Saturday, April 30, 2005

I Just Had A Taste for Crawfish

My Saturdays are usually filled with shopping adventures, appointments I can't make during the week, house cleanup activities and time with my family. This day was no different.

First on the agenda was shopping. With anticipation of using a $5.00 coupon with purchase of a minimum $25.00 at Smart and Final, I make a food list in my head. I point my CTS in the direction of the Inglewood store. Then it crossed my mind, I sure would like some crawfish. It is not easy to get this in Los Angeles and especially when it is out of season. Anyway, the whole time I was shopping , my mind was on getting to the Bayou Grille for a takeout box of boiled crawfish.

I pass through the alcohol section of the store and see a special on "Gallo, White Zinfadel", regularly $3.99 but on sale for $2.99. What the heck, cheap wine and boiled crawfish. Guess where I'm going next?

Bayou Grille Posted by Hello

Anticipation Posted by Hello

Simply 1 Pound Posted by Hello

Up Close and Personal Posted by Hello

Boiled Crawfish and Cheap wine Posted by Hello

I did eat the crawfish, but I left the bottle of cheap Gallo White Zinfadel fully corked and waiting for another opportunity to pop its cork.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Strawberry Scones

Once again the food section of the L.A. Times features an SOS article that makes your mouth water just by reading the recipe.

A crumbly favorite
From a Times staff writer

When Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila finds herself near Century City, she likes to stop in at Clementine for coffee and a pastry. Since Annie Miler opened it nearly five years ago, Virbila has tried practically everything this exceptional baker has made. Lately, Miler's irresistibly crumbly strawberry scones are her favorite.

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, plus freezing time

Servings: 12

Note: From Annie Miler of Clementine. It's best to freeze the scones before baking. "That helps them to keep a nice shape," she says. We used a cutter made by Ateco (it comes in the plain daisy set of six). Look for it at Gloria's Cake & Candy Supplies in Mar Vista, (310) 391-4557; Jane's Cakes and Chocolates in Montrose, (818) 957-2511; Kake Kreations in Canoga Park, (818) 346-7621; or Sur la Table in Santa Monica, (310) 395-0390.

4 3/4 cups pastry flour

3/4 cup sugar, divided

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2

teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

9 ounces (2 1/4 sticks) butter, frozen and cut into 1/2 -inch pieces

1 1/3 (7 ounces) cups dried strawberries, chopped

2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest

1 2/3 cups plus 1/4 cup whipping cream, divided

1. In a food processor, mix the flour, one-half cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt and butter, until the butter is in small pieces. Scrape the batter into a bowl and stir in the strawberries and lemon zest.

2. Pour in 1 2/3 cups of the cream and incorporate with a spatula. With your hands, mix the dough by bringing the bottom to the top and working between the fingers. Do not overwork.

3. Turn it out onto a floured surface. Press the crumbly dough together and flatten to five-eighths-inch thick. Cut into 12 scones using a flower-shaped (3 1/4 inches in diameter) or round cutter. Freeze and bake as needed.

4. Heat the oven to 350 degrees (or 325 degrees for a convection oven, which is what Clementine uses). Place the scones 2 to 3 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone sheet. Brush the tops with cream, about 1 teaspoon per scone. Sprinkle sugar evenly, about one-half teaspoon per scone. Bake until golden, about 30 to 35 minutes, depending on whether dough is frozen. Cool before removing from the baking sheet.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Sweet Potato Pie

Often prepared for holidays or any special occassion.


1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
2-3 eggs - slightly beaten
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups Evaporated Milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter - melted
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 3/4 cups cooked sweet potatoes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F

Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in sweet potatoes and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F; bake for 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours.
Serve immediately or refrigerate. 8 servings per pie.

Recipe courtesy of African Sisters

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Southern Greens

Southern Greens Posted by Hello
My mother cooked 'greens' this way. No recipe , just add this and do that. I followed her direction and incorporated what I saw her do.

Collards, mustards or turnips. A combination of the three, two or just one. Cooking greens is very simple. Yes, simple ingredients: salt, pepper, garlic, onions, smoked meat, hot chile pepper (optional) and the greens. You can buy “greens” pre-washed, in bunches, frozen or if you’re like my mother, you have your own “Collard Tree” in the backyard.

2 - 3 medium smoked ham hocks or 2 pounds smoked pork neck bones or smoked turkey necks or smoked turkey wings. If vegetarian-eliminate meat and substitute ‘Liquid Smoke’ for flavor.
5 pounds of collards, mustards or turnips (several large bunches- washed to remove dirt)
2 cups chicken broth (Substitute with vegetable broth for vegetarian greens)
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Chile pepper (optional)

2 or 3 smoked ham hocks and put them in a large pot of broth plus water (enough liquid to fill half the container). Greens will wilt and add liquid. Add garlic and onion (Chile optional). Bring the broth/water to a rolling boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Add more water as it boils down. The idea is to boil the ham hocks until they begin to fall apart. The flavor is in the smoked meat. You want the ham hocks to be falling apart before you add the ‘greens’.

Take the greens and separate the leaves (if fresh). If using fresh greens, rinse each leaf individually under cold running water. After you rinse the greens thoroughly, stack several leaves on top of each other. Roll these leaves together. Then slice the leaves into strips using a cutting board and large knife. Rolling them together speeds up the process as you are slicking through several leaves at once. Pre-washed and frozen greens are ready for use. No processing or washing needed.

Next, add the greens to the pot. Because this is lot of greens, you will need to add them until the pot is full. Allow them to wilt as they cook - then add more. Add your salt and pepper, cover and cook for thirty minutes on medium heat. You want the greens to be tender. If need to cook longer, taste every 15 minute until tender. Adjust seasoning to taste. Distribute the smoked meat evenly. Taste to confirm the ‘greens’ are the tenderness you prefer.

The green’s liquid/broth is called “Pot Liquor”. The southern way is to dip the corn bread in the ‘pot liquor’ and eat.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Chocolate Turtles

What reminded me of this recipe? I was looking through some cookbooks and files for a molasses based recipe to enter in the Sugar High Friday (SHF) event for April 22nd. I came across this very simple recipe for Chocolate Turtles handwritten from an unknown source.

1 bag of store bought caramels
Toasted Pecan Halves (5 halves per Turtle)
8 ozs Semisweet chocolate per 25 to 30 turtles
2 T heavy cream

Place silpat pad on cookie sheet (if no silpat use parchment paper)
Use 5 pecan halves per turtle to make 4 legs and one head.
Place enough caramels in sauce pan for the number of Turtles you're going to make. (I use 1-2 caramels per turtle). Add 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream for each 30 caramels. Stir constantly until smooth.

Spoon caramel over grouping of pecans (4 feet, 1 head). Let caramel harden.

Chop chocolate and add half of it to pan over a bain marie to melt. Once melted add the other half of the chocolate and stir til melted and smooth. It shouldn't be too hot.

Spread chocolate over each turtle. When set, peel off the silpat or parchment and store in an airtight container.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Dinner With Friends

Dinner with friends is always fun. We invited our 9 y.o. nephew to come along as company for Ziggy. They also had the pleasure of two cute little puppies (a tiny chihuahua and a teacup dacshund) and Mickey, a very playful German Shephard. The day was fantastic for all. (Missed you GT)

Dinner included a choice of hamburgers, hotdogs, sausage and the highlight for the fishermen- Thick Wahoo Steaks. I enjoyed a Shrimp and Vegetable Salad with a Champaign Dressing and a very rich and tasty baked Artichoke Dip.

For more pictures of the day see photo alblum at Food Got to Love It.

Wahoo Steaks Posted by Hello

What A Stupid Question Posted by Hello

Shrimp and Vegetable Salad with Champaign Dressing Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Iced Hot Tequila

My husband's past-time is as an avid deep sea fisherman. After a very fruitfull trip to Cabo one year, a ritual developed by him and his buddies was to take a shot of Iced Hot Tequila prior to going out on a trip. Be it a day boat or an extended day trip, each guy pours himself a jigger of this alcohol envigorating concoction and they toast the fish they are going to catch.

1 750 ml bottle of good quality tequila
2 whole green onion stalks trimmed
2 whole peeled cloves of garlic
1 each of serrano chile and cayenne chile
2 green jalapeno chiles
cut zest strip from 1 lime keeping it in a long strip

Remove about a cup of the tequila from bottle and set aside. Add the garlic cloves, serrano chiles, green onions and jalapenos and lime zest to the bottle of tequila. If enough space, add some of the reserved tequila to top off bottle. Set bottle aside at room temperture for 2-3 days. Then store tequila bottle in freezer for use as needed. (The tequila will not freeze but instead becomes a little thick but pours easily.)

Addendum: If you're bold enough, a habanero chile may also be added. It is actually included in the Ice Hot Tequila I make for the guys.

Soul Fusion Kitchen

Welcome To Soul Fusion Kitchen Posted by Hello

This is my hangout- "Sylvie's Kitchen". I enjoy my kitchen so much. It is warm, cozy, large, with lots of counter tops. What you can't see are the abundant cabinets, butler's pantry, indoor brick BBQ grill, walk in "Martha Stewart would approve" food accessory storage room, and the memories.

The kitchen is detached from the family room which is a flaw in the design, but that doesn't limit its use as a secondary family room.

It is very inviting and as a result, many a party winds up in the kitchen.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

"Crave" -Cake of Apple Confit

From the L.A. Times, article on chef Ludo Lefebvre, a reciple that looks to die for.

He is described as "..the daring renegade chef of Bastide, on Melrose Place". The book is called "Crave: The Feast of the 5ive Senses" (Regan Books, $50).

Cake of Apple Confit

Total time: About 7 1/2 hours (including 5 hours baking time), plus several hours chilling time

Servings: 12

Note: Adapted from "Crave" by

Ludo Lefebvre. Best made using an apple corer. Three-quart charlotte molds are available from Ambassador Fine Foods in Van Nuys, (818) 787-2000; Culinary-Direct ; and Bridge kitchenware.

Zest confit

2 oranges

2 lemons

1 ruby red grapefruit

1 1/4 cups water

1/2 cup sugar

1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel and white pith from the oranges, lemons and grapefruit. Using a small, sharp knife, trim away all the pith from the peel. Cut the peel into julienne strips (makes about 1 1/2 cups total). Place them in a small saucepan of water.

2. Bring the water to a boil. Drain. Rinse the peel under cold water. Repeat this process once.

3. Combine the peel, the 1 1/4 cups of water and sugar in the same pan. Simmer gently over medium-low heat until the juices evaporate and the strips become translucent, about 45 minutes. Set aside.

Apple Cake


2 cups sugar, divided

3 tablespoons water

15 Granny Smith apples (about 8 1/2 pounds), peeled and cored

Zest confit

Crème fraîche

1. Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Oil a 3-quart (8-by-4 1/2 -inch) charlotte mold.

2. Combine 1 cup of the sugar and the water in a heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. Boil without stirring, over medium heat, until the syrup turns a deep amber brown and just begins to smoke, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush and swirling the pan, about 8 minutes.

3. Carefully pour the caramel into the charlotte mold. Using oven mitts, swirl the mold to coat the interior completely with the caramel (the caramel will stick to the pan as it cools). Refrigerate until the caramel is cold and set.

4. Using a mandoline, cut the apples crosswise into 1/8 -inch-thick slices. Arrange enough apple slices to cover the bottom of the charlotte mold, overlapping slightly and in concentric circles, to create 1 layer. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 tablespoon zest confit over the layer of apples. Repeat layering all of the apple slices with the sugar and zest confit, alternating the direction of the concentric circles to increase the stability of the cake, pressing to compact the layers, and creating about 20 layers. Cover with aluminum foil.

5. Place the charlotte mold in a deep roasting pan. Fill the pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the mold. Bake until a skewer inserted near the center of the apples does not meet resistance, about 5 hours. Refrigerate until cold, several hours or overnight.

6. Remove the foil. Place the mold in a sauté pan of simmering water to melt the caramel coating slightly and help loosen the apple cake, about 3 minutes. Place a platter on top of the mold. Holding the mold with one hand and the platter with the other, invert the mold onto the platter. Remove the mold.

7. Cut the apple cake into 12 wedges and transfer to dessert plates. Drizzle with juices from the cake and serve with crème fraîche.

Each serving (without crème fraîche): 300 calories; 1 gram protein; 79 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 0.4 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 1 mg. sodium.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What To Do With BBQ Leftovers

A couple of years ago, I remember an Emeril special where viewers submit their backyard BBQ recipes. One of the recipes I found quite appealing was Kent's BBQ Cornbread. So what do you do with that leftover BBQ?

Kent's BBQ Cornbread

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

1 tablespoon butter, for greasing the pan, plus 1 1/2 cups butter, melted
3/4 pound left over BBQ pork or beef
1 1/2 cups white sugar
6 eggs
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 (15-ounce) cans cream-style corn
1/4 cup drained canned chopped green chile peppers
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (Recommended: combination Monterey Jack and Cheddar)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons baking powder
Pinch salt

6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons your favorite bbq sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Lightly butter a deep 9 by 13-inch baking dish.
Shred left over BBQ into fine pieces and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the butter, milk, and sugar. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until well incorporated. Add the creamed corn, chiles, cheese, and shredded BBQ and stir until well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to corn mixture; stir until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until golden brown and until a toothpick inserted into center of the pan comes out clean.
Combine all and melt in microwave. Brush over cornbread and place back in oven for a few minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm. It's ok to break up pieces and serve in a small bowl.

Recipe courtesy Kent Whitaker FoodTV
Episode#: EM1G40
Copyright © 2003 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 11, 2005

Dr. Fox's Texas Smoke Rub For Brisket and Hot Sauce

Smoke Rub

Note: This recipe makes a pretty large batch. No measurements in this recipe are precise.

1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup ground black pepper
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup onion powder
2 tablespoons cayenne (adjust to taste/hotness)

Combine above ingredients. Use substantial amount to rub all over brisket. Smoke 8-12 hours (depending on weight) over indirect heat (no greater than 200 degrees). Heat source is hickory wood.
(Brisket is a very tough cut of beef, cooking slowly over a long time is key. Lots of beer consumption recommended while tending the fire.)

Imitation Texas Hot Sauce

2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup cayenne

Combine ingredients in saucepan. Cook over low heat to incorporate ingredients. Use as sauce over BBQ Brisket. (Sauce reminds me of Western North Carolina BBQ sauce though Dr. F says it is strictly Texan.)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Macadamia Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter (margarine ok but not as tasty)
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
12 ounces chocolate chips (white or regular)
1 cup nuts (macadamia or pecan or walnut)
Mix first 6 ingrdients untill it looks creamy

Gradually add dry ingredients (baking soda, salt, flour) until all combined.
Add nuts and chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded spoonful on baking sheet. I cook at 350 degrees for about 14-15 minutes. Do not let it et too brown if you want them soft.
The secret is the almond extract when you use macadamia nuts and white chocolate.

Lazy Man's Peach Cobbler

3 X 29 ounce sliced cling peaches
¼ lb melted butter
1 cup unbleached flour
1 and ½ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9X13 inch baking pan. Drain peaches and reserve the juice set aside. Melt butter and pour into bottom of 9x13 pan.

Mix flour, 1 cup of the sugar with the baking powder and salt. Whisk in the milk and ½ cup of the reserved peach liquid. Pour into 9X13 pan on top of melted butter.

Pour remaining sugar over the peaches and add cinnamon and nutmeg mixing together with your fingers.

Pour peach mixture over the batter. Do not stir. Bake for 45 min to 1 hr until golden on top and bubbly.

Hint: I double the batter mixture because I like a lot of crust. You might need a larger pan.

Bertha's Corn Pudding

4 eggs
1 cup crushed soda crackers
1 cup milk
½ cup sugar
2 cans whole corn
2 cans creamed corn
1 cube butter
salt and pepper to task

Combine ingredients in 9X13 in baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees until center is set.

Bertha's Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb bag medium elbow macaroni
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese (reserve 1 cup)
1 stick butter
6 eggs
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
Dash Oregano (optional)

Boil macaroni until al dente (do not let get musy because you’re going to bake it later)
Drain and pout into 9X13 in baking dish.
Melt butter and pour over noodles to coat.
Mix cheese liberally with noodle. (I actually use more than 1 lb cheddar cheese)
In separate bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper, oregano. Pour over noodles and cheese.
Top with reserved shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees til custard is set and top is golden brown with crispy edges.

What's My Contribution To Blogging?

During my brief review of the many blogs out there, I noticed the lack of blogs which had any reference to "soulfood". My cooking incorporates a fusion of what I grew up eating [soulfood] and a multicultural array of foods from all over the world.

With that said, I welcome you to Soul Fusion Kitchen.

Sylvie and Tyler Food 911 April 2001 Posted by Hello