English-Style Beer Batter Cod

I have decided to postpone the recipe which I had planned for today. Instead, I am making “English-Style Beer Batter Cod” in honor of the life and legacy of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Beer battered cod is a far cry from the cornmeal-style breaded catfish which is so common in Louisiana across the Atlantic ocean from England. But battered and fried cod is delicious! All the attention on the Queen and royal family brings back memories of a trip for a few weeks to the British Isles which I made when I was in college. The trip was not about food; but I have never forgotten the wonderful fish and chips, wrapped in a newspaper, which we purchased from a street vendor in London. The fried cod was truly a “melt in your mouth” fish. The chips (French fries) were thick and tasty. Best of all, the fish and chips were served with malt vinegar. I loved it! So, I am recreating the fried cod recipe for my blog post today. And surprise, beer battered cod is actually extremely easy to make! Just pay attention to the details. Plus, I have a few fairy tale-like photos of Queen Elizabeth II and a royal procession taken in 2004 during my son’s scout trip to London to share at the end of this post.

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Hatch Chile Rellenos 

For the second year in a row, I am noticing New Mexico-produced Hatch chile peppers in grocery stores. They seem to beckon, “pick me,” and so I brought home a grocery bag of the peppers. I decided to prepare the traditional Mexican dish, Chile Rellenos. Most contemporary recipes use poblano peppers to make this dish. However, Anaheim and Hatch chile peppers can be substituted. The main criteria is to purchased chili peppers which are large and thick enough to be stuffed with cheese and other fillings. To make this dish, skinned Hatch chilies are stuffed and then are dipped in an egg batter and deep fat fried. And the batter — egg whites which are beaten until stiff and then combined with the yolks — is what makes this dish unique. The batter is light and crunchy and perfectly matches the nice bite of the chili pepper and smooth cheesy filling. This dish is a little tedious to prepare, but the result is so, so delicious! Irresistible.

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Stone Fruit Skillet Cobbler with Puff Pastry Crust

I love the flavor and aroma of ripe peaches, plums and cherries in the summertime and fall. It is so easy to just slice and eat these juicy, ripe fruit for a healthy, delicious snack. These stone fruit also make great cobblers, pies and other desserts. The recipe, “Stone Fruit Skillet Cobbler,” is an example. This simple recipe is similar to a traditional pies, but without all the fuss. Prepare and bake the cobbler in the same dish — a cast iron skillet. Top with an easy puff pastry top crust. Any of these stone fruits can be used in the dessert; this time I used peaches. For an added southern touch, I used Sugar in the Raw®, a Turbinado sugar made exclusively from sugarcane, in the dessert and top crust. This cobbler is delicious.

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Simply Blueberry Lemon Gelato

I love to make homemade ice cream, especially in the summertime and so I have concocted up a new combination of flavors — blueberry and lemon — in this no-cook ice cream.. You just can’t beat the flavor and texture of homemade ice cream compared to commercial ones. And, dreaming up ice cream flavors is a great way for me to be creative. Plus, you can make much healthier versions. This silky, smooth blueberry-lemon gelato is a great way to end August.

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Let’s Make a “Hurricane Cocktail” with Louisiana Rum

What a surprise to find that there is a craft rum distillery right in the heart of downtown Baton Rouge. The distillery and bar have only been open to the public since 2017, so I don’t feel too bad about not knowing that Three Roll Estate Brewery existed. We went on a tour of the distillery and sampled their six varieties of rum. Yum! That got me thinking about mixed drinks which are made using rum. I immediately thought of “Hurricane Cocktails.” These cocktails are made with both light and dark rum and a lots of tropical fruit juices. The drinks are very tasty; they can be both strong and addictive. I decided to make my own “Hurricane Cocktails” and patterned them after the ones served at the iconic French Quarter bar — Pat O’Brien’s — in New Orleans. And since the peak hurricane activity is in September, my “Hurricane Cocktails” are right on time.

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Creole Shrimp & Pasta Salad with Remoulade Sauce

Are you looking for a tasty shrimp salad to serve during our hot summer weather? Then try a traditional New Orleans-style shrimp and pasta salad. It is cool and refreshing and the unique Remoulade Sauce in the recipe makes the seasoned boiled shrimp really “pop.” You can’t get much more Southern than this dish. The salad is quite different from most shrimp salads which you will find served here in the South but I love my recipe. The idea comes from the proprietor of Martin’s Wine Cellar — a venerable New Orleans establishment which relocated to Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina.

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Aspen’s Lime Gelato with Agave

This week I made the best homemade ice cream that I have ever cooked. “Lime Gelato with Agave” is a cool, tart and soothing frozen ice cream. It is the perfect dessert for these hot summer days. Recently, I sampled a version of Lime Gelato at the Saturday Farmer’s Market on a trip to Aspen, Colorado. The lime flavor was intense and agave added an interesting sweetness. Although gelato frozen desserts are considered to be Italian in origin and really have no unique relationship to Colorado, the farmer’s market vendor was a family-owned Colorado purveyor, using local ingredients and recipes. After returning home from my Aspen trip, I decided to attempt to make my own Lime Gelato. And success!. It was delicious!

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Easy Cook: Chicken Taco Soup

“Chicken Taco Soup” is a hearty and satisfying soup to cook for a hurry-up lunch or supper meal. It is a quick recipe and doesn’t require much of effort — just open several cans — which is very nice once in awhile. I used left-over rotisserie chicken in the soup along with several canned and frozen vegetable ingredients and a packet of dry taco seasoning. That’s it; this recipe made a very tasty soup–entrée. Sometimes I will purchase a rotisserie chicken for a meal and find that about half of the chicken is left-over after we eat. Rather than let the chicken go to waste (which can easily happen), I have several recipes which make good use of the chicken. This is one such recipe. Plus, by reading the labels, I have found ways to cut down on the sodium in the soup.

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Freezer Banana Chocolate Chip Waffles

Freezer waffles make such an easy and tasty breakfast and snack. We eat more Kellogg’s Eggo-Waffles at our house than I ever care to admit. So, why not make my own waffles? Should be easy enough, I thought. First, that meant purchasing a waffle iron, since I couldn’t find my old one. Second, it meant coming up with a recipe for waffles that taste like the commercial ones. Eggo-waffles are crispy, thin and flavorful. I wanted a square, thin waffles so that the waffles would fit in my toaster. The waffle iron which I purchased from Amazon turned out to be a Belgium waffle iron which makes thick waffles — and they are not square. Plus, the waffles are not crisp! But the waffles are very, very tasty. And, and I am happy to report that the frozen waffles do crisp up when re-heated in the toaster. Success!

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Easy Cook: Zucchini, Cherry Tomato & Couscous Medley

Here’s a rather unique dish for using some of the abundance of zucchini which shows up in our gardens, grocery stores and farmer’s markets each summer. This recipe is simple to mix up and quite tasty. The dish pairs roasted zucchini squash and cherry tomatoes with couscous and a splash of red wine vinegar. What is couscous? It is sort of like a pasta which is about the size of small barley. This pasta-like ingredient sits on my kitchen shelf, lonely, just waiting for a recipe to come along to use it. Here’s a great pairing — the neutral couscous blends well with the tomatoes and zucchini. We really like this recipe!

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