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I started my process of thinking through the menu for this cooking class with the idea that I was going to make shrimp and grits. As I pursued recipes and thought about the best thing for the class (and something I had never made before) I came up with this “Gumbo Gravy of Stone-Ground Grits”. It is sort of a shrimp and grits on steroids! I love the gumbo-ish texture to it and the stone-ground grits will convert many would be otherwise . . . grit haters!
Let’s start cooking!
GUMBO GRAVY OVER STONE-GROUND GRITS
PREP: 15 minutes
Crockpot time: 2.5 hours
SERVES – 6 or more
• 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
• 6 ounces andouille sausage, diced
• Vegetable cooking spray
• 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
• 1 cup diced sweet onion
• 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 3 tablespoons Browned Flour
• 1 cup reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
• 1 cup sliced fresh okra
• 2 large plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
• Slow-Cooker Stone-ground Grits
• Garnish: sliced green onions
1. Toss shrimp in Cajun seasoning in a medium bowl.
2. Cook sausage in a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add oil, onion, and next 2 ingredients; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle Browned Flour over sausage mixture; stir until blended. Stir in chicken broth, and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and boil, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until thickened. Add shrimp, okra, and tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Serve over grits.
That’s all there is to it now . . . ENJOY!
Thank you as always for reading and for your support.
For more information about upcoming cooking classes and idealic lodging in the fabulous Flint Hills VISIT OUR WEBSITE!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.
The last cooking class at The Lark Inn was “Lady’s Tea”. We just had a fabulous time! We enjoyed wonderful teas, special appetizers, finger sandwiches and various types of scones. My next several postings will be sharing those recipes with you!
Light Thousand Island Dressing with Crispy Green Bean Appetizer
This recipe makes for a very nice dipping sauce for veggies and as we discovered at one of our “cooking class after parties” a very nice dipping sauce for nearly everything! It will pack a little bit of heat with the chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce. I only used one and the heat was perfect tending on the almost too warm side.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Light Thousand Island Dressing with Crispy Green Bean Appetizer
PREP: 15 minutes
SERVES – 10
- 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons nonfat milk
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt
- 1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce (optional)
- 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 3 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
- 8 oz fresh or frozen green beans
Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, milk, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the chipotle in a blender; pulse until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in the relish and bell pepper.
Prepare a large mixing bowl with iced water. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Drop the green beans into the boiling water for 2 minutes. After two minutes of boiling immediately remove the green beans and place them into the icy water. This will stop the cooking process of the green beans, retain the vibrant green color and preserve their crunchiness.
Arrange your dressing in a small glass or dish with the green beans in a fun and creative arrangement.
Thank you as always for reading and supporting these postings. What a blessing it is to do what I love to do and be able to share it with others!
For information about our next cooking class at The Lark Inn Guesthouses or a fabulous get-a-way/cooking weekend in picturesque Flint Hills of Kansas please, VISIT OUR WEBSITE. We’ll see you there!
This recipe is a favorite of mine, Not just because it is so simple to prepare, but because it is so simple to prepare AND it has such a nice and unique flavor. Green beans have been getting a bad rap for quite a while now, and I have to say, that bad reputation has been well deserved by those mushy green things that came sliding out of a can on to many peoples’ plates through the years. Well, these green beans are far from mushy and they will delight you!
Now remember, this recipe is from our recipe book: Wedding Week at The Lark Inn” and we were preparing meals for masses of people. This recipe will serve 15. For something more for your family simply divide the quantities by 3.
OK no that’s out of the way, let’s get started!
3 lbs. of Crisp, Fresh Green Beans
4 Cloves of Garlic
Wash the beans and snap them into sections about 1 to 1/12 inches long.
Hint: Snapping green beans means that you bend them until they break (do I have to explain everything?!). If they only bend, they are too ripe.
Dice up four cloves of garlic (you could substitute 2 teaspoons of minced garlic)
Drizzle olive oil in your large skillet (or possibly two depending on the size of your skillets) Heat the skillet up on medium/high heat.
When the skillet is warm, throw in the green beans along with the garlic and drizzle with a bit more olive oil.
Turn the beans frequently to avoid burning and cook until just al dente
Tip: For my friends from the south Al Dente is not short for Albert Dente. This means that you don’t cook the bean until they is mushy. You only cook them until they are just tender enough to stick a fork in them . . . (I have to say it) as in “Stick me with a fork, I’m done!”
When finished, remove from the skillet and serve
We serve everything family style with each item in a bowl or platter of it’s own which requires those at the table to work together so that everything is passed in the same direction. I have faith in you control freaks out there . . . you can work through this!
With the light pork meat and veggies, you will want a fairly light wine; for my palette, either a nice Chardonnay or Pinot Noir will work great.
Thank you for reading!
For more information about our scheduled cooking classes or customizing a cooking class of your own, please visit my web site at www.TheLarkInn.com
This is a nice recipe I like to make, especially if I am short on time. It goes together easily, is light and is very satisfyining as something different from my normal fare. Enjoy!!
PREP: 15 MINUTES
ROASTING TIME: 10 MINUTES
OVEN TEMPERATURE: 425 DEGREES
SERVES – 4
POINTSPLUS VALUE: 5
1 (12-OUNCE) JAR ROASTED RED PEPPER, DRAINED AND CHOPPED
16 PITTED BLACK AND/OR GREEN OLIVES COARSELY CHOPPED
¼ CUP CHOPPED FRESH BASIL
1 TABLESPOON SHERRY OR RED-WINE VINEGAR
1 TABLESPOON CAPERS, COARSELY CHOPPED
1 GARLIC CLOVE, MINCED
4 (6-OZ) HALIBUT OR COD FILLETS ABOUT ¾ INCH THICK
2 TEASPOONS OLIVE OIL
½ TEASPOON SALT
½ TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER
- 1. PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 425 DEGREES. SPRAY A SHALLOW ROASTING PAN WITH NONSTICK SPRAY.
- 2. TO MAKE THE SAUCE, TOSS TOGETHER THE ROASTED RED PEPPER, OLIVES, BASIL, VINEGAR, CAPERS, AND GARLIC IN A SERVING BOWL.
- 3. PLACE THE FISH IN THE PREPARED ROASTING PAN; BRUSH WITH THE OIL AND SPRINKLE WITH THE SALT AND PEPPER. ROAST THE FISH UNTIL JUST OPAQUE IN THE CENTER, ABOUT 10 MINUTES. SERVE WITH THE SAUCE.
NUTRIENTS PER SERVING: 215 CALORIES, 6G FAT, 6G CARBS, 1G FIBER, 33G PROTEIN
FILLING EXTRA: ADD A 15½ OUNCE CAN OF RINSED AND DRAINED CANNELLINI BEANS TO THE ROASTED PEPPER SAUCE. THIS WILL INCREASE THE POINT VALUE BY 1 POINT
THANKS FOR READING
For more information about Kris Larkin at her gourmet cooking classes in the heart of The Flint Hills of Kansas see her web site.
WINTER RATATOUILLE DIP
This is a really simple recipe and it is great for an appetizer to have ready when your guests arrive. It saves great. when the party is over, put it in the fridge to use later. One thing my husband, Pat and I like to do is use the Ratatouille in an omelet for breakfast . . . FANTASTIC!!
PREP: 5 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 10 MINUTES
SERVES – 9 SERVINGS OF 1/3 CUP EACH
POINTS PLUS VALUE: 1
2 TEASPOONS OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1 CUP (1/2”) CUBED EGGPLANT
1 CUP (1/2”) CUBED BUTTERNUT SQUASH#
½ CUP (1/2”) CUBED PARSNIPS
½ CUP DICED ONION
1 (14.5 OZ.) CAN DICED TOMATOES WITH BASIL, GARLIC AND OREGANO, UNDRAINED#
¼ TEASPOON FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
¼ CUP CHOPPED FRESH BASIL
- 1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and next 3 ingredients; sauté 6 minutes or until vegetables are browned.
- 2. Stir in tomatoes and pepper. Cook, uncovered, 3 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Stir in basil.
Calories 54: fat 1.1 g, Protein 1.5g,Carb 10.6 g, Fiber 1.7 g. sodium 190mg., Calcium 24 mg
#NUTRITIONAL BONUS: A rich source of antioxidant carotenoids, winter squash helps fight the inflammation associated with assorted metabolic disorders it also has a whopping amount of Vitamin A which supports eye health and helps fend off infections.
Processed tomatoes products not only retain most of their nutrients, but they also actually contain more bio-available lycopene than their raw, fresh counterparts. Lycopene has been linked to the reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
TOASTED WHOLE WHEAT PITA CHIPS
PREP: 4 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 6 MINUTES
OVEN TEMP: 450 DEGREES
SERVES – 4 (6 CHIPS)
2 (6 INCH) WHOLE WHEAT PITAS
COOKING SPRAY (I USE OLIVE OIL)
½ TEASPOON CUMIN
¼ TEASPOON SALT
Preheat oven to 450. Separate each pita into 2 rounds- cut each round into 6 pieces. Arrange pita wedges single layer on a baking sheet. Coat wedges with cooking spray and sprinkle with cumin and salt.
Bake for 6 Minutes or until brown.
Calories per serving: 86, Fat .9, Protein 3.2, carb 17.7, Fiber 2.5, Sodium 318mg, Calcium 7 mg
That was simple wasn’t it? If you would like to learn more about our cooking classes check out our website.
This past weekend we had two cooking classes at The Lark Inn. Both classes cooked the same menu and I am always amazed ad how different God makes us all. Both classes we delightful and just because of the different personalities in each class and how they interacted with one another each class had it’s own distinct dynamic and personality. I guess that’s just one of the many reasons I love teaching these cooking classes.
Back to business. One of the recipes we fixed was HEARTY LENTIL AND SAUSAGE SOUP. I have always loved Lentil soup but . . . when you add the Italian sausage to it WOW! The flavor just goes into a whole new dimention. In addition to beinga great tasting soup , lentil soup is super (souper) healthy, packed full of fiber, very filling and only 6 points on the Weight Watchers Points Plus 2012 program. Did I mention hearty?
Now that I have completed my sales work . . . here it is . . . you be the judge!
PREP: 10 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 35 MINUTES
POINTSPLUS VALUE: 8
2 TEASPOONS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
½ CUP CHOPPED CARROTS
½ CUP CHOPPED CELERY
½ CUP CHOPPED YELLOW ONION
2 TABLESPOONS FINELY CHOPPED GARLIC
½ POUND SWEET OR HOT ITALIAN SAUSAGE, CASINGS REMOVED
1/2 POUND MUSHROOMS (SUCH AS WHITE, CRIMINI, SHITAKE, PORTOBELLO AND OYSTER) CHOPPED
1 CUP (ABOUT 7 OUNCES) DRIED FRENCH OR BROWN LENTILS, PICKED THROUGH AND RINSED
2 ½ CUPS BEEF BROTH
2 ½ CUPS MUSHROOM OR LOW-SODIUM CHICKEN BROTH
1 CUP CHOPPED TOMATOES, WITH THEIR JUICE
1 CUP DRY RED WINE
PINCH RED PEPPER FLAKES
1/4 POUND BABY SPINACH, THINLY SLICED
½ TEASPOON SALT
GROUND BLACK PEPPER
1 TABLESPOON CHOPPED THYME
6 TEASPOONS GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE FOR GARNISH
1) Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent. Add sausage and cook, breaking into small chunks, until it begins to brown. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms have released most of their liquid. Add lentils, beef broth, mushroom or chicken broth, tomatoes and their juice, wine and pepper flakes; cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
2) Add spinach and salt and pepper, stir well and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes more; stir in thyme. Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan.
NUTRITION PER SERVING: 380 calories, 18g fat, 32g carbs, 10g fiber, 18g protein
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Also visit my web site for the latest schedule for our gourmet cooking classes in The Flint Hills of Kansas! www.TheLarkInn.com