Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Poll Results

The February winner of "What Should I Cook" was Braised Tuscan Pork Loin, so I'll be making this in the next few weeks.

Take a look at the new voting choices for March, and let me know what you think!

Also, I've been taking pictures of the prepared dishes with my BlackBerry, simply for the convenience of being able to e-mail them and post easily. However, let's be food photography isn't looking good.

Inspired by The Pioneer Woman, and discouraged by what seems to be my BB's only recognizable fault, I'll be taking photos from here on out with a real camera.

16. Barbecue Scalloped Potatoes

From 2004 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I've been intrigued by this dish ever since I first saw it...but I was wary, as well, since it had barbecue sauce in it. All of the ingredients sounded good, but I just couldn't envision how it would taste.

Boiling the potatoes beforehand ensured that they were completely cooked in the casserole, and the barbecue sauce gave it a little tang...not too much to be overwhelming, but just enough to give it that "something" different.

This wasn't my favorite potato dish (find that here), but it's a good variation on scalloped potatoes that's worth trying.

3 large baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
1/4 cup spicy barbecue sauce
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Cook potatoes with 1 tsp. salt in boiling water for 30-40 minutes. Let cool slightly, and then peel and slice.

Stir together remaining salt and next three ingredients until blended.

Layer half each of potato slices, sauce mixture, and cheese in a lightly greased 2-quarter round baking dish. Repeat layers.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

15. Spicy Shrimp Spoon Bread

From 2008 Southern Living Annual Recipes

A casserole is the ultimate comfort dish for me, so I'm always on the lookout for new and unique variations. And, I've never been one to shy away from food with a "kick," so I've had this recipe on my "to cook" list for awhile.

The combination of ingredients works's creamy, cheesy, and a little spicy, and the corn and shrimp give it texture and great flavor. I could have used a bit more heat, so I think I'll use jalapenos in place of the chiles next time.

1 pound unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp
1/4 cup butter
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 small can chopped green chiles, undrained
1 (20-ounce) package frozen cream-style corn, thawed
1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
2 large eggs
1 (6-ounce) package buttermilk cornbread mix
2 cups shredded pepper-jack cheese

Peel shrimp and coarsely chop.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 2-3 minutes. Stir in shrimp and saute 2-3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Remove from heat and stir in green chiles.

Whisk together corn, sour cream, and eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in cornbread mix just until blended. Stir in shrimp mixture and 1 1/2 cups of cheese.

Pour into a lightly greased 9x13 dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

14. Dijon Pork Loin

From 2007 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I'm usually wary of cooking pork, since it dries out so easily, so I'm always looking for a great dish that comes out moist and tender, with plenty of flavor.

This recipe achieves all of that...the mixture provides a great crust that seals in the juices of the meat and gives it an amazing and unique taste.

While it may take awhile to cook, the preparation is a cinch. The recipe doesn't call for unsalted butter, but I opted to use it, given the salt in the steak seasoning.

4 Tbsp. steak seasoning (such as McCormick Grill Mates)
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 (3.5-4 pound) boneless pork loin roast, trimmed

Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl. Rub mixture evenly over roast. Place roast on an aluminum foil-lined broiler pan.

Bake at 475 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 50-55 more minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

13. Overnight Oven-Baked French Toast

From 2005 Southern Living Annual Recipes

Every morning, even on weekends, I eat a Special K bar, but every now and then, I get a craving for a "big breakfast." And, I happened to have all of the ingredients for this dish already on hand.

The bread soaked up all of the egg mixture overnight, and the pieces puffed up beautifully when cooked. This would be a great dish for guests, since you just pop it in the oven and forget about it.

I love the combination of sweet and salty, so I balanced this out by serving it with smoked sausage.

1 (16-ounce) French bread loaf
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt

Cut bread loaf into about 10 (3/4-inch-thick) slices.

Spread butter evenly over one cut side of each bread slice.

Arrange bread, butter side up, in an ungreased 9x13 baking dish.

Whisk together eggs and remaining ingredients; pour over bread, pressing slices down. Cover and chill for at least eight hours.

Remove bread slices from baking dish and place on lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

12. Sausage Gumbo Pot Pie With Garlic Bread Crust

From the 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

In the spirit of Mardi Gras, I was flipping through my cookbooks for a New Orleans-style dish, and I came across this recipe that looked too good to pass up.

The gumbo mixture is cooked on the stovetop and then finished in the oven with a topping that's similar in style to French onion soup. The tops of the bread slices were crispy, and the bottoms had soaked up the soup liquid. The gumbo had great flavor, with just the right amount of heat.

I went back for seconds...and that's something I never do. AND...I accidentally left out the okra. Yep, I just left it in the freezer...and it was still a hit! Also, I halved the recipe because I knew it wouldn't do well as leftovers.

1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped (I omitted)
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup instant roux mix
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package frozen okra
1 cup quick-cooking rice, uncooked
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (I omitted)
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (12-ounce) French baguette, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Sauté first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until browned; stir in roux mix. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and next 5 ingredients, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Pour into a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Stir together butter and garlic; brush on one side of bread slices. Top sausage mixture evenly with bread slices, buttered side up.

Bake, covered, at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

Notes: I didn't add the bread for the first 10 minutes of cooking, while covered, because I worried it would get too soggy. Also, Tony Chachere's instant roux mix can be found either in the spice or soup section of the supermarket.

This post is part of Weekend Cooking, which is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

11. Mexican Chicken-Corn Chowder

From 2001 Southern Living Annual Recipes

No snow for us here in Alabama...but we've had plenty of cold rain and wind, so last night was an ideal time to break out the soup pot and try something new.

This was a hearty, comforting soup with a great combination of's sweet and creamy and a little spicy. I added a few sliced jalapenos to my bowl, which just kicked it up another notch.

This recipe is going in my winter rotation!

3 tbsp. butter
4 skinned and boned chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 (14 3/4-ounce) cans cream-style corn
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained (I used Rotel, drained)
1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 to 1 tsp. ground cumin

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken, onion, and garlic, and saute for 10 minutes. Stir in next seven ingredients and cook over low heat, stirring often, for 15 minutes.

This post is part of Weekend Cooking, which is hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

Friday, February 5, 2010

10. Broccoli Cornbread Muffins

From 2003 Southern Living Annual Recipes

I generally don't like traditional cornbread...but Jiffy is another story! I love the sweetness....throw in broccoli and cheese, and it's even better. I could have made a meal out of these alone, but they're a great accompaniment to soup or as a brunch addition.

My sister has always made this cornbread in a pan, but I'm a big fan of "pick-up food," so I've had this muffin variation tagged for awhile.

The recipe calls for them to be made in miniature muffin pans, but I made standard-size muffins instead and increased the cooking time about five minutes.


1 (8.5-ounce) package corn muffin mix
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 small onion, chopped (I omitted)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in the center of mixture.

Stir together eggs and butter, blending well. Add to broccoli mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon into lightly greased miniature muffin pans, filling three-fourths full.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes before removing from pans.

Makes 2 dozen mini muffins or 1 dozen regular muffins.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

9. Baked Curry-Glazed Chicken

From 2006 Southern Living Annual Recipes

A friend of mine mentioned that his mother had a recipe published in Southern Living, and when I tracked down the year, it fell within one of the cookbooks in my collection.

Honestly, without a personal recommendation, I might have skipped past this recipe because of the curry. I'm sure I've had dishes with this ingredient before, but I've never cooked with it. I've just always been a little wary of it, but as soon I stirred together the sauce, I was sold. It smelled amazing, as did my house while it was cooking. And, it completely delivered on flavor! My chicken got a little too brown on top, but the meat was so tender and juicy.

One future adjustment: The sauce that ran over the chicken cooked out in the pan, so the next time I make this, I think I'll split the sauce...half for coating the raw chicken and half for heating and brushing/spooning over the cooked chicken, just to have more sauce for the finished product.

(Note: After reading this post, my friend commented that his mother always made it in a 9x13 glass dish, instead of a jelly-roll pan, which I think would have eliminated the over-browning of the chicken and the sauce cooking off.)

Okay...I'm a curry convert!

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. curry powder
1 whole chicken, cut up*

Stir together first five ingredients in a shallow dish. Dip chicken in mixture, one piece at a time, thoroughly coating all sides. Arrange chicken, skin side up, in a single layer in a 15x10 inch jelly-roll pan. Pour remaining mixture over chicken.

Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until done.

* Four skinned and boned chicken breasts and four skinned and boned chicken thighs can be substituted for cut-up whole chicken. Proceed as directed, decreasing baking time to 40-45 minutes.