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Friday, July 26, 2013

Southern Summer Succotash

I bought some local (John's Island) butter beans at the farmer's market a week or so ago and I decided to make some succotash. Yum. Here's my take on this classic southern dish. You could pair it with just about any meat or eat it plain. It's good! Cheers to the summer!!

Southern Summer Succotash:

2 cups of fresh, local butter beans (frozen could work, but will take longer or lima beans)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 pats of butter (or you could probably sub EVOO here)
1/2 16oz. bag frozen corn (I didn't have fresh, but that would be awesome)
cayenne pepper, to taste
1 small jalapeno, diced (from our backyard garden!)
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Grab a medium saute/frying pan. Over medium heat add the butter and melt. Add your red pepper and onion. Saute for about 5-7 minutes.

Add garlic, saute 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir. Add corn and cayenne. Saute 7 more minutes. Add butter beans. I think we like ours a little more done, so about 20-25 minutes simmer on med-low heat, stirring every now and then.

About the fresh butter bean prep: I soaked the beans in water for about 12 hours. I then pre-boiled them for about 20 minutes. I knew this would be crucial to the succotash cook time in the end. (If you like yours more al dente, then adjust accordingly.)

Results: So delicious! I love fresh vegetables. Husband added usual Tabasco, but I just ate it up with a spoon! Literally. Always a favorite around here. Bonus: Healthy! To give it extra pizzazz, maybe add some fresh rosemary on top or a little basil! Next time! I love homemade succotash. Enjoy friends.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Creamy Pimento Chicken

This was a last minute meal that I made and it turned out great. Most of the ingredients I already had on hand, so that made things easy too. I hope you enjoy!!

Creamy Pimento Chicken

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, halve
4 oz. jar diced pimentos, drained
italian bread crumbs (~1 cup)
1/2 cup milk
pecorino romano cheese, grated (~1/4 cup)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
~1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup chicken broth (I didn't measure this...could be more or less)
1 cup heavy cream
red pepper flakes
italian seasoning
angel hair pasta (optional)

maybe some lemon wedges and a little extra basil for garnish (presentation...I need to work on that!)

Grab 2 bowls and put the milk in one and the breadcrumbs into another. This will be for the breading. Turn your stove to medium heat and melt a few pats of butter in a cast iron skillet (If you don't have a cast iron, you can use a regular skillet, but cast iron is the bees knees). Grab a piece of chicken and dip in the milk and then dredge through the bread crumbs and coat the chicken. Cook about 5 minutes on each side or until just browned.

Place the browned chicken in a sprayed baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350. At this point I sprinkled a little italian seasoning on the top of each browned chicken breast. Cover and cook about 20-30 minutes depending on your oven and the size of your chicken pieces.

While that is cooking, have a little wine. Yippee!

When the chicken is just about done, prepare your sauce and pasta noodles (if you are into the pasta). For the sauce, grab a small pot and start over low heat. Saute the garlic for about 1 minute (do not burn). Then stir in chicken broth, pimentos, heavy cream, spices and cheese. Bring to a boil and heat for about 2 minutes or until desired thickness while continuing to stir. Turn down the heat and add the basil to the sauce. Keep on low heat.

We chose to have pasta, chicken and top it with a healthy dose of sauce. (You could sub in rice, or eat it plain with sides...just about anything could work here)

Notes: We both REALLY enjoyed it (and husband helped me make it)!
Servings: 4-6
Start to Finish: 1 hour

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July Baked Beans

Caveat: I do not like baked beans. Nor does my brother. We are from the Deep South. Discuss.

Like a good sport/wife I gave these a whirl for a little backyard grill-out.

I have to say...and I don't want to...I kind of like them...dom. dom. dom. My mom would never believe this. Our guests loved them and husband ate all the leftovers. I can honestly say that they smelled delicious in the oven. I may have to come over to the dark side of life: the baked bean side.

4th of July Baked Beans

1 small red pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large onion, diced
yellow mustard, ~2 tbls. or so
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (eyeball)
1/4 cup pressed brown sugar
1/8-1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 large can and 1 regular can Pork and Beans
slab of bacon (we'll talk about this later)

Add 3-4 slices of torn bacon to a dutch oven over medium heat.

Chop all your veggies and add them in. Let the vegetables sweat for about 5-7 minutes (they will cook more later).

Mix all the rest of your ingredients into the pot and let this simmer for about 10 minutes.

Transfer everything to a lightly sprayed baking dish and top with slices of bacon. Preheat oven to 325.

We are going to slow cook these beans. Slide these in the oven on the middle rack and cook for about 2 hours. Let them stand for about 5-10 minutes and dig in!!

As I said before, I DO NOT LIKE baked beans. These are good!!!

recipe cred: Pioneer Woman's baked beans (with adjustments and a much smaller serving)
Servings: 6-8
I think next time I make this recipe I will add a tablespoon or so of Worcestershire sauce

Monday, July 1, 2013

Chicken Taquitos

Let's start by admitting that husband loves Tabasco, I love pearls and we cannot live without Mexican food. I'm not sure how two rednecks from Alabama love Mexican food so much, but we really do. These chicken taquitos were awesome!

On a similar note, today was an interesting day (mostly because I was on a cleaning kick...insert laughter). After cleaning out the refrigerator and subsequently clogging the disposal, I was feeling pretty sheepish. I was hoping this new recipe would be a hit and boost my spirits. It did just that! A win in the kitchen, is a win overall (and husband fixed the disposal). Just for clarification, in case there were any doubts, you just can't go wrong with Mexican food in this house!

Chicken Taquitos

~1.5 lbs. chicken, use what you have (I used 4 chicken thighs with bones and skin)
1/2 can beer
flour tortillas, burrito size
olive oil or cooking spray
3 cups fresh spinach
4 small jalapenos, minced
1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
couple dashes of Tabasco
salsa or taco sauce for dipping

If you have leftover cooked chicken or cheated and bought a rotisserie chicken (I won't tell) then ignore these instructions below and proceed to the assembly portion.

I cooked my chicken in the oven. You could also boil it. Preheat oven to 350 and arrange chicken in a dish. Pour the beer around the chicken.

Cover and bake for about 45 minutes or until done. While the chicken is cooking, mince your jalapenos. We had fresh home grown jalapenos on hand from our back yard plants. Growing stuff is fun!! So anyways, we removed the seeds and used our food processor to mince them.

When the chicken is done, remove the skin and shred the chicken. Transfer the chicken to a medium bowl and add the spices and Tabasco. Reserve ~1/4 cup of beer/chicken liquid. If you had precooked chicken, you could just use some chicken broth.

Add the reserved beer/chicken liquid to a skillet on medium-low heat. Now add your spinach and jalapenos. Cook until the spinach is mostly wilted and turn off heat.
(spinach is not wilted all the way in this photo)

Now it's assembly time. Turn the oven up to 400. Cut the tortillas in half. Along the straight edge add the chicken, top with some cheese and then add a healthy amount of the spinach/jalapeno mixture. Roll it up starting with the straight edge and place in a greased dish. Continue until you run out of ingredients. Brush the tops with a small amount of olive oil. We ended up with six taquitos. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.

I served this with spanish rice. Husband drizzled Tabasco on top of his and ate 2. I ate one and dipped mine in a little taco sauce. We both commented that it turned out really great!

Notes: This dish can take some time to prep, but it is definitely yummy!!! Will make again!