Category: nekkid-throw cooking ~ what is THAT?

Southern Colcannon… get’n my Irish on for a day!

Southern Colcannon with NC Sweet Potatoes

Southern Colcannon featuring North Carolina Sweet Potatoes and Wendy’s Cabbards (collards and cabbage) @ WendysHomeEconomics.com

UPDATE…. my Colcannon and “Cabbards” recipes were published in Our State Magazine in March 2015! This is such a tasty recipe to serve anytime, but just right for adding a southern twist to your St. Patrick’s Day supper table.

With all the blogs and newsletters filling my inbox with St. Patty’s Day recipes, I got to pondering what I could do to put the “Wendy Twist” on things while throwing some Irish South In Your Mouth. So far as I know, there’s nary a drop of Irish in me, but green IS my favorite color.  Those are (that is) my credential(s) for this recipe.

All my life, I’ve seen “colcannon” but never really paid attention to what that is, so being the Culinary Adventurist that I am, it was time for me to dig deeper… turns out, “DIGging” around was appropriate since this dish involved taters that have been dug up… somewhere…  sometime.

I first turned to a few dictionaries to find out just what such an oddly named dish is made of… and find that to be potatoes, greens (traditionally kale, but cabbage and other greens have come to be used), butter and seasoning.  Bestill me heart, you little Leprechan!  Some of my FAVs… this is a no-brainer for me.  Since I love to sub this for that, and that for the other, I got to it.

Let’s start with the potato part.  Seeing as how I am lucky to live in the heart of sweet potato country here in North Carolina, it only makes sense to me to throw aside plain old potatoes and grab Sweet Taters as I mostly prefer using anytime a potato is called for…  This past week, at my local Piggly Wiggly, I got THE best white sweet potatoes… about the best of ANY colored sweet potato ever to pass my lips… so good in fact I got a whole case of them.  All you have to do is throw some in the oven and bake until nice and soft when squished with a hot pot pad.  (Note: I Dig the Pig, cause they are local folks who buy local NC goodies for their store.)

Next.. cabbage.  I do luv me some cabbage, but even mo’ better are my cabbards.  We’ve cooked those here before… and just so happens I still have plenty of my winter stash in the freezer, so just had to thaw and heat those.

Ahhh… Butter!  A staple in my kitchen.  Not much that makes butter better… except browning! I’ve been throwing browned butter into all sorts of stuff lately, so why not atop my Southern Colcannon too?  And according to the song I found, see below (after creating my recipe), it seems there is supposed to be a butter hole on top!  So there’s your pot ‘o gold.  Toasty, nutty browned butter.  I’m quite certain the fountains in heaven doth flow with luscious browned butter.

As I read more about Colcannon, it seems that it is mostly served with ham.  Yet another staple in my kitchen, it only makes sense to this “Irish for a day gal” that a helping ‘o country ham (from here in North Carolina of course) snuggles up next to my concoction of Southern Colcannon!

Now that, my friends, is my contribution to the day of Irish celebration.  Colcannon is so groovy, it has its own song.
So here you go… tap along.

The song “Colcannon”, also called “The Skillet Pot”, is a traditional Irish song that has been recorded by many artists.

“Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?”

The chorus:

“Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I’m to cry.
Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.”

The story of its name and the colcannon traditionalists versus “the other group” is rather interesting.  I’ll let you decide if you need to know more… over here!

And on a personal “toot my horn” note, St. Patty’s Day is special for me… because it was on that day in 2005 I QUIT SMOKING!

If you have a Colcannon story or memory to share, please do in the comment box.  Share your recipe too… for Colcannon or how you quit smoking.

Southern Colcannon… get’n my Irish on for a day!

Rating: 51

Southern Colcannon… get’n my Irish on for a day!

What to throw together...

  • baked sweet potatoes, any kind but white used in photo
  • cooked and seasoned cabbards, cabbage or collards
  • roughly chopped scallion, white and green parts (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • browned butter

How to throw together...

  1. Use about equal parts baked sweet potatoes and greens. Exactness is not important.
  2. Throw baked potatoes into mixing bowl and mash. Fold in greens and mix well. If using, add scallion into mixture and stir to combine. Or, simply add into greens when cooking or heating. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Make well in serving of colcannon and fill with browned butter.
  4. ENJOY!

OINKERS Biscuits Recipe… a little south in YOUR mouth Barbecue Sandwich Biscuit Bites with BBQ Gravy Dip (1)

In honor of it being National Biscuits & Gravy Day, we are revisiting this post from a ways back.  Now this isn’t your usual biscuits and gravy recipe… but I’m not your usual recipe developer, so keep reading.  Back in summer of 2011, this recipe won 1st place in the first ever Midstate Mills Best Southern Biscuit Recipe Contest!  Quite an accomplishment for this self-proclaimed NON-baker gal.   From what I heard, there were some questionable looks on faces of the judges when they were handed this recipe on paper.  (I understand.)  However, once they saw and tasted the “Oinkers,” they wanted MORE.

As a Throw Cooker (Throw Cooking Nekkid Food!), this is perfect example of how I often cook and try to encourage others to cook.  I just opened my fridge and had these ingredients, threw some together and “OINKERS” were born.  You can use pre=made pork barbecue and slaw from your favorite place, or your own.  Just yesterday, I threw a Boston Butt in the crock pot (<5 minutes prep) with some Eastern NC BBQ Sauce and let ‘er rip. I chopped up a little cabbage with some water in the blender (about 5 minutes to make) and drained… threw into bowl with a bit of salt, pepper and sugar… whirled in some mayo (only DUKE’s here) and chilled.  So this weekend, when I’m tired of Barbecue Sandwiches, I will use these leftovers to make “Oinkers!”  I hope you’ll make some and come back to let me know what you think.

“EnjOINK!”
(feel free to publish and share with credit please)

OINKERS… Best Southern Biscuit Winning Recipe

Recipe By:  Wendy Perry

Yield:    About 4 dozen snack-size biscuits.

For the whole Biscuit Day story…jump here and travel back to that day with me.  I love a good festival and what’s not to love about BISCUITS?

Oinkers!! …“South In Your Mouth” skillet Barbecue Drop Biscuits with BBQ Gravy Dip

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: about 4 dozen Oinker bites

What to throw together...

    Biscuits:
  • 2 cups NC’s Midstate Mills Southern Biscuit® Formula L Biscuit Mix
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vinegar based BBQ Sauce (eastern NC Style-I use George's original)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • few dashes black pepper
  • few shakes hot sauce (NC’s Texas Pete preferred)
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed eastern NC barbecue, snipped with scissors if in big pieces
  • 2/3 cups chopped slaw (yours or purchased)
  • BBQ Gravy:
  • 1 bottle of your favorite vinegar based BBQ Sauce (I use combination of George's Original and Special Sauces)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar (if using a BBQ sauce that has no sweetener) OR
  • use one of our Western Style NC BBQ Sauces for your dip!

How to throw together...

    To make BISCUITS:
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Place cast iron skillet into oven to preheat.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine all biscuit ingredients. Gently fold mixture until blended. Drop by heaping teaspoon size mounds onto hot greased cast-iron skillet. Mounds should be near, but not touching each other. Quickly place skillet back into oven. Bake about 9 minutes until tops are lightly browned.
  3. To make GRAVY:
  4. Pour 1 bottle of your favorite vinegar based BBQ sauce into heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce to rolling simmer and continue cooking until reduced into thick sauce. Or, use your own recipe and reduce as well. If you use a sauce with little to no sweetener in the ingredients, add about 1 tablespoon per bottle (or per 1-2 cups of sauce) of any one of the following:
  5. Honey
  6. Brown sugar
  7. Molasses
  8. Serve biscuits, warm or at room temp, with BBQ Gravy in bowl for dip’n!

Notes

These are great for tailgate parties and picnics. You'll find these to be kid-friendly too and are a fun recipe to get them involved in making. Perfect for freezing (after cooked), keep on hand for a quick heat-up when friends drop by... a perfect pairing for cold beer on the patio as well.

©Wendy L. Perry, Inc. (feel free to publish and share with credit please


Counting blessings ~ what we take for granted…

bless·ing  [bles-ing]
the invoking of God’s favor upon a person

I should rename this “The Molasses Blog” since that’s about the speed I do blog posts!  So many things get ‘in the way’… work, new projects and clients, having fun with my incredibly fun-funny-wondermous nephew Wyatt and just life in general…
What a blessing to have Wyatt in my life!

Determined to throw out one more post before flip’n my calendar to 2012 (!), I squint as I write this as my left retina decided to just randomly detach itself from my eyeball days before Christmas… I ended up having emergency eye surgery on Christmas Eve eve, then having more (laser) surgery at my recheck the next morn on Christmas Eve… I was ordered to stay flat on my left side until today, and still must spend as much time as I can stand sideways a few more days for proper healing.  (For the record, should you ever find yourself sideways for long periods of time, you can do Control/Alt/Left or Right Arrow and your screen will magically turn that way for horizontal computing!)

I did get a great report at my follow up yesterday and am (knock-on-wood) healing nicely!  Before I get back to the topic at hand, I would like to sing the praises of all the docs that took care of me… from Eye Care Associates in Zebulon to Retina Associates in Raleigh and right on over to those at the Kittner Eye Center in Chapel Hill… what a grand bunch of well-trained folks… INCLUDING caring ‘bedside manor.’ I’m so grateful to all these folks and happy my sight is still intact in my eye… all the docs told me that had I waited even a day longer, it was probable I would have lost sight in my left eye… gosh how we take so many things for granted, like being able to SEE what’s around us!!
What a blessing it is to have sight!

And a quick hug to my sis too… for being my chauffeur and ‘patient advocate’ staying right by my side thru all of this and letting me recoup at her house too!
What a blessing to have a SISTER!

Do things in your freezer appear to be from outer space?

As we rush off into the new year, if you are like me, you feel the need to tidy things up a bit… organize and reorganize and have a fresh start.  Now, more than ever, so many of us continue to slide the old budget belt a bit tighter and I’d like to help you with that, starting, of course, in your kitchen.  When was the last time you took inventory of what’s in your freezer?  Have you EVER taken inventory of what’s in your freezer? I take for granted the fact that my freezer (make that freezerS) are full and hunger or the lack of money to feed myself  (or children if I had any) isn’t a worry as it is for growing numbers of those around us.  I admit I hoard food… another topic for another post… but ,
What a blessing it is to have a pantry, fridge and freezer(s) full of all sorts of foods at arm’s reach!

This weekend is a perfect time to take stock of your food blessings, starting in your freezer.  It really doesn’t take very long… here are just a few tips to get you going as you look to SEE what’s in yours! Be sure you have plenty of time to do this right and are not rushed so halfway through you abort the mission and have to go do something else.

The things in BOLD will give you a quick glace to see what you will need to gather and have ready in advance… now GO “git ‘er done” then come back and add your comments about your freezer adventure and let me know this post inspired youBearShareV10!

  • Put on some fun peppy music that will get you in the mood… stuff you like to sing in the shower or car…  or just plug in your iPod and let ‘er rip!
  • Sit out supplies:
    • name brand zippered bags, assorted sizes (based on my experience, store brands SUCK in this category)
    • dry erase board with markers
    • notepad/pen
    • some way to make labels (label maker, freezer tape and perm marker, your own paper labels with tape, etc.
  • Clear countertop and/or table so as you take everything out you can organize the ‘stuff’ into categories and like-items into piles for repacking.
  • Remove everything from your freezer.   If a small freezer, you can work fast enough so foods won’t thaw.  I do not recommend doing this on a hot day.  If you have a big freezer(s), do this on a cold winter’s day when you can simply sit the foods outside in shaded cold area.
  • Give it a quick cleaning by washing out with warm soapy water.  “Rinse” with a mixture of water and baking soda.  This will remove soap residue, remove odors and give a fresh start.  To keep it smelling fresh, I prefer a few lumps of charcoal.  I find they absorb odors better than other options.  Just put them in a cup somewhere in the freezer and I think you will notice the same.
  • As you get ready to restock foods into the nice clean freezer, toss out any with freezer burn (ice crystals…that stuff you can no longer recognize) or is so old you wouldn’t feed it to stray dogs or throw in a pond for fish!  And always remember…
    Never risk the plight of food poisoning over a little pack of old food… a regret you should never have!
  • Using the ziplock bags and other supplies, repackage anything that needs it.  Mash things flat for easier stacking or for sliding into small spaces in your freezer.  Freeze in a pile, then you can leave that way, or stack like this upright, depending on what works for best use of space for you.
  • As you repackage/replace your food, write each thing on the dry erase board.  As you menu plan for the week and make your grocery shopping list,  you can quickly glance at the list and see what you have to use.  As you use, simply wipe off the board, and as you buy and add new things or add leftover tidbits, write on this board (while also dating and labeling the package).  This system will greatly reduce your freezer waste (but only if you use it).
  • I have a couple of outdoor refrigerators with small top freezers and a chest freezer… i keep ‘inventory’ on those by writing on the freezer door with a dry erase marker (just like a dry erase board)… and at a glance I can see what’s in there… wipe off with my finger when something comes out and keep a pen on top of the freezer to add what goes in.

For tips on freezing foods, I’ll point you to a recent online article where I was consulted and provided helpful information on this topic.  You can read that at DinnerTool…

“How To Prevent Freezer Burn”
by Amber Greviskes

Now that you have your nice inventory list… here are a few sites where you can visit to plug in ingredient(s) to find recipes to create with them, or… simply “Throw Cook” something yourself.  If you need help or suggestions, post for me over on my “Throw Cooking” facebook page and I’ll throw you some ideas.

Now… sit back, relax and enjoy ringing in the New Year with your freshly cleaned freezer and ‘whatever’ you pulled out to cook up!  And “just in case” our superstitions hold true,  I hope you’ll ‘throw’ some Southern Traditions on the table…

Black-Eyed Peas for prosperity and good luck… greens (cabbards for this gal-see recipe) for money and fortune… and of course, cornbread, which represents gold!  I’m having thoughts of a Bloody Mary BE Peas and Greens Soup… kept warm in the crock pot for anybody who wants to drop by… throw in your fav bloody mary mix, drain/rinsed canned or frozen, greens (cabbards, collards, cabbage, etc.), some chopped onions and celery if you have… and whatever seasonings strike your fancy!  Serve with Cornbread Cookies or your own cornbread recipe… iced tea or a real cold beer!  Now wipe that drool away, get ready to clean out your freezer for a fresh start… and have a safe and fun weekend with your friends and family… see y’all NEXT year.


What a blessing it is to be here today, writing this blog post, with ‘saved’ eyesight looking towards a new year!

Happy New Year Y’all…
Wendy… aka “Dee Dee”