All posts filed under: Appetizers

As Thick As Pea Soup

Our 3 year-old back up chest freezer gave up the ghost and died today. It’s an irritation. Not entirely because the thing stopped working… things happen. It is because A.) It wasn’t that old. and, B.) I have to replace it with another like kind of inexpensive machinery. and, C.) I have to go through all the stored bits and bags of veg, meat, stock bones, Parmesan rind, citrus zest, extra egg whites – and the like… and decide what I’m going to keep and what to trash. and then, D.) Do the same thing in the Main Freezer to make room for everything I can’t live without. I had 6 packages of frozen Green Peas in the freezer….. I don’t know why. Since I wasn’t going to throw them away… and I really needed that real estate in the working freezer for a large hen I bought on special (I wasn’t about to trash perfectly good protein, either), I figured it was time for some Spring Pea Soup When I was a kid, The Magic Pan …

Make mine Deep Fried… with a side of deep fried

Everyone in the world makes fun of people from the South. It hasn’t helped much that every.. single.. food program wants to do a segment on what us silly Southerners are deep frying this time. It’s hurtful. Why not talk about any number of the world-class chefs that operate out of the South, or that we do killer oyster roasts, or that our pecan pies and banana pudding can make you lose your religion… No. They want to talk about chicken frying things that really shouldn’t be fried – be it steak, Snickers Bars, those nuclear fallout surviving cream-filled cakes, or dill pickles. I really came late to the fried pickle party. Although they’ve been around in the South since the mid 60’s, it was something I just never encountered. That is, until 1989 when I spent 2 weeks at a conference in Memphis, TN. I had my pickle induction at B.B. King’s on Beale Street. Super sour, salty, greasy-fried dill pickle chips…. people were scarfing them up like popcorn. So I figured… when in Rome… I have …

Shandy Glazed Spare Ribs

Shandy – typically, a wheat beer with lemon / lime soda mixed into it. So, one day while sorting through a “mix-ur-own-6pk” allotment at the market, I came across several different makers of shandys –  I threw in a couple to try out. I know why I thought I’d like it. Back when everyone lived in the forest, we ran a German Deli. It was a great place… lots of sandwiches, a gluttony of sausages, and beer…. all kinds… nothing American. Of the many offerings was a Hefeweizen – a wheat beer cloudy from the heady yeast sediment still present in the bottle. We drank it sometimes with a little raspberry syrup added to the bottom of the glass just before pouring. But, more often than not, it was served with a couple of lemon wedges to be squeezed into the effervescent beverage. It’s still my favorite way to drink beer. If we call hefeweizen with lemon the prettiest girl at the sweet sixteen party, then we have to refer to a shandy as the ogre that …

Wing It! – Asian Spiced Chicken Wings

Sooo… did you all do your homework and read yesterday’s post about sorghum syrup? good… let’s move on. I’ve always had this funny thing about chicken wings. Not particularly because we ate them all that much at home. I mean… they came attached to the chicken, but buying a package of wings? That never happened. A package of minimal meat anything had no place on the table…. We were human vacuums. Feeding us a pile of wings for dinner just meant that we’d be raiding the fridge later that night for some else to eat.  Jane hated it when we raided the fridge and made damned sure we were suitably filled with protein so that didn’t occur. But, I remember an episode of Galloping Gourmet.. I guess from the late 60’s…  (so you know, it was on in the daytime, so that meant we had to be home sick from school, or spring break, or summer vacation… so it wasn’t an all the time kind of thing)  where he made this chicken wing dish. I’ve tried …

Party with a Pretty Dress – Appetizers

We’re back for round 2 of the wedding menu. this time, it’s the appetizers. I generally consider appetizers and hors d’oeuvres that food that no one really eats because they all amped up from the ceremony and sun – and they really just want to dig into dinner…. but: a), It has to look nice in case there’s any photos taken and b), It has to taste good in case someone needs a little somthin-somethin to cut the voluminous amounts of wine they’ve consumed. and c), I still had dietary concerns to keep in mind – so additional friendly food just flushes out the menu. The recipes you see below will be slightly different that those at the reception… and I’ll explain why: I’ll be honest, I wasn’t happy at all with the original wrappers for the tuna or any of the gluten free crackers. It’s not their fault, but gluten free crispy things end up being a little odd texture-wise once they get moist. And, in general, they just aren’t all that exciting. The original idea for the …

Copper River Wild Salmon – King and Fresh Pea Pesto Pizza

I told you last week I was going to do it… There’s a couple of reasons for this: One – King Salmon has a super high fattiness to it, so it lends itself extremely well to quick, high heat cooking. and Two – it’s really… really expensive. So to keep you from passing out at the market trying to buy enough to feed 4 people, I decided to come up with several ways to use a little and get a lot out of your Copper River King Salmon. The omelette the other night used 3 ounces for 2 people, and tonight we’re only using 4 ounces for 4 to 8 people (depending if you’re doing the pizza as an appetizer or entree.) – so, with just under a half pound of fish, we’ve successfully fed 6 people. That’s a winner, winner fishy dinner any day in my book. So, the pizza. You’re going to read below that this is one of those french-bread-dough-in-a-tubes. Don’t be hatin’. It actually makes a stupid good crust, and I’m all about …

Mad Dogs, Englishmen and a Lump of Cream Cheese

Back in my younger, unsupervised days, I lived a little too close to the fire. The weekend would hit, we’d scrape off the trappings of reasonable professional people, and we’d drink. With friends in the bar business and friends in the food business… we used to drink…a lot. We’d begin the night with a late-ish dinner…and a couple of bottles of wine, head over to The Little 5 Points Pub, meander our way to the Star Bar, hit each of our own respective establishments, then out to Copperfield’s and invariably wind up at a Brit’s, named John, house (only because he could out-drink the British Army… and he had cool crap to play with..and some really comfy sofas to crash in)…trying to outdo each other in cocktail creations. Cocktails disolved into arguments, arguments eroded into a growling, drunken stupor…and we’d pass out. good times…..yeah…. John was a gracious host, always accommodating.. so every Sunday morning we were there, he had his patented “after the fall” hangover cure / appetizer out…. a block of cream cheese …

Curb Market Crawl – Groundnuts

Groundnuts – Goober Peas – Hillbilly Caviar… Peanuts. I headed out Hwy 52 West towards Elijay to check in on R & A Orchards. I had heard through the market crawler grapevine that they still might have a decent stock of late season vegetables in supply. Unfortunately, I had gotten some bad information. It had pretty much been picked over except for the usual fall apple selection (of which there are ample apples), some mountain cabbage (flatter heads with a good sized core) and big knocker bags of raw peanuts! A little let down, I decided to pick up some of each (I chose Jona Gold Apples – there will be an apple post this week) and head home. But not before I quieted my unhappiness with a big sack of their yumm-o-licious fried pies…seriously good fried pies. They are crisp, perfectly cooked, and stuffed to bursting with decadent fillings. All the way home I started to think about what I could do different with the peanuts. I like using ingredients in unconventional ways, and …

Shell Game

There’s an old joke –“You know how to win at the Shell Game?”“Ask someone to play.” It’s an old con – A flimsy card table on the street corner. A man of questionable repute stacking and unstacking, twirling and spinning the shells, giving you a peek of where the pea is – but his hands never really stopping long enough to fully register which shell was which… It’s a no-win situation and he always gets your dollar. We’re doing a Shell Game today – 3 Shells… and a Pea. So get out your wrinkled dollars and let’s play! Ever since I was a kid and going out to dinner, I’ve been fascinated with seafood served in little mock shells. Even as a child, I found it a beautiful presentation – even if it was a stainless steel scallop shell. And when I was little, no one did tacky serving dishes better than Red Lobster. I loved the old Red Lobster. I loved herding in to the waiting corral, watching the tropical fish and staring, for …