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| I have some fresh purple hull peas and I don't know how to cook them or what seasoning to use. I like spicy foods.
You've hit the jackpot; purple hull peas are my favorite peas. I usually get 2 or 3 bushels a year (I'm fortunate enough to buy them already hulled). I've put them up in freezer zip lock bags filled with water and I've cooked them to put them up. My favorite way is to cook and freeze them so that all I have to do is take a bag, heat and eat.
OK to answer your question on cooking them. I don't know the quantity you have so I'll give very general ingredients. I fry bacon (that is cut into small pieces) and chopped onions (I've also bought a cured ham and chopped it up to use instead of the bacon) in the pot I'm going to cook my peas in until the onions are wilted. After the onions wilt add the peas and cover with water, about an inch above the peas. Do not season until peas are tender, don't ask me why, "my Mom told me to", something maybe to do with the salt making the peas tough. As you've noticed in my recipes, I like Tony Chachere's Seasoning. It has flavors I really like. If you can't get it where you live, make a mix of red pepper, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. It is not as good but it is a good mix. Tony Chachere has a web site you might want to visit and order his seasoning mix
. Once you try it, you'll use it on everything.
It takes a while for the peas to get tender, just cook them on a medium-low fire and don't let the liquid cook out. If they aren't tender and the liquid is cooking out, add a little more water and continue cooking. You want the peas to have a sauce of sorts or gravy, not runny and not thick, just kind of saucy.
What does scalding milk mean? (this one really stumped me when I first started learning to cook)
It is heating milk to just before it boils. When it starts making a "skin" on the sides of the pot, it is scalded.
Is there a difference between oleo and butter? I came across an old recipe of my Moms and it called for oleo. Someone told me it is the same as margarine.
Oleo and margarine are one and the same. My Mom said there was a brand called "Oleo" and that is how margarine came to be called "Oleo" back in her day.
My husband ate sweet potato casserole at my mom's house; do you have a recipe for it?
You bet, I make one that some of my family who like sweet potatoes say is "to die for". Look on my web site and you will find it under Vegetable dishes, Sweet Potato Casserole.
When you want to double a recipe is it always OK to double ALL the ingredients or should some ingredients not be doubled, such as liquids or seasoning?
This is a tricky question. It all depends on the recipe. I screwed up a great casserole doubling everything. I shouldn't have doubled the liquids, in fact I would not have needed to add any more for 2 recipes that for 1. It is one of those situations where sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. The casserole tasted great, but we had to eat it in bowls instead of plates.
What are some of your favorite "low fat substitutions" in recipes?
Using a canned oil spray is a good place to start. Invest in all the flavors offered in canned oil sprays. Use broths that the fat has been removed from. Fat gives flavor, find other ways to do that, using seasoning to give the enhanced flavor you are looking for.
What makes "Cajun" food Cajun, is it the seasoning, preparation, or ingredients?
I really think it is the imagination in pairing foods and seasonings. We are not in the least bit timid trying new combinations. I love lots of leftovers in the fridge, it is a challenge to see if I can make everyone believe that I started from scratch for the meal.
What's the best way to make gravy to cook meat in?
Browning the meat in a little oil, turning and adding a little water at a time to keep the crust on the bottom of the pot from burning. You have to do this for a while building on the crust that forms. Also add onions, celery, and bell pepper to sauté with the meat. All these flavors meld together and form a rich gravy to simmer your meat in. When all is said and done, they should be gravy half way up the meat. Also you don't want your meat too thin. If your gravy isn't dark enough, add a couple teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet. If the gravy just isn't quiet rich enough in flavor add 2 to 4 beef or chicken bouillon cubes, this add richness. The bouillon cubes will also add a saltiness to the gravy so take this into consideration also.
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