Archive for the 'Food' Category

Cass in the Kitchen: Great American Seafood Cookoff!

:kitchen: If you have been following my little Thursday series for any length of time, you know I love seafood. I especially enjoy local seafood, and living so near the coast, when I eat fresh, local seafood, it is FRESH! BTW, did you know that you can tell how fresh a fish is by looking at the eyes? As the fish ages, the eyes cloud over. Beware of buying fish with the heads cut off at a fresh fish market. That’s not how they usually sell it. Since they sell by weight, they make more if the heads are on. The only reason to cut them off is to hide something, and now you know what that something is. Also, even though you buy it head and scale on, they will usually clean it for you while you wait, or at least my local place will. Dang. Now I want seafood again. I might have to pay them a visit tomorrow night instead of just blogging about them today; I don’t have time to go get it and cook it before practice tonight, and I like to cook mine the same day I buy it. River in the morning, on the plate in front of me by dinnertime. And boy, did I ever get sidetracked there.

Back to the seafood cook off. Today, I visited the Great American Seafood Cook Off site, and voted for the Shrimp and Andouille Cassoulet by Louisianian Brian Landry. That was an easy choice for me because I love andouille sausage. The perfect hot-ness and the flavor, oh my! And also shrimp, but I figured that part might could go without saying. I like that I can substitute bacon or smoked sausage for the andouille, because I can’t always find that. But seriously, how could I not vote for a dish that looks like this?

I also entered the contest for a trip to New Orleans. Because. Hello! New Orleans! Only, please, after hurricane season. Geez Louise! And Gustav!

And yes, I am looking at Hanna, thanks for asking. And Ivan, too. And also, Josephine. Any of ya’ll live a little more inland, and want to host a family of NINE for a week or so?

Sponsored by Lousiana Seafood

Menu Plan Monday 9/1/2008



This weeks menus are made, and I thought I would share. Sometimes I get to it too late to post! We’ll be having

  • fried chicken
  • chicken and rice casserole
  • chicken and pastry
  • manicotti
  • pork roast
  • BBQ sandwiches
  • sloppy joes

Lots of quick and easy, because, HEY, football!

Cass in the Kitchen: Jasmine Rice with Seafood

:kitchen: Well, it’s Thursday again, isn’t it? Must be time to talk about food here on Cass Knits! First off, have you tried Jasmine Rice? I finally bought some last month! I’d been curious for quite a while as to what the difference could possibly be, and I had always just substituted regular white rice for it in recipes. Well, that won’t be happening anymore, because jasmine rice is a whole new taste world! It’s sweet, and the grains separate very well, and I like it, yes, I do. And it is especially delightful with seafood!

Jasmine Rice with Seafood

2 cups jasmine rice
3 cups water
1 lb imitation crab meat
1 lb scallops
5-6 slices of cooked bacon, torn into bite sized pieces
lemon pepper

Start the water boiling, and cook the rice. While it is cooking, throw the bacon and scallops into a frying pan. Cook them until the scallops are done. That won’t take but a few minutes.

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When the scallops are done, put the imitation crab meat in the skillet, add some lemon pepper and stir it all together to mix.

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When the rice is done, tip it into the skillet and mix again. Call the crew, and smirk in Rachel Ray’s direction as you serve this 25 minute meal. Just Kidding, ya’ll. I love me some Rachel.

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Cass in the Kitchen: Two Dudes One Pan

:kitchen: What can you make with a big bowl, a nonstick skillet, a classic skillet, a dutch oven, a roasting pan, and a baking dish? A whole lot of goodness, that’s what!

I had the opportunity today to look through Two Dudes One Pan and this book is all about lots of flavor punch with not much muss and fuss. In fact, it’s sub-titled Maximum Flavor from a Minimalist Kitchen. Given how busy life is these days, this is a treasure chest of good ideas just now. And remember a few months ago I moaned about wanting a dutch oven? Now I really, really want one!

This is a fun, chatty cookbook, and each recipe has a snippet of conversation to go with it. Vinny and Jon also go back in forth in the intro to the book as well as the segues into the chapters, which are named for the pot or pan you use for the recipes in it. And the recipes!

From the frittatas to the hot tip for perfect pancakes (extras go on the the pancakes right before you flip them, NOT in the batter) to the swordfish with fried green tomatoes (hello!!! fried green tomatoes!!!!) and bacon vinaigrette to the weiner schnitzel (if these guys can show me how to make that dish that I have been trying to replicate for 22 years, I will forever be in their debt) my non-stick skillet is about to get a real good workout.

And skipping over to the dutch oven chapter–hey I said I wanted one, and winter is coming, and I love to throw meals in the slow oven in winter–I’m salivating over the creamed brussels sprouts with bacon and the buttermilk-sage fried chicken. Buttermilk chicken? I’m so on that! And the beer-braised short ribs. Definitely need the dutch oven, ya’ll.

And as if by the TheClone’s special request, there’s even a recipe for pistachio tiramisu in here. Are you reading me, daughter of mine? Time to come see your mama!

www.randomhouse.com 1 2 3Okay here’s the skinny: Two Dudes One Pan will be available in stores next Tuesday. The cover price is $24.95. And I will be doing a giveaway soon, in which this book will be a possible prize. Shh. Don’t tell. Ok, I’m kidding: tell EVERYbody!

Cass in the Kitchen: CA Wine Club

:kitchen: ok, I feel so bad about chintzing you on the previous CitK post, that I will give you two this week. But because I am disgusted by the price of food today, we will speak instead of wine. The price of which has not risen 25% in the past month. Let us not go there again. *Deep Breath* Wine. Wine makes me mellow, let us speak of it now.

I have shared that I am beginning to experiment with different wines, and I believe I mentioned that my cousin and I went to a couple of local wineries a couple weeks ago. He has a membership at one we did not visit, and he joined one of the ones he went to that day. But I know he has to go pick up his wine from these wineries, and I do not always make time to go do stuff like that, so I am not sure that’s a good option for me, and besides, he only gets wine once per quarter, and umm, ya’ll, that is just not acceptable.

Cwc-logo-artisan-smallSo, because of all that, I perked up and paid attention when I saw that the CA Wine Club is offering the first month of their club for free. All you pay is shipping. Each month, they feature a different winery, and you can get 2, 3, or 4 bottles of wine.\ plus a magazine that tells you about the wineries they came from. Oh, I guess you want to know more about the free part. Here ya go: free wine.

So, since California had movies, and now we have movies here, and we have wine and they have wine, do you reckon it would be traitorous for me to order wine from California? Kinda Benedict Cass-ish? And more importantly, will they teach me what wine to serve with what food?

Sponsored by CA Wine Club

Cass in the Kitchen: The Spice Merchant’s Daughter

:kitchen: Another week, another book review. Oh no, wait, I just did a book review yesterday, didn’t I? That’s ok, too, though, because the book I am reviewing today combines two of my favorite things. No, not knitting and cook, though that could be interesting. Except that I already do that, don’t I? Hmm, that bears thinking about. But the two things combined in today’s book are cooking and history. Let me introduce you to The Spice Merchant’s Daughter. Her name is Christina Arokiasamy. She grew up in Malaysia, and her mother was a …. wait for it … spice merchant.

Now I am the first to admit that I don’t know much about spices. I tend to think in terms of salt, pepper and garlic, the end. I only recently started adding paprika “for color”. I think at least part of that is due to the years I spent as a smoker. It deadens the taste, you know. I could only taste very strong or very hot spices, and so the more subtle ones escaped my notice. By the way, paprika is good for more than color. It has a sweety hot taste, kinda smokey, but not a lot. And it’s good on popcorn (thanks Ang.). But let’s get back to the book.

www.randomhouse.com 1 2Ms. Arokiasamy precedes each chapter of recipes with a vignette of her childhood life. I could almost see and smell the people and spices as she opened up these windows into another culture. I I do plan to try a few of these recipes, particularly the sambals, which are served like a condiment, so the children can take it or leave it without it being a big hairy deal. I don’t cater to my children when I cook, but I do like to consider them. It seems only fair, after all, since most of them can’t cook yet ;)

Cass in the Kitchen: Green Chili

:kitchen: I made and took pictures of this chili some time ago. It is just so good! I make a large batch of it, and we eat it as a main meal with corn chips or tortillas, and then I freeze the left overs in 2 cup or so containers to use as a condiment for other Mexican foods. Yumm! I got the original recipe out of Colorado Cache Cookbook, and their more complicated version is a signature dish for La Bola in Denver. Shh, don’t tell anyone that mine is easier and just as tasty.

Green Chili

You’ll need:
2-3 pounds of pork stew meat, or chopped shoulder or, you know, pork
3 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
garlic powder or minced garlic to taste
21 ounces of canned diced green chilis
1 ounce of hot peppers if desired (I skip this so the kids can eat it, too)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1.5 tablespoons of salt

Brown your pork and cook it until it looks dry.
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Pour off the grease if you need to, but if you used lean meat, you probably won’t have too. Add the tomatoes, chilis and seasonings.

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Stir it together and let it simmer for at least an hour, OR as long as you can stand to wait.

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Serve alone or over burritos.

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P.S. Like most chilis, this one is even better the next day, so make it in advance if you can.

Cass in the Kitchen: Key Ingredient.com

:kitchen: I have something a little different for you today. Instead of a recipe or book review, I am going to review a site for you. I’ve spent the bulk of the day sorting and stashing crafty type stuff, and I can almost see the light at the end of my personal tunnel of crafty doom, but I just don’t feel like messing with a lot more pictures right now. If you look at the stash page, you will see exactly what I mean. It’s looking perky over there, ya’ll, but my brain is just about fried!

Anyway, back to the subject. At ketingredient.com, you can search by recipes based on the (surprise!!) Key Ingredients. And girls, you should see the shrimp recipes! And the pancake recipes. If I wasn’t feeding the family a lasagna from the freezer so I could deal with Mount CraftMore behind me (relax, I made it myself), I might be having to make the Shrimp and Scallop Saute. Over Angel Hair.

As it is, they will eat the lasagna, I will saute myself a no-sat-fat chicken breast and then I will continue with this:
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Don’t you envy me?

Thankfully, it doesn’t look quite that intimidating anymore, because I have been working on it all day. Except for that quick trip to Wal-Mart.

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