Thursday, February 7, 2013

Rustic Strawberry Peach Pandowdy

This is simply delicious as well as easy.  I first give credit to Tyler Florence from the Food Network who inspired it. I just made a few twists and turns for flavor and curtailed the time. This dessert is great with my barbeque and superb dessert with any pork entree! 

Then, you know Pookah and I had to go and do something ELSE to hurry it up!  Tsk. tsk! 

Here's what you'll need:

A buttered iron skillet. Preheat oven to 375° 

Ingredients and Method:

Crust: In a large glass bowl
1 box of corn muffin mix (OR 1 cup Masa flour w/
2 tbsp baking powder), 2 cups all purpose flour 4 tbsp unsalted butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cream or half & half.

 Mix all dry  ingredients. Add the butter and use your clean hands to mix and break up the butter, folding in and out until it looks like small peas. ADD the cream, a little at a time until moist, but manageable. Set aside.

Filling- In a large glass bowl:
1 carton fresh sliced or frozen strawberries (w/sugar), 1 1/2 bag of frozen peaches, 1/4 cup good bourbon*, 1 cup sugar, 1 tbsp of the following: ginger, cinnamon, tablespoon sea salt, lemon juice. 2 tablespoons  cornstarch or tapioca starch. 

Mix the filling well. Pour into a buttered iron skillet. Place on the stove, medium high, for about 5 minutes until ingredients become syrupy. Take off the stove.  ADD the bourbon and mix again. 

Add moist crust mix in large spoonfuls on top of the peach filling and sprinkle with a little sugar. There will be spaces and gaps, but they'll come together and puff up during baking. Brush some more cream over the top, sprinkling top crust with a little sugar.
Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is puffy, and filling is bubbly. Remove to the counter and let it sit for at least 15 mintues.

Serve hot with vanilla ice cream!

Let me know how you like it. Add comments, questions, or suggestions freely! Thanks!
* If you skip the alcohol, use a good rum or bourbon extract.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Luscious Puffy Seafood Pot Pie

Luscious Puffy Seafood Pot Pie

                   If you're trying to thrill someone in your life who is contemplating to head out, this is what you fix beforehand!  College student, long lost friend, X honey, former locker mate. Comfort food is calling with such richness that will leave 'em verklempt with this taste treasure.

 This looks like a lot, but trust me. It’s not difficult.  Okay. Let’s do it!

Ingredients Needed: ( recipe measurements below this list)

12 oz. crabmeat ( fresh, or pouched)
8 oz raw deveined shrimp or crawfish tails, or 4 imitation sliced crabmeat sticks
2 puff pastry crusts, thawed on counter
green, red and/or yellow bell pepper
red onion
white or yellow onion
1 medium potato ( diced and microwaved for 1 minute)
red pepper flakes
smoked paprika
roasted minced garlic
dry sherry or dry white wine or >  ¼ cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 quart half & half or 2 cans Fat Free evaporated milk 
1 egg white  ( or whole egg, beaten)
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Seafood Ingredients:

12 oz  fresh or pouched crabmeat, or TWO 5- 51/2 oz cans , drained well.
12 small or medium raw, peeled and deveined shrimp or crawfish tails 
( Put in a bowl for later)

For crust:

2 puff pastry crusts, rolled out slightly to fit 6  round or square individual baking dishes.
( I used the cutest square dishes with little handles as seen on this page) 


Sauté  in skillet:

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of flour and make a roux

ADD: ¼ cup red bell pepper
¼ cup green and/or yellow bell pepper
½ finely diced medium red onion
 ½ finely diced medium white onion ( yellow is okay )
 ½ cup finely diced celery
1 small microwaved potato ( 1 minute only) 
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, plus 2 teaspoons of black and cayenne pepper
ADD: ¼ cup dry sherry or dry white wine, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup half & half 
and 1 tablespoon of roasted minced garlic
Sauté  on LOW till tender and stir well.

All seafood, and 1 cup frozen sweet peas 

Spray baking dishes then fill  with cooking filling till 2/3 full ( or 1/4 inch from the dish rim); 
Place crust on top and brush with egg. Pierce 6 slits. Add two spinach leaves on top
Place all on baking sheets.   Bake at 400°  for 20 to 30 minutes.  Put on counter to cool.  

Now. At last. You've made something so special, you'll be remembered for all time!
And at last... well, click the following and enjoy!
At last: ( song originally by Etta James to be sung while you do this part.)

"At Last"- Etta James (when the meal is finished!)

Simple Focaccia D'Italia

      Well, I did it again! Here I was, minding my own business while making my 40 year old delicious homemade bread recipe, when I'll be darned if my invisible Pookah turned on the television to the Food channel. It tripped on Anne Burrell's recipe for focaccia bread. I couldn't believe how uncomplicated it was! (Thanks, Anne! You related to me?)
      Then... of course, I tried to put some beautiful stuff in it, reshape it, and tweak the measures to make several loaves. 

For one HUGE Loaf ( round, rectangular, size of a mini planet)
Preparation time is about 20 minutes, 
Rising time, around 1 hour and 45 minutes.  
Baking, about 20 minutes.

                                                                    Easy Focaccia D'Italia 

~1 1/2 cups warm water with 1 package of yeast

Add a large tablespoon of sugar, and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil; Put it aside to let the yeast and liquids marry till it foams (about 10-15 minutes.)

~Right after you fix the yeast mixture, put 1 cup chopped sun-dried tomato in some olive oil and/or Italian dressing) for 15 minutes as well to hydrate. 

( You can use Roma fresh, diced. If so, skip the hydration)

***Meanwhile:  Pour 5 cups of all purpose or unbleached flour into a LARGE BOWL ( or food processor with dough blade) 

Stir in at least 2 tablespoons** each of the following ingredients:

Coarse Sea or Kosher salt **
Brown sugar
Dried Sweet Basil
Dried Rosemary
Dried Italian seasoning
sesame or poppy seeds
**garlic powder ( optional in amount)
Mix together 

Corn Meal (See bottom when ready to bake)


*** Add the chopped hydrated sun dried tomatoes***

1 cup diced pitted Calamata olives

1/2 cup Asiago or Grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup grated  Gruyere or Sharp Cheddar cheese

Mix again all ingredients. ADD YEAST LIQUID. Mix well and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. ( if too wet, dust with a little more flour. If too dry, add a little warm water.)

Form ball. In glass bowl, pour enough extra virgin olive oil OVER the ball.

Turn it over and pour a little MORE! ( Yes, it is an oily bread, so don't worry about excess!)

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it nap for about 50 minutes. ( If you are making more than one loaf, now's the time to start the process with the next one-- same ingredients, process, and amount exactly.)

When you remove the risen dough, punch down and place it in a large PIZZA pan that is sprinkled with CORN MEAL. TURN OVER and sprinkle more corn meal. Make sure the edges are tucked into the pan.. Pour a little more oil and let it rise for another 50 minutes or until doubled. 

 Loosely tent cover with foil (do not wrap.) Bake at 400°  for about 25-30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. 

Remove and let it cool~Report  your results to me and tell me what you think~ 

God bless you and thanks world.  Once again, you've given me someone to talk to and share with! 

( That is, besides my Pookah!)