I don’t think I’ve met a tamale I didn’t like. And I especially like those made in the style of the Mississippi Delta. I had never made tamales myself until a couple weeks ago, and they turned out pretty good. So, I was delighted to come across today’s recipe for Tamale Balls which are a popular appetizer along the Mississippi, particularly down around New Orleans where the food is a wonderful blend of many cultures. I must confess I have not made these tamale balls myself yet, but I see that happening really soon. But I have it on good authority that they are delicious and worth a try.

There are some other really good recipes today that I hope you’ll try. The Easy Pork Chops is one of my stand-by recipes, and it goes well with mashed potatoes , rice, or noodles! Also, you’ll want to check out the Pour Batter Pizza which bakes up into a really quick and easy “Pizza Pie.” I used to love going to the Piccadilly, and I am always glad when I see a recipe which is supposedly one of theirs. Look for the hamburger steak and gravy recipe today. One of the staples in my pantry is dried onions, and I find more and more uses for them, and they are really worth keeping on hand. They reconstitute well in recipes and add a wonderful flavor and less is required that freshly chopped onions.

And finally, if you have never made a Turtle Cake, you might want to give this one a try!

Make it a good week, and let me hear from you!

Tamale Balls

Note: You can serve with sour cream, jalapenos, and or shredded cheese!

1 & 1/2 lb. ground beef

1 & 1/2 lb. ground pork

1 & 1/2 cups corn meal or Masa

3/4 cup apple juice

1/2 cup flour

2 tsp. garlic powder

3 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

Sauce:

60 oz. V8 Juice (I use low sodium)

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1 tsp. sugar

In a large mixing bowl combine the first 11 ingredients to form tamale balls. Roll into 1-inch balls and set aside. In a large pot combine the remaining ingredients for tamale ball sauce. Add formed balls to sauce and cook over low heat for one and one-half to two hours or until tamale balls are fully cooked. Tamale balls will increase in size due to the cornmeal and become like a tamale.

Alternate Cooking Directions:

Follow steps one and two, and then combine sauce in a large slow cooker and add formed balls. Cook on high for five to six hours or until tamale balls are fully cooked. Enjoy!

Pour Batter Pizza

Richard’s Note: This makes up quick and easy for a quick meal! You can use whatever toppings you want. If you use hamburger or sausage, cook it first and drain it before adding it to your pizza!

Crust Batter:

1 cup flour

2/3 cup milk

2 eggs

1 tsp salt

1 tsp Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease and flour a 10x15 rimmed baking sheet. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, oregano, garlic powder, pepper, eggs, and milk, and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and tilt pan around until bottom is evenly coated. Sprinkle the cooked meat, pepperoni, and mushrooms over the batter. (Save some toppings for top if desired.) Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with pizza sauce and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Add additional toppings if desired. Bake until cheese is bubbling (about 5 more minutes). Slice and serve.

Cuban Sliders

Richard’s Note: If you like Cuban Sandwiches, you will love these!

1 (12 pack) Hawaiian rolls

1 lb. ham lunch meat, thinly sliced

1 pkg. Swiss cheese slices (you will need 8 slices)

1 jar Clausen Dill Pickle Sandwich Slices (you will need 6 slices)

2 Tbs. dried minced onion

1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease an 8x12 pan (9x13 would also work) with butter. Without separating them, slice the entire package of Hawaiian rolls horizontally in half. Place the bottom half in buttered pan, cut side up. Layer ham slices on top of the cut rolls. Place Swiss cheese slices on top of the ham. Cut each pickle slice in half. Place one half pickle slice on each slider. Cover with Hawaiian roll tops. Make sauce by whisking together melted butter and Dijon mustard. Add in the minced onion and stir. Spoon the sauce over the roll tops. Cover pan with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until the rolls are just beginning to get a little brown on top. Watch carefully at the end so they don’t burn. Remove the sliders to a cutting board with a spatula and cut into 12 pieces. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers. Serves 12.

Asparagus Bake

2 cups bread crumbs

1 bundle asparagus

1 cup mozzarella cheese

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup milk.

Preheat oven 350° line a baking dish with bread crumbs. Place asparagus and cheese and alternate layers of bread crumbs. Combine soup and milk, mix until smooth. Pour evenly over asparagus mixture sprinkle with bread crumbs bake 35 minutes.

Turtle Cake

1 cup chocolate chips

2 cups pecans

3/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 (14 oz.) bag caramels

1 & 1/3 cup water (or as called for by your cake mix)

1/3 cup oil (or as called for by your cake mix)

3 eggs (or as called for by your cake mix)

1 (18 oz.) box German chocolate cake mix

Prepare cake mix as directed. Pour one-half of the batter in a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. In a double boiler, add caramels, milk and butter and stir constantly till melted. Pour melted caramel over cooling cake. Sprinkle on top one cup of pecans and chocolate chips. Pour remaining batter on top and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Enjoy!!!!

Cowboy Stew

Note: You can make this delicious stew as spicy or as tame as you want!

1 & 1/2 lb. 95% lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

4 medium potatoes, cubed (peeled or unpeeled

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 can Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles

1 can ranch style beans

1 can corn, drained

1 can tomato soup

1 can diced green chiles

1 clove chopped garlic

1/2 tsp. sugar

Salt & pepper, to taste

3 cup water

Brown beef and drain. Transfer to a large pot or crockpot and add remaining ingredients. If cooking on the stove, cover and simmer about one hour, stirring occasionally, until carrots and potatoes are tender. If cooking in the crock pot, cook on low eight hours or on high four to five hours, or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Enjoy!

Hamburger Steak and Gravy

Piccadilly Cafeteria’s Hamburger Steak

1 lb. ground beef

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup fine breadcrumb

2 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. minced dry onion

1 (10 & 1/2 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup

3/4 cup water

1 & 1/4 oz. brown gravy mix

Mix ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper and onion. Pat out four patties. Using a wooden spoon handle and make a hole in the center of the patty. Fry patties over medium-high heat until well done. Drain grease. In a separate pan heat cream of mushroom soup, water and package of brown gravy until smooth. Pour gravy over patties and simmer covered for about 10 minutes.

Pork Chop Casserole

1 stick butter

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 can condensed celery soup

1 can condensed mushroom soup

1 pkg. Lipton onion soup mix

3 cups water

1 small jar of pimentos

2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

1 & 1/2 cups uncooked rice

Tony’s, Creole Seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste.

Pork chops/chicken (I used boneless 1/2-inch pork chops)

Melt butter in Dutch oven and sauté bell pepper. Add all other ingredients to the pot except the meat and rice, and stir well on med-low till soup is incorporated. At this point check for seasoning and adjust to your taste. Then add the rice and stir. Season meat with salt and pepper and I added a little Tony’s. Place pork chops on top and push slightly under soup mixture to cover. Place lid on pot and bake for one and one-half hours at 350°. Take out of the oven, leaving the lid on, and let sit for 30 minutes before peeking and serving

Easy Pork Chops

Pork Chops trimmed of most of the fat

2 cans soup (I use cream of chicken. Some use one of cream of chicken and one cream of mushroom, undiluted)

1 pkg. of dry original ranch dressing

Combine the soups and the dressing and pour over the pork chops. Cook either in the oven or else in the slow cooker until the chops are fork tender.