Julia's Simply Southern: February 2015 >

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Easy Biscuits


I made this batch of what I call Easy Biscuits up this morning. They are delicious and you just can't imagine how easy they are to make. I still make up my regular Southern Buttermilk Biscuits recipe, but back around the holidays someone told me about this magic biscuit flour and how good the biscuits were. Naturally I had to find out what is was. I am not even kidding that you can have these biscuits mixed, rolled, cut and on the tray, then baked all in 15 minutes. When I heard that someone ran in the kitchen and whipped these up so fast because the previous tray of biscuits were dropped, I just couldn't believe it. The skeptic in me kept thinking, how on earth did someone cube shortening & butter, chill it, cut it into the flour and all the steps needed to make biscuits. They told me to get this very specific flour, and to follow the directions exactly, and I would have the same biscuits they had. So to the store I went and found this very special flour. 
It's Southern Biscuit Formula L, note the Formula L part is important. It's basically flour, shortening flakes, and a few rising agents mixed in. Toss that with some buttermilk, fold a few times, and you've got some perfect biscuits. If you're one of those folks who can't quite seem to cut the fat, so to speak, into the flour, I am telling you this is for you. You will be able to make biscuits that will get compliments by all. I couldn't believe it, the shortening was already mixed into the flour. Genius! The flour mix is made by Renwood Mills, a small family owned and operated business in North Carolina. If they don't sell it in your area, it is worth ordering a bag online to try this. It was a life changing discovery. If I need to whip up a quick batch of biscuits, this is my go to now!

Just follow the directions on the bag and after you pull them out of the oven brush the tops with melted butter. 



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Carolina Reaper ~ World's Hottest Pepper


Carolina Reaper peppers (Pucker Butt Pepper Company)

Meet the Carolina Reaper. It is an evil looking pepper—a gnarled, lumpy pod with a sucked-up belly and a small tail reminiscent of wasp’s stinger. When ripe it is a luscious Crayola red. Its looks are a carefully crafted marketing scheme that screams “Danger: Do Not Eat.” But it was those looks that immediately drew Ed Currie, a South Carolina chili pepper grower, to the Carolina Reaper, the latest and most controversial contender for the crown of world’s hottest pepper. Read more at: The Atlantic - World's Hottest Pepper


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Country Fried Steak and Gravy



In a large skillet add enough cooking oil for frying - about 1/4 inch or so and turn on the burner to medium heat.

Begin by beating 1 egg in a bowl and add 1 cup of milk and whisk together

In another bowl add 1 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, salt, pepper, onion powder and paprika. Use the tines of a fork to press out any lumps and combine the flour and seasonings together.

Once your cooking oil is heated and ready, you can test by adding a pinch of the flour mixture and if it is sizzling the oil is ready, take each piece of cubed steak and add to the flour mixture and coat. Then add to the milk/egg mixture and coat, then back to the flour mixture and coat again. Shake off excess flour and add to the skillet for cooking. Continue with all the pieces and discard the milk mixture. You will want to keep the flour mixture to make the gravy.


Cook the meat until the edges start to look golden brown and turn, cooking about 4 minutes per side. Remove the meat to a paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil. It's smelling really good now.




For the gravy - remove some of the oil from the pan ( I use an empty coffee can to discard grease, it's not a good thing to pour down your sink) and add about 1/4 cup of the remaining flour mixture. Stir to incorporate in the cooking oil and yummy bits left behind from frying the meat. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook the flour mixture until it begins to brown.


A rule I always use when adding flour to the oil for gravy is if your spatula can separate the mixture and it doesn't come back together right away, you've got enough.




When the flour has cooked until brown, slowly pour in 2 cups of whole milk stirring to combine. It will only take a few moments to thicken and your gravy is done. If you feel it's too thick add a little more liquid until you get the consistency you like.


I served the country fried steak with rice and corn on the cob. The entire dinner took about 1/2 hour to make.


Ingredients

3-4 Pcs Beef Cubed Steak (could also use cubed pork)
1 1/2 c All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 Egg
3 c Whole Milk
Cooking Oil
For the gravy - add salt & pepper to taste while cooking





Sunday, February 8, 2015

BBQ Shrimp


I follow this recipe from Paula Deen exactly as she puts it. It's perfect. A great dish for gatherings of friends to peel and eat the delicious shrimp and dip bread in the spicy butter sauce. The recipe calls the shrimp fiery but personally I don't think it is that spicy ~ Just delicious flavor. Below are the ingredients you will need and see the full recipe here:

2 cups (4 sticks) melted butter
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbs ground pepper
2 tbs hot sauce (recommend Texas Pete)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
5 lbs unpeeled medium shrimp
2 lemons thinly sliced
French Bread for dipping



Thursday, February 5, 2015

Simple Pea Salad




Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz can of  Le Sueur Young/Small Sweet Peas (drained)
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise, I use Dukes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Drain peas, pour into a small bowl and mix together all ingredients. Cover and chill until ready to serve. There are variations to this recipe out there, but this is the simple recipe I always use.



See it at:
Meal Plan Monday

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Valentine Cookies


This is a simple Valentine's cookie idea with Sugar Cookies. For these I used a roll of store bought sugar cookie dough.

When you use store bought dough, you have to roll it out on a floured surface and work more flour into the dough when you roll it out. Otherwise your cookies will puff up and not keep the shape you want them when doing cut out cookies. 

If you want to make up your own sugar cookie dough, here is a recipe for 

So after rolling out the cookies, cutting them out in various sizes and baking. It's time to decorate. 

Ingredients:

Royal Icing
1 Box Confectioner's Sugar (Powdered Sugar, 1 LB)
5 Tbs Meringue Powder
Various Food Coloring - I prefer Wilton , they give vibrant color

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar and meringue powder. Mixing on low speed, add a scant 1/2 cup water. For a thinner consistency, usually used for flooding, add more water. A thicker consistency is generally used for outlining and adding details. Mix until icing holds a ribbonlike trail on the surface of the mixture for 5 seconds when you raise the paddle.



Sunday, February 1, 2015

Easy Lil Smokies Appetizer


Ingredients

1-2 packages of Beef Lil Smokies
Your Favorite BBQ Sauce

Empty Lil Smokies into a pot and coat with BBQ, cover and heat until bubbly. You can keep these on low heat setting until ready to serve. Dish into a serving bowl and place party picks and guest can help themselves.

Pigs in Blankets


Ingredients:

1 Package Crescent Rolls
1 Package Beef Hot Dogs 

Cut hot dogs in half. Unroll Crescents, Seperate at divide, press seems together. With a pastry roller or pizza cutter slice into 1 inch strips and wrap each hot dog. Place on a baking sheet. Put into a 325 degree oven and bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve with mustard for dipping.




Seven Layer Dip


This Dip is always a favorite at gatherings. Ever Since I saw the idea of making individual cups for guest to grab and go I've used it ever since. Depending on how many cups you're making you can adjust ingredient amounts.

Ingredients:

16 oz Refried Beans
1 Package Taco Seasoning
1 c Sour Cream
1 c Guacamole
1 c Salsa
1 c Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese
Sliced Black Olives
Chopped Green Onions for Garnish
Tortilla Chips

Combine refried beans with the taco seasoning mix. Layer each cup with the beans mixture, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cheese, black olives and green onions. Add a couple of tortilla chips. You can mix this recipe up and add a layer of seasoned ground beef too if you wanted.


You can also make one big batch for everyone to dig into.




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