Friday, August 22, 2008

Buttermilk Pancakes

Growing up, my mother made these many Sunday nights for supper. Often, the missionaries would come over and have these pancakes with us. They are easy to make and rise up so light and golden. This is a good way to use your extra buttermilk after you make pralines (see candy section)

6 eggs
4 cups buttermilk
3 cups flour
2 tbs. sugar
4 tbs. melted shortening or vegetable oil
3 heaping tsp of baking powder
1 heaping tsp. baking soda

Beat eggs slightly, add buttermilk. Sift in dry ingredients. Do not over mix or the pancakes will not be as light. Pour batter on griddle to desired size. Let pancakes bubble up and turn. Brown on second side. Serve with homemade maple flavored syrup (see recipe below).

You may want to half my mother's recipe. It was meant for a crowd.

Maple Flavored Syrup

4 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
1 tsp. maple flavoring

Combine sugar and water and bring to a boil for one minute. Cool a bit and then add flavorings. Delicious served hot or warm. Refrigerate unused amount. It will crystallize in the fridge. Microwave on next use.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Betty Jane's Pork Chops and Rice

So easy and so good. Mom Pack taught me this one-dish meal. Becca loves the rice -- she would eat that and leave the pork chops. But, they both are good.

6 pork chops (your favorite cut)
2 cans beef broth plus enough water to make 4 cups total liquid
2 cups rice
Your favorite seasoning (I use Tony Chachere)

Season pork chops and place in a greased 9X12 casserole dish. Cook in the oven on 375 degrees uncovered for about 20 minutes -- until the chops are about half done. Remove pork chops from the pan. Pour liquid into the pan and stir drippings and liquid together. Add rice and distribute it evenly in the pan. Top with the half-cooked pork chops. Cover tightly with foil and cook for 40 minutes at 375 degrees until the rice is fluffy and done. Serve with a salad and your meal is complete.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Spinach Artichoke Dip

When I have to bring a dip to a party, I often use this one. It is easy and always a hit. This recipe is my interpretation of a dip served at Chesterfield's restaurant in Hattiesburg, Ms.

2 one 1b. packages of frozen spinach
1 lb. Velveeta Cheese
1 can Original Rotel Tomatoes diced
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained
2 tbs. butter
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup mozzarella cheese (or 1/2 cup Parmesan)

Press three cloves of garlic (or chop if you prefer). Using a four-quart pan, saute garlic in butter until soft. Add Rotel tomatoes and Velveeta Cheese cubed. Stir on med-low heat until cheese is melted. Add spinach and artichoke hearts. Pour mixture into a small casserole dish and top with mozzarella or Parmesan cheese. Bake until bubbly and hot. Serve with tortilla chips or your favorite crackers.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lima Beans honoring Sadie Belle Forsyth

These lima beans are Beth's absolute favorite meal. I think she has very fond memories of her Grandma Forsyth making them. Beth said her grandma would always send her with a mason jar full of beans to take home because Beth liked them so much. I make them in the spirit of Sadie Belle though I don't have her recipe -- I use my mother's recipe for red beans substituting the lima beans for red beans.

1 one lb. package of dried large lima beans
1 small onion
1 smoked ham bone, ham hock or other smoked seasoning meat
salt and pepper to taste

Using a 6 qt crock pot, fill with it to the 1/2 mark with water. Pour in beans. Let soak overnight. Add onion, sliced into four pieces, garlic cloves pealed and left whole, and seasoning meat. Add water until 1 inch below top. Cook for 5 - 6 hours on high. When beans are soft, it is done. To make creamy, take out about 1/2 cup of beans and smash. Add back into the beans and mix around. Salt and pepper to taste. (I do not salt the beans before cooking because the seasoning meat is very salty. It will provide most if not all of the salt.)

Serve over long-grain rice with french bread or corn bread.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Chicken with a Brick

This cooking method is modified from Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals show. It works great and is so easy. Beth says it is the most delicious and moist chicken she has eaten at home. By the way, she is not really a bone-in chicken fan but she likes this.

4 chicken breasts (bone-in with trimmed skin)
Your favorite grill seasoning (I use Montreal Grill Seasoning by McCormick)
1 tbsp olive oil
Two heavy skillets or fryer pans (one needs to be slightly smaller than the other)
Two garden bricks covered with aluminum foil or four heavy cans of foods (for weight)

Heat largest skillet until it is screaming hot. Add oil to cover bottom of pan. Season chicken breasts with steak seasoning. Place skin side down in pan. Cover with aluminum foil. Put second skillet on top of chicken and foil. Put bricks (or cans) in the top skillet. This weight causes the chicken to have maximum contact with the pan surface to seal in juices and make a really crispy outside. Cook under weight for five - seven minutes on medium high (depending on size of chicken pieces). Remove bricks and pan and flip chicken and repeat method above for the other side.

Finish in a 400 degree oven (uncovered) for twenty minutes. This will be the best baked chicken you will ever eat. Serve with smashed potatoes and your favorite vegetables.