Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
- Cheddar cheese, shredded
- Mayonnaise (Dukes is THE only mayonnaise in my opinion!)
- Jarred roasted peppers, chopped
- Olives, chopped
- Hot Sauce (Cholula rocks my world)
- Fresh cracked black pepper
Mix it all together:
You have probably noticed that I don't give measurements. That is because you really don't need them. You can make this with any amount of cheese you have on hand, though you will probably want to use at least one 8 oz block to start with.
Put cheese in a mixing bowl and add a little bit of mayonnaise to bind. Stir, if it seems dry, just add a bit more.
Next I add the chopped pepper (pimento) and olives. For 8 oz cheese, I use about 1 whole pepper from a jar of roasted peppers. Adjust to your taste. This also goes for the amount of olives you use. I just use a few olives to enhance the flavor, but not overwhelm the taste of the cheese mixture.
Once the pimento and olives have been mixed in, add a few dashes of hot sauce and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Mix well.
At this point, some like to process the mixture in a food processor to blend into a smooth mixture and create more of a uniform taste. I like to keep mine rugged. The good thing about Pimento Cheese is that there really is no right or wrong way of making it, add or omit what suits your taste buds. I've seen many recipes that call for chopped dill pickles or absolutely no extra add ins at all. In true Southern fashion, just have fun with it and enjoy!
What to do with Pimento Cheese?
Pimento Cheese is traditionally used as a sandwich spread. In fact, the Pimento Cheese sandwich is the official food of the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Served with a little chopped sweet onion and some watercress, this is a sandwich even non-sandwich lovers can't resist. You could also use it as a dip for chips, or even top a steak with it.
A new favorite of ours is to have it on a pulled pork sandwich. You'll have to excuse the quality of my photos (or lack there of), my priority was getting to the main event of delighting my taste buds:The next night we had it on a burger. That was divine! Seriously divine. My one tip would be to put the cheese on the top of the bun, then add lettuce, tomato, pickle, etc. so that the cheese does not come in direct contact with the burger. I put the cheese directly on the burger and the heat from the meat melted the cheese, causing most to run off. Yum, can't wait to try that again!
One of our favorite places to visit is the Palace Saloon. The Palace Saloon proudly boasts itself as being Florida's oldest continually operating saloon, serving suds under that name since 1903.
The interior completely fits in with the Victorian exterior feel of Centre Street. The staff and local patrons are very warm and welcoming, making you feel completely at home.
My main goal for the day was to stop and buy some boiled peanuts from a roadside stand on the way home. Jane's trip wasn't going to be complete without trying the Southern staple of boiled peanuts. While I've never been a fan, it had been 20+ years since I had tried them so thought it would be fun to experience them together. On the way up we had passed a few stands, some of which advertised spicy boiled peanuts. As a lover of all foods spicy, I thought this might make a more palatable option. Our wait was over when a man entered the saloon with a basket selling none other than spicy boiled peanuts!
At first bite, Jane wasn't completely convinced. Its mainly getting over the initial sock of the texture, being softer like a bean instead of crunchy like we're used to eating peanuts. After a few bites, we were all hooked. They were amazing*. The heat level was just right: enough to compliment the peanut but not too hot. Between the four of us we happily polished off the bag.
We liked them so much that we flagged the man down that was selling them and bought some more to take home with us. If you are in the Centre Street area of Fernandina Beach, be on the lookout for this man and give his spicy boiled peanuts a try, you'll be glad you did!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Noon rolled around and we were in search of somewhere to eat. While on the way to a place on 3rd Street I wanted to try, our noses were treated to the most heavenly, smokey BBQ smell. It was a good thing the place I wanted to go to was closed for the day, as it gave us no choice but to follow our noses back to the Happy Tomato Cafe...
The cafe itself is in a small wooden building with an outside deck...
The sandwich was so filling there is no way I could have eaten anything else. Sitting outside on a sunny day with great company was the icing on the cake. I can't wait to go back!
The Happy Tomato Courtyard Cafe & BBQ
7 S. 3rd St, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
- 1 & 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup shortening (yes, I know it is horrible for you - but you really must use it)
- 1 egg - well beaten
- 1 cup mashed bananas (I find that 3 come to exactly 1 cup. Also, I use a pastry cutter to mash - easiest way that I have found to mash bananas.)
- 1 & 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 package of chocolate bits
Sift together flour, sugar, soda, salt, and spices.
Cut in shortening.
Add egg, bananas, rolled oats, and chocolate bits.
Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400F, about 15 minutes. (12 minutes in my oven)
Makes about 3 dozen.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
The basic batter and the fillings for these delectable little desserts can be varied endlessly simply by adding different flavorings and colorings; for starters, there's chocolate, coconut, peanut, pistachio, raspberry, and vanilla bean.
Makes 35 macaroons.
1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
2 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam, for filling
Chocolate: Substitute 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder for 1/4 cup of the almond flour.
Coconut: Substitute 2 tablespoons desiccated unsweetened coconut for 2 tablespoons of the almond flour, and add 1/2 teaspoon rum; sprinkle with additional coconut before baking.
Peanut: Substitute an equal amount finely ground unsalted peanuts (peanut flour) for the almond flour.
Pistachio: Substitute 1/2 cup finely ground unsalted pistachios (pistachio flour) for 1/2 cup of the almond flour, and add 2 to 3 drops forest-green gel-paste food coloring.
Raspberry: Add 1 tablespoon fresh raspberry puree, strained, plus 3 to 4 drops dusty- rose gel-paste food coloring.
Vanilla Bean: Add 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use.
SUGGESTED FILLINGS FOR MACAROONS
Chocolate: Chocolate Ganache
Coconut: 1 cup Swiss Meringue Buttercream, mixed with 1/3 cup angel-flake coconut.
Peanut: Chocolate Ganache, or store-bought dulce de leche, jam, or peanut butter.
Pistachio: 1 cup Swiss Meringue Buttercream, mixed with 1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios.
Raspberry: 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam.
1. Pulse confectioners' sugar and almond flour in a food processor until combined. Sift mixture 2 times.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk whites with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and whisk until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low, then add superfine sugar. Increase speed to high, and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Sift flour mixture over whites, and fold until mixture is smooth and shiny.
3. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip, and pipe 3/4-inch rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets, dragging pastry tip to the side of rounds rather than forming peaks. Tap bottom of each sheet on work surface to release trapped air. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake 1 sheet at a time, rotating halfway through, until macaroons are crisp and firm, about 10 minutes. After each batch, increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees.
4. Let macaroons cool on sheets for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. (If macaroons stick, spray water underneath parchment on hot sheet. The steam will help release macaroons.)
5. Sandwich 2 same-size macaroons with 1 teaspoon jam. Serve immediately, or stack between layers of parchment, wrap in plastic, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Copyright 2009 Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
- 1 lb new potatoes, baby Yukon Golds are divine if available
- good pinch of saffron
- 4 oz Chorizo sausage
- olive oil, salt, pepper
Cut potatoes into large bite sized pieces and place into pot of water with saffron. Add a pinch of salt and boil until soft, but not overcooked - about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and return to pot with a good drizzle of olive oil, adding salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until potatoes start to crisp and skins start to brown.
Next add the Chorizo in chunks that are similar in size to the potatoes. Let cook just long enough for the sausage to release its oil to coat the potatoes, about 3-5 minutes (over medium heat). At this point the Chorizo will be warmed and it is ready to serve. You could also serve this as an hors d'oeuvre by putting one piece of potato and Chorizo each on a cocktail stick.
My favorite dish to serve with these potatoes is the 1905 Salad from the Columbia Restaurant. What a great combination for a lovely summer meal.
James chose the Buffaloaded Burger. This burger is flavored with a mild buffalo BBQ sauce, blue cheese, and topped with fried onions. I can feel my arteries clogging just thinking about it. This was also an excellent choice.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
- 1 part Pimm's
- 3 parts 7-Up, or your favorite lemon-lime soda
- 1 sprig of Lavender Mint
- 1 slice of peach
- 2 sliced of pear
- 1 spring cucumber
Muddle mint, cucumber, and Pimm's in glass. Let sit for 1/2 hour to blend flavors. Next add fruit, a few ice cubes, then 7-Up. Stir gently and enjoy!
PS: I was in the local paper this week talking about Pimm's! Not front page news, but it's a start... :-)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
* Good pinch of saffron
* 1 chicken breast, cooked and thickly sliced
* 4 oz chorizo sausage, sliced
* 1 can Adobo Fire Roasted tomatoes
* 1 small onion
* 2 small different colored bell peppers (I used cubanellos), roughly chopped
* 1 zucchini, sliced thinly on the diagonal
* 1 yellow squash, sliced thinly on the diagonal
* 1 clove garlic, chopped
* Splash of rosé wine
* 4 sprigs of thyme
* 1 bay leaf
* Small bunch of basil
*olive oil, sea salt, pepper
Boil potatoes in water with a good pinch of saffron for around 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender but not over cooked.
Sauté the zucchini, yellow squash, onion, garlic, and peppers using a drizzle of olive oil on medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add the potatoes and chorizo and continue sautéing for another 3 minutes. Next, add the can of Fire Roasted tomatoes. Fire Roasted tomatoes add an amazing flavor to this dish. If you can't find one that is adobo seasoned, add a pinch of dried chili flakes. Regular diced tomatoes can be used, just use 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika to get the roasted, smokey flavor.
Stir in the tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes before adding the chicken, thyme, bay leaf, and wine. You don't have to use rosé, both red or white wine are also fine to use.
Stir to evenly coat and simmer, covered, on medium low for 20-30 minutes.
Just before serving, mix in the basil. Now this is where my hunger took over. The smell was amazing and I was so eager to try it that I completed skipped taking a photo of the finished dish. I can assure you that we thoroughly enjoyed and definitely will make this again.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
You first start by trimming off the bottom stem, leaving about ½ inch. Next, pull off any loose leaves around the bottom. You’ll also want to snip off any thorny tops on the petals. I was pretty lucky with this one as there were only a few. One fairly important step that I forgot today is to slice off a bit of the top of the artichoke. Not too much, but just flatten the top rounded part. When ready to cook, I first rub with lemon before putting into water.
There are several ways to cook, with steaming being popular. My favorite way, however, is to put the artichoke in a large pot, add a little water, cover, and boil for 30-35 minutes.
The artichoke is ready to eat when you can easily insert a knife in the bottom.
Your choice of dip is a matter of personal preference. While herb butter or garlic mayonnaise are popular choices, I like mine best with a simple vinaigrette.
Make sure you have a bowl or plate for the discarded petals. Getting to the choke is almost like finding a hidden treasure.I'm not very graceful at this stage, but removing the hairs from the center and getting to that tender choke is well worth the effort. Even if the effort is a bit clumsy.