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

Mmm…hush puppies

Mrs J called for fried fish for dinner today.  We  consider certain sides to be “must haves”  for a fish fry:  Slaw, baked beans, and hush puppies.  Occasionally there will be a substitution or an addition-French fries come to mind.

For years I used a box mix for my hush puppies, I would add some minced peppers and onions, maybe, and count myself as “really cooking now”.  LOL  Making them from scratch is fairly easy.  The recipe I used today could have been halved, we have plenty of leftovers.

1 c flour

1 c corn flour

1 c corn meal

2 T sugar

2 eggs

~1/8 c bacon grease

1 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 t salt

1 c buttermilk

And you can stop there for the basic hush puppy recipe.  Drop ~1T of the batter into oil heated to about 325 and let it brown-I used a small cookie dough scoop, worked great.  Here the usual instructions add:  turn it over after a couple of minutes to cook the other side.  Hah! You might be able to get one to turn over and stay one time out of ten.  I still try, don’t know why.  I guess it’s that one time in ten.  How long does it take  to cook them?  That will depend on the size of the portion, the temperature of the oil, the number of pups you are trying to do at once, and maybe humidity and how the dog feels about the cat.  Just let one get nice and brown and take it out, cut it in two and look at the middle.  Go from there.

Of course I didn’t stop at just plain hush puppies.  I minced 2 jalapenos, 1/4 c of yellow onion, about 1/4 c of various colored bell peppers, and a good handful of green onions.  Oh, and whole corn, from a can.  You can use creamed corn if you want.  I used about 3/4 of a can.  Be aware that liquid additions may require additional amounts of meal and/or flour to keep the batter stiff enough to scoop.

Enjoy!

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English Muffins

When I decided to try my luck with English muffins I did the usual Google search and this recipe came up near the top.  Plenty of stars and a ton of reviews!  I pretty much went with the straight recipe, plenty of time to fool around with variations later.  I used lard instead of shortening, and only had 1/2 cup of milk on hand so I added a couple of tablespoons of dried milk and a bit of water to come out with the required full cup of milk.

I gave it a full 2 hours rise in a bowl, then rolled the dough to about the half inch called for.  I found a plastic tumbler about the size I wanted and cut the rounds out with it.  I didn’t measure it but I think it was a tad larger than 3″.  By the time the scraps were rerolled and cut we had 14 muffins, and there was just about enough scrap left for another but it seemed too much trouble and I cooked it last after wrapping it to look like a fat pretzle.

I covered the cut muffins with plastic wrap and gave them another hour’s rise then set to work baking them.  Grilling them…whatever.  Used a nonstick pan that was brushed with butter.  Set the burner to medium, let the pan warm up well, and plopped two muffins in for a test run.  Set the timer for four minutes, when I flipped them to check I had a real good feeling–these things were gonna work!  I cooked the remaining muffins in batches of four, and four minutes a side worked just right for me today.  Your results will vary.

Enjoy!

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Thursday Night Menu: Creole Edition

Heading out of town, but wanted to leave you with one of my favorite recipes. I’m lucky, I live near a great Creole restaurant and I can buy their spice combo to use at home. It makes all the difference for me. I’ve also used generic Cajun spice and Emeril’s and they are good. I’m throwing a Bridal Shower Brunch this weekend and I’ll post the recipes I’ll be using later this weekend. And tomorrow, second installment of Men Who Cook (still taking recipes, if you’re interested).  Until then, here is Thursday Night’s Menu.

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