Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Mardi Gras is 4 March. Get baking!

Paul | February 16, 2014 in Family,Food,Fun,Recipes | Comments (0)

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King Cake

Source: Paul Harsha



1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
31/2 to 41/2 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup warm milk
5 egg yolks
1 stick butter cut in slices and softened, plus 2 tablespoons more
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 egg slightly beaten with a tablespoon of milk
1 small plastic baby

Poured Icing

2.5 cups confectioners sugar
2-6 tablespoons milk
juice of one lemon (.25 cup)


1. Pour the warm water into a small shallow bowl and sprinkle yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar into it. Allow the yeast and sugar to rest for three minutes, then mix thoroughly. Set bowl in a warm place for 10 minutes until yeast bubbles up.

2. Combine 31/2 cups of flour, remaining sugar, nutmeg and salt and sift into a large mixing bowl.

3. Stir in lemon zest. Separate center of mixture to form a hole and pour in yeast mixture and milk. Add egg yolks and using a wooden spoon, combine dry ingredients into the yeast/milk mixture. When mixture is smooth, beat in 8 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time and continue to beat 2 minutes or until dough can be formed into a medium soft ball.

4. Place ball of dough on floured surface and knead, gradually adding up to 1 cup more of flour. When dough is no longer sticky, knead 10 minutes more until shiny and elastic.

5. Using a pastry brush, coat the inside of a large bowl evenly with one tablespoon softened butter. Place dough ball in the bowl and rotate until the entire surface is buttered. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel and allow dough to rise in a warm place for about 11/2 hours or until it doubles in volume.

6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, lemon, vanilla, and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Mix well.

7. Combine sugar and cinnamon, set aside.

8. Coat a large baking sheet with one tablespoon of butter and set aside. After the first rising, place the dough on a floured surface and punch it down with a heavy blow.

9. Roll the dough out 30 inches long and 10 inches in diameter. Spread the cream cheese filling across the center of the dough, leaving an inch free at the far edge.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mix.

10. Starting at one long edge, roll the dough to form one long cylinder. Bring the two long edges together and seal all sides completely. Place on the buttered baking sheet, seam side down. Shape the dough into a ring.

11. Cover the completed ring with a towel and allow it to rise for 45 minutes or until it doubles in volume.

12. After the second rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the top and sides of the cake with the egg and milk wash. With a knife, slash the top of the cake at even intervals.

13. Bake 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and hide the plastic baby in the cake.

14. Poured icing: Combine ingredients until smooth, adding more milk if it’s too thick. Spoon icing over top of cake.

15. Decorating: Immediately sprinkle on colored sugars, alternating between the three colors.

16. Serve in 2”-3” pieces.


  • You can add a layer of raspberry jelly on top of the cream cheese.
  • Microwaved Pilsbury lemon frosting (thinned with milk) also works for a poured frosting.


Crayfish Étouffée

Paul | March 3, 2013 in Family,Food,Recipes | Comments (0)

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Adapted from “Cooking with Entergy”
Serving Size: 4


The Entergy original started with 1.5 sticks of butter, had no garlic or tomatoes, and different seasonings.  I made it more like my grandmother’s… but may put the butter back.


1 stick butter
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1 pound crayfish, peeled (frozen works fine)


1. Melt butter in a dutch oven.

2. Stir in onions, celery, and bell pepper. Sauté on high until vegetables start to soften — about 10 minutes.

3. Add green onions, parsley, and garlic. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent — about 5 minutes.

4. Add flour and seasonings.  Stir to incorporate. Cook another 1-2 minutes.

5. Add crayfish and tomatoes.  Reduce heat, cover, and cook 10 minutes.

6. Place a mound of rice in the center of each plate and pour étouffée around.  Garnish with additional parsley, if desired.


Turkey Noodle Soup

Paul | December 1, 2012 in Food,Recipes | Comments (0)

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Recipe Adapted from Food Network

Serving Size: 6


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly into rounds
1 clove garlic, minced
1 clove garlic, whole
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
3-4 cups leftover cooked turkey, chopped roughly
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups turkey stock
12 ounces uncooked wide egg noodles (use half for thinner soup)
2 tablespoons parsely, chopped


1. Heat oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, garlic, and celery and sauté 4 minutes, until soft.

2. Add turkey, bay leaves, thyme, spices, salt, and black pepper and stir to mix well.

3. Add stock and bring mixture to a boil.

4. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer 10 minutes.

5. Return mixture to a boil and add egg noodles. Cook 10 minutes, until egg noodles are just tender.

6. Remove from heat and discard bay leaves. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.


If you have stock left over from Thanksgiving, use that.  If not, use the leftover turkey carcass along.

Put half an onion, a few stalks of celery, some carrots, some garlic, a bay leaf, and several peppercorns in a large pot with two tablespoons of oil.  Heat on high.

Pull any easily removable meat off the carcass and reserve.  Break up the carcass and add to the vegetables.

Cover with 8-10 cups water, bring almost to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer on low for a few hours.

Then toss out the bones and vegetables, degrease the stock, reserve the turkey and start your soup.


Pink Sangria (and Happy 4th)

Paul | July 5, 2011 in Food,Fun,Recipes | Comments (3)

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1 bottle Rosé or White Zin, 750 mil
1/4 cup orange or peach flavored liqueur (Grand Marnier or Mathilde)
1/4 cup cachaça
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 orange, sliced
1/2 lemon, sliced
1 peach, pitted, sliced
12 white grapes
1/2 cup lime flavored sparkling water


1. Combine orange, lemon, and lime juices in a small bowl. Add sugar, stir to dissolve.

2. Combine wine, cachaça, liquor, and fruit juices in a pitcher.

3. Thinly slice orange, peach, and 1/2 lemon. Add slices and grapes to wine and chill 4 to 6 hours.

4. Just before serving, add sparkling lime.

Fruit Salsa

Paul | June 19, 2011 in Food,Fun,Recipes | Comments (0)

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2 peaches
2 plums
1 small onion
3 tablespoons cilantro
1 clove garlic
2 serrano peppers
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
white pepper


1. Put lime juice in a cuisinart.  Add the seeded peppers and garlic, process until very fine.  Move to medium bowl.

2. Use cusinart to chop onion, then peaches, then plums. Put in medium bowl with lime/chili mixture.  Be sure not to over chop. Pieces should be scoopable, but not pulverized.

3. Use cuisinart to chop cilantro until fine. Add to bowl.

4. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper, and Tabasco.  Mix well.

5. Chill for an hour to let flavors blend, stir.

6. Serve with blue corn chips. Also good on fish.

Yield: 2 cups


The ingredients are variable — basically two firm tart fruits and two softer sweeter fruits.  I use nectarines in place of peaches when available, but basically anything ripe and in season.  Even pear.

My most recent variant was mango/peach.  Two mangoes (peeled) and two peaches (unpeeled).

for Lundi Gras: my Gumbo recipe

Paul | March 7, 2011 in Family,Food,Fun,Recipes | Comments (1)

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1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup flour

6 cups chicken stock
1/2  cup dry white wine
clam juice (optional)

Olive oil, as needed
2 pounds chicken thighs (I use bone-in, then skin and debone after I sauté them)
2 lb. Andouille sausage, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices

1 lbs. fresh or frozen okra, finely chopped
Cajun seasoning
1 can tomatoes, peeled, diced

1 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 onions, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3 fresh bay leaves

2 tablespoons Lee and Perins
5 tablespoons chopped parsley
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste

(optional) 1 1/2 lbs. shrimp, shelled, deveined

Cooked rice
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
hot sauce, to taste


1. Make a chocolate roux.  Heat oil in heavy skillet until almost smoking. Add flour a little at a time, stirring constantly, until mixture is the color and consistency of melted chocolate (about 15 minutes). Set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium stockpot, add fresh okra, season lightly with salt and pepper and Cajun seasoning, and saute until lightly browned.  Add 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil if needed.  (If using frozen okra, place on baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned, about 20 minutes, then saute as directed.)  Add tomatoes and cook, stirring, about 30 minutes, until okra is no longer slimy.

3. Sauté sausage in 1 teaspoon olive oil in a Dutch oven, until browned.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Do not wash pan. Add more oil, then sauté chicken until browned.  Remove from pan, let cool, then skin and debone if needed.

4. Add chopped onions, chopped bell peppers, and chopped celery and cook until onions are soft and translucent, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes.

5. Add roux, garlic and cayenne and stir until mixture is well blended and onions are golden-brown, 5-10 minutes.

6. Transfer okra mixture to pot.  Add wine and 3 cups broth and stir.  Add parsley, thyme, bay leaves, worcestshire, and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer 1 1/2 hours.

7. Discard bay leaves. Add sausage and chicken and 3-5 cups stock. Adjust seasonings. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

8. If using shrimp, season lightly with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning. Add to gumbo and simmer, covered, until shrimp are pink and curl up.  10-15 minutes.

9. Adjust seasonings. Serve over rice. garnish with green onions.

the original bloody mary

Paul | April 4, 2010 in Recipes | Comments (0)

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Courtesy James Beard.  Very tasty!

2 oz gin, 2 oz tomato juice, juice of 1/2 lemon (1 tablespoon), dash Tabasco, dash Worcestershire: shake with ice