A great new spot in Valdosta! Bubba Jax Crab Shack...The gumbo was delish and the sweet little Georgia Peach who served us was cute and attentive.
I thought I would share this entry from my OTHER blog http://thedurham.blogspot.com/
since it involves cooking...but I've added the recipe for my yummy pizza dough to this post...ENJOY!
Sunday nights are made for PIZZA...and last Sunday I decided to treat some Durham residents to my pizza on the grill. (I even made my own dough...)
PIZZA DOUGH FOR THE GRILL
(You can double or triple the recipe with no change it quality. I made a triple batch so I would have enough left to make foccacia later.)
4 cups BREAD FLOUR (makes a MUCH more elastic, yummy dough than regular flour)
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1 pkg active dry yeast
2 T olive oil (extra virgin)
1 t salt (kosher-coarse)
1 t sugar .
1/4 cup milk OR water
Mix flour and salt in large bowl and set aside.
In liquid measuring cup heat water to lukewarm in microwave. Add the sugar, dry yeast. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes to allow to foam up. After 5 minutes, stir in the olive oil and pour liquid ingredients into flour and salt mixture. Stir together using a wooden spoon or God's best utensils--YOUR HANDS. Dump onto work surface and KNEAD for about 8 minutes or until dough is elastic and smooth. (You will need to sprinkle with some additional flour as you work the dough.) When finished, drizzle with a little olive oil and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise at room temperature for 30 min. to an hour. Punch down and GET READY TO GRILL.
Pre-Cook all pizza topping ingredients since the pizzas cook very fast on the grill and don't over-do the toppings. (Line up toppings in bowls and let guests build their own pies!)
Roll out dough or stretch to desired thickness. Brush one side with EVOO and place THAT side DOWN on the hot grill grates. Allow to cook for several minutes. While that side cooks, brush TOP side with EVOO and remove from grill. Place on work surface with the RAW side DOWN. Top cooked side with your sauce and toppings and slide raw side back onto the grill. Close the lid and cook until toppings and cheese are bubbly. If bottom crust browns too fast turn burner off under pizza but leave other burners on and close the lid until done. OK, enough words...pictures are worth a THOUSAND of them...
Our neighbor, John Z. was looking for new recipes to share with his family and friends, so this was a great one to pass along. John was such a quick study I was soon able to sit down and drink my iced tea...and turn the pizza making over to him! The pictures tell the story.
1 lb. raw medium size shrimp (shell on-split- deveined) (White shrimp seem to work best.)
Extra virgin olive oil to lightly coat
Patty's Dry Rub (on this blog under Condiments)
If shrimp are frozen, thaw and dry completely with paper towels. Place in zip locked bag. Lightly coat with EVOO and sprinkle liberally with dry rub. Shake bag to evenly coat shrimp and place in the frig for several hours. Turn and mix several time to insure even coating. When ready to serve heat broiler on HI. Place shrimp on baking sheet and broil for two minutes. Flip shrimp and broil one more minute or til shrimp begin to curl DO NO OVERCOOK. Dump shrimp onto platter and serve with sauce.
SHRIMP COCKTAIL SAUCE
1/2 cup ketchup
1 heaping tsp fresh ground horseradish
1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
Serve on paper plates with plenty of paper napkins...
TIPS AND TRICKS
When you are measuring anything sticky (like honey, molasses, syrup, etc.) simply spray your measuring cup or spoon with cooking spray before you pour in the sticky liquid. It will simply slide right out when you tip the utensil! Easy Peasey!
I needed a teaspoon of fresh-ground black pepper. So I simply grabbed a coffee filter and ground the pepper into it. I then simply folded the filter to make a funnel and poured it directly into my measuring spoon. Done!
When squeezing a lemon for juice, throw the uncut lemon into the microwave for 15-20 seconds on HIGH, then roll the lemon on the counter top while pressing down on it before you cut it. These steps will allow the lemon to release much more juice. Juicy!
|Sunset at our condo...|
We've entertained friends on many occasions over the past few months, and I must admit I haven't taken the time to snap photos of many meals. But I can tell you my herb garden is used on a daily basis.
|Steps from my kitchen...fresh herbs!|
Rosemary, Onion Chives, Garlic Chives, Oregano, Dill, Basil, Thyme and Sage...
(And a palm tree for shade!)
Here is a tip for lighting candles. Just light a dry piece of spaghetti and you've got a perfect candle-lighting tool to reach deep into a narrow candle holder!! It works like a charm!
FYI...Sara's family usually DOUBLES the ingredients in this recipe to make TWO JARS at a time!
1 (32 oz.) jar of Kosher Dill pickles
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
Drain and discard the juice from the pickles. Slice the pickles into thick slices and put back into the jar. Cover top of pickles with the horseradish.
This makes a HUGE pot of beans-perfect for a party or a tailgate event. (Probably serves 30) Just scale back the ingredients if you want to make less servings. And if you don't like an ingredient...leave it out and add more of something else. Sometimes I use a mixture of different kinds of canned beans.
COOKING TIP: ALWAYS drain and rinse canned beans (except chili beans or pork and beans) since canned beans like black beans or pinto beans are packed in some "mystery-slimey" liquid.
Preheat oven to approx. 375 degrees.
1 or 2 large onions-finely diced
4 cloves garlic-finely minced
1/2 to 3/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup catsup
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar (or to taste)
1/4 to 1/2 cup white sugar (or to taste)
OPTIONAL...1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste (I think I added this. It helps to thicken the beans, and if you like that robust tomato flavor in beans...go for it! You could also substitute an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce for less tomato flavor.)
In an ovenproof pot, brown the diced bacon until crispy, and remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Dump diced onions into bacon fat (YUM!) and saute until softened. Then add minced garlic and stir for several minutes. DO NOT let garlic burn! Return bacon to the pot and add ALL the other ingredients and stir well. Taste, and adjust seasonings.
Bake covered until boiling, then stir and let cook and thicken. If the beans get TOO thick, just add a little water or chicken broth and stir. I suggest stirring about every half hour. I try to cook my beans for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours...or more. The longer they cook, the more the flavors "marry". You can also LOWER THE HEAT to 300 degrees after they start to boil if you want to simmer them low and slow. Just be sure to stir once in awhile. ENJOY!
Whenever you are cooking bacon and onions for a recipe...ALWAYS cook the bacon FIRST before you add the onions. Otherwise the bacon will only steam and never get brown and crispy! And ALWAYS cook the onion before you add the garlic. It will help to keep the garlic from burning in the pan.
Those words kept coming out of my mouth all evening as we enjoyed our first peek (and more often since then) of the CLINTON STREET SOCIAL CLUB in downtown Iowa City. (Formerly One Eyed Jake's.)
If you remember One Eyed Jake's...THIS AIN'T IT! It's a far cry from THAT type of establishment!
From the minute we climbed the stairs to the sounds of mellow jazz...to the view of wonderful old exposed brick walls...to the laid-back vibe and attentive service...We felt like we had stumbled upon a 1940s "Speak Easy", or a private club in New Orleans.
The restaurant/bar occupies both the second and third floors of one of the most desirable locations in downtown Iowa City, and the views from the large windows on both floors are awesome. Directly across the street from the Pentacrest, the Clinton Street Social Club is a great vantage point for people watching below, or for simply admiring the birds-eye view of the campus.
French doors separate the second floor dining/bar area from a true "billiards" parlor, where the single table is the focus of the room. It lends a feeling of intimacy and mystery to the space. In fact, I keep glancing over to see if Minnesota Fats, in spats and a Fedora, is lining up his next shot. A cool vibe, indeed.
If you're over 40 and you've wondered where to go for a relaxing and AFFORDABLE night out...a place with great music played at a decibel level that will allow you to have an intelligent conversation while you listen, The Clinton Street Social Club is the place to go in downtown Iowa City.
Owner Brian Vogel is a personable, hands-on owner who oversees every aspect of the club. And it shows! From the welcoming greeting as you climb the stairs, to the service from waiters and bartenders...Brian makes sure his staff is on point. No matter which floor you claim as your special "hangout"...and whether you choose to sit at the bar, or at a table covered with a crisp white cloth...you will soon discover what a "gem" this place is.
|Duck Sausage Corn Dogs? YOU BET!|
The food is CRAZY...and CRAZY GOOD! Where else would you expect to find Duck Sausage Corn Dogs...or Bacon Popcorn...or Goat Sliders??? You have to try EVERYTHING on the menu. From the "small plates" bar food, to the ala carte entrees and unique side dishes...try them all! (And the reasonable prices allow you to do just that.) This menu is made for sharing!
All I can say is...GO. You won't be disappointed. Just don't tell the "younger generation" about this place. We "mature" folks finally have a place to call our own!!! Maybe we can talk Brian into "carding" folks at the door...to make sure they are OLD enough to join us. (Just remember to leave two seats open at the second floor bar...we'll be there soon!)
He assured me he already had some baking skills under his belt (or apron) so I knew he would be a good listener and a willing student. And I was right.
We started with the FIRST lesson in my kitchen...SERIOUS HAND WASHING!! And by the time dinner was ready...Warren was a PRO in the hand washing department!
|Hand washing 101...and Grandma Jan approves!|
- Always let the grated cheese sit on top of the simmering sauce for a few minutes. This allows it to "cook" and that will keep all the cheese from sticking to the spoon instead of blending into the sauce.
- If your little chefs are leery of veggies, never fear! When the vegetables have cooked and softened I run an immersion blender through the sauce to puree them. The kids will never know those veggies are in there!
- And if the raw onions cause watery eyes...take a drink of any liquid (for me? Wine, of course!) and HOLD IT IN YOUR MOUTH while you cut the onions. No more tears! Warren tried it with a drink of water, and it worked. He thought it was a very cool trick!
As the sauce was simmering, we started our next project...MEATBALLS!
|Warren used a "kid-safe" cheese spreader to "cut" the meat mixture|
- 1 cup crumbled blue cheese (or Gorgonzola)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or to taste)
The PREGAME TAILGATE!
It was our turn to cook for our regular tailgate crowd, and I LOVE to cook for them! It was a BEAUTIFUL Autumn day in Iowa City, and I planned a real dinner to celebrate the day.
Our daughter in law Sara sent two delicious appetizers to add to the menu...a feta cheese dip and some awesome caramel corn-always a hit at a party. And I started things off with a plate of deviled eggs. (COOKING TIP: When transporting deviled eggs to an event...don't add the filling until you arrive! I made the egg yolk/mayo/mustard/sugar mixture at home and placed it in a zip-lock plastic bag. When I arrived at the event site I simply snipped off a corner of the bag and "piped" the mixture into each eggwhite shell and sprinkled with paprika. No mess-no fuss. And clean up is a breeze.)
I prepared the two boneless pork loins on Friday by inserting slivers of garlic into slits I made in the meat. I then rubbed each pork loin with EVOO and liberally coated each one with my special dry rub and refrigerated overnight. (The dry rub recipe was previously posted to my blog...Check under the SEARCH box on the right under heading "Condiments".)
On game day, I let the meat come to room temperature (for about two hours at the tailgate since the air temp was in the '50's...) and roasted it directly on a cookie sheet on the grill, turning about every 5-10 minutes for about one hour. (This allows the meat to brown, but it keeps the fat from dripping into the grill and causing "flare-ups". I prefer this method, because if you wrap in tin foil to grill, I think the meat really "steams" instead of browning and roasting. ALWAYS USE A GOOD MEAT THERMOMETER TO TEST FOR DONENESS! I only cooked these loins to about 135-140 degrees and then removed and wrapped them tightly in tin foil. I put them in an empty cooler to stay warm and to "rest" for 20-30 minutes while I heated my par-boiled, quartered red potatoes coated with EVOO, diced onions, fresh herbs, and minced garlic sauteed in EVOO. When the potatoes and onions were almost done I sprinkled on grated Parmesan cheese and extra salt and fresh-ground pepper. YUM!!
My bleu cheese veggie dip (not shown) was a huge hit...even with two people who SWEAR they HATE bleu cheese! (I think that is SO funny!!)
We love our tailgating "next door neighbors", and we always share recipes and samples of our dishes. And I was pleased when a gentleman came over to tell me he enjoyed watching my cooking techniques, especially the fact that to a tailgate I brought a cutting board, a chefs knife, and my use of fresh herbs. He told me he is from Provence, France...and he said I made him feel at home! What a special treat that was for me...and he gave me "thumbs up" on both the pork loin and the potatoes when I shared them with him. I told him I learned many of my cooking techniques from my Mom...and I still wonder how she learned French cooking techniques as a land-locked Irish-German American so many years ago! I still don't have an answer...but I am SO glad she was my Mom! She taught me to cook with LOVE...and I learned that lesson very well.
For dessert, I wanted to try something new and different...so I went back to a REALLY OLD cookbook and found a recipe from 50 years ago. I made a huge pan of Bugs Bunny Carrot Cake Bars. I'll add that recipe to my blog later. (It's a "keeper".)
All in all...it was a wonderful day. (As long as you try VERY hard to forget about the game!)
GO HAWKS...Next Week...
|Garlic Infused Pork Loins...For a CROWD!|
|Red Potatoes with Garlic, Onions, and Fresh Herbs|
|A "Rainbow" on a Relish Tray|
|Fred...The MASTER of Tailgate Set-Up...and Take-Down|
2 bags oyster crackers
1 pkg. Ranch Dressing Mix
1/4 tsp lemon pepper (Or 2-3 tsp grated lemon peel-finely minced)
1 to 2 tsp dill weed
1 to 2 tsp garlic powder
1 to 2 tsp onion powder
1 to 2 tsp parsley flakes
Scant 1 cup vegetable oil
Place crackers in a large bowl. Mix all other ingredients in a measuring cup and pour over crackers, mixing well. (If you prefer a spicy snack, try adding chili powder and/or cayenne pepper!)
1/2 to 1 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
Mix well and bake in a 250 degree oven for approx. 20 minutes stirring several times.
Cool completely, and store in zip lock bags.
"Sweat" these four ingredients in a little EVOO and then REMOVE from the pan:
1 med-large onion-diced
3-4 cloves garlic-minced
4 stalks celery with leafy tops-finely diced
Your choice: green-orange-yellow sweet peppers-diced
Then, in the same pot, brown and drain:
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Chili Powder
(I add these spices to the browned beef to "bloom" the flavor of the spices)
Return veggies to pan with beef and add:
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 28 oz can diced or whole tomatoes
2 16 oz. cans mild chili beans-undrained
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
Then add (to taste):
More Chili Powder
Add water as needed
Stir and simmer...And stir and simmer...and ENJOY!!!
|lavender, onion chives, garlic chives, flat leaf Italian parsley, sage,|
thyme, rosemary, oregano, lovage, basil
Like I always say...after you master the art of cooking with FRESH herbs...the dried ones just don't cut it anymore. And I hope my six students left my Kirkwood cooking class the other night feeling exactly the same way. I introduced them to a variety of fresh herbs...just picked from my own herb garden.
|Spinach salad with apples and toasted walnuts |
with a basil and honey balsamic dressing
|Herb roasted chicken and potatoes|