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by on December 1st, 2016

Asian Ramen Crusted Chicken Salad

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Ramen noodles not just for soup.

With one major holiday behind us and another one speeding toward us like an out of control train, who’s not looking for some easy to make. I’m spending most of my time online shopping (as usual) and last night during cyber Monday I was up clicking away at the last minute at 11:00.

I use to buy Ramen noodles by the case when I catered because one of my favorite salads “Crunchy Romaine Toss” (aka Emerald Green Salad) used these as a topping. Toasted in butter either in a skillet or in the oven they add a buttery taste to any salad or even a pretty good snack.

I came across this recipe in Southern Living magazine and the had the chicken one side of the plate and the salad on the other. I added several ingredients to the salad and decided I wanted my chicken chopped up on top of the salad. One thing that I did not do enough was to crush the Ramen noodles. SL recipe said to put it in a food processor; that’s the best way to get a fine crush. I put mine in a plastic bag and beat it to death; but they did not get smallenough.

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by on November 25th, 2016

Smoked Cured Egg Yolk

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A new culinary adventure!

Ok, so this isn’t much of an adventure but more of a “what else do I have to do with my time anyway” now that Thanksgiving is over and you are sick of looking at food.

My son, Scott, is always sending me some interesting food recipes to try; like his 24 hour No Knead Breadb or gravlax and now these cured egg yolks.

Like Scott, I didn’t want to waste a bunch of eggs the first time I tried making this yellow ball that looks like a dried apricot when you are done with it at the end of a long week. So at the end of this week, I had only one yolk to show for my 168 hours of watching and waiting and I grated it carefully not wanting to waste one speck of this yolk over some smoked salmon and sour cream that I put on top of my Herbed pizzelle. I can’t say that I thought it tasted any different than an egg but it was so pretty grated; like a big puffy pile of yellow.

Salt curing is the oldest method of food preservation that simply involves covering food with mixture of sugar and salt to draw out the moisture of the food. This method changes the egg yolk to a firm little flatten yolk that has the consistency of parmesan cheese; put it on your veggies (I tried some roasted asparagus), salads or spaghetti carbonara. Maybe put the grated yolk in your compound butter or wouldn’t it be wonderful on top of some avocado toast.

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by on November 19th, 2016

Pumpkin Biscotti with Chocolate and Pumpkin Seeds

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Pumpkin and Chocolate were made for each other.

Don’t you just love Thanksgiving and all the special dishes that you, your mother, or even your grandmother make each year.

We all have our favorites. Just give me turkey, dressing, giblet gravy, and cranberry sauce (even the canned variety will satisfy me) and I’m good.

My friend Peggy has to make her husbands favorite cranberry salad every year or he would be boycotting dinner. My friend Linda has to do turkey whether they are at home or at a campsite and they spent Thanksgiving one year camping in freezing temperatures. And, my friend Janet reminded me of one of my favorites which I always forget — pimento cheese stuffed celery.

I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie but I love my Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins or my Pumpkin Bread Pudding and if you are looking for a breakfast treat over the Thanksgiving holidays, please try my pumpkin biscotti.

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by on November 14th, 2016

Grits, Greens, and Egg

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Get your greens early in the day.

Do you get enough greens everyday? Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. With this recipe you can get some greens with your breakfast.

Originally I had planned on using fresh baby kale and sautéing it and putting that around my grits. But, the morning I made this I went to the refrig to grab my bag of greens and it wasn’t there. I forgot I used it a couple nights earlier to make my pork and kale dish. Luckily I had a bag of frozen spinach in my freezer.

I’m probably the only person reading this post that actually likes canned spinach. I always have a few cans in my pantry and always have some in the freezer and still buy fresh spinach when I want it in a salad.

This recipe turned out really good and looks oh so good in a bowl or plate. I love dishes like this one that combines a lot of flavor and fits neatly in a bowl. The bacon adds the saltiness you want, creamy cheese grits go so well with the spinach and the perfectly fried egg I did in my little pan I brought back from France makes the perfectly composed plate. And you’ll notice the grated yellow stuff on top of the egg. Well, that’s my cured egg yolk that took me 6 days to make. (More on that in another post.)

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by on November 9th, 2016

Calico Shrimp Dip

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Add this to Bubba’a list of shrimp things.

Bubba from Forrest Gump has nothing on me; how he can rattle off his list of ways to cook shrimp and eat it. Well, I can bake it, broil it, stir-fry it, sauté it, sushi it and fry it. I can serve you shrimp gumbo, a shrimp and corn chowder, a shrimp taco wrap a shrimp pintxos (tapas), stuffed into a pasta shell or an avocado cup. How about a Red Chard and Shrimp Artichoke Stir-fry or maybe coconut shrimp wontons or even some Crispy Salt and Pepper shrimp where you can eat the shells. Ya can get by without looking at my Honey Walnut Shrimp or my Shrimp Mussels Clams and Linguini; those are some of my best.

I had bought these beautiful jumbo (really huge jumbos) shrimp on sale one week and was waiting to use them for a simple shrimp cocktail and the more I looked at these I was trying to talk myself out of chopping them up for this dip just because they were at least a 3 bite shrimp and it seemed a shame to turn them into a dip. But company was coming and I wanted to make a few appetizers for the evening.

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