Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Killer Blueberry Muffins

Yield: 24 regular size

1 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Saigon Cinnamon *
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Large Egg
1/3 Cup Milk
1 Cup Fresh Blueberries that are frozen

1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup All-purpose Flour
1/8 Cup Butter, cubed
3/4 Teaspoon Saigon Cinnamon *

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Grease of line muffin pans.
3. Mix topping ingredients in small bowl with fork.
4. In larger bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder.
5. Place oil in a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup.
6. Mix this with flour mixture.
7. Fold in frozen blueberries.
8. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and cap with crumb topping.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. (Time is for regular size muffins.)

Saigon Cinnamon - FoodieAffair.com

Nutty Basmati Rice

Now, this is not a Southern, a Cajun or a Creole recipe, but it is a favorite of my clients. It is Middle Eastern and delightfully fragrant and absolutely wonderful.

Serves 8
Time: 30 minutes

2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Large Stick Cinnamon
2 Whole Cloves
3/4 Cup Onion, minced
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
2 Cups Basmati Rice, uncooked
1 Cup Water
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1/4 Cup Dates, chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Orange Zest *
1/4 Cup Pistachio Nuts, unsalted, toasted

1. Heat oil and butter in 3 qt. Dutch oven over high heat.
2. Add cinnamon and cloves and cook, stirring, until the cinnamon stick spuffs up, 1-2 minutes.
3. Reduce heat and add onion and saute until the onion is clear, about 3 minutes.
4. Stir in the rice and mix to coat all the grains.
5. Cook until it begins to be aromatic, 1-2 minutes.
6. Add water, chicken broth, dates, salt, and orange zest and bring to a boil.
7. Reduce heat to low and cover tightly.
8. Simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed, 13-15 minutes.
9. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes to allow the rice to set.
10. Remove cinnamon stick and cloves (cloves should be on top).
11. Uncover and fluff with fork.
12. Garnish with pistachios before serving.
Orange Zest - FoodieAffair.com

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Texas Chili

Servings: 12
Yield: 1 1/4 gallons

1 1/2 Quarts Chicken Broth

1/3 Pound Bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/4 Cup Celery, finely chopped

7 Cups Canned Tomatoes, diced

2 Teaspoons Sugar

4 Pounds Pork, cubed

3 Pounds Beef, cubed

3 Medium Onions, cut into 1/2" pieces
3 Each Green Bell Pepper, cut into 3/8" pieces

6 Each Green Chili Peppers, long
1 Teaspoon Oregano

2 Tablespoon Black Orchid Ground Cumin *

1 Tablespoon Pepper
4 Teaspoons Salt

6 Tablespoons Black Orchid Chili Powder *
1/2 cup
Cilantro, chopped
1 Teaspoon Thyme

1 Cup Beer
6 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon Lime Juice

1. Combine celery, tomatoes, and sugar and simmer 1 1/2 hours.
2. Boil chili pods 15 minutes until tender, remove seeds and cut in 1/4" squares.

3. Mix oregano, cumin, pepper, salt, chili powder, cilantro, and thyme with beer. Whisk until there are no lumps.

4. Add beer mixture, chilies, tomato mixture, and garlic to chicken broth.

5. Cook bacon and reserved drippings.

6. Pour some drippings into skillet and add pork to brown. Repeat for remaining pork.

7. Add cooked pork to broth mixture and simmer slowly 30 minutes.

8. Cook beef in bacon drippings and add to broth mixture. Return to simmer slowly for about 1 hour.
9. Add onions and green peppers, simmer 2-3 hours longer. Stir with wooden spoon every 15-20 minutes.
10. Cool 1 hour then refrigerate 24 hours.
11. Reheat chili for serving.
12. Stir in lime juice just before serving. and add your choice of toppings.
Black Orchid Ground Cumin - FoodieAffair.com
Black Orchid Chili Powder - FoodieAffair.com

Melt In Your Mouth Biscuits

Yield: 8-9 biscuits

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour, soft flour such as Martha White if available
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening
2/3 Cup Heavy Cream *
1 Cup Buttermilk **
3 Tablespoons Butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Put rack slightly below center.
3. Spray 8 or 9" round pan with non-stick spray.
4. In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Work shortening in with fingers until there are no large lumps.
5. Gently stir in heavy cream, then some buttermilk until dough resembles cottage cheese.
6. Scoop dough into pan using a round ice cream or tablespoon into prepared pan with scoops of dough touching each other.
7. Bake for 20-25 min. or until lightly browned.
8. Brush with melted butter.
9. Invert onto 1 plate and then back onto another. With a knife or spatula, cut quickly between biscuits to make them easy to remove.
10. Serve immediately with butter or your favorite preserves.

NOTE: If you don't have heavy whipping cream and/or buttermilk on hand, you can use these generally accepted substitutes with good success.
* Heavy Cream Substitute -
Melt 1/3 cup butter and let it cool but not harden. Pour into 3/4 cup milk, room temperature. It's okay if the butter hardens when you pour it into the milk.
** Buttermilk Substitute - Mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice.

HEALTHY SLANT - You can substitute low-fat milk for heavy whipping cream and buttermilk, but I must tell you that the crumb of the biscuit is not as tender. And of course, you can elimate the butter basting at the end, if you must.

NuAwlins Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

Here is one of our signature dishes. It is one of our most requested desserts. We grew up having bread pudding at various restaurants in New Orleans. Some were simple and others complex. I like the simple straightforward kind which is represented below. Of course you can add things like raisins, fruit, and other flavored sauces. In fact the picture posted has caramel flavored sauce. This is a great basic recipe for you to experiment with flavors. Go and do and report back!!
Serves 15

1 ¼ Cup Pecan Pieces
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
¼ Teaspoon salt
¾ Cup Brown Sugar
¼ Cup Butter, softened
1 Cups Pecan Pieces (part of the 1 ¼ cup)
2 Cups Sugar
5 Large Eggs, beaten
2 Cups Milk
2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract *
1 Teaspoons Pure Almond Extract
1 ½ Loaves French Bread, cubed
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoons Cornstarch
½ Cup Sugar
1 Cups Milk
½ Tablespoon Orange Zest
1 teaspoon gelified rum *
¼ Cup Pecan Pieces (part of the 1 ¼ cup)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
On a baking sheet, spread 1 1/4 cup pecan pieces in single layer.
Bake in oven for approximately 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix ingredients together with a fork and set aside.
In large bowl, whisk eggs, then incorporate sugar, and then add milk, vanilla and almond extracts.
Cube bread and put cubes into milk mixture, toss to moisten all cubes and let set for at least 10 minutes, tossing occaisionally.
Pour bread mixture into prepared pan.
Sprinkle with Topping mixture and bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.
In a small bowl whisk together sugar cornstarch, then mix into butter.
Pour in milk, add orange zest, and cook stirring frequently until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and add rum.
Pour sauce over hot pudding.
Sprinkle ¼ cup pecan pieces over top.

HEALTHY SLANT - Don't even think about it.
Pure Vanilla Extract - FoodieAffair.com
Pure Almond Extract
- FoodieAffair.com
Gelified Rum - FoodieAffair.com
Orange Zest - FoodieAffair.com