Monday, December 10, 2012

Play with your tortillas

“Tortillas to the Rescue” by Jessica Harlan
Southeast Texans already play with their tortillas. One of my favorites is in the book: turning that tiny round into your personal pizza with cheese and pepperoni. Maybe you already gather the kids with healthy toppings that turn carrots shreds into hair and broccoli into beards for tortilla faces. PB&J quesadillas sounds like an intriguing breakfast. Harlan goes gourmet with those corn and flour discs that are so easy to stock. Keep them on hand for quick dinners like enchilada bake and wraps. Plan ahead with them, too, for “tux-worthy” treats like fig and goat cheese pinwheels or duck quesadilla with avocado dip. This book would make a great gift packaged with a variety of fresh tortillas. Here’s a tip that’s dangerous to know: Nutella pairs well with flour tortillas. Try this dip:
Avocado-yogurt dip
1 medium ripe avocado
¼ cup plain, low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juic
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
The author combines the contents with an immersion blender and covers with plastic wrap pressed against the surface. Refrigerate until serving.

“Dadgum That’s Good, Too!” by John McLemore
The photo of a smoked cabbage looked rather like a Bundt cake in this book on smoking, grilling and frying with family and friends. Turns out, it’s easier than that. From the angle of the picture, I couldn’t tell the cabbage was whole. Just hallow it out, season the hole and smoke it. It joins tempting offerings such as Smokin’ Hot Stuffed Pork Chops, Nancy’s Smoked Mac & Cheese, Coconut-Marinated Chicken Kebobs, Fried Scallops in Bacon, Banana Wontons, Grilled Peaches and Plums with Honey-Citrus Sauce.
Southerners love pimento cheese. You can make it smoked or fried, thanks to McLemore. Paula Deen wrote the foreward and notes she’s tickled pink McLemore wrote this book. Of course the food is mouth-watering. My favorite part is stories his family members share and old photos telling how his dad created Masterbuilt cooking appliances named to give glory to “the Master.” This family has roots in Georgia and Tonya, his wife,  shares how they became a couple. I feel right at home, only, their home has a lot better cooking going on. Guess I better read up and get cooking.

Smoked Cabbage
1 whole cabbage
3 chicken or beef boullion cubes
½ cup butter or margarine
1 tablespoon steak seasoning or rub
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat smoker to 450 degrees
Remove core from cabbage. Place boullion cubes and butter in center of cabbage. Season cabbage with steak seasoning and salt.
Wrap cabbage in foil, leaving an opening at the top. Smoke for3 to 4 hours until tender.

How do they Grapple?
You can smell a Grapple coming, and once you’ve crunched one, you can’t wait to try another. Grapples are a brand of Washing State Premium apples blended with pure water and grape flavoring to taste like Concord grapes. Go to to learn more about these healthy, crisp treats that go with a cheese tray as easily as a fruit salad. Don’t be greedy. Serve them with friends are around. They’ll think Grappes, and you, are pretty clever. Everybody sniffs, tastes and asks, “How did they do that?”

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