Month: July 2011

All That Lemony Goodness #7 – Chicken with Radicchio, Lemons and Olives

I’m always on the hunt for a good stew. And these past two weeks, with mom in the hospital with a heart attack – family pouring in to lend their aid and support – and a whole lotta mouths to feed, a good savory, chicken-y stew seemed just the ticket. And, if I can throw in a little lemon to brighten the day….even better. I was rummaging through one of Dahlonega’s many ahem “antique” stores recently and picked up a copy of  Braises and Stews – Everyday Slow-Cooked Recipes, by Tori Ritchie. Chronicle Books, LLC (2006) at a damaged book sale recently on a whim. Show me braise or stew – and you’ve got my attention anyway…. regardless what the actual book brings to the table. But Tori’s cookbook is just a wealth of slow cooking heaven. When I decided to make her Chicken with Escarole, Lemons and Olives – I knew I would make a few changes. I actually had a head of radicchio in the fridge going limp-ish… so it really needed to …

Gluten Free / Dairy Free “Sour Cream” Brownies

There is a couple I know that each time we talk, it seems there is yet another food ingredient that gets added to their ever-growing list of allergies. I know from allergies. You’ve read in the past that later in my dad’s life, he became sensitive, allergic and down right toxic to several common everyday foods. It became a constant and vigilant effort to read every ingredient for the assaulting foods in his list just to make sure that some innocuous corn by-product or nut wasn’t going to shut down his neuro transmitters and transport him into a near Alzheimer state. It became necessary to create work-arounds for a lot of the things he liked to eat, because I am a firm believer that just because you “can’t” have something you love, doesn’t mean that I “shouldn’t” find a way to make something else taste like it. When Tracy and Ken let me know that their food allergies were on the rise, I felt it was my duty to find ways to make their life …

Curb Market Crawl – White Cucumbers

White, Jack Frost or Armenian all refer to the same thing, White Cucumbers. Though not truly white, for a garden vegetable, it’s probably as white as you’ll see. They are a small-ish, fine seeded fruit with a milder, almost lemony flavor and none of the bitterness you tend to find in most of the heirloom pickling varieties. On my daily tromp back and forth to the hospital last week, I stopped in  a a curb market called the Ugly Tomato in Murrayville on my way to Gainesville. Like most cub markets this time of year, they were bursting at the seams with tomatoes and squash. But over in the corner I spied a small basked of yellow tipped white cucumbers. Now, they’re not the prettiest girl at the ball, but I figured they were worth at least a spin in the kitchen. I decided to rework a Hungarian style cucumber salad for the little cukes. I cut back on the pepper and paprika and added a little hot sauce to amp up the heat a …

Rat Tat Tooie!

Normally, if someone says “Vegetable Stew”, my color palls, I get the shakes..and immediately lose my appetite. It’s not that I have some odd aversion to vegetables, far from it, it’s just the particular dish that is resident deep in my psyche that causes me ill. And I have Mama Fodder to thank for that. Four hungry kids, a tight food budget and a serious deficit in the meat purchasing department that week, prompted mom to chop up a HEAP of non complimentary vegetables, toss them in a pot, add some stock, cook it up and call it dinner. She meant well… And we all know about a particular road to hell… This one was paved with inedible vegetable stew. Bless her heart, we never let her live it down. It became the benchmark by which all her meals were judged. “Is it good? well… at least it’s better than the vegetable stew…” But I digress…. Back to the stew… I probably should admit at this point that I AM the target audience for subliminal …

Mr. Mango on my Shoulder

That.. or just a very large fruity monkey on my back. I keep looking at the big bag of mango pulp in the freezer and I’ve decided it’s about damned time I did something with it. So everyone join in on the mango parade. First up… Mango Pots de Creme (Lactose Free Version) Makes 6 1/2 Cup Servings Ingredients 2 Large Eggs 2 Egg Yolks 1/2 Cup Mango Puree 1/2 Teaspoon Grated Orange Rind 1/2 Cup Coconut Creme 1/2 Cup Lactose Free Milk 6 – 1/2 Cup Ramekins 1 Large Roasting Pan Whisk Large Mixing Bowl Water Preheat oven to 350 degrees In the bowl, whisk coconut creme, milk, and eggs until a creamy texture appears. Mix in mango puree and orange rind . Set aside. Divide custard evenly among the six ramekins or custard cups. Pour hot water into roasting pan to come half way up sides of custards. Bake for about 40 minutes or until set. Remove custards from pan. Allow to cool slightly. Cover each custard with plastic wrap and chill until …

Simple Dinner Sunday – Lobster & Crab Salad

Back a couple of weeks ago, we pick up two of those pre-cooked chicken lobsters from the market with plans of doing lobster night. Although I really wasn’t expecting Lobster Bar quality, I did think they would be edible. They weren’t – they were stale, chewy, watery… just plain overcooked. Like good soldiers, we plowed through them…after all we had spent the money on them. This week we tried again, except we only bought 2 good fresh lobster tails… not precooked. Since they were still small-ish, we thought a better use of them would be to make a pasta salad to get the maximum lobster flavor out of the little tails. As it stood, they still weren’t quite enough meat, so we added a can of lump crab meat to the mix to flush things out. It was stellar! So today’s Simple Dinner Sunday offering is : Lobster and Crab Pasta Salad Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients 2 Lobster Tails 1 6 Ounce Can Lump Crab Meat – Drained 1/2 Cup Fresh Peas 1/2 Cup …

All That Lemony Goodness #6 – Chicken Piccata

 Pucker Up Buttercup! Back when I first started going out to dinner (as an adult), I got hooked on veal piccata. Wherever I went, whatever the city, I scoured the menu searching for those three magic words – Butter – Lemon – Capers .. the trifecta of culinary nirvana. I didn’t’ realize that I had become so fixated on it, until I until people began to cancel dinner dates…the restaurants they knew don’t have veal piccata on the menu “We know how you get….” This Spring,  while I was spending time as a guest chef at the beach, I was going through my usual Q&A as to their likes and dislikes. And as they are ticking off the list … (beef, tuna, shrimp, blah…blah…Butter… blah) admittedly, I tend to zone out (cress, almondblah,zzzzzz, Capers, zzzz, Lemon..  (huh?)) The trifecta! “How do you feel about veal piccata?” “Well, we don’t do veal…you know.. (baby cow faces), but chicken would be good.” Now, poultry in general, is as good as veal in any situation. Once in the …

Millions of Peaches

Even though I’m still working my way through the pile – o – peaches I bought a while ago… I bought some more…. I can’t help it and it really wasn’t entirely my fault. You can blame R & A Orchards in Ellijay… or rather, I can… and will. With 5 different varieties of sweet, fuzzy globes growing in their very own orchards – the air is saturated with eau de pêchers.. and it pulls me in every time. I just have to go in and rub my hands over the velvety little domes. Think of it as a million little baby heads – all bathed in peach shampoo. In the South, fresh, tree-ripened peaches scream summer, and when we were kids peaches and cream was the quintessential peach dessert. However, too many friends are lactose intolerant so cool peaches swimming in sweetened heavy cream is out of the question. I thought I could sub out the heavy cream with Coconut Cream (since the fat content ends up being about the same) and transporting the …