Monday, August 16, 2010

Butta Ribs!

This was quite a treat and surprise from Mama Butta!! The baby buttas thought they were in store for pork chops but M.B. got us some ribs. She did the slow cooking for 2.5 hours and then we were able to help her finish the rest. The ribs were a perfect pairing to the fried green tomatoes!

(Recipe courtesy of
2 Slabs pork baby back ribs

Dry Rub:
8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon jalapeno seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Braising Liquid:
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle each side generously with the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour. In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute.

Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Open one end of the foil on each slab and pour half of the braising liquid into each foil packet. Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer the braising liquid into a medium saucepot. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency. Brush the glaze onto the ribs. Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly. Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions. Place the remaining hot glaze into a bowl and toss the rib portions in the glaze.

*This recipe makes several batches of dry rub. If more rub is needed, it can be extended by any amount, as long as the ratio of 8:3:1:1 remains the same.

Fresh out of the oven!

All sealed up & waiting for the braising liquid to reduce.

Hot glaze being poured back onto the ribs!

Can see you see them falling off the bone - So amazingly good!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ode to Mama Butta!!

Thank you for all the wonderful cooking lessons and wonderful times in your kitchen. The baby buttas hope you have a wonderful birthday! We really enjoyed celebrating YOU last night with all of your wonderful friends. Thank you for including us!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes

Last week we cooked an ultimate Southern classic Fried Green Tomatoes, Baby Back Ribs, & corn on the stove!

Here is the recipe for the Fried Green Tomatoes:
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne
1 1/2 cup of buttermilk
Kosher salt & freshly ground peper
4 large unripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch think slices, ends removed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Hot Pepper Sauce & Lemon Wedges for serving


**In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, garlic power and cayenne together. ** Pour the buttermilk into a seperate bowl and season with salt & pepper. Dip the tomatoes in the buttermilk and then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture, coating both sides well.

**Instead of the cornmeal, flour, cayenne and garlic powder we used.

(This is must have for your pantry for frying and you get this big tub from your local Sam's. This blend was amazing on the tomatoes and gave it a refreshing lemon-y taste! Highly recommended by the butta clan!)

Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is hot, pan-fry the tomatoes (in batches - don't over crowd the pan please!) until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Carefully remove the tomatoes and drain on paper towels. Serve with hot pepper sauce and lemon

Butta lesson #1: We had a dicussion on corn meal & grits. The buttas always ask a lot of questions and they found out both corn-meal and grits are made from corn and they get their names from how finely the corn is ground. Just an intresting side note & a lesson from the butta kitchen!!

When cutting the tomatoes - pit out the end so you can use the most of your tomato!

Then slice - make thick slices so they hold up better when frying!
Butta lesson #2 of the night: Why are they fried green tomatoes and not regular tomatoes? And what exactly is a green tomato? Green tomatoes are not yet ripe tomatoes, not a different or special type of tomatoes. Because they are harder than tomatoes they can be fried, regular red tomatoes would fall apart.

Here are our dipping bowls. They key to this is to keep one hand wet and one hand dry. Also the recipe says to dip in milk, then in the batter. We tried that way and also double dipping - we dipped in the batter, then in the milk and back in the batter. We pan-fried each one to see what we liked better and we loved the double dip! Test out both & see what your taste buds like the most!!
Remember to season the bowls with salt & pepper!!

Remember your hands!!

& flip!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Busta and Puddin + Baked Chicken Breasts

We sure hope that you remembered about the butta chickens! They were named Busta & Puddin certainly enjoyed their new coop. The buttas got a great lesson on preparing chicken!!

Sally and Lauren examined both before preparing supper

Look at the great job we did!!

Just kidding, we did not, and will not eat Buster & Puddin! We couldn't do that to our favorite chickens - they are a part of the butta clan now. We just visited them and their new coop and then prepared their relatives for our meal. Don't worry we will not eat Puddin and Busta nor show you how to kill & prepare a chicken, we prefer to buy our chicken from the Publix or Fresh Market.

Any who - enough cheesy jokes. We made baked chicken to accompany our zucchini pancakes. This was a re-do from our first cooking class but it was never shared on the blog and this is must know how to do!!

Line your pan with foil - this makes for a super easy clean up!! Place chicken breasts on the pan.

* Side note: This method works best with a split chicken breast that still has the bone in and the skin on - so much more flavorful and moist, you won't get the same turn out with a bone-less, skin-less breast.

Drizzle the chicken breasts with some olive oil and salt and pepper then flip and do the other side. Put in the oven at 350 for about 35 - 40, be sure to keep an eye on them. And that's it! Its so easy and makes a great moist chicken breast.

Here's a tip to lock in the moisture

Once you remove the chicken from the oven cover with foil for about 10 minutes or so (while you pour some wine, set the table, and prepare your plate!) This chicken is so flavorful you can eat it on it's own like we did OR use it for another chicken recipe you have. A great idea is to use it for chicken salad or the butta favorite, Ina's pasta salad.
Here is a chicken salad recipe to enjoy!
Chicken Salad
Cook the chicken as described above. Allow to cool and then shred into a large bowl. Chop some celery hearts and grapes and enough mayo for your taste. Add a little worcheshire sauce, salt, pepper and maybe even some cavendars! Almonds are also a nice touch!
Enjoy & have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Zucchini Pancakes with Basil Chive Cream

This amazing meal was from last week, sorry about the delay!

For basil chive cream:
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspon salt, or to taste

For Pancakes:
4 cups coarsely grated zucchini (1 pound)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 large egg whites
4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

Make basil chive cream: Blend sour cream, water, basil, chives, and salt in a blender until smooth and pale green. Chill until ready to serve

Make pancakes: Put zucchini in a colander and toss with salt. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes, then wrap zucchini in a kitchen towel and twist towel to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer zucchini to a large bowl and stir in flour, sugar, and pepper.

Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt using an electric mixer until they just hold stiff peaks, then gently fold into zucchini mixture.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 5, spoon 2 tablespoons batter per pancake into skillet, flattening slightly with back of spoon. Cook pancakes, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes total, transferring as cooked to paper towels to drain and adding more oil to the skillet as necessary. Serve immediately, with basil chive cream.
(Makes 15 pancakes as hors d'oeuvre or side-dish servings)

We shredded our zukes using a cheese grater - but it in a bowl and left it for about 20 minutes - to save time, we made the basil chive cream while we waited, of course a little wine and chit chatting also makes the time go by faster!!

Really wring out the zukes hard with a dish towel - the baby buttas remember from the delicious basil tomato pasta that adding salt to a vegetable extracts the water. Less moisture will help the pancakes fry better!

Look at those fluffy egg whites!

Into the pan they go!! We decided during supper that we would have liked to try one that wasn't as thick to see how crispy it would be - do some test tasting to see how you like them!

Flip them just like pancakes!! When you see the sides really starting to crisp - flip them over!

After they were done we placed them on a papertowel to absorb some of the moisture. We also taste tested them right as they were done - don't let them sit to long, they are so much better fresh out of the pan!

Top it off with the amazing basil chive cream and enjoy!!! We really enjoyed these as zucchini is loved by all the buttas and the basil chive cream is really quite good. We also put some on our chicken breasts!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Stay tuned: Southern Staples coming up!!

As soon as I get our pictures from last week - i'll post the recipes!!

Tonight's menu:

Pork Tenderloin or Pork Chops
Sauteed Fresh Corn
Fried Green Tomatoes
(and if we get ambitious)...Creole Pecan Bars

Nothing beats fresh veggies from South Carolina!