"Piehole" in Midwestern means "mouth," as in "Shut your piehole." Preferably we shut it on some tasty home cooking. We love to grow, market, buy, cook, bake and grill so we can feed our faces, chow down, pig out, scarf & whatnot. I'm a born Midwestern home cook posting foods and recipes that show up in front of me, because like all Midwesterners I eat what's put in front of me. Pull up a chair. What can I get you?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Shrimp Boil Carolina Style: Recipe

Fresh corn in the stores before grilling season...what to do? A Carolina Low Country shrimp boil using a bag of "shrimp boil" herbs and spices is just about the easiest possible way to make a hot tasty meal. I like my shrimp boil dotted with the mustard seeds and herbs, but if you don't, leave the purchased "crab boil" seasoning in the little net bag it comes in.

Carolina Style Shrimp Boil (serves 4)

-3 ears of fresh corn, cleaned and cut into 3 pieces each (frozen corn on the cob will work)
-1 pound raw shrimp in the shell (thawed if frozen)
-1 pound smoked sausage, cut in 2-inch segments
-1 packet of "Crab Boil" seasoning, such as McCormick's or Penzeys

Slit the "Crab Boil" seasoning bag and pour contents into a pot with a 3 quarts of water. Heat the water and boil for 20 minutes until it is fragrant. Over medium heat, put the corn and sausage in the pot to boil for 20 minutes. Five minutes before you want to serve, put the shrimp in the pot. Set a timer (if you cook the shrimp too long, they will get mealy) for 5 minutes. When time is up, use a slotted spoon to dish up the ingredients into bowls. Serve with hot sauce.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Good Vegan Quiche Recipe: Yes, It's Possible

Searching the fridge for food I found a vacuum-sealed box of tofu, and thought for half a second about my first tofu quiche that so traumatized me I never made another. But the fridge offered little else: asparagus, a quarter of a bell pepper, and four elderly flour tortillas which I olive-oiled and used to pave a pie plate and pre-baked for about 8 minutes as a crust. Everything else went into the blender. Knock me over with a feather, the result was good enough to serve to female company born after 1946, although if I was really serving company I'd use a normal piecrust. The original recipe from Allrecipes.com uses broccoli. Adding nutritional yeast to enhance the "cheese" flavor is my idea.

Tofu Asparagus Quiche

1 9-inch piecrust, prebaked until lightly browned
1/2 to 3/4 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1 Tablespoon oil
1 chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
12-ounce package of firm or extra firm vacuum-packed tofu, drained
1/2 cup soymilk
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red or black pepper
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the piecrust cools, saute the chopped onion in the oil until softened, add the garlic and cook some more, and in a separate pot, steam the asparagus well. (Leave it too crisp and it will release water into the quiche.) Drain the asparagus dry and put it in a large bowl with the chopped bell pepper. Dump all other ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour this mixture over the asparagus and bell pepper and mix well. Turn this mixture into the prepared crust and bake for 35 minutes. Allow the quiche to stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Vegetarian "Chicken Soup" Base Recipe: Make Your Own

Boiling a whole chicken for two hours just to get broth--no. Buying premade chicken broth in cans or boxes is expensive; it's mostly water anyway. Bouillon cubes have sodium off the charts and other yuck. So I make my own all-natural chicken broth powder, have made it for years, cheaply. Good for all uses.

Meatless Chicken Soup Base

(makes 1.5 cups)

1-1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
3 Tablespoons of onion powder
2-1/2 Tablespoons sea salt
2-1/2 teaspoons of granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Blend all ingredients in a dry blender.
Use 1 Tablespoon of soup base per cup of water. I keep it in a shaker that used to hold Parmesan cheese.