New Year Brock’s Way: Tasty recipes from Brock

Happy New Year! I hope that this year brings all of you blessings.  I am certainly blessed.  I have been blessed to be able to travel in my life all over the world.  To Europe, to the Pacific Islands, to Canada, to the British Isles, to Africa, to the Caribbean and Mexico, and all over the United States.  I suppose my favorite place to visit was stunning Switzerland.  To see God’s beauty was just breathtaking.  However, as many places as I have traveled, there is nothing like the south, and its southern food.  I may just be privy to this type of cooking, but it’s just darn good!  My priest is from India, and he has lived here in the south for almost two years now, and he loves southern food.  I’m going to invite him over to my family’s one evening for a super southern supper.  He might not leave my house. Ha ha !!! He is a nice guy!  I hope you enjoy these tasty recipes I have provided for you this week.  The casseroles are awesome, and the cake is sweet and simple to prepare! Enjoy, readers!  Send me your recipes via Facebook, or via my e-mail, provided at the bottom of this article.

Brock’s “Chicken-Less” Casserole

Note:  Another name for this scrumptious casserole is Poppyseed Chicken, or even just simply Chicken Casserole.  I name it Buttery Ritz Chicken Casserole.  But now I have invented a casserole just like it (minus the chicken).  Even my daddy loved it, and he never eats chicken casseroles of any type! It’s sooo good, and easy to prepare for the kids!

1 large can Campbell’s cream of chicken soup (or 2 small)

16 oz. sour cream

3 sleeves fresh Ritz crackers

2 sticks real butter (not margarine)

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine soup and sour cream together, and layer this evenly in a 13×9 greased casserole dish.  Then crumble crackers on top of this evenly.  Do not crush the crackers.  Lightly crumble them into pieces.  You want small pieces, not crumbs.  Melt the butter, and pour evenly all over the crackers.  Butter makes the crackers crunchier.  Margarine is not nearly as good as fresh, real butter (Land-O-Lakes sweet cream salted preferred).  Bake at 350 for about 20 min, covered with foil, or until bubbly and the crackers on top are lightly golden brown.  Serve with buttered white rice and a nice salad.

Brock’s Southern Pimiento & Cheese Grits Casserole

Note:  This is a perfect recipe to cook for your loved ones or college kids who are home for the holidays! They will lap it up!  This actual recipe of mine was featured in the Gooseberry Patch Cookbook last year!

3 cups of quick Quaker cooking grits (not instant)

10 cups of water

1 stick butter

One half cup heavy (whipping) cream

1 tsp. salt

16 oz. mild cheddar cheese (grated, not shredded)

4 oz. jar diced pimientos (drained)

One and one third cups mayonnaise (Blue Plate)

8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese, softened well

2 tsp. ground black pepper

Cook grits in water until tender.  In a large mixing bowl, add hot grits, butter, cream and salt.  In separate bowl, combine cheese, pimientos, mayonnaise, cream cheese and pepper very well (as you would make pimiento and cheese spread).  Add this mixture to the grits mixture and stir around.  Do not stir too much.  Pour into a greased 13x9x2 glass baking dish.  Sprinkle with a little more cheese if you wish (about a cup).  Bake at 375 degrees about 35-40 minutes, or until bubbly.  Sprinkle with cut green onion tops and more cheese.  Totally out of this world!

Brock’s Easy Orange-Pineapple Cake

Note: This is a cake that I invented.  Orange and pineapple are two fruits that are tremendous to combine.  Cut this one out! This cake is delicious, readers!

1 Duncan Hines pineapple supreme cake mix

3 extra large eggs

One and one third cups fizzy pineapple Crush soda

One third cup oil

1 reg. box orange Jell-O gelatin (not pudding)

Sifted powdered sugar (for top)

Put all ingredients into mixing bowl and mix with electric mixer on medium high speed for about 3-4 minutes.  Pour into a VERY well-greased and floured Bundt cake pan.  Use Crisco shortening to grease and self-rising flour to flour the pan.  I use traditional Bundt pan, not pound cake pan.  Bake for about 37-40 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven to cool and turn out on to a cake plate.  Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar after it’s cool.   May serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.

Editor’s Note:  Brock W. Rogers is an experienced southern food writer, high school and university instructor, educator, European traveler, and a passionate lover of the culinary and pastry arts.  Find him on Facebook at Brock’s Bites-Southern Recipes, or at brockrogers1@gmail.com