Thursday, December 15, 2011

Buttermilk-Cornmeal Drop Biscuits with Honey Butter

I may have to hide this entry in my food diary from my trainer, but it will be worth it.   These biscuits are so good they will make you slap your mama.....I paired them with some Minestrone Soup for dinner.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon fine salt 

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces plus 1/4 cup (1/2 stick), room temperature

1 cup buttermillk

5 Tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

With a pastry cutter or your fingers cut in 1/2 cup cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-size pieces remaining.

In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk and 3 Tablespoons honey.  Add to flour mixture and stir with a fork until dough just comes together.  Dough will be slightly sticky.   Do not over mix.

With two large spoons drop 10 mounds of dough 2 inches apart, on two parchment-lined banking sheets.   Bake until biscuits are golden, 15-20 minutes rotating sheets halfway through.   Transfer biscuits on parchment to wire racks and let cool.  

Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup butter and 2 Tablespoons honey until combined.   Serve honey butter with biscuits.

---per biscuit (without honey butter) 216 calories

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Buttery Mini Muffins

What could be better than three ingredients?  

1 cup self-rising flour
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sour cream

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a small bowl combine flour, butter and sour cream. 

Coat 12 cup muffin pan with baking spray.

Fill each cup with a spoonful of batter.

Bake at 350 degrees 25 minutes or till golden.

Add a dollop of fruity preserves.....yum!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sour Cream Sauce

I wanted some fresh berries for desert the other night and found this little sauce in Southern Living….it was perfect.   Easy to make and easy to store.

I spooned the sauce over a mix of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries…and made it even more special by serving it all in martini glasses.   Delish!!!!
Beat 1/3 cup butter, softened, and 1 cup powdered sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add ½ cup sour cream, ½ teaspoon lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon vanilla, beating until creamy.  Cover and chill until ready to serve (up to 8 hours).   Makes about 1 ¼ cups.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Restaurant Review: College Park's Brake Pad

After you spend some time in the sweltering heat walking through the elementary school you attended forty years ago (I’m ignoring that number and so should you),  and driving around a bit to see where you lived and played for your entire childhood you build up a powerful thirst and hunger.

Rather than returning to home base, the Mister and I remained in our hometown area and decided to eat in College Park….right down from the church where we were married and adjacent…..within hollering distance….. to the high school I graduated from.   In fact, I could see the Ivy covered main gate for the school from the parking lot.

We stopped in at Brake Pad Restaurant and Bar…..a spot more familiar to us as the service station at the corner of Rugby Avenue and Main Street in downtown College Park.   Nowadays the cars are in the parking lot and folks sit in the bays where mechanics once worked. 
No, it wasn’t my first time to Brake Pad….I’ve just been remiss about a review.

When we arrived Sunday afternoon the patio was half full, and there was standing room only at the bar as most folks were watching the Braves play.   Many of the tables inside were full, but we managed to find in the back.  I was so tired I was glad to slide into my chair and suck down a Coke.   The waitress quickly brought me another.

The full menu can be seen at the website.   Everything I’ve had from the menu has been great.

This particular trip we order the Chicharrones to start with.   The menu states they have chili lime seasoning, but we didn’t really taste it… matter, they were still damn good!
Now, fried pork skins are nothing new.  This Georgia girl grew up on them, but this is the first time I was able to eat them right out of the oil.    They still smacked and spit at us as our waitress placed the basket on the table…..Heck, they still made noises as I was devouring them. 

Yes, I will have them again, but might have to order a basket just for me.

The Mister ordered the Blue Cheese and Bacon Burger which might have been a special or a new addition to the menu because I don’t see it online.    He raved over it.

I order the Steak Tacos and they were superb.   They were served with the expected lettuce and tomato as well as chipotle aioli and some sour cream on the side.   Tortilla chips and some of the best salsa I’ve had in a quite a while found their way onto my plate, too.  The salsa was so good I may order some salsa and chips to go along with our order of Chicharrones the next time I head over to Brake Pad…..which will be soon!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Fruit Salad

Long ago and in a land far, far away I worked as a paralegal.  I ran the firm for an attorney who never came in the office until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, had lovely lunches out every day, and was able to hire a great staff who did most of the typing leaving me to do what I loved at the time….research and writing briefs.   One of my favorite places to have lunch was Cashin’s at Merchant’s Walk.    I loved their salads but was more in love with their poppy seed dressing.   It was great on a salad or their chicken fingers.
I miss Jack Cashin’s restaurant… very much.   When I noticed this salad called for poppy seed dressing I had to dry it.
Plus, it’s just lovely to look at.

1 cup bottled poppy seed dressing
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 avocados, thinly sliced
4 cups loosely packed arugula
2 cups halved seedless green grapes
1 mango, julienned
1 cup diced fresh strawberries
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Whisk together dressing and grated ginger in a large bowl.  Cut avocado slices in half crosswise; gently toss with dressing mixture.  Add arugula and remaining ingredients; gently toss to coat.  Serve immediately.
8-10 appetizer servings

Chicken and Tortellini Salad

I saw this in a Southern Living magazine and it looked intriguing.  

I mean seriously…..chicken, and tortellini?   You can’t go wrong.

….and I didn’t.  It was good.  Very good, except for the flat leaf parsley.   Very attractive in the salad, and perhaps I’m just becoming a little old lady, but the texture of the parsley was a little difficult to eat.  

I’m thinking next time I’ll cut the amount of parsley down…..and perhaps add in some salad greens such as arugula or romaine.

Try it for yourself and see what you think….
2 (8 oz.) packages refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
½ cup olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
½ cup thinly sliced green onions
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare tortellini according to package directions.  
Process olive oil and next 4 ingredients in a blender until smooth. 

Toss olive oil mixture with tortellini, chicken, and next 3 ingredients.  
Add salt and pepper to taste.

12 to 15 appetizer servings.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Banana Pudding

Rachel decided to make her boyfriend a wonderfu dessert for his birthday this past Sunday.  It was her first try with this help from mom, and it looked fantastic. 

She used my Pampered Chef batter bowl to put the pudding in.  It withstands the heat of the oven for the meringue to brown and has a tight-fitting lid to store the leftovers in the fridge.

Way to go Rachel!!!

1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
Dash Salt
2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 (14 oz.) can fat free condensed milk
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sliced bananas, divided
45 vanilla wafers
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine flour and salt in medium saucepan.  Gradually stir in low-fat and condensed milk and yolks, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 8 minutes or until thickened.

Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

Arrange 1 cup banana slices in a 2-quart baking dish.

Spoon 1/3 pudding mixture over bananas; top with 15 vanilla wafers.  Repeat layers once; top with remaining bananas and pudding. 

Arrange remaining 15 wafers around inside edge of dish.   Gently push wafers into pudding.

Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy.  Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved (2-4 minutes).

Spread meringue over pudding, sealing to edge of dish.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

Let cool at least 30 minutes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Flour Sack Towels.....a Great Find!

This past weekend I visited the Hydrangea Festival in Douglasville, Georgia. I don’t garden, but there was still plenty to see and do from the garden tours, flower show, ladies’ tea, and the festival market.

You can see a few of my pictures from the festival here and my article at Douglasville Patch leading up to the festival along with a link to the festival site here.

I picked up these wonderful flour sack towels at the market from Jazzy Arts and artist Robert Rodenberger. Give his site a look-see here. I love his colors and simple lines.

The information he encloses with his flour sack towels states: The flour sack towel is a legendary and essential tool of the kitchen. They're called flour sack towels because the tightly woven cotton fabric was used to hold flour from the mid 1800s through the 1950s and then repurposed into towels, bedding and clothing by resourceful women.

They are used for many culinary purposes such as drying dishes, soaking up spills, microwave cooking, keeping salad fresh for hours, lining bread baskets, polishing and drying glassware without streaking, dusting, etc.

Flour sack towels are very soft and lint free, extremely absorbent, and they launder amazingly well. Any imperfections are unique characteristics of the handmade towel and truely get better with every use. Those towels are eco-friendly and are 100% American made.

Growing up I can remember sleeping on my grandmother's flour sack sheets. They were so soft.....

I can't wait to use my new....old towels!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Suddenly......When You Need a Little Salad

So….it’s been a long and hot day full of lots to do, and the time approaches to prepare dinner.

What do you do?

Sometimes I rely on one of those boxed pasta meals like Suddenly Salad to help me along. I add some fresh veggies and a little chicken. Dinner is then just a pot of boiling water away.

First, I prepare the pasta per the box directions. While it’s cooking I slice up a green and red pepper.

I open a can of diced tomatoes and dump them into a colander. I rinse them well, and let them drain. I chop half an onion, slice a bunch of green onions and then I add a teaspoon of minced garlic.

I dump in the diced tomatoes and chop up some fresh broccoli and cauliflower.

I stir the veggies up with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and by this time the pasta is done. I drain it……and rinse it with cool water.

I dump the pasta in with the veggies along with some chopped chicken. I use the bagged chicken you can find at the store from Tyson or Perdue.

Stir well. Pair with some Tuscan Garlic bread toast and a nice glass of white wine and you have an instant dinner without getting the kitchen too hot!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Steak Spaghetti

Every now and then I need a dish I can fix with very little effort. I like this dish because it uses staple items I generally have on hand – spaghetti, onions, tomatoes, and garlic.

It’s a great use for leftover steak Dear Daughter and I might bring home from a restaurant visit. For example, we had dinner at Ted’s Sunday night for my mother-in-law’s dinner out. I only had 1/3 of my steak and Dear Daughter brought home a substantial piece as well.

We both had ordered Delmonico Steaks……I trimmed them a bit and then sliced up the meat. Of course, if you don’t have steak leftovers you can prepare one quickly and slice it. You only need one Strip or one Delmonico steak.

I added a little olive oil to a non-stick skillet along with approximately two tablespoons minced garlic and one chopped medium onion…..I use Vidalia onions. I sauté the onions and garlic for a little bit and add some black pepper and a pinch of salt.

In the meantime I get a pot of water on the stove so that I can prepare a package of spaghetti noodles according to the package directions.

I open two cans of chopped tomatoes…..the Italian kind are best. I drain a little liquid off one can and the other can I drained entirely. Mix the tomatoes in the skillet with the onion and garlic mixture. Saute another five minutes. Of course you can use fresh tomatoes……4-5.

Add the sliced steak and stir until the meat is heated through.

Serve the steak mixture over spaghetti along with some Parmesan Cheese and a slice of your favorite bread.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jim and Nick's Cheddar Muffins

It’s been cold and wet here for the last few days here in Georgia, so I figured Vegetable Beef Soup was in order for tonight’s dinner.

Dear Daughter suggested I prepared some cheese muffins to go along with the soup like they serve at Jim and Nick’s BBQ restaurant, so I agreed.

This recipe is as close as you can get to those little sweet cheesy gems they serve while you are looking over the menu.

While the recipe calls for using mini-muffin tins I used a 12 muffin regular sized pan. They are now all gone but 2……:)

4 T. butter, melted

1½ cups all purpose flour

2 ½ t. baking powder

1 cup sugar

¾ cup milk

1 egg

¼ t. vanilla

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients and pour into greased mini-muffin tins.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Simple, huh?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup crunchy peanut butter
3 T. Honey
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2-3 ripe bananas
8 slices white bread
¼ cup sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon

In a frying pan, melt 3 T. of the butter. Make sure butter does not burn.

In a small bowl mix together the peanut butter, honey and cinnamon.

Slice the bananas into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Spread the peanut butter mixture on 4 slices of the bread and cover with banana slices. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread.

Spread the remaining butter on both sides of the sandwiches. Grill the sandwiches in the frying pan until each side is golden brown.

For topping, combine the sugar and cinnamon in shallow plate. Coat the grilled sandwiches with the mixture. Cut diagonally and serve hot.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Giving the Pepperwood Label a Swirl

Dinner for last Friday night was a simple affair. Grilled steak and leftover pasta drizzled with butter and garlic sauce with a little parmesan cheese on top. We rounded it off with a torn piece from a 5-grain baguette.

We also tried out a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon carrying the Pepperwood Grove label from Don Sebastiani & Sons.

Their website states we should get a whiff of raspberries, cedar, and subtle savory herbs. I’ll concur with the raspberries…..

Once you take a sip you should experience flavors such as rich blackberry cobbler, fresh raspberry jam, and caramel oak tones with integrated hints of basil and fresh figs. Oak tones yes…..the other items… Perhaps my palette isn’t sophisticated enough.

I’ll keep trying though…….

Monday, March 7, 2011

Have a Frittata!

A frittata is egg-based and can be very versatile as many different ingredients can be mixed and matched for a different outcome every time. It’s like a quiche without a crust. Make sure you use a skillet that can be used on top of the stove as well as under the broiler.

6 eggs, beaten

1 oz. Parmesan

Pinch Salt

1 tsp. butter

½ cup roasted asparagus

½ cup ham, chopped

1 T. Parsley, chopped

I roasted the asparagus and onion with a little olive oil for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to broil.

In a medium bowl blend eggs, cheese, pepper and salt.

Heat a 12 inch, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add butter and allow it to melt.

Add asparagus and ham to skillet. Saute 2-3 minutes.

Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook 4-5 minutes or till set on the bottom.

Sprinkle with Parsley.

Place under the broiler 3-4 minutes until the top is done and slightly brown.

Cut the frittata into wedges and serve. Pair it with a nice salad and your favorite white wine.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fried Veggies

1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 ½ cups cornmeal
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ t. pepper
Fresh vegetables such as okra, green tomatoes, onion, zucchini, or yellow squash
Vegetable Oil

Whisk buttermilk and egg. Combine cornmeal, salt and pepper.

Dip vegetables in buttermilk then coat in cornmeal mixture.

Pour oil to a depth of 3 inches in dutch oven; heat to 375 degrees.

Fry vegetables in batches for 4 minutes on each side – turning too soon will cause breading to fall off.

Drain on paper towels

Add salt.

Chicken Dijon.....Version Two

This recipe is different from my other recipe in that it uses chicken broth as the base for the sauce and includes the pepper and one. I think I like it better. :)

6 skinned and boned chicken breast (about 2 lbs.)
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
3 T. butter
1 medium-size red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium-size sweet onion, diced
1 (14 ½ oz) can chicken broth
3 T. all-purpose flour
3 T. Dijon mustard

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken, and cook 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove chicken from skillet; add bell pepper and onion, and cook, stirring often, 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Return chicken to skillet.

Whisk together broth and next 2 ingredients and pour over chicken

Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes until chicken is done.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sweet and Spicey Chicken Wings

These are so fantastic the recipe should be a bit more difficult. This was the main attraction (besides the commercials) for this year’s Super Bowl game. We served them up with various other frozen appetizer type things…….

1 cup Pace Picante Sauce
¼ cup Honey
½ tsp. ground ginger
12 chicken wings (tips removed) or 24 chicken drummettes

Stir the picante sauce, honey and ginger in a large bowl.

Cut the wings in half at the joints to make 24 pieces. Toss the wings with the with the Picante sauce mixture. Place them in a foil-lined baking pan.

Bake at 400 degrees…for 55 minutes or until they are glazed and cooked through, turning and brushing often with the sauce during the last 30 minutes of baking time. Discard any remaining sauce.

Note…….they like to stick to the aluminum foil. Next time a glass baking dish or baking stone will be in order…..

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lemon Crumb Cake

One of my guilty pleasures happens to be the individual lemon crumb cakes from Publix. They are to die for. I looked for some reference on them online but couldn’t find anything. However, the following recipe from Epicurious is close……

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
½ cup packed golden brown sugar
4 tsp. grated lemon peel
¾ t. ground cinnamon
½ cup vegetable oil
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Powdered Sugar

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Lightly butter and flour 8-inch square glass baking dish. Stir flour, 1 cup sugar, brown sugar, lemon peel and cinnamon in large bowl to blend. Add oil and lemon juice and mix until flour is evenly moistened and mixture forms clumps. Set aside 1 cup of mixture for topping.

Whisk sour cream, egg, vanilla, baking powder and baking soda in small bowl until well blended. Using electric mixer, add sour cream to crumb mixture and beat until batter is smooth. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over top.

Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Transfer pan to rack and cool. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with foil; Store at room temperature.)

Sift powdered sugar over top of cake. Cut into squares and serve.

Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy

6 pork chops
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. season salt
2 eggs beaten
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 cups Italian style bread crumbs
4 T. olive oil
1 (10.5 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
½ cup milk
1/3 cup white wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse pork chops. Pat dry and season them with garlic powder and season salt to taste.

Place beaten eggs in a small bowl. Dredge pork chops lightly in flour. Dip in egg and coat liberally with the bread crumbs.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Fry five minutes per side or till breading appears well browned.

Transfer to a 9 x 13 baking dish and cover with foil.

Bake 1 hour.

While baking the pork chops combine soup, milk and white wine. After 1 hour cover the pork chops with the soup mixture. Bake another 30 minutes.

Pair the pork chops with green beans and pierogies. If you aren’t familiar with pierogies follow this link.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Easy and Yummy Meatloaf

2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
3 slices bread, torn
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar or part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil, thyme or sage, optional
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1/2 cup Hunt’s® Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon prepared mustard

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add milk and bread; let stand until liquid is absorbed. Stir in the onion, carrot, cheese and seasonings. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.

Shape into a 7-1/2-in. x 3-1/2-in. x 2-1/2-in. loaf in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 minutes.

Combine the topping ingredients; spoon half of the mixture over meat loaf. Bake 30 minutes longer or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160°, occasionally spooning remaining topping over loaf. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 servings

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

¼ cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ t. baking soda
1/8 t. salt
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
¾ cup all purpose flour
¾ cup rolled oats
¼ cup flax seed meal
¼ cup wheat germ
2 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with mixer on medium for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in vanilla and egg till combined.
Beat in flour. Stir in rolled oats, flax seed meal, wheat germ, chocolate, cranberries and walnuts (dough will be crumbly)

Drop dough by rounded teaspoon two inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or till tops are lightly brown. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for one minute. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.

Makes about 30 cookies.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Little Wine Tasting.....

Recently we ventured over to our local Longhorn’s Steakhouse for a little family dinner. I was pleasantly surprised to find they had added a wine flight to their menu.

What is a wine flight? Wise Geek advises:

Wine flights, also sometimes referred to as tasting flights, are tastings of multiple wines, in order to get a feel for breadth or depth. Wine flights are usually intended for those new to the experience of tasting wine, or those who want to increase their understanding of a specific region, vintage, or varietal.

A wine flight can include anywhere from three or four wines to upwards of 50. The number of wines, the way they are presented, and the quality of the wines, usually depends on the context in which they are served. Wine flights may be offered in tasting bars, in restaurants, or at wineries or special events. They will often be based around a central theme, but may also just be a chance to try a number of different types of wine.

Longhorn’s flight had three wines along with a small place mat that described each wine. The flight included:

Red Rock Malbec…..”Malbec pairs great with grilled steaks. You will smell ripe cherries and boysenberries when you swirl the glass. The taste is a silky feeling with a smooth and fruit-flavored finish.” This particular wine is from California.
Red Diamond Merlot…..This wine was my personal favorite. I’m anxious to purchase my own bottle. The description read, “This wine is from Washington, a state becoming known for excellent merlot. It smells like sweet cherries and vanilla with flavors of black cherry, berry and plums when you sip. The finish is smooth with a medium body.”

The third choice was a Cabernet Sauvignon from the wineries of Chateau St. Jean out of California. “This is the boldest of the trio. Swirl and smell the aromas of dark fruits like blackberry and plums, then taste the rich fruit flavors and just a hint of the oak barrel where it was aged.”

I hope Longhorn’s continues to do this. It’s a great way to discover new wines to enjoy!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hot Water Cornbread

This cornbread needs to be prepared at the last minute so you can serve it hot!

2 cups white cornmeal
¼ t. baking powder
1 ¼ t. salt
1 t. sugar
¼ cup half-and-half
1 T. vegetable oil
¾ cup to 1 ¼ cups boiling water
Vegetable oil
Softened butter

Combine cornmeal and next three ingredients in a bowl; stir in half-and-half and 1 T. oil. Gradually add boiling water, stirring until batter is the consistency of grits.

Pour oil to a depth of ½ inch into a large heavy skillet; place over medium high heat. Scoop batter into a ¼-cup measure; drop into hot oil, and fry, in batches, 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain well on paper towels. Serve immediately with softened butter.

Makes 8 patties
Prep: 5 minutes, Cook 18 minutes

Pork Roast with Hoppin' John Stuffing

1 small onion, chopped
½ medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
2 T. vegetable oil
1 ½ cups cooked long-grain rice
1 ½ cups frozen chopped collard greens, thawed
1 (15 oz) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained (I like the Glory brand)
½ cup diced cooked country ham
½ t. sugar
½ t. salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 (2 ½-pound) boneless pork loin roast

Saute onion and bell pepper in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Add rice and next five ingredients; stir in egg. Set stuffing aside.

Butterfly pork loin roast by making a lengthwise cut down center of 1 flat side, cutting to within ½ inch of bottom. From bottom of cut, slice horizontally to ½ inch from left side; repeat procedure to right side. Open roast, and place between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to ½-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

Spoon 1 ½ cups stuffing evenly over roast, leaving a ½-inch border. Roll up; tie with string at 1-inch intervals. Place, seam side down in a lightly greased 11 x 7-inch baking dish.

Bake at 375 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in center registeres 160 degrees. Reheat remaining Hopping John and serve with roast.

6-8 servings
Prep: 30 minutes, Bake: 1 hour
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