Split Pea and Ham Soup

     Talk about winter comfort food.  This is it.  Just look at those chunks of Ham and Carrots.  I’ve tweaked my recipe, so it tastes even better. Pair it with a Salad and/or Cornbread for a wholesome, delicious meal.  Give it a try!  It freezes wonderfully, so make extra.

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/4 cups dried Split Peas

2 quarts Chicken Broth (64 oz) (5 cans = 70 oz)

1 ½ lbs ham bone (or leftover diced ham)

½ cup Diced Celery

1 chopped Onion

1 clove garlic

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

¼ tsp thyme

1/8 tsp marjoram

1 potato, trimmed and cubed (If you plan on freezing, omit the taters)

Start with 2 carrots, add a few more later.   Original ones will break down

OPTIONAL: ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper

PREPARATION:

     There is two ways to prepare dried Peas.  Sort and rinse the Peas before you do anything.  Then either soak them overnight in cold water, or the quicker way is to simmer them for 5 minutes, and remove from heat.  Let them soak for 60 to 90 minutes.

     In a large pot (minimum 6 quart), add Ham Bone, soaked Peas, Chicken Broth, Celery, Garlic, and Onion.  (Even though they will get blended later, I add a chopped Carrot or two now because they will add extra flavor to the Soup.) Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until Peas are tender.  It will take at least 90 minutes.  NOTE:  If you’re using leftover diced Ham, don’t add it until the Peas have been blended.

     Once the Peas are tender, remove the Ham Bone and set aside.  You can either use a food processor or an immersible blender to blend the soup to your desired consistency.  Add diced Carrots and cook until tender.  Add diced Ham.  Add seasonings and cook for 5 more minutes.  Serve.

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Sausage Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing

Made with my Prize-Winning Cornbread Recipe

     I LOVE Cornbread Stuffing!  I can still remember the first time I ever had it.  I couldn’t believe how delicious it was.  I make Cornbread a lot, so I often make an extra one to put in the freezer for when I’m craving Cornbread Stuffing.  It goes great with most anything, Poultry, Fish, Ham, Meatloaf, Pork Chops or Roast, or anything else you can think of.  Since the main Ingredient is Cornbread, you want to make homemade.  Eat some of it for dinner the night before or have it for breakfast.  Day old Cornbread is best for Cornbread Stuffing. (My recipe is below.)

     This recipe has the addition of Mushrooms and Carrots which I don’t always add to my Stuffing.  It’s very nice for a change. 

INGREDIENTS:  YIELDS 5-6 Servings

½ lb Breakfast Sausage (I prefer Jimmy Dean, Sage flavor) Freeze the rest.

4 cups crumbled Cornbread

¾ cup Herbed Stuffing Mix (or stale bread, crumbled)

3 TBSP Butter

1 cup Mushrooms, chopped

¼ cup Onions, chopped

3 TBSP Mini Sweet Peppers, chopped

3 TBSP Celery, chopped

3 TBSP Carrot, diced

½ – ¾ tsp Dried Sage + extra for cooking

½ tsp Dried Thyme

Salt & Black Pepper to taste

1 ¾ cups Chicken Broth (or use some Buttermilk & less Chicken Broth)

PREPARATION:

     In a large skillet, cook and crumble Sausage.  Place in large bowl.  Drain grease, if there is any.

     In the same skillet, add Butter, all the Vegetables, and a few dashes of Pepper, Sage, and Thyme.  Cook until Carrots are just about tender.  Add ½ tsp Sage and ½ tsp Thyme, and stir into the Vegetables.  Remove from heat and set aside for a minute.

     In the same large bowl, add Herbed Stuffing Mix and crumbled Cornbread on top of the Sausage.  Stir.

Add the cooked Vegetables, and stir. 

    Pour Chicken Broth over mixture, stir.  Cornbread Stuffing needs to be wetter than normal Stuffing because it’s best when it’s on the moist side. Add the Chicken Broth and stir well.  If it seems too dry, add some extra Chicken Broth, Buttermilk or regular Milk.

     Place Stuffing into a Buttered 9” x 9” baking dish.  Cover with Aluminum Foil to prevent it from drying too much.  Bake for 20 minutes at 375° F.  Remove the Foil and check to see if you need to add any extra liquid.  Return Stuffing to the oven.  Bake for another 30 minutes or so.  You want the top to be slightly browned and a little crispy, but don’t let it dry out. 

NOTES:  This is an easily customizable dish.  Omit any of the Vegetables you don’t want, add other Vegetables you do want. 

You can cook it at a higher temperature if you’re cooking something else as the main course, just lessen the baking time. 

     The only cornbread recipe I use.  I like my Cornbread moist and a little on the sweet side.  Give this a try.  It freezes beautifully! If you love Cornbread Stuffing, this is the Cornbread to use!  This is my cornbread that won first prize at the Jefferson County Fair. I always sauté chopped Onion in the same cast iron skillet that I’ll bake the Bread in.  Most of the time I add about 6 chopped Jalapenos.  Sometimes I add chopped Bell Pepper or chopped Mini Sweet Peppers.  (If you plan on making Cornbread Stuffing, omit the Jalapenos.  I think it ruins the Stuffing.)

     Wonderful with chili, tuna casserole, soup, breakfast.  Cornbread is basically a quick bread.  It’s incredibly easy and so satisfying.  I can’t think of anything Cornbread doesn’t go with.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup Crisco

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup + 2 TBSP yellow corn meal

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 ½ cup flour

1 ½ cup buttermilk

PREPARATION:

Cream Crisco and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and half of the milk.  Beat well.

Add baking powder and salt, mixing until combined.

Add corn meal, flour and remainder of milk.  Mix until combined.

The best cornbread is always baked in a cast iron pan.  The edges get so wonderfully crispy.  If you don’t have one, use a greased cake pan or baking dish.

BAKE AT 375* for about 40 minutes, or until desired browning is achieved. I don’t like mine pale and always let it get browned.  (See picture)

I often bake a half batch.  Know, however, that the leftover bread can be frozen to make stuffing with!

NOTE:  My special additives are sautéed onions, chopped jalapenos, a little cooked and crumbled bacon, mini sweet peppers, green bell pepper, fresh corn, etc.  I think you get the idea.  If it sounds good?  Add it.

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PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

    There’s just something soothing and homey about homemade peanut butter cookies.  Is it because your grandmother and mother used to make them?  Is it just because they’re so darn good?  I’m not sure, but whatever the reason – we love ‘em! 

     This simple recipe uses one bowl, one measuring cup and a spatula.  It’s simple enough for your beginner baker to try his or her hand.

INGREDIENTS: Yield 25 cookies

3/4 cup – honey*

1/4 cup – butter or margarine, softened

1 – egg

3/4 cup – peanut butter

1 teaspoon – vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon – salt

1/2 teaspoon – baking soda

1-1/2 cups AP unbleached flour

¾ cup chocolate chips

PREPARATION:

In mixer bowl, cream honey and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Add flour, mixing until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough, one heaping tablespoon at a time, onto well-greased baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes. Remove cookies from sheet and cool on wire rack.

Please remember not to feed honey to children under one- year-old.  Read more:   http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/botulism.html

*I used local raw honey

PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES
PEANUT BUTTER HONEY COOKIES

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CHEW WANNA EAT, by Gail Westover is her newest creation.  Gail, an avid cook, has been writing what she calls “the never ending cookbook” for many years.  In the meantime, friends regularly ask for her recipe for one thing or another.  Instead of a book, Gail has chose to go this route for now.  Guest cooks will be invited to share some of their special creations.  Submit your recipe with good quality photo to chewwannaeat@gmail.com

Chicken Pot Pie

A Westover Leftover. Comfort food at it’s finest!



CHICKEN POT PIE

     Another Westover Leftover!  Remember the chicken soup I made a few days ago?  I cooked extra chicken in it to make the broth extra rich, and also to have leftover chicken and broth to make quick and easy meals.  You just can’t be that!  I began with 5 ½ lbs of bone-in chicken breast and 8 cans of chicken broth.  The magic continued from there.

     I ended up with one big bowl of soup which I photographed in one of my best bowls so it would look beautiful.  I was going to pour it back in the pot after taking pics, but I looked at it for so long, I ate it!  It was so good.  I have six small bags of soup in the freezer for future sickies.  I made three individual chicken pot pies.  I only intended to make two, but there was enough filling and pie crust to make one small one.  Can ya say, “Lunch?” I also made ten chicken, shrimp and black bean burritos.  Last night I made enough chicken and biscuits to serve four.  I made all this food with one big pot of chicken soup. What a deal, huh?

     Look at these beauties!!  Except for making homemade pie crust, the rest was a cinch.  If you just can’t make your own crust, use store-bought.  (Just don’t tell me.)

     I’ve seen lots of recipes for chicken pot pie baked and served in a pie pan.  I don’t care for that, because even if you let it sit for ten minutes after baking, I think everything slides out into the middle of the dish once you’ve cut it.  Hence the individual pies that I make.  Trust me, they are easier, because working with a small piece of dough is easier than a big piece.

     One thing I’ve learned over the years is to add more gravy than you think you might want.  You don’t want to end up with just chicken and veggies.  Between the holes you must put in the top crust so the steam can escape and what bubbles up around the edges of the crust you lose precious gravy.  Steam is part of your gravy!  No!  Not my gravy. Say it ain’t so. Make it on the wet side. I don’t know about you, but the gravy is a big part of the deliciousness of a chicken pot pie. I should have added a little extra to this batch.

PIE CRUST INGREDIENTS:  (This is for a double crust pie)

2 cups unbleached AP flour

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup Crisco

7 TBSP iced water

PREPARATION:

     In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour and salt together.  Cut in Crisco with a pastry blender until mixture is pea sized.  Add your iced water one teaspoon at a time, stirring with a fork each time. Test it by picking up a small hunk and pinching it into a small ball.  If it sticks together smoothly, you’re good.  If it feels dry and crumbly, add another ½ teaspoon of water.  The texture is important.  It won’t roll out correctly if it’s too dry.

     Form dough into a ball and then cut it in half.  Depending on the size dish you’re using, you may want to cut it in half again so you have four pieces.

     On a lightly floured surface, roll dough with a floured rolling pin until it’s the shape you want.  Pick rolled dough up with a spatula or wrap it around the rolling pin to transfer it to the dish.

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

Pastry for double pie crust

1 can chicken broth

3 TBSP flour

2 TBSP corn starch

2 or 3 cups of chicken stock from your soup pot

1 chicken bouillon cube

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 rib celery, diced

½ tsp poultry seasoning

½ tsp thyme

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp parsley

Pepper to taste

½ cup milk

½ – ¾ cup frozen peas, rinsed in water to remove ice

1 large chicken breast (about 2 cups), cooked and cut into big chunks

PREPARATION:

In a 3 quart saucepan, add chicken broth, flour, corn starch, and bouillon.  Over medium heat, bring to a simmer while whisking lumps out. Add 3 or 4 cups of chicken stock from your soup pot. (or a jar of chicken gravy). Once it’s come back to a simmer, add the carrots and celery.  Turn heat down to low. Cover pot with cover askew and let it simmer, stirring with whisk once in a while.

When vegetables are tender add the seasonings and peas.  When peas are done, add the chicken and milk. Ladle into prepared crusts.  Top with crust and poke holes in it with a fork.

Bake at 425°F for 30 – 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

To reheat any leftovers, it does fine in the microwave.  You’ll probably need to add extra gravy because the pastry soaks it up.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Three Types of Fish Cooked Three Healthy Ways Air-Fried Cheesy Haddock, Chili Lime Perch, Cajun Catfish

Air-Fried Cheesy Haddock and Chili Lime Perch


Spicy Crispy Baked Catfish

     We were both wanting Fish today, and went a little crazy.  I wanted Crispy Haddock, and we both wanted Perch.  Bob decided to bake Catfish filets for himself.  So, today we’re offering recipes for all three types of Fish which we cooked three different ways.  Please increase the Ingredients if you are using larger packages of Fish.  They are all simple recipes, and we served all three for dinner with homemade Cole Slaw and French Fries.

CHEESY CRISPY AIR-FRIED HADDOCK

INGREDIENTS:  2 servings

1 large Haddock Filet (about ½ lb)

1 egg, beaten

½ cup Panko Bread Crumbs

2 TBSP Romano Cheese, grated

2 TBSP Parmesan Cheese, grated

Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper

Lemon Juice

PREPARATION:

     Drizzle a little Lemon Juice on Filet.  Dip Filet in Beaten Egg.  Sprinkle Filet with Seasonings, and then dip in Bread Crumbs, pressing to make sure Crumbs adhere.  Turn over and repeat on the other side.  Depending on the temperature of your Air-Fryer, it can take anywhere from 5-7 minutes to cook.  When the color looks right, make sure it flakes with a fork.  Serve with Lemon Slices.

CHILI LIME PAN-FRIED PERCH FILETS

INGREDIENTS:  4 Servings

Perch Filets (about 1/2 lb)

1 TBSP Butter

Lime Juice, Fresh Squeezed

Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Salt and Pepper

PREPARATION:

     Drizzle Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice on each Filet.  Sprinkle with Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Salt, and Pepper.  

     Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add Butter.  When melted, add the Filets.  They are usually very small and only need a few minutes.  Flip over, season the other side, and cook until flaky.

BAKED CAJUN CATFISH FILETS

INGREDIENTS: Yields 2-3 Servings

2 large Catfish Filets 

1 TBSP Butter

Lemon Juice

Garlic Powder

Andy’s Cajun Fish Breading

PREPARATION:

     Preheat oven to 375° F.  When oven is warm, melt butter right in your baking dish.  While Butter is melting, drizzle Filets with Lemon Juice.  Sprinkle with Garlic Powder and Andy’s Fish Breading, pressing to adhere. *  Add Filets to baking dish.  Bake for about 20 minutes until flaky.

NOTE:  *To save the calories, Bob usually only breads one side of the fish.

By Chew Wanna Eat?

Spicy Crispy Baked Catfish

Air-Fried Cheesy Haddock and Chili Lime Pan Fried Perch


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Crispy Sweet Potato Fritters with Bacon and Scallions

     I struck it rich when I decided to make a new Sweet Potato Fritter recipe.  I made them last year, and they were good, but these are out of this world delicious!  The Scallions, Bacon, Fresh Rosemary, and Orange Zest are very subtle and compliment the Sweet Potatoes wonderfully.  There is NO butter, NO added sugar, and very little oil to fry them.  If you want to make them completely healthy, omit the bacon. 

     Yeah, right.  Not happening.

     Using a little light Ranch Dressing was a perfect condiment.  They would go great with Steak, Meatloaf, Poultry, Fish, Pork, or even an Omelet.  Yep, I could definitely eat these with an Omelet or Scrambled Eggs.

Ingredients:  Yields 7 – 8 Fritters

2 large Sweet potatoes (You’ll need about 2 – 2 ¼ cups)

4 slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 small Sprig fresh Rosemary, chopped or ½ tsp dried

1 TBSP orange zest

1 TBSP Flour

Dash of Salt and Pepper

1 Egg

¼ cup Scallions, sliced

Serve with Ranch Dressing, Buffalo Ranch Dressing, Siracha Sauce, Sour Cream, or Yogurt

PREPARATION:

     Wash the Sweet Potatoes.  Pierce only one of them 3-4 times with a fork or the point of a knife.  Cover with a paper towel or microwave safe lid.  Cook in microwave for 5-7 minutes, depending on the girth.  Stab it with a fork to make sure it’s tender.  Let it cool a bit.

     While the Potato is cooling, cook the Bacon in a 12” skillet.  Set aside. Using my old Indian trick, soak up most of the grease with a wadded-up paper towel and the tongs you used to turn your Bacon. 

     Peel the second Potato and grate it.  I used a box grater and it only took a minute or two.

     Pinch the cooked Potato, and the skin will split.  Squeeze the Potato into a medium-sized bowl.  Give it a quick mash with a fork.  Add the raw grated Potato and stir with the fork.  Add the Rosemary, Orange Zest, Flour, Salt and Pepper.  Stir well and push to the side of the bowl.

     Drop the egg on the empty side of the bowl, and lightly beat with your fork.  Mix everything together now.  Add the Scallions and crumbled Bacon.  Stir again. 

     In preheated skillet, add a small drizzle of Olive Oil.  When it’s hot, start dropping the Fritters in one at a time.  Leave room between them so you can get your spatula in there to turn them.  You’ll have to cook them in two batches.  Cook over low/medium heat until they are good and brown.  Flip them over and cook the other side.  They will be cooked in about ten minutes.  EAT ONE!!!  Roll your eyes and say, “Mmmmmmmmmmm”.

By Chew Wanna Eat

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Fried Cabbage with Bacon and Noodles

     We love Fried Cabbage, and it’s one of the most economical foods out there!  Since you use such a small amount of grease, it’s a very healthy meal.  Eat it as a main dish with a side salad and homemade bread, or as a side dish.  Cabbage is very high in fiber and nutrients, and contains zero fat.  I know!  It’s sounding better and better all the time, isn’t it?  Wait until you try this quick dish!  It’s SO good!

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 2-3 main servings, or 6 side dish servings

3 slices Bacon, cut in half, fried until crisp

6+ cups Cabbage, cut into bite sized pieces

½ cup Onion, chopped

2 large handfuls Egg Noodles (about 2 cups)

1-2 cloves Garlic, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 TBSP butter (Optional)

PREPARATION:

     Cook bacon until crisp.  Set aside.  You will crumble it later.

     Drain most of the grease from the pan, leave a few tsp.  Add Cabbage and cook on low heat for about 15 minutes.  Add Onion and Garlic. Continue cooking until Cabbage is browned and tender.  I use Tongs to flip it over.

     Meanwhile, cook Egg Noodles for 5 minutes, drain.  Add to Cabbage mixture.  Add Butter.  Add Salt and pepper.  Add crumbled Bacon.

     Serve.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Cheesy Tuna Casserole (No Soup)

If you love Tuna Noodle Casserole, but don’t want the addition of high sodium soup, this is the recipe for you!

Even when I was a fussy kid, I always liked Tuna Casserole. As an adult, I still like it. I don’t make it with canned soup though. I think it is way too salty and tends to over- power the casserole. This recipe makes a creamy casserole, and you can customize it with vegetables of your choice. As far as the Cheese goes, use a little, use a lot, mix up the Cheeses. I love Extra Sharp and a little Swiss, but you do your own thing. Serve it with homemade Corn Bread baked in a cast iron pan and dinner is served!


INGREDIENTS: YIELDS 6 Large Servings

1 pkg Egg Noodles

3 TBSP Butter

¾ cup Mushrooms, chopped

½ cup Celery, diced

2 cloves Garlic, chopped

¼ cup AP Flour

15 oz Chicken Broth, Reduced Sodium is fine

1 ½ cups Milk

¼ cup Dry Sherry (I use Taylor)

12 oz Grated Cheese

10 oz Drained Tuna (I use four 2.6 oz packages)


Topping:

8-10 Buttery Crackers, crushed

½ cup Bread Crumbs

Optional 3 TBSP melted Butter


OPTIONAL VEGETABLES: Diced Carrots, Chopped Broccoli, Frozen Peas, thawed and drained, Corn, thawed and drained (Without washing, I use the colander that I drained the noodles in to thaw any frozen Veggies and let them drain).


CHEESE: Here’s what I like: 4 oz Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheese, grated4 Slices Swiss Cheese, chopped 4 Slices Cooper Cheese, chopped

PREPARATION:

Cook noodles in at least a 4 qt Dutch Oven, drain and set aside. I only boil them for 5 minutes. They will continue cooking when in the oven.
In the same pan on Low/Medium Heat, melt Butter. Add Mushrooms, Celery, Garlic. Sautee for 1 minute. Add ¼ cup Flour, Chicken Broth, Milk, and Sherry. Simmer for 5-7 minutes or until beginning to thicken.
Turn heat to low (mixture should be barely simmering). Begin slowly adding Cheeses. If you do it too fast, it may curdle, and you will not like that. Once the Cheeses are completely melted, taste it and make sure it’s Cheesy enough for you.
Butter a deep 4 quart Casserole Dish and put the noodles in. Add Tuna and stir. Add thawed Vegetables, and stir again. Pour Cheese/Milk mixture over noodles. Stir again.
Smash up about 8-10 Buttery Crackers and sprinkle on top. Add about ½ cup Bread Crumbs. Optional: Melt 3 TBSP butter and pour over topping.
Bake at 375° F for 20-30 minutes, depending on whether you use a deep casserole dish or a shorter 9” x 13” baking dish.

MY BEST AND FAVORITE BUTTERMILK CORN BREAD

The only cornbread recipe I use. I like my cornbread moist and a little on the sweet side. I’m not crazy about the Southern style. Give this a try. It freezes beautifully!
Wonderful with chili, tuna casserole, soup, breakfast. Cornbread is basically a quick bread. It’s incredibly easy and so satisfying.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup Crisco

1 cup sugar


2 eggs

1 cup + 2 TBSP yellow corn meal

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt


1 ½ cup flour

1 ½ cup buttermilk


PREPARATION:
Cream Crisco and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and half of the milk. Beat well.
Add baking powder and salt, mixing until combined.
Add corn meal, flour and remainder of milk. Mix until combined. The best cornbread is always baked in a cast iron pan. The edges get so wonderfully crispy. If you don’t have one, use a greased cake pan or baking dish.


BAKE AT 375* for about 40 minutes, or until desired browning is achieved. I don’t like mine pale and always let it get browned. (See picture)
I often bake a half batch. Know, however, that the leftover bread can be frozen to make stuffing with!


NOTE: My special additives are sautéed onions, chopped jalapenos, a little cooked and a tiny bit of cooked crumbled bacon, mini sweet peppers, fresh corn, etc. I think you get the idea. If it sounds good? Add it.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Philadelphia Cheese Steak Sub (SHAVED CHEESE STEAK W/ONIONS and MUSHROOMS)

     Who doesn’t love a nice thick, tender Shaved Steak Sandwich piled high with Cheese, Onions, and Mushrooms?  I’m not sure I know anyone who wouldn’t dive into this delicious Sandwich.  It will cost you about $14.00 or more to get one Sandwich like this in a restaurant, and the toppings will be extra.  I’m going to show you how to make two Subs for $5.00 worth of meat (not including Rolls or Toppings). 

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 2 large Subs

One 14 oz. package of Shaved Steak

3 Drizzles of Olive Oil, divided

3 tsp Butter, divided

1 Medium Onion, sliced

1 cup fresh Mushrooms, sliced

1 TBSP Garlic, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cheese for topping

Sub Rolls

     In a 10” Frying Pan, drizzle approximately 1 TBSP Olive Oil and add 1 tsp Butter.  Sautée the Onions, Mushrooms, and Garlic until tender.  Remove from pan and set aside.

To the same pan, add another Drizzle of Olive Oil, and about a tsp of Butter.  When the Butter is melted, add half the package of Shaved Steak.  It will come out of the package in a thick, twisted mess.  Just separate it as best you can with a pair of tongs.  You want this on Medium/High Heat.  The Steak needs to cook quickly to remain tender.  

     Pile the cooked Meat on a Roll, add your Toppings and serve.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019



Raspberry Apple Pie with Crisp Topping

     Today was one of those days.  A day where I wanted something sweet, but wasn’t sure what I wanted.  I wanted cookies, but didn’t feel like making them.  I kind of wanted Apple Crisp, I kind of wanted to figure out a way to make Raspberry Crisp.  I checked the freezer and only had a partial bag of Raspberries.  Time for my trouble-making, kitchen-destroying thinking cap.  Take a look at that dessert!  Is it not beautiful?  Wait until you make one.  Oh my!  It’s knock your socks off good!

INGREDIENTS:

One 9” Pie Shell, Unbaked

4 large Cooking Apples (Honey Crisp, Braeburn, Granny Smith, etc.)

1 ¼ cups Fresh Raspberries, or Frozen and Thawed

2-3 TBSP Cinnamon/Sugar mixture

1 TBSP Sugar

1-2 TBSP AP Flour

TOPPING:

¼ cup Wheat Flour

¼ cup AP Flour

½ cup Brown Sugar

¾ tsp Cinnamon

¼ cup Butter, chilled

PREPARATION:

     Thaw Raspberries if frozen and set aside.  Drain.  Stir in 1 TBSP of Sugar and taste an apple.  If too tart, add a little more Sugar.

     Peel and quarter Apples.  Feel free to use a mixture of Apple varieties.  Slice about 1/8” thick.  Place in large bowl.  With a large spoon, mix in enough of the Cinnamon/Sugar mixture to suit your taste.  I always taste the apples after adding Cinnamon/Sugar.  Depending on tartness of Apples, you may need to adjust. 

     Add the drained Raspberries and stir to incorporate with the Apples.  If you end up with a puddle of liquid at the bottom you will end up with a very juicy pie and possibly a soggy crust.  You may want to add 1 TBSP AP Flour, stir again and watch for a puddle to form at the bottom.  If still too much, add a bit more Flour.  Pour into Pie Shell.

     In the same bowl, make the Topping.  Mix the Flours, Brown Sugar, and Cinnamon.  Stir with a fork.  Cut the chilled Butter into chunks and mix with a Pastry Blender until crumbly.  Don’t over-mix.  You want some pea-sized pieces, not a smooth mixture.  (See photo).  Sprinkle mixture on top of Apple/Raspberry mixture.

     Bake at 375° F for 50-55 minutes.  You want the Apples to be tender.  You can poke with a fork to test.  The Topping should be browned.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Chicken and Rice Soup

INGREDIENTS:

5 lbs bone-in chicken breasts

8 cans chicken broth

1 onion, chopped and divided

3 ribs celery, divided

4 carrots, divided

1 TBSP garlic, chopped

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp poultry seasoning

2 tsp parsley

½ tsp tarragon

PREPARATION:

     Rip that fatty skin right off the chicken and discard. (It makes the soup greasy).  In an 8 quart saucepan, simmer chicken for two hours with ½ of a chopped onion, 1 carrot and 1 rib of celery which you’re going to break into three or four pieces.  Cover the pan, but leave cover askew.  You want the broth to cook down.

     Remove chicken from pan.  I always tear the bones off and throw them back in the pot while I’m peeling and chopping vegetables.  Put chicken in the fridge. Before adding carrots, celery, garlic and reserved onion to the pan, strain the broth to remove the bones and vegetables.  

      To strain the broth, use a large pan or bowl to catch the broth.  Line the bottom of a colander with cheesecloth. (In a pinch you can use a new Wet Wipe and/or some paper toweling.  I’m such a fraidy cat about chemicals, so if I have to use a Wet Wipe, I wash it in dish water and rinse it well before I strain my broth).  Slowly pour the broth over the cheesecloth and it will filter out any small pieces of fat, bones, cooked vegetables, etc.  Let it drain well so you don’t lose a drop of that liquid gold.

     Now it’s time to add 2 ribs of celery, and 3 carrots, which you will chop, dice, or roll cut.  I always do a diagonal cut because I think it’s pretty.  Starting at the tapered end of the carrot or celery, make a diagonal cut with a sharp knife.  Turn the carrot a quarter of a turn and cut again, moving up the carrot as you go.  This cut gives you a pretty uniform size.  Simmer for another hour with cover askew.  Add some of the chicken to the pan.  This recipe makes a lot and I use the extra chicken for other meals.  i.e. chicken pot pie, chicken and biscuits, chicken chimichangas, chicken burritos, chicken and dumplings, Buffalo chicken dip, etc. About fifteen minutes before serving, add the seasonings.

     You will note that I have not added any noodles to the recipe ingredients, although there is ditalini in the photo.  Here’s why.  Noodles do NOT hold up after they’ve been cooked and frozen.  Since we normally don’t eat this as a meal, (the main reason I make my soup is for when people are feeling sicky).  I always have containers of it in the freezer and everyone knows it.  This is why they all want the recipe since I’m not in NY any more to give them mine.  Ha ha.  OK, so you have a few choices.  Add rice and let it simmer in the soup.  Rice freezes great.  Or add your noodles when you’re heating up the soup.  If you add a sturdier pasta such as ditalini or farfalle, and you won’t have the problem.

     At this point you can eat some soup and freeze the rest, or save some of the broth, and leftover chicken to make other meals. (Which I most always do.  It saves a lot of work later and you know how we love our Westover’s Leftovers).

      Feel free to add a can of tomatoes or some fresh tomatoes if you want to.

Why this soup is so good:

     Starting out with chicken broth instead of water gives instant flavor and you’ll end up with a fabulously flavorful soup. 

     Using bone-in chicken enriches the broth even more and is incredibly healthy.

     Adding a little poultry seasoning and tarragon gives the soup another layer of flavor

     If you’re making this for sickies, freeze small batches in quart freezer bags.  You know when you’re sick you don’t want a lot of solids, so don’t put too much chicken or vegetables in it.  The broth is the ticket. If you’re freezing containers for future meals, load it up with chicken and vegetables.

Please remember to Like our Posts and Follow Chew Wanna Eat? for more great original recipes, home hacks, gardening, and health information!    You won’t be sorry.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019