Sunday, July 20, 2014

Scenes from my Pantry: Succotash of Fresh Corn, Lima beans, and Onions

We have been trying to eat down the refrigerator and pantry this past week.  Made a delicious summer succotash with lima beans, corn, onion, garlic, and garden tomatoes.  I am reminded how much better my body would feel if I ate simple, healthy dishes like this one more often.


Succotash of Fresh Corn, Lima Beans, Tomatoes and Onions
Makes 6 Servings
Recipe from Epicurious



Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
Coarse kosher salt
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 cups chopped red tomatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds)
2-1/4 cups corn kernels cut from 4 ears of corn ( preferabley 2 ears of white corn, 2 ears of yellow corn)
2 cups fresh lima beans or 10-11 ounces of frozen lima beans or baby butter beans, thawed
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Directions:
Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and sprinkle with coarse salt.  Saute until  soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, corn, and lima beans.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover,  and simmer until corn and lima beans are tender and tomatoes are soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add basil.  Serve.  

Note: Can be done 1 day ahead.  Cover and chill. Rewarm and serve.

Enjoy!


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Savoring the Season: Summer Berry Bread Puddings

This is a summer bread pudding that is dressed to impress.  There is nothing complicated here.  The season's berries are peaking and they steal the show here in this easy to prepare bread pudding.



You may want to skip the main entree and go right to dessert


Berry Bread Puddings
Serves 8
Recipe from Epicurious


Ingredients:
8 cups of bread, cubed or torn into 1-1/2-inch pieces
4 cups mixed berries, such as blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, or blueberry (in any combination)
8 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 cups half and half
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
powdered sugar for dusting

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Prepare eight invidiual soufflé  ups ( 1-cup capacity) with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the berries to distribute evenly.  In another bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk or electric mixer on low speed until frothy.  Add the sugar and beat until well blended.  Add the half and half, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and continue beating on low speed until well blended.  Fill soufflé cups with bread and berry mixture, mounding it a bit on top.  Pour egg mixture over the bread and berries, filling evenly to the rim.

Place the soufflé cups in a large ovenproof baking dish and pour boiling water into the dish until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the soufflé cups.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick placed in the center of the puddings comes out clean.  remove from oven and allow to cool.  These can be made one day ahead; simply refrigerate overnight and serve at room temperature.  Just before serving, dust each top with powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sunday Supper: Good Old Fashioned Fried Chicken

There is no rhyme or reason, why southern comfort foods have recently taken up residence in my head, it started with peach cobbler and now….well, it has drifted off to fried chicken.  


Maybe it is the sizzling sound, the crispy skin or maybe it is the comfort of the flavorful fat.




I needed a good old fashioned basic recipe-nothing complicated.  My sister said, to check with dad, he has a good fried chicken recipe that he makes in his cast-iron skillet, and finishes it off in the oven.

The finished dish has taken aspects of what I have been told is my dad's recipe and added a twist and a turn of my own.  A twist, soaking the chicken in buttermilk really adds to the level of moisture.  The turn, skipped the finishing off in the oven, mostly, because I am lazy.

The result. Easy and uncomplicated. My dad if he tasted it,  I think he would say it was pretty good.



Old Fashioned Fried Chicken
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
8-10 pieces chicken
1 cup self rising flour
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
2 cups buttermilk
Oil for frying (peanut, vegetable or canola works fine)

Directions:
1.  Place chicken pieces in a plastic container and cover with buttermilk.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2.  Drain chicken in a colander.

3.  Place first six ingredients in a ziploc or other plastic bag (flour through paprika).  Shake to blend.

4.  Dredge chicken in seasoned flour and shake off excess.  Place floured chicken pieces on a cookie sheet.

5.  Add enough oil to create about 1/2-inch in a large skillet (cast iron works best).  Heat oil to 325 degrees.

6.  Place chicken skin side down into pan.  Cook chicken untl golden brown about 10-12 minutes per side. 

7.  Drain chicken on a sheet pan with a rack.  Season with salt while hot.  

Serve and enjoy!