Monday, June 30, 2014

Refrigerator Cucumbers

Excited to share with you today another great summer recipe from my dear friend Cindy Parker! We've been friends since Jr. High and our love of our children, and watching them through their agricultural pursuits and a mutual appreciation for shopping has strengthened our friendship over the years!

She's a wonderful southern cook in her own right and I hope she'll continue to share recipes on my site as she has more time at home this summer.

These Refrigerator Pickles area southern staple that are wonderful to take out with your evening meal as a side dish. Add to them throughout the week as you eat the veggies down.

You can access the recipe here at Refrigerator Pickles!

Enjoy and thanks for sharing!

Cindy...I want your pretty dish you served these in!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Puffy French Toast

I love my summers and the time I have to make fun breakfasts.  My youngest daughter Audrey has decided she loves omelets and especially loves this Puffed French Toast.  With just the two of us home until middle sister Bethany comes back from her trip abroad to Greece, it's fun to make something a little out of the ordinary!

Puffed French Toast is really just pancake battered sliced bread.  I used sliced white sandwich bread as that is what I had, but in the past when my oldest daughters were younger we used Texas Toast which is about 1 1/2 inches thick. 

This recipe calls for twelve slices of bread which for the two of us was a lot.  But leftovers were easily warmed up in our microwave for breakfast and a fun Sunday morning treat for her friends who spent the night. 

Puffy French Toast along side some fresh, sliced strawberries sprinkled with sugar had the girls demolishing their breakfast!

                                         Click here for the recipe for Puffy French Toast!! 

And all to all my followers out there...I am loving my submissions for my recipe page!  We are getting more and more each day!  Keep them coming!  It's fun to see what wonderful dishes you all make for your family and friends. I know my family will be benefiting from them too!  Thank you - thank you!!

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!

Alise - The Ranch Kitchen

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Chicken and Eggplant Dressing

My first batch of eggplant from our garden have been wonderful!  Each year we plant eggplant and I usually fuss that there is never enough.  So this year we planted what probably is to many, but I know my friends and family will also benefit IF I decide to share! 

Tonight I decided to create a new dish from the leftover Rotisserie chicken in my refrigerator, our Ichiban eggplant, green bell and Anaheim peppers, and onions all from our garden. 

As I chopped and began to cook, I started to think of a topping and decided that my new box of Ritz Crackers that have Roasted Vegetables in them would make an excellent crust on top.  Thankfully it turned out to be a good decision and I'll be using these in place of bread crumbs from now on. 

You'll find this recipe on the link below underneath the first picture.  As my new site is up, I will now post links to direct my readers to my site where all my recipes are stored. 

You will notice on my blog now that when you click on the recipe link it automatically takes you to my new .com site!  How nifty is that?!!  I have to again thank Nia Hill, Tonya Perez and AgTown programmers for their genius work on my new blog design and new The Ranch Kitchen site!  Thank you, thank you!

I hope you'll try my new Chicken and Eggplant Dressing.  It takes a little more preparation than most of my recipes, but the end results was my husband, 'Ranchman Approved'! 


We also finally picked our first tomato from our garden! 
We are so happy summer is finally here after the long winter in the south!


The Ranch Kitchen

The Ranch Kitchen's Chicken and Eggplant Dressing

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cajun Fried Eggplant

One of my favorite things about summer are the fresh vegetables from my husband Scott's garden.  I love watching him work in it, the relaxation he seems to get from it and we all enjoy the 'fruits' of his labor!  It's my daughter's and my job to pick and cook what we grow and I think that is a pretty good deal.

Each year I say we should have been zucchini and pepper farmers because we do a pretty good job of having an over abundance of them!  We also seem to do pretty well with our eggplant, growing both the Ichiban and Black Diamond varieties.  I love them both, but prefer the Black Diamond as they are the larger, more rounded eggplant most people are used to and are easier to peel. 

Last night, I fried some up to go along with the Craig's UnKabobs that we cooked a few nights before and we really enjoyed them.  I used Zatarains New Orleans Fish Fry Seasoned dry batter also seasoned with some extra Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, water and fried them in Canola Oil, and then an added sprinkle of salt.  Along with a squirt of ketchup, I could make a meal out fried eggplant all by itself.

As my grandfather used to say, eggplant are a more 'educated taste'....that is that most kids don't like them.  But my girls always have loved eggplant, as trying them have never been an option.  Our motto at our house is that you never know what you might not love until you give it a try.

***You can also use the recipe below to fry zucchini or yellow summer squash!

Cajun Fried Eggplant

1 - 2 Black Diamond or Ichiban eggplants, pealed and cut in 1 inch round slices
2 - 3 cups Zatarain New Orleans Style Fish Fry - Seasoned already @ Zatarain's
4 cups Canola Oil or a good quality frying oil
1 teaspoon of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning (we like it a little spicier)
salt to sprinkle on after frying

Wash and peel eggplants (cut purple skins off) and cut in to 1 inch round slices.  In a separate bowl place Zatarains Fish Fry meal along with 1 teaspoon of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning and mix well. 

Dip each eggplant round in water and then immediately into the meal, pushing it firmly down to coat thoroughly on both sides. 

Using tongs, immediately drop gently in oil that has come to a low boil on your stove.  Cook on both sides until eggplant is slightly browned (see picture below) and wear an apron...(I can't tell you how many shirts I have ruined from grease stains - my Granny would be so proud of me wearing an apron as she was always harping on me about it). 

When eggplant are browned, take out with a tongs and place on a dish that has been lined with paper towels to 'sop' up the excess grease.  Sprinkle immediately with salt or sea salt(not too heavily) and eat as soon as possible. 

Side note:

***Last night as I cooked a huge portion. I turned the heat element on on my stove and placed the plate of fried eggplant in the oven between batches.   Remember if you allow the eggplant to cool too much and wait too long to eat it, they will become slightly soggy.

Serve these Cajun Fried Eggplant alongside any meal (with ketchup of course).  This eggplant is especially great with fried catfish, brim or bass.  We actually fry the eggplant along with yellow squash and zucchini in larger chunks when we serve this with fried fish in the same oil as we fry the fish, however we fry it last as the meal doesn't stick to the squash and eggplant as well as it does on the fish.

The Ranch Kitchen


Sunday, June 8, 2014

My first official 'Share A Recipe" off my new site for Craig's UnKabobs

Logged on my new sister site and what did I find??  My first official submission for my 'Share A Recipe' tab off my new site!  I was so excited that I made it the first chance I had and it was amazing!  We really enjoyed it with our fresh squash from our garden! 

Below you'll find the recipe and the above picture is one I took as one was not submitted with it!  I hope you'll stop by and create an account on my site and share your families tried and true recipes with my site! We can all benefit from it just like my family did the other night! Craig's UnKabobs were the perfect meal on our Friday night and I know you or your family would enjoy them as well!   

Thanks Craig, whoever you are for taking the time to register on my site and share a recipe with The Ranch Kitchen and me!  It's a wonderful recipe that will now be something I make for my family or for a crowd like you advised!  He says he combined these flavors for Kabob flavor without all the work. But you'll notice I put mine on skewers and kabob'ed them as I had some help from my youngest cook who wanted them on sticks as she called them.  Either way is good and I think I like Craig's idea the very best! And I actually used the beer I had on hand that was a Bud Light with Lime...I thought the lime would be a good fit in the marinade!  Thanks again Craig! And anyone that submits a recipe could be featured not only on my site but on my blog as well!  Hint, hint Kim....Laura....Cindy....Bethany...and Ilissa....

Craig's UnKabobs

1 lb. sirloin steak, cut in 2 inch cubes
1 lb. smoked sausage (we use Hillshire Farms), cut into 1 inch slices
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 can beer (can use broth if you prefer
3 medium bell peppers (I use a mix of yellow, orange, red)
1 large onion, cut in chunks
8 ounce container of baby Bella mushroom, halved
1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
16 ounce jar of honey teriyaki marinade

Allow 2-12 hours to marinate steak and chicken for best flavor.

In a large, heavy duty zip-top bag, add the cubed steak and steakhouse marinade. Add about 1/2 can of beer to marinade bottle to "get all the good", shake gently and add to zip-top bag with steak.

In a 2nd large, heavy duty zip-top bog, add the cubed chicken and honey teriyaki marinade. Add remaining beer to marinade bottle, shake gently and add to zip-top bag with chicken.

Bring griddle to med/high temperature on grill. Add a little olive oil and stir fry a combo of all ingredients in small batches. We keep a foil pan on the cooler side of the grill and, as ingredients are "just done", we move to the foil pan to stay warm. Warning - a crowd WILL gather here with forks ready!

We occasionally add shrimp but have found it best to cook in a separate small cast iron skillet to avoid transfer of flavor for those who don't care for the shrimp flavor. We have made these for as many as 150 at a family reunion and a wedding rehearsal dinner - best to use two grills if cooking for this many (one for actually cooking and one for warming/serving).

Craig - Friend of TRK!

To see the post on my new site, please go to Craig's UnKabobs