Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Last Month

I am been truly blessed with the outpouring of people who took advantage of the past 11 months with regards to creating recipes for particular websites, businesses and companies. I have been nonstop(with the exception of 2 weeks at the beginning)developing and creating unique dishes and there is only 1 month to go.

This will be the last month, the last time actually, that I will be doing this because of a number of projects I am involved with.

I want to thank over a dozen businesses for taking advantage of the "cheapest" rates anywhere for developing recipes. I began this promotion because it is the 100th anniversary of The Yankee Chef name, so I drastically cut my rate over 50% and boy, did that bring out the folks.

Again, this is the last month and the last time I will ever do this, so take advantage now because this is it people.

Want recipes that EVERYONE will enjoy, but in a way NOONE else can prepare? Yup, that's me!

It's Just That Simple!™

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Who Would Have Thought?

One of the last ingredients you would expect in a creamy and decadent dessert would be a staple on both borders of America.....corn.

Dried, ground corn to be precise. Our forebears used Southern grits and yellow cornmeal in both savory and sweet dishes, but in the past couple of centuries, this practice has all been forgotten. And that is a shame.

Naturally gluten free, cornmeal of any type offers a taste of the past as well as a surprisingly tasty, contemporary addition to puddings. If the word gritty first comes to mind when using cornmeal, put that right out of your mind because cornmeal is now almost flour-like in texture.

Here are two recipes that use both types of corn in a way that will have you scratching your head as to which will be your new favorite.


Southern Sweet Pudding with Apricot Sauce

Sweet and satisfying. That is the best way to describe this coconut-laced pudding with a hint of almond flavor.

2 1/4 cups almond milk
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup old fashioned grits
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 apricots
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

In a large saucepan, add almond milk, orange juice and coconut. Mix and bring to a boil over medium heat. Slowly add grits, in a thin stream, while whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until very thick and creamy. Uncover, remove from heat and stir in evaporated milk, sugar and vanilla. Spoon into a large bowl, cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Meanwhile make topping by peeling, pitting and finely dicing apricots into a saucepan. In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon of the orange juice with cornstarch and add to saucepan with remainder of orange juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until apricots are tender and sauce has thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve, scoop some pudding into a bowl and top with Apricot Sauce. Serve cold.

Enough for 3


New England Sweet Polenta Pudding 

Have you ever thought of using yellow cornmeal as a dessert, let alone a pudding? If you want what will turn out to be one of your favorite puddings, try this recipe. It turns out super smooth and without the grit you may think is inevitable. A surprisingly simple, sweet and true Yanked recipe.

1 cup frozen blueberries
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup almond milk
1 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
6 tablespoons cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Add blueberries and honey to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, mashing blueberries as they thaw. Reduce heat to low once all berries are thawed and mashed, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until thickened. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or until cold.

Meanwhile, add remaining ingredients to a medium saucepan, whisk well and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes. You will have to constantly stir the first minute, then frequently for the next 4 minutes. When thickened and smooth, remove from heat and transfer to 4 serving dishes, Cover and refrigerate until completely cold, about an hour. To serve, simply remove both items from refrigerator and stir blueberry topping before equally dividing on top of each pudding.

Enough for 4 servings

NOTE: If desired, place the cooked polenta in one large bowl and refrigerate. When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator, vigorously stir until smooth and transfer to individual serving dishes.