Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ham-Flecked Potato Pancakes

After making an old-school, southern inspired recipe of ham, cream cheese, and red pepper jelly canapes for a midweek potluck (I used phyllo shells instead of water crackers), I had a considerable amount of chopped ham left over.  I would usually default to making a big batch of ham salad, but I wasn't in the mood.  Not wanting to be wasteful, I devised these tasty little latke-like potato pancakes for breakfast that weekend.

These came together in a flash, and were a nice addition to a batch of scrambled eggs - although in all honesty I wish I would have cooked the eggs over-medium, so I could run forkfuls of potato-ey goodness through the runny yolk.  Guess I'll know better for next time!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jambalaya Risotto

Mardi Gras is upon us!  For me, it's mainly an excuse to make gumbo, king cake, or another New Orleans specialty  This year, I thought I'd try making a jambalaya-flavored risotto.  Fragrant with bell peppers, celery, and onion (the cajun variation on mirepoix), spices, chicken, and smoky sausage, it's a satisfying one-skillet meal.  A side note:  A lot of recipes also call for shrimp or crawfish, but I kept this recipe simple.

Happy Mardi Gras!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Date Pinwheel Cookies

I know a lot of you are still sticking to New Year's resolutions.  But if you feel like cheating on health-minded goals, let me convince you that these cookies are a good way to go.  Chewy, slightly spiced, with a date-and-pecan ribbon spiraling through each cookie, it's vaguely reminiscent of a Fig Newton, but so much better.

The benefits of these cookies?  It's been suggested that cinnamon may help lower LDL cholesterol, and fasting blood glucose.  Dates have a fair amount of fiber.  And seriously, they're delicious.

This recipe is one I have from Nanny, my paternal grandmother - if memory serves me correctly, she likes to serve these still warm out of the oven (either that, or I was impatient and didn't wait for them to make it to the platter).  These tend to make an appearance around Christmastime, but the dough also freezes well for a few weeks, so it's great to make up over a weekend and bake during the week.