Cobbler...

..... give this a try one day when you're feeling blue, folks....

.... SWG's Easy Southern Peach Cobbler ..

.... preheat your oven to 350..... rub a stick of butter around the edges of a 9X13 2-inch deep baking dish and the place the rest of the stick in the bottom of the dish.... place in oven until butter has completely melted....

... peel, de-stone, and cut into chunks 8 nice Georgia peaches.... and in a small sauce pan add the peaches, 1/4 cup of white sugar, and 2 tablespoons of butter..... set to a medium heat and stir until the sauce boils and the peaches are tender..... you may have to simmer it for 10-15 minutes to ensure the peaches are tender enough....... set aside to cool.....

.... add 1 cup of white sugar, 3/4 cup of self-rising flour, and 3/4 cup of milk to a mixing bowl and mix until most of the clumps are whisked away to clumpland.... add a few dashes of cinnamon if you wish..... even a few drops of vanilla flavoring - if you happen to have it around..... otherwise, you can skip the cinnamon and vanilla....

.... remove your baking dish from the hot oven and gently pour in your flour mixture..... then evenly spoon your peaches across the baking dish - taking care to make sure there is an even dispersing....

..... place your baking dish down onto a baking tray, return to the oven, and bake 45-50 minutes..... allow it all to cool down a bit and serve with a scoop of Mayfield's French vanilla ice cream.....

.... peach cobbler, folks.... it doesn't get much easier than that......

Read the Bullshit »

Crusty.....

.... today's adventure here on The Compound is cherry pie..... but first?.... well, you're going to need yourself some pie crust, non?.... oui..... so here you go, rubberneckers......

....and hey, crack yourself an egg in a bowl.... add one tablespoon of white vinegar and five tablespoons of cool water to it..... and beat it up like it just stole your nephew's lunch money... set it aside....

... find yourself another bowl.... add 3 cups of self-rising flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1/2 a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.... mix that stuff up nicely..... and slowly begin folding in 1 1/4 cups of vegetable shortening.... I used a butter knife, and personally it worked out quite well.... however, if you make very many pies I'd recommend hiring someone else to do this so that you don't end up with a right arm like Sonny Liston.... or perhaps Popeye.....

.... anyway, once you get that mixed up so that your mixture is globbing together about the size of a pea, begin adding your egg-water-vinegar mixture and just keep on a'stirrin'.....

... and hey, there you have it...... half the mixture and chill each half in the fridge for a few hours...... roll out on wax paper, and viola..... a top and bottom pie crust for The Ages....

.... and you all are, after all, quite welcome......

Read the Bullshit »

Casserole.....

.... dinner is in the oven, and since I am in a charitable mood (and feel like typing), I shall share.....

... you'll need some potatoes, garlic powder, black pepper, sour cream, Italian shredded 3-cheese, three slices of Swiss cheese, milk, and a can of Campbell's condensed chicken soup....

... peel, wash, and slice your potatoes between 1/8th and 1/4 inch thick... add one layer of the slices in the bottom of a greased casserole dish and top with 2 tablespoons of Italian shredded cheese and a slice of Swiss.... repeat this process three times..... in a large bowl, combine a cup of milk, the can of soup, a teaspoon of black pepper, a teaspoon of garlic powder, and a small container of sour cream..... whip it until well blended and then pour over your potato & cheese lattice.....

... bake the whole mess at 350 until potatoes are done and a bit of a crust begins to form on top..... probably about an hour...... I cook mine a bit longer, but that is because I have an extremely uncooperative oven....

.... there you have it, folks..... easy-peasy scalloped potatoes that'll curl your hair..... and spike your cholesterol in a way that few potato dishes can even dream of.....

... and with that, I'm off!..... y'all be careful out there.......

Read the Bullshit »

Carbonara....

.... rummaging through the cupboard yesterday, I threw together some ingredients that turned out pretty damned good, if I do say so myself...

1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tblspn chopped garlic
1 large white onion - finely chopped
1/2 lb of bacon - sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1 jar of Bertolli's 4-cheese Alfredo sauce
1 1/2 cup of chopped bella mushrooms
1/4 pint of heavy whipping cream
a pasta of your choice

... combine bacon, black pepper, garlic, and onion in a sauce pan over medium heat until the bacon is crispy and the onions have begun to caramelize... no need for oil, of course, the grease from the bacon will be more than enough to ensure the onions are cooked properly....

.... stir in the Alfredo sauce, whipping cream, mushroom, and parmesan cheese.... bring to a boil - stirring continuously - and then remove from heat and cook your pasta..... once the pasta is finished, fill a plate with it and then ladle the cheesy, bacony, creamy, mushroomy mess all over the pasta...... I suggest you throw a few pieces of garlic bread on the side as well, if you are so inclined......

.... and that, boys and girls, is a cheap & easy carbonara that'll absolutely blow your mind.....

... and now I'm off to grill up a few steaks for dinner and try to find myself a gin and tonic...... hey, who says you can't have bacon for dinner?......

Read the Bullshit »

Cheese!.....

... in honor of Boudica's Epic Marathon Adventure tomorrow, I have prepared a "Ham & Cheese" sandwich for dinner tonight that is well and truly epic as well... sure, not quite as "epic" as her marathon (which is AMAZING), but definitely epic enough to make one's gallbladder cry for Momma..... and since you are no longer in possession of a gallbladder, Bou, this recipe is for you......

.... oh, and around here?.... well, we're all about punishing internal organs every chance that we get..... but then, y'all know that......

.... so, yes.... a friend of mine (and his beloved Wife) are gracing us for dinner tonight, and after having visited Richmond's site the other day - and with my well-known & overbearing fondness for All Things Puff Pastry - I knew I just had to give it a try...... I tweaked the recipe a bit, but it should still be quite yummy......

... here's how she describes it.....

The ham and gruyere thing is *totally* easy!

A box of puff pastry has two sheets - just take them out to thaw for about 40 minutes so they are pliable. I baked the dealie on parchment paper too, just to make it easier...

So on one sheet of puff pastry (leaving about 1/2 an inch around the edge plain) brush on a nice Dijon mustard of your choice. (This is optional.) Next layer deli ham over that same area (2 or 3 slices deep), thinly slice and layer on the gruyere (or really - any kind of cheese).

Make an egg wash - one yolk with one Tbs. water mixed well.

Brush the egg wash on the edge of the puff pastry you left naked - top with the other sheet of puff pastry and using a fork, press the edges firmly all the way around to seal. Brush the top layer of puff pastry with the remaining egg wash.

Using a sharp knife make three slits in the top so steam can vent - bake at 425 for about 25 - 30 minutes. Cut into squares.

Voila! Delish!

..... mine's going to be a wee bit thicker, I suspect....

.... I used 1lb of Black Forest ham - sliced paper thin...... and began with a thin layer of Gulden's Spicy Brown Mustard..... a layer of Swiss cheese...... then alternated ham & Gruyere until both the ham AND the Gruyere were used up..... then a final layer of Provolone on top before capping it with the other pastry......

..... I think I just felt my gallbladder twitch in nervous anticipation.......

.... good luck tomorrow, Bou!....

Read the Bullshit »

Pubfare.....

.... well, the steak pie that I whipped up last night rocked the house...... the words "better than the pub" were used, and that made me quite proud..... and since I'm not feeling overly creative tonight, here's the recipe that I dreamt up.......

... you will need - in no particular order - the following....

1lb of chopped steak - cubed..... (I actually bought a packet of "steak kabobs" from the grocer and then quartered each kabob once I got home)
Olive oil
Flour
Beef bouillon or stock
1 large white onion
3 cloves of garlic
black pepper
Worcestershire sauce
Mushrooms (if you are so inclined)
1 egg
1 package of puff pastry

.... this was so simple that even a Straight White Guy caveman could do it.....

.... with the oil, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and garlic in the pan, I browned the steak cubes slowly... once they achieved a nice brown color and were cooked through, I added the onion & chopped mushrooms.... I also added 1 cup of hot water that I had impregnated with some handy-dandy beef bouillon paste and upped the temperature....

.... the pan that I used was quite large.... so I ended up having about 1/2 inch of liquid in the bottom of the pan while it bubbled away..... anyway, I covered all that mess up and let it simmer away for three hours.... due to it being covered, there wasn't much of a reduction..... but the steak (which was quite lean) did cook well enough so that it was tender enough to be broken into smaller pieces by being pressed with a wooden spoon......

.... I preheated the oven to 400 and and began thickening the meat's gravy by adding a teaspoon of flour..... to get the thickness that I wanted I had to use four tablespoons - mixing each tablespoon of flour individually with the gravy, onions, mushrooms, and meat.....

... once it was thick enough, I decanted everything to an ungreased casserole dish..... having let the puff pastry thaw earlier, I draped it over the casserole dish and folded each corner back onto itself (the pastry was square and my dish was round.... and I couldn't be bothered cutting off the corners)..... besides, MORE pastry is a GOOD thing....... I tucked it in around the edges to make sure it had a good seal, and then poked a 1/2 inch hole in the middle for venting....

.... after that, I cracked the egg, whisked it up with a tablespoon of water, and glazed the pastry... the whole shebang was then baked at 400 for roughly 35 minutes (until the pastry was done).....

.... and there you go, boys and girls...... thick, meaty, and rich...... I served it with a sizeable pile of thick-cut Freedom Fries..... and it was yummy, yummy, yummy, folks..... probably not a good meal for anyone with sodium issues, though..... but wow, those fries sure were perfect for sopping up all that gravy......

Read the Bullshit »

Pie.....

..... today dawned clear & breezy..... and downright chilly..... but the rain that has been here for the past week finally moved on.... it's amazing what a little sunshine can do......

.... as I write this, the thermometer in the garage is telling me that tonight's temperature will be well into the freezing range..... and tomorrow should see wind chills around the 5 degree mark......

.... I received a call today informing me that my Brother-in-Law had arrived safely in Scotland, and is going to be spending Christmas with my in-laws.... they are overjoyed, and we're happy too.... he'll definitely provide them with plenty of Holiday Cheer..... sadly, though, his wife didn't make the trip.... so she will be spending the holidays holding down the proverbial fort at their home in Bangladesh..... but still, it is good that he is there.....

.... here tonight?.... the air is thick with the smell of beef steak, onions, gravy, and garlic..... a juicy, dark mixture is currently percolating away on the stove.... a bit later tonight? .... well, it'll be lovingly casseroled, covered with an egg-brushed puff pastry, baked, and greedily consumed with a side order of "chips" while the wind howls outside.....

.....Steak Pie & Chips, ladies and gentlemen...... it's what's for dinner..... and I am stoked....

..... depending on how the pastry works out, I might post a photo..... hell, depending on how it tastes, I might actually write down the recipe....

Read the Bullshit »

Sandwiches.....

..... want to taste something yummy?..... well, here you go....

....boil four large Grade A chicken eggs.... once boiled (and allowed to cool), cut in half.... remove the yolks, and dice the remaining whites into tiny chunks.... drop those babies in a medium sized bowl, sprinkle with a teaspoon of sea salt and a teaspoon of ground black pepper...... and give them a nice, long, loving stir....

... add a teaspoon of Gulden's spicy brown mustard and stir.... then stir some more....

.... add two tablespoons of Mt. Olive sweet relish..... then go ahead and give it a bit of a stir....

..... add 3/4 cup of Hellmann's light mayo and stir it up....

.... drain two tins of StarKist chunk light tuna.... add the contents of one tin to the bowl and stir, stir, stir.......

.... once that mess is all sorted out (by stirring, of course), add the second can of tuna.... and stir some more........

.... and as if by magic, my gentle stirrers, there clumped in a medium sized bowl right in front of you is my Dad's Recipe for a Kickass Tuna Salad.....

.... be sure to give it a good stir before you slather it all over a warm piece of toast.....

.....if made properly, your right arm should be getting a bit stiff from all the stirring by now...... so not only is this one tasty recipe.... but if you make it once or twice a week, you'll have a right-hook like Sonny Liston in practically no time at all.....

..... oh, and don't skimp on the sweet relish either..... that is the secret ingredient..... happy lunching, hammerheads!....

Read the Bullshit »

Taste of Tennessee...

Eric, being a Man of the World, is off enjoying the pleasures of Scotland with the beauteous Fiona, who is no doubt adding to her Extensive Penguin Collection...

...meanwhile, it struck me that my Straight White Friend is not only a Man of the World, but a Son of the Soil, a man whose tastes (refined though they may be in some areas) are, at their Fundamental Core of Cores, deeply rooted in the earth of Tennessee, the land of his birth...

...it's not easy reconciling the Raw with the Refined, rubberneckers, but Eric seems to do it...he has an amazing facility to elevate the mundane, converting the minutiae of daily life - a simple haircut, grilling a rack of ribs, watching his beloved Tree-Rats - into bejewelled vignettes, Bloggy Nuggets o' Goodness...

...and it occurred to me that Eric might well be the one to approach the humble, everyday fare of the Tennessean with the artistic culinary sensibility of the Japanese...the people for whom eating is not merely an act of absorbing sustenance, but a veritable cultural experience...a thing of extraordinary beauty...

...and so I present to you, gentle rubberneckers, my vision...Eric's take on Asian-American Fusion Cuisine, if you will...melding the Japanese appreciation of the exquisite with the culinary traditions of McMinn County, in a manner unique to the Southern-Fried Samurai...behold the Country Kaiseki, a fourteen-course Alimentary Extravaganza:

Aperitif (Aisu-korudu-biiru)
Budweiser

First appetizer (Chippizuke)
Fritos, Potato chips, Funyuns with Lipton's Onion Dip

Second appetizer (O-daborusu)
Meatballs in Heinz Chili Sauce-Welchs Grape Jelly gravy
Chile con queso (Velveeta, Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles) with Doritos
Vienna sausage with toothpick
Deviled egg

Biscuit Dishes (Bisuketto-mono)
Biscuits with cream gravy
Country ham biscuit
Biscuit with honey and sweet cream butter

Side Dishes (Saido-jishu-mono)
Beanie-Weenies, creamed corn, canned peas

Grilled Dishes (Yaki-niku)
Armour hot dogs
Cheeseburgers
Country-style pork ribs

Steamed Dishes (Mushi-mono)
Sweet corn on cob
Butter, salt, pepper

Gelatin Salads (Jiero-mono)
Lime Jell-O salad with pineapple chunks and mini-marshmallows
Ambrosia

Deep-fried Dishes (Age-mono)
Southern-fried chicken
Onion rings
French fries, ketchup

Vinegared Dishes (Binagaa-mono)
Sweet gherkins
Cole slaw
Potato salad

Soup (Kamberu-mono)
Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup

Cornbread (O-konobureddo)
Skillet corn bread

Pickles (Hainzu-mono)
Bread-and-butter pickle slices
Dill spears

Dessert (Mizu-mono)
Apple pie
'Nanner Puddin' (with traditional Nilla Wafer garnish)
Watermelon

All these miniature Works of Art would be washed down with liberal doses of cold Budweiser and Coca Cola Classic. Don't forget the Gas-X and charcoal tablets for afters.

Why go to Japan and pay outrageous prices for traditional kaiseki-ryori when Eric could fix you up right here? I ask you.

Read the Bullshit »

Casserole....

..... I had my Mother over for dinner last night.... she supplied the main course - her Quick'n'Easy chicken casserole - and I pitched in with freshly-boiled corn on the cob & my Southern-fried yellow squash.... it was simple, basic, easy, and extremely yummy....

.... a typical mealtime set-up, really.... we all sat around the table oohh'ing over Momma's casserole, and after each comment she would smile and quip right back with some lofty platitude regarding how wonderful the fried squash was.... hey, with some people, it's just hard to toss them a compliment.... instead of smiling and saying, "thanks", you end up jumping around in some extremely demure form of mental badmintonry.....

.. but all in all, it was a nice evening.... and I'm pretty sure that we managed to pull off missing her overt hints for an after dinner Scrabble match without raising suspicion....

.... anyway, her recipe is so easy - and she told it to me so many times last night - that I suppose I should share.... this is a recipe straight out of my childhood.... no frills, extremely quick to make, and as easy as pie.... hell, all you really need is a pot, a dish, and a can opener..... you just gotta love that.....

Ingredients
1 can of cream of celery soup
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of chicken broth
1 tablespoon of black pepper
2 large chicken breasts
1 box of Stove Top stuffing

.... basically you boil the chicken breasts until they are cooked through-and-through... once they've cooled, you pull them apart with your fingers so that they're nice and stringy and will get stuck between your teeth with an unearthly ease....

... once that's done, combine all of the soups, broth, and black pepper together in a casserole dish and stir up nicely.... once they're mixed well, spoon in your shredded chicken and stir again.... prepare your stuffing as per the little box, and spoon it over the soup/chicken mixture..... bake at 350 until heated through.... usually about 20-25 minutes....

.... it's good, ladies and gentlemen.... but with that much Campbell's soup, you will certainly meet your USDA recommended sodium allowance and THEN some.... so I don't recommend her recipe to anyone who has blood pressure or other ticker ailments.... since one or two portions would likely kill them stone dead by the time that they get around to asking someone to pass the rolls.... but hey, if you've got a ship-shape heart and a flair for the daring, I highly recommend it...... it really is easy and tasty.... and afterwards it'll make your stomach emit some of the strangest gurglings imaginable.... so it is a tasty AND entertaining dish....

.... I highly recommend it.... although feel free to leave the cream of celery soup in the cupboard if you wish..... I certainly would..... (personally, I lay the blame for the gurgling noises solely at the feet of the celery...)..

Read the Bullshit »