Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mammy's Latest Apple Crisp

This is the real thing, folks. Make sure you use good baking apples (I used Golden Delicious). The key is to
not melt the butter for the topping.

Makes one 9x13 inch pan.
Normal Servings: 12
Heininge Servings: Hopefully 6, maybe 4

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

9 baking apples
Juice from one lemon
2 TBS flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks) chilled and cut into little cubes
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts; I prefer pecans)

FILLING: Peel and core the apples and dice them into 1/2 inch pieces. Or into slices, whatever you prefer. Toss them in a bowl with the sugar, flour and cinnamon and then put them in a baking pan.

TOPPING: Mix the dry ingredients and then cut the little cubes of butter into the mix. It should be crumbly. Mix in the oats and the nuts, and while you put it on top of the filling, squeeze it in your hand so it's clumped together. Scatter the topping all over the apples.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Chipotle Black Beans

I made this up by surveying the contents of my pantry, since I didn't have any perishables in the house besides onions and garlic. I like using dried beans but you could probably substitute three cans of black beans and cook on the stove for about 30 minutes.

2 cups black turtle beans
6 cups water

Soak beans in water in crockpot overnight.

1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf

Add to beans in crockpot and cook on high for 6 hours.

1 - 15 oz. can whole kernel corn, rinsed
1 chipotle pepper in adobe sauce (you find these in 8 oz. cans in the Mexican food section of grocery stores)
1 - 8 oz. can diced green chiles
1 - 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp chicken or vegetable bouillon

Add to crockpot and cook on low for 1 hour. Serve with Easy Mexican Rice (or quinoa).

Sausage and Cabbage Sauté

I loved last night's cabbage so much I couldn't stop thinking about cabbage all day at work and all the things I could do with it. So I ran out and bought another head of cabbage and some turkey kielbasa and created this delicious, healthy, comfort food. Perfect for a cold winter's night and very filling despite being low-calorie.

-1 medium head of green cabbage, shredded
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced
-1 red bell pepper, julienned
-8 oz. smoked sausage or kielbasa
-A few dashes Worcestershire (yes, that's how you spell it) sauce
-1/2 tbsp creole/cajun seasoning (you can adjust to taste, start with 1 tsp if you're not sure you'll like it)
Heat very large skillet on medium heat, add olive oil when hot and immediately add cabbage and onions. Salt to taste while cooking, this helps the cabbage wilt and give off it's liquid. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook another 5 minutes. Add sausage and seasonings and cook for about 2 minutes until sausage is heated thoroughly.

Spiced Braised Beef with Sweet Potatoes

I don't think this is truly braised, because I believe when you braise something you brown it quickly on the stove and then add liquid and simmer. This you just dump into the crockpot and turn it on for 6 hours. But the result is similar, and the beef is so tender it just falls apart. I got this recipe from RealSimple magazine.

1.5 lbs beef chuck steak, cut into chunks
2 sweet potatoes (l lb), cut into 1/2 inch thick half moons
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
1/2 dried apricots
2 tsp gr. cumin
2 tsp gr. ginger
1/2 tsp gr. cinnamon (I would double)
1/2 tsp cayenne (if you like it spicy, double)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
3 handfuls spinach
1/4 cups roasted almonds, chopped

In a 4-6 quart slow cooker, combine the beef, potatoes, tomatoes w/juices, onion, apricots, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, and water.

Cook, covered, until the meat is tender, on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 7-8 hours. (I did 6 on high, with no issues)

Add chickpeas to the slow cooker, and cook until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Stir in spinach and let soften just a little. Garnish with almonds.

Serve with couscous, or grain of your choice.

4-6 servings.

Black-eyed Pea Gumbo

Eating black-eyed peas on New Year's day is a tradition that brings good luck and prosperity and dates back as far as 500 AD. Now the tradition is more commonly observed in the southern states. I jazzed up this recipe from

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
8 oz. sausage or ham, diced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
2 cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 tbsp creole seasoning
1 cup dried black-eyed peas, prepared or 2 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup brown rice, rinsed

(To prepare dried black-eyed peas, soak 1 cup in 4 cups water in saucepan overnight. Heat to boiling and simmer about 1 hour. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.)

Heat oil in large pot on medium heat, add onion, celery, and bell pepper and saute until tender. Add sausage, jalapeno, green chilies and saute another 3 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, black-eyed peas, chicken broth, rice, and creole seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer 1 hour. Resist the urge to stir this constantly as the rice takes a long time to cook and needs to settle. Stir every 15 minutes or so just so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom, adding more water as needed.

Makes 8 servings.

Cabbage Thai

My love affair with cabbage continues...I've always wanted to make pad thai but the rice noodles are so high in calories and have almost no nutrients. This was suprisingly good. Of course, it doesn't taste quite like pad thai(surprise, surprise). The cabbage looks so much like noodles that every time I take a bite I anticipate the flavor of noodles (which is kind of a let-down, but these are the choices we make). Of course, if you want to use noodles in the place of cabbage you can too. Just remember to soak them for 5-10 before adding to the pot. Here's the original recipe I modified:

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small head green cabbage, shredded finely
1/2 tsp salt

Heat the oil on medium heat in a large wok. Add cabbage and salt, and saute for 5-10 minutes, until cabbage is somewhat wilted. Set aside.

1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 oz. Tofu, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced

Heat oil in wok on high heat and saute tofu, shallot, and garlic until they start to brown. Add cabbage and fold in tofu.

1 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp chili garlic sauce

Mix the above ingredients and add to cabbage. Stir well and saute about 2 minutes.

1 egg

Push all the cabbage to the side of the wok to make room. Crack the egg into the wok and scramble until nearly set. Fold into cabbage.

1 block tofu (10-12 oz.)
Chop tofu into cubes and add to wok, cook another 2 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and garnish with any of the following:

2 Tbsp ground peanuts
4 chives, diced
1/3 cup bean sprouts

Chicken and Eggplant Stir-fry


2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp chili-garlic sauce

2 chicken breasts, sliced in 2 inch pieces
1 eggplant, quartered and sliced
1 onion, quartered and sliced
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Water or stock

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and set aside.

In a large wok on medium heat, saute chicken breasts in 1 Tbsp oil for about 2 minutes, or just until white on the outside. Remove from wok and set aside, we will add this to the wok later.

Add 1 Tbsp oil to wok, add onions and eggplant stirring quickly so eggplant doesn't absorb all the oil. Saute for about 5 minutes until eggplant browns nicely. Keep a cup of water close by and add a spoonful as needed to keep the wok from getting too dry and help your eggplant soften.

Add chicken and sauce to wok, turn heat to high, and stir frequently. Do this for about 2-3 minutes or until chicken has cooked and sauce has evaporated somewhat. Depending on how you like it, I like it on the dryer side but if you're serving with rice you might want more sauce.

Note: You can use other vegetables besides eggplant but you may have to reduce or cook longer. I thought the sauce was mild so add more chili-garlic sauce if you want it spicier.