Archive for ‘Holidays’

March 4, 2014

Shrimp Gumbo Casserole

by Crystal Cook

This Mardi Gras take a page from our latest book (page 44 to be exact) and celebrate with this gumbo inspired casserole! The Creole-spiced shrimp filling and satisfying biscuit topping will have your guests partying in the streets in no time!

shrimp gumbo

Shrimp Gumbo Casserole

Serves 8

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

½ green bell pepper, chopped

3 celery rib with leaves, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 ¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 bay leaves

1 pound fresh okra, sliced

1 pound shrimp (31/35), peeled and deveined

2 teaspoons gumbo file

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

5 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

3/4 cup buttermilk

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, then add the onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 6 minutes until soft.  Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon of the salt, pepper, chili powder, thyme, and bay leaves. Cover and cook slowly for 20 minutes. Add okra, shrimp and the gumbo file and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the shrimp turn pink.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, sugar, baking soda, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Using a fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in the buttermilk until the mixture just comes together. Knead until a soft dough forms.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is 1/2 inch thick.  Using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter, stamp out 12 biscuits.
  5. Pour the hot gumbo into a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Arrange the biscuits on top of the gumbo. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
December 18, 2013

Mamaw’s Stuffed Peppers

by Crystal Cook

I always miss my Mamaw Cook, but the holidays make me miss her even more. Lately, I haven’t been able to get her off my mind, so I wrapped myself up in this Christmas apron she made for me and got to cooking! It never ceases to amaze me how the smell of these stuffed peppers can instantly transport me back in time to the comfort of her kitchen.  Smells are magical like that. Happy holidays Mamaw,  I miss you so much!

mamaw Collage

Mamaw’s Stuffed Peppers

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 green bell peppers
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (14 3/4-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 cup cooked long-grain white rice
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 4 cups tomato sauce( recipe below)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Make the tomato sauce. (Recipe below)

3. Cut off the top of each bell pepper and remove the seeds. Put the peppers in a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

4. Set a skillet over medium heat. Add the beef, onion, and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up any lumps with the back of a spoon, until the beef is browned thoroughly, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, allspice, and rice; stir well.

5. Coat a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Stuff the peppers with beef mixture and place them in the prepared casserole dish. Pour tomato sauce over the peppers.

6.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bread crumbs. Scatter the bread crumbs over the peppers and place the dish in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown and the meat is heated thoroughly.

Tomato Sauce

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cups diced canned tomatoes
  • ½ cup finely minced celery
  • 1 ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly black ground pepper

 Directions

1. In a sauce pan set over low heat, melt the butter.

2. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until tender.

3. Add the tomatoes, celery, vinegar, parsley, sugar, salt, and pepper and cook about 10 minutes.

4. Pour the sauce over the peppers before baking.

Kitchen Tip:

Keep your stuffed peppers upright in the oven! When you remove the pepper tops, put them between the stuffed peppers for extra stability. (Yep, my Mamaw taught me that!)

 

December 13, 2013

A few of our favorite things: The Queen’s online gift guide for the foodie in your life!

by Crystal Cook

Gift Collage

(Gift descriptions, clockwise)

1. Pineapple Beverage Dispenser $68.00: If you grew up in the south like I did, then you know that pineapples are THE symbol of southern hospitality. In fact, my mom had more pineapple decor than any one woman should ever have. This pineapple beverage dispenser from Anthropologie, reminds me of my childhood and is perfect for some sweet tea or lemonade!

2. 10-Piece Glass Bowl Set $39.95: Contain yourself if you can! This 10-piece glass set from Williams Sonoma is my favorite! Simple, beautiful and functional, they’re very useful for preparing your mise en place and for storing in small kitchens.

3. Charles Viancin Silicone Food Storage Lid Covers $7.95–$12.95: Plastic wrap be gone! I am in love with this silicone creation that provides an airtight seal, and works with any smooth-rimmed bowl or pot. Oh and did I mention it is dishwasher, microwave AND oven safe?!

4. Personalized Casserole Dish $54.00: The beauty of the casserole dish is its variety. Not just the ingredients you fill it with, but the shape, size, color or pattern of the dish. Go on, girl, get crazy—express yourself! With so many fun hues, sizes and shapes, even on the busiest of occasions or the dooziest of days, placing your meal in a sunny container can change your entire mood.

5. Dotty Match Potholders $12.00: They’re cute! They’re colorful! They’re comfy! And let’s face it… a girl can never have too many pot holders.

6. Jalapeño Corer $10.95: How many times have you removed the seeds from a jalapeño and then neglected to wash your hands before rubbing your eyes? It burns! Oh, how it burns! Never make that mistake again with this gadget gem!

7. Casserole Carriers $38.00: Made from amazing chevron-printed fabrics, these totes make for easy transport and real down-home appeal. They’re chic and sassy! Want to make one of your own? Check out our latest cookbook or this YouTube video and learn how to craft your own!

8. Scalloped Celebration Cake Stand $24.00–$38.00: You worked hard on that sweet treat, so show it off! From a cake to cupcakes, even a big pile of cookies, every day is a special occasion with these adorable stands.

9. The Casserole Queens Make-a-Meal Cookbook: Mix and Match 100 Casseroles, Salads, Sides, and Desserts & The Casserole Queens Cookbook: Put Some Lovin’ in Your Oven with 100 Easy One-Dish Recipes Come on, you knew these would make our list!

10. Custom Heirloom Silverware Jewelry, starting as low as $30.00: Order custom-made, or ready-to-wear one-of-a-kind pieces, from Elizabeth Lyons Designs this holiday season. These unique silverware-to-jewelry pieces make for a very special holiday gift and are so very culinary chic! (Hence the name!)

Happy shopping!

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