January 04, 2017

salmon croquettes with cajun alfredo angel hair pasta

Happy New Year to y'all! It's freezing cold this week where I am, so it's perfect for a comfort dish and a fire and comfies! Do y'all put on your comfies at 5:27pm like we do? Well listen to me, you're gonna want your comfies on for this dish. Lord help us all, it's good. 

I first had salmon croquettes at my friend's house in college when I went home with her to visit her parents. I hadn't ever had them because it wasn't in my mama's repertoire. And I loved them from the very first bite. Hers was a recipe of simply white crackers and eggs. But I've sinced added all kinds of things to mine so they're just exactly what we love! Creaminess from mayo, extra crispiness from bread crumbs, a little fresh bite from green onions, and a sinfully delightful cheese-pull from a little mozzarella inside. THEN we pile them on top of angel hair pasta tossed in homemade cajun alfredo angel hair pasta! Run, don't walk, to your comfies!

Makes 12-15 croquettes | Serves 6

-salmon croquettes-
20oz pink salmon, flaked & broken up
1 ½ - 1 ¾ cup mayonnaise
2 large eggs
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup shredded mozzarella
½ cup chopped green onions + more for garnish
Pinch salt and pepper
-cajun alfredo sauce-
¼ cup unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 ½ cups grated parmesan
1 ½ teaspoon cajun seasoning

Preheat oven for 325. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cover and have waiting.

For the croquettes, combine all ingredients and pat loosely into 2.5” round patties. Keep them plum, don’t mash them down.
Preheat a skillet swirled with oil over medium high heat. Cook patties in batches on each side about 2 minutes or until they’re nicely crisped and browned. Transfer to a metal sheetpan lined with a wire rack. Place croquettes in a preheated oven to continue to warm through while the pasta and sauce are made.
For the alfredo sauce, in a deep saucepan, melt butter. Add heavy cream and chopped garlic; whisk and bring just to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir in grated parmesan; whisk until the parmesan melts into the cream. Stir in cajun seasoning. Taste and adjust. Boil 1/2lb angel hair pasta about 4 minutes, drain and transfer noodles to alfredo sauce. Stir together.
To plate, divide cajun alfredo pasta between 4-6 shallow bowls. Top with 3 salmon croquettes and sprinkle extra parm and garnish with chopped green onions.

December 11, 2016

bacon and balsamic brussel sprouts

First things first. Don't judge these brussels from your bad brussel sprout experiences. It's not fair to them. It's like leafy green profiling to think that these brussels are like all brussels. AND THEY'RE NOT. 

They're so good, you won't believe them. Like so good that the day after I served them to several families, all three of the families contacted me for the recipe. So believe me when I tell you that you need to make these for your holiday table! I made them for Thanksgiving, and by gosh, I'm making them again for Christmas!

These little edible cabbage-y buds are seasoned, drizzled with olive oil and lemon, and then roasted with garlic and bacon for aMAZing flavor. That. Good. Char. Is. Key. Then they're drizzled in a honey balsamic glaze with a little hit of red pepper flakes for a surprise heat. So many flavors. You are going to love these. Love love love. 

Serves 6-8

2lbs fresh brussel sprouts, stalks trimmed and halved
4-6 slices raw bacon, chopped into pieces
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Juice of one lemon

-for the glaze-
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
4 Tablespoons honey
Fresh rosemary leaves from 2 sprigs
½ tsp red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425F. Put sprouts, bacon pieces, and garlic on a large sheet pan, doing your best to get the sprouts in a single layer and not piled on top of one another. Drizzle well with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with a good dose of salt and pepper. Rub around with your hands to coat. Spread back out into a single layer and bake in oven for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, stir together the balsamic and honey. Bring just to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, allowing to reduce for about 5 minutes. Carefully transfer brussels to a pretty serving bowl. Stir the rosemary and red pepper flakes to the glaze. Then pour over the brussels, stirring to combine.

December 10, 2016

red pepper jelly holiday ham

It's the holiday season! And we have just now started to feel hungry again after Thanksgiving, right?! Whew, what a feast! So it's time to be thinking about your Christmas menu! And y'all, this ham recipe is so simple and really really good! 

I do believe it's downright important for me to openly confess my undying love for red pepper jelly. I'M IN LOVE, I'M IN LOVE, AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT! {Elf quote, people.} We never EVER don't have one in the fridge awaiting a good meat, a brie, or a block of cream cheese. We sell Bonnie's red pepper jelly at Euna Mae's, and we sell it like gangbusters! Especially during the holidays! 

So as a result of my mountain-top love affair with red pepper jelly, I came up with this recipe for a red pepper and brown sugar glaze for our holiday ham. It's a little sweet and a little warm with some heat that is divine with savory ham goodness!  A new spin on a holiday classic!


1 14-16lb fully-cooked ham
1 8oz jar red pepper jelly from Euna Mae’s or elsewhere if you must :)
2 Tablespoons ground mustard
Pinch of cloves
4-6 heaping Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire

Preheat oven to 350F. Place ham in a roasting pan and cover with foil twice so all of the heat and moisture are held inside while it bakes. Bake ham for 10 minutes per pound at 350F. Adjust your oven rack so that ham is centered in oven and not too close to the top of the oven!

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze. When ham has baked, remove from the oven; turn oven temperature up to 425. Carefully remove foil, glaze the entire ham, and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the glaze has set and bubbled and caramelized a little on the top!

November 22, 2016

mama grace's chocolate pie

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Mama Grace's chocolate pie. I am so delighted that she shared this family-favorite with me before she went to be with Jesus at the ripe old age of 99 3/4! Food equals memories, especially at the holidays. And we can't help but think of her when we eat this pie when we're together. Y'all share your recipes with your people. Stand together in the kitchen and stir them and measure them and serve them and eat them. You'll all be so glad ya did. 

{with or without meringue}
Makes one 8-9” pie

One unbaked pie dough round, either homemade or storebought
1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
1 12oz can evaporated milk plus enough whole milk to make 3 cups total
2oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 eggs, separated (plus one more white if you’re making meringue)
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1 ½ tsp vanilla

-for the meringue-
5 egg whites, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cream of tartar
7 Tbs sugar

In a standard pie dish (not a deep or oversized pie dish), blind bake a pie crust at 450F for 10 minutes with pie weights, then remove the weights and bake another 3-5 minutes until the crust looks golden and no longer wet-looking. Turn off oven, remove and set aside.

In a 3qt saucepan, combine the flour, sugar, and milk. Whisk together. Add chopped chocolate. Over medium high heat, whisk until chocolate melts and the mixture gets thick and bubbly, as long as 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Spoon about ½ cup of the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks, stirring constantly to temper the eggs. Add the yolks/chocolate mixture to the saucepan, stir well. Return pot to medium heat and allow to bubble up and simmer for about 2 minutes or so until nice and thick. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Pour into the baked pie shell.

You may choose NOT to top your pie with meringue. If that’s the case, then at this point you may allow the pie to cool at room temperature then chill in the refrigerator for four hours before cutting and serving with homemade whipped cream! OR if you’d like to top with meringue, then keep reading...

Turn the oven on to 350F. In a mixer, combine 5 egg whites, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whisk on medium high until soft peaks form. With mixer on medium high, add all of the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Then turn mixer to high and whisk for 2-3 minutes until glossy, fluffy, stick peaks form. Pile meringue in the middle of the pie, spreading gently to the outer edges, making sure to seal the meringue to the pie crust which will help keep the meringue from shrinking. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned. Allow pie to cool entirely on the counter 1-2 hours. Refrigerate uncovered in the refrigerator. Serve cooled. Cut with a wet, sharp knife.

Alternately, you might wish to serve the chocolate pie with homemade whipped cream. Find that recipe in our recipe archives.

November 18, 2016

ham, leek, and gruyere breakfast bake

It's the season for hosting company! This breakfast bake is not only perfect for morning, but also brunch, or even a light lunch or supper! Such a win-win all the way around!

I love all things even remotely related to the bread pudding family! This savory bread pudding-ish bake is creamy, cheesey, bready, smokey, and buttery with sauteed leeks. OH MY! Make ahead and reheat on low covered in the oven or even microwave a portion. No fuss, beautiful, and divinely good! Happy hosting!

serves about 6

1 1/2 cups leeks, sliced 1/2" thick and rinsed
2 Tablespoons butter
6 cups hearty bread, cut in 1" cubes
1 cup chopped ham steak or leftover holiday ham
1/4 cup chopped scallions, green parts
3/4 cup shredded gruyere
several teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 eggs
3 cups whole milk
grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350F. Toast cubed bread pieces for 15 minutes or so until lightly browned. Remove from oven.  While bread toasts, rinse leek rings by floating them in a large bowl of cold water. Use hands to separate rings and swirl around in water to remove any dirt. Pat most of the water off of the rings. In a skillet over low heat, sprinkle leeks with a pinch of salt, and saute leeks in butter until tender, about 15 minutes. In a large bowl, dump the bread cubes, the sauteed leeks, scallions, ham, and thyme. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and grated nutmeg. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour over the bread mixture, toss to coat. Stir in 1/2 cup gruyere. Let stand 15 minutes.

Butter a 9x9 pan or a deep pie dish, then pour the mixture in the pan. Spread around using your fingers, tucking in pieces and gently pressing down so bread is mostly covered in the cream. A little top layer of bread is fine above the cream layer. Sprinkle top with 1/4 cup gruyere and bake 50-60 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.