Thursday, January 28, 2010

Saints-Sational Turkey Curry

I'm still exploring and discovering the joys of curry and found this comforting recipe in River Roads Recipes II.  It covers all the bases.  First, sauteing the vegetables and making a delicious brown roux, using curry powder which I adore, and serving this over rice which makes my husband a happy man at mealtime.

One other thing, this works great with chicken too!

Heat a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat and saute 1 medium onion chopped and 1/2 green bell pepper chopped in 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil.  You need this much oil to make the roux.

Stir in 3 tablespoons of lour and cook for about five minutes, stirring continuously. 

Blend in 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup of sliced mushrooms. 

Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together 3 cups of cooked turkey - cubed, 1 tart appled, peeled, cored and diced, one 5 oz. can of sliced water chestnuts - drained, 3 tablespoons of chopped pimento, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste.  Reserve.

Add in 2-1/2 teaspoons (more if it suits your taste) curry powder.  Taste and adjust seasonings is needed.  Lower heat to lowest setting.

Add the turkey mixture slowly to the gravy.  Cover and allow to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

While the pot is simmering toast some shredded coconut, slice some scallions and get out some salty peanuts.

Serve over saffron rice and garnish with toasted coconut, peanuts and sliced scallions.

Geaux Saints!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Easy Brees-y Pasta

Today's offering is a combination of fantastic simple flavors.  This pasta dish is more of a method more than it's a recipe.  It has base ingredients or base sauce and you can pick and choose which "extras" to add to suit your taste.  Talk about a a keeper! 

Also Easy Brees-y Pasta is a tasty side for your Super Bowl Party; believe me people will come back for more!

Preheat over medium-low heat a large high sided skillet or pot and saute 4 cloves of thinly sliced garlic for about one minute.

Add 2 pints of cherry tomatoes and drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the tomatoes and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Leave the temperature on medium-low and slowly roast the tomatoes and garlic for about 40 to 45 minutes. 

You will see juices coming from the tomatoes into the pan.

While the tomatoes are roasting, heat another large pot over med-high heat and add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Once the oil is heated, add 1 lb. of sweet Italian sausage to the pot and brown.  Once the sausage has browned, remove from pot, drain and reserve.

To the same pot, add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil and three baby zucchinis, peeled and sliced and 4 ounces of sliced cremini mushrooms.  Saute until the zucchini pieces start to brown around the edges and the mushroom slices are golden brown.  This should take about 5 minutes.

Heat the water to boil 1 lb. of your favorite short pasta.

Add the sausage back to the pan and lower heat to simmer.

Once the tomatoes are roasted, put about a half dozen tomatoes on the side and reserve for later.

Pour the remaining tomatoes and garlic into a heat safe container and use an immersion blender to puree. 

Pour the "sauce" back into the pot it came from.  Season the sauce with a teaspoon of sugar.

 Add the sausage and veggies to the pan with the sauce. 

Add in 1/2 cup of chicken stock or broth to thin out the sauce a bit.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Heat through to a low simmer.

Toss the cooked and drained pasta into the pot and thoroughly combine with the meat and vaggies.

Garnish with the reserved tomatoes, basil and Parmesan.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Who Dat Pork Tenderloin

Can you believe the Saints are going to the Super Bowl? If I slept for an hour last night, I slept a lot!  The NFC championship had to be the most exciting game I've ever watched!  The Saints ARE America's team!
This was the best birthday present ever.  Yep, today is my birthday and the New Orleans Saints have given me a lot to celebrate!

Let's start off with "Who Dat Pork Tenderloin" 

I had envisioned grilling this over high heat, but the weather in East Tennessee did not rained and I mean rained all day and we're supposed to get snow tonight and tomorrow.  The tenderloin was cooked on the stove top and came out rain or shine, you can be a Who Dat too and make this!

To make the glaze for the pork tenderloin, heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil (vegetable oil will work just as well) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 finely chopped shallot and cook until soft. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds.

Deglaze the pan with 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, about 1 minute and then stir in 1/2 cup of clover honey and 1/2 cup soy sauce and cook until just heated through. Remove from heat and season with cracked black pepper, to taste. Transfer to a bowl to allow sauce to cool faster.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

I used one 1-1/2 pork tenderloin.  This would work well on pork chops or chicken too, don't be afraid to think outside of the box.

Heat your grill or you skillet over high heat.  To skillet, add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and one table spoon of butter.  Once the foamin of the butter subsides, add your seasoned pork tenderloin and sear on each side until well browned.  About 2 minutes per side.  Lower hear to medium-low and baste with glaze until cooked through, about another 7 minutes per side.

Move to a platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes, brush with more of the glaze and serve.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Creamy Green Chili Rice

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know in my household there many steadfast rice lovers. 

The king of the rice lovers, A.J., keeps track of how often I serve pasta over rice.  Seriously, how much more can be done to rice that I haven't already done?

This recipe adapted from a Bobby Flay recipe I found on Foodnetwork, turned out not only to be very simple, but really delicious too.

The leftovers were gone the next day; it seems they go really good with scrambled eggs. 

1-1/2 cups cooked white rice
1 1/2 cups heavy cream reduced by 1/2
1 can green chiles (6 oz.)
3 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
Salt and white pepper to taste 

In a medium bowl add the rice, reduced cream and the chiles. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.  Garnish with scallions and parsely and serve.

Seriously, does it get any easier than that?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Everyone has their own special meatloaf recipe and most of us step outside of our meatloaf box every once in a while and try other variations.  Face it, we're pretty picky about our meatloaf; we know exactly what we want.

Be prepared for your eyes to roll to the back of your head!  This rolled meatloaf filled with bacon and cheese, will put a smile on even the pickiest of eaters faces.

This is my most favorite meatloaf - for now..

2 pounds lean ground beef
2 tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 of green bell pepper - finely chopped
1 heaping tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsps. chopped flat leaf parsley
2 eggs
1-1/2 tsps. Kosher salt
1-1/2 tsps. black pepper
2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
4 slices of hickory smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil.  Once oil begins to ripple add in the onions celery and bell pepper and saute for about 2 minutes.  Add in the garlic and parsely and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat and place veggies in a bowl to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine beef, bread crumbs, wilted veggies, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Place meat mixture on a piece of wax paper about 18 inches long.  Place meet mixture on wax paper and place another piece of wax paper equally as long on top of the meat.  Using a large baking sheet, press the meat out to about 1/2 inch thick with aproximate dimensions of 10" x 15".  Spread cheese over the meat, leaving a 3/4 inch border around the edges. Sprinkle bacon over cheese. Roll the meat in a jellyroll fashion to enclose the filling and form a pinwheel loaf. Press both ends to enclose the cheese.

Place in a large baking dish or pan with high sides and bake for about 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.   Allow to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.

Not very photogenic, but very tasty!  Sauteing the veggies first makes a world of difference as opposed to mixing raw veggies with the meat.

The second best part of this - leftovers the next day - meatloaf sammies!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

I was almost too embarrassed to post this potato dish because it has no regard whatsoever for healthy eating.  As you can see I didn't stay "too embarrassed" for long.  You see, I had to share this helping of deliciousness with you. 

This is an experiment I have been working on and tormenting my family with once or twice.  This recipe still needs a final tweak, but it's time to share.

This is great if you're looking for a different kind of potato salad; something that fits into the frigid winter months so to speak.

It's January, it's cold outside, I can't go anywhere and I'm broke and bored...let me know what you think!

Wash and cube 6 russett potatoes.  Cooking in boiling salted water for about 15 minutes and drain.  While potatoes are cooking, cook 5 slices of hickory smoked bacon, drain and crumble.  Slice two scallions and reserve.

Dice up on medium package of Velveeta.  Ok don't groan, I needed something that would melt evenly and smoothly. I've tried grated cheddar and it wasn't happening.  I think next time I will use a jar of Cheez Whiz.  The Velveeta took longer to melt than I anticipated.

Place a few cubes in the bottom of a large bowl.

Pour the drained potaotes into the bowl while they are still steaming and season generously with Lawry's Season Salt and black pepper.

Add two healthy dollips of  sour cream.  You'll be proud, I used "light" sour cream.  Also add two ounces of light evaporated milk, 1 heaping tablespoon of mayo, 2 tablespoons butter, half of the scallions and half of the crumbled bacon.  Fold until thoroughly combined.

Garanish with the remaining crumbled bacon and scallions.  Refrigerate.

Tastes just like a stuffed baked potato!  The girls said this is the only potato salad they eat.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Blogiversary with a City That Doesn't Sleep

I have so much to tell all of you.

First, many of you already know and have congratulated me.  I'm one of 15 bloggers that won a trip to New York City to meet Kelly Rippa through Foodbuzz and Electrolux.  I'll blog about this in February.  To say I'm excited and thrilled is putting it mildly!

We will be participating in a cake decorating event to raise awareness for Ovarian Cancer Research Fund whose mission is to fund research to find a method of early detectionand ultimately a cure for Ovarian cancer.  This topic hits really close to home with me.

I don't know how many of you have ever heard of a drug called DES or Diethylstilbestrol. This drug was prescribed to women beginning in 1941 through about 1963 who had a high risk of miscarriage or who had miscarried before.  My mother was prescribed this drug when she was expecting me because she had two previous miscarriages.  It was later found that the daughters of DES mothers had a multitude of reproductive problems including clear cell cancer which usually showed up when the daughters were in their late teens and early 20's.  I was a DES victim diagnosed with cancer at the age of 24.  Thankfully, I did not have to undergo chemo or radiation; surgery and constant survellience was all I needed and I have been cancer free since.  However, I was told that my chances of ever conceiving were slim and none and if I did conceive I would NEVER carry to term.  I did suffer miscarriages but was lucky enough to have two beautiful daughters and both pregancies were uneventful...the power of prayer over medicine!

Even though my cancer was not ovarian, I feel strongly about research for for early detection and a cure.  Maybe you have had a close friend or relative stricken with this deadly disease and feel strongly too.

More to come on this as Foodbuzz releases information to us.

Today, January 15th is the second anniversary of Smoky Mountain Cafe'.  Thank you for reading this blog.  Thank for commenting and keeping me going.  Thank you for continually raising the bar.  Thank you for your inspiration and friendship.

Thank you!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tiramisu Cheesecake Bars

Last week while stalking my Daily Reads I came upon Tiramisu Cheesecake Bars by Donna from My Tasty Treasures .

I knew I had to make these tasty treats.

On a very cold afternoon, make these.  You will be so glad you did!

One change I had to make:  You see here in rural Appalachia, I couldn't find Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix.  The Kroger had every kind under the sun except sugar cookie mix.  I used the refrigerated Pillsbury sugar cookie dough and pressed it into the bottom of the baking pan and it worked great. 

Using the refrigerated dough also worked out to be more economical too.

Cookie Base

1 tube of Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough


2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese,
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
or crystals
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate


6 oz cream cheese, softened
½ cup whipping cream
Chocolate curls, if desired


Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray. Press in the cookie dough on the bottom of the baking pan and up the sides about 1/4 inch.Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 15 minutes.

While the cookie base is cooling, in another large bowl, beat 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add milk; beat until well blended. Add coffee, vanilla and eggs; beat until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour over cookie base.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Cool at room temperature 30 minutes. Refrigerate 30 minutes to cool completely.

In small bowl, beat 6 oz cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Gradually beat in whipping cream; beat about 2 minutes longer or until fluffy. Spread mixture over cooled bars.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until chilled. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Swedish Meatballs

We were stuck inside Saturday because it was still snowing and cold, cold, cold.  Have I mentioned that we have had a plethora of teenage girls at our home since Thursday afternnon?  It's not my cooking, we have a good hill and a decent amount of snow.  Saturday they all went skiing and we had quiet!

Out of hundreds of channels, there was nothing to watch, except Tyler's Ultimate.  He made Swedish Meatballs.  A.J. said, "Babe, those look good, would you make this for dinner tonight?".  He didn't have to ask twice.  Talk about a sensational meal!  He was still talking about them today.

Here's what you'll need:

4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, minced
1 pound each ground beef and pok (or all beef if you prefer)
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons salt
Few grinds black pepper
2 teaspoons ground allspice
4 pieces white bread, crust removed, torn and soaked in whole milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 tablespoons black currant jam
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
1 (12 oz.) package of egg noodles

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Remove the onion to a plate and cool. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meats, egg yolks, heavy cream and onion. Add salt, pepper and allspice. Squeeze excess milk from the bread and add it to the bowl. Mix gently with your hands or wooden spoon.

The meatballs were very wet, so the bowl of cold water is very important.  I was worried if the meatballs were going to hold up and they did!  With a bowl of cold water standing by, form meatballs about 1-inch across. Dip your fingers in cold water, from time to time, to keep the meat from sticking to your hands.

Melt the remaining butter in the saute pan and once the foam has subsided add a layer of meatballs. Do not overcrowd the pan. Shake the pan once in awhile, to keep the meatballs round.

Brown all of the meatballs, in batches, removing them to a large oven safe dish when cooked.

Put the dish in the oven for about 20 minutes, being careful not to overcook them.

To make the sauce: Pour off most of the fat from the skillet and return it to the heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl it around to coat the pan. Sprinkle in the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon or whisk to dissolve the flour into the fat. Pour in the chicken stock, and stir to loosen the bits from the bottom of the pan.

Simmer, stirring, until the liquid is reduced and the mixture starts to thicken to a sauce.  While the sauce is simering and thickening, book one 12 oz. package of egg noodles per package directions.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Lower the heat and stir in the cream and the black currant jam.

Add the meatballs to the sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

To serve, spoon a portion of egg noodles onto a plate then add  couple of meatballs onto each plate and spinkle with chopped parsley.