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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2007, 07:52 
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Joined: 10 Jun 2005, 07:29
Posts: 201
Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
Grilled Jumbo Shrimp
1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled, tail still on

Thread onto a bamboo skewer lengthwise, from the meaty part just above the tail through to the top. No salt or pepper, just as they are, once you have them all on a skewer, grill over hot coals or on an indoor or outdoor gas grill for about 3-5 minutes. It all depends on the heat.

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The pesto that's as tasty as gold is expensive!

Serve at once with the fresh pesto mayonnaise...mmmmmmmmmmmm...
I like to have red and yellow pepper strips available too, just to make it a little different.

Pesto Mayonnaise
1 cup Duke's mayonnaise (not that other Yankee mayo!)
1 T. fresh pesto

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


Last edited by Despina on 19 Jul 2009, 19:13, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2007, 07:57 
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Location: America
I haven't had breakfast yet...you're making me hungry...

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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2007, 08:20 
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Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
Sliced Tomato and Feta Salad with Kalamata Olive Dressing

6 large Roma Tomatoes, cored and cut into slices
cup finely chopped red onion
cup crumbled Feta cheese

Dressing:
2 T. balsamic vinegar
few grinds black peppercorns
6 T. extra virgin olive oil
pinch sea salt
cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1 t. dry oregano
1 t. dry thyme

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THIS is the secret weapon that makes this dressing quick and easy! AHA! It's the olives--they're already pitted.

Topping:
2 T. fresh oregano, chopped
2 T. fresh thyme, chopped

Layer the tomato slices in a shallow bowl and toss lightly with the onion and feta. (I use NO SALT here and find that this salad does not miss it.)

Chop the olives and combine with the rest of the dressing ingredients in a large Mason jar. Shake, shake, shake and the dressing is ready. Spoon over the tomatoes and top with the fresh thyme and oregano mix.

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Leftovers will keep well for one day. This is a good thing, because this salad, when used as the filling for one small crisp and toasty baguette, makes a molto delicioso sandwich!!!! Finger-lickin' delicioso!

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Surf and Turf Over Burned Butter Penne Pasta

1/2 lb. whole wheat or multi-grain penne pasta
big spoon of sea salt (for the cooking water)
1 stick of real butter, salted
2 cups parmesan/romano grated cheese mix (it has to be dry cheese, not the waxy strings that you find in the dairy case)
1 (1 1/2 lb) thick cut sirloin steak
1 long filet of salmon (four portions)

Okay, you should know how to cook pasta, so I'll skip this step. :P

Drain the pasta well. On a big (very big) platter or big shallow bowl, sprinkle some of the cheese and top with some of the pasta, then sprikle more of the chees and so on. You will want a generous amount of the cheese for the final layer. Do NOT toss the pasta yet.

High heat, shallow saute pan and the stick of butter. Cook the butter until it burns--really! :D Keep an eye on this. The butter will sizzle a bit, then foam up considerably and subside and the then the liquid butter with burn. Take the pan directly from the heat and pour onto the pasta layers, making sure to distribute evenly. Stand back--there will be noise and spitting and, oh, such a wonderful aroma! Do NOT toss the pasta!

All the stuff that's going on while you're busy draining and assembling the pasta:
Once youve seared and grilled your steak and salmon to perfection, let it all rest about five minutes.

Slice the steak, on the bias, into long strips. With the salmon, cut into 8 smaller serving portions.

NOW, yes, now toss the pasta and cheese and and burned butter, top with the steak on one half of the platter and the salmon on the other. Serve at once!

Any of the natural juices from the salmon and steak...be sure to pour those all over the whole mess. Don't let any tasty goodness get away!

DESSERT!

This is the easiest dessert you'll ever make.

Dark Chocolate Bars
and
Cardinal Zin Zinfandel

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(Yes, that's a chocolate bar in the wine glass, but it's for eating--not for dipping.)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAURA, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


Last edited by Despina on 19 Jul 2009, 19:20, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 24 Oct 2007, 17:45 
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Joined: 10 Jun 2005, 07:29
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Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
It's amazing folks, that on a damp, dark, rainy day you can pull together a soup that is comforting, nutritious and so easy!

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Here's what I try to keep in the freezer and the pantry for such things.

Freezer:
    frozen mixed vegetables
    frozen corn
    frozen peas
    leftover deboned chicken
    ground beef in 1 lb packages--if you buy this fresh, pull off bits and roll into meatballs then freeze in plastic bags. When you do this, thawing time is less.

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    chicken juice--yup, you read that correctly. It's not a typo. Every time I roast or bake chicken, I save all the good, yummy chickeny juice in the pan, pour it into a plastic container or bag and freeze. Every time there's leftover roasted or baked or broiled chicken, I debone it and dump it into a container or bag, along with any juices. Every time I poach or boil a chicken or chicken parts, I save the stock and freeze it.
Pantry:
    canned diced tomatoes
    lentils (any kind)
    pasta
    rice
    extra virgin olive oil
    onions
    garlic

So, as I did tonight, if the "need comfort food in a hurry" feeling comes over me, I thaw* some of that frozen chicken juice and cooked chicken**, heat olive oil in a large pot, chop an onion and a clove of garlic and brown those lightly in the pot. Then I'll toss in any of the above items that sound good to me. I toss in as much or as little as I want, grind a little black pepper, stir in a teaspoon each of dry oregano and basil and, when the pasta, rice or lentils are cooked, it's done. If you like a thicker soup, simmer the whole things 10-15 minutes longer and you'll be set.

How's that for easy? Don't be afraid--try it yourself some time soon. You just cannot go wrong. Mmmmm...a full belly is such a lovely feeling.

*Thaw in microwave or in sink filled with hot water. If it's not completely thawed, I promise, it will thaw once it's in that pot on top of the stove. :wink:
**If you're using the ground beef, you may want to partially thaw, pat with paper towel to dry off excess liquid and brown lightly in the oil, after you've browned the onion and garlic.

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


Last edited by Despina on 19 Jul 2009, 19:22, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: FINE COOKING IS HIDING OUT THERE
PostPosted: 11 Nov 2007, 12:58 
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Joined: 10 Jun 2005, 07:29
Posts: 201
Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
Dewey and I returned yesterday from our annual anniversary trip to Hilton Head. We ate and we ate and we ate. Finding and consuming good cooking does happen to be a passion of ours and there appears to be no shortage on the island.

Each year we have our traditional dinner of Zuppe di Pesce at The Little Venice Italian restaurant, and every single time it's the same--loaded with lobster, grouper, mussels, clams, shrimp and scallops and some of the best marinara anywhere! We are never disappointed and we always leave with matching big and happy bellies.

This year we had more fine feeding encounters at Spice, the new sexy Indian restaurant, which looks as if it belongs in New York City; Hugos, a place where the locals eat and where you can get a whole live Maine lobster for $14.95 during their daily early bird dining time; and Riviera Oaks where one of the chefs plays classical guitar and, if you're lucky, you'll be waited on by the waiter who has a degree in physics and who can discuss philosophy and music with you between courses.

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Despina enjoying rose tea....aaaahhh.

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Fine cooking--ah, the preparation, the anticipation, the reading of the menu, the aroma of fine and rare ingredients. A five star restaurant is what you're thinking, right? Gotcha! :lol: How about the best Southern soul food you've ever put in your mouth? Mmmmm-mmmmm-mmm!!! Fine cooking at Dye's Gullah Fixin's. Ms. Dye, one of ten children, is the proud owner and she kindly explained to us, between our moaning over exclaiming over the collards, how she'd grown up Gullah and how her father had a farm and everything she cooked was fresh and local. The chickens, the shrimp, the catfish, the cabbage, the best collards in the world...everything was touched at some point by someone she knows.

Dewey and I were amazed--a fine French dinner one night and a fine (and authentic) Gullah buffet the next day. Yes, yes, Dewey's been to the gym already and he's off on a bike ride soon. :roll:

If you are ever in Hilton Head, go taste for yourself. Dye's is located behind the water wheel in the Pineland Station Shopping Area.

http://www.spicehhi.com/ located in The Village at Wexford
Riviera Oaks (formerly Olivier's) is near Catch 22 off New Orleans Road
UPDATE: Regretably, Spice held on for almost two years, but had to close. It's tough to make it in a big resort area like Hilton Head. The space is now called EAT! and is more in line with a very good New York-style trendy grill and bar. Ask about the smoked bone-in ribeye steak, if you go!

Why am I hungry again? :wink:

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


Last edited by Despina on 19 Jul 2009, 19:27, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: HOW DUMB CAN A PERSON GET?
PostPosted: 15 Jun 2008, 10:39 
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Joined: 10 Jun 2005, 07:29
Posts: 201
Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
Ahem...well...er...I mean to post two Father's Day pie recipes here and, instead, started a new topic! So, via the magic of the internet, here's the shortcut to the recipes.

http://mauraoconnell.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=2076#2076

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 May 2009, 14:19 
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Joined: 10 Jun 2005, 07:29
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Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
GRILL LIKE A GREEK

This is a wonderful and easy way to grill your way to a Greek dinner. Instead of roasting the leg of lamb, I spend a little prep time doing a Samurai knife thing on the lamb and then I marinate it. That's the hard stuff. The easy stuff follows in the recipe below. Actually, there are three recipes, giving you everything you need to gather up a bunch of good friends, a little beer, a little wine, a bit of good music and dinner in the back yard. Now who says we're going through tough times?

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If you are hungry for more, keep checking my book download page on www.alphaconnections.net for new books, featuring recipes and recipes with stories of how food is featured in our lives.


Process for Greek-style grilled lamb:
1-Remove plastic cover and discard.
2-Cut off the netting (which is designed to keep the deboned lamb in place during roasting) and discard.
3-With a very sharp knife, cut the deboned leg of lamb into two or three slabs. The objective is to have evenly sized slabs, so that they grill evenly and in the same period of time.
4-Depending on the thickness of each slab, you will also have to cut horizontally through the slabs but not all the way through. This would be similar to slicing though a thick pork chop in preparation for stuffing; the difference here is that you will cut all the way through three of the edges, leaving the fourth. What you will end up with is a slab that is twice as big, but thinner.
5-On the fat side of each slab, slice away any imprinted fat. It is normal to have the fat imprinted with a food-safe dye—this is just text which useful to butchering and packaging at the pre-packaging end of processing the meat and means nothing to the cook.
6-Again, with a very sharp knife, cut through the fat in diagonal lines. This will allow the marinade to penetrate through to the meat and will also assist in cooking the fat a little faster and provide for more even cooking.
7-Combine all listed marinade ingredients using a whisk.
8-Season lamb on all sides with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, place in a large freezer bag, pour in the marinade and seal the bag. Massage the lamb, turning the bag periodically, so that the marinade coats all pieces evenly.
9-Place bag in the refrigerator for 8 hours or longer. I usually do this the night before I plan to grill the lamb and put it on the grill for dinner. This gives me anywhere from 16-20 hours. Be sure to check the bag a couple of times, massaging and turning the bag each time.

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Despina’s Greek Grilling Marinade and Dressing Sauce:
There are many variations of this authentic and traditional marinade, the essentials being lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, dry oregano, salt and pepper. I make one batch for marinating and a second batch for dressing the sliced lamb. The extra sauce is great for dipping into with bread!

Ingredients:
1 t. dry oregano 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1/2 small yellow or red onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

When you’re ready to grill:
Remove the bag of marinating lamb from the refrigerator one hour prior to placing on the grill, to allow the meat to warm up a little. This will help the cooking process go a little faster.

Prepare your grill; when it’s very hot, place each slab of meat directly onto the grill, fat side down. You’ll cook this side longer than the other, to be sure that the fat cooks properly and gets a little crisp. Turn on the other side and cover the grill. This will slow down the cooking, but allow the meat to gather a little more of the smoky flavor. I recommend using a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the thickest part of the slab for checking to see when the lamb is ready. We like ours medium rare to rare, so we want to be sure it’s rare when it comes off the grill and then we allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes, covered with foil. At this point, I slice each slab diagonally (sometimes referred to as across the grain) and place the lamb slices on a platter. I drizzle with the dressing and serve at once.

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Two traditional Greek dishes that I find complementary to the grilled lamb are:

Greek Roasted Potatoes
2-3 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed well, skin on (you may substitute other potatoes, but Yukons have a really good flavor)
1 T. dry oregano or 1 cup fresh oregano, chopped
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to suit your taste
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed with the back of a knife and chopped finely
¼ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup water

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Cut potatoes lengthwise into quarters and, in a large roasting pan, toss with seasonings. Place in a pre-heated 400F oven on the bottom shelf. Depending on the size of the potatoes, cooking time will be from 1 hour to 1 hour and 30-40 minutes. You will toss the potatoes again once or twice during the cooking. You will know that they are done when a thin sharp knife inserted into the largest potato goes in and out easily and the potatoes have browned well and evenly. Each potato should be a little crisp on the outside and soft and tender on the inside.

Greek Lettuce Slaw
Do not dress this salad until just before serving.
1 head iceberg lettuce (it’s the perfect flavor for this salad, with a sweet and refreshing taste, and it holds up well), sliced thinly. You want to approach this as if you were making a very coarse cabbage slaw.
1 medium yellow onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced very thin
Sea salt to taste
¼ cup white vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

If you want to be authentic, follow the Greek tradition of serving feta cheese and Kalamata olives on the side, along with slices of a crusty loaf of bread. Locally, our grocery stores offer a nice variety. I slice the loaf almost all the way through and place in a pre-heated 375F oven for 5-10 minutes to get the loaf properly crisped up. I live in a small southern town. If you live in a major metropolis and have access to fresh bread, go hog-wild and serve up your favourite rustic and super-crusty artisan loaf!

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


Last edited by Despina on 19 Jul 2009, 19:31, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 29 May 2009, 06:40 
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Joined: 10 Jun 2005, 07:29
Posts: 201
Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
Hello, everyone!

Sorry about the food pics disappearing. I've been tidying up and updating my "rooms" on the internet. Will post pics soon.

Thanks for visiting Food For Thought, and for supporting Ms. Maura.

Now, go buy a bottle of wine and the new cd. :wink:

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


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 Post subject: STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES
PostPosted: 14 Jun 2009, 09:57 
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Joined: 10 Jun 2005, 07:29
Posts: 201
Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
What ARE shortcakes?

Yes, well, they're lightly sweetened biscuits (or scones). No, they're not the spongy round disks you get at the grocery store, they are the fresh, lightly sweetened and barely crisp biscuit-like thingies that sort of sandwich fresh strawberries and real whipped cream.


Oven is pre-heating at 450F

In a big bowl, sift in

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/8 t. salt

Add 1/3 cup cold, cold butter cut into small chunks.

Using your extra-clean hands, rub the butter into the flour and stop when you have something like coarse breadcrumbs.


Make a well in the floury mix and pour in
1 large egg, lighly whisked
1/2 cup cream (yes, real cream)
1 t. vanilla extract

Using a spoon, combine the wet ingredients with the dry, but do not overmix. If some of the dry ingredients refuse to come to the party, just leave them behind.

On a clean counter, sift a large amount of flour and drop the dough on top. Pat out the dough with your hands. You'll need a roundish shape that is about 1" thick. Using a biscuit cutter or a juice glass, cut your shortcakes and place directly onto an un-greased baking sheet. Brush with a bit of extra cream (one tablespoon should do), and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and place on a wire rack to cool. The shortcakes will not rise much, so don't be disappointed.

To Assemble:
1 quart fresh and ripe strawberries
1 cup sugar
2 T orange liquer (optional)

Slice strawberries into a bowl and toss with the other ingredients. Allow to sit in the refrigerator long enough for you to whip the REAL cream (about 1 cup cream with 2 T sugar).

Split the shortcakes and set the bottom piece in a bowl. Top with a generous amount of the strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream. Set the top piece on top of all that berry and cream deliciousness and serve at once.

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2009, 19:36 
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Joined: 10 Jun 2005, 07:29
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Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
Despina wrote:
Hello, everyone!

Sorry about the food pics disappearing. I've been tidying up and updating my "rooms" on the internet. Will post pics soon.

Thanks for visiting Food For Thought, and for supporting Ms. Maura.

Now, go buy a bottle of wine and the new cd. :wink:


ALL DONE and pretty again, if not improved. Thanks for your patience. I'll be posting new recipes again soon.

Image

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 20 Jul 2009, 14:13 
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Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
Hmmm...? Is it Salmon Patties or Salmon Croquettes?

I live in the South. I married a southern boy. I love to cook. I learned to appreciate and cook southern food.

My mother-in-law used to make creamed corn that was tender, creamy, sweet and pure. She also cooked barbequed rabbit, but never ate it--she wouldn't touch the stuff! While the rabbit was so easy to prepare and unbelievably delicious, she didn't make it because of any of that--she made it because her husband enjoyed it and she loved him.

Cooking and feeding people is about giving love.
:D

Author Lance Reynald has been on tour to promote his just-published debut novel, "Pop Salvation". http://www.lancereynald.com/lancereynald/debut.html It's tough to be away from home, all alone. It's no wonder that Lance tweeted one day, "...got a recipe for salmon patties?" Yes, a boy born in Texas, would find comfort is such a simple dish, and yet people are embarrased to prepare such food these days. Well...not me!

In honor of Lance and his tender coming-of-age novel, here is a little love--my recipe for Salmon Croquettes...er, I mean, Salmon Patties. :wink:

This is an adaptation of a recipe found in two different editions (1979 & 1996) of "Culinary Crinkles" a church community cookbook, where you always find some of the best comfort food around.

1 (14 oz) can pink or red salmon (wild caught)
1 cup mashed potatoes (yes, the real kind that you make yourself two days earlier)
1 egg
1/2 chopped cup yellow onion
3 T chopped Italian parsley
1 t fresh lemon juice (yes, it makes a difference)
few shakes of the Texas Pete bottle (if you don't know what Texas Pete is, you're not from the South)
salt (make sure you get enough in there)
freshly ground black pepper, lots of it

Mix it all up, cover and refrigerate for an hour (longer, if you want)

You'll also need:
vegetable oil, just a tablespoon or two at a time
fresh breadcrumbs (if you must, you can use the fancy Panko breadcrumbs, but day-old bread is just fine)
cast iron pan

Use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop out the salmon mixture. This makes it easy to dump into your hand and press down just a bit. Also, the patties will be uniform in shape and cook up in the same amount of time.

Heat the pan, pour in oil, dip patties in breadcrumbs, shake off excess and gently set in the hot pan. Cook for about two minutes and turn to cook 1-2 minutes on other side.

Serve up with stewed squash and sliced tomatoes. If you want to prove to your friends that down-home cooking can be just as slick as the uptown bistros of big cities, do what I did (see picture). Same food, different stylist.

Image

For the squash:

1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cups diced yellow squash
salt & pepper

In a hot pan over high heat, add oil and butter; when heated, stir in onions and cook until lightly browned. Add squash, salt and pepper and cook until squash begins to soften. Pour in 1 cup water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes. Increase heat to high and stir in 1/4 cup of heavy cream. Continue to cook at high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Cover and set aside until salmon patties are ready

I hope to do a lovely and VERY informal video of this recipe to post on youtube.com and will elt everyone know when it's up. In the meantime, let me know how you do with this recipe. Don't be a food snob--eat your grandmother's cooking. :D

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 15 Sep 2009, 14:34 
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Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
This is Part I of a vegetarian feast.

Today I served this dish as part of a going-away picnic for a friend of mine. She is a vegetarian, was in town on business and wanted to spend a little time with me a few weeks before she leaves to take a new job in Washington, D.C. Instead of meeting at a local pizza place, I got up early and assembled a little love in a basket to share with my friend. **

SWEET POTATO SAGE & SESAME SALAD

3 medium-large sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into large cubes, about the size of a golf ball, if it were a cube)
3 T. brown sesame seeds
1 star anise
1 small bay leaf
1 lemon (we'll use the juice & zest)
2 t. dried sage leaves (or 1 T. fresh sage leaves, finely chopped)
3 T. finely chopped green onions
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. sesame oil

In a heavy pan, toast sesame seeds, star anise and bay leaf. Remove bay leaf and star anise and transfer sesame seeds to a paper towel.

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Steam or boil the sweet potatoes until they are barely cooked and drain immediately. Place into a large bowl and season with sea salt.

Immediately add remaining ingredients and toss well but gently. May serve at once or at room temperature. This is one of my all-time favourite dishes. It goes with everything--grilled fish or chicken, cooked greens like collards or spinach, a nice lentil salad.

** :idea: TO READ MORE ABOUT THE STORY BEHIND THE RECIPE, check out www.AlphaGoodCookCooking.blogspot.com ...in a few days. :wink:

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


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 Post subject: Re: FOOD FOR THOUGHT
PostPosted: 19 May 2010, 09:36 
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Posts: 201
Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
EGGPLANT SUSHI????

Yes, yes, I know. Eggplant--a dangerous food. Sushi--equally dangerous. How so? Well, they live in the realm of lima beans and chicken livers. They live among the dreaded foods--the ones that people love or they hate.

BUT, look at this picture. Would you not want to eat your veggies, if they were presented to you like this???

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This is just a teaser, folks. Recipe coming soon. :lol: Gotcha. In the meantime, if you'd like additional recipes, try http://www.AlphaGoodCookCooking.blogspot.com

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


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