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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
It has been years since I have been in a restaurant that serves a salad plate. I can remember when they were on the menu of many southern restaurants, and they were a lunch item favorite of mine. Most salad plates included a scoop of either tuna or chicken salad, a scoop of cottage cheese, with fresh fruit all served on a lovely lettuce-lined plate. Always served with crackers and occasionally served with a zucchini or bran muffin too.
I received several vintage cookbooks as gifts after my recent surgery. I spent hours looking through them and have a long list of recipes that I can’t wait to try. I found this one in an old North Carolina cookbook given to me by my friend Loretta and her daughter Katy.
This yummy Garden Fresh Cottage Cheese Salad would be perfect served on the old Southern salad plate. It makes a perfect summertime lunch but would also be delicious served as a side dish. This recipe is very versatile; you can add most any vegetable that you like, or omit some of the vegetables listed if you prefer. You can add a splash of Worchestershire sauce or tabasco sauce, sprinkle in some dry Ranch dressing mix or dry Italian dressing mix if desired.
With the fresh vegetables, this salad is only good for about 24 hours. At that point, it starts to get a little too watery.
Garden Fresh Cottage Cheese Salad
- 1 pint low fat cottage cheese
- ½ chopped bell pepper
- ½ to 1 bunch chopped green onions
- 1 cucumber peeled,seeded, and chopped
- 2 radishes, chopped
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a medium bowl combine cottage cheese, bell pepper, green onions, cucumber, and tomatoes. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate at least a hour before serving. Serve with crackers.
Dry Ranch dressing mix, dry Italian dressing mix, splash of Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, or try different vegetables.
With vacation season upon us I am missing Florida! Don’t get me wrong, I love my home state of Georgia, but the warmer weather has me longing for long walks on the white sandy beaches and fresh seafood. After a recent visit to the Gulf coast, I have had a craving for seafood gumbo. Fortunately, my freezer was stocked with most everything I needed. This gumbo is loaded with succulent shrimp, oysters, crab and crawfish. Crawfish are freshwater shellfish that are commonly raised in freshwater ponds. However, you will find them listed under seafood at most restaurants. If you don’t care for crawfish, you can replace them with additional oysters, crab, or shrimp if you prefer.
This gumbo has a kick to it; if you are sensitive to heat you may wish to adjust the seasonings to your taste. I like my gumbo slightly thick and usually have extra filé to have on hand, just in case I need it. It is best to add the seafood about 20 minutes before serving, as to avoid overcooking. Serve your gumbo over steamed rice with plenty of garlic bread.
- 1 c. vegetable oil
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. diced yellow onion
- 1 c. celery
- 1 c. diced green bell pepper
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 c. chopped green onions, divided
- 1½ gallons water
- ½ lb. fresh or frozen okra
- 1 (10-oz.) can Rotel
- ½ tbsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ c. Old Bay Seasoning
- Louisiana hot sauce, to taste
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp. Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic
- 2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
- 2 tbsp. dried basil
- 2 tbsp. dried thyme
- 2½ lb. peeled and deveined shrimp (70 to 90 ct.)
- 1 lb. crab meat
- 1 pint fresh oysters
- 2 to 3 oz. Pure Ground Gumbo File
- Make a roux in a large heavy pot over medium heat: Add oil to pot and heat over medium heat, add flour, it will sizzle when it's at the correct temperature. Use a whisk and stir constantly. Stir until it reaches the color of peanut butter. DO NOT BURN!!
- Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and ½ c. green onions. Cook until ingredients are cooked down.
- Add water, okra, Rotel, and seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer at least 1 hour. Add seafood and continue to cook on medium for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Taste for seasoning. Add file to thicken.
- Stir in remaining green onions and simmer a few more minutes. Serve over rice in bowls.
It’s that time of year again…time for my top picks. I love posting my top picks…mostly because I love making the collage pictures. Silly, right? I also like revisiting the recipes. This has been a year of big changes for Not Just Sunday Dinner. First I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress. I actually did it myself, with the help of a few really nice tech support people. I’m not a very tech savvy person, so that alone was a big accomplishment. Then I took on the huge job of changing all recipes to print format. I’m really proud of that feature and I hope you enjoy it as well. I have started a rephotographing project that I’m still working on. I think that maybe my photos have improved a little better over the past three years so I’ve been trying to replace some really bad, old photos.
When looking back I really had some great recipes in 2014, if I say so myself. No, I do not develop my own recipes (usually). Like many, I change up recipes that I have made several times. My recipes come from family, friends, magazines, cookbooks, etc. Picking my top 10 for 2014 was a difficult job. I made a list of 26 recipes to start with. Then I scratched recipes and added back numerous times to finally narrow my list down to these 10 recipes. Please join me in looking back over the year, in no particular order.
1. Amaretto Almond Cheesecake
2. Snapper Hemingway
3. Greek Salad Dressing
5. Pretzel Dogs
6. Butternut Squash Enchiladas with Salsa Verde
7. Heirloom Tomato Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
8. Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
9. Southwestern Corn Pudding
10. Blarney Blue Cheese Chips