Feisty Feta and Shrimp Dip

 Feisty Feta and Shrimp Dip

Although Greg and I both enjoy cooking we love a good restaurant. Searching the internet for good reviews is one of the first things we do when we visit a new city.  We have our local favorites, and we even plan vacations around the restaurants we like the most.

I am thrilled when we I can duplicate some of our favorite restaurant dishes at home!  A few of my favorites are Hot Crab Dip, that we enjoyed several years ago at a restaurant with Greg’s brother. Pot Roast Stuffed Baked Potatoes are one of my favorites from a restaurant just down the road from our house.  I had Heirloom Tomato Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette at one of our favorite places in Savannah on my birthday a few years ago.  All of these recipes can be found on www.notjustsundaydinner.com.

Feisty Feta Dip with Shrimp is a new one to add to the list. We had this tasty appetizer at one of our favorite restaurants in Augusta, Georgia. It is super easy to make.   Crab meat can be used instead of shrimp, or you can leave out the seafood completely.  Serve warm with pita chips or warm pita bread.

 

Feisty Feta and Shrimp Dip
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 6-oz. crumbled Feta cheese
  • ⅓ c. chopped jarred roasted red peppers
  • ¼ c. chopped jarred artichoke hearts
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 to 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to ½ c. cooked shrimp, cut into large bite-size pieces
  • Warm pita bread or pita chips, for serving
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the feta cheese, chopped peppers, artichoke hearts, onions, garlic, hot sauce, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Pulse until ingredients are well combined, but still slightly chunky. While pulsing add 2 to 3 tbsp. olive oil until the dip reaches desired consistency.
  2. Stir in cooked shrimp and spoon into a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until warmed through. Serve with pita bread or pita chips.

 

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Hot Crab Dip and Reflecting on the Past Six Years

Hot Crab Dip and Reflecting on the Past Six Years

Shortly after moving to the country I decided to start a blog.  I had never visited many blogs at the time.  However, my friend, Jennifer, had a blog and I needed something to do.  My days of being a room mom and doing carpool were long gone.  It was either find a job outside the home or find something else to do at home other than cut 10-acres of grass, do laundry, and clean the house.  So in January of 2011, with the Super Bowl coming up, I decided it was the perfect time to start Not Just Sunday Dinner.  I had always enjoyed cooking and sharing recipes with my family and friends.  A food blog would be the perfect hobby!
The name came about because Sunday dinners growing up were always special.  By dinner, I mean the meal in the middle of the day, after church.  Daddy was a Baptist preacher, and many Sunday’s were spent having dinner with different families from the churches he pastored.  Other Sundays my grandmother Ma, would cook a big Sunday meal.  So you see, the name is rather special to me too.
On February 1, 2011, I posted my first online recipe.  One of my all-time favorite dip recipes, Hot Crab Dip.  I never imagined in 2011 that I would still be doing NJSD, and so much more, six years later.  NJSD has opened up many doors for me over the years.  Writing for a number of newspapers and doing a local cooking show has enabled me to grow my audience, and so far, this month alone, I have had over 56,000 page views.  I have done several product reviews for various companies, and earlier this year I was contacted by a large publishing company to do a cookbook review.
Today, as I reflect on the past six years, I want to share the very first recipe I shared.  Hot Crab Dip is an amazing dip served with toast points or toasted baguette slices. It is easy to prepare and has always been a hit anytime I have served it.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read NJSD!  You can not imagine how it makes my day to get comments on NJSD or emails from my readers.  Feel free to email at notjustsundaydinner@yahoo.com with any questions you may have or if you just want to share a recipe.

NOTE:  Please excuse the quality of my photo.  I am still working on getting a photo program up and running and this is a copy of my picture I used back in 2011.  I think my food photography has improved slightly since then!

Hot Crab Dip and Reflecting on the Past Six Years
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 8-oz. container sour cream
  • ¼ c. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 lb. fresh crabmeat, drained and picked
  • 1½ c. shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 French bread baguette
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Slice baguette on a diagonal about ½-inch thick. Place on baking sheet and toast on top rack of oven, about 5 - 6 minutes or until golden brown. Depending on the size of your oven, you may need to do this in batches. Set aside to cool. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. With an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce, ground mustard, and garlic salt until combined (a few lumps are okay). Fold in crabmeat.
  4. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon crab mixture into dish. Sprinkle evenly with Cheddar Cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve immediately with toasted baguette rounds.

 

 

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Low Country Boil

low-country-boil

 

You have heard about how I grew up on a dirt road in North Georgia surrounded by family. My grandfather originally owned the land, and as each of his children married, he gave them a piece of property to build on. It turned out pretty good for my brother, my cousins and me because we had instant friends and playmates. Our favorite thing to do was to play outside. We would ride bikes and play in the woods around our houses from dusk until after dark if our mamas would let us. It didn’t matter how mad we got at each other we had no choice but to make amends. It was like having extra brothers and sisters. We were kin, and we were stuck with each other. Only looking back, being stuck with each other was a blessing. They say it takes a village to raise a child and that is exactly what we had on our little dirt road. A “village” of relatives keeping all of us kids in line.

Being outside is still one of my favorite places to be. These days I’m usually working, though. It’s been quite a while since I’ve romped through the woods without a care in the world. Still, my family enjoys a nice bonfire, cookout, or low country boil, especially during the spring and fall. This low country boil recipe is Greg’s perfected recipe. We like to use fresh Georgia shrimp or Florida Gulf Coast shrimp when available. Also, fresh Silver Queen corn is the best and Conecuh sausage is our choice. Conecuh sausage is available in several varieties in most of our local grocery stores, but if you have a problem finding it in your area, it is available online.

 

Low Country Boil
 
Author:
Serves: 10 to 12
 
Ingredients
  • 5 lb. shell-on shrimp (16 - 20 count)
  • 5 lb. sausage, cut into 3-inch lengths (we like Conecuh brand sausage)
  • 6 ears corn, shucked and cut into thirds
  • 5 lb. small red potatoes
  • 1 to 2 pkg. shrimp boil seasoning, depending on taste
  • 2 lemons, sliced
Instructions
  1. In a large stockpot, bring water to a boil with seasoning, and lemons.
  2. When the water is boiling add the potatoes and sausage and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the corn and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Drain and serve with cocktail sauce, butter, and sour cream.

 

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Fat Tuesday Fried Chicken

fat-tuesday-fried-chicken-1

 

 

 

One of the best things about living on the Gulf coast was being introduced to Cajun food and Mardi Gras. One of the first things we did on the coast was to attend a family-friendly Mardi Gras parade. We were all caught up in the spirit of the celebration with moon pies and beads. We often visited Louisana while living in Pensacola, especially during the years that Wes played with a travel ice hockey team out of Baton Rouge. We enjoyed the people, their food, and their customs.

We do not celebrate Mardi Gras in a big way here in Georgia, but I say, there’s no better excuse to cook up some good Cajun food. I found this recipe on www.raisedonaroux.com, where I found many other recipes that I can’t wait to try!  This chicken marinates for 48 hours for a wonderful flavor. It’s cooks up wonderfully crispy with the addition of corn starch, and it is incredibly moist and juicy. Don’t let the hot sauce scare you because it isn’t hot at all. The marinade simply gives it an excellent taste.

 

Fat Tuesday Fried Chicken
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • Seasoning Mix:
  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. white pepper
  • 1 (3-lb.) whole chickens, cut into serving pieces
  • 4 c. buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. Louisiana hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Crystal hot sauce
  • 4 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ c. corn starch
  • Peanut oil for frying
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine seasoning mix. Season chicken with 6 tbsp. of the mix. Reserve remaining mix. Place chicken in 1 or 2 large resealable bags.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk and hot sauces; pour over the chicken. Seal and refrigerate for a least 4 hours or up to 48 hours, (the longer it soaks the better), turning occasionally.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and reserved seasoning mix.
  4. Set a rack on a large baking sheet.
  5. Working one piece at a time, remove chicken from buttermilk mixture, allowing excess to drip back into the bag. Dredge in flour mixture and shake off excess. Place on prepared rack.
  6. Pour oil halfway up the side of a large, deep skillet (preferably cast iron) and heat to 350° F.
  7. Prepare another large baking sheet lined with paper towels and a rack over top.
  8. Fry chicken in batches, starting skin side down. Do not overcrowd skillet. Once chicken is added to oil, the temperature will drop. Maintain cooking temperature of 315° F for ideal frying. Fry, turning, until golden brown and cooked through to reach an internal temperature of 165° F. Remove to rack and allow to drain. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

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Game Day Smoked Beef Brisket

smoked-beef-brisket

This is an exciting week for those of us living in Georgia, as the Atlanta Falcons prepare for Super Bowl LI!  Especially for those of us that have been here through the “not so good” years!  This will be the second time in history that the Falcons have made it to the Super Bowl.  The last time being 18 years ago.  This has been their season to shine and my fingers are crossed that they will bring the Vince Lombardi trophy back to Atlanta this year!
I know that super bowl parties will be going on all over the state this Sunday!  Treat your friends and family to this fabulous Smoked Beef Brisket.  The trick to a tender beef brisket is to cook it “low and slow”.  You certainly need to plan ahead and do NOT rush the process!  Greg’s general rule of thumb is to plan on 90 minutes of cooking time per pound of brisket.  We cook on a Traeger grill and have terrific results every time!  However, if you cook on a ceramic grill, charcoal or even gas follow your grills manufacturer’s directions for adjusting the temperature.

Game Day Smoked Beef Brisket
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 12 lb. beef brisket
  • Wide Heavy-Duty Aluminum Foil
  • Rub:
  • 6 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. coarse salt
  • 4 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 tsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Mop:
  • 2 c. distilled white vinegar
  • 2 c. beer
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. hot pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
Instructions
  1. Plan ahead. You will need to smoke the brisket approximately 90 minutes per pound.
  2. Trim fat to ¼-inch thick.
  3. Rinse the brisket under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels. Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl and stir to mix. Rub this mixture onto the brisket on all sides. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator 4 to 6 hours. However, you can cook right away, if desired.
  4. Combine all ingredients for the mop sauce in a nonreactive bowl and stir until salt and brown sugar are dissolved.
  5. If using a charcoal grill set up grill for indirect grilling. If using gas set grill to low. If using any other grill follow manufacturers directions for preheating your grill to cook over indirect heat, low, or smoke.
  6. Place brisket directly on grate of preheated grill, fat side up. Smoke for 6 hours, mopping with mop sauce every hour for 8 hours. Raise grill temperature to 250 degrees F.
  7. When internal temperature of brisket reaches 160 degrees F, remove the brisket from the grill and wrap well in heavy duty foil. Return the foil wrapped brisket back to the grill. Lower the grill temperature to 120 degrees F to 150 degrees F and cook for 4 hours.
  8. Raise the grill temperature to 225 degrees F and cook until internal temperature of brisket reaches 204 degrees F. (This took approximately 3 hours on our grill.)
  9. Remove foil wrapped brisket from grill and rest in foil for 1 hour.
  10. Slice and serve.

 

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