely. Well, at least mine don't. lol

Slather these cakey, tender rounds with REAL butter and your favorite syrup and enjoy with a side of bacon., that's what I'm talkin' about ;)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Jalapeno Poppets

Have you ever tried to make jalapeno poppers as they traditionally are? Well, I can tell you, its no picnic. Seeding, stuffing, dredging, egg washing, frying...ugh, just too many steps for me.
So, after a little research and some ingenuity, we have Jalapeno Poppets.

~1 poblano chili (or 2-3 jalapenos) seeded and chopped finely
~1 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature or softened
~1 c. shredded cheese (I used Sargento's Mexican blend, but this part is up to you)
~1/4 t. onion powder
~1 clove garlic, chopped fine
dash fresh, cracked pepper and salt to taste

Mix this all well. Now, you'll need a 12 oz. package of wonton wrappers.
Dip your finger in some water and wet the edges of one side of the wrapper, place about 1 tsp. filling in the middle and fold over. Sealing the edges together well.
Try not to get your filling into the seam.

In about an inch of hot frying oil (I had my stove on 5 out of 10 on the dial), fry poppets until golden. Take care and don't leave them unattended! If one starts to burst open, just remove it from the oil or you'll get splatter. You will have some casualties. But, some must be sacrificed for the good of others. =)
This recipe makes about 30 poppets, give or take.
You can serve these with salsa if you like, but really, they are great on their own!


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