Monday, July 22, 2013

Shrimp and Snow Crab Cakes

Recently I had some leftover steamed Jumbo SC Beaufort Shrimp and Snow Crab Legs from a seafood feast we did with our grandsons. Since it had already been steamed, and I didn't want to waste any, I came up with my own rendition of Seafood Cakes using the shrimp and snow crab.
Shrimp and Snow Crab all diced

Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl

All ready to refrigerate several hours or overnight


For Shrimp and Snow Crab Cakes
1/2-3/4 lb. JUMBO steamed shrimp, peeled and diced
1 steamed snow crab cluster, meat removed from the shell and diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 slice of onion, finely diced
1 tbls. parsley flakes
1 1/2-2 Tbls. Chesapeake Bay Rub (from Fein Tasting Foods, similar to Old Bay Seasoning)
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (just enough to help hold them together)
1/3-1/2 cup real mayonnaise (just enough for the right consistency to shape into patties)

Directions for Shrimp and Snow Crab Cakes

Mix all ingredients together and shape into patties using a 3"biscuit cutter to press mixture into evenly. Wrap each and refrigerate several hours, or overnight if you have time. 

*Note - at this time you could also wrap and freeze to keep for another day

When ready to cook, pour one to two tablespoons of olive oil in a large fry pan. Heat over medium-high heat and cook Shrimp and Snow Crab Cakes 4 minutes per side, or until heated through and lightly browned.

Serve immediately with Spicy Dipping Sauce.

4 large Shrimp and Snow Crab Cakes

Spicy Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 Tbls. lime juice (I use bottled lime juice, but you can use the juice from 1/2 a fresh lime)

1/2 teaspoon Chesapeake Bay Rub or Old Bay Seasoning
1/3 teaspoon Sriracha hot chili sauce, or any hot sauce (or less if you don't like it as spicy)
1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard

Directions for Sauce
Add all ingredients to small bowl and mix well.  Cover and place in refrigerator to cool. 

Yield:  4 servings


Real Tomato Hot Sauce

So, on a whim, I decided to make some Hot Sauce with the few tomatoes I had from our Kitchen Garden.  I only had a small amount of tomatoes, so I knew they would only yield about a 1/2 pint jar of sauce.  That's ok, I can always make more, and canning a small amount is fine with me.


6 small to medium sized tomatoes
10 small Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup lime juice
3-4 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2-3 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 cup honey

Place tomatoes, cut into halves, into a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until soft.  Process tomatoes through a food mill, discarding seeds and skins.

Return tomato pulp to sauce pan and add all other ingredients.Simmer over medium to medium low heat approx. 30 minutes.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

Pour sauce into 1/2 pint canning jar, cover with seal and ring, and process in boiling water bath 10 minutes. 

Store on pantry shelf up to 1 year.  

Recipe is easily doubled or even tripled. Just keep all ingredients proportionate.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Canning Dilly Beans

We really like these at my house!  A simple way to can green beans, kicked up with a little vinegar, pepper flakes and dill.  Yummy indeed and they are processed in a hot water bath canner. The green beans I canned today had just been picked by my grandsons from our Kitchen Garden.

2 lbs. trimmed green beans
4 heads dill (I use 2 tsp. dill weed or dill seed, whatever I have on hand)
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (I like to use red pepper flakes instead)
2-1/2 cups vinegar
2-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup canning salt (don't substitute regular salt, this is chemistry!)

Pack beans lengthwise into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. To each pint, add 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1 clove garlic and 1 head dill. Combine remaining ingredients in a large sauce pot (non-reactive, like an enamel or glass pot). Bring to a boil. Pour hot liquid over beans, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust caps. Process pints and quarts 10 minutes in boiling water bath.

Yield: about 4 pints.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Tex/Mex Hamburger Casserole

I love all kinds of casseroles. They are quick, easy to put together, and make a fast meal for a weeknight dinner.  This recipe takes less than 45 minutes to make from start to finish.

1 package Spanish Rice mix (I used Mahatma's)
1 lb. hamburger meat
1 small onion, diced
2 cups fresh corn (or use canned or frozen)
3-4 jalapeno slices (fresh or from a jar)
1/2 cup salsa (make your own)
1/2 cup taco sauce
1 Tbls. chili powder (or to taste)
1-2 tsp. cumin (or to taste)
1 cup 4 or 5 cheese Mexican cheese blend

Cook rice according to directions; set aside.  Brown ground beef in a fry pan, mix in onion and cook a few minutes or until onion is just becoming soft.  Remove from heat and stir in jalapeno slices, salsa, taco sauce, corn, chili powder and cumin.  In a large bowl, mix Spanish rice and beef mixture together; pour into casserole dish lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle top with cheese and bake, covered 20 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven.  Remove top and continue baking 5-10 more minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is lightly browned.  Serve immediately.

Yield:  4-6 servings


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hashbrown Casserole just like Cracker Barrel

Updated August 2020

Everyone I know loves Cracker Barrel's Hash Brown Casserole, and there are a ton of "copy cat" recipes out there for it. But, did you know Cracker Barrel uses Colby cheese and not cheddar cheese when making their famous recipe?

Yep, that's right, Colby cheese, and they don't use sour cream as many of the recipes call for.  Here's how to make it the way Cracker Barrel does! Super-simple, quick and easy.

What will you need to make Hash Brown Casserole?
  • 2 lb package frozen hash browns or cubed potatoes
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick of butter)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • salt and peppers
  • 2 cups shredded Colby cheese
Everyone one who makes this recipe loves it. It is the perfect side dish for most any grilled or roasted meat such as chicken, pork or beef. It's also excellent with a baked ham.

1 - 2 lb. package frozen hash brown potatoes or cubed potatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups shredded Colby cheese

Mix soup, butter, onion and cheese in a large bowl.  Stir in potatoes and stir to thoroughly combine.

Put mixture in a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan and spread evenly. Bake in a 350 oven 35-45 minutes, or until edges are browned and casserole is bubbly.

Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Yield: 4-6 servings



© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fresh Corn Salsa

I really love summertime when fresh produce from a local farm or farmer's market is readily available.  We grow some veggies in our small Kitchen Garden, but we don't grow corn.  I usually always buy corn at the Kershaw County Farmer's Market, but this year I was searching for non-GMO corn, organically grown ... and, oh my goodness, do you know how hard it is to find?  Nearly impossible, except for a very few small, local farms.  Luckily some of them do exist, so I was able to take a dozen ears and make this great Corn Salsa.

4-5 cups corn (about 12 ears, shucked)*
3 cups distilled white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cumin, ground
1 tablespoon salt
5 pounds tomatoes, diced
2 jalapeño peppers, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped*

Bring a large nonreactive stockpot of water to a boil. Add corn and boil for 5 minutes. Drain.
When corn is cool enough to handle, stand cobs on end and slice to cut off kernels, being careful not to cut into cobs. Empty and wipe out stockpot. Combine vinegar, sugar, cumin and salt in the stockpot, and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes, jalapeños, bell pepper, onion, garlic and corn kernels, and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Stir in cilantro (or 2 Tbls. oregano) and return to a boil. Remove from heat.

Use the boiling-water method. Ladle into clean, hot half-pint or pint canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Release trapped air by stirring contents with a plastic knife. Wipe rims clean; center lids on jars and screw on jar bands. Process in canner for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, remove canner lid and let jars rest in water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check seals, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

*Note - Fresh corn is best, but you could use canned or frozen corn if desired. I used 2 Tbls. oregano instead of the cilantro because I have some family members and friends who don't like cilantro.

Yield: 8 pints

For more canning recipes, read the original article, "Put 'Em Up! Easy Home Canning Recipes."


Texas Governor's Mansion Cowboy Cookies (Laura Bush)

I've been making these cookies for a few years now.  I'm not a cookie baker most of the time, but if I am ever in the mood to bake cookies, I want a recipe that yields a lot of cookies! These cookies are very good, easy to make, and extremely versatile when you add a variety of flavored chips to the mix.

Did you know? During the 1992 Presidential election, a reporter asked Hillary Clinton if it was ethical for her Arkansas law firm to get government business while her husband was the governor of the state. She responded by saying, “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas.”  Her comment didn’t go over too well, but Family Circle magazine decided to capitalize on it by holding a cookie baking contest between the wives of the two candidates, and that contest has now become a tradition during each presidential election. That first year Hillary and Barbara Bush both made chocolate chip cookies, and Hillary won with 55% of the votes. In 1996, Hillary used the same cookie recipe to beat out Elizabeth Dole, who made pecan roll cookies. Four years later, Laura Bush was up against Tipper Gore and her ginger snaps. Mrs. Bush won the contest with her Texas Governor’s Mansion Cowboy Cookies, and in January 2005, during the second presidential inauguration of her husband, George W. Bush, 250 dozen of these cookies were served at one of the inaugural balls.

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (see note)
3 cups quick rolled oats
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
2 cups chopped pecans

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.

In a mixer bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for 1 minute until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in the sugars to combine for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in the vanilla.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Add the chocolate chips, oats, coconut, and pecans.

Using an ice cream scoop, level off the dough and place onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake 13-15 minutes or until slightly underdone. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Yield:  3 dozen cookies

*Note - a mixture of white chocolate, peanut butter and butterscotch chips is also very good, or any combination you like, equaling 3 cups.



© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cuban Shrimp Stew (Enchilado De Camerones)

Just dug out this recipe I've had in my collection for years yesterday when I was steaming up some shrimp!  This is a wonderful, full of flavor, spicy shrimp stew you serve over rice. 
Photo credit:  The Daily Chef Blog
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp. Cuban oregano (any oregano will work)
¼ tsp. cumin
1½ pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. cayenne, or to taste
½ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. cumin
1 bay leaf
⅔ cup tomato paste
1½ cup dry white wine (I use cooking wine)
¾ cup water
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley for topping

For the shrimp: Combine the lime juice, garlic, oregano and cumin in a bowl and mix well. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

For the stew: Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute' the onions, peppers, celery, 2 T. of the parsley, cayenne pepper, oregano, cumin and bay leaf in the hot oil for 5 minutes or until onions start to brown. Stir in the tomato paste. Saute' for 1 minute longer. 

Add the wine and water to the vegetable mixture and mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in the un-drained shrimp. Simmer for 5-6 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the stew into a serving bowl over cooked white rice. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Garlic-Shrimp Alfredo

Revised and Updated December 2020

My friends and family all know I love seafood! All kinds of seafood! Steamed, grilled, roasted. Lobster, Snow Crab Legs, Maryland Blue Crabs, Steamed/Fried Clams, Roasted Oysters, Grilled Swordfish, SHRIMP and more ... it's all yummy to me.

My husband, however, is not a huge seafood lover, but he will eat swordfish, crab and shrimp (he loves crab cakes). As a way to get him to eat seafood more often, I developed this Garlic-Shrimp Alfredo recipe because he loves pasta, shrimp and Alfredo sauce. 

I used large, fresh wild-caught South Carolina shrimp, but you can use frozen shrimp if that's more readily available.

1 small onion, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
2-4 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup white wine 
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1 lb. fresh large or medium shrimp, peeled (or frozen)
Alfredo Sauce
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pasta of your choice (angel hair, fettuccine or linguine)

In a large fry pan, sauté onion and celery in olive oil until onion is translucent; stir in garlic and cook an additional few minutes. Stir in shrimp and cook just until shrimp are pink.

Add wine and cook a few minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in Alfredo sauce, blending well.

Remove from heat and serve over your choice of cooked pasta, sprinkling with parsley flakes and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve immediately.

Yield:  4 servings

Also seen on Meal Plan Monday



© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Perfect Homemade French Fries

Well, of course we all love French Fries, don't we? But, the ones you get at most fast-food restaurant anymore just aren't what a true French Fry is supposed to be.

Now, when we want fries, I make them myself at home.  I buy fresh potatoes from my local farm or farmers market, or we grow them ourselves in our raised bed garden.

4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
2 quarts peanut oil, or whatever amount  your fryer recommends (my preference is  peanut oil as it is a great high heat oil)
Salt and pepper to taste

Rinse cut potatoes in a large bowl with lots of cold running water until water becomes clear. Cover with water by 1-inch and cover with ice. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

In a 5-quart pot or Dutch oven fitted with a candy or deep-frying thermometer, (or in an electric deep fryer - I use my Fry Daddy), heat oil over medium-low heat until the thermometer registers 325 degrees F. Make sure that you have at least 3 inches of space between the top of the oil and the top of the pan, as fries will bubble up when they are added.

Drain ice water from cut fries and wrap potato pieces in a clean dishcloth or tea towel and thoroughly pat dry. Increase the heat to medium-high and add fries, a handful at a time, to the hot oil. Fry, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft and limp and begin to turn a blonde color, about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a skimmer or a slotted spoon, carefully remove fries from the oil and set aside to drain on paper towels. Let rest for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours.

When ready to serve the French fries, reheat the oil to 375 degrees F. Transfer the blanched potatoes to the hot oil and fry again, stirring frequently, until golden brown and puffed, about 5 minutes or longer, until crispy. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.

See here for how to: freezing fresh potatoes

*Note - If using fresh potatoes you've frozen, add them to the fryer frozen (carefully as they will bubble up).  Do not thaw first.  Fry approx. 5 minutes or until crisp.  Drain on paper towels.


© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Fresh tomatoes are readily available during the summer months. We grow tomatoes in our small raised bed kitchen garden, but I also buy Roma Tomatoes from Camden City Market, which is a local fresh foods market near me. Tomato Sauce is so easy!  You'll ask yourself, "why didn't I ever do that?"  

I do this with a varying amount of tomatoes, so the amount of tomatoes you have, will depend on how many jars of sauce you get.  

3-4 lbs. fresh, ripe tomatoes (the more you have, the more sauce you can make)
Lemon juice or citric acid

Wash tomatoes, remove core and blossom ends. Cut into quarters. Simmer in large stock pot 2 minutes; stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft.

Press tomatoes through a  food mill, or use the fruit and vegetable strainer attachment on your Kitchen Aid; discard peels and seeds.

Return to stove top and cook pulp over med-high heat until sauce thickens, stirring to prevent sticking.  Reduce volume by one-half for a thick sauce.

Add 1 tbls lemon juice or 1/4 tsp citric acid to each pint jar, 2 tbls lemon juice or 1/2 tsp citric acid per quart jar.

Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head-space. Adjust 2-piece caps.

Process pints 35 minutes, quarts 40 minutes, in a boiling water bath.

Yield:  varies depending on how many tomatoes you have