Monday, April 27, 2015

Slap Ya Mama Salt Free Cajun Seasoning

Angelique:  Any seasoning called "Slap Ya Mama" better be worth getting slapped over. Cause we don't play when it comes to mom. 

Mom:  My sister has had this seasoning blend in her cabinet for ages and I finally gave it a try. Not bad.

Angelique:  But my mama can make it better. After reading the ingredients, number 1 on the list is SALT.

Mom:  Salt is a big no no because you're going to add more salt while cooking and maybe at the table too.  But what I love about "Slap Ya Mama" is the potential for it to be hot and spicy. 

Angelique:  Note she said potential. Cause "Slap Ya Mama" wasn't hot enough for my mom. 

Mom:  So my version has plenty of garlic and pepper. That's what I like best about making my own seasoning blend. I get to control salt and make it to suit my palette. 

Angelique: Sprinkle it on anything from eggs to popcorn.  It's great on beef, fish, chicken, roasted, sauteed and grilled vegetables.  

Mom: You really will feel like slapping ya mama once you try it in burgers, beef or turkey!

Angelique: She said that. Not me. I ain't about to get my butt whooped. 

Salt Free Slap Ya Mama
Yields approximately 3/4 cup

1/4 cup crushed red chili peppers, ground
1/4 cup black peppercorns
1/4 cup granulated garlic

Place the ground chili peppers and black peppercorns in a blender or spice grinder and process to a powder or granular.  Add the granulated garlic and process just long enough to mix thoroughly.  Store in an airtight glass container up to six months. 

Note:  You can also mix equal parts of all ready ground, red pepper (cayenne), black pepper and garlic for the same great taste.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Back to the Sunday Dinners

On the Menu  

Apricot Glazed Chicken Breast
4 Servings
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon garlic minced
½ - 1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
4 chicken breast, skin removed
¼ cup apricot preserves
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine orange juice, lemon juice, salt, garlic and chili peppers in a container large enough to hold the breast.  Add chicken breast and marinate overnight, turning once or twice.  
Place chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and pour 1 cup of the marinade in the pan. Bake uncovered 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine the preserves and mustard.
Brush the glaze over the breast during the final 15 minutes of cooking.

Sautéed Greens with Caramelized Onions and Red Peppers
4 – 6 Servings

2 pounds collards, kale or any greens, washed, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 large onion, sliced thin
1+ teaspoon sea salt
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
1 medium - large red bell pepper, sliced thin
½ cup orange juice or 1 large orange, juiced
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons oregano or dried herb


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the crushed red chili peppers, sliced onions and ½ teaspoon salt.  Sautee the onions over medium heat until they are caramel in color, do not let them burn.  Add the garlic and red bell peppers; continue sautéing approximately 3 minutes.  Add the greens, orange juice, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and dry herb; mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.  Bring pan up to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 15 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  That is a sufficient amount of time for the greens to be done.  Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Soulful Potato Salad
6 Servings
2 ½ lbs russet potatoes cut into 1” cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 medium red onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
4 sweet pickles, diced, fine 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup vegan mayo

Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes.  Boil in water until fork tender about 13 minutes.
Drain potatoes and while they are still hot, season with salt, pepper and paprika.
Spread potatoes out on a sheet pan [cookie sheet] and let them cool to room temperature about 15 minutes.
Place pan in the refrigerator uncovered for approximately 30 minutes.
Once potatoes are cool, transfer potatoes to a bowl, mix in all the remaining ingredients.
Cover bowl and refrigerate until salad is cold.

Roasted Baby Carrots with Dill
2 Servings
12 ounces baby carrots
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Toss carrots in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper and dill. Transfer to a baking sheet in 1 layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until browned and slightly tender.

 Strawberry Ice Tea
¾ Gallon 
8 tea bags
8 cups [64 ounces] water
Simple syrup
2 cup granulated sugar
2 cup water
1 cup strawberries, fresh

The Tea
In a saucepan, bring the 8 cups of water to a boil. Add the tea bags, remove from the heat, cover, and steep for 15 minutes.
The Syrup
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves
Add strawberries and cook 10 – 13 minutes stirring occasionally.
Strain the strawberry syrup through a small mesh strainer. Using a wooden spoon, push some of the strawberries through the strainer and discard the rest.  
To Combine
Remove the tea bags without squeezing them, and pour the tea into a large container. Add 2 cups of the syrup and stir. Let stand at room temperature until cool.
Do not put hot tea in the refrigerator to cool down, as this will cause the tea to cloud.
Serve the tea over ice, stir in additional syrup if desired.

Note: A simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water cooked until sugar dissolves