May 21, 2013

Baked chesse grits

1 pound Velveeta cheese
6 cups salted water
1 1/2 cup grits
1 stick butter or margarine
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Tabasco
3 beaten eggs
Grate cheese into a large mixing bowl. Bring water to a boil. Stir grits into water. Boil 5 minutes. The grits will be thin.
Add hot grits to cheese. Then add butter, salt, Tabasco and eggs. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until set.

~Don Redden

May 17, 2013

Brown rice and black beans

8 cups water, plus more if needed
1 bag (1 pound) dried black beans, picked over, rinsed, and drained
2 medium onions, quartered
5 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups long-grain brown rice
3 1/2 cups water

Make the beans: Bring water, beans, onions, garlic, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to a simmer in a medium pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. (Add more water, 1/4 cup at a time, if needed.) Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, make the rice: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onion and garlic until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons salt, teaspoon pepper, and the rice. Cook until rice is slightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Add water, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, and gently simmer, covered, until rice absorbs water, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with beans.

Cook's Note
Serving idea: Serve beans and rice with fresh cilantro, diced red onion, chopped tomato, cubed avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, and hot sauce.

May 16, 2013

Toffee Ritz Bars

  • 2 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers
  • 1 (8 oz.) bag Heath toffee bits with milk chocolate*
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line and grease a 9x9 inch pan.
  2. In a food processor (or a Ziplock bag), crush the Ritz crackers until they are fine crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with toffee bits and sweetened condensed milk until fully combined. Press evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. Return to oven for 1-2 minutes or until the chocolate chips are melted. Spread the chocolate over the bars with an offset spatula. Allow to cool. Cut into 16 squares.