Here’s a little trick, use smoked paprika to get the smokey taste of bacon without the mess, fat or calories. Also great to use in vegetarian dishes. I used it here with this roasted Cauliflower to enhance the roasted taste and add some depth of flavor.
Smokey Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower broken into florets
1-2 T olive oil ( or substitute your favorite oil)
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/2 t-1t smoked paprika
Preheat your oven to 400. Toss Cauliflower with oil and lemon juice until well coated. then sprinkle on salt and paprika and toss again. lay on a baking sheet and put in the oven. cook for about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft and starts to brown.
We recently traveled to Asheville, North Carolina for a weekend brewery crawl. The craft beer there is abundant and fantastic. What I also found was the famous Tupelo Honey Cafe, a Southern foodies dream. Well worth the 3 hour wait ( don’t worry they text you when you’re getting close on the list so you are free to explore downtown while you wait) this restaurant creates new southern comfort food by adding creative twists and fresh local and seasonal ingredients to their dishes. I was such a fan I bought the cook book and have not been disappointed with anything I have tried yet. This is the best roast chicken I have ever made. The herb stuffing seeps its flavor into all of the meat while it roasts, making each bite as comforting as a bowl of chicken soup. This is a great way to use up extras from the herb garden as well. I might even try to use this recipe with my Thanksgiving turkey. I highly recommend the cookbook and their website says that there will be a new one available this Spring, I am pre-ordering mine now.
Tupelo Honey Cafe’s Herb Roasted Chicken
1 3 lb chicken
2 c peeled and diced carrots
2 c diced celery
2 c diced sweet yellow onion ( Vidalias are best)
2 T chopped fresh Thyme
2 T chopped fresh sage
2 T chopped fresh Basil
2 T chopped fresh rosemary
2 t salt
1 t pepper
1/2 c olive oil
Pre heat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl to make the stuffing.
Remove giblets from chicken cavity and place on roasting pan. Stuff the cavity with the mixture until full. Add left over stuffing with the giblets on the roasting pan and place the chicken on top, use the left over oil in the stuffing bowl to rub over the skin of the chicken. Place in the oven for 1 hr 40 min or until the juices run clear. Let the chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Use the stuffing and giblets from the roasting pan to make a pan gravy if desired.
Yes, I have been a slacker lately, I have lots of new and delicious recipes but I just haven’t gotten around to posting them, it is on my to do list this week though. Since November seems like it is flying by and I wanted to post some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes before the big Turkey Day.
Spiced Pear Sangria
Creamy Pumpkin Dip
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Jalapenos
Spiced Rum Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Vegetable Orzo with Parmesan Cheese
Chipotle Maple Acorn Squash
Spicy Pumpkin Hummus
We recently ate at a new Mexican restaurant in town. They had a Butternut squash dip on the menu, I liked the idea of it but theirs was very greasy. Here is my attempt of a healthier and more delicious dip.
Roasted Squash and Poblano Dip
1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed
1 c eggplant cubed ( peeled or unpeeled is fine)
2 poblano peppers cut into 1 ” pieces
1 onion peeled and sliced into 8ths
1 tomato sliced into wedges
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 t chopped garlic
2 t cumin
1 T lime juice
Queso Fresco and Chopped Cilantro for garnish if desired
Place cut vegetables on a baking sheet ( I used a silpat to prevent sticking) add oil and toss until vegetables are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender/soft. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add to a food processor or blender or mash by hand until smooth but not pureed, I like it better with a little texture. Stir in cumin, garlic and lime juice. place in serving dish and top with queso fresco and chopped cilantro if desired. Serve with tortilla or pita chips. This would also be a great filling for veggie enchiladas or tacos.
Everyone has had 7 layer dip and its delicious, here is a little twist, same idea but Mediterranean flavors. Make this as easy or as difficult as you want, use store bought ingredients or make your own Hummus and Tzatziki Sauce.
On a large plate or shallow bowl layer the following ingredients or be creative and add your favorites, anything goes.
Tzatziki sauce or Greek Yogurt
Chopped Kalamata Olives
Chopped Pepppadew Peppers or Roasted Red Peppers
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Chopped Fresh Parsley or Oregano
Serve with Pita, Celery or Pretzel Crisps
Other ideas, Pine Nuts, Roasted garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Tabouli
A smokey, sweet, fresh and zesty side to go with steaks or grilled chicken.
Mexican Corn Salad
5 ears of fresh corn on the cob,husks and silk removed
1 T olive oil
1/4 c crema ( a mexican sour cream found in the dairy section) or 3 T sour cream and 1 T mayo
1/4 t smoked paprika
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup crumbled Queso Fresco ( mexican crumbling cheese) you could substitute Parmesan or Feta but use less as they are stronger cheeses
1 T chopped parsley or cilantro
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 Drizzle olive oil over corn and rub in ensuring all sides are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. roast for about 20 minutes or until corn starts to char.
Let corn cool so you are able to handle it and remove niblets from cob with a sharp knife. Mix together with remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
* you could grill the corn as well, that was my intention before it started pouring down rain.
I apologize about the photos, but we were actually camping. Our family went camping this past weekend at Myakka River State Park, just east of Sarasota, Fl. Packing food that will keep in a cooler for a couple days is always a little tricky, it can be brutally hot here in the afternoon. I made a large batch of chili that we made nachos, chili dogs and quesadillas out of, even considered putting it on our eggs one morning. It was perfect. I also pre baked a bunch of Mojo chicken legs and brought those ( I don’t like to bring any raw meat for fear of cross contamination) They were great for snacks, lunch and dinner, and easy to eat, no utensils needed. But like all good campers we needed to roast marshmallows and make s’mores. I always find that it is hard to keep the chocolate bars from melting in the heat, or if you put them in the cooler they get too hard and won’t melt in the s’mores, so that is where the Nutella comes in. I spread some Nutella on graham crackers and put them on a plate, then as we roasted the marshmallows we put them on top and added a top cracker and pulled the skewers out. Easy and so much less mess than traditional s’mores. I meant to bring bananas to slice and add too but I forgot. Doesn’t matter, they were still delicious. From now on I will be leaving the candy bars at home and bringing the jar of Nutella camping, besides it does double duty on sandwiches, apples and crackers for snacks.
There has been a lot of “buzz” about pimento cheese lately. It is turning up on restaurant menus, in food magazines, and in the dairy section of my grocery store. I remember having it as a kid and I remember hating it. I tried it on our trip to St. Augustine last week on top of broiled oysters, not half bad. So now if you know me I have to make it myself. It’s just my thing. I of course do things the hard way which means roasting my own red peppers, (they sell them in a jar right next to the pickles in my store). Not at all required, but yes I did it, also I like a little heat so I roasted some of the jalapenos from my garden, again not necessary, add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce to your cheese and I am sure it will be just as good. But in case your like me here is what I did.
Wash and dry 3 red bell peppers and 2 jalapenos. Turn on the grill ( mine is gas) You can also do over the stove if you have gas or under the broiler. Place the peppers on the grill and close the lid, roast pepper until skin is completely black, turning occasionally to get all sides.
When all sides are charred place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, leave for about 15 minutes, this helps the skins peel off easily
using your fingers or small knife peel all the black parts off of the pepper.
Then chop the top off of the pepper and removed the seeds, chop into tiny pieces.
Now you are ready to make the cheese.
8 0z grated yellow cheddar
8 oz grated white cheddar
3 roasted red peppers chopped finely
2 roasted jalapenos seeded and chopped finely (omit if you don’t want the heat)
3/4 c mayo
1 T dijon mustard
2 t sweet paprika
1/4 t cayenne
Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir, and stir until the cheese starts to get pasty. cover and chill. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with crackers or celery or try it on a grilled cheese sandwich.
I used to eat Corned Beef on St. Patrick’s Day because I had to, it was tradition. Now I eat it because I love it all thanks to one on my good friends. We were making copious amounts of Corned Beef and cabbage for a St. Patrick’s Day Party and she showed me how to make a delicious glaze for the beef that her family had made for years. It is so easy and simple, just 2 ingredients, brown sugar and Dijon mustard.
Easy Mustard and Brown Sugar Glazed Corned Beef
1 package corned beef brisket flat cut
seasoning packet from beef
Cook beef with seasoning packet as directed, usually about 3 hours on simmer (or all day in a slowcooker). Remove beef and place on cutting board, let cool slightly. Preheat oven to 375. coat meat on all sides with dijon mustard, then press brown sugar into meat. I used about 1/4 cup mustard and 3/4 c brown sugar.
Place in oven and cook until a golden crust forms on the beef, about 20 minutes.
Slice and serve. We had it this year with roasted cabbage and Bailey’s Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Succotash Salad
This is bursting with flavor and super easy to make.
Roasted Succotash Salad
1 box frozen corn, thawed
1 box frozen lima beans, thawed
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
1 T chopped fresh basil
lime juice (from 1 lime)
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, toss corn and lima beans with about 1 T olive oil. I do this in a colander so I don’t use any excess oil. Place on a sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast veggies for about 15-20 minutes or until corn get brown on the edges. Add to a mixing bowl with tomatoes, basil and squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the top, season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Great warm or room temperature so it’s perfect for pot lucks.