Saturday, December 24, 2011

Babolouie Stew

Bobalouie Stew

(from Pam Christensen of Riverside Ward, Columbus, OH)

1 pound ground beef (chuck or round)

¼ cup chopped onion

2 cans cream of celery soup, undiluted

3 cups grated carrots

Diced tomatoes

1 quart tomato juice

1 T brown sugar

1 cup water (more if needed)

Salt and pepper to taste

Brown meat; drain grease. Add rest of ingredients and simmer until flavors blend. More vegetables can be added or water if too thick.

(Every winter I want hot soups and stews. This is a favorite from Pam Christensen. She and her husband are LDS church stalwarts out here in Zion (Ohio). They are some of the power houses of faith that made it possible for us to have a temple here. --think of the story of the judge who was so wearied of the widow's request that he granted it . . .)

Betty's Tamale Pie

Betty's popular Tamale Pie (as printed in the Holladay Herald and modified by me (David Westwood)

Brown 1-1.5 lbs ground meat with 1/2 cup finely chopped onion & 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic salt / powder (or small quantity fresh minced garlic) and salt to taste. . .

Add and simmer: 1 15 oz. can Mexican Style stewed tomatoes, 1/4 to 1/2 cup salsa, 1-2 tsp chili powder, 1/2-1 tsp oregano, pinch of cumin / fresh cilantro. Sliced olives (optional)

On stove top at low heat in sauce pan or in microwave in 2 qt glass bowl cook : 3/4 cup cornmeal & 3/4 cup hominy grits in 6 cups broth (recipe says chicken, but beef or vegetable work as well imho) and 1.5 teaspoon salt (optional) stirring frequently. Cook until mush is soft and loses raw taste (Betty/Mom sometimes added 1 small can drained corn).

Line greased 9x13" casserole dish (or 12" diameter round glass baking/casserole dish / 2 8.5/9" diameter found glass baking bowls.) with cooked cornmeal/grits pour in meat mixture and top with remaining cornmeal/gits mixture. Sprinkle generously with grated cheese.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.

May be cooled and reheated (some say that improves the flavor) also freezes nicely.


Variation given to Vilo & me by Betty shortly after our marriage.


1 C. Yellow cornmeal
2/3 C. Hominy grits
~1/2 tsp salt
~5 C. Water

1 can corn (optional)
1 to 1.5 lb Lean ground meat (turkey) -- use faux ground meat or mixed chili beans if you are serving it to vegetarians.
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 can (~15 oz.) Mexican style diced or stewed tomatoes
1 small can chopped olives (optional)
1 can / 2 cups of cooked chili beans - black, red, pinto or mixed (optional)
1 small can chili peppers (optional)

Salsa to taste
chili powder to taste
cumin / cilantro to taste

1-2 cups grated jack, pepper jack or sharp cheddar cheese (or a mixture of cheeses including queso fresco if available)

Combine cornmeal & grits in salted water in a 2 quart sauce pan or 2 qt covered glass bowl cook on stove top stirring frequently or in microwave oven for 5 minute intervals, stirring between intervals. Continue until polenta mixture is thick.
-Note one may add some cheese, corn or olives to the polenta mixture once it has thickened.

Pour a layer of cooked polenta into the bottom of a glass casserole. Reserve some polenta for topping

Heat a large skillet and brown meat (or TVP) with onions. Season with salsa, chili powder, cumin/cilantro (& lime juice -DW) as desired / to taste. When meat has browned add the diced/stewed tomatoes with a little liquid and combine thoroughly. Add drained corn, beans and peppers if desired.

When meat mixture has thickened pour evenly over the layer of polenta (cornmeal/grits) in casserole. Put remaining / reserved polenta on top of meat mixture and cover with grated cheese.

Cook between 350 and 425 degrees F. until cheese bubbles.

The dish may be made a day in advance and refrigerated until warming before serving. May also be frozen for up to two weeks.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Betty's French Bread recipe

to: 2 cups WARM water (hotter than a baby bottle)
add: 1 1/2 tsp sugar 1 1/2 tsp oil 1 scant Tbs yeast

Let yeast dissolve 5 minutes or more. Add salt to two cups flour and stir into yeast mixture. Add more flour (as much as 5 cups total), stirring vigorously for 5 minutes. The dough will be too sticky to knead. This results in larger air holes and a wonderful chewy texture. (Betty used white unbleached flour. Stephen Westwood has used half whole wheat and even all whole wheat successfully.)

Let dough rise in covered bowl for 12-24 hours. Shape into two long narrow loaves on heavily floured board. Place on greased cookie sheet. For a "quick" 2nd rise, warm the oven to 150 degrees F . . . turn off . . . put cloth covered loaves into oven for 1 hour (or until double in size). Remove from oven. (For "regular 2nd rise, place covered read in warm place for another 12 hours.)

Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake bread 15 minutes, remove, brush tops of loaves with a glaze of 1 egg and 1 Tbs water and continue baking another 15 minutes. When done, bread will sound hollow when bottom is thumped.

This bread was frequently available at Betty's (often disappearing quickly if there were any visitors!)

Mr. Stumphy's French Bread Recipe

2 cups warm water
1 pkg yeast (2 1/2 scant teaspoonsful)
1 Tbs. sugar
5 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp. salt

Sprinkle yeast over warm (think hot but not boiling) water in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle sugar on top. Let yeast dissolve and grow for at least 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of flour and salt. Stir. Add more flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring until dough is too stiff and then kneading. Knead dough on floured surface for 15 minutes. (I am lazy and do it in the large bowl.) Let raise in greased bowl until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).

Punch down (literally punch the dough and give a few brief kneading strokes). Divide the dough in halves, shaping each half into a ball. Let dough rest 5 minutes. Roll each ball with hands to form a long slender baguette loaf roughly 3" in diameter (the ends will be smaller). With sharp knife cut diagonal slashes 1 1/2 " apart. Cover with a clean cloth. Raise 1 hour or until double in bulk. Bake at 425 degrees F. for 30-35 minutes. Brush tops with egg white. Return to oven for 2 minutes.

Makes 2 small loaves. We have successfully used half white/half whole wheat flour in this recipe.

Mr. Stumphy was the French teacher at Provo High School when Vilo and Sheila were students there. He was colorful and opinionated and very good at teaching French culture as well as the language. Vilo has been making these baguettes ever since getting this recipe in his class.

Yeast dough tip: Elisabeth and James learned in Home Economics at Hastings Middle School this most useful tip. If you cannot be at home when the dough will be ready, cover the dough and put it in the fridge before it rises and then take it out and let it rise at your convenience.