Smothered Cabbage

Sweet Daddy D's Smothered Cabbage
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Smothered Cabbage is first rate comfort food and often overlooked. Smother it slowly in in its own juices, flavored with creole seasoning and a few herbs and spices and some delicious pork fat. The natural sweetness is drawn out and renders a warming and satisfying creole treat. It's too good for just New Years Day!
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  1. Sprinkle the pork chops with kosher salt and pepper and creole seasoning and set aside.
  2. Remove the outer leaves and cut out the hard stem of the cabbage. Slice cabbage in half, then slice each half across in 4 to 6 pieces.
  3. Slice onion into thick rings and then cut the rings in half; rough chop the garlic
  4. Heat bacon grease in a Dutch oven over medium high heat.
  5. Brown the pork chops on both sides in the bacon grease. When browned, remove the pork chops from the pan and set aside.
  6. Add the onions and sauté until starting to soften and brown on the edges.
  7. Add the garlic and stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add in the cabbage a handful at a time. Stir well and allow to cook down a little before you add more. You may have to let it cook down a bit before you add all of the cabbage.
  9. Add the herbs and spices, sugar and the bay leaves. Mix well.
  10. Add back the pork chops. Lower the heat to medium low and cover the pot. Check in about 10 to 15 minutes and stir. The cabbage should be giving off some water so add chicken stock only if needed.
  11. Add no more than a 1/4 cup of chicken stock and only if needed, there may adequate liquid rendered from the cabbage and no need to add any additional, mix well. If you add a little too much stock, just let it cook a little off.
  12. Allow the cabbage to simmer uncovered for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  13. Cover and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes until the cabbage is completely cooked down. Then remove the cover, increase the heat and allow some browning and some of the excess liquid to cook off. Then its done!
Recipe Notes

If pork chops are not available, other cuts of pork can be used as the seasoning meat like smoked ham hocks. Try to use something with a little fat.

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Herb Roasted Turkey

Sweet Daddy D's Herb Roasted Turkey
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A dry brine and a liberal application of a butter and herb paste will result in a tender and juicy bird. So good, you won't want to just eat turkey on Thanksgiving.
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Dry Brining
  1. Mix the Dry Brine ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Remove giblets from inside turkey and reserve for another use. Rinse turkey inside and out and dry very well with paper towels.
  3. Liberally coat turkey inside and outside with dry brine; place the bird on a rack over a baking pan and refrigerate uncovered for 12 - 14 hours (1 hour per lbs)
  4. Rinse off the dry brine thoroughly inside and out; dry the bird with paper towels; place back on the rack over the baking pan and store again in refrigerator uncovered for 4 to 6 hours or longer if possible. (This helps to dry off the skin which will help make the skin crispy when roasted).
Prepping the BIrd
  1. While the bird is sitting in the fridge, mix all the Herb-Butter Paste ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. The butter should be very soft, but not totally melted. Tie the fresh herb sprigs left over from the Herb Butter Paste (fresh sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, tarragon and basil) together with butcher twine and set aside. Cut the apple, orange, yellow onion and garlic into the proper sizes.
  2. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator.
  3. Prepare the cavity first before moving to the outside: Rub inside the cavity liberally with Herb-Butter Paste, then stuff the cavity with herbs, fruit and veggies:
  4. Place the tied herbs deep in the cavity and follow with as much of the apple, orange, yellow onion quarters and garlic halves as possible. Depending on the size of the bird and the cavity, this may not all fit.
  5. To loosen the skin on the turkey, slide your fingers under the skin, moving your fingers deeper under the skin while you hold the skin with the other hand. Spread the Herb Butter Paste underneath the loosened skin as much as possible, then rub the Herb Butter Paste all over outside (top and bottom) of the bird. Leave as thick of a coating as you can on top of bird.
Roasting
  1. Preheat oven 325 degrees
  2. Spray a roasting rack and roasting pan with nonstick spray. Place the buttered bird on the roasting rack set in the roasting pan with about 1 cup of water or white wine in bottom of the pan
  3. Roast at 325 deg for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours, until breast temp is 170; thigh 165 degrees. Cover with foil if browning too much or when it is golden brown.
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Eggplant and Shrimp Casserole

Sweet Daddy D's Eggplant and Shrimp Casserole
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Eggplant and shrimp casserole, baked with creole seasoning to a bubbly golden brown. A fabulous side dish but also strong enough to stand up as a special entree.
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  1. Peel, clean and rinse shrimp. Depending on the size of the shrimp, they can be chopped into a smaller size if desired. Pat dry with paper towels and place in a bowl. Add a generous sprinkle of creole seasoning, mix well and set aside.
  2. Peel the eggplant and cut into small cubes about 1/2 inch square; place in a bowl and mix in a little (not much) kosher salt. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat in Dutch Oven.
  4. Sauté the yellow onions in the butter until starting to clear
  5. Add the green onions and garlic and saute until the garlic is aromatic, probably about two minutes.
  6. Add the eggplant cubes a little at a time with your hands but don't add any of the water that has gathered in the bottom of the bowl. Mix the eggplant cubes and sauteed onions together very well
  7. Add salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons of creole seasoning. Mix well.
  8. Cook over medium high heat until the eggplant is starting to soften. The eggplant will give off a lot of water and this will partially cook off.
  9. When soft and starting to reduce, smash down some of the eggplant with a wooden spoon.
  10. Add the shrimp and mix well and continue to cook for about 10 or 15 minutes or when the liquid is starting to evaporate.
  11. Remove from the heat and add the bread crumbs a little at a time and mix well. The eggplant should tighten up a little, but don't over do the bread crumbs.
Preparing to Bake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spread a thin layer of butter inside of an oven proof casserole or baking dish.
  3. Pour the eggplant mix into baking dish and spread out softly.
  4. Sprinkle a little bread crumbs on top and place about 6 small dots of butter on top
  5. Bake in 350 degrees preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbly on edges and browned a little on top.
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