Contributed by: Cajun Clark
CONFESSION: Yep, da ol' mon is guilty of trying to use frozen
onions for a cookin' purpose they're not intended. On several
occasions Caj has taken a couple of packages out of the freezer,
put 'em in the frying pan, turned on the burner, and said, Let
there be sautéed onions.
Only problem was that frozen onions contain much more liquid
than fresh! Which means that if you try to cook the liquid off,
like da ol' mon did, you wind up with mushy onions. True, they
still taste good, but there's little if any body to 'em.
However, as you knew there would be, there are a couple of ways
to solve the problem. One, be satisfied with mushy onions.
Two, don't try to cook the liquid off and call 'em done when
they're the consistency you desire. Three, use only fresh
onions when you want 'em sautéed. The choice is yours.
Enough with the onions, Caj is onioned out. Oops, nearly forgot.
Friend Jim, Lake LBJ, Texas, gave da ol' mon a recipe that's a
keeper. Peel enough onions to tightly pack a casserole dish.
Slit an "X" in the top, salt and pepper to taste, add a pat of
butter, cook 'til done. M'm, M'm good. Or as friend Roz would
say, Lip smackin' oinkin' good.
TRANSITION: Caj never knows where the next creative idea will
come from, where he will be when it arrives, or what time of day
the light will start to glow. This time it was when da ol' mon
picked up the grocery circular from the post office box and his
eye caught the front corner where the ad featured: Short Ribs,
99¢ per pound.
For those of you not knowing Caj's convoluted thinking, all of
a sudden he was thinking about a recipe from Uncle Tom. Yep, a
sauce for short ribs; something that came about because of the
poundage of those suckers ya get when ya butcher a steer on the
ranch. But to really appreciate this recipe you need--maybe not
need, but will be entertained--to know a little something about
this third child of five, born in Oklahoma about 82 years ago,
now living in Rio Vista, California (at least he says he does).
Here's the quick recap: US Navy pilot in WW II; ferried and
sold planes to Siam before it became Thailand; bar and
restaurant owner on the private plane side at the Oakland,
California airport; wallboard contractor; heating and air
conditioning contractor; and recently, like a few weeks ago,
watchman for a major construction company. If the truth be
known, his Air Stream trailer, the one he uses on construction
sites and plain ol' traveling, has more amenities than da ol'
There are many anecdotes that could be told, but that could
result in... So here's the first recipe:
Uncle Tom's Short Rib Sauce
- 1 cup catsup
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup red wine
- *Liquid smoke
- *All to taste.
Works great to cook short ribs in a crock pot or slow cooker.
However, a cast iron Dutch oven in the oven at slow heat--like
250((F) works quite well. Even on top of the stove at a low
heat is very doable. Yep, once again it's your decision.
Uncle Tom's Marinade
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Dash red pepper sauce
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire
- 3 teaspoons catsup
- 1/2 cup salad oil
- 1 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup wine vinegar
Believe it or not, ol' mon Caj has a few more recipes for this
Fortnight. Here's the next one that's over 30 years old and
from an Armenian friend in Fresno, California. For some reason,
he would not cook or eat lamb unless it was marinated; this is
Ron's Lamb Marinade
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1-1 1/2 cup sherry wine (beef use burgundy)
- Seasoned salt
- Garlic Salt
- 1 red onion quartered
Marinate 24 hours, turn; cook using method you desire when
This next recipe is a keeper, especially if you have adolescents
/ teenagers. If you want to keep them busy, the next time you
go to Wally World aka Wal-Mart take a look in the bakery for
round flat bread. So far da ol' mon has sampled Sun dried
Tomato with Basil and Zesty Garlic. Both are great. Now
here's what you do:
Caj's Individual Pizzas
1 round flat bread
Spread some pizza sauce, pasta sauce on it.
Cover with cheese and whatever else you want.
Put in oven at 450((F) until cheese melts and has the "golden" color you desire. Under the broiler works quite nicely, but you'd better watch it like a hawk.
Let rest on top of stove for a couple of minutes to cool.
Cut and DEVOUR!
This little goodie will keep the kids occupied, they'll have
fun, and learn a little about cookin' too.
Finally, here's a recipe that Caj can't wait to make; just needs
time to go to the general store. Lynne from Burnaby, British
Columbia, Canada has been gracious enough to share it with da
ol' mon. Yep, he's gonna share it with you.
Lynne's Polish or Ukrainian Salad
'This one is kind of touchy-feely. I make it for our family
every year. Make beets a day or so ahead so the flavours mingle.
Put in fridge. Wear a dark apron. You won't see the stains so
easily. Here goes:
'Cook some beets or buy canned. The quantity should suit how
much you will eat and how many one has to feed. I use a
pressure cooker to cook mine -- faster than boiling.
'Slip off skins while warm (I use rubber gloves) and coarsely
grate into a bowl (don't have to be cold).
'Squeeze out juice to dry them out a bit. Save juice and extra
beets for soup.
'Add a bunch of vinegar to make them reasonably moist, and to
'Add prepared horse radish a spoonful at a time. Mix and taste
as you go.
'I don't add salt, but use it if you don't like the taste
'This should be a relish, or side dish, but we eat it like a
whole salad. Mounds, lots on the plate.
'Put mixed beets (she means seasoned to taste, ready to eat)
into a bowl for serving. Leftovers can be refrigerated almost
indefinitely. It is very forgiving. I eat this as a lunch for
days and days, so I make lots of beets, and cook extra for
'M'm, M'm...good any time of year. Best if using home grown
Well, there you have it folks. Hope you enjoy reading this
Fortnight and the recipes, as much as da ol' mon enjoyed putting
it together for you. Hate to admit it but the scale seems to
weigh a little heavier for some reason. <grin>
Cajun Clark's monster 659-page eCookbook is no longer available. His second cookbook in the series, with nearly 500 recipes
is Sweet & Sassy! http://www.cajunclarkssweetandsassy.com
You can grab a copy of Cajun Clark's Selected Freebies at