Mama’s Favorite Fruit Salad

And now, brought to you by way of tablet and stylus, and just in time for Memorial Day cookouts and events: My mother Celia’s favorite fruit salad. It is quick, easy, and better the next day.  No measuring – one of those add more of this if you like this and less of this if you like something else better.  The pineapple juice adds a nice flavor and keeps the bananas from turning dark.

Simple, naturally sweet, pretty and cool.  In the upcoming heat, cool and simple are the operative words.  I have been known to eat this for my supper as well as my breakfast.  With strawberries at the peak of their season, this is a scrumptious eat.  Let the flavors blend for a couple of hours.  Enjoy!  The picture is from Pin Interest.  It shows one option for serving.  We just put in a bowl and serve, but for Memorial Day or July 4, this is nice.

Mama’s Favorite Fruit Salad
1 qt. strawberries, washed, hulled and halved or quartered
2 – 4 bananas, depending on size
1 large can pineapple chunks or tidbits in their juice
***Optional: pint of washed blueberries. sliced kiwi, watermelon (if eaten the same day)

Depending on size of berries, halve or quarter. Cut bananas into 1/2 inch chunks. Place in large non-reactive bowl and add pineapple chunks and juice. Toss gently to coat bananas well with the pineapple juice. Chill. Eat. Done!

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Sesame-Miso Green Beans/Sandomame goma-miso ae

It is getting to be that wonderful time of year when all kinds of fresh vegetables are making their way to produce stands and coming out of back yard gardens.  Juicy red tomatoes, full of acid, are my most favorite.  After that, they are all rated No. 2.  I grew up eating vegetables.  It was none of this coaxing and threatening.  There was one simple rule – eat what was offered or make do with bread and milk.  Because I was started on veggies as a toddler, I had no problem with that rule.  A backyard garden added to the appeal of veggies. The garden was not only a source of fresh food for us, it provided us home-canned and frozen veggies to take us through to next garden season. Summer meals often consisted of nothing but vegetables and of course, a big ol’ glass of sweet tea.

As a child, the vegetable garden was often a magical place to play. Warm, soft earth caressed bare feet, tiny frogs hiding under leaves, lady bugs, butterflies, birds pulling worms from the soil or grubs eaten off plants – except time spent with a book, this was one of my favorite places to be and thing to do. I helped weed and pick the vegetables. I was taught respect for the plants, the earth, the food, and the value of hard work and a job well done. A ripe tomato, or cucumber, or a few green beans pulled right from the plant made an excellent snack.

Veggies picked that morning were on the table for lunch and supper that same day.  Garden to table is still the best way.  That isn’t always possible but consuming veggies picked within a few days is next best.  Always choose the freshest you can find of what is in season.  Seasonal fruits and veggies save money and when at their peak, has a flavor that beats frozen/canned/weeks old veggies hands down.  Pulling down the shucks of ears of corn, with dew still on the shucks is a sensual delight.  The silky feel of the husk, the green smell of the husk as it exposes the lush yellow, white, bi-color kernels, the pop of the kernels when you bite into them or slide a paring knife down the ear separating kernels from cob…I can go on and on about corn.  And don’t get me started on tomatoes, okra, squashes, green beans, butter beans, cucumbers…

But I digress.  We started off with a recipe about green beans.  There are many different varieties: blue lake, tender green, Kentucky Wonder, Tenderette, and many more.  Then types: bush, climbing, half runner, flat, pole beans, , Italian, French, and…Hannibal Lecter’s F-f-fava beans .  Different textures, flavors – green beans are not your plain old green side dish.  Barely cooked and bright green and crisp, cooked with bacon or ham or fatback until melt in the mouth and flavored with the meat, pickled (!), cooked in the manner of different cuisines using tomatoes, garlic, sesame, onions, peppers, soy – they bring international flavor to your plain old everyday meal.

I enjoy green beans many different ways.  One of my favorites is quick cooked and then tossed with a creamy sesame and miso sauce.  A plate of these on their own is a quick dinner for me.  Some on the side of teriyaki chicken and rice makes a fancy meal that is not your same old meat, starch, vegetable supper.  Mixing these with freshly made and cooked udon is another of my happy place dishes.

You can find the ingredients in Asian food stores or sometimes, in specialty sections of a grocery store.  If you can’t find the sesame paste, tahini can be substituted and in a pinch, smooth peanut butter, but the taste will be very different. This recipe is fairly common. The version I use comes from the Hakone area.

Sandomame Goma-miso Ae
1 1/2 tablespoons white sesame paste (shiro neri goma)
1 1/2 tablespoons shiro (sweet, white) miso
dash of low sodium soy sauce
good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Salt, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons daishi or water, or water from cooking green beans
16 ounces green beans, whole or cut into 2 inch pieces or sliced in diagonals
1 1/2 tablespoons white sesame seeds (optional)

In a bowl, mix the sesame paste with the miso, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Stir with wooden spoon or non-reactive whisk to blend completely. Taste, and if it seems too sweet, adjust the seasoning with salt. Blend by hand again until smooth. Thin the mixture with stock or water, one spoonful at a time. Set aside.  Clean the green beans, snapping off the ends. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add the beans and cook for 3 minutes or until bright green. Drain the beans then let cool at room temperature.

Toss the green beans in the sesame-miso sauce just before serving and garnish with sesame seeds. I always like to add a light sprinkle of thinly sliced green onion. Serves 4 (maybe).

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Got Eggs? Eggs-ellent Egg Salad

 

A long time favorite at lunch counters, egg salad is a good way to use up dyed boiled eggs at Easter. Please use caution and safety and do not use eggs that have been off refrigeration for longer than six hours for any food purposes.

After Easter, hot summer weather seems to be on us before we have eaten the last Peep in the Easter Basket. I like to keep salads on hand for cool easy meals during hot weather. Southerners love cold plates. I call cold plates “Scoopa” Plates – scoopa egg salad, scoopa tuna or chicken salad, scoopa potato salad, pickled beets, cole slaw arranged on crisp green lettuce leaves. a slice of baguette on the side.  Egg salad is a staple item for quick lunches, impromptu company, open faced for special occasions.

Egg salad can be as plain or fancy as you wish. Below is my basic egg salad. You can leave out the mustard and use curry powder to season or add chopped pimiento stuffed olives, or chopped green onion. dill instead of chives, finely chopped dill or sweet pickle – customize this to suit yourself. Hollowed out cherry tomatoes stuffed with egg salad also make an excellent appetizer or party nosh. Use reduced fat mayonnaise instead of regular mayonnaise. If I am going to be serving immediately, I also like to peel and scoop out the good stuff of an avocado and mash along with the eggs. Avocado egg salad has a lovely pale green tint and is a fresh looking dip or spread for crackers and adds a whole different flavor layer to this basic dish.

Thank you Public Domain Images for photographs!

Ingredients
6 large hard boiled eggs. peeled and cooled
1/4 cup mayonnaise + 1 tbs
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 medium-length celery stalk, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Put eggs into a bowl and mash with a fork until as smooth or chunky as you choose. Add other ingredients and mix well. Use for egg salad sandwiches, dip or spread for crackers or for stuffing cherry tomatoes.

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Simple Sunday Supper – Quiche Lorraine

Tonight for supper is one of the best excuses to cook lots of bacon – Quiche Lorraine. I use turkey bacon but you can also use leftover chopped smoked ham. This recipe is a standby from an Old Betty Crocker cookbook. I like to sprinkle fresh chopped chives on top before putting into the oven. Served with a nice crusty bread, steamed asparagus and a bowl of fresh strawberries, this supper sings Spring!  Leftovers make a good light lunch.  One of my snooty type friends said Lorraine was a region in France without cheese and that this was just bacon and cheese quiche.  Whatever.  It’s good.  A quiche by any other name and all that.

You can make a nice rich pate brisee, use one of those refrigerated pie crusts from the dairy case, or use a thawed, frozen deep dish pie crust. I’m using the latter because it is Simple Sunday Supper.   Bon Appetit, y’all!

Ingredients
1 (9 inch) pastry dough (I use frozen, deep dish thawed and pre-baked)
12 slices bacon, crisply fried and crumbled (I use 6 slices of turkey bacon)
1 cup shredded swiss or cheddar cheese
1/3 cup minced onion
4 eggs
2 cups whipping cream or light cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions
Heat oven to 450°F. Saute/caramelize onions. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion in pastry-lined pie pan. Whisk eggs slightly, beat in remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into pie pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 450°F. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Bake an additional 30 minutes. Quiche is done when knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Important–let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

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Super Simple Sunday Supper

So, it is just plain ol’ dreary and cold outside. Spring seems to have sprung everywhere but here. I don’t want an elaborate meal but I do want simple and satisfying. Hence, Chicken and Noodle Casserole served with a tossed salad and Double Strawberry Shortcake. I copied the recipe from back of a Campbell’s Soup can years ago and it has been a mainstay ever since. I made a few slight changes and to healthy it up a bit, I use the mushroom soup that is fat and sodium reduced. I don’t think it makes much difference really, but I feel like I’m doing something! When you read the recipes, you’ll see just how super simple this is. We aren’t going for gourmet, we’re going for yummy, tummy warming, smile making food.  S friend of mine makes this in the skillet after a hard day at work, so you don’t even have to put in the oven!  Sprinkle the bread crumbs over before serving.

You can use leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken as well as canned.  I usually do this.

どうぞめしあがれ Douzo meshiagare y’all!

Chicken and Noodle Casserole
1 can cream of mushroom soup (regular or reduced sodium)
½ c. milk (or broth or water)
1 c. frozen peas (or broccoli florets or peas and carrots)
¼ c. chopped onion and celery, sautéed until tender
2 4.5 ounce cans canned chicken or equivalent of cooked chicken
2 c. medium egg noodles cooked and drained
2 tbs. dry bread crumbs
1 tbs. butter melted
Directions
Stir the soup, milk, peas, celery, onion, chicken and noodles in a 1 1/2-quart casserole. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture. Bake for 5 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

Triple Strawberry Shortcake
1 qt. fresh strawberries, sliced
Strawberry Ice Cream or frozen yogurt
Slices of pound cake or angel food cake
Whipped cream or whipped topping

Slice and macerate strawberries in about 1/4 cup sugar depending on sweetness of berries. When ready to serve, on slice of cake put scoop of ice cream, top with berries and juice and add dollop of whipped cream.

What? Meatloaf – again?

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I always think of that scene in the Rocky Horror Picture Show when the table top slides back to reveal the body of Eddie, ex-delivery boy played by Meatloaf. The participants in the theater audience all say in unison, “What? Meatloaf? Again?”. And in those days, many food commercials on TV showed families sitting around the dinner table looking at mom’s lackluster attempt to feed the family, groaning…”what? ? Again?”  Heaven forbid that a meal should be predictable and boring…

I like meatloaf. I adore meatloaf sandwiches from the leftovers. I DO NOT LIKE DRY FLAVORLESS MEATLOAF!!!

This meatloaf is moist, flavorful, easy….The Trifecta of comfort food. Best of all, it is cooked in a slow cooker so it saves energy, time (you can be doing other things while it cooks), can be made in the summer without heating up the oven and close environs. The recipe can be played with to suit your tastes.

The only things I changed were the milk and eggs: I used ketchup and steak sauce in less the amount of milk called for the recipe. I used one beaten egg. I also used Italian, rather than plain, bread crumbs. And it was still moist and sliced well.

People think usually, you just dump stuff in a bowl to make meatloaf. No. No you don’t. I beat together my liquids first in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, I add my dry ingredients on top of the ground beef and then pour the liquids over and mix with my hands – if you over mix, your meatloaf will turn out dry. I mix to barely incorporate all ingredients which is why I beat the liquids and then add on top. I also do not use cheap fatty ground beef. I like to use a mixture of ground round and ground chuck. However, in the interest of frugality, these two items are usually purchased when on sale and divvied up into recipe size portions and frozen, then thawed when it is time to use. You can also use ground turkey. My aunt has been using ground turkey for a couple of years. She adds a small amount of Kitchen Bouquet to color the meat. Her husband has yet to figure out he is no longer eating beef and if you tell him, she will sic her Pekingese on you. And he is a little beast, I can assure you.

So…on to the recipe. I hope y’all enjoy. I made this yesterday for dinner and today for lunch, I am having a meatloaf sammich and a big ol’ glass of sweet iced tea. Oh yeah. That’s what I’m talkin’ about. While eating, I’ll be grinnin’ like a possum eatin’ a sweet tater. (and for y’all not sure, that means very happy in my neck of the woods here in the south).

どうぞめしあがれ (douzo meshiagare) y’all!

Ingredients
2 eggs, beaten
¾ c. milk (or liquid seasonings such as ketchup, steak sauce, etc.)
¾ cup dry breadcrumbs
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 lbs. lean ground beef

Instructions
To remove loaf when done, line crock with wide strip of aluminum foil, coming up sides of crock. Spray foil with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine liquids. Over meat, add soup mix and breadcrumbs. Pour liquids over and mix. Shape into a rectangle or oval that won’t touch sides of crock. Place in crock. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.  NOTE:  About the last 30 minutes of cooking, I spread some ketchup on top.  You can add grated cheese if you like as well.  Also, at this time, any drippings that have cooked out of the meat (and it can be a lot depending upon fat content and the amount of water added to the meat when processed), I ladle out and dispose of.  You can do this step sooner, if you like.

Thank you Public Domain for the photo.  And the meatloaf does look like this… 🙂

Spring is Sprung – Benedictine Spread

I don’t have a clue how this got the name.  I just know it is good – either as a sandwich spread or as a dip.  Pale green, vibrant with veggie flavor, just plain ol’ yum food.  I was introduced to this years ago by another Southern girl (from Kentucky).  Yeah, it can be a prissy girly shower type food, but…..from this non-prissy, logical, sci fi girl, it is also good for any occasion and any reason.

it is perfect for spring and hot summer – cukes, onion, cream cheese – oh my!  I like to make open faced sammiches with this spread on a nice hearty whole grain bread and topped with alfalfa sprouts or a bit of shredded lettuce.  it also is an excellent thing to stuff into hollowed out cherry tomatoes.

Try it.  You’ll like it.  If your onion is a bit strong, rinse thin slices or soak a few minutes in cold water. Or use chives. If you don’t have a food processor (I don’t and am a bit of a snob about my knife work), just finely mince the veggies. Use a hand mixer to put the ingredients together.

•1 large cucumber
•8 ounces cream cheese, softened
•2 tablespoons grated onion
•1/4 tsp salt
•1 tablespoon mayonnaise
•dash green food coloring (optional)

Pare, grate, and drain cucumber. Combine with remaining ingredients in food processor.   Serve as is or as a sandwich or canape spread. Thin with sour cream to make a dip for vegetables.  Use low fat cream cheese and mayo to make it healthier.

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Colcannon – Irish Yum Food

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Colcannon is quick, cheap, and easy.  Not to mention delicious and comforting.  Good on its own as a simple supper with biscuits or as a  hearty side dish to baked chicken or pork chops.   A lot of recipes call for kale.  I was raised to use cabbage.  After all, the name colcannon or cál ceannann means:  white headed cabbage.  I use cabbage, not kale.  I will purchase a small cabbage, about a pound, to use for this.  I discard the tough outer green leaves (putting outside for roving bunnies), cut the cabbage into quarters, core, and shred.

Usually served in the fall or at Halloween, colcannon used to have charms put in it.  Dependent on the charm you spooned onto your plate, you’d end up being single or married.  Many young Irish lasses would fill a sock with colcannon and hang on the door handle.  The first man to enter would supposedly end up being your husband.  I’m sure there were some kind of rules in place to exclude the village priest or a brother or other male family member.  Personally, putting a bunch of mashed potatoes with cabbage in a sock doesn’t sound all that great to me, but the colcannon on the plate, without the charms or the sock is a grand dish!   All you need is some Guiness stout or Harp to wash it down.

Colcannon
1lb 6oz potatoes – (do not use waxy type)  peeled and quartered
8oz spring cabbage, chopped ****
1/2 cup scallions/spring onions, roughly chopped
1/4 cup scallions/spring onions, finely chopped
4 oz butter + 3 tbs
salt and pepper

Simmer the potatoes in lightly salted water until cooked – when pierced with a sharp knife and the potato is soft in the middle.   Chop 3/4 of the spring onions roughly and the other 1/4 finely. Add the roughly chopped scallions/spring onions to the cabbage. Saute  lightly until tender in the 2 tbs. butter. Drain the potatoes and add the rest of the butter. When the butter has melted, mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy. Add the cabbage mixture and mix. Stir in some salt and pepper to taste for seasoning and garnish with the finely chopped scallion.

Thank you Wiki for the photo!

Nikujaga – Japanese Beef Stew, crock pot version

nikujaga01[1]    This is an excellent cold weather dish. It is similar to other stews of this type. I like best to use thinly sliced fatty beef but the type the Japanese use is hard to find. Instead, my adaptation to this recipe is to use nice chunks of chuck roast. I also use Yukon gold potatoes so they stay more whole but if you use regular potatoes and they start to dissolve into the broth, that tastes good too!

Japanese stews are not thick like many of ours. They are more brothy and when served in a bowl over rice, they are similar to a dish, donburi – meat bowl. This stew will have your whole house smelling fragrant and homey. I was taught this recipe years ago from my Samurai, who liked both American and Japanese stews. We’d cook this on a miserable cold rainy day and enjoy for supper. It is also good sopped up with a nice baguette but I like the rice better. Serve with a dry white wine or better yet, some sake. But soft drinks work just as well!!

You can also substitute some bok choy or regular cabbage for the snow peas. Adding a small can of sliced mushrooms (yes….can. That’s what he did and I figured, hey, it’s a Japanese stew and he is Japanese so I am not arguing) along with the snow peas is good too. If you want to throw in a quartered turnip that’s also good.  You can also add more water for more broth.

どうぞめしあがれ douzo meshiagare, y’all! (eat well you all ! – said by the cook before the meal to the diners)
 

Ingredients
2 lbs beef stew meat (brown in a bit of oil before adding to crock pot)
1 cup water
3 tbs. Japanese sake
3 tbs. mirin
3 tbs. sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb baby carrots (whole)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large white onion, diced
10 snow peas halved
quarter sized piece of ginger, grated
cooked sticky rice
garnish with some chopped parsley and/or slivered scallion

Directions:
1 Put all into crock pot and cook on low 10-12 hours or on high 4-6 hours.
2. Add snow peas last two hours of cooking time
2 Stir before serving. Serve over sticky rice.  Use chopsticks to stir or stir carefully to not break apart ingredients.

A cookie by any other name…

     Two cookies today – easy ones and both of them tie for #1 on my husband’s cookie list.  The first I’ve seen called Mexican Wedding Cookies, Wedding Cookies, Snowballs, Russian Teacakes….same cookie, same ingredients, same addictive cookie.  And like me, it is short but not too sweet.

The second – an odd cookie. Easy, no bake, different. This one I’ve seen called Butterscotchies, Butterscotch Nests, Worms, Haystacks, Chinese Cookies, Butterscotch Candy Cookies.

However you name them, they are good. The Worms (what I grew up calling them) can be decorated with sprinkles, colored sugar, formed into nests with appropriate colored jellybeans or M&Ms as the “eggs” in the next.  My papa liked to sprinkle them with chopped salted peanuts.

I hope you enjoy.  For myself, I’d just as soon make the pecan cookies while hubby is out and keep them for myself.  When he gets started on them, that’s it.

Wedding Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter, 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and the vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour and pecans, beating on low speed after each addition until well blended.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls (I use the appropriate sized cookie scoop). Place, 1-1/2 inches apart, on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 14 to 15 min.or until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned. Cool 5 min. on baking sheets. Roll warm cookies in remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar until evenly coated; place on wire racks. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature. NOTE: I let them cool a few minutes so the powered sugar does melt to invisibility and make them sticky.

Worms
1 cup Butterscotch Chips
1/2 cup Peanut Butter Chips
1 tablespoon shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil)
1-1/2 cups(3-oz. can) chow mein noodles
OPTIONAL: Chopped salted peanuts, sprinkles, colored sugar, M&Ms, jellybeans

Line tray with wax paper. Place butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips and shortening in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred.

Immediately add chow mein noodles; stir to coat. Drop mixture by heaping teaspoons onto prepared tray or into paper candy cups; let stand until firm. If necessary, cover and refrigerate until firm. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator. Yields about 2 dozen candies.

Haystacks[1]         snaowball coookies

Holiday Cooking: Yorkshire Pudding

Since I have managed to toss off my holiday blues (thank you for all your kind words, prayers, hugs. and positive vibes!) I am beginning to plan our Christmas dinner. I’ve not decided on turkey or a lovely beef roast. But I have already decided on the side dishes and as usual, this includes Yorkshire or, Batter Pudding.

When visiting England several times and years ago, I fell in love with this deceptively simple dish. Made with beef drippings and served hot alongside the meat with gravy ladled on, it is a savory dish that makes the meal, just in its humble simplicity. I’m happy just with the pudding and the gravy! If I serve with poultry or pork, I add a nice pinch of either rosemary, thyme, or sage. Not a lot, just a tad to enhance the compatibility to the meat. I rarely eat meat but will do a few times of year. This is a good dish with roasted vegetables as well as meat/poultry/pork.

Leftover puddings with melted butter and a tart orange marmalade is an excellent breakfast or, a smear of butter for a good out of hand gaming snack. This is not a snobbish dish. It is friendly and a combination of “hey y’all, Ay up, and hello love”. If you haven’t tried Yorkshire pudding, do give it a go. You may find it as easy and useful as a potato dish and may even end up using it as often.

Yorkshire Pudding

Ingredients
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pan drippings from roast prime rib of beef (or duck fat, vegetable shortening, vegetable oil)

NOTE: If I get a roast from the butcher that has a lot of external fat, I trim that off, render and clarify and use with this recipe. If I don’t have quite enough, I add some melted vegetable shortening. This can cook while your meat is resting. I let my batter rest about 15 minutes, but you really don’t have to.  DO NOT USE a glass baking dish – the batter going into smoking hot grease can cause the baking dish to explode.

Directions
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat together the eggs and milk until light and foamy. Stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Pour the drippings into a 9-inch pie pan, cast iron skillet, or square baking dish or into muffin tin holes. Put the pan in oven and get the drippings smoking hot. Carefully take the pan out of the oven and pour in the batter. Put the pan back in oven and cook until puffed and dry, 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 6 (or more puddings if you use a muffin tin)

from Nigella's How to Eat

from Nigella’s How to Eat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Contrast this pudding with those cooked in bak...

Contrast this pudding with those cooked in bakeware of tin and glass. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Simple Sunday Supper: Creepy and Spicy

Oyakodon:  Creepy name, yummy dish.  Warm, simple, comforting, easy. The name means “mother and child” = chicken and egg; hence, the cannibalistic creepy part. My husband hates the name and calls it “chicken bowl stuff”.  Whatever. This is donburi (don) – served over a bowl of steamed rice dish. You can use dashi or chicken broth for the liquid. White or brown rice is also your choice. Excellent for lunch or a simple supper.  Warms your tummy.

Dessert is pumpkin custard. Sweet, spicy, seasonal. Pumpkin pie without the crust. Top with a nice dollop of whipped cream. Served warm or chilled, this is good stuff. A bit decadent and a fitting end to a simple supper. Go ahead and eat two. It will be our secret.

Oyakodon
1/2 cup Dashi or chicken broth
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Sake
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Mirin
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 chicken breast (boneless, skinless), cut into bite size pieces
2 eggs
1 green onion, thinly sliced
steamed rice

Instructions
Add broth, sugar, Sake, soy sauce and Mirin in a pan. Heat until boiling. Add onion and cook for a minute at medium heat until tender. Add chicken pieces to the pan and cook until the meat is cooked through. Beat egg in a small bowl and pour over the chicken and onion. Cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until your eggs are cooked as you like them. Slide half of egg and chicken with half of sauce over rice in a bowl. Sprinkle with green onion.  Two servings.

Oyakodon

 

Pumpkin Custard
3 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed (not evaporated) milk
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sweetened whipped cream
Ground cinnamon

Instructions
HEAT oven to 350°F. Whisk eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice until blended. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, milk, vanilla and salt until blended.
Pour into 6 (6-ounce) custard cups. Place custard cups in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Place dish on oven rack in center of oven. Carefully pour boiling water into pan around custard cups to a depth of 1 1/4 inches. Bake 35 minutes or until centers are almost set. Remove custard cups from baking dish and cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cold. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon just before serving.  Makes 6.

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