Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kumama's Super Coconut Cake

Today has been a lazy day for me- even more than usual. Much of the day was spent talking with beloved friends and family and obsessing on sweets. Coconut, coconut, coconut!! I have been searching my files for a recipe for a very simple coconut cake I made years ago. It is very sweet with lots of coconut. It is special as it can be made in advance, and travels well. Disappears rapidly! Fortunately I found the recipe!
I can only make this when I am taking it to a party or if guests are coming- as a diabetic and coconut lover supremo – I cannot be left alone with this cake. Enjoy!!

Kumama’s Super Coconut Cake

1 box yellow cake mix or white cake mix and the
ingredients to make cake, as listed on cake mix box
1 8 ounce can Cream of coconut- divided
1 large tub of Cool Whip (generic may be used)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1 cup Pecans, chopped (walnuts are also good)
1 cup shredded coconut

Prepare a 9x13 inch pan –grease and flour. Mix and bake cake according to package directions.
When cake tests done and while still hot, poke holes in it with a fork.
Mix together sweetened condensed milk and 4 ounces cream of coconut and slowly pour over cake, filling holes. Let cake cool slightly.
Blend the cool whip and remaining cream of coconut and spread over the cake. Top with pecans and coconut. Cover and refrigerate.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Kumama's Crab Cakes

July in Maryland-you must have crab cakes, corn on the cob and sliced tomatoes for dinner!! Yummmm!!!
I grew up in Annapolis, Maryland. When I was about eight years old there was a crab house next door. It was started by one of the first African-American business women in town.
The Crab house steamed the crabs that were sold. There was a special blend of spices that were cooked with the crabs-I can still remember the aroma!! The women would pick the crabs, fingers flying to obtain the luscious crab meat. Crabs by the dozen or bushel, crab cakes and deviled crabs were sold. Deviled crabs were made with same the crab cake mixture –but much spicier, stuffed in a crab shell and then baked. The women welcomed me in to watch, teaching me much. There was much joy in Miss Gray’s crab house.
My crab cakes are good but I will never be able to equal the ones I ate as a child in that crab house while watching the women picking crab meat.

Kumama’s Crab Cakes

1 pound fresh lump crab meat
1/2 cup cracker crumbs or bread crumbs
1 egg- slightly beaten
1/4 cup mayonnaise (more if needed)
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning (or your favorite seafood seasoning)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, if desired
Canola oil for pan frying

Carefully remove all cartilage and any pieces of shell from crabmeat. In a bowl, mix together egg, mayonnaise, Old Bay seasoning, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard. Add crabmeat and cracker crumbs; mix evenly and gently. Shape into 6 cakes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least one hour. This may be done several hours in advance or even over night. Sauté crab cakes in a frying pan until deep golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Crab cakes may also be broiled on greased sheet pan or cake pan until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Make sure there is Old Bay seasoning on the table for those who want more spice.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kumama's Chicken Santa Fe

Good morning!!!
Today my husband and I put the invitations to our 40th Anniversary party in the mail. It’s not until September so there is still time to plan. It will be a very informal gathering – A crab feast- always a favorite here in Maryland. We hope many of our friends and family will be able to attend.
The week is winding down- time to use the Crock Pot for a simple meal that will “cook itself” so to speak. This meal is so easy! Leftovers freeze well but it is unlikely there will be any left!! It can be served over cooked rice or noodles. Corn chips are also a nice addition. Vary the type of beans if you like, and different cheeses also work. The hot pepper cheese from the deli counter adds a nice kick. For economy, boneless skinless chicken thighs may be used

Kumama’s Chicken Santa Fe

2 cans (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (15 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon black pepper *
2 cups bottled thick and chunky- salsa mild, medium or hot- your choice (if you don’t like chunky- puree in blender first) –
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds)
1½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro to garnish

Cut each breast half in 2-3 pieces depending on the size of the chicken breasts. In a slow cooker, mix together the beans, corn, onion, cumin, pepper and ½ of the salsa. Top with the chicken breast pieces. Pour the remaining 1/2 of the salsa over the chicken. Cover and cook on high setting for 2 ½- to 3 hours, (or 4-6 hours on low) or until the chicken is tender and white throughout. Do not over cook or the chicken will toughen. Sprinkle cheese on top, cover, and cook until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Serve and sprinkle with cilantro.
Serves 8 generously .
*Note- there is no salt added in this recipe- salt is in salsa, beans, corn and cheese. If you need more salt- add if you like.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kumama's Old Fashioned Blackberry Pie

Hello again!
Was outside picking blackberries today. Only a handful were ripe but they were oh so sweet!! I am so lucky to have a husband that planted blackberry bushes for me a few years back – they are now starting to produce. May have enough this year to make a pie (Recipe to follow). I’m not a great pie crust maker so I strongly advocate the use of the refrigerated pie crusts or the frozen ones already in the pie pan!! This pie is so very simple and so very good. Make a trip to the farmers market this week and find some blackberries to make this old fashioned pie.

Kumama’s Old Fashioned Blackberry Pie

1 quart fresh sweet blackberries, washed & drained
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Crust for pie- top and bottom- store bought just fine
1 tablespoon butter (not margarine)

Mix sugar, salt, and flour. Mix flour combo with berries. Fill pastry lined pie pan with berry mixture. Dot with butter. Place top crust place carefully over filling and seal edges . Cut 3 or 4 small holes/slits in the top of pie crust to allow steam to escape. Bake in a preheated 450° oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake 25 minutes longer or until crust golden brown and berry filling bubbling around the slits and edges.
Serves 6 to 8.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lime Marinated Fish Fillets

Good morning from Kumama's Kitchen. Here in the east (Maryland) we are having another one of our tropical days- Think I was cooler in the rain forest of Costa Rico!!
Thought a quick and easy to prepare fish dish would be in order for today . This lime marinated fish can be made in the broiler or out side on the grill- use what ever fish is on sale and looks good at the market . This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled Stay cool and drink lots of water!!

Lime Marinated Fish Fillets
by Kumama

1 pound fish fillets (cod, halibut, flounder, tilapia are good)
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped (more or less to taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste

For marinade, combine water, lime juice, honey, oil and dill zip top bag. Mix well. Add fish filets. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Turn bag once or twice to make sure all portions of fish are exposed to marinade.

Remove fish, discard marinade. Place fish on the greased broiler pan /tray, tucking under any thin edges so fish will cook evenly.

Cook fish under medium grill until fish flakes. Turn halfway through cooking and
baste the fish with juices in pan. Remember fish cooks quickly- do not over cook. Sprinkle with lime juice just before serving. Serves 2-4 depending on appetite size!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kumama's Learning Curve

Kumama has been slow to get her blog "going" . My son ,who posts on www.crablaw.com/weekly has been patiently teaching me the "how to's" of blogging. He has shone great patience!

Today I will give you a recipe for Kumama's Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches . They may be marinated over night -or not. . baked, grilled or broiled. A good item any day of the week!! Serve with a salad. Great in this summer weather. This is a super easy recipe!!!

Kumama’s Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (2 ounce) bottle hot pepper sauce - such as Tabasco red
1 (5 ounce) bottle jalapeno hot pepper sauce -
2 teaspoons paprika, divided
1 large or 2 small red onions, sliced in rings
4 slices tomato
4 leaves lettuce
4 thick slices French baguette, halved- toasted in oven if desired
Blue cheese dressing – optional

Preheat oven to 350 (or to broil if desired)
Place chicken in a foil-lined broiling pan. Pour hot pepper sauce and green hot pepper sauce over chicken, then, sprinkle with paprika. Top with half of the onion slices. (may be marinated over night in a zip-top bag).
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes(may also be broiled for about 15 min.), or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. OK to grill as well. Slice chicken in moderately thin slices. Place chicken on bottom half of sliced baguette; top with tomato, lettuce, raw onion and top half of baguette to serve. Serve blue cheese dressing to the side if desired. If grilled- serve with extra hot sauce. Serves 4.