Category Archives: Savory

Boiled Peanuts

Growing up in the south is a little weird, you don’t grow up knowing it’s weird, but you quickly figure it out once you travel north of the Carolinas. Take for instance sweet tea, we always, and I do mean always, had a pitcher of sweet iced tea in the fridge growing up. It was one of the first things I learned how to “make” as a child, and lord help you if you had the last glass and forgot to make more. I didn’t know this wasn’t a standard beverage option, until I visited Boston for the first time.

We were at dinner, and I, with out thinking, asked the waiter for sweet tea. He was really confused by my request and we ended up in a five minute conversation with me explaining what this “sweet tea” was. The waiter was really nice about it, he laughed and told me that he’d never heard of making tea that way. He brought me some raspberry tea instead, insisting that it was the northern equivalent. Nothing like sweet tea, but I appreciated the gesture. I had a similar eye-opening moment when one of my favorite bloggers wrote about making, what she had heard was a southern delicacy, boiled peanuts.

Boiled Peanuts Boiled Peanuts 1 Boiled Peanuts 2

1 pound of raw “green” peanuts (not the color green, but fresh raw peanuts)
1/4 cup kosher salt (or 2 Tbsp table salt)
4 cups water
2 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning, smoked paprika, shrimp boil mix, or even star anise (optional)

Thoroughly rinse raw unshelled peanuts in water.Put water, salt, seasoning (if desired), peanuts in a large stockpot. Bring to a low boil. Cover and reduce the heat just enough to maintain a low boil. Boil for 2 to 3 hours or longer (some boil their peanuts all day), until peanuts reach desired level of softness. Drain. Eat up within a couple of days. Boiled peanuts don’t save as well as dry.

Southern, absolutely, but I wouldn’t call boiled peanuts a delicacy. They’re dirt cheap to make, and you can buy them at almost any roadside fruit stand or bait shop across the state, but I guess if you’d never tried them…

Tutorial and images from Wit & Whistle.


Vegetarian Corn Chowder

After that crazy long post yesterday I’ll keep this one short. My friend Rachel made this the last time her vegetarian sister came to visit. AMAZING. You’d be surprised how hard it is to find soups or chowders that don’t use beef or chicken stock as their base. So finding a veggie based chowder and one that doesn’t taste bland? Pretty much made my week.

sweet-corn-chowder2

Corn Chowder

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 red pepper, seeds removed and diced
3 tablespoons minced poblano pepper
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and diced
2 cups vegetable broth
3 ears sweet corn, kernels removed-save the empty cobs to put back in the pot (or 2 cups frozen or canned corn)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Shredded cheddar cheese-optional, for serving

Directions:

1. In a large soup pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the celery, carrot, red pepper, poblano pepper, and potatoes. Add the vegetable broth and empty cobs of corn, if using, and cook until vegetables are tender. This will take about 10 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and milk. Pour mixture into the soup pot. Stir. Add in the corn kernels, thyme, salt, and pepper. Let the soup simmer for 20-30 minutes on the stove.

3. Remove empty cobs of corn, if using, and ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with cheddar cheese, if desired.

Image and recipe from here.


Retriever Retriever, Pumpkin Eater

And yes, I totally stole the title of this post from the original blog Simmer Till Done, it was just to good to pass up. I’ve been thinking of expanding my baking into pet friendly foods, with the holidays coming up I try make sure all of my fuzzy nieces and nephews have a little something special too. Something to help with the tummy troubles that are the result of pilfered snacks, “edible” decorations and over indulgent guest, seem like it might be just the thing. Blogger Marilyn came up with these little biscuits as a way to trick her four year old retriever Cleo into consuming the vet prescribed table spoon of pumpkin. She had a few shots of the patients pitiful reaction to her owner trying to “force” her to eat the vile gunk, this one was my favorite.

Pumpkin!? No! Please? I am adorable and you don’t really want me to eat that. Look, tummy, wanna forget this whole pumpkin mess and give me belly scratches instead?

Hey, whattucha got there? Is that food? For me?

Cleo’s Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons dry milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour *
1 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

In large bowl, whisk together eggs and pumpkin to smooth. Stir in dry milk, sea salt, and dried parsley (if using, optional). Add brown rice flour gradually, combining with spatula or hands to form a stiff, dry dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface (can use the brown rice flour) and if dough is still rough, briefly knead and press to combine.

Roll dough between 1/4 – 1/2″ – depending on your dog’s chew preferences, ask first – and use biscuit or other shape cutter to punch shapes, gathering and re-rolling scraps as you go. Place shapes on cookie sheet, no greasing or paper necessary. If desired, press fork pattern on biscuits before baking, a quick up-and-down movement with fork, lightly pressing down halfway through dough. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn biscuits over, then bake additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on rack before feeding to dog.

* Brown rice flour gives the biscuits crunch and promotes better dog digestion. Many dogs have touchy stomachs or allergies, and do not, like many people I know, tolerate wheat.

Makes up to 75 small (1″) biscuits or 50 medium biscuits

Please note: This is not professional medical advice. These biscuits are a healthy everyday treat, and useful for a dog with a sensitive stomach, or minor digestion issues. If your dog is showing any signs of serious distress, remove all food and contact your veterinarian immediately.

I personally agree with Cleo, pumpkin? Gross! But that just means more pie for the rest of you.

 

Images and recipe from here.


A Very Merry Blogaversary to Me!

That’s right ladies and gents, exactly one year ago today I posted my very first entry on this blog. Why it seems like only yesterday…..okay it really doesn’t, quite the opposite actually, it feels like I’ve been blogging forever. But I do remember how nervous I was, I wouldn’t post anything without making the husband (then fiancé) proof read multiple drafts, and just the formatting alone took an obscene amount of time.  Clearly that has changed, I am a lot more laid back about the whole process, and I know there have been some typos. I got an email from a friend a few days ago telling me how I had made her day by accidentally typing “pants” instead of “plants” in a post about my garden.  Evidently, the idea of me watering my “pants” made her morning a whole lot brighter.

I had considered making myself a cake to commemorate this day, but after work yesterday, the prospect of baking, decorating, and cleaning up after a cake I couldn’t even eat didn’t really appeal to me. So instead I am sharing a recipe I had been reserving for my brother’s birthday. My brother has never been a fan of sweets and this year he very gently requested that neither my mom nor myself force him to eat cake for his birthday. Obviously we completely respect his decision, but after years and years of showing our love for friends and family through baked goods we both wanted to come up with something to mark the occasion. My mom has concocted a super secret birthday food plan that I can not divulge at this time, but here is what I came up with. Smörgåstårta. No, I didn’t drop something on the keyboard, smorgastarta is a Scandinavian savory sandwich/cake that is traditionally served at weddings and birthday parties. Here’s how you make one:

Supplies:

  • bread
  • veggies/cold cuts
  • cream cheese
  • sour cream

Directions:

Slice bread into even layers. Trim crusts to make your desired shape.

Create cake “layers” by topping one piece of the bread with veggies/cold cuts, repeating this step as many times as you deem appropriate. Top with remaining slice of bread.

Create a cream cheese/sour cream mixture with even parts of each ingredient in a quantity sufficient to “frost” your cake. Start at the top and then carefully work around the sides.

Garnish with additional veggies/cold cuts

Slice then enjoy!

Images and recipe from here.


Just One More…

Okay, I know that my last post was about popsicles, but I feel that given the time of year one more post is completely justifiable. To keep things a bit more interesting, today’s popsicles are for individuals 21 and up, with the exception of the mango lassi, that’s for everyone. As adults, we often get the short end of the summer stick (no summer vacation, days of sleeping in, guilt-free ice cream consumption ect.) so every now and again it’s nice to have something that’s just for us.

Recipe via Endless Simmer

Recipe via Bakers Royale

Recipe via Endless Simmer

Recipe via Desserts for Breakfast

The spell of good weather here in Florida seems to be holding. It’s hot, but there is an amazing breeze; and as long as you can find a patch of shade it’s the perfect summer day. This might just be the southerner in me talking, but with this great weather, and my looming dental surgery, I am really craving sweet tea and Bar-B-Q. Mmmmmm, love me some sweet tea.

Images from here.