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Archive for February, 2010

Feb
13

Bloody Mary Mix

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Hello all and welcome back to Food ~ Flavor ~ Fun.   A place to find and share some great food ideas, loaded with flavor intended to be shared with family and friends to bring more fun into our lives.  Friday’s are about desserts and drinks.  This is a Bloody Mary mix recipe that I have used for several years.  I’ve tried many of the store-bought mixes and they are ok, but they don’t match the flavor of this one.  If you like Bloody Mary’s, give this one a try.  And try using a kosher dill pickle spear as a garnish.  It’s a little different and adds a great touch of flavor to the drink.  Enjoy!

Bloody Mary Mix

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 cup V8 juice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon Tabasco or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a blender combine the tomato juice, V8 juice, lemon juice, lime juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and hot sauce and process until smooth. Transfer to a nonreactive container and add salt and black pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Categories : Drinks and Desserts
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Feb
11

Bar-B-Q in a Crockpot

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Hello all and welcome back to Food~Flavor~Fun!

A place to find and share some great food ideas that are loaded with flavor, to be prepared and shared with friends and family, to bring fun and enjoyment into your life.  A meal lovingly prepared and served among friends is one of the greatest blessings and pleasures in this life.

Tonight as promised, I will share a great recipe for Barbeque’d brisket made in a crockpot.  In the Tuesday post on Tools and Tech, we discussed the use of a crock pot.  I promise you’ll love this recipe.  After picking this one up, It’s now on the list for next week.  Set this up in the morning before you leave for work and come home to one great meal.  I love having this as chopped brisket sandwiches served with baked beans, cole slaw and a slice or two of dill pickle or pickled cherry peppers.  Enjoy!

Bar-B-Q in a Crockpot

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4 to 5 lb.) brisket, well trimmed, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 3-4 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tablespoons A-1 Steak sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (12 oz.) bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Directions:

Place brisket in a crock pot.  In large bowl mix together remaining ingredients, except BBQ sauce.  Pour over brisket.  Turn crock pot on high.  Cook 1 hour.  Reset crock pot on low and cook 6 to 8 hours.  During last 1 to 1 ½ hours, remove brisket and all but 1 ½ cup of broth from crock pot discard.  Add BBQ sauce 1 ½ cup broth and meat.  Cook 1 to 1 ½ hours on high.  Chop and serve on buns.

Categories : Main Courses
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Feb
10

Potato and Ham Soup

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Hello all and welcome back to Food ~Flavor ~ Fun.  A place to find and share some great recipes, loaded with flavor, to be prepared and shared with family and friends.  Now that’s fun!

Cold days call for a warm soup.  That’s what Wednesday’s are all about.  Tonight I’m going to share a simple, flavorful soup….almost a chowder.  This one is my wife’s recipe.  She gets the credit!  Like most soups, it’s a refrigerator cleaner.  Not a lot of prep time required and very filling.  Fix this one on a cold ugly night and get ready to get warmed head to toe.

Potato and Ham Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn
  • 2 cups leftover ham, cubed
  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Directions:

In a large saucepan over medium heat, pour in the olive oil.  When hot add onion, celery, carrots and corn.  Cook until veggies are soft.  Add ham and potatoes and cook for a few minutes.  Add salt, pepper and water.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer until potatoes are done.  In a separate bowl, mix flour and one cup milk, blending well.  Add flour mixture, butter, chicken broth and remaining milk .  Simmer on medium for about 20 minutes or until heated through and thickened.  Cooling soup slightly before serving will thicken the soup.   Enjoy!

Categories : Soups and Salads
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Feb
09

Crock Pot Cooking

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Hello all and welcome back to Food ~ Flavor ~ Fun.  A place to find and share some great food ideas that are loaded with flavor, techniques to help make things easier and great food to share with family and friends to bring a lot of fun and enjoyment into your life.

Tuesdays are about tools and techniques.  Tonight is about the crock pot.  I served my plate tonight out of a crock pot.  Don’t have a lot of time or working long hours and don’t have time to cook.  Gt hold of a crock pot and try one great tool for making tough meat tender, long prep times no effort at all, and cook things slow…turns into great flavor.  From a pot of beans with rice and corn bread to a barbecued brisket slow cooked all day.  There are many, many recipe ideas that can be shared using a crock pot.  If you don’t have one, or it’s been in the cabinet without being used, get one or get it out!  Find a great recipe and give it a try.

If you stay tuned later this week, I’ll share that barbecued brisket recipe on Thursday on Main Course day.  Enjoy!

Categories : Tools & Techniques
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Feb
09

Veggie Nachos

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Hello all and welcome back to Food ~Flavor ~ Fun.  A place to find and share some great food ideas that are loaded with flavor and ready to share with family and friends to bring a lot of fun and enjoyment into your life.

Monday night is about starters.  This one is a recipe that you can enjoy even if you’re trying to watch your calories and lose weight.  It’s simple, healthy and has great flavor.  A rare find to have that combination.  Try it yourself and share it with your friends, just like I’m sharing with you.  Enjoy!

Veggie Nachos

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (8 oz) can kernel corn, drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups low fat baked tortilla chips
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup salsa (pick your heat level)
  • 2 tablespoons sliced pitted ripe olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)

Directions:

Combine the beans, corn, chilies, chili powder and cumin in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until hot.  Stir in the cheese until melted.  Arrange the tortilla chops on a large plate.  Spoon the bean mixture over the chips, then top with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa and cilantro.  Serve at once.

Categories : Starters
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Hello and welcome back to Food ~ Flavor ~ Fun.  A place to find and share some great food ideas that are loaded with flavor and meant to be shared with family and friends to bring fun and love into each of our lives.  welcome….welcome….welcome.

Tonight is Friday and all about desserts or drinks.  Tonight’s post is one of the richest desserts I’ve ever made and OMG so much flavor.  If you love chocolate…hold on to your taste buds ’cause this one is fantastic! 

Chocolate Souffle with Grand Marnier Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 large egg yolks 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 3/4 cup Chocolate Grand Marnier sauce, see below
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Butter 4 individual ramekins and sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon sugar for each ramekin.

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.  Remove from heat.

In a bowl, beat the egg whites with 1/4 cp of the sugar until stiff and glossy.

Wisk the egg yolks into the melted chocolate 1 at a time, add the Grand Marnier, and wisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Fold in the egg whites until thoroughly blended.  Transfer the mixture to the ramekins and place on a baking sheet.  Bake until puffed and somewhat firm, about 20 minutes.  While souffles are baking, prepare the Grand Marnier Chocolate Sauce and keep warm until souffles are ready to serve.

Plate a Souffle, drizzle with chocolate sauce and sprinkle confectioner’s sugar over all.  Enjoy!

Grand Marnier Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Grand Marnier
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions:

In a saucepan over high heat, combine cream, Grand Marnier and sugar.  Bring to a boil, remove from heat and add chocolate immediately, stirring until chocolate is completely melted.  Keep warm in a double boiler or serve immediately.

Categories : Drinks and Desserts
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Feb
04

Spicy Cajun Burger

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Hello all and welcome back to Food ~ Flavor ~ Fun!

A place to find and share some great food ideas with a huge burst of flavor to share with family and friends and bring fun (and even love) into your life!

With the Super Bowl coming up, I thought I’d share a great tasting burger recipe.  Throw this on the grill this weekend and get ready for one heck of a great burger.  I just fixed them tonight and the taste was incredible.  I cheated a little.  I ran out of hamburger dill pickle slices so I cut up some of my home canned spicy green tomato pickles to go on my burger instead.  Wow, that was great!  Enjoy!

My menu for the game includes several recipes already posted… Cajun wings, cream cheese dip, anti pasto tray, mini crab cakes and some other recipes to come later…..baby back ribs with Montgomery Inn Sauce and Crawfish Cakes.  Stay tuned.   

Spicy Cajun Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry leaf oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • sautéed onions (optional)

Directions:

Combine  all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Let rest in the refrigerator for an hour or so.  Form into 4 patties and cook in a hot skillet or grill over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes on each side.

Serve on buns with optional sautéed onions and your choice of condiments/vegetables.

    Categories : Main Courses
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    Feb
    03

    Hot and Sour Soup

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    Hello all,

    And welcome back to Food~Flavor~Fun.   A place to find and share some great food ideas to add a lot of great flavor to your meals and add to the fun that you can share with friends and family.  Wednesdays are all about Soup or Salad.  Today’s recipe is Hot and Sour Soup.  I really came to love this soup visiting a lunch spot that was close to my office.  This recipe comes pretty close to matching the flavor.  I’m going to offer up a long and short version for the oriental chicken stock.  The long version definitely has more flavor, but when time is of the essence, the short version works just fine.  If you want more or less heat, adjust the amount of chili paste accordingly.  I use more than I list in the ingredients below.  Add a little at a time until you get it right and then pencil in that amount on the recipe.  It will save you time the next time you make it.  Enjoy!

    Hot and Sour Soup

    Ingredients:

    • 4 dried Chinese fungi, such as wood ears or cloud ears
    • 2 table spoons olive oil
    • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
    • 1 tablespoon red chili paste
    • 1/2 cup carrots, julienne
    • 1/2 cup canned bamboo shoots, sliced
    • 1/4 pound chicken, diced
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • pinch of sugar
    • 2 quarts Oriental Chicken Stock
    • 1 square firm tofu, drained and sliced in 1/4 inch strips
    • 3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • Chopped green onions, for garnish

    Directions:

    Put the wood ears in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let stand for 30 minutes to reconstitute.  Drain and rinse. Discard any hard clusters in the center.  Cut into strips.

    Heat the oil in a wok or large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the ginger, chili paste, wood ears, carrots, bamboo shoots, and chicken.  Cook for a few minutes to infuse the flavor.  Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar in a small bowl.  Pour it into the wok/pot and toss everything together.  It should be really fragrant.  Pour the Oriental Chicken Stock.  Bring the soup to a boil.  Turn down the heat to simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the tofu and cook for 3 minutes.

    Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and stir until smooth.  Mix the slurry into the soup and continue to simmer until the soup thickens.  Remove the soup from the heat and stir in 1 direction to get the soup moving, then stop stirring.  While the soup is moving, slowly pour the beaten egg in a steady stream and watch it spin around and feather in the broth.  Laddle into bowls and garnish with green onions.  Enjoy!

    Oriental Chicken Stock (long version)

    Ingredients:

    • 1 whole chicken
    • 1 bunch green onions. halved
    • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
    • 3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
    • 1 onion, peeled and halved
    • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
    • about 3 quarts cold water

    Directions:

    Put the chicken in a large stock pot.  Toss in the green onions, garlic, ginger, onion and peppercorns.  Pour water over all and turn heat up to medium.  Simmer gently for 1 hour, uncovered, skimming the foam off the top periodically.

    Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and pass the stock through a strainer to remove the solids and excess fat.  Cool the chicken stock to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator, or chill it down over ice.

    Oriental Chicken Stock (short version)

    • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 bunch green onions. halved
    • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
    • 3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
    • 1 onion, peeled and halved
    • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
    • about 2 quarts prepared chicken stock

    Directions:

    Put the chicken breasts in a large stock pot.  Toss in the green onions, garlic, ginger, onion and peppercorns.  Pour chicken stock over all and turn heat up to medium.  Simmer gently covered until chicken breasts are done.

    Remove the chicken, let it cool, cube it and use it for the soup.

    Put the stock through a strainer to remove the solids. Ready to use in the soup above.

    Categories : Soups and Salads
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    Feb
    02

    Cuisinart Food Processor

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    Hello all and welcome back to Food~Flavor~Fun.  A place to find some good food ideas to bring great flavor and good times with family and friends.  I’d love to hear back from you on what you thing about this blog and any suggestions that you might have to make it better.  So, leave some comments and let me know what you think or share a favorite recipe.

    Tuesdays are about Tools and Technique.  Tonight I’m going to discuss food processors in general but my experience with the Cuisinart Food Processor specifically.

    My short answer is the work it takes to clean it up is not worth the jobs that it takes care of for me.  I have not had one of these for quite some time.  I’d like to hear from you on your thoughts about them.  And hey, maybe they have gotten better since I tossed mine.

    I use a blender now for just about all the things I was doing with a food processor.

    Let me her from you….what are your thoughts?

    Cheers!

    Categories : Tools & Techniques
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    Hello all and happy Monday!  Well, at least be happy that the Monday workday is behind us.  I know I’m glad that it’s done.

    Welcome back to Food~Flavor~Fun.  A place to find and share some great tasting recipes to be shared with family and friends to bring some great flavor and have some fun.  Monday’s are all about starters or appetizers.  This one is a personal favorite.  I made this as a starter to  a Valentines meal that I made for my wife….she made me feed the kids too.  Oh well, they are very tasty.  Enjoy!

    Creole Remoulade Saucelouisiana crab cakes

    Ingredients:

    • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (green and white part)
    • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup chopped celery
    • 3 tablespoons Creole 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 (yeah, that pepper mill thing!)

    Directions:

    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 air-tight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.

    The sauce will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.  Makes about 2 cups.

     

    Louisiana Crab Cakes

    Ingredients:

    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
    • 1/2 cup chopped celery
    • 1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons dried fine bread crumbs
    • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked for shells and cartilage
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

    Directions:

    In a small bowl, combine the dry seasonings.

    Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, celery and bell pepper and cook, stirring,  until soft, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.

    Combine the mayonnaise, a little at the time, with the cooked vegetables, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs, and 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mix in a large bowl, and mix well. Gently fold in the crabmeat.

    Combine the flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the seasoning mix in a shallow bowl and mix well. Combine the remaining 1 cup of bread crumbs with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of seasoning mix in another bowl. Whisk 1 egg with the milk in another bowl.

    Using your hands, form mini cakes with the crabmeat mixture, packing gently but firmly. Dredge each crab cake in the flour mixture, then in the egg wash, then the bread crumb mixture, shaking to remove any excess breading.

    Heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Pan-fry the crab cakes 3 or 4 at a time until golden brown, about 4 1/2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

    To serve, arrange the crab cakes on a platter and top each with a spoonful of the rémoulade sauce. Serve hot.

    Categories : Starters
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