Friday, May 26, 2017

Georgia Brunswick Stew

Some will say this is the most perfect food on the face of the earth, if you ask me.

This may be  the original recipe, or what I BELIEVE to be the original recipe.  I’m listing it for you here; if you think it’s wrong, don’t call me; just change it to suit yourself.

But I can guarantee that if you follow this recipe to the letter you will have the best one-dish meal that you will ever, ever eat.

Yields 1 gallon   (I think it makes more but that’s what the recipe says)

In a 2 1/2 quart sauce pan, over low heat, melt:
1/4 cup of butter

3 1/2 cups Catsup
1/4 cups French’s Yellow Mustard
1/2 cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons coarse grind black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 oz. Liquid Smoke
2 oz. Worcestershire sauce
2 oz. Crystal hot sauce or 1 oz. Tabasco
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
Stir constantly, increase heat to simmer (DO NOT BOIL) for approximately 10 minutes. Makes about 7 cups of sauce.  Set aside, or simmer on low if you wanna really make it good.  It really intensifies the flavor if you have oldies playing on the radio, Elvis is preferred.

In a 2 gallon pot, melt:
1/4 lb of butter  (don’t complain, this is the healthy version)

3 cups small diced potatoes
1 cup small diced onion
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) chicken broth
1 lb baked chicken (white and dark) (I cheated and used a rotisserie chicken)
8 to 10 oz. smoked pork  (and here I used part of a honey-baked ham, only ’cause it was in the freezer waiting for me)
Bring to a rolling boil, stirring until potatoes are near done.

1 (8 1/2 oz.) can early peas
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) stewed tomatoes (chop tomatoes, add liquid to the stew pot)
The prepared sauce (from above recipe)
1 16 oz. can of baby lima beans
1/4 cup Liquid Smoke
1 (14 to 15 oz.) can creamed corn
Slow simmer for 2 hours.  (I know it says 2 hours, but I found that I burned it if I cooked it this long–judge for yourself, mine took about 45 minutes.  When it’s done, it’s done.  You just can’t tamper with perfection)…

Here is the The link to the recipe  Y’all enjoy.  Come on back when you’re full……yes, it freezes well, although I don’t know why you’d want to.  Bye for now.  Always remember Whose you are.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hattie B's Hot Chicken

Hattie B's Hot Chicken
Address: 112 19th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203
Open today · 11AM–10PM All 7 days

This writer was going through Nashville yesterday and decided to eat at one of the most famous places to eat in Nashville. I chose the Broadway location which is located in Mid Town on the West side of Interstate 65. You will find there is limited parking in their parking lot and will probably have to walk about a block back to the restaurant. I got there at 1:45 pm and there was a line coming out the door and down the walkway.  The line continuously moved and in about 15 minutes I was placing my order.
When you get to the counter to place your order you have a range of heat from Mild to Hot Damn. I figured if I was going to eat at a Hot Chicken Place, I wanted it “Hot” so I ordered the  Large Dark Meat  ( thighs and legs) , “HOT DAMN” Temp, with sides of baked beans and slaw to be cooled down with a mixture of 1/2 lemonade and Tea.
Photo of Hattie B's Hot Chicken
Once you place your order you will be handed a metal stand with a number on it and off you go to find a table or booth to wait for the food to arrive. It doesn’t  take long before the chicken (Pictured Above) arrives. The large pieces of chicken is laying on two slices of white bread, that has already soaked some of the sauce. The smell of the spices coming off the chicken immediately alerts your brain that what is about to happen is not going to be a everyday event. On the first bite, the spices then the heat starts to gently stroke the interior of your mouth with the lips being the alert parakeet telling you how you are going to cope with the heat of the chicken. 
The meat itself is delicious with juices oozing out of the tender pieces of the chicken. The second bite reveals a slow fire starter in the mouth with the lips now starting to tingle. On the third bite, you are starting to recognize the battle that is starting between the spices of dark brown sugar, paprika, cayenne pepper and a slight hint of garlic. By the fourth bite, you notice your nose is starting to get a slight nasal drip, and the forehead is starting to develop a slight film of perspiration as if you have been sitting in a fine mist. By the fifth bite you are starting to realize there is a full scale battle going on between you and the chicken with the victor greatly in doubt. But for some crazy reason the magic of the heat and sweet spices prevent you from putting the chicken down. Before you realize it, the last piece of chicken and crispy skin are all gone with the empty bowls that contained the sides staring back at you. The first question you probably have is, Am I going to return to this place? The second question is would I order the “HOT DAMN” heat again. The answer to both is “Yes” and “Yes”
Warning: Just as your mouth feels when you are shoveling it in, the feeling is the same coming out.
** We believe this is good as it gets with Fried Chicken
The Food Network gave this recipe if you want to try it at home.


For the dry brine:
For the dip:
For the dredge:
For the spicy coating:
Dry-brine the chicken: In a bowl, toss the chicken pieces with 1 tablespoon kosher salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper; cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
Make the dip and dredge: In a bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and hot sauce. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and 2 teaspoons sea salt.
Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, then dip in the milk mixture, then in the flour mixture again, shaking off the excess after each step.
Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fryer to 325 degrees F. Set a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Working in batches, lower the chicken into the fryer and fry until crisp, 15 to 17 minutes for breast quarters and 18 to 20 minutes for leg quarters. Remove the chicken and let it drain on the rack.
Make the spicy coating: Carefully ladle the lard or frying oil into a medium heatproof bowl and whisk in the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, the paprika and garlic powder. Baste the spice mixture over the hot fried chicken and serve immediately; garnish with pickles.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Which One?

Just as the Mid Life Crisis arrives unannounced, so has your mood to try something new from the grocery store shelf. You say to yourself, "Self ! Why have I continued for years to buy the same ole stuff when there are 100s of different versions of that product to chose from?"

Since you had no logical answer to that $100,000.00 question, you decide to make a change in your habit of buying. Thus, here you are standing in the aisle of a grocery store that was perfectly empty when you started studying the containers, the color of the ingredients, reading every little fine print written on the labels and all the while starting to get that blank stare of “This is confusing the hell of me" look.

Then you notice that the aisle traffic is now looking like the Birmingham Interstate at rush hour, not because the people need stuff on the aisle, but they are curious why you have been standing in one place for three hours. Now! You have the security team, the store management, the cleaning people and the homeless man who lives in the dumpster looking over your shoulder to see what is so interesting.

You’re trying to figure out just how to get out of this dilemma. So! The first thing you do is check your bank account to see if you have the extra $500.00 to just buy every sauce on the shelf. Nope! So! Now! You’re down to making that fateful decision of "Am I wasting my money or is this going to be the holy grail of sauces?”

But wait! Before you step into the deep water, there is one more option. You can look at Trader Evaluates occasionally to see if he has already wasted his money on the same thing and is telling you about it, so that extra $5.00 can be used on something meaningful like a Tennessee Lottery Ticket. It would be a shame that fate would have it that $5.00 you just squandered on a bottle of crap really cost you $100 Million because you didn’t buy the ticket that would have made you an instant millionaire. So! With that ringing in your ears as to why you should be reading the rest of the article, allow me to fill you in on what I found with the items I have purchased lately.


It comes in a 16 oz. plastic bottle with a very well designed marketing label to catch your eye. That is about the only good thing I can say about this sauce. On the bottle it says good for Chicken, Baked Potato, Pork, Veggies, and Bread. They describe the sauce as dirty looking and zesty. Dirty I agree with. Zesty? Well, like President Clinton says, it depends on your definition of Zesty.

I want you to know I did not have “zesty” with that sauce. In my definition the first letter “Z” of zesty is nowhere near this sauce. The first bite I took sent me into shivers. I am not sure if it was the vinegar, lemon concentrate, low grade mayo, or what? But my group I had with me when I opened the bottle did not stop there. We put it on chicken, pork, and poured some on steamed broccoli. A vote was then taken as to give it the trash can pitch or keep it on the table. You should have seen the beautiful arch it made as it hit the edge of the trash can and sank into the bottom of “Never To be Seen Again."

Great Value Rising Crust Pizza

Wednesday had been one of those days. I am sure you have been there--get one thing done and two more things are added before you finish with the first. As I entered Wal-Mart on the way to the house, my stomach was telling me my throat had been cut since early that morning and it needed something fast. I could feel my body shrinking as I walked down the aisle and stopped in front of the Great Value Shelf containing all different varieties of pizza. Now! I usually make my own pizza, but tonight was going to be one of those get in the mouth quick meals and I selected the Chicken, Bacon and Ranch Sauce.

There was no particular reason why I chose this one, and I didn’t expect much in taste above cardboard standard. Taken out of the carton and still wrapped in the plastic it had about as much eye appeal as roadkill, and I was starting to have second thoughts such as Peanut Butter and Jelly or this sitting before me. But I followed thought with my original thought and put 'er in the oven for the required amount of time which was about 25 minutes. I looked at it for the first time when the timer went off and was surprised at the caterpillar to butterfly metamorphosis that had taken place. Sitting before me was a fluffy white sauce, slightly brown topped pizza with...Yes! Folks! large chunks of chicken and lots of bacon bits as toppings. After cutting it into the usual 8 piece configuration, I shuffled two pieces on a plate and coated them with 6 inches of crushed red pepper, grabbed a cold one from the fridge and set down in front of the big screen.

The first bite indicated I had made a good choice. The crust was crispy, yet soft on the inside. The sauce and the ingredients blended well and for the price was “Good Value.” So! If you're in a rush and need a quick meal, this one you might want to try.

Brain Fillers: The word is Al Dente in Latin means “to the tooth.” It indicates a degree of doneness when cooking pasta. When someone says that it is slightly chewy and firm they are saying it is Al Dente.


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Thursday, August 19, 2010 Now in Sheffield is now open at their new location 401 Cox Boulevard, Sheffield, Alabama. Their new phone number is 256-710-8692.

I was in recently talking with Jim and Cindy about how much work they had done since I had seen them only eight days before. When I last saw them they were standing in a building stacked with boxes, furniture, counters not installed, nothing on the walls--and that was just the front.

The new kitchen which tripled space for them was even in more of a mess. When they gave me the date they would be opening I thought, "Well! That is a good goal but you should at least make it realistic." Little did I know the capabilities of these two hard working people. Not only did they make the date, but they did not look in any worse wear for it. Well! At least Cindy did not look as if she had stormed “Pork Chop Hill.”

As we talked they mentioned that
earthmomma, one of my favorite posters on the TimesDaily Forum, had dropped by to see their new location. While there she had ordered a Melted Cheese Sandwich. They were telling me about the sandwich they served her, and it sounded so good I ordered one.

Now! I’m not so sure this is the same type cheese sandwich since they have so many versions, but this one was my pick. It had three different types of cheeses, sauteed onions, cucumbers and tomatoes. The cheeses blended well together with the other ingredients. The bread was toasted to perfection and had just the right crunch that made it a probably one of the best melted cheeses I have had in a restaurant.

Over the years Jim and Cindy have built a good business with just plain good food and wonderful service. So! If you want to be treated like family and not a customer I suggest you drop in and give them a try.

Until next time, don’t let the grease pop on ya!


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ichiban - Sheffield, Alabama

In the Japanese language Ichiban means “The Best” or “Number One.” This is presently one of the newest Asian Cuisine locations in the Quad-Cities and has rapidly become one of the most popular restaurants in the Shoals area. Being a Sushi fanatic, when I travel throughout the Southeast I invariably attempt to find the best Sushi spots at least once on the trip. Over the years I have experienced some of the best and some of the worst of that particular cuisine. Thus, I have come to recognize there is an extreme difference between what is bad, mediocre, average, good, excellent, and at the top of the game Sushi.

I never thought I would be able to say this, as I was born and lived a good many years in this area, but for me to even think about, much less say that Sheffield, Alabama, is the home of one of the finest and talented Sushi Chefs in North Alabama would have never crossed my mind a year ago. But I firmly believe that you will not find any better Sushi or experience any better Japanese or Asian style food than at this little building directly across from the Helen Keller Hospital.

I have learned as I travel if I really want to know where the good eateries are, I start looking at the parking lots of the restaurants. In rural areas I look for how many pickups are parked in front, for those farmers know where the farmhouse tasting grub is located. If it is lunch time in an urban area, then I simply look for the place that has the most cars along the side or parked along the street because their parking lot is already full.The locals have found Ichiban is one of those places. Either through experience or through the grapevine they have learned you can get a dining out experience at eating out prices here. It is not unusual to see the place packed with hospital staff taking their lunch break there as it has become one of the favorite places for the HKH employees to grab a delicious meal and be back at work in the allotted amount of time.

It has been my experience there are many things that go into a good dining experience. The atmosphere of Ichiban, including the décor, cleanliness, sound, demeanor of wait staff, dress of the wait staff, service of the wait staff, and of course the appearance of the food is exceeded only by the taste. I assure you the attention given by their wait staff, dressed in their colorful attire, is beyond question one of the best in the Shoals area.

We arrived at Ichiban on a Saturday afternoon around 5:30 p.m. as we wanted to get in and be seated before the evening crowd started to arrive. This being our third time there, we were as usual met at the door by a very pretty waitress, and immediately taken to a table. She took our drink orders and while we waited we began to go through the menu that offered Teriyaki entrees, Katsu dishes, Tempura, Select Noodle and Rice entrees, the usual Chinese Dishes, Bento Box combinations, and for those who want to really spice up your evening, Thai cuisine. Phew! And I have not even got to the Sushi selection which contains the usual Nigiri pieces, Spicy rolls, Tempura rolls, and Sushi combinations. Then we get into the Specialty Rolls, various Sashimi and Sushi Combos and an allotment of hand rolls. It is by far a Sushi Lover's dreamland.

The first Appetizer to arrive was “The Red Snapper Sashimi ” ($6.95). The beauty of the display alone was pleasing to the eye, but when the freshness of the snapper met the taste buds it was a match made in heaven.

This was followed by the second Appetizer “The Jade” ($6.95) on which I walked over and watched the Sushi Chef apply his trade on. The Jade is a whole avocado cut in two, then stuffed with a mixture of fresh crab, various sashimi, avocado pulp and a variety of sauces that created such a wonderful medley of flavors complimenting each other well.

The first entrée to arrive was the Chicken Teriyaki ($9.95). I bet you have never really thought about what is Teriyaki Sauce or even how it is made. Well! I knew that you were just dying to know, so here goes. The noun “Teri” refers to shine or luster. “Yaki” refers to the style of grilling or broiling. The Sauce is simply a combination of soy sauce, mirin or sake along with honey or sugar. This mixture is then cooked into a thick sauce which is then used as a marinade or brushed over the meat of choice such as chicken, beef, lamb, pork or various species of fish. This dish was served with steamed broccoli, sautéed onions, mushrooms and several pieces moist and tender chicken breast. The dish is well worth the price, and I highly recommended you give it a try. It is served along with a choice of Miso Soup or a Ginger Salad. We ordered both with the Ginger Salad costing a $1.50 extra.

The Lobster Roll ($10.95) is a beauty to behold for any Sushi Lover. It is a mixture of Sashimi Salmon, Tuna, Yellow Tail Snapper, Avocado on the layered over a huge portion of Spicy Lobster and Tobiko Fish Egg, then layered with a spicy sauce which is the crowning taste that places it up there with one of the best Sushi dishes I have ever tasted.

The Volcano Roll ($9.95) is a large California roll in the center topped with lots of Spicy Tuna, Snow Crab, Masago, Scallions, and a then layered with a very spicy sauce. The name is perfect for this dish that is a delight to the person who likes a kick to their food. I highly recommend it as it met every expectation I had regarding this dish.

So the next time you crave a unique treat where not only your eyes and taste buds will be delighted, but your pocket book will still have funds when you leave, think of “The Ichiban.” I believe it will be placed in that category of your favorite places to eat.