August 30, 2009

Cajun Style Baked Sweet Potato

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour

Ready In: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Servings: 4
"Tired of the same old baked sweet potato? Great for picnics and barbecues, these sweet potatoes are seasoned with a homemade herb and spice mix."
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large sweet potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. In a small bowl, stir together paprika, brown sugar, black pepper, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
3. Slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Brush each half with olive oil. Rub the seasoning mix over the cut surface of each half. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, or in a shallow pan.
4. Bake in preheated oven until tender, or about 1 hour.

Chocolate Chip, Oats 'n Caramel Cookie Squares

Prep Time: 35 Min
Total Time: 2 Hr 40 Min
Makes: 16 bars

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
1 cup quick-cooking oats
Dash salt, if desired
2/3 cup SMUCKER'S® Caramel Ice Cream Topping
5 tablespoons Pillsbury BEST® all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup Fisher® Chef's Naturals® Chopped Walnuts
1 cup Hershey's® semi-sweet baking chips (6 oz)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in oats and salt. Reserve 1/2 cup dough for topping. In ungreased 9-inch square pan, press remaining dough mixture evenly in bottom to form crust.
2. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until dough puffs and appears dry.
3. In small bowl, mix caramel topping, flour and vanilla until well blended. Sprinkle walnuts and baking chips evenly over crust. Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture. Crumble reserved 1/2 cup dough mixture over caramel.
4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen bars. Cool completely, about 1 hour, 30 minutes. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Store tightly covered.

Cajun Dirty Rice

1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground beef
1 large bell pepper
1 medium onion
5 - 6 peeled cloves of garlic
1 or 2 fresh, green cayenne peppers
1 tsp. salt (use to own taste)
1 tsp. red pepper (use to own taste -- balance with fresh pepper above)
2 cans mushroom steak sauce
3-4 cups cooked rice

The Dressing Mix:
Pan fry the ground meat well until all of the meat is well done. Put bell
pepper, onion and garlic into food processor and "nearly" liquify it, then
add this to the meat. The pepper/onion/garlic should sizzle as you stir it
well into the the meat. When the sizzling fades, add the mushroom steak
sauce and a little water and allow the entire dressing mix to simmer for at
least a half hour.

Dirty Rice:
Cooked rice can be added to this mixture and thoroughly stirred. The more
rice you add, the drier and "whiter" the resulting dressing will be. Adding
the right amount of rice will result in a dress that is moist with the rice
appearing very brown ("dirty").

Cornbread Dressing:
Substitute crumbed cornbread for cooked rice.

Save some for later:
Freeze the dressing mix, i.e., before adding rice/cornbread, separately.
When needed, defrost the mix by heating it and add the rice or cornbread.

Godiva Frozen Chocolate Turtle Pie

Yield: 8 servings
Difficulty: *Easy
Preparation: 30 minutes plus freezing times

Chocolate Wafer Crust:
1 1/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted and finely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Ice Cream Filling:
1 pint premium vanilla ice cream, softened
5 ounces Godiva Milk Chocolate Caramels, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Caramel Layer:
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze:
3 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Godiva Nut or Caramel Candies, cut up

Make the crust:

In medium bowl, stir together wafer crumbs, pecans and butter with fork until mixture is well combined. Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch glass pie plate. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm.

Make the ice cream filling:

Spread half of softened ice cream into prepared pie shell. Top with chopped chocolate candies and pecans. Spread with remaining ice cream. Cover pie with plastic wrap and freeze while preparing caramel layer.

Make the caramel layer:

1. In small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is boiling. Remove pan from heat and whisk in cream and vanilla until blended. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

2. Spoon caramel mixture over ice cream layer in pie shell, covering it completely. Freeze pie for 20 minutes, until caramel layer is set.

Make the chocolate glaze:

Place chocolate in medium bowl. In heavy, medium saucepan, heat cream and corn syrup over medium heat until mixture comes to boil. Pour hot cream mixture over chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds to melt chocolate. Gently whisk until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove pie from freezer and pour glaze over top of caramel layer, covering it completely. Freeze pie until ready to serve.

Garnish the pie:

Beat cream, sugar and vanilla in chilled, medium bowl, using hand-held electric mixer to stiff peaks. Place whipped cream into pastry bag fitted with large star tip (such as Ateco #7). Pipe cream around top edge of pie. Garnish with chopped chocolate candies. Serve immediately.

Sausage & Bean Soup

3/4-lb bulk Italian sausage
1/2-cup chopped onion
1-garlic clove, minced
1-15oz can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1-15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1-14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, un-drained
1-14 1/2 oz can beef broth
1-tbsp minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
2-tbsp shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, cook sausage, onion and garlic until the sausage is browned; drain
Add beans, tomatoes, broth and basil
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes
Sprinkle each serving with cheese

4-6 servings.

Hearty Sausage Gumbo

1-tbsp olive oil
1-cup chopped onions
½-cup chopped sweet red pepper
½-cup chopped sweet green pepper
½-cup chopped celery
1-clove garlic, minced
5 ½-cups chicken stock
1-lb cooked smoked turkey sausage, quartered lengthwise and sliced
½-lb smoked turkey thigh, chopped
½-lb small shrimp, uncooked
1-16oz package frozen cut okra
1 –14 1/2oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1-7oz package Zatarain's Gumbo Mix with Rice
1-tsp snipped fresh rosemary, chopped
1-tsp snipped fresh thyme, chopped
½-tsp cayenne

In a 4-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil
Add the onion, green and red pepper, celery and garlic
Cook and stir over medium heat for 4 minutes
Add the chicken stock, sausage, turkey thigh, okra, undrained tomatoes, gumbo mix,
rosemary, thyme and cayenne pepper
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered about 15 minutes
Add the shrimp and cook another 5 minutes or until rice is tender

Makes 8 servings

Beans & Greens Soup

2-tbsp olive oil
1/2-head of kale or collard greens, stems removed & leaves shredded
1-medium onion, diced, about 1-cup
3-garlic cloves, minced
1-tbsp flour
1-tsp dried rosemary
1/2-tsp dried sage
1/2-tsp dried thyme
2-tbsp tomato paste
1/2-cup barley
1-potato, peeled and diced
2-19oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
Salt & pepper to taste
8 1/2-cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1-smoked sausage, diced

Sauté onion and garlic in oil until translucent
Sprinkle with flour, rosemary, sage and thyme
Cook for 1-2 minutes
Add tomato paste; stir and add sausage
Add stock, barley and potato; bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes
Add beans and kale; simmer until kale is wilted and barley is tender about 20 minutes

Orange Ginger Glazed Barbecued Ribs

4 pounds beef ribs

3/4 cup frozen Florida orange juice concentrate, thawed

1/3 cup sliced green onions

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 oranges, peeled, thinly sliced, and seeded

Cut the ribs into serving size pieces. For barbecue sauce, in a bowl combine thawed orange juice concentrate, onions, ginger root, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and pepper.

In a covered grill arrange medium hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above the pan.

Place ribs on the grill rack over the drip pan. Cover and grill for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until ribs are tender and no pink remains, brushing occasionally with the barbecue sauce at least 10 minutes of grilling. Serve with orange slices. Serves 6.

TO ROAST: Place ribs, bone side down, on a rack in a shallow pan. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Brush with the sauce, then roast 30 to 45 minutes more or until no pink remains, brushing occasionally with sauce.

Texas Style BBQ Beef Ribs

2 racks of beef back ribs (7 ribs per rack)

2 Tbsp. black pepper

1 Tbsp. ground oregano

1 Tbsp. paprika

2 tsp. celery salt

1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

Combine all spices. Rub over surface of ribs to coat well.

Preheat oven to 300° F.

Place ribs on a rack in a roasting pan. Add 1/2-inch of water to bottom of pan. Cover pan with foil and tightly seal edge.

Bake at 300° F for 2 hours.

Remove ribs from pan and place on grill over medium coals for 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Cut between ribs to serve.

Serves 6-8