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Buttermilk Pie, A July 4th Favorite

Buttermilk Pie 1

This has become a 4th of July favorite.

Fourth of July Buttermilk Pie Recipe

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (half a stick)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 9-inch graham cracker crust
  • 1 cup cold, heavy whipping cream
  • 8- 15 strawberries, halved
  • A handful of blueberries (opt)

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, then beat in the sugar and lemon zest until well combined. Beat in the flour and melted butter. Beat in the vanilla and buttermilk.

Pour filling batter into an graham pie shell. Bake at 325°F for approximately 50 minutes, or until the center of the custard has just set (can still be a little wiggly). Remove from oven and let cool. The custard may puff up a bit in the oven; it will deflate as it cools.

Whip the chilled cream until it holds stiff peaks. Once the pie has cooled to room temperature, spread the whipping cream over the top of the pie. Arrange the raspberries and blueberries in a decorative pattern on top of the whipping cream.
Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Makes 8 serving pieces.

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Summer Slaw

DSC_8194 (1600x1060)We swung by the supermarket deli to pick up some of their fried chicken and a couple of sides – we had been shopping garden centers and were getting hungry with nothing quick to eat in the fridge.  We really didn’t want to go to a burger joint or the Chinese buffet.  Mrs J picked a pair of cold salads while I grabbed a box of chicken.  She opted for a mustard potato salad and something that was labeled as “summer slaw”.

The summer slaw was pretty good, we looked online for a copycat recipe but didn’t find anything that looked close.  It had tomato bits, cabbage, and  green bits that were sliced green onion tops and something else – green bell pepper or maybe cucumber with the skin on.  We went with “both”.  The dressing was thin and white and put me in mind of the dressing I use for the copycat KFC slaw dressing.

I whisked a dollop of mayo with buttermilk and rice vinegar, added Splenda to taste, and celery salt with ground white pepper.  It may not be what the deli used in theirs but it came out pretty good!

Summer Slaw

one small head of cabbage, shredded fine

half of an English cucumber, minced

1/4 cup of minced green bell pepper

two small tomatoes, seeded and chopped small

a small bunch of green onions, thinly sliced tops only

Dressing*

1/4 – 1/2 cup mayo

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup rice vinegar dressing (the flavored stuff)

sugar (Splenda) – go with 1/8 -1/4 cup

celery salt and white pepper to taste

* Just guessing after the fact on the dressing quantities.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Breakfast for Dinner (or Anytime)

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I love pancakes. Just not for breakfast. So when I’m in the mood, it’s time for breakfast for dinner. Pictured above are JeffreyW’s fluffy pancakes, and I have a recipe for super fluffy pancakes, here.

Want to dress them up a bit? How about Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes? Recipe here.

For something completely different and easy to make, German Pancakes with Walnut syrup, click here.

And what goes perfectly with pancakes? How about some bacon…JeffreyW candies his:

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JeffreyW’s Candied Bacon recipe is here and his Cayenne Candied Bacon (pictured above) recipe is here. And the basics of baking bacon vs. frying can be found here.

In case you missed it, this week’s full dinner menu was Spicy Potato Soup, Garlic Biscuits and Mocha Pudding Cake and can be found here.

What’s on your menu for the weekend? Are you a fan of breakfast for dinner? Hit the comments with your favorite breakfast recipes.

And the featured recipe tonight:

I love whole wheat pancakes, they are fluffy, hearty, nutty and sweet, just like some people I know. Making whole wheat pancakes can be tricky, though – I don’t want them to be heavy and dry, I still want light and fluffy. The recipe below serves that up.

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Beat together until light and frothy:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Sift together:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just moistened, batter will be lumpy. Ladle into a hot, well oiled skillet or griddle. [Reduce heat to medium after it has heated up because these brown quickly.]

While with white flour pancakes you’d wait to see bubbles on the top of pancakes before flipping them, you don’t want to do that with these. As soon as the bottom is golden, flip. And as soon as the bottom is again golden, remove.

This keeps them from being too dry. It’s a bit of a balancing act – you want to make sure they aren’t runny, but you also don’t want to over cook. As soon as the center bounces back they are ready to remove.

Top with butter and real maple syrup. Yum.

Until next week – TaMara

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Dinner Menu: Grilled Steak with Coffee Rub

A friend of mine spent a few months one summer experimenting with coffee rubs. This was one of my favorites. If you need something fun to do with your next grilled steak, this is a recipe to try. And with my love of blueberries, can’t go wrong with a blueberry coffeecake.  Yum.

On the board tonight:

  1. Steak with Coffee Rub
  2. Green Beans w/Bacon & Onion
  3. Baked Potatoes
  4. Blueberry CoffeeCake

Steak with Coffee Rub

  • 3 tbsp chili powder (pure ancho or a blend)
  • 3 tbsp finely ground coffee (espresso works best)
  • 1 ½ tbsp paprika (use a good one)
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 to 1-1/2 lb of steak (rib-eye, sirloin, NY strip, etc) in 4 thick pieces

Mix together all spices. Lightly rub each steak with oil and then coat liberally on both sides with coffee rub. Now you can cook in a pre-heated skillet on medium-high heat, 5 to 7 minutes each side for medium rare. You can broil in the oven, using the second slot down from broiler, for 5 minutes each side, again for rare to medium rare, longer for medium. Or if you’re lucky (sigh) you can grill them outside. Cooking times will vary no matter which style you choose, so watch carefully and you’ll probably have to use a meat thermometer to really judge, because the rub makes it a little harder to eyeball it. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Green Beans w/Bacon & Onions

  • 1 lb fresh or frozen green beans (if fresh, snap off ends and snap into smaller pieces)
  • 2 strips bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Sm. Saucepan, steamer and Skillet

Steam beans until slightly crisp, but tender. While beans are steaming, begin browning bacon until crisp. You can drain most of the bacon drippings, leaving 1 tbsp to lightly coat beans. Add onions. Drain beans and dab with a paper towel. Add to bacon mixture, mixing well, until beans are coated in bacon drippings. Cook on medium-low for 1 to 2 minutes, until onions are heated through.

Blueberry CoffeeCake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp cultured buttermilk powder (or 1 cup butter milk  & omit water)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 8 oz frozen blueberries

Topping:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup flour

8×8 baking dish, greased

2 bowls

In bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, buttermilk and mix well. Make a well in the center add egg, water & oil. Stir quickly until all everything is mixed well, but don’t over mix. Fold in blueberries. Spread batter evenly in baking dish. In bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the top of batter. Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

Shopping List:

  • 3 tbsp chili powder (pure ancho or a blend)
  • 3 tbsp finely ground coffee (espresso works best)
  • 1 ½ tbsp paprika (a good one)
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 to 1-1/2 lb of steak
  • 1 lb fresh or frozen green beans
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 4 green onions
  • 4 tbsp cultured buttermilk powder or 1 cup buttermilk
  • egg
  • 8 oz blueberries

Also: brown sugar, butter, flour, vegetable oil, vanilla, salt, baking powder, sugar, fresh ground pepper

Full Dinner Menu: Washday Beans and Rice

I was going to tell you that it’s my birthday, so there wasn’t going to be a menu tonight, but then I saw that JeffreyW posted some great looking red beans and rice (check out his outstanding photos!), YUM.  I knew I could find a menu to go with that, so here it is.  I’m off to celebrate.

On the board tonight:

  1. Washday Beans & Rice
  2. Sliced Steamed Zucchini
  3. Corn Bread
  4. Blueberries & Raspberries w/whip cream

Washday Beans & Rice

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 14oz can red kidney bean
  • 4 links Italian or Andouille sausage (sweet or spicy) – slice each link into 4 pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbsp Cajun Creole Seasoning (start with teaspoon and work your way up to taste)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large tomato diced (or 14 oz can)

2 quart saucepan and skillet

Combine rice with water & chicken broth in a saucepan, cover. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cook until all the liquid is absorbed (about 20 minutes).  Over medium high, heat oil in skillet; add onions & sausage, cook until sausage is done in the center.  Add sausage, beans, seasoning and tomatoes together into sauce pan. Keep heat low and let cook 10 minutes to let flavors blend.  You can add shredded, cooked pork to the beans if desired.

Cornbread

There are many variations on cornbread, this one is pretty basic.

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup butter or oil
  • 1 large bowl

9×9 baking dish, greased

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, add corn meal, mix well. Add eggs, milk and oil. Beat with mixer until smooth (do not over beat). Pour into baking dish and bake at 425° for 20-25 minutes. Light brown on top, toothpick should come out clean.

Shopping List:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 8 oz chicken broth
  • 14 oz can red kidney beans
  • 4 links Italian or Andouille sausage (sweet or spicy)
  • Cajun Creole Seasoning (start with teaspoon and work your way up to taste)
  • 4 green onions
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1 large tomato (or 14 oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz buttermilk
  • 1 pint Blueberries
  • 1 pint Raspberries
  • 8 oz Whipped Cream

Also: olive oil, butter, flour, sugar, baking powder

Breakfast for Dinner: Fluffy Pancakes

Caught a rain storm with my cell phone earlier in the summer,turn it up, you can hear thunder.

The temperature dipped considerably last night and we’ve had a steady rain for most of the day. Suddenly pancakes sounds delicious. But not just any pancakes. I wanted whole wheat pancakes. They are fluffy, hearty, nutty and sweet,  and that sounded just right.

Making whole wheat pancakes can be tricky – I don’t want them to be heavy and dry, I still want light and fluffy. The recipe below serves that up:

Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Beat together until light and frothy:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Sift together:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp buttermilk powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

Whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just moistened, batter will be lumpy.  Ladle into a hot, well oiled skillet or griddle. [Reduce heat to medium after it has heated up because these brown quickly.]

While with white flour pancakes you’d wait to see bubbles on the top of pancakes to flip them, you don’t want to do that with these. As soon as the bottom is golden, flip. And as soon as the bottom is again golden, remove.

This keeps them from being too dry. It’s a bit of a balancing act – you want to make sure they aren’t runny, but you also don’t want to over cook. As soon as the center bounces back they are ready to remove.

Top with butter and real maple syrup. Yum.

It was the perfect dinner tonight.

National Fried Chicken Day

Geez there’s a day for everything.  Time to celebrate National Fried Chicken Day.

How about an easier fried chicken recipe that doesn’t require a big vat of oil?

This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen (includes instructional video):

Photo from America’s Test Kitchen

Easier Fried Chicken

  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • Table salt
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 3 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, or a mix, with breasts cut in half), trimmed of excess fat (see note)
  • 2cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4cups vegetable oil
  1. Whisk 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, hot sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon paprika, and pinch of cayenne together in large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 2 teaspoons black pepper, ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, ¾ teaspoon paprika, and remaining cayenne together in large bowl. Add remaining ¼ cup buttermilk to flour mixture and mix with fingers until combined and small clumps form. Working with 1 piece at a time, dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, pressing mixture onto pieces to form thick, even coating. Place dredged chicken on large plate, skin side up.
  3. Heat oil in 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Carefully place chicken pieces in pan, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip and continue to cook until golden brown on second side, 2 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Bake chicken until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees for breasts and 175 for legs and thighs, 15 to 20 minutes. (Smaller pieces may cook faster than larger pieces. Remove pieces from oven as they reach -correct temperature.) Let chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.

If the video link above has expired, try this one:  Easier Fried Chicken, America’s Test Kitchen

Cold Soups: Cucumber and Tomato

Originally published August 2010

As the last hot days of summer descend, thought another cold soup would be nice.  Off to the movies and lunch.  Oh, yeah and then to the farm stand for ingredients! The fun of this soup is you mix the two colors separately and then swirl them together in individual bowls. Let your artist loose.

Cucumber and Tomato Cold Soup

  • ½ bunch cilantro*
  • ¼ onion
  • ¼ cup limejuice
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 5 large cucumbers, peeled, halved and seeded
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 large tomato, quartered
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro for garnish

Large serving bowl, blender/food processor

Place all ingredients but jalapeno and tomato into food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour into serving bowl. Next blend together tomato and jalapeno. Pour into the center top of cucumber mixture and swirl outward with a knife, to create a decorative effect. Serve with cilantro for garnish.

* if you hate cilantro, omit, substitute parsley or some chives.

Crispy (and spicy) Chicken Breast Sandwiches

The other day on another blog, someone mentioned making chicken patties. There were some questions about the recipe, so I went and took a look. It sounded great and I thought, I should make that. But when I went to make it, remembered it called for ground, cooked chicken and thought, eh, too much work. I prefer a chicken breast cutlet with a crisp, spicy crust, anyway. So I decided to play with ingredients to come  up with something that made me feel guilty eating it. All spicy and crispy. This what I came up with:

Crispy Chicken Breast Sandwiches

  • 4 large boneless-skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1 egg (if you’re going to bake, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to egg)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • Olive oil

Spice Mix

  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp dry basil
  • 2 tsp of celery seeds
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp of paprika

Sandwich Fixin’s

  • 8 crusty sesame sandwich rolls
  • Mayonnaise
  • Tomato slices
  • Lettuce
  • Dill pickle (or for extra spice, jalapenos – my choice)

skillet

Fillet breasts to make two thin fillets from each breast and then soak in pickle juice for 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to buttermilk and let marinate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together panko, bread crumbs and spice mix. Beat egg.

Remove chicken from buttermilk mixture, dip in egg and then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well. Fry in skillet with 1-2 tbsp of oil, turning until golden brown on both sides. Or alternately, bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. (I covered it for the first 10-15 minutes to keep it moist, then uncovered to get it crispy).

Serve with sandwich fixin’s.

Cooked fillets can be frozen and reheated in the oven at 450 degrees until heated through.

Batter-Fried Chicken: Updated

Update: It took me a while, but I found the video archive of the show if you want a step-by-step on the chicken.

Cooks Country Episode: 304/2009

Worked from home a few days ago and caught an old episode of America’s Test Kitchen. They tested out different batter fried chicken and this one was deemed the best. Thought I would share. I changed up the soaking method because we were discussing uses for leftover buttermilk last night and I recommended soaking chicken in it.

Batter-Fried Chicken

Halve breasts crosswise and separate leg quarters into thighs and drumsticks. and soak in the brine. You want all pieces to be similar in size so they fry evenly. Best results when using a dutch oven and thermometer.

Buttermilk Mixture

  • 1 quart cold buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4-5lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken, legs, thighs and breasts

Whisk water, salt, and sugar in large bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Add chicken and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Batter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 5 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust if you don’t like as spicy)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups cold water
  • 3 quarts peanut or vegetable oil

Whisk dry ingredients in large bowl, add water and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate batter, covered, while chicken is brining.

Heat oil to 350 degrees and keep the temperature between 300 and 325 degrees during frying process. Cook 4 pieces of the chicken until golden brown and white meat registers 160 degrees (170 degrees for dark meat), 12 to 15 minutes. Drain chicken on wire rack. Bring oil back to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining chicken.

Note: The batter is very thin, but cooks up to a nice crisp crust, partly due to the baking powder and water.

Here is the original Brine recipe:

Brine

  • 1 quart cold water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
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