Salad Daze!

The weather is warming up and I’m turning to more vegetable based meals.  Salads are the perfect meal for my family!  I have to watch which cooked vegetables I serve due to a couple of picky eaters, but they’ll eat any vegetable raw.  So I take full advantage of local produce that is officially coming our way and plan yummy salads that provide protein and a deliciously light meal  I’m sharing three of my favorites with you today.  Serve them with grilled meat or on their own…it’s your choice!

Mexican Mixed Salad

Panzanella Salad

Arugula with Zucchini with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette

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Mexican Mixed Salad

My friend, Holly McClure, has cooking origins that go back to her Native American heritage and her travels all over the world.  We recently joined her for dinner and she served the most delicious salad.  She shared the ingredients she used that evening.  This is a salad that is flexible.  You can add black beans, or any bean for more fiber, the nuts can be varied or you might want to add pumpkin or sunflower seeds.  Let your pantry be your guide!  The interesting thing about this salad is that part of the vegetables are lightly sauteed in coconut oil, a very healthy addition to our diet.  That same oil becomes the base for the dressing…it’s really yummy!

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 yellow onion finely diced

2 stalks celery finely diced

1 red pepper, peeled, seeded and diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 cup fresh or frozen corn off the cob (When corn is in I buy the organic variety otherwise I use the same, but frozen)

1 can white hominy, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup pecan pieces or nut of choice

1 head butter lettuce

2 cups thinly sliced fresh cabbage, red or green

2 cups organic baby spinach

1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 avocado, cut in chunks

Juice of 2 limes or lemons

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Pink Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper

Heat the oil until just warm and add the onion, celery and peppers.  Lightly saute until the onion is just transparent.  Add the garlic, corn, hominy, beans (if desired) and nuts.  Heat through until then corn is just tender.  In a large bowl tear the salad greens and toss with tomato and avocado.  Pour the contents of your saute pan over the salad and toss with the lime juice and seasoning.  Serve with warm tortillas or flat bread.

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Panzanella Salad

Nothing says warm weather more than fresh, vine ripened tomatoes and basil.  There always seems to be part of a baguette from dinner the evening before in my kitchen.  This salad is the perfect solution for a dinner everyone loves, serve with your favorite grilled meat of leave it as a healthy plant based meal!

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 baguette, day old (1/2 of the longer baguettes serves about four, if you have more to feed use the entire baguette), cut into 1 inch cube

1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt

2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks

1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 large seedless cucumber, peeled, halved and sliced

1 cup fresh basil leaves, hand torn

1 cup pitted black olives, I like to use Kalamata’s because of the salty factor they add to the mix

1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the bread cubes, sprinkle with salt and allow to cook, tossing the often, until they are golden brown all over.  Toss the cubes in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and top with the following vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette:

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pink Himalayan salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together and toss with bread mixture.  Enjoy!

zucchini carpaccio

Arugula with Zucchini with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette

This is one of my most favorite summer salads.  I’ve been preparing it for years and it’s always a hit.  I like to make zucchini ribbons by using a potato peeler to cut long, thin strips for this dish, but you can always cut it in slices or chunks.

1 box of organic, baby arugula

1 large zucchini, washed and cut in strips, slices or chunks

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

shaved Parmesano Regianno for garnish

Wash the arugula and gently pat it dry with paper toweling, chill until ready to assemble the salad.  Prepare the zucchini to your liking and chill.  Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice with the garlic and seasoning.  Place the arugula and zucchini in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.  Garnish with the cheese and serve with crusty bread.  This is also good topped with grilled shrimp.

Staying Fit!

I’m sharing a tried and true recipe that I’ve been preparing for years.  Marilyn Diamond wrote the “Fit for Life” cookbook to partner with her then husband, Harvey, as they led many devotees to a healthier lifestyle back in the 1980’s.  I’ve got both the small paperback’s as well as Marilyn’s “American Vegetarian Cookbook” that is filled with some of the most delicious recipes.  I’m not a vegetarian, preferring to think of myself as a “Flexitarian”.  I eat red meat when my body craves it, which is not often.  This particular recipe is enough to sate anyone’s appetite with delicious fingerling potatoes mixed in with all sorts of greens, all topped off with a yummy lemon garlic vinaigrette.  You can easily bring meat into the meal with a grilled steak, chicken breast, fresh fish or seafood.  So, here is one of all time favorites, updated a bit from the original recipe!

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Award Winning Potato Lover’s Salad

1/2 pound yellow, fingerling potatoes

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika

2 cups broccoli florets, slightly steamed, substitute with string beans or asparagus if you’re not a broccoli lover

4 cups butter lettuce, chopped

2 cups organic baby spinach

1 cup radicchio, shredded

1/2 purple onion, finely diced

To assemble the salad:

Steam the potatoes in a vegetable steamer until just fork tender.  Remove the potatoes, save the water for the broccoli to steam.  Melt the butter and combine with sea salt and paprika.  Toss the tender potatoes in this mixture.  Break the broccoli into two inch pieces and steam for about 3-4 minutes, drain and rinse in cold water.  Place all of the salad greens and onion into a large salad bowl with the brocolli.  There are two methods you can choose from to prepare the potatoes.  I saute them in a skillet until they are a bit crusty and browned.  You can also put them under your broiler, on medium high, and cook them that way if you choose.  When the potatoes have cooked, scattered them over the top of the salad and drizzle with lemon garlic vinaigrette.

For the dressing:

1 large clove garlic

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Freshly ground black pepper.

Crush the garlic and put into a small mixing bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine.  Drizzle this dressing over the salad with more on the side if needed.

That’s it!  Simple and really delicious!  I’d love to know if you try the recipe.  Happy Thursday!

It’s Tropical!

 

 

 

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On Sunday I promised a post on my favorite new eating spot!  Carmo….A Tropical Cafe on Julia Street in New Orleans is just my kind of place.  Healthy foods, all made from scratch and creatively combined to offer a menu that has me wanting to go back for more!

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The healthy juices you’ll find at Carmo are literally “Super” juices brought in from Brazil.  You won’t see these power packed elixers anywhere else.  With names like Caja, Cupuacu, Graviola and Acerola you’ll enjoy the flavors as well as the healing qualities each of the juices featured contain.  Get your daily vitamin C as well as plenty of anti-oxidants.  And if you want something more on the cocktail side have a shot of  Cachacha, the famous Brazilian spirit that will help you relax at the end of a busy day!

Chef Dana Honn and his lovely wife, Christina, are co-owners.  You’ll find Wataru Sacki cheffing in the kitchen as well as Beth Korn as General Manager.  What a winning team!  They provide a splendid fusion of Southern Coastal, East Indian, Caribbean, West African and, of course, South American.  They are on the bandwagon with sustainable food, seasonal and locally grown.  Here is just a sample of what you may enjoy when you visit!
carmo salad

A scrumptious array of freshly made salads.  The Carmo that includes Rice, pineapple, avocado, almonds, cashews, raisins, cucumber and so much more.  You can order the salad with or without the smoked ham.  This cafe is a vegan’s paradise!

broken noodle salad

Two other salads we loved were the Esmeralda, packed with high protein Quinoa and black beans with a delicious dressing, toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh cotija cheese top it all off.  Then the Broken Noodle Salad which combines rice noodles, mung bean sprouts and lots of yummy fresh veggies.

pulled pork at carmo

I loved the gluten free sandwich, the “Rico, that is comprised of a grilled plantain patty topped with melted cheese, freshly smoked pulled pork, avocado and a fabulous salsa fresca.  The pork is raised at George Family Farm near Tuscaloosa  and the flavor is outstanding.  When you taste pork that is raised this way with the just the right corn and other grains being fed to the livestock you will not believe the difference!

There are always wonderful specials daily at affordable prices.  This is the place you’ll run into the healthy “Hip” crowd in New Orleans.  You may also want to know that Carmo has a great private party room on site for your next special occasion as well as full catering services.  Carmo has it all and I thank Chef Dana for being such a great host!

Cafe Carmo – 527 Julia St. – (504) 875-4132 – http://cafecarmo.com/

The Bliss of Baking

I’m sharing a recipe from a fellow blogger today.  Is there anything better than warm yeast rolls with butter?  There is something so comforting about the flavor.  My step daughter served these delicious rolls at Easter and I had to have the recipe.  She surfs the web as much as I do and quickly told me “Baker Bettie”.  Never having heard of this blog I could not wait to get home and look it up.  I was not disappointed!

You can find this blog at www.bakerbettie.com.  There is so much deliciousness to be found on the site you’ll love taking your time, browsing through recipes and the many other things you’ll find there.

 

Make-Ahead Soft Yeast Rolls

BakerBettie.com

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Author: Baker Bettie
Serves: 12 Rolls
Ingredients
For the Rolls
  • 1 cup whole milk (lower fat milk can be substituted)
  • 1 package (0.25 oz or 2 1/2 tsp) active dry (not instant or rapid rise)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (5 1/2 TBSP, 2.6oz, 73gr) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cups (17oz, 476gr) all-purpose flour
For the Egg Wash
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP water
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it just starts to barely bubble. Just under a simmer. Remove the milk from the heat, pour into a bowl, and let cool for 5 minutes.
  2. When the milk is cooled to warm, add the yeast to the milk and stir together. Let sit for 5 minutes to proof.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, butter, eggs, salt, and flour. Add the milk/yeast mixture and stir together until it forms a dough.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 5 minutes until its smooth and elastic. Alternatively, you can knead with a dough hook in a stand mixer.
  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  6. Deflate the dough by gently pushing your fist in the center and folding the sides over. On a clean un-floured surface, pat the dough out into a rectangle. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces (or more if you want smaller rolls).
  7. Shape the pieces of dough into balls by pulling down on the sides and pinching the seal underneath. Grease a 9X13″ pan, and space the shaped rolls our evenly in the pan.
  8. If prepping ahead: Lay plastic wrap directly on the rolls and refrigerate for up to 18 hours. Remove from the refrigerator an hour and a half before serving.
  9. Cover the rolls loosley with a towel and let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
  10. Make the egg wash by whisking together the egg with the water. Brush the rolls with the egg wash.
  11. Bake in a 375F oven for 14-16 minutes.
  12. Serve hot.

It’s All In The Sauce!

While visiting friends on St. Simons Island I had the pleasure to have dinner with some of my closest friends and neighbors.  We are all into preparing good, fresh food and enjoying a great time together.  I’m featuring a sauce today that has many uses.  I first tasted it when it was used to baste grilled chicken and then served on the side for those who wanted more.  It is simple to prepare and so delicious.  It would be delicious with pork tenderloin or grilled fish as well.  I actually ate a spoonful of it and loved the flavors as they popped in my mouth.  Toss a mixed green salad and you’ve got a great meal.  Scroll down and see what I served with this as well!  Yum!

Alabama white bbq sauce recipe #yum:

WHITE SAUCE PIQUANT

2 cups good mayonnaise (I like Blue Plate)

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup apple juice

2 teaspoons horseradish

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and seal tightly.  You can use this as a marinade, to baste grilled meat as well as a sauce on the side.  It keeps for two weeks when sealed and refrigerated.

Parmesan Thyme Potato Stacks / blog.jchongstudio.com:

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PARMESAN STACKED POTATOES

I saw a recipe for Parmesan Stacked Potatoes and knew they would be the perfect accompaniment to the grilled chicken I served with the white sauce.  This is easy and delicious!

6 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Slice the potatoes thinly with a mandolin or a very sharp knife.  Place the sliced potatoes in a large bowl and toss with the butter, salt, pepper, garlic and cheese.  Grease a muffin tin that makes larger muffins.  Stack the sliced potatoes in each muffin space, filling to the top, bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove from the muffin tins and place on a pan lined with parchment paper.  Broil on medium until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp.  Garnish with chopped parsley or fresh thyme and serve.

Pure Deliciousness!

For me, being a “foodie” means that I have an overwhelming amount of cookbooks and printed recipes from various on-line sites. One of my notebooks is full of recipes from so many years ago I’m not going to say but it’s around 40! I’m on a cleaning out mission as Spring arrives.  I’m sorting through, deleting, and categorizing ….making life simpler!  This recipe/menu is definitely one of our favorites and one I’m keeping!  I’m substituting Louisiana shrimp for the crab meat that is called for.  This is simple, delicious and something you can proudly serve guests!

Bronzed Red Snapper with Wild Shrimp Sauce

Sauteed String Beans with Grape Tomatoes and Almonds

Grilled Pineapple with Mascarpone and Nutella

Sauvignon Blanc

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Bronzed Red Snapper with Wild Shrimp Sauce

For 2

1 Red Snapper, fileted and bones removed

1 tablespoon Zatarain’s Cajun Spice

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 pound fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 teaspoon Zatarain’s Cajun Spice

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 clove garlic finely minced

a splash of heavy cream

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

Sprinkle the fish with the cajun spice blend.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until the oil is just smoking.  Quickly “bronze” the fish, about 3 minutes on each side.  Remove the fish from the pan and deglaze with the white wine.  Simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the shrimp, lemon juice and garlic.  Simmer until the shrimp are cooked through, about five minutes.  Add the heavy cream.  Place a fish filet on each plate and top with the shrimp sauce.  Sprinkle with fresh chives and serve.

Sauteed String Beans with Grape Tomatoes and Almonds

1/2 pound fresh string beans, ends snapped

1 handful grape tomatoes

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1 tablespoon butter

Melt the butter in a saute pan.  Add the string beans and cook over medium heat until just tender, about five minutes.  Add the tomatoes and almonds and continue to cook over low heat until the almonds have browned.  Season with pink salt and a bit of freshly ground pepper.

grilled pineapple with mascarpone and nutella lg.

Grilled Pineapple with Mascarpone and Nutella

1 whole pineapple, peeled and cored, cut into 1/2 inch slices

coconut oil spray

1 small container mascarpone cheese

1 tablespoon honey

1 jar nutella

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

Heat the grill to medium heat, spray the pineapple with coconut oil spray and grill for a couple of minutes on each side.  Mix the mascarpone with the honey and heat the nutella a bit so it will be “runny” (I do this by boiling water in a saucepan and placing the jar of nutella in the hot water for about five minutes.  Toast the hazelnuts in a 350 degree oven for about five minutes.  To assemble, place to pineapple slices on each plate.  Put a dollop of the mascarpone mixture on top and drizzle with nutella.  Sprinkle the hazelnuts on top and garnish with a fresh mint leaf if you’d like.  SO DELICIOUS!!!

On Irish Time

Image result for st. patrick's day old fashioned greeting cards

It’s St. Patrick’s Day and I’m wearing and serving the traditional green!  I would feature Corned Beef, but it’s not one of my favorites….I’ll leave the preparation of that to you!  What I am sharing is a recipe from Bon Appetit.  Colcannon is one of my favorite Irish dishes.  I think you’ll enjoy making and serving this delicious traditional recipe.  Scroll down a bit for a tasty addition to your meal as well!

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Colcannon:

Ingredients

SERVINGS: 4

  • 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1¾ pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, sliced in half lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups (packed) shredded savoy cabbage (from about ¼ large head), divided
  • cups milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced

Preparation

  • Cover potatoes with water in a small pot; season with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until a paring knife slides easily through the flesh, 30–40 minutes. Drain, let cool slightly, and peel.
  • Meanwhile, melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant and leeks are just beginning to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes longer. Add 1 cup cabbage and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted. Add milk and cream and bring to a simmer.
  • Add potatoes and remaining 1 cup cabbage, then coarsely mash with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer colcannon to a large serving bowl. Top with remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and sprinkle with scallion.
  • Recipe by Chris Morocco
  • Photograph by Alex Lau

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Mrs. O’Callaghan’s Irish Soda Bread:

Ingredients

SERVINGS: MAKES 1 LOAF

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled margarine or butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray heavy baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk both flours, sugar, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend. Add margarine and cut in until margarine is reduced to pea-size pieces. Add buttermilk; stir until shaggy dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until dough comes together, about 10 turns. Shape dough into 9-inch round (the round should be about 1 inch high). Place dough on prepared baking sheet. Cut large X, 1/2 inch deep, in top of dough, almost all the way to the edges of the round.
  • Bake bread in center of oven until deep brown and bottom sounds hollow when firmly tapped (a bamboo skewer inserted into the center of the bread should emerge clean without any stickiness or moistness), about 55-60 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.
  • Recipe by Mary O’Callaghan
  • Photograph by Andrew Hetherington

Simple Feasts

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This pot is one of my favorite things….I love this pot it makes me happy!  Yes, it is a “thing”, but from this pot have come some of the most delicious meals you can imagine.  It is a “Staub”, French “La Cocotte”.  White Coq au Vin, my family’s Texas Chili recipe, every kind of soup you can imagine and stews have been prepared in this cast iron, enamel pot.  The house is always filled with the rich aroma of herbs and other ingredients gently simmering.  Last week, when I would normally have made red beans and rice, the Louisiana Monday night staple supper, I found no red beans in the pantry.  Not wanting to go to the store I took a look at what I DID have and used French lentils instead.  I figure Creole and French go well together. After all, I’m living in a place settled by the French who created the delicious cuisine we now enjoy.

 

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I had a package of what has become my favorite locally made chicken sausage with green onions, “Manda” is the brand.  It is slightly spicy and full of subtle flavors that add a delicious flavor to any dish calling for sausage.

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After browning the sausage and draining it on paper toweling I added the absolute basis of most cooking in Louisiana, the Cajun Trinity.  Although called the Trinity, which would mean “three”, it is actually chopped onion, celery, green pepper, scallions and parsley.  Most of the time I buy the veggies and chop them myself, but since moving here I have discovered “Guidry’s” trinity, already chopped, preservative free and so easy to use.

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I added lentils, rinsed and picked, through to the softened vegetables and a box of organic chicken broth.  A couple of bay leaves and a tablespoon or so of Tony’s Cajun Spice blend and Voila!

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After covering and simmering for an hour I added another half box of broth and placed the sausage back into the pot to reheat for about fifteen minutes.  We enjoyed homemade cornbread muffins and a large tossed salad for a delicious meal.  Of course, a glass of good red wine was a must!  Here’s the recipe!  I hope you’ll try it and enjoy it as much as we all did.

Lentils and Green Onion Sausage

1 tablespoon good olive oil

2 links Manda green onion sausage

2 cups Cajun trinity

1 bag lentils

2-3 bay leaves

1 heaping tablespoon Tony’s Cajun Spice

2 boxes organic chicken broth

Salt and pepper to taste (the Tony’s is fairly salty so be sure to taste before adding.)

Brown the sausage and drain on paper toweling.  Saute the trinity in the same pot until the onion is transparent.  Add the bag of rinsed lentils and stir.  Add the seasoning and one box of broth.  Cover and simmer on low heat for about an hour.  You don’t want the lentils to get mushy.  Add another half box of broth and more if needed.  Return the cooked sausage to the pot and heat through for about fifteen minutes.  Easy and delicious!  Enjoy!!!

 

 

Loving This!!!

‘Tis the season for these delectable little creatures!  Boiled with plenty of Cajun spice they are one of my favorite things!  If you don’t know what they are, and, no, they are not lobster, they are Crawfish.  These freshwater shellfish are considered a delicacy throughout Louisiana.

Antoine's Ecrivisses Cardinal ~  Recipe courtesy of Chef Michael Regua of Antoine's, New Orleans:

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Now is the time for Crawfish Etoufee, Crawfish Jambalaya, Crawfish boils and gumbo….the list goes on and on.  Our favorite way to enjoy them is boiled, spicy enough to leave a burn on your lips, with plenty of ice cold beer.  In a boil, like the picture above, you’ll find corn and small new potatoes.  I prefer to have just the crawfish and forego the carbs!  They may look like lobster but the sweet piece of meat you’ll find in the tail has a flavor all its own.

Columbia Street Seafood in Covington, LA is becoming one of our favorite places.  They boil up some of the best crawfish I have ever eaten in the entire state.  It’s not a large place but it is packed with a steady clientele enjoying trays piled with fresh boiled crawfish, crab and even lobster.  It is nothing out of the ordinary to see a line out the door and three deep at the counter.  We prefer to bring our order home, spread the table outdoors with newspaper and pour them out with plenty of sturdy paper towels.

 

 

 

 

In 1983 the governor of Louisiana named these little bits of deliciousness the state Crustacean.  People are serious about their crawfish in this state and I’m one of them.  If you’re interested in what goes in to a crawfish boil scroll down for a recipe.  If you are interested in ordering a few pounds on line go here:  http://www.lacrawfish.com/

Zatarain’s Crawfish Boil

Ingredients
Serves: 20
Directions
1 hrsPrep time1 hrCook time
  • Fill an 80-quart crawfish boiling pot with a basket 1/3 to 1/2 with water. Place pot on a jet-style propane burner on high heat. Add onions, garlic and lemon halves. (You can use a small laundry bag for lemons and garlic. Or just leave the onions in the mesh bag they come in from the grocery with tags removed.)
  • Bring to full rolling boil. Stir in Pro Boil. Add potatoes (in their mesh bag from the grocery or a laundry bag). Reduce heat to medium-low. Boil 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Remove potatoes.
  • Return water to full rolling boil on high heat. Add crawfish, celery, liquid Crab Boil and cayenne pepper, if desired. Return water to full rolling boil on high heat. Start checking doneness just before water returns to full rolling boil. As soon as small gaps start to appear between the head and the tail on the largest crawfish, they are done. Turn off heat. Add frozen corn and cooked potatoes. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove corn and potatoes. Let crawfish stand for a minimum of 30 minutes, but 45 minutes is better.

Let The Good Times Roll Wherever You May Be!

One Of My Favorite Things

cauliflower cheese pie

Comfort food is always one of my favorite things.  Food that makes you feel warm inside and satisfied.  The recipe for Cauliflower Cheese Pie from Mollie Katzen’s original Moosewood Cookbook has been at the top of my list for over thirty years now.  It always turns out perfectly!  A crunchy shredded potato crust and cheesy cauliflower provide the perfect combination.  Add a tossed green salad and you’ve got a great meal.  And don’t forget a good red wine to complete the menu!  The recipe may look like a lot of work but it goes together very quickly so don’t be shy…put it on the menu!

Cauliflower Cheese Pie with Potato Crust Recipe:
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

Potato Crust (see recipe below)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 eggs (or 1 whole egg plus 1 egg white)
1/4 cup milk
Freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black Pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 medium-size cauliflower
1 3/4 cups grated Cheddar cheese, divided
Paprika

Tip: Use your food processor with grating attachment to grate cheese, potato, and onion (In that order). No need to clean your food processor in between ingredients.
Preparation:

Make Potato Crust and bake while you are preparing pie filling mixture.  See below.

Wash, remove core and leaves, trim, and coarsely chop the cauliflower.
In a frying pan over medium heat, heat butter or vegetable oil and then sauté onions, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt for 5 minutes. Add thyme, basil, parsley and cauliflower pieces; cook, covered, for approximately 9 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until cauliflower is tender. Remove from heat.In a small bowl, beat together 1/2 teaspoon salt, eggs, milk, pepper, and paprika: set aside.

Layer the baked potato crust with 1/2 of the grated cheese. Spoon cauliflower mixture over the top of the cheese, then sprinkle with remaining cheese over the top. Pour the milk/egg mixture over the top and lightly dust with paprika.

Bake approximately 35 to 40 minutes until a knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean or until the internal temperature registers 170 to 175 degrees F. on your cooking thermometer.

Remove from oven and serve. Serve either hot or warm.

Makes 1 (9-inch pie) – 4 to 6 servings.

Potato Crust:

straining potatoes2 firmly-packed cups grated raw potatoes
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated onion
Vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Adjust a rack to the middle position and either oil or spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray.

Place raw potatoes in a colander over a large bowl or your sink. Salt potatoes and let set for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water.

In a medium bowl, combine grated grated potatoes, egg white, and onion; mix well. With lightly-floured fingers, pat potato mixture into prepared pie pan, building up the sides of the crust.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown (after the first 20 minutes brush the crust with vegetable oil to crisped it). Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.