I would love to share my late grandmother’s stew recipe with you this week…One of my very beloved recipes originated from my late grandmother (my daddy’s mother, Zane Eaves Rogers) who was probably one of the finest cooks in the world. Since her passing, I still have flashbacks of days when she would prepare her famous fluffy and moist turkey and dressing, her delectably perfect egg pies and her celebrated Brunswick stew—which is the finest stew this side of Georgia! Wow! And she would always give me an ice cold glass of sweet tea and a bite of cornbread with it too! What a blessed child I was! This personal recipe for Brunswick stew that I have provided for you this week originated directly from her. My mother and I prepare it now, and mother has modified it just a bit for enhancement of flavor. It is the most splendid version of the stew I have ever tried, and I hope you will take the time to enjoy it as well. It’s perfect for cooler weather. This recipe’s a keeper, readers! Additionally I provided a rich candy for you to snack on if you are still hungry following the stew…buttery Ritz cracker chocolate candy—-and also, last but not least, a heavenly pumpkin dip from Mrs. Kay DePriest Robertson!!! This will be a hit at all your get-togethers! Sister Kay lost her husband this week, and her family is in our prayers! All these recipes are direct from Heaven, indeed!!! Next week is part two of my Halloween candy! Enjoy, readers!
Mrs. Zane Eaves Rogers’ Brunswick Stew
Note: A few ingredients have been added to enhance the terrific flavor of this rich stew! The addition of real butter is truly the secret to this wonderful recipe!
1 extra large (very lean) chuck roast (or use 2 regular size chuck roasts)
10 large chicken breasts (with bone and skin)
1 can mild Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, mild
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
4 cans Veg-All mixed vegetables
1 large can whole tomatoes (not drained)
4 cans whole kernel corn
3 cups frozen cut okra (optional)
1 pkg. dry beef stew seasoning mix
1-2 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
One fourth cup sugar
Salt to taste
1 stick of butter (not margarine)
Wash roast(s) and chicken and place in large pot with water. Water should completely cover meat. Chop onions and bell pepper and place into pot with meat. Add all dry seasonings (also stew seasoning) to this. Add sugar later. Boil slowly on medium heat until meat gets very tender (2 hours or more). When done, take all meat out of pot and discard all visible fat, skin, bone. Chicken should fall off bone very easily and roast should fall apart easily when pierced. Place meat back into soup stock. Drain and add all vegetables, except do not drain tomatoes. Do not add okra at this point. Add butter and sugar. Boil on medium heat for approximately 1 more hour. Stir often with wooden spoon so mixture does not stick. You may need to add water at some point (not a lot, because mixture needs to be moderately thick). Add cut okra the last 30 minutes of cooking. This recipe feeds at least ten people, with leftovers. Tips from my late grandmother on Brunswick stew: Please note the seasonings used should be of your preference. You may add more or less of these to satisfy your own tastes. When soup is finished cooking, taste it. You may want to add more salt, sugar, etc. Also, you may add a tablespoon or two of ketchup if not enough tomato taste is present. Add a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch mixed in a cup with water if you do not believe the soup will be thick enough. Normally, there is no need to thicken soup because of the surplus amounts of vegetables and meat in stew.
Buttery Ritz Cracker Chocolate Candy
Note: Three words for this…buttery, chocolaty, addictive!!! Perfect for fall or Halloween parties!!! These may be stored in your refrigerator.
2 sticks butter (Land O’Lakes salted sweet cream)
1 cup brown sugar
2 sleeves Ritz crackers (full size sleeves)
Chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover a sheet pan with foil sprayed with cooking spray. Layer the crackers flat on the sheet pan. Cook butter and brown sugar over med-high heat until boiling. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Pour mixture over the crackers and bake 5 min. Remove from oven and sprinkle the chips over the crackers. Set for 5 minutes (this gives it time to melt somewhat). Spread chocolate over crackers. Refrigerate 4 hours. Remove and break into pieces.
Kay’s Perfect Pumpkin Dip
Note: This recipe was given to me by my sweet friend, Mrs. Kay DePriest Robertson. It is a fantastic appetizer to any meal and a great midnight snack Mrs. Kay says!!!
8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
16 oz. confectioner’s sugar (sifted)
1 can Libby canned pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
Beat cream cheese and sifted powdered sugar together very well. Add remaining ingredients, and mix well. Chill overnight, covered. Serve with fresh ginger snap cookies or on hot pumpkin bread or pecan type breads.
Editor’s note: Brock W. Rogers, an experienced Southern food writer, overseas traveler, educator, and passionate student of the culinary & pastry arts, resides in Louisville. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
or find him on Facebook (Brock’s Southern Tidbits-Recipes).