Tag Archives: southern

Green Chile Tomato Pie

There are two kinds of tomato pie here in the United States.  One is the Italian version, aka pizza, the other is one of my summertime faves, the savory oh so Southern Tomato Pie!

This not too heavy pie is filled with fresh ripe tomatoes from your garden and bright herbs and onions.  Topped with a warm cheesy topping that gives you that comfort food feel pie always brings.  My only change up to the classic is I like to add a bit of that Tex-Mex flair with sliced jalapenos and green chiles.  I swear on a baby, they only enhance the flavors of the dish and do not overpower with heat..promise!

*You can drain and dry your tomatoes ahead of time and keep between paper towels on a plate or large Ziploc baggie in the refrigerator.  You can also make the cheesy topping ahead of time and keep in the fridge as well. 🙂

**Another great ingredient you can add in is bacon!!  Bacon is good in everything, right?

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 deep dish pie crust, frozen works great!
  • 4-5 large ripe tomatoes, sliced and patted dry
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped/torn
  • 4oz can green chiles, I prefer ‘hot’
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

TomPie1.JPG

Preheat your oven to your pie crusts directions (mine was 375 degrees).  Once the oven has heated up, take a fork and prick the bottoms and sides of your pie dough shell a few times and place in the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove the par baked pie dough and set aside.

Meanwhile, rinse and slice your tomatoes.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and lay in a colander and let drain for 20-30 minutes.  Also pat dry with a towel or paper towel.  You really want to remove as much moisture as you can from the tomatoes so that the pie wont be soggy.  TomPie2.JPG

Once the tomatoes have drained, layer in the half-baked pie shell.  Sprinkle the green onions, sliced jalapeno and torn basil leaves overtop the tomatoes.

In a large bowl, simply combine the mayonnaise, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, drained green chiles and a pinch each of salt and pepper,  Fold together till mixed.  Top this mixture evenly overtop the fresh vegetables and place in your oven, now at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!!

 

 

Serve by itself for a light lunch, bring to a brunch or as a side dish along with grilled pork chops!  Just delish!!

TomPie7

 

Jalapeño Creamed Corn Stuffed Tomatoes

Like most, when the outside air turns warm (hello 💐 Spring!!) and our grill is always going, I love me some corn!  Not many vegetables go so well with grilled meats and BBQ!  However, to avoid the debacle that is shucking corn and/or soaking it, taking up room on our grill (we were also making racks of ribs, friends) and messy corn-on-the-cob eating faces..I decided for a different route!

Besides corn, cream and spice are my other two favorite food groups, so let us combine them shall we??  You may think, “oh, I’ve had creamed corn growing up.  I don’t like it.  Way too sweet.  Too gloopy.  No cans for me.”  Well, just try it my way, please!!  The corn here keeps its slight sweetness, but it also keeps its shape and crunch!  The cream doesn’t taste artificial and a slight heat from the jalapeño really brings life to this dish!  Jalapeños bring life to me, but that’s another blog post in the making….anyway, just try it would ya!

*ok, the tomatoes are optional, but they’re adorable, easy and healthy!  If you prefer just the jalapeño creamed corn, I don’t blame you one bit.  I “sampled” this far too often before I stuffed the roasted tomatoes for our meal.  

The Starting Lineup

  • 4-6 on the vine tomatoes 
  • 16oz frozen corn 
  • 1-2 jalapeños, minced (we like a bit of heat, so I used two and left seeds in!)
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese, softened and cubed
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt & pepper 
  • Milk, to thin at the end (about 1/2 cup)


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place a rack about 6″ under your broiler.  Also prepare a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

Rinse and pat dry your tomatoes.  Using a serrated knife, carefully cut off the tops of each tomato and set aside.  Now using a spoon, also carefully run along the inside and scoop out the seeds/juice.  *It may seem tough at first, you can use your knife to get things going, but it all scoops out together beautifully.  Sprinkle the insides of each tomato with a pinch of salt and ground pepper and set the cored tomatoes aside along with their “lids”.

Now, heat a medium sized skillet with 1 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat.  *I used my favorite, fabulous green chili infused oil from our local oil & vinegar market, 1890.  Sooooo good!  Pour the bag of corn straight into the hot skillet along with the minced jalapeño(s).  Toss around a bit till you really start to smell that roasting flavor, about 4-5 minutes, adding the garlic for the last 30 seconds.

Drop the temperature down to medium-low.  To the now heated through corn and peppers, add in the cubed cream cheese, butter, cayenne and salt & pepper.  Stir to combine and help melt.  

After it sits for a bit, prior to stuffing the tomatoes, I stir in a bit of milk to thin to your desired consistency.  It will come back and hold together, I promise.


*While the creamed corn is coming together, place the cored tomatoes onto your baking sheet and pop in the oven for a few minutes, allowing to soften and heat up.

Once combined, (and thoroughly sampled) remove the sheet of warmed tomatoes from the oven and scoop spoonfuls of the spicy, creamy corn straight in!  I like it overflowing!!  Top each filled tomato with its “lid” and place the baking sheet back into the oven and switch over to broil.  Now you can use low or high setting, but just watch closely!!  This just takes mere minutes, especially if on high!

Remove from oven and serve with ..oh I dunno…maybe a rack of ribs, roasted potatoes and cheddar biscuits!  We kind of liked that 😉 Enjoy!!

Southern Comeback Sauce

I’ve had a little break from here as of late and it’s not because I was tiring of it.  It was due to my husband and I purchasing our first home (yay!!) and packing and Christmas and New Years and moving and unpacking and two very young kids and life and….oh man am I beat!!  However, my (much much larger) kitchen is at least unpacked and ready to be lovingly used!  Ecstatic doesn’t even describe it!

So I figured it only fitting that for my food blogging comeback, I make a delicious southern favorite, Comeback Sauce!!  More commonly known on the west coast as the simply put fry sauce.

Now the ingredients can vary a bit in this recipe, but one thing remains true of this Mississippi classic..it must contain chili sauce!  It really does take it up a few notches in flavor as opposed to the west-coast strictly Mayo/ketchup blend.  I promise!

One last great thing about the ever famous Southern Comeback Sauce is that it is darn good on everything.  Like everything.  French fries, onion rings, a burger or BLT spread, veggies, fried chicken strips, shrimp or oysters..I could go on and on, but…I’m hungry!  Enjoy!!

*and hey, if you’re not so inclined on making your own, you can buy bottles of this stuff from many southern retailers online! 😉

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 1/4 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce (2+ Tbsp more if desired)
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1+ tsp Cajun seasoning
  • A couple dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • A pinch of salt and black pepper
  • Small drizzle of olive oil 

This tasty, glorified “fry sauce” could not be easier to prepare!  I absolutely let my little ones in on helping me here since it’s nearly impossible to mess it up.  

In a medium size bowl while using a whisk, simply combine ALL of the above ingredients together.  Make sure to taste and add a bit more Tabasco for heat, maybe more salt or Cajun seasoning or even more mayo if that’s how you like it!  It’s all up to you my friend.

Once just combined, cover with plastic wrap or transfer to a lidded mason jar and refridgerate to allow those flavors to meld.  When ready and if you’re feeling real fun that day…pour into those little paper or plastic fast-food ketchup cups and serve with a big platter of fries, burgers, onion rings, hush puppies…whatever!  It’s good on all!!

Orange-Pecan Shortbread Cookies with Cranberry Icing

Cookies are a staple of Christmas, at least in our home.  However, we always seem to have the same ol same ol.  Chocolate chip pecan, thumbprints, spritzers, sugar cookies with royal icing…while all are equally delicious, it can become a bit humdrum.

That being said, I had to step up to the plate with my duty of making the already famous cranberry the star of Christmas this year!  Through great luck (and all of that “hard work of being a food blogger” 😉 I have been fortunate enough to be a recipient of a large package of perfect Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries on my doorstep! This box addressed to me, “Railroad Wife in Texas”, on frozen ice and all, was just screaming to NOT be made into your average pie, relish or smoothie..but into a fantastic dessert!  When one thinks of cranberries their mind often goes to that bowl at the end of the table that all too often gets neglected…not here my friend! This is front and center and oh so delicious!

…and dang, did I knock it out of the park!  Plus with the freshness of real orange juice, zest and cranberries I like to consider these guys healthy too!  So have another… 😉

To pick up your very own bag of Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries, you can go online to http://www.CapeCodSelect.com to order online/find your location or head to my favorite local pick up at:

Central Market

4651 WestFree way

Fort Worth, Texas 76107

Follow my friends Cape Cod Select at:

https://www.facebook.com/capecodselect/
https://twitter.com/CapeCodSelect

https://plus.google.com/b/112667579999356431188/+CapeCodSelectEdgewoodBogsCarver/about/p/pub

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp2g4eev6wgHxzYHUFhEMz                                                                                                    


The Starting Lineup

Shortbread Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 6 TBSP granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP orange zest
  • 2/3 cup orange juice, fresh
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup (sticks) butter, unsalted and cubed

Cranberry Icing

  • 1 cup Cape Cod Select Premium frozen cranberries
  • 5 TBSP water, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar 

SHORTBREAD COOKIES:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees; Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cube your two sticks of butter and then place in the freezer (you really want cold butter).

In a large (i.e. Kitchen Aid) mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, pecans, sugar).  Using your mixer with the paddle attachment, cut in the cold butter till it looks almost “crumbly”.  Next add in the orange zest, orange juice and almond extract.

Switch to the kneading attachment and knead until combined and forms a ball.

*If too dry add 1Tbsp of water at a time till ball forms.  If too tacky/wet, add 1Tbsp of flour at a time till smooth.

Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin.  Roll the dough out to 1/4″ and use your favorite cookie cutter to cut out festive shapes.  Alternatively, you can roll into a log-form and cut into disk shapes.  Place cookies onto the parchment lined baking sheets. 

Place into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes.  The middle should be set and the bottoms slightly browned.  Cool for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling before applying the icing.

ICING:

In a saucepan, add in the 1 cup of cranberries, 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and 2 TBSP of water.  Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Pour this mix with the remaining 3 TBSP water into a blender and puree.

*Optional to strain into a medium size bowl using a sieve to catch any ‘bits & pieces’..I, however, like it with them in the icing, adds a bit of a rustic touch!

To your puree, whisk in the remaining powdered sugar.  As it sets, it will slightly thicken.  *You can whisk in a bit more powdered sugar if you prefer it even sweeter and thicker.  

Once the cookies have cooled, apply a small spoonful of the icing to the center of each cookie.  Using a small tipped pastry brush (or heck, even a new paint brush), fan out to the edge of your cookies.  You can add more (another layer) to thicken the icing if desired.

Serve with a tall glas of milk and enjoy this holiday season..

Blackberry Cobbler

In the world of easy (yet impressive) desserts, the cobbler may just take the…umm..cake??.  You know what I mean.  It’s so delicious, so easy and insanely comforting.  

On these chilly winter nights, it’s so simple to whisk together a few on hand ingredients, fresh OR even frozen fruit and pop into the oven.  Besides baking time, this MAY take you all of 10 minutes to prepare..c’mon, you know you can handle that!  Finally, if you’re like myself, you’ll pour yourself a big old glass of spiked sweet tea along with this cobbler ala-mode-style and sit on your porch taking in the southern cool night..

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 cups blackberries 
  • 2 cups sugar, divided 1:1
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup flour 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Pinch of salt  

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place the stick of butter into a 9×13 rectangular baking dish.  While the oven is STILL preheating, transfer the dish to the oven, swirling it around once it starts to melt (watching so as not to burn).

In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest and 1 cup of the sugar with the fruit. Toss to coat and set aside.  *If using frozen fruit, allow to defrost, drain and pat dry any excess water.

Next, remember to watch your baking dish and the melting butter, whisk together the flour, remaining cup of sugar, baking powder, vanilla/almond extract, milk and a pinch of salt in a separate large bowl. 

Remove the preheated buttered baking dish from the oven and pour in your batter.  Top, fairly evenly, with the sugared blackberries overtop of the batter.  *The batter will rise and bake around the fruit.

Place back in the oven and cook for 50-60 minutes until a beautiful, slightly crunchy golden brown color is achieved. I prefer to bake mine a little on the longer side as I love the crunchy bits on the edges.
Once time is up, remove from oven and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, enjoy!! 

Baked “Fried” Chicken w/ Alabama White Sauce

Not everyone is familiar with the wide variety of barbecue sauces that exist in this great country.  Most know of the thick, slightly sweet Kansas City style, the tangy vinegar or mustard based Carolina flavors and that damn good bold and spicy Texas rendition.  However, if you ever find yourself in the northern (or even not so north) parts of Alabama, you’ll find their zesty, tangy and a bit quirky WHITE version.  Yep!  White bbq sauce that I must admit is pretty darn tasty!!

It originated in 1925 by the legendary Bob Gibson (his restaurant is still there and busy as ever!) where he created a tangy, mayonnaise based concoction that is great for marinating, basting or dipping.  Really, every southern home should have this condiment on hand for the more traditional smoked or grilled chicken, pulled pork sandwiches or even a fantastic french fry sauce!  Give it a try..I know it won’t be your last time! 

*Their are a few renditions of the famous white sauce, but as long as you have mayo, vinegar, salt and pepper, you can add to it!

The Starting Lineup
Baked “Fried” Chicken

  • 4 Chicken Breasts, thin sliced
  • 3/4 cup Alabama White Sauce
  • 1 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Alabama White Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Creole mustard 
  • 1 tsp horseradish, prepared
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 

Alabama White Sauce ingredients..


At least an hour before you’re planning on eating, mix up the Alabama White Sauce so that A.  The flavors can really meld together in the refridgerator and B.  You can marinate the chicken in 1/2 of the sauce prior to dredging and baking.

In a medium size bowl, simply whisk together all of sauce ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Next, in either a baking dish or a gallon-size ziplock bag, pour out about half of the sauce to coat the chicken breasts.  *Make sure not to cross contaminate here!

Cover both the bowl of remaining white sauce and the now coated chicken with plastic wrap/zip up bag.  Place in the refridgerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.  

Time to eat!!  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and prepare a foil-lined baking sheet with a wire rack on top (you may need to spray the rack with non-stick).  Remove the marinated chicken from the refridgerator.

*This next step is optional, but recommended….In a skillet heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat.  Add in the 1 3/4 cups of  Panko and the 1/4 cup of cornmeal.  Lightly brown the breading, stirring often, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a shallow dish.

To the (toasted) breadcrumbs, whisk in the spices.

Take each sauce coated chicken breast, one by one, and dredge in the spiced (and toasted) breadcrumbs.  Gently press the panko on as well as possible and transfer each to the wire racked baking sheet.  It’s ok if it’s not perfect..rustic is pretty!  

Place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until outside is nice and crunchy and the centers are cooked through.  

Serve with a small dish of that tangy Alabama White Sauce for dipping or just pour on over the chicken!  I like to accompany ours with a side of bacon black eyed peas, a country salad and bread and butter..enjoy!!

Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken Sliders w/ a Tabasco Honey Glaze

Since the weather has cooled, it was only natural that I wanted some stick-to-your-ribs kinda meal AND I don’t mind having the warm stove or oven on.  Yay!  

So when the thought of cooking an amped-up fried chicken sandwich crossed my mind, I was sooo in my happy place.  Regarding the sauce, I like things spicy (duh) and my hubby likes things sweet (duh once again), so the simple pairing of the vinegary Tabasco with the subtly sweet honey was just the right concoction!  The hot sauce thins out the honey for a perfect drizzle!  Just to die for on fried chicken…or should I say like todays teen, “it’s everything!”

That was now settled, so I grabbed my apron, cranked up 95.9 The Ranch on the kitchen radio and started frying up some goodness!

The Starting Lineup

  • 6 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 1 cup sweet tea, I love Red Diamond brand
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • Bread & butter pickles (dill just isn’t right here)
  • Mayonnaise, I love Dukes brand
  • Slider potato rolls
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Tabasco Pepper Sauce, few to several dashes 
  • Canola or peanut oil, for frying 

Earlier in the day, add the chicken thighs to a ziplock bag and pour in the buttermilk and sweet tea.  Zip up and give a shake to evenly distribute the brine.  Store in a shallow dish (to avoid spillage) and place in the refrigerator for 2-6 hours (overnight is fine too). 

Once you’re ready to fry these up, bring about 2″ of oil up to med-high heat. (350-375 degrees) in a heavy bottomed skillet or dutch oven.

Next, in a shallow dish, whisk together the flour with the spices and remove the chicken from the refridgerator. *Here, as I often do, is place the chicken thighs between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound out a bit thinner.  Helps to tenderize it even more AND it looks kind of cool hanging over the bun.  Bigger is always better ;). 

Now we’re ready to fry!  Using tongs, grab one of the chicken thighs and shake off excess brine, then dredge completely with the seasoned flour.  Transfer to the hot oil and allow to cook for 6-8 minutes, then turn over and fry for another 6-8 minutes (till golden brown and cooked through).  Remove to wire racked baking sheet (or paper towels) to rest while you finish the remaining thighs.  *Only fry 2-3 at a time so that the oil temperature doesn’t drop…THAT makes for greasy chicken! 

Now that the chicken is cooked, whisk together the honey and Tabasco sauce to taste.  You also can slightly toast the cut side of the sliders on a hot skillet if desired (not toaster oven).  

Assembly time!!  Spread a thin (or thick) layer of mayonnaise on each side of your soft slider rolls.  Then add the fried chicken, followed by a few bread & butter pickles and finally drizzle the honey-Tabasco right over top!  Dig in and enjoy!! 

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