Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mrs.Whitson's Banana Bread

Now I know each and every one of you has a recipe for banana bread.

But this banana bread is different.

It means something to me.

I think of all the times I’ve made this recipe, when I’ve been in college in Virginia, at a friend’s house in Florida, one late night in Cincinnati during a snowstorm…impressing easily impressed people, comforting others, but always bringing familiar feelings of security and happiness and providing just the right touch of sweet at the perfect moment.

It comes from the Nashville Seasons Cookbook, a must have for every cook’s collection. More cake-like than bread, but divine with peanut butter, or toasted and drizzled with a bit of pure maple syrup or just on its own.

Easy, tasty, feel good banana bread.

These days and times, we could all use some.

Mrs. Whitson’s Banana Bread
Adapted from Nashville Seasons Cookbook

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup vanilla sugar
1 egg, beaten
3 almost ready to throw away bananas…fess up you’ve got these around. I’ve even used frozen ones, thawed
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp vanilla soy milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup chopped nuts (I’ve used those great sweet and salty pecans that you get for Christmas presents. I had wonderful results with those.)

Preheat oven to 350.
Butter a loaf pan well.
Cream butter with sugar and add the egg.
Mash the bananas.
Add the baking soda and vanilla extract to the vanilla soy milk and stir into the bananas.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder and add slowly to the banana mixture.
Add the nuts.
Pour into buttered loaf pan and bake for40 minutes or til a tester comes out clean.
Cook for 10 on rack before slicing it.

Makes one glorious loaf.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Flank Steak with Mushroom, Red Pepper and Baby Bok Choy

This recipe is the bomb.

It’s a very motivational meal.

It gets you to eat baby bok choy, something I’m sure a lot of you have stared at in the grocery store, sidling a bit to the side when someone very hip comes up and throws two of them in their cart and moves on. And you think to yourself, why don’t I go on and try it..what could it hurt?

It gets you to use Fish Sauce which someone very dear to me said the odor reminded him of the wrestling mat at his old high school when it’s 98 degrees in the shade and everyone showed up to watch him get his butt kicked, and his face spent most of the time on said mat.

It gets you to marinate something quickly as opposed to overnight.

It gets you to slice and grate and stir and fry and have a glass of wine and discover that it wasn’t such a bad day after all.

You see?

Fast, easy, motivational, mood changing and delicious.

What more could you ask of a recipe?

Flank Steak with Mushroom, Red Pepper and Baby Bok Choy
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine December 2008

3 tbsp Fresh ginger, grated
1 spoonful garlic confit or 3 fat garlic cloves, smushed and chopped
3 tbsp soy sauce
1-1/2 tsp fish sauce (Nam Pla)
4 tsp cornstarch, divided
A good shake crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 pound flank steak
1 pkg baby bella mushrooms, washed and thinly sliced
½ cup thinly sliced sweet yellow onion
½ cup thinly sliced green onion
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper strips
4 cups thinly sliced baby bok choy
1 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade

Mix together the ginger, garlic, fish sauce, soy, 2 tsp cornstarch, sesame oil and crushed red bell pepper and pour over flank steak. Put in zip lock bag, seal and squish around to combine. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or more.

Heat large skillet and put a couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil in over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms onion and bell pepper to the pan. Cook three to five minutes until crisp tender and then remove from pan and put in bowl and immediate add bok choy to pan and saute three minutes til slightly wilted and add that to the mushroom mix and keep warm.

Now you can grill the steak until done and slice it OR you can slice the marinated flank steak and quickly cook in hot skillet in batches…this takes maybe five minutes, depending on how hot you have the pan. Put steak in bowl with veg…put pan back on medium high heat and add broth and the remaining two teaspoons cornstarch and boil, scraping the pan to get all the browned bits then add the steak and veggie mix back to the pan and toss to combine.

Season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 3 generously.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grilled Halibut in a Yucatecan Marinade

Rain, again.
Joyce Goldstein.
Lime, orange, coriander, allspice, cayenne, chile powder, roasted garlic oil, zests.
Black beans, sweet yellow onions, splash orange zest, cilantro, rice.
Salsa with avocado chunks stirred in.

Grilled Fish in a Yucatecan Marinade
Adapted from Joyce Goldstein’s Back to Square One

One ½ pound halibut fillet
10 large shrimp, tail on

¼ cup roasted garlic oil
½ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup fresh lime juice
Zest from ½ lime
About 2 tsp orange zest
1-½ tbsp smushed then chopped fresh garlic
1 tsp finely minced jalapeno pepper
¼ cup chile powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground allspice
Cayenne pepper to taste
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Fresh cilantro to taste
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed or home cooked beans
A splash of sherry
½ large sweet yellow onion, sliced in half, then sliced again
1 cup of your favorite salsa with 1 avocado, diced stirred in
Cooked rice for three
Lime wedges if you remember to do them

Make the marinade and pour over the halibut and shrimp in flat pyrex pan and refrig for 2 hours. The marinade may make more than you need and it stays nicely in the fridge for several days.

When ready to grill the fish, put a couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil in medium skillet over medium high heat and, add the onions and reduce heat and let cook until golden brown. Add the black beans, raise the heat and add a splash of sherry, reduce heat a bit and let cook. Add fresh cilantro to taste.

Grill shrimp and halibut til perfect, three minutes a side.

To plate, rice, a bit of halibut, a bit of shrimp, black beans and salsa.

Serves 3 generously.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Groom’s Knock Your Socks Off Ground Pork, Linguica, Bell Pepper, Onion Enchiladas Topped with Grilled Salsa, Cheddar Cheese and Cilantro

A dot and a line.

Chuck Jones...brilliance in cartoons.

Doesn’t this describe cooking and its creativity?

The straight line is following a recipe word for word.

You’re playing it straight.

In cooking.

So , take a recipe and make it your own.

That’s how you cook. That’s how you live.

Straight lines are great. But versatility and expression of how you want something to taste or be is better.

Go on.

Try it.

Seek the dot.

Groom’s Knock Your Socks Off Ground Pork, Linguica, Bell Peppers Onions Enchiladas Topped with Grilled Salsa, Cheddar Cheese and Cilantro


Here’s how the Dot happens…..

So the other night…Monday….wanted something easy…Groom likes to grill sausages and onions and peppers, maybe we had about a cup of this left in the fridge.

Last week I made a roasted salsa…tomatillos, poblanos, red bells, sweet red onions, green onions, garlic….in the oven til roasted nice and squishy and then throw into the blender with fresh cilantro and Italian parsley…because it’s lying around….maybe a cup and a half of it….

So those two things are in the fridge.

Come home…act pitiful…don’t want to cook…sweet Groom says, not to worry….and what does he do….

He seeks the dot.

Iron skillet gets heated up with a couple of good swirls of extra virgin olive oil. Sweet yellow onions are chopped and sautéed til golden…..he takes them out for a bit, adds maybe a pound ground pork, drains the fat out.……adds the onions back …adds a can of black beans, drained and rinsed well because he hates that goopy stuff that‘s in the cans…tbsp ancho chile pepper freshly ground black pepper and coarse salt to taste…….add ¼ cup water…cook down. Take out of skillet and sets aside. Preheat oven to 350.
Adds the grilled salsa to hot iron skillet, over medium low heat…with a bit of olive oil…. then dip flour tortillas in hot salsa, fill with the ground pork. Roll and put back in iron skillet….fill enough to go into the skillet shred cheddar cheese on top, smush salsa on top, if you have extra… cook 30 minutes…top with sour cream and fresh cilantro…sit around and talk about how amazing this is..

Serves 5 generously,…really generously….

Click here for printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Frank's Chicken Pot Pies

There are lots of chicken pot pie recipes.

None like Frank’s.

It's easy.

Chock full of fresh carrots....

sauteed onions, peppers, celery....

and shredded chicken.

A killer homemade white sauce

seasoned with celery seed, crushed red pepper, bouquet garni.

And your choice of pastry to top them.

And so good.

Every single time.

He makes them in quantity.

And freezes them.

Someone moves to a new house and you want to take them dinner.


Need comfort food fix.


Surprise guests drop in.


Couldn't be easier.

Thanks Frank!

Frank’s Chicken Pot Pies

8 whole chicken breasts, boiled in homemade chicken stock, shredded
8 stalks celery, sliced in half, then chopped in bite size pieces
3 lb bag carrots, peeled, sliced in half, sliced into bite size pieces
3 large sweet onions, chopped into bite size pieces
6 mixed green, yellow and red bell peppers, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 stick plus ¼ stick unsalted butter
1 and ½ cups all purpose flour
2 quarts roasted chicken stock
1 to 2 tbsp Bouquet garni
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 to 2 tbsp dried parsley
1 to 2 tbsp Celery seed
Crushed red bell pepper flakes to taste
4 pkg prepared pie crust (2 boxes unrolled pie crust) or if you’re industrious, make your own or use phyllo or puff pastry dough. It’s your call.
4 square aluminum baking pans

Boil carrots, drain and rinse with cold water.
Cook celery, onion, bell pepper in butter til soft, not brown.
Two large bowls…divide the carrots, peppers, onions among them.
Divide chicken between bowls.
Melt butter add flour, make paste, add 2 quarts chicken stock, seasonings and stir til thick .
Divide between two bowls, season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir. Put in baking pans, top with pastry. You can get creative on the how you do the top with the pastry. Or just roll it out, cover and poke with fork …. Wrap with clear plastic wrap then aluminum foil.

To cook: Don’t thaw.
Preheat oven 375 degrees. Remove foil and saran wrap and place on cookie sheet. Cook for an hour and 15 minutes, cover with foil if browning too quick.

Makes 4.

Click here for a printable recipe!

One Year Ago on Feeding Groom