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  • Have a Spooky Halloween!

    Cheddar Witches Fingers - Cheese straws in the shape of fingers, complete with a black almond "finger nail." Delicious and totally spooky.

    Candy Apples - You don't need to go to the fair to get my favorite treat because you can make these at home. Black food coloring gives them a festive touch.

    Pumpkin Caramel Sauce - Having a not-so-scary Halloween party? Serve ice cream with this pumpkin infused caramel sauce on top.

Monthly Archives: January 2009

Cornmeal Fried Onion Rings

When I saw this recipe for onion rings, I knew I had to try it. With the seasonings in the flour and the inclusion of cornmeal, I just had a feeling these would be delicious. Not only were they delicious, they were perfect! The batter was exactly the way I like it, light and crisp, and the seasoned flour gave them such a great flavor. I don’t foresee trying another onion ring recipe for a very long time, if ever. That’s how good this one is.

We dipped this in the Creole Remoulade Sauce from the last post, and it went perfectly with the onion rings. Of course, Eric would have been fine with ketchup, but I’m not a ketchup person. The remoulade was perfect for these.

Eric, being the wonderful husband he is, did all the frying. :)

Cornmeal Fried Onion Rings
1 large yellow or Spanish onion
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tabasco (or other hot sauce) to taste, but at least a teaspoon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (medium) yellow cornmeal
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
4 to 6 cups vegetable or peanut oil

-Slice off the top and root ends of the onion or onions and carefully peel off the brown skin, then slice into 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick slices and separate them into rings.
-In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and the Tabasco.
-Add the onions and, using your hands, toss well to make sure everything is coated.
-Place the in the refrigerator and let marinate for 20 minutes, up to several hours.
-In a separate, wide and shallow bowl, combine the flour, corn meal, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the cayenne and the thyme. Set aside.
-When you are ready to fry the onion rings, preheat the oven to 200° and line a large baking sheet with paper towels.
-Pour the oil into a dutch oven or large pot and attach a candy thermometer to the side.
-Heat until the oil is 350°, adjusting the heat level to maintain a constant temperature.
-One at a time, lift a ring out of the buttermilk and place in the seasoned flour and cornmeal mixture.
-Gently dredge them and then place on a rimmed baking sheet.
-Continue until all the onion rings have been coated.
-Working in batches, drop some of the onion rings into the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pot.
-Fry until golden brown, flipping every so often with a pair of tongs.
-Once the onion rings are cooked, remove from the oil and place on the baking sheet lined with paper towels and place in the oven to stay way while you continue cooking the rest.
-They should remain crisp in the oven for 30 minutes.

Source: Well Fed

Panko Crusted Crab Cakes with Creole Remoulade

This was my very first time cooking seafood. I’m not really a big fish person, but I do like crab. That being said, I figured crab cakes would be a safe place to start. These were utterly delicious. The panko lends a light, crisp coating to the crab cakes. The texture of these is just wonderful, too. I think the celery gave them the extra crunch on the inside that made them so delicious.

Try these; you won’t be disappointed! We served ours with remoulade, and it made a perfect accompaniment to the crab cakes (and the onion rings we had with them).

Panko Crusted Crab Cakes
12 ounces shelled cooked crab
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 1/4 cups panko
Fresh chives, rinsed and cut into 1-inch lengths

-Sort through crab and discard any bits of shell.
-In a large bowl, combine celery, minced chives, mayonnaise, egg, mustard, and hot sauce; mix well with a fork.
-Add crab and 1/4 cup panko; stir gently just to mix.

-Put remaining 1 cup panko in a shallow bowl.
-Shape crab mixture into 24 cakes, each about 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. (Ours were larger than this because we weren’t going for bite-size.)
-Turn each cake in panko to coat on all sides, pressing gently to make crumbs adhere.
-Place cakes slightly apart in an oiled 12- by 17-inch baking pan.

-Bake in a 475° regular or convection oven until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes.
-With a spatula, transfer crab cakes to a platter.
-Garnish platter with fresh chives.
-Serve hot.

Source: My Recipes

Creole Remoulade Sauce
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions (green and white parts)
1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons Creole or other whole-grain mustard
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

-Combine all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until fairly smooth, about 30 seconds.
-Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. (The sauce will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator.)

Yield: 2 cups

Source: Emeril Lagasse

Garlic and Cheddar Biscuits

I am one of those people that will eat just about anything that has garlic in it. When we make any type of garlic bread, it usually involves a loaf of crusty French or Italian bread, fresh garlic and butter. Wanting to try something new for a change, I decided to give these garlic and cheddar biscuits a try.

While I was putting the batter together, I made the mistake of pouring the melted butter in (it’s supposed to go on top). I had all my ingredients out and wasn’t even paying attention. I thought the recipe was ruined. Not wanting to waste the ingredients, I added a little flour to the batter to get it back to the right consistency. Much to my surprise, these turned out wonderfully! I definitely plan on making them again (the right way, ha)!

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits or Cheesy Garlic Biscuits
2 cups of buttermilk biscuit mix (like Bisquick or Jiffy mix)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon garlic salt

-Preheat the oven to 400°.
-Combine the biscuit mix, cheese, and garlic powder. Stir well.
-Add the milk and stir. The mix should be thick, not sticky. You may need to use your hands to get the ingredients well combined.
-Bake for 10 minutes of until lightly golden.
-While baking, melt the butter in a small bowl and add the oregano and garlic salt.
-Using a pastry brush, brush on the butter.
-Return to the oven for about 5 minutes.
-Serve warm from the oven and enjoy!

Source: As seen on Stephanie Cooks,
originally from Joyful Abode

Pappardelle with Caramelized Onions and Parmesan

My wonderful friend Star gave me her last two issues of Everyday Food, and I saw this wonderful recipe in one of them. We picked up some wonderful garlic and chive pappardelle at the Farmers’ Market last weekend, and I was so excited to try this recipe.

This dish is simple, yet delicious. I never would have thought to put caramelized onions with pasta, but it’s really a great combination. The onions have a really sweet flavor that is perfectly balanced by the woody, nutty flavor of the Parmesan. We made garlic bread with a loaf of Italian bread (also from the Farmers’ Market) to serve with this. It was a simple and perfect weeknight meal. Also, the leftovers made a great lunch the next day.

Papparedelle with Caramelized Onions and Parmesan

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 package (8.8 ounces) pappardelle pasta or 8 ounces fettuccine
2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler

-In a large skillet, heat oil over medium.
-Add onions and thyme; season with salt and pepper.
-Cover, and cook, without stirring, until onions have released their liquid, about 5 minutes.
-Uncover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes more.
-When bottom of skillet darkens, add a few tablespoons water, and scrape up browned bits with a wooden spoon (you may need to do this 2 or 3 times).

-Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
-When onions have about 10 minutes left to cook, add pasta to water in pot, and cook until al dente.
-Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot.

-Add onions and butter to pasta in pot; season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. -Gradually add enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta.
-Serve pasta topped with Parmesan.

Source: Everyday Food

Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Turkey Burgers

Eric and I have grown quite fond of turkey burgers. I hesitated to try them for so long because I only read bad things about them (how dry and bland they are). These turkey burgers are nothing like that, and they give regular hamburgers a run for their money. The herbed goat cheese is really key to this recipe. The herbs really give the turkey some oomph. The goat cheese really imparts a lot of juiciness to the burger, and the caramelized onions take it to the next level. In fact, these taste so good that I didn’t even need any condiments. We served these with baked potato wedges.

Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Turkey Burgers
1 lb. lean ground turkey
3 ounces herbed goat cheese, crumbled
1 large Vidalia onion
1 tablespoon olive oil

-In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
-Add onions and season with salt and pepper.
-Cover and cook, without stirring, about 5 minutes.
-Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are a deep golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
-While the onions are cooking, place the ground turkey and goat cheese in a medium bowl.
-Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
-Mix with hands until the goat cheese is incorporated into the turkey.
-Form into four 3/4 inch patties. (We actually ended up with three thicker patties.)
-Grill over medium heat, turning once about halfway through, until internal temperature reaches 160°.

Source: Inspired by a recipe in Publix Greenwise Market