Category: here piggy piggy!

…crunch time ~ Let’s ROLL!

Sunshine.Finally.  Enough with this winter already.  Here’s hoping we are on the back side of this one here in my neck of the woods….

Even my taste buds are in need of something fresh.  It has been way too long since I’ve thrown together some of my egg rolls, and I’m longing for something crispy and crunchy.  My inspiration for this came from one of the first cookbooks I was ever given decades ago.  My uncle and aunt lived up in Michigan (might as well have been a foreign country back in the day when I was a little girl).  Every year me, mama and my Ma Hocutt would fly up there to visit.  They would take us to this “WEIRD” restaurant to eat food we’d never heard tell of… Chinese!  It was years before I realized I like that kind of food, because they would order stuff for us they liked… like wonton soup (ewwwww).  And Moo Goo Gai Pan (ewwww…too boring).  But over time, as I tried new things, I loved it.  So seeing blossoming cook that I was, they gifted me with a Chinese cookbook.  I had mama help me find egg roll wrappers and that was all she wrote.   I have made no telling how many of these over the years… mostly this recipe, but sometimes I’ve thrown in other fridge leftovers or tweaked a bit one way or the other.  I love egg rolls and have made them from barbecue and slaw, to fruit filled ones like these blueberry ones below too.  Friends beg me for these, and when having girls’ beach or river weekends, egg rolls are always on the menu… we even eat them cold for breakfast the next morning… IF there are any leftover.  They are fun food… and who doesn’t like fun food?

I have thrown together Duck Sauce from scratch and used store bought too.  I’ve used peach chutney, peach preserves, made pineapple concoctions and apricot variations.  So use whatever you can find or throw together your own.  Just make egg rolls.  They only appear to be intimidating… but are super easy to make, wrap and fry.  Be creative with leftovers… Just open the fridge and see what you can find in there to throw together, wrap and cook!

Let’s ROLL!

Wendy's Pork & Shrimp Egg Rolls

Wendy’s Pork & Shrimp Egg Rolls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wendy’s Pork & Shrimp Egg Rolls

Servings: makes about 20 egg rolls

Wendy’s Pork & Shrimp Egg Rolls

What to throw together...

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cold water
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4+ tablespoons garlic (I use the "squeeze" garlic from produce section)
  • 2 pounds ground pork, cooked and crumbled
  • 6 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 bunches scallion, chopped
  • 1 pound small salad size shrimp, cooked
  • 1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 package egg roll wrappers
  • 1 egg, beaten in small bowl with 2 tablespoons water
  • lard or favorite cooking oil

How to throw together...

  1. Blend soy sauce into the cornstarch. Whisk in water and molasses. Set aside.
  2. In wok (or large skillet), heat the oil over high heat.
  3. Stir in garlic and whirl around in the oil for 30 seconds.
  4. Add pork, cabbage, carrot and scallion. Cook about 3 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
  5. Stir in shrimp.Scatter with sesame seed.
  6. Give the cornstarch mixture a stir and pour over the hot mixture. Stir just to glaze and thicken the filling.
  7. Set aside to cool before wrapping.
  8. To Wrap, place the wrappers with one of the corners pointing towards you. Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling across center of wrapper.
  9. Fold bottom corner over filling.
  10. Fold in each side and roll towards back corner.
  11. Brush edges with the egg wash.
  12. Place on wax paper or foil with pan spray (to prevent sticking).
  13. Fry a few at the time in hot oil, making sure not to crowd.
  14. Keep warm on a cake cooling rack placed on baking pan in oven on low temperature until ready to serve!

Blueberry & Pear Egg Rolls

Blueberry & Pear Egg Rolls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blueberry and Pear Savory Egg Rolls

Blueberry and Pear Savory Egg Rolls

What to throw together...

  • 1 20-count package egg roll wrappers
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cups small dice Bartlett Pears
  • 1 pound fresh blueberries (can sub frozen if off season), reserve a few for garnish
  • pinch kosher or sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons blueberry jam
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • small amount water-cornstarch slurry
  • lard for frying
  • TOPPING
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ounce cream cheese with chive, softened
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • chopped fresh chive, optional

How to throw together...

  1. Heat oil and butter in large heavy skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once the pan is hot and butter is melted, add the pears and blueberries.
  3. Cook, stirring frequently.
  4. After about 5 minutes, or when pears are tender but still have a little bite to them, stir in salt, jam, sugar, onion, apple pie spice and thyme.
  5. Cook about 3 minutes until sugar has melted and ingredients have married.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in pecans. Chill filling for several hours or overnight to thicken.
  7. While making the egg rolls, head lard in deep fryer to 375.
  8. Have an assembly line ready for filling and cooking egg rolls. You'll need wrappers, filling with slotted spoon and water-cornstarch slurry.Unless you are wrapping all in a short period of time, keep the wrappers covered with a damp cloth.
  9. ASSEMBLE: Lay a wrapper on clean dry surface such as wooden cutting board. With slotted spoon, scoop out and place about 1 heaping tablespoon of filling across bottom corner. Lift and roll the bottom corner over the filling until about halfway across the wrapper. Fold one side, then the other into the center. Keep dipping your fingers into the cornstarch slurry to dampen and seal the wrapper. This helps hold it together for a tight roll to keep your egg roll from getting oily inside. Lay on oil sprayed wax paper or foil.
  10. COOK: Gently add rolls into heated oil making sure not to crowd in the oil. Fry until browned and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Remove with tongs onto raised rack lined with paper towels. Make sure oil has returned to 375 in-between batches before adding more egg rolls. If the oil is not hot enough, you will have soggy rolls. Keep warm on pan in oven until ready to serve.
  11. SAVORY WHIPPED CREAM: Using mixer, whip cream until stiff, adding sugar a tablespoon at the time starting about halfway through whipping. Add the cream cheese a tablespoon at the time and whip into cream. Keep chilled until serving.
  12. SERVING: Place warm egg roll onto dessert plate. Add a dollop of Savory Whipped Cream... and dig in!

 

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


…”two hot dogs and a drink”

…”two hot dogs and a drink!”

keep reading

Cooked any good Groundhog lately?

groundhog-pirate2

To celebrate the day, the lazy blogger is sharing this annual post originally from 2011!  However, that’s about to change and routine blogging is about to commence this week.  I’m ready  with all sorts of goodies for you and I hope you are too…

So, what exactly IS a groundhog?  As I researched to see exactly what they are, I learned that they are also ‘woodchucks’ (huh?) or ground beavers!  Oh great, that tells me a lot.  I’m not sure, but I don’t think we have this particular specie of hog in my vicinity here in central North Carolina.  We have hogs with snouts and hogs with tailpipes, but pretty sure no ‘ground’ hogs.  However, I’ve been known to be wrong so somebody correct if that be the case.  This is a really good pie.  I have made it, just was fresh out of ground hog, so I used ‘regular’ hog instead.  I hope you will give it a try… with good old NC Sweet Potatoes and some good local pork from wherever you are.

That whole shadow thing has always confused me…  as I already have brain overload and remembering this is not of vital importance so I never saw fit to ‘file’ this up there.  If he (or she?) sees a shadow, which is it?  More winter or less?  And best I remember, predictions of weeks of future weather offered up by a ground beaver is about as accurate as our local weather folks when they say those proverbial words… “we’re on the line and don’t think there will be significant accumulation,” only to wake up to a FOOT of snow!

So since groundhogs aren’t worth much when it comes to weather forecasting, I wondered if they may, perhaps, be edible.  Always one to explore new culinary adventures, a-googling I went!  Turns out, this hog is dark meat, similar to squirrel or rabbit.  Now I haven’t cooked either one of those lately either… so I dig deeper.  If you get yourself a hog that’s been hibernating, you are gonna need to remove the layer of fat that has piled up under the skin… and while in there, you’ll need to yank out their ‘stinky’ glands.  If your hog is a senior citizen, parboiling is going to be necessary before cook’n.  (Apparently inspecting the hog’s teeth will give clues as to age, but unless you’re a wildlife dentist, I’m not sure how to know this!).

So, since PIE is on top of all the 2011 trend Lists as ‘hot stuff’ this year, I salute thee, Pie… Groundhog Pie!  If you have a favorite Groundhog recipe, do tell… and share it!  And MY prediction… Sunny Skies ahead for all… whether you’re east, west, north or south of me… especially to my friends in the midst of Snowpocolypse this week… better y’all than me!

(still learning all the bells and whistles to the new recipe print feature… a few kinks to get worked out…stay tuned!)

Southwestern Groundhog Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Tater Topping

TOPPING:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed (I cook mine in the micro)
  • 1 tall can evaporated milk
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, coarsely chopped (more if you like it hotter)
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 heaping teaspoon sea salt

FILLING:

  • About 2 pounds lean ground groundhog
    (if you must, you can sub ground beef, turkey, pork, chicken)
  • 1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoon garlic oil, divided
  • 1-14 ounce can Mexi-Corn, drained*
  • 2-15 ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1-7 ounce can diced roasted chilies
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack Cheese, divided
  • fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 375°.

TOPPING:

Combine (cooked) mashed potatoes, milk, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cinnamon  and salt.  Mix well; set aside.

PIE FILLING:

In oven-safe skillet or small roasting pan, brown ground groundhog and onion in 2 tablespoons garlic oil; drain and set aside.  Add remaining tablespoon of garlic oil and corn, stirring several minutes to lightly toast corn.  Stir in tomatoes, chiles, chili powder, cumin and oregano.  Cook until hot and well-blended and juices reduce.  Remove from heat and mix in meat-onion mixture.  Add 1 ½ cups cheese into mixture.  Top with sweet potato mixture, spreading to edges.  Sprinkle top with remaining ½ cup cheese.  Bake in 375° oven for 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Southwestern Groundhog Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Tater Topping

Servings: 4-6 depending on your eaters

Southwestern Groundhog Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Tater Topping

What to throw together...

  • TOPPING:
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed (I cook mine in the micro)
  • 1 tall can evaporated milk
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, coarsely chopped (more if you like it hotter)
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 heaping teaspoon sea salt
  • FILLING:
  • About 2 pounds lean ground groundhog
  • _ (if you must, you can sub ground beef, turkey, pork, chicken)_
  • 1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoon garlic oil, divided
  • 1-14 ounce can Mexi-Corn, drained*
  • 2-15 ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1-7 ounce can diced roasted chilies
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack Cheese, divided
  • fresh cilantro
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • TOPPING:
  • Combine (cooked) mashed potatoes, milk, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cinnamon and salt. Mix well; set aside.
  • PIE FILLING:
  • In oven-safe skillet or small roasting pan, brown ground groundhog and onion in 2 tablespoons garlic oil; drain and set aside. Add remaining tablespoon of garlic oil and corn, stirring several minutes to lightly toast corn. Stir in tomatoes, chiles, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Cook until hot and well-blended and juices reduce. Remove from heat and mix in meat-onion mixture. Add 1 ½ cups cheese into mixture. Top with sweet potato mixture, spreading to edges. Sprinkle top with remaining ½ cup cheese. Bake in 375° oven for 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro! Serve with side of black beans topped with a dollop of sour cream.

Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro!  Serve with side of black beans topped with a dollop of sour cream.

* Put corn juice into your freezer soup pot…more on that to come!

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”