Mom’s Dressing (stuffing)

~ Shopping List ~

  • Martha White’s white cornmeal mix (you’ll be making 2 9″ skillets for the full recipe)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5-6 slices of white bread
  • Sage (dry)
  • Poultry seasoning
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • Turkey stock (if you are making this with Turkey use the stock generated during cooking.  If not, any stock will work.  You will need enough to make your mixture “soupy” but not so thin that it does not set during baking.)

~ To do ~

  • Make cornbread according to directions on the package (add sugar before cooking).
  • Toast the bread.
  • Crumble the cornbread and bread together into a very large bowl (should resemble bread crumbs).  Add at least 1 tablespoon each of poultry seasoning and sage.  You will adjust to taste later.  Add salt and pepper.  Mix together.

Up to the above points may be done the same day or up to 5 days in advance.  If done in advance, keep refrigerated until ready to use.  Remove from refrigerator enough in advance to bring it to room temperature before baking time.

  • Melt the butter in a frying pan and sweat the onion until transparent.  Add onion and butter to the bread mixture until evenly distributed.
  • Add broth until you reach a firm soupy consistency.
  • Taste the mixture and adjust sage, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper to desire taste.
  • Pour into a large non-stick (or glass) baking dish.  Bake in a low heat oven (in the neighborhood of 350) until brown on top and set.  Normally around 20 minutes.

Serve hot.

Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

gumbo_sangriaWe ran across a similar gumbo on our honeymoon in New Orleans (pre-Katrina).  This recipe is an adaptation of the recipe from the restaurant the Gumbo Shop.

~ Shopping List ~

2 lbs. fresh or frozen shrimp
1/4 lbs. Andouille sausage (or any hot sausage)
3 quarts broth (chicken, beef or vegetable according to your taste)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 quart fresh or frozen okra, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
2/3 cups oil
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 can (16 oz) can chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

rice
baguette

~ What to do ~

Cook okra in a frying pan until ropiness is gone.  Set aside.  If using regular sausage (not Andouille), partially pre-cook and cut on the diagonal.  Set-aside.

Place 2/3 cup oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot.  Add flour over medium-high heat and make a dark roux.  As soon as the roux reaches the desired color, add onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic.  Sauté for 10 minutes (let mixture stick to bottom of pan, then stir, repeat constantly throughout the 10 minutes).  Add tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and peppers.  Repeat the last process for another 10 minutes.  Add okra and repeat again for another 10 minutes.

Add sausage and cook for an additional 2 minutes, then add stock to desired consistency.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.  Add shrimp and simmer until shrimp are cooked through.

You can serve right away, but this dish is best served the next day.  Serve over rice or with a crisp baguette.

 

Jacqueline’s Ragoût

This hearty, traditional Québec dish is always a family favorite.

Shopping List ~

  • water
  • 1 large onion (picked with a fork)
  • 6-8 pork chops (with bone)
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 pack toasted flour
  • pepper (to taste)
  • timbal (a type of bread available in Quebec)

What to do ~

Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way and bring water to a boil.  While waiting, mix beef and pork together and roll into meatballs.  Roll meatballs into toasted flour.

When water reaches boiling, add onion, pork and meatballs.  Cook until pork chops are cooked through.  Once pork chops are cooked, slowly add the remaining toasted flour (to thicken).

Serve over timbal (or accompanied by rolls).

Making this dish a day in advance enhances flavor, but it is equally good served right away.

Recipe graciously provided by my octogenarian mother-in-law.

Broccoli Casserole

No matter where I find myself, this dish always reminds me of home.  Maybe one day I’ll be able to make it like my mom.

~ Shopping List ~

3 cups broccoli
1 medium onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups grated cheese

1 tablespoon butter
2 cups Ritz Crackers

~ What to do ~

Boil or steam broccoli and onion until tender (if boiled, drain water after it is cooked).  While waiting for broccoli to cook, heat butter in frying pan, crush crackers and cook in butter until browned, set aside.  When broccoli is cooked, mix all ingredients except crackers together and pour into  a greased baking dish.  Top with crackers and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.

Do like the spicy side of life?  Try adding a little cayenne with the crackers.

Squash Casserole

~ Shopping List ~

3 cups squash, roughly chopped
2 eggs
1 medium onion
2 cups grated cheese (cheddar)
1 tablespoon milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 tablespoon butter
2 cups Ritz Crackers

~ What to do ~

Boil or steam squash and onion until tender (if boiled, drain water after it is cooked).  While waiting for squash to cook, heat butter in frying pan, crush crackers and cook in butter until browned, set aside.  When squash is cooked, mix all ingredients except crackers together and pour into  a greased baking dish.  Top with crackers and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.

Peanut Butter Cookies

~ Shopping List ~

1/2 cup shortening
1.25 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1.75 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

~ What to do ~

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).  In a medium bowl, cream together shortening, brown sugar and peanut butter until smooth.  Stir in egg, milk and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture.  Roll into small balls, cover in sugar.  Place on un-greased cookie sheet.  Lightly flatten using a fork (creating a cross pattern).  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

Fun alternate:  Form cookies into letters to spell out messages (I love you, Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, etc.)

 

Mama’s Pizza Crust

This simple thin crust is a perfect subtle base for any pizza.

~ Shopping List ~

1 package yeast
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2.5 cups flour

~ What to do ~

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F).  Dissolve yeast in water, add sugar, salt and oil.  Add flour.  Allow dough to rest 5 minutes.  Then knead a few minutes and roll into 2 large crust.

Add sauce and toppings to taste and bake.

 

Italian Bake

~ Shopping List ~

  • 3 lbs chicken breast (cooked and shredded)
  • 6 sausages (cooked), optional
  • 2 jars spagetti sauce
  • 1 lb penne
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese (or italian cheese mix)
  • 500 grams ricotta cheese
  • 300 grams fresh, chopped, cooked spinach
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium bell pepper

~ What to do ~

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Mix all ingredients except mozzarella in bakcing dish.  Top with mozzarella cheese and back at 325 degrees (F) for 45 minutes.