Category Archives: Stews

Chile Chocolate Braised Short Ribs

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Short Ribs

There’s nothing more comforting and heartwarming on a crazy cold day than braised short ribs with roasted veggies and mashed potatoes. Can we say heaven in a bowl?

These short ribs take a while to make but they’re worth the wait (I promise!) – I made them a little bit spicy with dried chile peppers, garlic and onions, fresh rosemary and thyme, and a chipotle infused olive oil (I love 7 Barrels brand!) along with a dash of cocoa powder (the super intense Dutch red kind made by Guittard is my fav). They’re braised in broth, a full bottle of red wine (you’re welcome), and topped with fresh parsley.

Once they’re done cooking they will be falling off the bone – then I made a reduced sauce with a knob of butter at the end to make it super silky and delicious. I served these with roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower (simply roast them in olive oil and sea salt on 375 for about 45 minutes, tossing them every 15 minutes until crispy and delicious), but I recommend serving them with some creamy mashed potatoes or egg noodles as well (or even some crusty French bread) to mop up that delicious spicy-savory-chocolate-chile-wine sauce. OMG.

Go ahead, indulge. You can always work it off tomorrow. Besides, a big bowl of comfort food and Netflix is more fun anyways 🙂

Chile Chocolate Braised Short Ribs

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours

Yield: 6-8

A classic Winter comfort food dish, these delicious braised short ribs are made with chile peppers, chocolate, red wine and lots of fresh garlic, onions and herbs. Super savory and tasty, served with roasted veggies, and either mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

Ingredients

  • 2 large dried chile peppers, stemmed and deseeded
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 5 1/2 pounds center cut short ribs, on the bone
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chipotle olive oil (or regular EVOO if you prefer less spicy)
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Dutch red cocoa powder (Guittard)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 small onions, chopped
  • One bottle red wine (Pinot Noir or Merlot or Cab Sauv)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • A few sprigs of fresh herbs (rosemary and thyme)
  • Knob of unsalted butter (1-2 tablespoons)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
  • Roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts, for serving
  • Mashed potatoes or egg noodles, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust rack to lower third.
  2. Cover chopped chile peppers with boiling water and let sit, covered for about 20 minutes until soft.
  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle short ribs on both sides generously with kosher salt and pepper and let rest to room temperature about 15 minutes while peppers are soaking.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook short ribs in batches, searing evenly on both sides until golden brown crust forms (about 7 minutes per side/15 minutes per batch).
  5. Once all short ribs are seared, place on a platter tented with foil and set aside.
  6. In a blender or food processor, add the chiles, water, stock, tomato paste, cocoa, garlic, onions, and a little dash of salt and mix thoroughly together until smooth.
  7. Pour the red wine in the Dutch oven and scrape the brown bits up from the bottom of the pan (deglazing the pan) and turn heat up to high bringing to a boil for 2-3 minutes, then reducing heat to a simmer, letting wine reduce by half (about 20 minutes).
  8. Add the pureed chile-onion mixture, balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs to the pot and boil together for a few minutes. Return the short ribs to the pot, cover tightly with a lid and braise in the oven for about 2 1/2 hours until meat is tender and falls off the bone.
  9. Place the ribs back on to a large platter and tent with foil to keep warm while making the sauce.
  10. Put the Dutch oven on the stove and heat over medium-high for another 10 minutes or so until sauce thickens and reduces. Remove from heat and add a knob of butter into the sauce to make it extra silky and smooth.
  11. Add the ribs back into the sauce and coat thoroughly. Serve on plates with sauce on top along side roasted veggies and mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Garnish with fresh parsley and additional salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

You can also substitute hard cider or a dark lager beer for the red wine.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/01/24/chile-chocolate-braised-short-ribs/

 

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Classic Comfort Food :: Beef Bourguignon

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Beef Bourguignon

So Old Man Winter is finally back in town, despite the crazy warm weather we’ve been having lately in New York City. Temperatures drop and there’s nothing better than a big pot of comfort food and a bottle of red to make a girl happy, right? Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make everything OK…(*sigh). So I did just that this weekend, and made a huge batch of some classic Beef Bourguignon..you know, the classic French braised beef stew with veggies and red wine that Julia Child made famous.

Beef Bourguignon

I made it in a large 6-quart ceramic Dutch oven (KitchenAid brand is my fav!), and it’s chock full of savory deliciousness – sautéed pancetta, braised beef, shallots, garlic and carrots sautéed into a roux with some flour, flambeed brandy (my secret ingredient!), a whole bottle of red (yes, really!) and some beef stock, along with a bouquet garni of fresh herbs (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, 3 sprigs of rosemary wrapped in cheesecloth) slow cooked in the oven for 2 hours.

Beef Bourguignon

The finishing touch of mushrooms and caramelized Cippolini onions sautéed in butter are added in at the end to add tons of buttery, savory flavor to the stew. YUM.

Beef Bourguignon

I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything so delicious in my life – and I’m quite sure if Julia was still alive, I would make her damn proud, if I do say so myself.

Beef Bourguignon

It’s a flavor bomb in a bowl, my friends, and perfect for a lovely  holiday dinner party for a crowd. Serve in big bowls garnished with fresh Italian parsley over mashed potatoes, polenta or egg noodles, of course accompanied with a bottle of red (Pinot Noir or Burgundy) and some crusty French bread to mop up the sauce. All around a big table of friends and family to partake in all the goodness.

Happy Holidays! 

Beef Bourguignon

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

This is a delicious heartwarming French Beef Stew made with beef chuck, red wine, brandy, fresh herbs, shallots, garlic, cippolini onions, carrots and pancetta. Perfect one-pot dish for Winter or the holidays!

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds beef chuck, cut into medium-large cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, diced
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 large shallots, finely diced
  • 3 large carrots, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 bottle dry red wine (Pinot Noir or Burgundy)
  • 4 cups beef or veal stock
  • 1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs thyme, 3 sprigs Italian parsley)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
  • 5-7 small to medium Cippolini onions, quartered
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced (White button or Cremini)
  • Flat leaf Italian Parsley, minced, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place beef in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and season with a couple teaspoons of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Heat a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat for several minutes to get it hot.
  4. Add pancetta and cook until crispy and browned, drain on paper towels and set aside.
  5. Increase the heat to high and add the beef in to the pot in a single layer and brown on all sides, turning with tongs (be careful not to crowd or overfill the pot as you will need to cook beef in batches to get a nice browning).
  6. Place the browned beef back on to the baking sheet and set aside.
  7. Add the oil and diced shallots and carrots to the Dutch oven and cook for a few minutes. Lower the heat to medium-high and continue to saute until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the brandy and flambe (light it in the pan with a long lighter or match) and let the flames keep going for as long as possible, until they go out to burn off alcohol.
  9. Reduce heat to medium, add flour and stir together with the vegetables for a few minutes to make a roux base for the stew.
  10. Next deglaze the pan by pouring in the red wine, a little bit at a time, stirring well to incorporate and remove any lumps, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan (these babies are full of flavor!)
  11. Add 3 3/4 cups of the stock, browned meat and bouquet garni and bring to a boil over high heat.
  12. Remove pot from the heat, cover and cook the stew in the oven for 2 hours, until meat is fork tender. (The meat should shred/fall apart easily when you pierce it with a fork - if not, place it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes).
  13. While stew is cooking, caramelize the onions in a medium saute pan with 1 tablespoon of butter and salt and pepper, until the onions are lightly browned.
  14. Add the remaining 1/4 cup stock and cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and glazed and liquid is evaporated.
  15. Transfer onions to a bowl and set aside.
  16. In the same pan, turn the heat up to high. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, the mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, sear over high heat until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and mix into the caramelized onions, set aside.
  17. Remove the stew from the oven and gently stir in cooked pancetta, mushrooms and onions. Adjust seasonings (salt and pepper to taste).
  18. Serve the stew in bowls with a sprinkling of fresh parsley over mashed potatoes, polenta or egg noodles, with a glass of red and crusty bread to mop up the sauce of course!

Notes

Recipe adapted from Mother's Best Comfort Food Cookbook.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2015/12/20/classic-comfort-food-beef-bourguignon/

Beef Bourguignon

Other Beef Bourguignon recipes you may enjoy:

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

Slow-Cooked Beef Bourguignon The Kitchn

Martha Stewart Beef Bourguignon

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Wine-Braised Chicken w/ Bacon, Veggies & Herbs

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Wine-Braised Chicken with Bacon, Veggies & Herbs

As the weather cools down in the late fall season, there’s nothing I love more than cooking a big one-pot comforting dish on a Sunday afternoon. One-pot dishes are so easy to make, and the enticing smells from the oven are enough to wipe out any winter blues that might be coming on. Welcome my Wine-Braised Chicken with Bacon, Veggies and Herbs. 

KitchenAid 6 Qt Ceramic Dutch Oven

I love making hearty braised dishes with meat and vegetables because they’re easy and so good, especially in my KitchenAid® 6.0Qt Cast Iron Cookware. It’s big enough to make a meal for a crowd, and it’s enameled with cast iron inside which makes it the perfect vessel to cook slow braised dishes, roasts, stews, soups, chilis and any one-pot meals. It even has a grill pan inside the lid! How cool is that?

Wine-Braised Chicken with Bacon, Veggies and Herbs

My Wine-Braised Chicken has tons of goodness inside: chicken thighs, shallots, bacon, cipollini onions, garlic, fresh rosemary and thyme, bacon and carrots. It’s slow-cooked into a big pot of deliciousness with white wine, chicken broth, and then a reduced  au jus cream sauce served over the top.

Wine-Braised Chicken with Bacon, Veggies and Herbs

This is such a delicious and easy recipe to make and it’s pure comfort food perfect for a chilly Winter day. The best part is you only have to cook and clean in one pot, which is awesome. (More time to snuggle under the blankets and watch movies by the fireplace!)

I’d love to hear what you would make in your KitchenAid® Cast Iron Cookware by experimenting with my recipe. Would you use a different meat, like beef or pork? What vegetables would you substitute or add? Would you try a different sauce for the recipe?

Share your take on this Wine-Braised Chicken recipe on the KitchenAid Instagram page using #MadeWithKitchenAid for a chance to be featured!

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL RECIPE AND STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON THE KITCHENAID BLOG!

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Seafood Corn Chowder

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Seafood Corn Chowder

Now that summer is coming to an end, I thought it would be appropriate to make one last dish to celebrate the season. And what would be better than something with fresh seafood and something that requires minimum cooking effort in this scorching weather?

Seafood

I decided to make a delicious Seafood Corn Chowder, chock full of seafood – lobster, scallops, crabmeat, shrimp, fresh corn,

fresh veggies

and all kinds of fresh veggies – multi-colored bell peppers, onions, potatoes, garlic and spices, all cooked in a chicken stock finished with cream and garnished with fresh chives and parsley.

Seafood Corn Chowder 2

I made this chowder in my gorgeous KitchenAid® Professional Seven-Ply 8-Quart Stockpot, which is perfect for making soups, stews, chili, and one-pot dishes for a crowd.

Pour Cream

It’s extra large and made out of multi-layered stainless steel so it’s sturdy and heats up quickly and evenly. It also has optional pasta and steamer inserts, which I love, that fit right inside the large pot and lid. This is definitely one of my favorite go-to pots that I use for everything and it all fits conveniently together with a stainless steel lid to seal in moisture and heat.

Seafood Corn Chowder 3

It’s heaven in a bowl, really.

READ THE FULL STORY & GET THE RECIPE ON THE KITCHENAID BLOG HERE

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Chicken Meatball Soup with Kale, Chickpeas & Orzo

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ChickenMeatballSoup1

There’s nothing better than a big pot of soup in the Winter – and this has been the longest one..ever. I’ve always loved my Gram’s Minestrone soup – chock full of veggies, ground beef and pasta and thought I would make a spin on it by making it a combination of her Minestrone and Italian Wedding Soup just for fun. I made a batch of chicken meatballs with lots of parmesan cheese, garlic, onion and fresh parsley..browned them up a bit before adding some kale, carrots, chickpeas, chopped tomatoes and orzo and let it all simmer up into a big batch of healthy, heartwarming goodness. I topped it off with some extra grated parmesan, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and mopped it up with some fresh baked Italian Rosemary bread from Todaro Bros. down the street.

Who says you can’t have some fun during a blizzard? I’m happy as a clam right now. Or as a meatball, bathing in that gorgeous broth with veggies.

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Chicken Meatball Soup with Kale, Chickpeas & Orzo

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • Chicken Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (plain, dried)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced dried onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Tony Chacere's Creole Seasoning (or sub seasoned salt or poultry seasoning)
  • pinch of cayenne
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Deliciously Dill Blend (The Spice Hunter)
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Soup:
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 20 baby carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water (use 3 or 4 if you like a thinner soup)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can chopped Italian tomatoes
  • 1 bunch kale, torn (ribs and stems removed)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 cup orzo or other small pasta (ditalini, pastina, risi or stars)

Instructions

  1. Make the meatballs:
  2. Preheat a dutch oven over medium heat and spray with some cooking oil.
  3. Add all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir. Mix together well with your hands and roll into small meatballs (about 1 1/2 inch size), place on a baking sheet or plate.
  4. Brown meatballs in batches for about 6-8 minutes until lightly golden brown (but not cooked all the way through).
  5. Remove meatballs, cover and set aside while prepping soup ingredients.
  6. Make the soup:
  7. Add additional 2 tablespoons of oil to the Dutch oven and saute onions, garlic and carrots for about 6 minutes until soft and translucent.
  8. Stir in broth, water, and tomatoes; cook over medium-high for about 5-7 minutes until liquid comes to a boil.
  9. Add kale, chickpeas, orzo to the pot, let soup come to a steady rolling boil for about 5 mins or so.
  10. Add browned meatballs, cover and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until orzo and meatballs are cooked through. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Serve in large soup bowls topped with additional grated parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley for garnish and a side of crusty Italian bread or Rosemary Foccacia bread for mopping up the soup.
  12. Don't forget the wine, fireplace, and your Valentine to make it a complete meal.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2014/02/13/chicken-meatball-soup-kale-chickpeas-orzo/

ChickenMeatballSoup2

ChickenMeatballSoup4

Recipe adapted from my Grandma’s Classic Minestrone Soup and Italian Wedding Soup by Whole Foods.

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A Big Bowl of Comfort :: Irish Stout Beef Stew

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IrishBeefStew1

Winter is always a little bit depressing without any sunshine and constant grey skies and snow storms every other day in New York City. But there’s something cozy about it too, when I’m pent up in my apartment with not much to do other than cook, watch a good movie and snuggle under a blanket with my heater on. For my birthday last November my Mom got me a gorgeous Wolfgang Puck cast iron ceramic enamel braising pan which I’ve been dying to make a big pot of delicious comforting something or other in. I’ve had a craving for a warm and homey stew and had some Irish Stout Beef Stew Starter on hand from Williams-Sonoma so it was the perfect excuse to get cooking and cure the winter chills outside.

I rounded up some beef chuck, carrots, potatoes, chopped tomatoes, onions and baby peas and threw it all in the big pot. Adding a dark stout beer and beef broth gives it a hearty savory flavor and the stew starter has a nice balance of spices in it like cumin and curry and paprika for a little extra kick. The bad news is, Williams Sonoma has discontinued the Irish Stout Stew starter, but they do have a lovely Beef Stew Braising Base you can use instead that has dark beer and fire-roasted red peppers, chiles and tomatoes in it that would work just as lovely. After a few hours in the oven it’s just a big pot of yum. Kinda like a big hug. Now that’s worth staying in for.

SauteBeef

Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes, dredge with seasoned pan-searing flour and brown in 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

SauteOnions

Add onions to the pan along with another 2 tablespoons of canola oil and saute for about 5 minutes until tender. Add the 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and saute another minute.

BeerandBroth

Add Worchestershire sauce and beer and cook with onions for a few minutes, stirring and scraping pan to loosen the brown bits. Add the beef broth and cook for another few minutes.

BeefBeerBrothOnions

Return the seared beef to the pot, add the chopped tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and Beef Stew starter and salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil.

StewReadyForOven

Cover and throw the pot into a preheated 350 degree oven and let the goods simmer for about an hour. Remove from oven, stir and reduce heat to 300 degrees. At this point, if the stew is not thick enough for your liking, add a slurry of starch or roux thickener mixed with some water (about 1/4 cup) into the stew and stir well throughout. You can also smash a few of the potatoes to thicken it up a little bit. Place pot back in the oven braise for another 30 minutes to an hour. Defrost the baby peas and add into the pot the last 5 minutes or so.

IrishBeefStew4

Let the stew cool on top of the stove uncovered for about 15-20 minutes to let it thicken. Serve with rye bread or Irish Brown Bread and a glass of Guinness or dark beer of your choice.

A Big Bowl of Comfort :: Irish Stout Beef Stew

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 8

Serving Size: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup seasoned pan-searing flour (Wegmans or Wondra)
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 pounds boneless chuck beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 ½ large onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (3 or 4 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 bottle Irish stout beer (like Guinness)
  • 1 14-ounce can low-sodium beef broth
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped fine in a food processor
  • 2 cups baby carrots or large carrot chunks
  • 6 Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered into chunks
  • 1 package frozen baby peas
  • ¼ cup starch or roux thickener and water slurry (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Rye or Brown Bread for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium-high heat in a large cast iron enamel braising pan or Dutch oven.
  2. Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes, dredge with seasoned pan-searing flour and brown in 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add sliced onions to the pan along with another 2 tablespoons of canola oil and saute for about 5 minutes until tender. Add the 2 tablespoons of minced garlic and saute another minute.
  4. Add Worchestershire sauce and beer and cook with onions for a few minutes, stirring and scraping pan to loosen the brown bits. Add the beef broth and cook for another few minutes.
  5. Return the seared beef to the pot, add the chopped tomatoes, baby carrots, potatoes and Beef Stew starter and salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil.
  6. Cover and place the pot into the oven and let the goods simmer for about an hour. Remove from oven, stir and reduce heat to 300 degrees. At this point, if the stew is not thick enough for your liking, add a slurry of starch or roux thickener mixed with some water (about 1/4 cup) into the stew and stir well throughout. You can also smash a few of the potatoes to thicken it up a little bit. Place pot back in the oven braise for another 30 minutes to an hour. Defrost the baby peas and add into the pot the last 5 minutes or so.
  7. Let the stew cool on top of the stove uncovered for about 15-20 minutes to let it thicken. Serve with rye bread or Irish Brown Bread and a glass of Guinness or dark beer of your choice.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2014/01/21/irish-stout-beef-stew/

IrishBeefStew2

Cozy Up.

Other Beef Stew recipes you might enjoy:

Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika – Pioneer Woman

Martha Stewart’s Beef Stew

Old-Time Beef Stew – Paula Deen

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Big Pot of Comfort :: Spicy Cajun Chili with a Kick!

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Spicy Cajun Chili
Spicy Cajun Chili

Chili is one of my go-to recipes when the Autumn leaves start turning colors and the weather starts getting cooler – especially on a crisp weekend night cuddled under some fuzzy blankets with me and my kitty cat watching some movies. Or with a group of friends watching everyone go crazy on college football game day. There’s nothing better than that. And, it’s an easy thing to make and dishes out a big dose of comfort. The best part is once I make a big pot, I can eat it for a few days and then throw the rest in the freezer for later (unless all my crazy friends dig in and there’s nothing left to show for it which actually makes me the happiest!)

I decided I wanted to make a spicier version of the chili I normally make and added a kick to it with some Cajun/Creole seasoning Tony Chacere’s (or you can try Emeril’s Southwest Essence) which adds an extra layer of spicy, savory flavor with green and red bell pepper and celery flavors.  I added some red pepper flakes, diced green chilies and a few tablespoons of hot sauce to the mix and used half ground chicken (you can also use ground turkey) / half ground beef and threw in some garlic, onions and black beans to make it a little healthier too. If you want to make it even more authentically Cajun, you could throw in some Andouille sausage or corn or green and red peppers for even more flavor and texture.

It’s perfect on its own, but you can cool the heat a little bit with some sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese on top. If you want it even spicier, just throw in a little extra hot sauce – I love Evil Ooze by Hotline Pepper Products (my friend Kerry Stressel makes it in Texas) and classic Tabasco hot sauce, or you can do a little milder sauce like Frank’s RedHot or Cholula) and top with extra diced chilies or sliced jalapenos. I usually serve my chili with plain crackers or corn chips, but you could also make some yummy cheesy garlic bread to serve with it instead. Cozy up and enjoy! 🙂

Spicy Cajun Chili with a Kick

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning (Tony Chacere's)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 -28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 -15 ounce can tomato sauce or 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced green chilies, drained (or 1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced)
  • 1 cup of corn kernels (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, for garnish
  • Extra hot sauce, diced chilies or jalapeno (if desired)
  • Crackers, garlic toast or corn chips, for serving (if desired)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and saute the chopped onion until soft and translucent, for about 5-6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Add the ground chicken or turkey and beef to the pot and mix with the garlic and onion, stirring with a wooden spoon to brown the meat. Continue to cook until all the meat is brown and no longer pink, for about 8-10 minutes. Drain the fat off the meat into a colander and place meat and onion-garlic mixture back into the pan.
  3. Add the Cajun-Creole seasoning and all the dry chili spices and red pepper flakes, stir and cook for another minute or so.
  4. Pour in the stock, water, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce (or chopped fresh tomatoes) and hot sauce; turn up the heat until chili starts to bubble, and lower heat to a simmer.
  5. Stir in black beans and and diced green chilies, cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes, up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (Note: You can play with the thickness of the chili by adding additional water or stock as it simmers, but be sure to taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking if you do this.)
  7. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for garnish. Top with some extra diced chilies or jalapenos for extra zing if desired.

Notes

You can play with the desired thickness of the chili by adding additional water or stock but be sure to taste and season it to your liking if you do this.)

You can also add some fresh or canned corn to the chili while cooking.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for garnish. You can also top with some extra diced chilies or jalapenos for extra zing if desired.

Fresh cilantro or lime adds great flavors as garnish for a little bit more green.

Enjoy with a big hearty glass of red wine or a beer and some crackers, corn chips or cheesy garlic bread.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/11/09/spicy-cajun-chili/

Other Chili Recipes you may enjoy:

Southern Style Taco Soup

Emeril Lagasse Kickin Chili

Cooking Light Turkey and Bean Chili

White on Rice Couple Spicy Bacon Cowboy Chili

How Sweet Eats Chunky Fire Roasted Chili

The Pioneer Woman Simple Chili

Devon’s Award Winning Chili (Barefoot Contessa)

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Garlicky Greens and Beans with Sausage

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Garlicky Greens and Beans

On a recent trip up to Rochester, I had the pleasure of discovering a lovely little Italian place called the Mona Lisa Café. My mother and I stopped in there on a whim one afternoon for a cappuccino, but after entering the café and seeing all the delicious pastries and gelato and enticing smells of amazing food, we decided to stay for lunch instead.

We sat at a table by a large window and enjoyed a glass of wine while perusing the menu. At first we thought we would just split an appetizer, but there were just too many tasty choices on the menu to settle for just one item. We opted for a delicious Italian Panini and their amazing Greens and Beans appetizer made with escarole and cannelloni beans sautéed with heaps of garlic, savory Italian sausage, white wine, olive oil and bread crumbs topped with Parmesan cheese. WOW. Best thing I’ve ever tasted! I loved this dish so much I was inspired to recreate it at home, and my own version of Garlicky Greens and Beans with Sausage I now present to you. Delicioso!

Garlicky Greens and Beans with Sausage

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Fingerling potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters or chunks
  • 1 1/4 pound sweet Italian sausage (may use chicken or turkey sausage if you prefer)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced or chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 large bunch of greens (I used collards, but you can use spinach, kale, escarole, or mustard/turnip greens)
  • 1 can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • Crusty bread or garlic bread, for dipping

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain potatoes, cut into quarters or chunks, depending on the size.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook potatoes for about 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. At the same time, add 1/2 inch of water to a large saute pan over medium heat. Add sausages to and cover with a lid, simmering for 10 minutes (without turning). Remove the lid, turn sausages over, and cook for another 5 minutes until almost cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, measure out your liquids and dry seasonings and set aside.
  5. Chop the garlic.
  6. Wash the greens well and drain. Remove and discard the veins and stems, cutting leafy green parts off on either side into 1-inch strips.
  7. Remove sausages from pan and cut into coin-sized chunks. Drain fat from pan and wipe down.
  8. Add 1 tablespoon of oil into the same pan and return to medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and saute while stirring often, for about 1 minute being careful not to burn garlic.
  9. Add additional 3 tablespoons of oil and start sauteing greens by the handful until they are just starting to wilt.
  10. Add cannellini beans, sausage, potatoes, broth, water and minced onion; bring ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer on low for 10-15 minutes to let the flavors meld.
  11. Remove lid, add 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, and let simmer for another 5 minutes or so until the liquid reduces a little (you can simmer it down longer if you like a thicker stew or add more broth/water if you like a thinner stew).
  12. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Serve the Greens and Beans in large bowls topped with shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and crusty bread for dipping in the broth.
  14. Delicioso!

Notes

Substitute sweet Italian sausage with chicken or turkey sausage or omit all together and adjust water/broth down to 2 cups if you prefer a vegetarian dish.

Mona Lisa Cafe uses breadcrumbs and white wine in their dish which I omitted in my version because of the starch from the potatoes and adding a splash of white wine vinegar which gives it a nice tangy flavor to the broth. Feel free to experiment by topping it with toasted breadcrumbs and using some wine in place of the water in my recipe, but you'll need to adjust the amount of liquids down if you omit the potatoes from the dish so it's not too watery/brothy. The consistency should be of a nice light stew with a balance between the meat and vegetables and the broth.

Serve with a dry white Italian wine such as Pinot Grigio and crusty bread for dipping up the broth.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/04/16/garlicky-greens-and-beans-with-sausage/

Garlicky Greens and Beans

Other recipes you might enjoy:

Italian Sausage and Kale Soup

White Bean and Escarole Soup with Meatballs

Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta

Greens and Beans with Sausage

All photographs, copy and content on this post and website are copyright © 2010-2016 Kristen Hess Styling & Photography and The Artful Gourmet. Please do not use, share or distribute in any way without my expressed permission granted or at least with a link back to my original blog post with credit to me. Thanks!

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Italian White Bean, Vegetable & Pasta Soup

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Italian White Bean, Vegetable & Pasta Soup
Italian White Bean, Vegetable & Pasta Soup

I always look forward to the season change to Autumn – there’s something calming to the beautiful colors of the leaves, the cooler temperatures, and sunny skies. It’s a time of harvesting and celebration of autumnal fruits of the earth mixed with a sadness for the upcoming cold Winter months.

I love the heartier, warming foods Autumn brings, and there’s nothing better than a delicious bowl of homemade soup. It reminds me of when I was a kid – my Mom would always have a big pot of soup simmering away on the stove to warm us up after a day outside romping in the leaves in the brisk, cool weather. Mom’s soup was always something to look forward to and a safe haven to come home to.

This recipe for Italian White Bean, Vegetable & Pasta Soup is a simple and nutritious soup chock full of fresh vegetables and herbspasta and Italian Great Northern white beans. It’s great topped with some freshly grated cheese, served with crusty bread and a leafy green salad.

The good news with vegetable soup is you can substitute just about any veggies you want – throw in some kale or spinach, zucchini, green beans, peas, corn; whatever your heart desires. It’s healthy and filling and warming to the soul.

And it’s definitely worth taking a romp in the leaves if you know there’s a pot of goodness on the stove waiting for you.

Italian White Bean, Vegetable & Pasta Soup

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 3 cups chopped fresh tomato
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1-2 stalks diced celery
  • ½ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • ½ zucchini squash, cut into thin slices, halved
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ cups dried pasta (bow-tie, penne or shells)
  • 1 can Italian white beans
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dried ground fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or ¼ tbsp. dried)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil (or ¼ tbsp. dried)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)
  • A few fresh thyme sprigs or leaves (for garnish)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté onions, tomatoes, carrots, celery, bell pepper and zucchini over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the pasta, white beans, salt and pepper to taste, paprika, fennel seed, chopped fresh herbs, water and vegetable stock; cover and simmer over medium-low for 30 to 40 minutes until cooked through and vegetables are tender. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, and extra stock or water to adjust desired consistency and thickness.
  3. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves and freshly grated cheese; serve with crusty Italian bread and a leafy green salad.

Notes

Feel free to substitute or add any veggies you like to the soup: Zucchini, Green Beans, Squash, Corn, Peas, etc.

Adjust thinness or thickness of soup by adding more or less broth and/or water to the soup while it cooks down.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/10/05/italian-white-bean-pasta-soup/

 

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A Dose of Southern Comfort & Down-Home Recipes :: Part 1

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Southern Porch
Southern Porch

I recently took a cooking class at ICE that was all about Southern Cooking. In the spirit of the Kentucky Derby, I wanted share some of the awesome down-home Southern food we made. These are classic Southern recipes you’d find on the Sunday “Supper” table with a large group of friends and family, that scream the words “Southern Comfort” all around. Think Deviled Eggs, Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, Cornbread, Coca-Cola Cake, Fried-Green Tomatoes, Fried Fruit Pies, BBQ Ribs, Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, Sweet Tea, Mint Juleps – savory, homey, sweet, hearty, comforting and yes, FILLING. I guess that’s why they call it ‘comfort food’ because once your done eating and your belly is full, all you really wanna do is take a big NAP (on a nice big hammock on the front porch – Yes Ma’am).

Mississippi
Mississippi

I had my first real taste of true Southern food when I visited Meridian, Missippippi with one of my best friends and her family back in high school. We rode in the back of a station wagon from Upstate NY to Mississippi in the sweltering heat for about 20 hours, and when we arrived I thought I had reached the equator – or HELL for that matter. I wasn’t there for even 2 hours before I got attacked by a swarm of tiny red ants when we visited her Grandfather’s farm house that first day, and almost passed out on the beach after laying out for 5 minutes it was so hot down there. But after a big glass of ice cold homemade sweet tea, some Biscuits and Gravy, a crunchy delicious piece of her Grandmother’s Fried Chicken and a plate of Fried Okra – all the hellfire deceased instantly. (Well at least for the moment!)

University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina

My second experience tasting Southern food was in Columbia, South Carolina when I went to USC for a few semesters and ended up transferring there because I was so charmed by this unique Southern town. I’ll never forget the game day tailgating parties full of glorious southern banquets (and Bourbon!) that took up the entire parking lot across from the football stadium and lasted all day until we passed out from the heat, or the food (or most likely the Jack and Coke’s we had in our water bottles that we snuck into the game with!)

South Carolina Memories
South Carolina Memories

There was also the local street vendor in Five Points (where all the bars and restaurants are on campus) who walked around selling spicy boiled peanuts to all the crazy drunk kids going in and out of all the bars staggering home to their dorm rooms. If you take a drive down to South Carolina, you can’t miss the huge giant peach water tower in Gaffney on the way down (or the massive retail outlet there!). Peaches are lovely. Peaches are everywhere down South. Peach pie, peach fritters, peach cobbler, peach tarts, peach salads, peach jam….ok, now I’m getting hungry.

Charleston SC
Charleston SC

We took roadtrips to Charleston, SC and experienced the low-country cuisine like Shrimp and Gravy, Red Beans and Rice or Frogmore Stew (a South Carolina specialty made with shrimp, corn, new potatoes and sausage). The downtown Sunday market is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, handmade baskets, art, crafts and great southern and low-country food. If you’ve never been to this town before, you MUST make a trip – the architecture, the Sunday markets, the seafood, cobbled streets, southern hospitality and warm breezes off the ocean will charm the pants right off of you.

Destin, FL
Destin, FL

Our Spring Breaks had to be semi-close by because none of us could afford to fly anywhere, so we hopped in our cars and took roadtrips to nearby towns like Savannah, GA or to the beach in the Florida panhandle (otherwise known as the Redneck Riveria – Destin, Panama City Beach, Pensacola) and ate spicy boiled Crawfish – “sucking heads and pinching tails”, while slugging down a good ice cold Budweiser or two.

Atlanta
Atlanta

Then, I moved to Atlanta after I graduated from college (swayed by a great friend of mine that I met at the University of SC) and unexpectedly stayed there for 12 years – and that’s where I really learned how to cook and love Southern food. There was something about the flowery, green smell in the air down in Georgia, and the charming friendliness of the people – a realness and down-to-earth manner that made me feel like I belonged in this strange Southern universe (even if I was just a damn Yankee that moved down South to get away from Mom and Dad after college).

Georgia Southern Food
Georgia Southern Food

Fried Chicken and Waffles, BBQ, more peaches (every street in Atlanta is named “Peachtree”), trips to the Dillard House in the Georgia mountains, day trips and weekends at the lake – I couldn’t get enough of this place. We grilled out almost every weekend on the deck or at the lake with our friends (and made awesome steaks and burgers with Dale’s Seasoning which are Ah-mazing).

Southern BBQ
Southern BBQ

My ex was from Alabama and Texas, so you can only imagine the Southern food and hospitality that I was exposed to. We ate the best BBQ south of the Mason-Dixon line in Selma, Alabama at a little truck stop called Lannie’s Barbeque, that served hot fresh bbq pork sandwiches on toasted buns with homemade cole slaw, southern green beans and a side of cornbread with extra sauce for mopping. There was never a trip to Selma without a stop here. Or a mandatory trip to Dreamland BBQ for a whopping plate of messy delicious ribs in Tuscaloosa for Alabama ‘Game Day‘. Roll Tide! (I was always still a diehard Gamecock fan though, even if Alabama kicked our ass).

Alabama Fried Catfish & Grilled Corn
Alabama Fried Catfish & Grilled Corn

His Mom was an amazing cook too, and every holiday we would go to their “camphouse” in the woods. The men would go deer and bird hunting for the day, and the women would stay home and prep for the big mid-day feast: slow-cooked collard greens with smoked ham, deep-fried turkey, slow-roasted pork butt, fried okra, skillet baked cornbread with jalapenos and cheddar, pecan pie, homemade flaky buttery biscuits, sweet tea, and the list goes on. On Friday nights we always went to “Mac’s Fish Camp” on the Alabama River (which tragically burned down in 2007 and is no longer around). We ate the best cornmeal-crusted fried catfish that would blow your mind – whole, right off the bones, served with fresh corn on the cob, cole slaw and hushpuppies. Even on the sweltering dog-days of Summer like they have down South, there’s something about the savory, buttery, comfort food down there that makes you feel right at home.

A Southern Feast
A Southern Feast

True Southern food and hospitality is all about eating and sharing big homemade meals with large groups of friends and family. My cooking class was almost 5 hours long and we made so much food you could feed a small Confederate Army. Thus, this post only has half of the food we made for our Southern feast that day so I’m making this Part 1. The recipes below include: Classic Deviled Eggs, Country Smoked Ham with Red-Eye Gravy, Southern Collard Greens, Cornbread, Coca-Cola Cake and of course, some homemade Southern Sweet Tea to wash it all down with. Stay tuned for Part 2 later this week for some more down-home, get-in-my-belly, authentic Southern Comfort food. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to take a nice, long nap on the hammock between now and then…

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Deviled Eggs

deviled eggs
Deviled Eggs

6 hard-cooked eggs (1 week old eggs are easier to peel than super fresh eggs)
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise, or to moisten
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish, or to taste
Paprika, for garnish
1-2 tbsp chopped Parsley leaves

Equipment: ice water bath

Put eggs in a saucepan that will hold them in one layer. Cover with cold water by 1 inch. Heat just to a boil, turn off the heat and cover the pan. Allow the eggs to “cook” in the hot water for 15 to 17 minutes and then immediately transfer to the ice water bath to cool and stop the cooking.

When well-chilled (you may have to replace the ice water bath with cold water or more ice to keep them cold and fully chill), roll them gently on the countertop and crack the shell all over.

Peel under cold running water and reserve.

Cut the hard-cooked eggs in half length-wise and shave a bit from the bottom of each half so it will lay flat on a serving dish.

Remove and mash the yolks; combine with mayonnaise, mustard, salt and relish.

Refill the centers of the egg whites with the mixture (use a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, ideally). Garnish with paprika and chopped parsley, refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 12 deviled eggs.

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Country Ham Steak with Red-Eye Gravy

Country Ham with Redeye Gravy
Country Ham with Redeye Gravy

1 bone-in fully cooked ham steak, about 2 pounds (salt-cured country ham or a center-cut slice of ham)
Butter, vegetable oil, lard or shortening, as needed
3/4 cup strong black coffee
Worcestershire sauce

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Melt sufficient butter or other fat to film the bottom of the skillet. Add the cooked ham, and cook to warm through and brown the meat. Reserve the ham.

Over high heat, add the coffee to deglaze the pan; scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits.

Bring to a boil and cook about 1 minute. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

To serve pour the gravy over the ham to serve with the ham or serve gravy in a separate pitcher.

Serves 6.

Country Ham in Roasting Pan
Roasted Country Ham
Ham Steak ready to serve
red eye gravy
Red-eye Gravy
Cut ham ready for red-eye gravy
Time to pass the Red-eye Gravy

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Southern-Style Braised Collard Greens

Southern collard greens
Southern-style Braised Collard Greens

2 pounds of collard greens (can substitute kale, turnip greens, or mustard greens)
1 ham hock (or 6 slices of cooked bacon)
1 medium onion, sliced or chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt
Sherry or cider vinegar, optional (for serving)
Tabasco/Louisiana Hot pepper sauce or pickled pepper juice, optional (for serving)

Clean and wash greens well; remove tough stems and ribs. Cut the greens up into large ribbons or chunks and place in a deep pot; add onion. Wash off the ham hock and add to the pot. Add red pepper and salt. Add enough water to cover greens, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook the greens until tender, about 1 hour (up to 2 or 3 hours is fine as long as they don’t get mushy). Add more water as needed, taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve with corn bread, and pass the vinegar and hot sauce.

Serves 4 to 6.

Slow cooking Collard Greens
Slow cooking Collard Greens

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Classic Southern Cornbread

Classic Southern Cornbread
Classic Southern Cornbread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease pan

Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved (don’t over mix!). Allow the mixture to site at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Corn Bread Batter
Corn Bread Batter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and preheat a 10-inch cast iron skillet.

Melt butter in the hot cast iron pan
Melt butter in the hot cast iron pan

When ready to bake, coat the bottom and sides of the hot skillet with butter (and be careful – pan is very hot!)

Pour batter in the pan
Pour batter in the pan

Pour the batter into the prepared pan,

Cornbread ready for baking
Cornbread ready for baking

and smooth the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares or wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature with extra butter if desired.

We used to make it with green chilies or jalapenos and cheddar cheese – if you want to try this version, chop the chilies (about 1/2 cup) and some shredded cheddar (about 1 cup) and add it to the batter before pouring into the cast-iron skillet. Delicious!

Makes 1 (10-inch) skillet of cornbread, approx. 8 to 10 slices or squares.

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Coca-Cola Cake

Coca Cola Cake
Coca Cola Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup Coca-Cola
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; grease and flour a 13×9 inch baking pan.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Combine 1 cup butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1 cup of Coca-Cola in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add marshmallows and vanilla, stirring until marshmallows are melted.

Pour mixture over dry ingredients and blend in well. Add the buttermilk, beaten eggs, baking soda and pecans, if using. Beat well.

Spread batter in the pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake bounces back when lightly touched near the center. Cool completely.

Icing:

1/2 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
6 to 7 tablespoons Coca-Cola
1 cup chopped pecans, optional

In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl with a hand blender), blend the softened butter with cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, and Coca-Cola. Beat ingredients until smooth and creamy; spread on cooled cake with a spatula. If desired, sprinkle finely chopped pecans over the top. Serve warm.

Makes 1 (13×9) cake.

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Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea
Sweet Tea

1 ounce loose black tea
1 quart hot water
1 quart room temperature water
Lemon wedges, for garnish

Infuse hot tea into hot water for 4 to 5 minutes, strain the tea into room temperature water. (we used to bring water to a boil in a large saucepan and then turn it off and infuse large tea bags in the hot water and add additional room temp water). Sweeten with simple syrup if desired and garnish with lemon wedges. Mint leaves are a nice twist too.

Simple Syrup:

3 cups sugar
3 cups cold water

For simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil, and cook until sugar is dissolved. Cool completely (before putting ice in it or the tea will turn cloudy and taste bitter).

Can be kept in the refrigerator for a month or more in a tightly sealed container.

Makes 2 quarts.

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More Southern Recipes You May Enjoy:

Virginia Willis’ Grits with Corn and Sweet Onion

Paula Deen’s Corn Casserole

Neely’s Chicken and Dumplings

Deep Fried Kudzu’s Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

Tabasco’s Game Day Recipes

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