Friday, November 30, 2012

ONIONS! I had never heard this!!!

In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu...
Many of the farmers and their families had contracted it and many died.

The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn't believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.

Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser. She said that several years ago, many of her employees were coming down with the flu, and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.

Now there is a P. S. to this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this most interesting experience about onions:

Thanks for the reminder. I don't know about the farmer's story...but, I do know that I contacted pneumonia, and, needless to say, I was very ill... I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an empty jar, and place the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs...sure enough it happened just like that...the onion was a mess and I began to feel better.

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

This is the other note. Lots of times when we have stomach problems we don't know what to blame. Maybe it's the onions that are to blame. Onions absorb bacteria is the reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu and is the very reason we shouldn't eat an onion that has been sitting for a time after it has been cut open.


I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of mayonnaise. Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.

Ed, who was our tour guide, is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially-made mayo is completely safe.

"It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it's not really necessary." He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the summer picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table, and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

Ed says that, when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the 'victim' last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as it's not homemade mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It's probably the ONIONS, and if not the onions, it's the POTATOES.

He explained onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it's not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.

It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!). Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you'll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.

Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.

Please pass this on to all you love and care about.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"Tuesdays with Dorie" Challenge.... Buttermilk Crumb Muffins

Our challenge today at "Tuesdays with Dorie" was to make these really awesome looking muffins. They were very tasty. We enjoyed them all clear down to the very last crumb! The recipe we were challenged to use was from "Baking: From My Home to Yours", by Dorie Greenspan, pp. 207

 You can out more challenges and fun at "Tuesdays with Dorie".

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Tuesday's with Dorie"... Whole Wheat Bread

I really like this recipe. It came together very easily and taste fantastic. I think the malt helps to give it a richer wheat flavor and yet, you don't get that heavy dry taste that you often get with whole wheat bread.

You can check out other great TWD recipes at "Tuesday's with Dorie". Come join the group and bake with us!

National Cheeseburger Day!

       So what actually makes up just a plain old fashioned Cheeseburger and what fixin's do you like to put on yours?
        Historically, "It's as American as, well, American cheese. But that’s as far as the patty’s origin gets narrowed down. Various eating establishments (mostly in California) claim to have invented the cheeseburger. The Pasadena Sun did due diligence in investigating the burger’s background and while it heavily leans toward one over the other, it’s left undecided. The front runner for the American classic is “The Rite Spot” in Pasadena, California. Legend has it, one of the cooks there, Lionel Clark Stenberger, slapped a piece of cheese on his burger and the rest was history. The year was around 1924, but could have been more like 1927. Backing up this assertion, the other main family laying claim to cheeseburger’s fame reportedly worked at the Rite Spot before going out on their own. While it took some American ingenuity to slap meat on some bread and render it a hand held sandwich, the concept of the patty itself was brought to the United States by German immigrants who had become fans of the Hamburg Steak. This cheap, chopped or roughly ground beef was mixed with fillers like breadcrumbs, suet and onions, bound with eggs and seasoned with nutmeg. The meat, often salted and smoked for preservation, was brought over to the United States by immigrants on the Hamburg America Line and became a popular menu item on New York City restaurants that catered to German sailors and European immigrants, hungry for the flavors of home. Time Magazine's Josh Ozersky asserts in his 2008 book, "The Hamburger: A History" that the modern day incarnation of the formed patty between two halves of a bun is "an American invention" with endless regional variations like the Connecticut steamed cheeseburger, Mississippi slugburger or Oklahoma onion burger. Various inventors have laid claim to that innovation, from Charles "Hamburger Charlie" Nagreen, a vendor at the Seymour Fair in Wisconsin in 1885 and Fletcher Davis in Athens, Texas in the 1880s, to Frank and Robert Menches at the Erie Agricultural Fair in Hamburg, New York in 1885 (they also take credit for the invention of the ice cream cone at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904), or possibly Louis Lassen at Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut in 1900."
       Aside from all the history rumors, I believe that cheese burgers date back way before that, Any time man takes meat and slaps it between two pieces of bread, you have a burger... right? and they have been doing that since the beginning of time. :)
      My favorite way to eat a burger all depends on my mood. I love a thick juicy burger prepared using the same recipe as I use for my meatloaf. I like to mix a combination of meats like ground beef, pork and turkey.  Some grated carrots and onions, sauce, seasonings and bread crumbs, using an egg to bind in all together. Next, I get very creative with all the things I add on top... I have never made the same burger twice!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Tuesday's with Dorie"... Nectarine Chiffon Upside Down Cake

This was a crazy cake, but tasted amazing. For the most part I found the recipe to be simple just time consuming. Which in, by no means, is a bad thing... It was easy to assemble and smelled delicious while baking. Mine drooped a bit in the center and yet I found it to be completely cooked all the way through. I am not sure that I would make this same recipe again, I am more of a southern cobbler type girl. :)

You can check out other great TWD recipes at "Tuesday's with Dorie". Come join the group and bake with us!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Peach Wedding Punch - Davis Wedding

We had a very wonderful and successful evening. It was our first official catering event here in Myrtle Beach and it went off without a flaw. We made all the food for the buffet, we also provided the dividing wall and extra touches. Our menu included a Chocolate Fountain with dip-able goodies like, strawberries, cherries, marshmallows, pineapple, bananas and oreos. We also served chickens salad filled cream puffs, veggie tray, peel & eat shrimp, baked cheese & southern style pimento cheese ball with crackers, and our new...



Peach Wedding Punch

1 container of Tropicana Peach Orchard Punch
1 (2 liter ) bottle Sprite
1 cup V-8 Splash Tropical Blend

Chill all at least three hours before serving, this makes one full punch bowl and for 200 people you will need at least 4 punch bowls full. Also if you would like to add the fruited ice ring that you see pictured, it is very easy to do, but remember it needed to be put into freeze the night before.

To make the ice ring, we use a bunt pan with a center cone. Place all of the following in the bottom of the pan, cover with water (about 4 cups) and freeze until solid.
1 large can of Mandarin Oranges drained
9 maraschino cherries
9 mint leaves
5 slices of limes
5 slices of lemons

Friday, August 24, 2012

Zucchini Relish

10 cups ground unpeeled zucchini
2 cups ground unpeeled yellow summer squash
1/2 ground carrots
4 cups ground onion
6 tablespoons canning salt
1/2 red bell pepper, ground
1/2 green bell pepper, ground
6 cups white sugar

 Place the zucchini, squash, carrots and onion in a large, non-metallic bowl, and sprinkle the salt over the top. Use your hands to evenly mix the salt throughout the veggies. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
 The next day, drain the zucchini mixture in a colander, and rinse well under cold water. Squeeze out excess water and set aside. Place the red and green bell pepper, sugar, vinegar, and cornstarch into a large pot. Add the nutmeg, turmeric, celery seed and pepper. Stir to combine, then add the drained zucchini. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes.
 Meanwhile, sterilize 7 one-pint jars and lids to hold relish. Pack relish into sterilized jars, making sure there are no spaces or air pockets. Fill jars all the way to top. Screw on lids.
 Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with boiling water. Carefully lower jars into pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary, until tops of jars are covered by 2 inches of water. Bring water to a full boil, then cover and process for 30 minutes.
 Remove jars from pot and place on cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. Once cool, press top of each lid with finger, ensuring that seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all).
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Zucchini Bread

About a week ago a friend of mine gave me this gigantically huge zucchini and I haven't really had any time to do anything with it. So today, we are making zucchini bread out of half of it and the other half will be zucchini relish tomorrow.

My favorite Zucchini bread recipe came from my Aunt... This is delicious zucchini bread made with ground zucchini, ground up with one of the old hand grinders. I love my grinder, it beats any modern day food processor.


  • 3 cups shredded raw zucchini
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


I like to make this recipe using my hands...
Rest ground zucchini in vegetable strainer for about 10 minutes, squeeze gently to remove extra liquid. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar, and oil together. Stir in the flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and nuts, mixing just until all ingredients are combined and moist. Add drained zucchini. Mix well. Pour into 2 greased and floured 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes at 350°, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes clean. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Blackberry Pie

Yesterday morning on Facebook, Pillsbury® had posted this very yummy looking Blackberry pie picture and recipe that caught my eye. In reading through the recipe, it sounded very easy and had a little different twist on a traditional pie. So I picked up some fresh blackberries, I thought about it all morning and I drooled over it all afternoon. After much patience and waiting, it was finally dessert time and I was very sadly disappointed. It was overly sweet and very pasty tasting. I would have much rather just had a big piece of traditional Blackberry pie. 

1 Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
 cup cold water
 tablespoons cornstarch
cup sugar
tablespoons corn syrup
box (1.4 oz) blackberry-flavored gelatin OR 1/2 box (3-oz size) (3 1/2 tablespoons) black cherry-flavored gelatin
 drops blue food color
 cups fresh blackberries
container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Extra blackberries for garnish, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Bake pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell, using 9-inch glass pie plate. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, mix water and cornstarch; add sugar and corn syrup. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and slightly thickens. Remove from heat; stir in gelatin and food color. Cool completely in refrigerator, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Mix in blackberries. Spread in baked shell. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. Serve pie with topping and extra blackberries. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.
Makes 8 servings

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Tuesday's with Dorie"... Popovers

I am so excited to get back into the swing of things with the "Tuesday's with Dorie" Group. I have been out of the loop since the group changed books and website formats. I seem to have got lost in the shuffle, but I am so glad to be back... I have missed cooking and chatting with everyone.  So to Celebrate, I think that it was only fitting that I "POPOVER" to the new way of doing things.... :)

My family loves popovers and I remember watching my mother make them a few times. I remember getting a new stove when I was younger and this new stove had a light in the oven, I remember sitting very patiently waiting and watching for the Pops to popover. We had to set quiet, gentle and very still.... lol, hard to do for small ones, but it was always a big hit when they started to flip.

 Many say that popovers are just the Americanized version of  "Yorkshire pudding", but for us at the Pantry, we love ours served with butter and warm maple syrup or filled with fresh blueberries and cream...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tribute to Julia...

Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon


  • One 6-ounce piece of chunk bacon
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (like Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • A crumbled bay leaf
  • 18 to 24 white onions, small
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
  • 1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered
  • Cooking Directions

    Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and lardons for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry.
    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    Sauté lardons in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
    Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the lardons.
    In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.
    Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
    Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.
    Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust).
    Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
    Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered.
    Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.
    Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
    While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.
    Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet.
    Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect them to brown uniformly.
    Add 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet.
    Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.
    Wipe out skillet and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms.
    Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.
    When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.
    Wash out the casserole and return the beef and lardons to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms on top.
    Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
    If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock. Taste carefully for seasoning.
    Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.
    Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

    Cream Puffs & Chicken Salad


    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup water
    pinch of salt
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    6 eggs

    In a large sauce pan, bring butter, salt and water to a rolling boil. Stir in flour until the mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat and using a wooden spoon, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing really well after each. Drop with a teaspoon onto an ungreased baking sheet. ( I use parchment baking sheets)

    Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven,  until golden brown. Centers should be dry.

    When the shells are cool, either split and fill them with chicken salad, ham salad or your favorite pudding. Traditionally they are just filled with whipped cream. You can also use a pastry bag to pipe the pudding or cream into the shells.

     I was sweetly surprised, the chicken salad filling below was to die for... I wish all of you could have been here to try them.


    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon sour cream
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 2 cups finely chopped, cooked chicken meat
    • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
    • 1 stalk celery, chopped
    • 1/8 cup finely grated carrots
    • 1 green onion minced
    • 1 very small garlic clove minced
    • (optional additions depending on your likes and dislikes... diced cucumbers, pimentos, tomatoes, almonds, grapes, apples, and or green peppers )


    In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together and let set for at least a half hour before serving. This chicken salad is the salad that I fill my cream puffs with and that is what I will be doing tomorrow.  

    Also thinking about going back to school, These make a great snack and fun for kids lunch, Send some salad along with a baggie full of empty cream puffs and let them fill their own while they visit with their friends. They will surely be the hit at the lunch room... :)

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Outdoor Cooking USA - Day 10, Califorina

    My Mother-in-law could grill a hamburger or hot dog up to perfection, you know it--the smoky, char-grilled outside and the juicy inside, smothered in slightly melted cheese, stacked with a little lettuce ant fresh tomato, all sandwiched in between a soft, toasty roll. That's what a burger is all about! Hot dogs were always served with relish and mustard. There are a couple of tips to making a great burger.
     #1... Meat with a higher fat content will be juicier but will also shrink more when it cooks. So make sure to make your patties a little larger than the bun you are planning on using.
    #2...  If you shop at a store or local market, where the butcher grinds their own beef, choose coarsely ground beef for juicier burgers with a more pleasing texture.
    #3... My husband like to mix ground pork, turkey and beef together for a richer burger. But shhhh!... that is our little family secret! :)

    Grilled Burgers (Harris Style)

    • 2 pounds mixed ground beef, pork and or turkey
    • 8 slices cheddar cheese
    • 1/2 medium onion diced
    • 1/4 pound chopped, crisp cooked bacon
    • 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
    • 1/8 cup shredded carrots (gotta sneak in the veggies)
    • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce 
    • 1 tablespoon Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
    Preparation: Mix everything together thoroughly, the shape into 8 slightly larger than bun sized patties. Grill, broil or pan fry until well done, about 4 minutes per side.

    Sunday, July 8, 2012

    Outdoor Cooking USA - Day 8, Texas

            There are many legends and stories about where chili originated and it is generally thought, by most historians, that the earliest versions of chili were made by the very poorest people. There is a legend that I have heard many times growing up and I like the story, so I will share.

    According to an old Southwestern American Indian legend and tale says that the first recipe for chili con carne was put on paper in the 17th century by a beautiful nun, Sister Mary Agreda of Spain. She was mysteriously known to the native Indians of the Southwest United States as "La Dama de Azul," or the lady in blue. The story goes that Sister Mary would go into trances with her body lifeless for days. When she awoke from these trances, she told stories of her spirit traveling to a faraway lands where she preached Christianity to savages and counseled them to seek out Spanish missionaries. Even though Historians know that Sister Mary never actually left Spain, yet Spanish missionaries and King Philip IV of Spain believed that she was the ghostly "La Dama de Azul" or "lady in blue" of the Indian Legends. It is said that sister Mary wrote down the recipe for chili which called for venison or antelope meat, onions, tomatoes, and chile peppers while she was here, but no accounts of this were ever recorded, so who knows?

              The only thing certain about the origins of chili is that it did not originate in Mexico! And the list of original recipes could be produced a mile high, so you just have to try a few, pick your favorite, tweak it bit and you too could have your very own original recipe.  

              Today we are finishing up our dutch-oven recipes and spending next week pretending to be "Grill Masters", :)  And since it is Sunday we wanted to offer a recipe that was both quick and easy or it can be made a day ahead and then warmed back up in the fire to save more time for going to church, family time and serving the Lord.

    Do-Ahead Dutch-Oven Chili ( Texas Style )

    • 2 pounds chuck roast or ground beef
    • 1 large onion chopped
    • 4 tablespoons bacon grease
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 6 roasted green chilies or sweet banana peppers , seeded and chopped
    • 2 tsp. salt
    • 3 - 4 Tbs. chili powder
    • 1 Tbs. cumin
    • 1 Tbs. oregano
    • 1 20-ounce can tomatoes, chopped
    • 2-3 cans of red kidney beans
    • Secret ingredient: 1 tablespoon grated cocoa 
    1. Brown meat, garlic and onions in bacon grease in the Dutch oven. Be sure not to over cook meat, you still want some pink. It will finish cooking mixed with the other stuff.
    2. Add peppers and mix well. ( use jalapeno peppers if you heat or mix all three together like we do)
    3. Add remaining ingredients, put the Dutch oven lid on and cook 1 hour with 9 coals underneath and 15 on top.
    4. This chili is great served with dutch oven cornbread or homemade grilled tortillas. Also you can leave out the beans and this chili becomes a great Hot Dog chili. This is the way we serve it... :)

    •  Since we have be trying really hard to use Monday's as our "Monday Makeover" Day and we will be serving this tomorrow over our grilled Armadillo Eggs and dogs, we made this chili using ground Turkey instead of the beef and we really couldn't tell the difference, only a little bit in the texture.

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Outdoor Cooking USA - Day 6, South Carolina

    Today, July 6th, 2012 is National Fried Chicken Day. Okay, so it may not be the healthiest thing for you, but the Southern belles swear that the secret to perfectly fried chicken is as follows: soak your chicken overnight in buttermilk, the next morning season your flour (the spices you use are up to you) and be sure to dip your chicken in egg before your dredge it through the seasoned flour. Cook in oil until golden brown and you've got some darn good southern fried chicken. It's as American as apple pie! History has it that the perfection of the breaded and seasoned came about among the African slaves in the southern states and rumor has it that the Europeans have been eating fried chicken since the Middle Ages, though the actual idea of fried chicken came from Scottish immigrants who deep-fried their chicken in fat. This is the way my family use to make their fried chicken. In the summer time my grandfather use to fill large dutch-ovens full of lard and melt it down and fry the chicken in it. I loved to hear the sounds and smell the fantastic aromas of the mutton and chicken popping in the oil over the open fire. Today is also International Kissing Day, so be our guest and try some "lip-smacking" southern fried chicken and grits for dinner tonight! :)

    Southern Fried Chicken


    • buttermilk
    • 4 - 6 large eggs
    • 3 cups shortening
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon  paprika
    • 1 (2 to 3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces


    1. The night before cut and wash chicken, place pieces on a large dripper pan (large cake pan) and cover with buttermilk. Let soak overnight. 
    2. Heat the shortening in a large, dutch-oven or large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Beat eggs in large bowl. Pull chicken out of the buttermilk and dip in egg mixture.
    3. In a brown paper lunch bag, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Shake two chicken pieces in the bag to coat, and place them in the skillet. Repeat until all of the chicken is coated and in the skillet.
    4. Fry the chicken over medium-high heat until all of the pieces have been browned on both sides. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the lid, and increase heat to medium-high. Continue frying until chicken pieces are a deep golden brown, and the juices run clear.

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    Outdoor Cooking USA - Day 5, Mississippi

             In the USA, we've known about and eaten cornbread since arrival of the Europeans. The native Americans learned early on how to dry and grind corn into corn meal. When they mixed it with eggs and corn flour, the easiest and simplest of cornbreads could be made. Even though very thin, dense, and flat, it was just the way to transport healthy food for long distances over periods of time without all the weight. This is the main reason cornbread became so popular during the civil war. Elsewhere in the world, you can almost always find some form of cornbread wherever corn is harvested for food. 
    Cornbread is such an old favorite... It is great served with anything! 


    1 cup buttermilk (or 7 ounces of milk + 1 ounce vinegar or lemon juice, mixed and left to sit for about 30 minutes until curdled. If you're in a hurry, mix the milk and vinegar or lemon juice and microwave it for 20-30 seconds on high power.)
    1 large egg
    1 cup yellow cornmeal
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoons baking powder (if you're at high altitude, use 1 teaspoon baking powder, else the cornbread will rise too high, then fall)
    1-1/2 tablespoons of bacon drippings or vegetable oil

    3/4 cup whole kernel corn  or creamed corn (optional)
    1/2-3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar (optional )
    1-4 finely chopped jalapeno or chile peppers, no seeds (optional)
    2 cloves finely minced garlic (optional)
    • Pour drippings or oil into an  a 10 inch dutch-oven or a 9-inch square baking pan. Heat dutch oven until oil is smoking hot.
    • While pan is heating, mix dry ingredients and any of the optional ingredients in medium-sized bowl. Beat egg into buttermilk. Add liquids to dry mixture, just until blended. Do not overmix! Carefully
    • remove the smoking pan from fire and pour cornbread batter into pan. If the oil is properly hot, then the batter will sizzle as it hits the oil. (This sizzle is what makes a nice, crunchy bottom crust.)
    • Bake for 15-20 minutes on warm coals, or until the top crust is golden brown. Cut into wedges. Serve with butter or margarine.

    Note 1: The batter will begin to rise as soon as the liquid and dry ingredients are mixed, so mix them right before you remove the hot dutch oven from the fire.

    Note 2: If you use a 12" or larger round cast-iron skillet or dutch oven instead of the 9"or 10" ones, you should double the recipe without doubling the oil. If you don't double the recipe for the 10" skillet, your cornbread will be very thin.

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Outdoor Cooking USA - Day 2, Georgia

           There is nothing like a homemade dutch-oven cobbler made with fresh hand-picked Georgia Peaches. Today, over 40 different varieties of peaches are grown statewide. Each year, Georgia produces over 130 million pounds of peaches. History shares that it was the Franciscan monks who introduced peaches to St. Simons and Cumberland islands along Georgia's coast in 1571. By the mid-1700s peaches and plums were cultivated by the Cherokee Indians. Raphael Moses, a planter and Confederate officer from Columbus, was said to be among the first settlers to market peaches within Georgia's boarders in 1851 and he is the one credited with being the first to ship and sell peaches successfully outside of the Southern States. His unique method of shipping peaches in champagne baskets, rather than in pulverized charcoal, helped to preserve the flavor of the fruit and contributed to his success.

    Peach Cobbler

    Dutch oven (any size, the bigger the group the larger the dutch oven)
    15-20 Charcoal coals
    Tin or aluminum foil (for easy clean-up) or you can rub the inside of the dutch-oven with oil
    1 Pint can of sliced peaches
    1 Box of Yellow or vanilla Cake Mix
    2 Sticks of butter
    1/4 Cup sugar
    1 Tbsp Cinnamon

             Light a small pile of charcoal, about 15-20 coals. Cover inside of dutch oven with tinfoil or grease the inside really really good. Wait until the coals become hot and grayish-white.
            Next mix the cobbler by Pouring one large can of your favorite fruit (e.g. peach...) into the dutch oven. If you are using fresh fruit you will need to add 1 cup of water or fruit juice like peach, apple or white grape juice. You can make this cobbler out of any canned or fresh fruits. Pie fillings are a little harder to work with, simple because they do not have enough liquid base.
    Mix together a box of  Cake Mix, sugar and cinnamon,  and pour over the peaches. Add two sticks of butter, cut into small pieces
            Place dutch oven over coals, saving 7 or 8 to put on top. Cooking should take around 30 Minutes to 1 Hour depending on number of coals used. The cobbler is done when the cake mix has bubbled to the top and starts to become crusty. Take off coals and let cool for 15 Minutes with oven top off. Serve with homemade Ice Cream. And for easy clean up... Carefully remove empty tin foil from dutch oven and wipe out all excess sugars.

    Sunday, July 1, 2012

    Outdoor Cooking USA - Day 1, South Carolina

     Many friends have posted or told us that they have really been enjoying the "Tour of Italy" series and have been wondering what we were going to be doing for July. Here at the Pantry we have decided to pay tribute to all the Freedoms that we share acrossed this great nation and the one thing that we know to be true from coast to coast is that everyone like to BBQ and Grill. So the series for July is all about grilling... We will be traveling around the 50 States and highlighting some of the best grilling/BBQ tips and recipes that we have come acrossed in our travels. Hope you all enjoy... :)

    For Day 1... We would like to start close to home in South Carolina.

    South Carolina in know for their BBQ-ed Pork and at Christmas time we were given the task of catering our ward party for about 300 people. The choice of meat that was voted on by the committee was of course BBQ-ed Pork, (southern style), so after spending a whole week feeding my family pork, trying out different mixes and combinations, we finally came up with a recipe that we liked and apparently so did most of the ward. We still get comments about our meat... So we would love to share with all of you our recipe for

     Pulled Pork


    Dry Rub:

    • 1/2 tablespoons paprika
    • 1/4 cup onion chopped fresh
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
    • 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
    • 1 (5 to 7 pound) pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt

     Barbecue Sauce:

    • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
    • 1 cup yellow or brown mustard
    • 1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray's Sauce
    • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • Pan drippings from the pork
    • 24 hamburger buns


    Mix the paprika, onion, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.
    Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Put the pork in a roasting pan and roast it for about 6 hours. An instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the pork should register 170 degrees F, but basically, what you want to do is to roast it until it's falling apart.
    While the pork is roasting, make the barbecue sauce. Combine the vinegar, mustard, sweet baby ray's, brown sugar, garlic, salt, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Take it off the heat and let it sit until you're ready for it.
    When the pork is done, take it out of the oven and put it on a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While it's resting, deglaze the pan over medium heat with 3/4 cup water, scraping with a wooden spoon to pick up all of the browned bits. Reduce by about half. Pour that into the saucepan with the sauce and cook 5 minutes.

    While the pork is still warm, you want to "pull" the meat: Grab 2 forks. Using 1 to steady the meat, use the other to "pull" shreds of meat off the roast. Put the shredded pork in a bowl and pour half of the sauce over. Stir it all up well so that the pork is coated with the sauce.
    To serve, spoon the pulled pork mixture onto the bottom half of each hamburger bun, and top with some coleslaw. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

    Saturday, June 30, 2012

    Tour of Italy ~ Day 30... Finishing up in Veneto

    I saved Veneto for last because it is my favorite next to Tuscany. Here you will find parts of old and new combined to bring to life a world of well round cultures. This region is best known for its "pasta e fagioli" (pasta and bean soup) and "pesce in saor" (fish in sauce). But since we are ending in the dessert isle we would not be playing fair if we didn't feature one of the best Italian desserts ever, which is Tiramisu. This layered dessert of ladyfingers, coffee, chocolate and mascarpone cheese has stolen center stage in the region.



    • 6 egg yolks
    • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
    • 1 1/4 cups mascarpone cheese
    • 1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
    • 2 (12 ounce) packages ladyfingers
    • 1/4 cup coffee expresso
    • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
    • 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate


    1. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whip yolks until thick and lemon colored.
    2. Add mascarpone to whipped yolks. Beat until combined. In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold into yolk mixture and set aside.
    3. Split the lady fingers in half, and line the bottom and sides of a large glass bowl. Brush with coffee liqueur. Spoon half of the cream filling over the lady fingers. Repeat ladyfingers, coffee liqueur and filling layers. Garnish with cocoa and chocolate curls. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
    4. To make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run it down the edge of the chocolate bar.

    Friday, June 29, 2012

    Tour of Italy ~ Day 29... Fruitful Friulli - Veneziz Giulia

    Friulli is renowned for its white wines, prosciutto, and its warm hospitality. The "friulian hearth" is still an essential element in the homes and restaurants in this region. A place for families and guests to gather, stories to be shared and food is still prepared over these open fires. Many stews and soups along with grilled meats and warm cheeses can be found here, but one favorite dessert stands out among all the rest...

    Ricotta Pie 

    Ingredients for filling

    • 1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
    • 2 eggs
    •  2 egg yokes
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 1teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 3/4 cup raisins
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel 
      • Ingredients for crust

    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening or unsalted butter
    •  2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
    • Directions

      1. Beat the eggs,  sugar and vanilla or lemon peel together. Stir in the ricotta cheese and the raisins. Set aside.
      2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease two deep dish pie plates.
      3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together. Cut in the shortening and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in eggs and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Divide dough into 4 balls and chill (if needed)
      4. Roll out 2 of the balls to fit into the pie pans. Do not make the crust too thick as it will expand during cooking and get too thick. Do not flute the edges of the dough. Roll out the other 2 balls of dough and cut each into 8 narrow strips for the top of the crust. Alternately you can use cookie cutters and place the cutouts on the top of the pies. I do not put the crust on top. I use the other two balls of dough for another dessert and add meringue.
      5. Pour the filling evenly into the pie crusts. Top each pie with 8 narrow strips of dough or cookie cut-outs. Brush top of pie with milk for shine. Place foil on the edge of crust.
      6. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 20 to 30 minutes then remove foil. Continue to bake for another 25 or 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

    Tour of Italy ~ Day 28... Trentino - Alto Adige

    We are starting to wind down our tour of Italy, which means that it is getting to be dessert time. The Trentino - Alto Adige regions were linked together in 1948 and because they use to belong to the Austro-Hungarian empire and because of the German influences, their regional cusine is the least recognized as Italian foods. They are known more for their breads and dumplings (Knodeln). Pork is the popular meats of choice there and desserts like strudel and fruit filled crepes fill every corner of the area. Zelten is the traditional dessert prepared in Trentino - Alto Adige regions. The name comes from the German word "selten", which means "seldom" since it is baked only in this special occasion which is Christmas and is usually eaten just before Midnight mass. But now you will find it often in most restaurants and culinary bakeries in this region.

    Dried Fruit and Nut Cake (Zelten)

    13 dry figs
    1 cup walnuts
    2/3 cup pine nuts
    1 1/2 cup raisins
    1 tablespoon grated orange peel
    6 tablespoons grappa, brandy or  rum
    1/2 cup butter
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    3 eggs
    3/4 cup sugar
    3 2/3 cup white flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup milk

    Cut dry figs in little strips, chop walnuts. Soak raisins in hot water for 10 and drain.
    Put these figs in a large bowl, add raisins, the rest of the nuts and the rum. Let this fruit compound macerate for at least 30 to an hour. In the meantime separate the yolks from the egg whites. Beat the yolks with half sugar, till they get  light and frothy. Melt the butter in a kettle. Add this melted butter to the eggs, stirring well. Add the macerated fruits, a glass of lukewarm water or milk (I used milk), continuing to stir. At this point add the sifted flour and baking powder. In another bowl beat the egg whites until stiff with the rest of the sugar and add them gently to  the dough. Pour the paste into a oven dish (20x25 cm) previously buttered and sprinkled with flour. Decorate with additional nuts as desired. Brush the surface with a yolk and bake at 160 C for about 90 minutes. If the surface gets too brown, cover with an aluminium foil, riddling it with a fork (to let the steam go out).

    I like this recipe as part of our "Thrifty Thursday" Challenges because you can actually use any dried fruits or nuts that you have in the Pantry. Also, There is a great step by step instructions website here... How to make Zelten

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    Tour of Italy ~ Day 27... Living Lazy in Lombardy

    This north-central region is filled with glorious mountains, plains, lakes, cities and sophistication much like you find in Milan. Rice is one of their most important crops and is grown in the lower Po River plains. The Lombardy provinces are known for there different takes on an old dish known as risotto. So today we bring you...

    Roasted Sea Bass with Asparagus Sauce & Risotto

    • 1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
    • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed to 6-inch lengths
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
    • 4 4- to 5-ounce sea bass fillets (each about 3/4 to 1 inch thick)
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, cut into strips (about 1/2 cup)
    Preheat oven to 450°F. Bring broth to boil in heavy large saucepan. Add asparagus; cover and boil until asparagus is very tender, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to cutting board; reserve broth. Cut tips from asparagus and reserve. Coarsely chop remaining asparagus; transfer to processor. Add 1/2 cup reserved asparagus cooking broth and olive oil and puree until smooth, adding more cooking broth if sauce is too thick (discard any remaining broth). Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Return to same saucepan.
    Spray baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Place fish on prepared sheet. Drizzle lemon juice over fish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake fish until just opaque in center, about 10 minutes.
    Rewarm sauce over medium-low heat. Divide sauce among 4 plates. Top with fish. Garnish with reserved asparagus tips and roasted red pepper strips. Serve immediately.

    Tuesday, June 26, 2012

    Tour of Italy ~ Day 26... Detour for Desserts

    Happy Birthday to the Momma of the Pantry! and because it is my birthday it is time for Dessert and a couple of my favorite Italian desserts are Cornmeal Cakes and Gelatos. Cornmeal Cakes come mainly from the Piedmont and Vento areas and Gelato's are known all over italy. Today we will feature two of my favorites...

    Cornmeal Cakes with Honey and Walnuts

    "Cornmeal replace flour in this dense, moist cake. The center falls a bit as it cooks. From Lo Scoiattolo Restaurant in the small town of Carcoforo, Italy."


      • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
      • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
      • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
      • 1/4 cup honey
      • 3/4 cup sugar
      • 2 tablespoons sugar
      • 3 large egg whites
      • 10 walnut halves


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F Butter 9-inch diameter springform pan. Wrap outside of pan with foil.
    2. Mix cornmeal, chopped walnuts, baking powder and salt in small bowl.
    3. Beat butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in honey, then 3/4 cup sugar. Stir in cornmeal mixture (batter will be very stiff).
    4. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in medium bowl to soft peaks. Gradually add remaining 2 T sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 3 additions. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Place walnut halves around top edge of cake, spacing evenly.
    5. Bake until cake is deep golden on top, pulls away from sides of pan and tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack (cake will fall in center as it cools). (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover adn let stand at room temperature.).
    6. Run sharp knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides. Cut cake into wedges and serve.
    7. We like our cornmeal cakes glazed with a light lemon glaze.  Lemon Glaze: 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 3-4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon Lemon zest,  mix together and pour over cooled cakes.

    Monday, June 25, 2012

    Tour of Italy ~ Day 25... Valle d'Aosta

    Fontina cheese, with it's buttery flavor and fine melting texture, is the beloved cheese of the Piedmont region and is made in Valle d'Aosta. This area is also known for its hearty soups, meat stews, gnocchi and polenta, enriched with fontina cheese, of course. Just like in the Piedmont, the people of this are work hard, but like to take the time to eat and drink well. Agnolotti is often found as the highlight of their meals. Wonton wrappers are often used by restaurants in place of home made dough for convenience and they are usually always topped with shavings of white truffles.

    Agnolotti With Fontina Sage Butter

    2 teaspoons olive oil
    8 ounces ground beef
    4 ounces ground pork
    1/2 cup finely chopped fresh spinach leaves
    1 cup freshly grated fontina cheese
    salt, to taste
    ground black pepper, to taste
    1 large egg
    84 wonton wrappers
    3/4 cup unsalted butter
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage 

    1. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and pork; saute until brown, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and saute until wilted and liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Cool.
    2. Finely chop mixture in processor. Tranfer to medium bowl. Mix in cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in egg.
    3. Lightly flour baking sheet. Arrange 12 wonton wrappers on work surface. Spoon 1 teaspoon filling in center of each. Brush edges with water. Fold each wrapper in half, forming triangle. Press edges together. Using 2-inch diameter ruffled cookie cutter, cut edges to form half-moon shape. Transfer to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover; chill.).
    4. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over low heat. Add sage; keep warm.
    5. Meanwhile, working in batches, cook agnolotti in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer agnolotti to shallow soup bowls. Spoon sage butter over and serve.

    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Tour of Italy ~ Day 24...Pastas of Piedmont

    Every day and every glorious meal in the Piedmont region is considered a festival, which usually starts with a round of anit-pastas followed by several sizable dishes of meat and pastas then desserts. White truffles and fontina cheeses help to give the haunting, intoxicating and seductive richness to the area's culinary prize dishes. Thick heavy pastas are known world wide from this region as well as the powerhouse of wines. There are so many fun recipes from the region, but being that it is Sunday and we wanted something simple and easy to make on the sabbath, we choose a Spinach Gnocchi.

    Spinach Gnocchi with Fontina Cheese


    • 1 pound russet potatoes
    • 2 10-ounce packages ready-to-use spinach leaves, stemmed
    • 1 small egg, beaten to blend
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 1/2 cups (about) all purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
    • 5 ounces Fontina cheese, thinly sliced

    Steam potatoes until very tender, about 35 minutes. Cool potatoes slightly and peel. Mash potatoes in large bowl until smooth. Set aside.
    Meanwhile, bring 2 inches of salted water to boil in large pot. Add spinach leaves to pot and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Drain spinach, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from spinach. Puree spinach in processor, adding reserved cooking liquid 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary to help puree and scraping down sides of processor bowl occasionally.
    Transfer spinach mixture to bowl with potatoes. Mix in egg, ground nutmeg and enough flour until soft and slightly sticky dough forms. Season dough to taste with salt.
    Dust baking sheet with flour. Working in batches and using floured hands, roll 1/4 cup dough on lightly floured work surface to form 12-inch rope. Cut rope into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece between palms to form oval ball. Lightly flour the wires of a whisk. Using thumb, gently roll each ball down length of wires, making ribbed impressions in gnocchi. Transfer gnocchi to prepared baking sheet. Repeat rolling, cutting and shaping of remaining dough.
    Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 13x9-inch baking dish. Working in batches, add gnocchi to large pot of boiling salted water and cook until gnocchi rise to surface of water, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove gnocchi from water, draining off excess, and transfer to prepared baking dish. Pour 1/4 cup melted butter over gnocchi; toss thoroughly to coat. Top with Fontina cheese slices. (Gnocchi can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Bake until gnocchi are heated through and cheese bubbles, about 10 minutes.

    Saturday, June 23, 2012

    Tour of Italy ~ Day 23...Everlasting Emilia-Romagna

    This broad, fertile region is both literally and figuratively known as the belly of the country. It is known for its wide quantity and quality of tasty treats and its culinary heritage. There are eight very distinctive provinces that all share the come food source of pasta. Everyday you will find culinary artisans transforming flour and fresh orange-yolked eggs into yellow sheets of dough that will be shaped into all sorts of shapes and sizes of luscious pastas. This region is also famous for its grilled foods, and the aroma of meats sizzling over a wood fire is common in the countryside. In the Bon Appetit Magazine that we are using, it has a whole section with a full meal menu from this region. We prepared the whole meal, but for the sake of time and space here we are going to share the main course of the meal.

    Grilled Veal Chops with Rosemary & Potato Parmesan Gratin

    For the Chops:

    • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup dry red wine
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
    • 2 large garlic cloves, pressed
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 6 8-ounce veal rib chops (3/4 to 1 inch thick)
    • Fresh rosemary sprigs
    Whisk oil, wine, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper to blend in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Add veal chops to dish and turn to coat with marinade. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour or refrigerate up to 4 hours, turning veal occasionally.
    Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. Remove veal from marinade, shaking off excess. Season veal with salt and pepper. Lightly oil grill. Grill or broil veal to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to platter. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve.

    For the Potatoes:

    • 2 1/2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 7 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 1/2 cups)

    Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
    Peel potatoes and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices with a knife or an adjustable-blade slicer, spreading slices out on a large kitchen towel. Sprinkle with sea salt (1 1/2 teaspoons).
    Stir together cream and milk.
    Dot bottom of a 3-quart shallow baking dish (13 by 9 inches) with half of butter and pour in 1/3 cup cream mixture. Without rinsing or drying potatoes, divide into 5 piles. Layer potatoes in baking dish, 1 pile per layer, spreading 1/3 cup cream mixture and one fourth of cheese between layers. Drizzle remaining cream mixture over potatoes and dot with remaining butter.
    Bake, uncovered, until potatoes are very tender and top is browned, about 2 hours. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.