Fan of
Photos of My Food

Entries in southern (2)


Southern Pecans

Butter Pecan Crisps
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
1 cup good quality butterscotch chips
3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray lightly with cooking spray.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl. cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth.  Gradually add flour mixture until well combine.  Fold in chips and pecans.

Scoop spoonfuls onto lined cookie sheets.  Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 10 to 2 minutes, depending on size.  Cool for several minutes on cookie sheets before transferring to racks to cool completely.  

Makes about 4 dozen 3-inch cookies.

Did You Know:  Pecans are the only major tree nut that grows naturally in North America and their history dates back to the 16th century. The name "pecan" is a Native American word.  According to a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, pecans contain more antioxidants—compounds that sweep up tissue-damaging free radicals—than any other tree nut.  They also provide significant amounts of zinc.



South By Southwest

There are many food traditions tied to New Year's Day.  Every culture seems to have particular foods that, by tradition, promise to bring them good fortune during the coming year.  In the South, one of the most popular New Year's Day dishes is Hoppin' John.  Legumes, including black eyed peas, beans and lentils are symbolic of money.  Their small, seed-like appearance are said to resemble coins that swell when cooked--and thus are consumed to herald increased prosperity in the coming year.  Hoppin' John is often served with stewed tomatoes.     

My family members are not big Hoppin' John fans, so this year I decided to create a Southwestern interpretation of the traditional Southern favorite.  HUGE hit! 

Black Bean Risotto
4 tablespoons butter, separated
1 cup Aborio rice
2/3 cup Mexican Beer (such as Corona) or substitute additional chicken broth
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup canned black beans, drained
2/3 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup prepared salsa, warmed
Garnishes:  fresh lime slices
                 additional shredded Cheddar cheese
                 Cilantro sprigs

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter.  Add Aborio rice and sauté 1 to 2 minutes.  Add beer and cook, stirring, until liquid is absorbed.  In a medium saucepan (or in microwave), warm chicken broth.  Add to rice, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until moisture is almost absorbed.  Add black beans, cheese, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter and continue to cook, stirring, until just melted.  Remove from heat; stir in cilantro and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Serve with warmed salsa.  Garnish with fresh lime slices (adds a bright flavor layer squeezed over individual servings just before eating), Cheddar cheese, and cilantro sprigs, if desired.

6 servings.

Wishing you rich joy and blessings in the New Year!