Creole Cream Cheese and Pecan Pound Cake

I’ve been craving creole cream cheese lately and was in Metairie the other day, so I stopped by Dorignac’s Food Center to pick up some.

Poppy Tooker has a recipe to make your own batch of this soft Creole cheese. It is good as a snack itself (with a little fruit, cream or sugar) or mixed into cheesecakes, pound cakes and ice creams.

I got the idea for this cake after reading a recipe from the Crescent City Farmer’s Market. Frankly, they didn’t have near enough pecans (only 1/4 cup AND none in the pound cake). Instead of topping with pecans and having a strip of cinnamon brown sugar, I combined them to make a sweet and crunchy topping. They also make it in a bundt pan. I much prefer using loaf pans, as it is an easier shape to cut and store.


Sometimes the cake falls beautifully out of the pan. Other times, the corners stick. As the cook, I get to lick the bowl with the batter and scoop out all the remnants as well as cut off the not perfect edges to eat them before anybody sees. It is a tough gig but someone has to do it.

Creole Cream Cheese and Pecan Pound Cake

1 cup chopped pecans, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Creole cream cheese

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Grease and flour two loaf pans. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup chopped pecans with brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well with your fingers to break up any lumps of brown sugar. Add melted butter and mix until mixture resembles coarse meal. Divide and press into the bottom of the loaf pans.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, salt, and baking soda. Use a stand mixer to cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with Creole cream cheese, mixing well after each addition. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup of chopped pecans.

Evenly divide the batter and pour over the pecan sugar mix in each of the prepared loaf pans. Bake at 300 degrees for about an hour and a half (I baked mine for 95 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Rotate pans about 45 minutes into the cook time. Once done, remove from oven and cool in pan for 20 minutes, then invert the cake onto a wire rack and cool completely.

You may need to slice off the rounded portion before inverting, so that the pound cake sits evenly with the pecan topping on the top. Consider those slices the chef’s reward!

Chocolate Rice Pudding with Caramelized Rice Krispies

I bought a big box of Rice Krisipies and was able to make two batches of treats. There were still some left in the box that I needed to find a way to use before they went stale. I read a recipe about caramelizing them and using them as sprinkles on ice cream, cakes, etc. However, that method seemed like a fine way to set fire to the kitchen, so I altered the way to make them. As I’ve been trying to discover a rice pudding recipe I can tolerate (my girlfriend loves, loves rice pudding), I decided to try a chocolate rice pudding to put under the caramelized Rice Krispies.


Chocolate Rice Pudding With Caramelized Rice Krispies

1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons sugar
pinch salt
3 tablespoons arborio rice
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used a Ghirardelli bittersweet baking bar)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Creme de Cacao

In a saucepan, combine milk, sugar, salt and arborio rice. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook over a vigorous simmer for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender but the pudding is still soupy. Stir regularly while it simmers.

Add in the butter and stir. Break up the chocolate bar into pieces and add it. Stir until melted. Remove from heat and add the creme de cacao. Distribute amoung four cups. Nestle plastic wrap directly over the pudding to prevent a skin from forming and place in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Sprinkle caramelized Rice Krispies over the top before serving.


Caramelized Rice Krispies

4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Stir until sugar is dissolved and has begun to boil. Put the Rice Krispies in a large bowl and pour over sugar and water mixture. Stir well until every single piece of cereal is coated.

Place  cereal on a large cookie sheet and bake in 20 minute increments until cereal is desired color, stirring every time you check it. I cooked mine for 40 minutes. Cool on pan and store in an airtight container.

Sprinkle on ice cream, pudding, cakes and pies for a tasty, crunchy topping.

Gouda Malibu Chicken

I remember really enjoying Malibu Chicken from Sizzler Steakhouse as a kid and decided I wanted a version I could make at home. I also wanted to raise it up a notch or two by substituing gouda cheese for the Swiss of the original, marinading the chicken in a little honey before breading and baking instead of deep frying and broiling.


Gouda Malibu Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shreadded Parmesan/Romana/Asiago cheese (I use the Kraft Shaker)
4 slices good quality ham
4 to 8 slices smoked gouda cheese

Pound the chicken breasts to a uniform thickness. Mix honey, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Place chicken and marinade in a plastic, zip top bag for at least 4 hours.

Set up three pie pans and place flour in one, eggs (scrambled with a little bit of oilive oil) in another and the bread crumbs and cheese in the remaining one. Remove chicken from marinade and dredge in flour, coat in egg and cover in breadbrumbs.

Place chicken in a buttered baking dish and cook for 20 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. Flip over the chicken and place on the top of it a slice of ham and enough cheese to cover. Bake for another 20 minutes or until done.

Serve with honey mustard sauce

Honey Mustard Sauce

1/3 cup mayonaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 teaspoons honey

Combine ingredients and whisk well. Taste and adjust as necessary. Store, tightly covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. It can keep up to 2 weeks, if stored properly.

Roasted Jalapeno Poppers

Michelle made 17 half pint jars of pepper jelly the other day and had some jalapeño peppers left over.  We didn’t want to have to fry anything so we looked for jalapeño popper recipes that roasted or baked them instead. One of the ones we found was this one from Rachel Ray. It provided a good stepping off point for the ones we ended up making and then enjoying out by the pool with our mojitos.


Roasted Jalapeño Poppers

12 jalapeno peppers
¼ cup onion, chopped very fine
5 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped pretty fine
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Cut one third off lengthwise from each jalapeño pepper. Scrape out all the seeds and ribs from each jalapeño with a spoon. Mince the small pieces of pepper. Coat the larger pieces (from here on out called jalapeño pepper boats) with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine minced jalapeño pepper, onion, bacon, cream cheese, ¾ cups cheddar cheese, cumin and garlic salt in a mixing bowl. Stir well. Taste for seasonings before spreading into jalapeño boats. Sprinkle a little extra cheddar cheese on top.

Roast for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is brown at the edges and bubbly. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before eating or you’ll burn your mouth!


S’more Rice Krispies Treats

There was a sale on the large boxes of Rice Krispies cereal, so I immediately started thinking of making treats but making them MY way. I was inspired by this recipe from Mom On Time Out but it needed a bit more graham cracker goodness and for me to adultify it by using a better quality, darker chocolate.


The sag on these is because I didn’t wait 10 minutes before rolling!

S'more Rice Krispies Treats

4 tablespoons butter
10 ounce bag marshmallows (about 40)
5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 – 7 ounce container marshmallow cream
2 cups semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat in a Dutch oven or other large saucepan. As butter melts, use some to brush the bottom of a large, rimmed baking sheet (the one I used is 12 inches by 19 inches). Place a piece of waxed paper down and brush it with butter as well. Without all the butter, it doesn’t roll up so well!

After the butter is melted, add in the marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Stir in the Rice Krispies cereal and the graham cracker crumbs until it is well mixed. Press into the prepared pan.

Spread across the top the entire container of marshmallow cream. Over that, spread the melted chocolate. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes to harden a little and then roll from the long side (unless you want honking huge treats, don’t roll from the short side!). Allow to harden in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before slicing into rounds.

Corn Off the Cob with Sour Cream

A decadently rich accompaniment to most any meal is creamed corn. This version is very simple but very, very good.


Corn Off the Cob with Sour Cream

5 to 6 ears corn on the cob
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup sour cream

Cut the kernels from the corn, making sure to milk the cob by running the back of the blade down each cob to get all the yummy juice.

Heat the butter in a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add in the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the corn and cook through, about 5 minutes.

Pour in the sour cream and stir well. Add in the salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste for seasonings and serve.

Pecan Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Cinnamon, sugar and pecans make for a tasty treat, especially when baked into this delicious coffee cake. It puts a layer in the center so you get lots of ooyie-gooyie goodness in every bite.


Pecan Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and beat well. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream.

In separate bowl, mix brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, chopped pecans to form the filling. Mix well.

Spread half of batter in a well greased loaf pan (8X5). Top with half of the filling. Spread remainder of batter next then the remainder of filling on top.

Bake at 350˚ for 50-60 minutes.