Friday, July 26, 2019

Carrots Escabeche- easy way

Once upon a time in California we used to go to a Mexican restaurant called La Paz.   We had to drive up Malibu Canyon road to Las Virgenes in Calabasas.  For me it was always a special treat to go there.
Honestly, if I could have persuaded my DH I would have gone there every week.  I loved it.

You always had a little bowl of Carrot Escabeche sitting on the table, and when you ordered a full meal a little bowl of Albondigas soup was brought out as a starter.  There were always 3 meatballs in the soup, along with some generous chunks of carrot and potato.

I would usually be the only one eating the Escabeche on the table.  My mouth would be singing from the hotness of carrots, but I could not stop eating them.
It was like they were totally addictive.

Fast forward many years, and I buy the cans of Jalapeno Escabeche and use them, but make sure I eat all the carrots. 
I do not share those.
Selfish, but there it is.

Then the other day I opened up another can of the pickled jalapeno escabeche and there were only a couple of carrot coins in it.
And that's when I decided, I was done buying these little cans just so I could get cheated out of my carrots.

I dumped the can of jalapenos out, ate the few carrot pieces and looked at it.   I pulled a couple of carrots out of the veggie bin, peeled them, cut them into coins and cooked them in a little water until they were crisp tender.  I drained them, and set them aside for a minute.  I then took the pickling liquid, added 1/4 cup vinegar ( my favorite rice wine vinegar) to the pot, chopped up an onion and heated them together.  While they were heating I took the jalapenos, cut them up and put them into a clean sanitized jar. You just want enough liquid to cover the veggies.  
As soon as the jar was cool, I put it into the fridge and waited.
Then I dumped the drained carrots into the pickling liquid and let it come to a boil.  As soon as it boiled I put them carrots, onions and liquid down on top of the jalapeno's and screwed the lid on. 
Just til dinner and taste tested some of the carrots.
I actually left a few for my dinner guests, and kept some of them back in the fridge so they could marinate longer.
OMG, they were so good.
My tongue is still talking about them. 

Please pardon me, I need to go finish eating my jar so I can make some more. 

I also got the coveted Red Plate from Miz Helen's Country Cottage for her Full Plate Thursday Roundup.  
I always get excited when I get one.  Full Plate Thursday 444, at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Ice cream- Brandied Cranberry and Peach

Are you up for another Fantastical Food Fight?  

You are?  That's great.

Because this is a fun one.
A little fattening, but a totally delicious one.
Peach Ice Cream

The theme for the Fantastical Food Fight is ICE CREAM this month, which is good, cause it's July and in many parts of the country it's been hotter than ____.  Although in my little part of the world, it's kinda monsoon season combined with sweat lodge/sauna and hurricanes.

Which is totally miserable!

I've been wanting to play making my own ice cream, without a churn.  So I did what anyone would do, I googled and googled and googled. 

I remember hearing about using sweetened condensed milk in ice cream years ago, and I found several sites that shared how to make ice cream using 2-3 ingredients.
This site, The Kitchn was one of them.  I also looked here and here.

Armed with that knowledge, some heavy whipping cream, a can of sweetened condensed milk, I let my inner child out to play.
Some of the flavorings or mix-ins or add ins or whatever you want to call them.
Dried Cranberries soaking in Brandy.  BTW, you can drink the brandy afterwards and it tastes like Cherry Brandy. 
I have an idea, sorry got excited there. 
Cranberries soaking in Brandy for Brandied Cranberry Ice Cream
 Chunky pieces of canned peaches, mixed in with the sweetened condensed milk.
Peaches for Peach Ice Cream
 Folding the whipped cream into the peaches and cream.
Peach Ice Cream

I've been wanting to recreate a rum soaked raisin ice cream I had many years ago, and this was the perfect vehicle.  But the bottle of rum I knew I had was gone, and I'm the guilty one. I use it to make my home made vanilla extract.  So I soaked some raisins in some Cassis liqueur but it didn't work well.  I mean, they were ok, but kinda meh.  Although the raisins were delicious, but tasted mostly raisiny.

Then I got the AHA!!! moment and soaked some dried cranberries in brandy and that, well, all I can say is, I'm making more.
Brandied Cranberry Ice Cream
and another shot, cause you know I had to.
Brandied Cranberry Ice Cream

I did also make some peach ice cream.  I'm just wondering if I need to call it Peaches and Cream Ice Cream? 
Peach Ice Cream

Not everyone likes boozy ice cream ya know.

3 ingredient No Churn Ice Cream

Yield: 4 servings
prep time: 5 Mcook time: 6 hourtotal time: 6 H & 5 M
This is a perfect vehicle for all kinds of add ins to make your favorite ice cream.


  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  •  1 tsp. Flavored extracts
  • Mix ins-
  • 1 can drained peaches, chopped ( or any fruit)
  • or
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries soaked in 1/2 cup Brandy
  • or
  • 1/2 cup raisins soaked in 1/2 cup Dark Rum



  1. Whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff.  
  2. If using fruit or other mix-ins, stir them into the sweetened condensed milk.  
  3. Fold the whipped cream into the milk/ fruit mixture.  Place a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap against the surface of the cream mixture and place in freezer for a minimum of 6 hours.  
  4. Take out and scoop and enjoy your fresh home made ice-cream. 
NOTE:  You can make this a plain Vanilla Ice Cream by omitting the add ins.   If using heavier ingredients as the mix in, freeze half the recipe, add the fruit or chocolate or?, then pour the remainder of the ice cream mix on top and let freeze. 
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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Sherry Onions

Many, many years ago there was a restaurant in Victoria, B.C.,  called "The Meatmarket"  They served gourmet hamburgers, with all kinds of wild toppings. 

I would treat myself to a meal there from time to time, and always ordered the same burger.  It had a topping of sherry onions.  They were silky, soft and so flavourful, that you didn't need anything else on top of the meat.  At least I don't remember getting anything on top of the meat other than those heavenly onions.  OMG, they were good. 
Sherry Onions

I got invited to a burger cookout and offered to bring the toppings, and one of the toppings I brought were my version of those heavenly, gorgeous, flavourful, delicious onions.

Get the impression I like onions?

You'd be right, I do.

In fact I've been known to pile onions, caramelized and raw, on top of bun, squirt a little BBQ sauce or my Blossom Dip on top and then eat them,  without any meat. 

I keep breath mints handy though.

I did a trial run the day before the cookout, and ended up taste testing almost half of the onions, but that's OK, cause I made more. 

Actually I did two kinds of cooked onions and some sliced raw onions as well. And even pickled some red onions.  I'll tell you about them in another post though.

Nothing like excess.

I used Vidalia onions for this, as I thought that the sweet onions would be perfect, but I think you can use good old yellow onions.  Using Vidalia's or sweet onions, you do have to be a touch more vigilant in cooking them, because they like to cook down to mush faster than regular onions.

The trick here is to cook them low and slow, get a little color but not cook them to mush.  I also used some Ghee, home Ghee that is.  I keep some in the freezer all the time.

 Here is a shot of how I let it sit and separate.

I like to cut them into wedges before peeling.  
 In the pan, with a drizzle of ghee on top. As they start to cook. 

Sherry Onions
 After they've been cooking a little while.
Sherry Onions

Sherry Onions
Sherry Onions

Yield: 6 or more or less
prep time: 5 Mcook time: 29 Mtotal time: 34 M
These are a perfect topper to a hamburger or any kind of sandwich which calls for cooked onions.


  • 6 medium onions, cut into wedges, 6 or so per onion, separated
  • 2-4 tablespoons of Ghee or 2 tablespoons  butter and 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons + sherry


How to cook Sherry Onions

  1. Cut the onions into wedges, then separate the layers.  Melt the ghee or butter and olive oil over low heat.  Add the onions, and cook  for at least 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until they start to turn color and get a little golden.   Add the sherry and continue to cook for another minute.  Here is where you taste test and add more sherry if desired. 
  2. Serve hot on top of a hamburger or just a plain broiled hamburger patty.
Note:  You can also make some up and freeze them for future use if desired.  Add them to a stew or soup or chili, for an extra burst of oniony goodness. 
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All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2019, with all rights reserved thereof. 

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Copycat Schlotzky Sourdough Buns

What do you do when you're craving a Schlotzky sandwich and the nearest Schlotzky's is over 100 miles away? (Schlotzky's are a chain which started in Texas, and they seem to have franchises all over the place, but none close to me.  You can read about them here.)

I was just told that the nearest Schlotzky's is actually over 200 miles away.  The closest ones are now closed, due to Hurricane Michael.  Which means this recipe is really timely.

You make your own, and call it a copycat.  Which isn't a bad thing.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? 

Schlotzky Style Sourdough Buns

True confessions here, I was actually searching for sourdough recipes for a recent blog event when I ran across how to make Schlotzky's signature buns.  I hurriedly bookmarked the pages and then continued my search for a Sourdough Focaccia. 

I do have to say that while I followed the instructions, almost exactly I did put my own twists to it.
Here are the sites I looked at, first this one.  And I may try their recipe in the future, but it seemed to be a touch more complicated than I wanted for my first try.  But it did have sourdough starter in it.
Then I looked at this one and then this one but they were basically identical.   So I merged the two and made my buns.

Fair warning here, you may be tempted to add more flour, don't.  This isn't so much a dough as a pour-able dough or batter if you like.   Letting it rise just once, gives it the big bubbles that are characteristic of sourdough.  I believe that the addition of the baking soda also helps the bubbles to form. 

I didn't have any plain cornmeal but did have some semolina so I used that to dust the pans.   One other note, I used the bread proofing setting on my oven for the dough to rise and they rose in just about 40 minutes, but I let them go an additional 5 minutes and it was almost too long as the buns started to collapse a little.  I would have let them rise on the counter but when you have air conditioning, it's not bread friendly.
Schlotzky Style Sourdough Buns
After letting them rise, and baking them off.
Schlotzky Style Sourdough Buns
Split them and get ready to play.
Schlotzky Style Sourdough Buns
 Had to do a close up, the crumb looked so good
Schlotzky Style Sourdough Buns
And then I got carried away and forgot to take step by step pictures until this one,  and it's a bit blurry.
Schlotzky Style Sourdough Buns
After topping it
Schlotzky Style Sourdough Buns
 And the obligatory side view. 
Schlotzky Style Sourdough Buns
I cut it into wedges and we ate.   Look at the gorgeous layered sandwich.
A true thing of beauty and it tasted so good. 
Schlotzky Style Sourdough Buns

NOTE:  You really do need to keep an eye on these as they proof.  One minute they're fine and the next they've overproofed.  
Just wanted to share some more pictures, I make these on a regular basis. 
Schlotzky Style Sandwiches

Schlotzky Style Sandwiches

Schlotzly style Sourdough Batter Buns
Schlotzky Style Sourdough Buns

Yield: 3 - 6 inch buns
Author: Sid's Sea Palm Cooking adapted from several recipes
prep time: 1 hourcook time: 20 Mtotal time: 1 H & 20 M
These buns are patterned after the Schlotzky Sourdough Buns, and can make a great 'Original' Schlotzky Sandwich. They're also good toasted under the broiler and topped with sharp cheddar cheese and jam.


  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1 package instant rise dry yeast ( 1/4 ounce if weighing out)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk (110 degrees)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1-2 teaspoons semolina or cornmeal for dusting the pans
  • 1 tablespoon +1 teaspoon melted butter
Sandwich Filling per sandwich
  • 6-8 thin slices  Genoa Salami 
  • 6-8 thin slices Cotto Salami
  • 6-8 thin slices Ham
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Thinly sliced tomato
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 4 oz. can chopped black olives ( you may not need all of it)
  • 2 oz Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 oz Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic Sauce or Garlic Caesar Dressing
  • Mustard
Garlic Sauce
  • 4-6 tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (add more to taste if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry ranch dressing


How to cook Schlotzly style Sourdough Batter Buns

  1. Stir the sugar into the warm water, then add the yeast and stir again.   Let sit for a couple of minutes, then whisk in the warm milk.   Mix the salt and baking soda into the flour, then add 1 cup of flour, whisk together, until smooth.    A Danish dough whisk works great here.   Add the remaining flour and whisk again until it is all incorporated.   Spray three 6 inch pans with non stick cooking spray and sprinkle one teaspoon semolina or cornmeal in each pan, as evenly as possible.   Divide the dough and pour into the pans. Spread it out a little but don't worry the dough will rise and cover the bottom just fine.    Cover with plastic wrap which has been sprayed with some non-stick spray and set aside to rise in a warm, draft free place for up to one hour.  I let mine rise in my oven with the bread proofing setting enabled and the buns rose in 30 minutes.   The dough will rise up to the plastic wrap, which is why you sprayed them with some non-stick spray.  But, you can remove the plastic wrap just before the dough reaches it, otherwise it will stick to the wrap.
  2. When well risen, heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Remove the plastic wrap and bake the buns for about 20 minutes, or until nicely browned on top.  Remove from oven, and brush the tops with the melted butter. If the tops are not nicely browned, simply place them back into the oven on broil after basting them with the butter. This also makes a lovely crust. 
Assembly of Sandwiches
  1. Split each bun horizontally. Spread a thin layer of garlic sauce on the cut side of the bottom half.  Sprinkle a layer of each cheese on top, evenly.  Place under broiler in the oven until the cheese is just melted, about 1 minute.  Layer the meats evenly over each bun and then top with the onion, tomatoes, lettuce and black olives.   Spread a little more garlic sauce and some mustard on the cut side of the top half of the bun.  Place the top half of the bun on the sandwich with the sauce side down.    Cut into wedges to serve.  


NOTE: I have 3 pans which are 6 inch size.  You can also make these into either one 6 inch pan and one 8 inch pan or two 8 inch pans.  The larger pans will yield a thinner bun, but are a good option if you're taking them to a potluck, as they can be easily cut into wedges for serving. Any leftover buns can be wrapped and frozen for later use.  They do dry out however. 

NOTE:  If you don't use a lot of sandwich meat, you can double wrap the leftover sandwich meat and freeze it for later use.  I do it all the time, as we don't eat a great of it, and I hate to throw it away. 

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Monday, July 1, 2019

First Monday Favorites - July - 32

 Sourdough Focaccia is my favorite recipe this month. 
Sourdough Focaccia

It's time for First Monday Favorites again.

And it's also CANADA DAY!!! Which I will be celebrating in my own little way. 

First Monday Favorites

I've been doing this small roundup for a couple of years now.  I've gotten some great ideas and recipes from other bloggers as well.

I was looking at the posts I did from last month and while I liked them all, I mean I did make and enjoy them, but my favorite was the Sourdough Focaccia.

Sourdough Focaccia
Even if I did get the top a touch too salty,   the taste and texture were spot on.  Pretty much perfect.   And I've got more starter in the fridge, just waiting.

I didn't eat all the bread, but used some of it and made a kind of 'biscotti' cracker from it

Sourdough Focaccia 'crackers'
and topped it with some Shrimp, and called it Shrimp Bites.  In fact I'll be making more of them, just as soon as I lose the three pounds I put on eating all the goodies from this month.
Shrimp Bites

I don't just cook and bake, I eat my cooking and baking as well. 
How else am I going to tell you how good it is?

And if you're curious check out this Pinterest Board for previous First Monday Favorites.

Here is where you share your favorite recipe from last month, the one recipe you made that you'll make time and time again.

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