One Big Table

There is just something about risotto. It’s not easy to make. Well, it’s easy, it just takes a while. All the stirring and adding broth and stirring. But with the right combination of flavors it is well worth the effort. And this risotto was well worth the effort.


This is Julie Shafer’s Risotto with Lemon and Asparagus

Julie says she learned to make risotto as a small girl cooking with her mother, grandmother, and aunts.  While we think of risotto as something fancy, she says it is just a staple of Italian cooking.  She also suggests that this is just a basic recipe and any local, seasonal veggie can be used.

    2 lemons
    2 small bundles asparagus
    1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
    2 tsp unsalted butter
    2 Tbl olive oil
    2 cups Arboio or Carnaroli rice
    2 – 3 quarts homemade or low-sodium store bought chicken broth, heated.

Zest the lemons then juice them and strain the juice.

Prepare the asparagus by peeling {which I did not do} and cutting off the tough ends.  Cut into 1″ pieces and steam to crisp.  {I am not a fan of steamed asparagus so I sauteed mine lightly in a little butter until just done.}

Sautee the onion in butter and olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  The onions should be fragrant and transparent.  Add in the rice and stir until the rice is well coated.  Season with salt and pepper.  {Salt and pepper are NOT in the recipe so I seasoned lightly and then later seasoned to taste.} Cook until the grains are almost clear.

Add the hot broth in to the rice/onion mix one ladle at at time and stir until it is absorbed. Continue this process until the rice is ALMOST creamy.

Add in the lemon juice, zest, steamed asparagus and one last addition of broth.  Cook for one additional minute.

Remove from the heat and add in the Parmesan to taste.  Add additional Salt and Pepper if needed. Let sit, covered, for about 5 minutes then serve.

Garnish with shaved Parmesan (optional)

This was really good.  I think I would use a little less lemon juice next time because I think it tended to overpower the asparagus.  You many not need a full 3 quarts of the broth.  I made 1/2 of the recipe and did not used a full 4 cups.

This is definitely a repeat.  I can imagine how it good it will be with different mushrooms, or maybe some spinach, or even just different cheeses.  It is very adaptable.

The recipe is on page 639 of O’Niel’s One Big Table,  an eclectic  collection of recipes from home cooks around the United States.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).


Well.  It seems like every time I open The Big Table I find another Chicken recipe that sounds too tasty to pass up.  While the method for cooking this one was, shall we say, different, the ‘sauce’ was outstanding!!

The reason I say the method was different is because the chicken is cooked twice.  Fried, then baked.  The ‘sauce’ is poured into the bottom of a roasting pan the fried chicken is then baked OVER the  ‘sauce’ on a wire rack.  I had to read the instructions a couple of times before I realized what Frank Reese was explaining.

Frank is a poultry farmer and comes from a long line of poultry farmers. His mother and grandmother used this dish to feed the groups who came to harvest in the spring and fall.  Fortunately he has pared the recipe down to feed 4 – 6 people rather than 30 or 40.


    2 cups AP flour {I really think 1 cup would be more than sufficient. That’s all I used.}
    1 tsp poultry seasoning {commercial or Frank’s recipe below}
    1 tsp Kosher salt
    1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
    1/2 tsp sweet paprika
    8 pieces chicken
    1 cup veggie oil or shortning
    2 Tbl butter
    1/2 cup water
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 325F.

Mix together the flour, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, and paprika.  Dredge the chicken in the flour mix shaking off the excess before placing on a wire rack.

Fry the chicken in the oil and butter mix in a cast iron skillet over medium until the chicken is golden brown.  This will probably take about 8 – 10 minutes.  It doesn’t need to be completely cooked as you will bake it as well.

Drain off the oil through a fine mesh strainer saving the brown bits.  Return the bits to the skillet, add the water, mix well, and simmer, whisking the whole time, for one minute.  It will become nice and thick.

Pour the milk and cream into the bottom of a roasting pan.  Add in the water/flour mix and stir to combine.  Place a roasting rack over the ‘sauce’ and place all the chicken on the rack.  {This is what I had to read over again to make sure I understood.}  Cover the pan with foil and bake for 2 – 2 1/2 hours until the chicken is tender.

I served the ‘sauce’ over rice but it would be equally good over some mashed potatoes.

The sauce/gravy was outstanding.  The flavor from the baking chicken dripped into the ‘sauce’ below and added another depth of flavor.  I did add just a smidgen of salt and pepper.

Frank’s Poultry Seasoning

    3 tablespoons dried thyme
    2 tablespoons dried rosemary
    2 tablespoons dried marjoram
    1 tablespoon dried savory
    1 tablespoon dried sage
    2 teaspoons celery seeds
    1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1⁄2 teaspoon ground fennel
    1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
    1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a small bowl, stir together all of the ingredients.
The spice blend can be stored in an airtight
container for up to three months.

The recipe is on page 313 of One Big Table, the book I am using this month for Cookbook Countdown.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Sunday is Father’s Day.  In our house that means BBQ, which means Dad cooks his own meal.  But while he may have to work a little on Father’s Day he does get a special treat.


Jesse Rosennberg’s Flourless Chocolate Cake

Simple.  Sweet.  Delicious.  Easy.

    2 sticks butter
    1 cup sugar plus extra to coat the pans {I used 1 cup Splenda with a dash of Stevia}
    14 oz dark chocolate, chopped {Or use chips}
    8 large eggs

Preheat oven to 300 F.  Grease a 9″ cake pan.  Sprinkle with sugar.

Melt butter and chocolate in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until completely melted and combined.

Beat the eggs until lightly colored.  Add the sugar and beat (whipping works better) until light and fluffy.

Fold the egg mixture into the cooled chocolate mixture until completely mixed.

Poor into the pan and bake for about 1 hour, testing after about 40 minutes, until cake has a nice crust on top and feels solid but soft.  Cook in the pan for 5 minutes and then turn onto a cake plate.  Cool.

After it cooled I sprinkled with a little powdered sugar.  But it would, of course, be wonderful with ice cream!!  Oh, wait.  I made ice cream and it was wonderful!!


GOOD Cake!!  Even though this was sugar free {I used Splenda and a little stevia} it was still quite sweet. The cake was moist, intensely chocolate, and I will definitely make this one again..

{Okay, we didn’t wait until Father’s Day to eat this.  It is also my Birthday so we are having MY cake on Sunday!}
This recipe is from Jesse Rosenberg of San Carlos, CA.  She grew up in France and learned this recipe from  the lady who hired her for babysitting babysitting.

The recipe is from One Big Table (page 808).

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

One Big Table is full of what you could call every day recipes.  Favorite or ethnic dishes from everyday people around the United States. Many of the recipes I have marked are “out of the box’ for me but many are different variations of dishes I already make.  Like this one from Lonnie Holley in Harpersville, AL.  Lonnie is an artist whose work has been exhibited in several famous galleries or museums.  He says Jambalaya is a good thing to think about if you need to feed lots of people.  You can always add more rice.


2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
4 whole chicken legs, cut apart to make drumsticks and thighs
4 tablespoons vegetable oil or bacon fat
1 quart water
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 celery ribs, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce (preferably Tabasco) {I used Crystal Hot Sauce}
2 cups white rice
6 cups homemade chicken broth or low-sodium. store-bought chicken broth .
4 Andouille sausages (about 1 pound), sliced in 1/4 inch chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the spices in a jar and mix well. Use 1 tablespoon of this spice blend in a big bowl to season the shrimp and chicken. (The remainder can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.) {I made 1/2 the amount and used all of it.}
Cover and chill for an hour or two.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring constantly, until the shells are bright pink. Add the water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the water is reduced to half, about 15 minutes. Strain the broth and set aside. {I didn’t do this and just used all chicken broth instead. If you can find Seafood Broth, use that.}
Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Remove the chicken and shrimp from the refrigerator. Brown the chicken on all sides.
Add the onion, stir, and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and celery, one by one and stir after each addition. Sautee for about 5 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Add the tomato, bay leaves, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Add the rice and stir. Add 2·cups of the strained shrimp broth, if using, and the chicken broth to the rice. {If you are using just chicken broth use 6 cups.} Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Add the shrimp and sausage, salt, pepper, and the left over spice blend to taste. Cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes more, until the rice is tender.
Remove from the heat and serve immediately. (Recipe adapted)
While this was a little spicier than I expected even tho’ I decreased the amount of Cayenne to 1/4 of what was called for, it was quite tasty. I love the mix of chicken, shrimp, and sausage in the Jambalaya. Definitely a keeper.
This recipe is on page 626 of One Big Table.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Thomas Jefferson, according to Charles Insler of St. Louis, MO, is responsible for bringing “America into the modern food era.” He imported olive oil from Italy and mustard from France. He also introduced the technique called Fricassee from France. This dish is revised from the original of Jefferson’s.



    One 3 1/2 – 4 lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces
    1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
    1/2 tsp sweet paprika
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 Tbl Olive Oil
    2 Tbl AP flour
    1 cp water
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    2 Tbl unsalted butter
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    5 ounces white mushrooms, stemmed and halved
    2 tsp minced fresh sage
    1/2 cup half and half
    1 Tbl chopped fresh parsley

Season the chicken with the salt and pepper, nutmeg, and paprika. Brown well on both sides in a skillet, with the EVOO, over medium high heat.  About 8 – 10 minutes. Put the chicken on a plate.

Add the flour to the oil in the skillet and cook until lightly browned.  Add in the water (I used 1/2 water and 1/2 chicken broth) and wine.  Scrape up any browned bits in the skillet.

Put the chicken back into the skillet and simmer about 45 minutes.  Remove the chicken to a platter and strain the sauce.  Reserve the sauce.

Clean out the skillet and melt the butter. Sautée the onions and mushrooms in the butter until only lightly browned – about 6 – 8 minutes.  Add the reserved sauce back to the skillet along with the 1/2 and 1/2 and the sage.  Simmer the mix about 5 minutes until it thickens then pour over the chicken.  Sprinkle the cut parsley over the chicken.

I served with rice but you could also serve with mashed potatoes.

This was delicious.  We enjoyed it thoroughly and it is definitely going into the recipe list.

The recipe is on page 353 of Molly O’Neills’ One Big Table.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Actually the full name of this recipe is Hoover’s Night Hawk Chicken-Fried steak and Cream Gravy.  In Austin, TX. there is a Hoover’s Cooking where this particular CFS recipe is cooked in a cast iron skillet and is probably the end result of hundreds of family recipes.  Hoover Alexander shared his recipe with Molly for One Big Table.


    4 cups all-purpose flour4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 tablespoon kosher salt
    1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 teaspoons granulated garlic
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 cups milk
    4 large eggs
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    Four 6-ounce beef cube steaks, pounded to 1/4 inch thick

Preheat oven to 200F.  Place a wire rack over a cookie sheet.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne together.

Whisk the egg and milk together in another container.

In a large cast-iron skillet heat the oil over medium heat to 350F.

Dredge one steak in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and then back in the flour mixture.  Make sure to shake the excess flour off after the first dredge.

Cook on one side for about 4 – 6 minutes.  Flip the steaks over and fry for an additional 4 – 6 minutes until golden brown.

Place the steaks on the wire rack and place in the oven to keep warm.  Repeat process with the additional steaks..  Make sure the oil returns to 350F before starting the next batch.


2 cups milk
2 cups homemade chicken broth or low-sodium
store-bought chicken broth
2 tablespoons bacon grease or vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring the milk and broth to a simmer and keep warm.   Pour off  all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the skillet.  Add the bacon grease and flour to the oil in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes.

Slowly add in the milk/broth mixture whisking all the time.  Add in the garlic and onion powder and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the steak with the gravy on the top.  And for the best meal serve with mashed potatoes. And some good fresh corn on the cob.

I know this is a basic recipe but there were two ingredients here I had not used before when I have made CFS.  Bacon Grease.  Baking powder.  The bacon flavor just raises the bar on the flavor and the baking powder in the steak dredge adds fluffiness and crunch.  I will definitely continue to do this when I make CFS.

I did make a couple of changes.  I would suggest just reserving a little more than 1/2 cup  of the flour/seasoning dredge for the gravy.  I found that I wasted a lot of dredging flour.  Also, I only used about 1/2 of the milk/broth/egg mix when I dipped the steaks.

The recipe is on page 442 of One Big Table.onebigtable

I’m linking this post with

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).


…are traditional Danish pancakes in a distinctive shape of a sphere. Somewhat similar in texture to American pancakes crossed with a popover, æbleskiver are solid like a pancake but light and fluffy like a popover.

This particular recipe is from John Newman in Tooele, UT. He’s been cooking since he was in elementary school. His family traveled from Denmark and settled in Utah in the mid-1800s having followed Brigham Young. His great-grandmother made them with gooseberry jam.


They can be savory or sweet. I didn’t know which ones to make so I did both. The first ones were filled with cheese.

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    6 large eggs, separated
    2 cups buttermilk
    4 tablespoons (112 stick) unsalted butter. melted
    1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 48 small pieces

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth, then whisk in the buttermilk until well blended. In another large bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks
Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture just until blended. Do not over mix. Fold the egg whites into the batter until almost no white streaks remain.
Heat an ableskiver pan over medium heat. Lightly brush the inside of each well of the pan with the melted butter. Working in batches, spoon 1 rounded tablespoon of batter into each well, drop a piece of cheese in the batter, and top with a little more batter.
Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the top of the batter becomes very bubbly. Flip the
ableskivers using a metal skewer, {I used chopsticks} and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until browned.
Using the metal skewer , transfer the ableskivers to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain briefly. Repeat with the remaining batter, brushing the pan with butter between each batch. Serve warm.

Using the same recipe but without the cheese I made a plain batch and bathed them in a simple syrup.


One recipe two snacks! Cannot beat that.

The recipe is barely adapted from Molly O’Neill’s One Big Table on page 9.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

For June I am using One Big Table for Cookbook Countdown.  I added this cookbook to my collection in 2010. I had made three recipes {Spring Chicken and Dill Noodles, Thomas Jefferson’s Chicken Fricassee, and Nina Chanpreet Singh’s Chicken Tikka) already but had never blogged them.  Then I put the book  on the shelf.  It’s time to pull it out again.

Molly O’Neill collected more than 600 recipes from cooks and bakers all over the United States.  It includes the story of the cook/baker as well as anecdotes and other little nuggets of knowledge about food, trends, gadgets, and areas of the US.  It is a wonderfully  eclectic volume of recipes.

First recipe:  Creole Shrimp.  


This particular recipe is from Charleston, SC.  Specifically it is the recipe from Mrs. McNulta who gave the recipe to the Junior League for their cookbook, Charleston Receipts which was first printed in 1950.  Everybody uses this recipe so it has to be good, right.  Not necessarily!!

I found it to be rather bland.  All we could taste was the tomatoes. There was absolutely no flavor until I added some bay leaves and garlic.  All in all not a repeat.  I will stick to my good ol’ Louisiana recipe.


    Tomato Paste
    Diced Tomatoes
    Bell Pepper {I left this out}
    Kosher Salt/Pepper {and maybe a little Cayenne}
    Garlic {added}
    Bay Leaves {added}

This recipe is on page 259.

If you like an eclectic collection of good, and sometimes interesting, recipes you really need this book.  Really!! I’m looking forward to making at least 1/2 of the recipes I have marked just for Cookbook Countdown!!

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

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