Sunday, July 5, 2015

Spicy Pimento Cheese #SundaySupper

Despite its northern origins, pimento cheese is a staple of southern childhood. While researching its history, I discovered that many families bought it ready-made in stores, keeping a small tub ever present in their refrigerators. My grandmother always made it with homemade mayonnaise, as does my mother. If you are so inclined, here’s a link to their homemade mayo recipe with step-by-step instructions.

Pimento cheese spread on white bread is the sanguine stuff of childhood summers, best eaten high in the nearest climbable tree, favorite book in the other hand, scuffed bare feet swinging in the breeze, amongst the flutter of the pink and white fluffs of mimosa flowers or wisps of Spanish moss draped from ancient oaks. Pimento cheese was once considered fancy food – think teatime sandwiches cut in triangles with crusts removed. It evolved into everyday fare as red peppers, initially imported from Spain, were cultivated in the south and prices fell. There are almost as many recipes and combinations for delicious pimento cheese as there are cooks. It fits our Sunday Supper theme today – Foods That Travel – not just historically with its popularity spreading from north to south but also with the ease it can be served, between slices of bread or on crackers for tasty sandwiches and appetizers on the go.

I’ve made this many times over the years to take along to potlucks or teas, just recently, in fact, piping the pimento cheese onto crackers and sharing it with a close group of friends I’ve treasured for more than 40 years. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

My humble pimento cheese joined a table laden with delicious teatime fare.

Many thanks to our host for this week’s Sunday Supper, Marion of Life Tastes Good, who is ably assisted by Coleen at The Redhead Baker.

1 (4 oz or 113g)) jar pimentos, drained
1-2 teaspoons finely grated onion
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus a little extra for dusting, if desired
16oz or 454g extra sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
1 (4 oz or 113g) can Hatch chilies (or mild green chilies if you prefer), drained
1 cup or 240ml mayonnaise

In a large bowl with plenty of room for mixing, use a fork to combine the first five ingredients thoroughly.

Add in the mayonnaise and mix well.

Spread on bread for sandwiches or put the spicy pimento cheese in a sealed plastic bag, cut off one corner and pipe it onto crackers. For the tea, I snipped my bag and closed it with a secure clip so I was ready to lay out crackers and pipe on pimento cheese immediately. Food That Travels!

Sprinkle with a light dusting of more cayenne, if desired.


Looking for recipes to pack for lunch and head outdoors? Need inspiration for upcoming National Night Out get-togethers or family reunion potluck picnics?  Sunday Supper is here to help!

Adventurous Appetizers

Destination Desserts

Mains in Motion

Sightseeing Sides

Traveling Treats
More Tips

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Crushed Pineapple Ice Cream #FoodieExtravaganza

Old-fashion ice cream made with a sweet egg custard and crushed pineapple is simplicity itself because sometimes one shouldn’t mess with a good thing.

Not too long back, we were cleaning out the storage space in my laundry room and came across a brand new ice cream maker that had been a gift from my older sister when we were living in Brazil. We never did use it because cream was so dang expensive there, so it got moved to Houston in 1999 and was never really unpacked. It was time to make ice cream! Suggestions were solicited and I expected Mom to ask for peach, her favorite fruit, but she surprised me with the request for pineapple ice cream.

When my mom was growing up in southern Louisiana, family picnics always included hand-cranked ice cream makers filled with the ingredients for pineapple ice cream in the middle, surrounded by rock salt and ice. She says sometimes as many as six were lined up under the shade of the old pecan trees. The menfolk chatted and cranked until the ice cream started freezing and the handles became harder and harder to turn. Then the ice cream machines would be covered with old burlap sacks until the ice cream was hard enough and ready to serve, several hours later. What a great finish to a family picnic!

This crushed pineapple ice cream brought back good childhood memories for her and I am delighted to share it today for our Foodie Extravaganza creative ice cream event, hosted by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

Recipe adapted from the pineapple ice cream in Quick Cooking May/June 2002 issue. (No longer published, more’s the pity.)

N.B.: You need a thermometer to accurately prepare this recipe, as written.

2 cups or 480ml milk
1 cup or 200g sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1-3/4 cups or 414ml heavy whipping cream
1 small can (8 oz or 227g) crushed pineapple in 100% juice - Do not drain!

In a bowl large enough to hold the pot you plan to make your ice cream base or custard in, cover the bottom with ice cubes two layers deep. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat your milk to 175°F or 80°C. Add in the sugar and stir till it is dissolved.

Whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into the eggs.

Return all to the pot, whisking constantly.

Cook and stir over low heat until the mixture reaches at least 160°F or 72°C and coats the back of a metal spoon.

Remove from the heat. Add some water to the ice bowl and place the pot in the ice water to cool quickly. Stir constantly for two minutes.

Now stir in the whipping cream and the can of crushed pineapple.

Pour the mixture into a Ziploc bag and press the air completely out of it. Pop it in your freezer until chilled through, about one hour.

Pour into your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Depending on your ice cream maker, you may have to transfer the ice cream into an airtight container to freeze completely before serving.

After about 30 minutes of churning in an electric ice cream freezer.


Check out all the great frozen treats we have for you this month! Thanks for hosting, Camilla! 

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. This month - Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is hosting - she invited bloggers to come up with creative ice cream creations.

So during this first full month of summer, it's all about ice cream. But that can include gelato, semi-freddo, and even popsicles! We hope you all enjoy our delicious frozen creations this month and come back to see what we bring for you next month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Fresh Peach Pie #FridayPieDay

The only thing that smells better than a big bowl of ripe peaches is this old-fashioned peach pie baking in the oven. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or some thick pouring cream. 

A couple of days ago, I went for what I call the annual mashing, that is to say, a mammogram. (If you are of the female persuasion and haven’t gone for your well-woman check up in the last year – Just do it! Make the appointment and GO. And do your monthly self breast checks.) I rewarded myself with a stop on the way home at the farmers’ market to buy shelled Texas pecans, peaches, homegrown tomatoes, eggplant and fresh purple-hull peas. I love, love, love fresh peas, which are so hard to find the rest of the year. For dinner that evening, I cooked them simply with garlic, sea salt, black pepper and some smoked paprika. I grilled the eggplant on a griddle pan and made a delicious garlicky salad with the homegrown tomatoes.

And the peaches - oh, the fragrant peaches! - were destined for pie! Since it’s the last Friday of the month, I am once again joining my friend, Heather of girlichef for Friday Pie Day. Last month I shared an almond plum tarte tartin made with puff pastry but I really wanted to make a traditional pie with short crust this month.

I brought this baby on the road to Louisiana yesterday to visit my aunt and two uncles in New Iberia. I haven’t been to my Louisiana birthplace since a couple of summers ago when my grandmother passed away but it feels good to be here, in such a familiar place, with people who love me, have the same sense of humor and know all the family history and, most importantly, secrets. Where a person can buy spicy boudin and hog head cheese at the local butcher. Where grey Spanish moss hangs in wispy strands from ancient live oaks along a lazy bayou flanked by historic mansions. Where one can get local blue point crabs by the extra spicy half dozen at all the seafood restaurants. Yes, it’s good to be home home. Even if I am missing Gram.

Double recipe of shortcrust pastry – from this link here or use your own favorite crust recipe for a two-crust pie.
2 lbs 9 oz or 1100g whole fresh peaches (995g or 2 lbs 3 oz, pitted or about six cups once sliced.)
1 cup or 200g sugar
1 small lemon (for 2 tablespoons juice and zest)
1/3 cup or 40g flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons butter

First make the pie crust dough and divide it into two pieces, one slightly bigger than the other. Cover them both in cling film and refrigerator while you get on with the rest of the pie.

Pit and slice your peaches thinly. You can peel them first if you want but I like the look of the slivers of red and I like the way they color the pie filling when baked.

Preheat your oven to 425°F or 218°C.

Add the sugar, flour and salt to the sliced peaches then zest in the lemon and add the juice. Stir well.

Roll out the bigger piece of piecrust and line your pie plate.

Pour the peach filling in and add the butter in small pats.

Roll out the top crust and cut three or four slits in it.

Top the peach filling with the pastry and trim the edges.

Fold the pastry under and crimp the edges.

Bake in your preheated over for about 45 or 50 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. Speaking of bubbling, I suggest you put a piece of heavy duty foil or another baking pan under the pie while baking, because the chances of it dripping over are pretty darn good. Another tip: Cover it with foil if the crust gets too dark before the baking time is up.

Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or heavy pouring cream. I didn't have any for the photos but you can trust me that there was ice cream for the real serving.


FridayPieDay is the brilliant invention of Heather from girlichef.

I am pleased to join her on the last Friday of each month for pie and crust recipes, techniques, tools of the trade, and other inspiration.

Today, Heather is also sharing a peach pie recipe but she upped the game with the addition of blueberries! Check out her gorgeous Blueberry Peach Pie with Cornmeal Streusel and Crust!

For more information and recipes, please check out her #FridayPieDay page!

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