My Favorite Recipe
"It is the most tasty, delicious dish. And it's green beans, so you don't feel too guilty about eating them. They taste like steak!"
TINA KNOWLES' CAJUN GREEN BEAN STIR-FRY
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. green beans, trimmed and sliced in half (8 cups)
¾ lb. baby potatoes, lightly steamed and halved
1 tbsp. seasoning salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ cup water
1. In a very large skillet or wok, fry bacon until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until browned, an additional 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Add green beans, potatoes, seasonings and water and cook, stirring constantly, until beans are just cooked through and tender-crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.
"I'm from the South, and my grandmother's mac and cheese is my go-to dish. People always ask me to make it."
MACARONI AND CHEESE
Serves 8 as a main dish; 10 to 12 as a side dish
1 (16-oz.) box small elbow macaroni
3 tbsp. butter
3½ tbsp. all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. ground mustard
1½ tsp. salt
3 cups milk
3 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided*
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Set aside.
3. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, 1 minute, whisking constantly. Stir in mustard and salt. Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in ½ cup cheese; set aside.
4. Layer half of macaroni and half of remaining cheese in a lightly greased 13×9-in. baking dish. Repeat process with remaining pasta and cheese. Pour cheese sauce over pasta; stir gently.
5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. For crunchier browned top, bake 20 minutes and broil 2 to 3 minutes until golden.
*Note: Substitute 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese for 1 cup cheddar, if desired.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK ACTRESS
"All you need is a big old pot and something to blend it all together. The first time I cooked this, I didn't have a blender, so I made my little brother [Nathan, 14] do it with a whisk!"
Makes 4 quarts
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 quarts vegetable or low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups green lentils
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
½ head broccoli, chopped
½ head cauliflower, chopped
½ medium head green cabbage, chopped
½ (6-oz.) bag baby spinach
½ lb. green beans
1 tbsp. creme fraîche (optional)
1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot. Add onion, leek, carrots and garlic and saute until onions are translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add stock and bring to a boil.
2. Add lentils and simmer for 10 minutes. Add potatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes.
3. Add broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach and green beans. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let soup cool slightly before pureeing in batches in food processor. Soup will be thick. For a thinner texture, add more hot stock before serving. Top with creme fraiche if desired.
DEADLIEST CATCH CAPTAIN
"I worked in a restaurant for eight years before I decided to fish. What I like about my recipe is the panko bread crumbs make it lighter and fluffier."
Serves 4 to 5
1½ tsp. plus 1 tbsp. butter
1½ tsp. plus 1 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup diced red peppers
½ cup diced yellow peppers
1 small sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. crabmeat
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups panko bread crumbs, divided
Pinch black pepper
½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. curry powder
1. Melt 1½ tsp. butter with 1½ tsp. olive oil in large skillet. Add peppers, onion and garlic and saute until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Let mixture cool.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine crabmeat, eggs, vegetables, 1 cup bread crumbs, pepper, sea salt and curry powder. Shape into 8 to 10, 3-in. patties. Coat in remaining 2 cups bread crumbs.
3. Melt 1 tbsp. butter with 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet. Cook crab cakes in two batches, until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. If necessary, add more butter and oil for the second batch.
"Uncle Roy is actually my dad. That's what everyone called him. He was always pulling out recipes from cookbooks, but he would also wing it. He passed away three years ago, so my aunts put together a book of all his recipes. I make this one every holiday."
UNCLE ROY'S APPLE PIE
Serves 6 to 8
2 to 2½ lbs. Granny Smith apples (6 to 8 apples)
½ cup sugar
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
1 frozen, 9-in. deep-dish pie crust
½ cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 cup flour
½ cup butter (1 stick), cut into 10 slices
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Peel and slice apples thinly.
3. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add apples and toss until combined. Put apples in pie crust. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
4. Put brown sugar and flour in a bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter to form crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs on pie.
5. Bake pie for 45 minutes, or until apples are tender and crumbs are golden brown. Cover top with foil if topping starts to get too brown.
"If I have a get-together with friends, I'll call my grandmother [Sadie Bomar] and ask her for a recipe over the phone. I only bake her recipes!"
GRANNY'S COCONUT CAKE
Serves 12 to 14
1 (18.25-oz.) white cake mix
8 oz. sour cream
1½ cup sugar
3 (7-oz.) packages sweetened, flake coconut
1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using two 8- or 9-in. round pans. Once cakes are cool, slice in half to form four layers.
2. In a bowl, mix together sour cream, sugar and 2 of the packages of coconut. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Ice the top with the coconut mixture. Repeat with the next two layers. Place the last layer on top and cover entire cake with remaining icing.
3. Sprinkle some of the coconut from the third package on the top of the cake. Apply the rest to the sides, patting it on with the palm of your hand. Keep the cake in a cool place or refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.
HOST OF SURVIVOR: NICARAGUA
"I ate a lot of rice in Nicaragua and was looking for a way to spice it up back home. I like the website cookusinterruptus.com because they show you how to make it."
FRIED BROWN RICE WITH PEAS AND CURRANTS
Serves 4 to 6
1 to 2 tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
Pinch of ground red pepper (optional)
¼ cup pine nuts, cashews or tamari-roasted nuts
2 to 3 green onions, sliced
¼ cup dried currants
1/3 cup frozen peas
3 cups cooked brown rice
1. Melt butter or heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add cumin, coriander, red pepper and nuts; cook 1 minute or until fragrant.
2. Stir in green onions; cook 1 minute. Stir in currants and peas and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add rice, stirring until blended.
3. Flatten rice mixture in skillet; cook 4 to 5 minutes over medium heat or until bottom layer of rice is slightly browned. Stir mixture and repeat procedure. Cook 4 to 5 additional minutes. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy cookusinterruptus.com.
"This is a complete meal-you have your proteins, carbs and veggies. It's really easy to make, and there isn't a big mess to clean up after I cook. That's what I like."
TURKEY AND VEGETABLE QUICHE
Serves 6 to 8
3 tbsp. olive oil
6 oz. ground turkey
½ cup chopped red pepper
1/3 cup chopped green onion
½ tbsp. seasoning salt
¼ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder
½ cup chopped broccoli
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
1 frozen pie crust
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add turkey, red pepper, green onion, seasoning salt, sea salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Cook until turkey starts to brown. Add broccoli and cover pan. Cook on medium-low heat for about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
3. In a bowl, mix whole eggs and eggs whites. Set aside.
4. Take pie crust out of freezer. Spoon in turkey mixture and spread evenly. Slowly pour on egg mixture.
5. Sprinkle cheese evenly over top of pie.
6. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until pie crust looks golden brown.