Pie Crust for Fruit Pies

April 4th, 2009
by: Sue

3 cups unbleached flour (King Arthur)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 cup butter, cut into small cubes (organic is the tastiest)
1/2 cup Crisco or lard (or you may use all butter)

Cut in shortening and butter with a pastry blender.
The mixture should have little flakes of butter throughout.

In a small bowl, mix together:

1 egg, beaten
5 Tablespoons COLD water
1 Tablespoon vinegar (I prefer Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar)

Add to a depression scooped into the flour mixture, mixing with a fork gently until you can form a ball. On dry West Texas days I find I often have to add another Tablespoon of cold water (or two, but try to add as little as possible!) Separate into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out to fit your pie plate, handle as little as possible. Roll dough up on your rolling pin, and transfer to lightly floured pie pan, gently rolling out. Add filling, roll out the second crust, making little cuts in the crust to allow steam to escape. You can also cut out circles in the dough with a biscuit cutter. Transfer to the pie, again rolling on the rolling pin and unrolling onto the top of the pie. Flute the edge of the crust.

You may glaze the crust by brushing a light wash of egg white and water with a pastry brush. Cook fruit pies very slowly (275 to 300) to prevent the crust from burning. This will also produce the flakiest, best crust.

Best Peanut Butter Cookies

April 4th, 2009
by: Sue

After a forty year quest for the perfect peanut butter cookie, I found this gem. This cookie has just the right amount of chewiness and moisture and the perfect amount of peanut butter. Do yourself a favor and buy organic peanut butter that has no additives; the peanut flavor will be fabulous and well worth the extra cost. I make these cookies small so I can cook them just barely and avoid over cooked bottoms. The honey roasted peanut topping adds another dimension of flavor and texture.

3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups All-Purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Heat oven to 375. Place cooling racks or clean newspaper on counter for cooling cookies.

Combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until well blended. Add egg, beating just until blended.

Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture, mixing until blended on low speed. Using small scoop, drop by teaspoonfuls about two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly in a crosscross pattern with a dinner fork. Bake at 375 for 7 to 8 minutes (use a timer for this) until just set and beginning to brown. Cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet, remove to cooking racks and allow to cool completely.

Variation: I like to chop honey roasted peanuts and sprinkle on top of the cookie before baking.

Sue’s Kickin’ Grits

April 1st, 2009
by: Blue

Baby you ain’t had grits until you’ve had these grits. To me, this paired with a pot of pinto beans is the ultimate comfort food. I’ve taken this dish to potlucks at work and have had people say “I don’t like grits but my God these are incredible”. Yes, they are. Thanks Mom, this recipe rocks.

Blue and Sue are very picky when it comes to buying grits. Bob’s Red Mill grits are far superior to any other grits on the market. We find them in the grocery store,¬†they are also available¬†online.

2 cups grits
8 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter
24 oz velveeta, cubed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs
2 tablespoons red wine, or vermouth, or tequila, or whiskey, or beer, or….(fill in the blank)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon tabasco
1 12 oz can or 1/2 cup Hatch green chiles (or more, depends on how hot you like it)
2 cups corn

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bring water to a boil, slowly stir in grits, lower heat a bit, and cook about 10 minutes until thick. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into 9×13 pan and cook for 1 hour.

This recipe can be halved…