Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Stewed Tomatoes with Butter Toasted Croutons

Stewed Tomatoes with Butter Toasted Croutons

Stewed tomatoes with basil and freshly made toasted buttered croutons.

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

Stewed tomatoes is one dish I’ve never had any place but at home, cooked by my mother.

I’ve never seen them on a menu anywhere, have you? Too bad, too; as they are truly delicious, and so easy to make.

How to make stewed tomatoes

All you do is cook peeled, chopped tomatoes on the stovetop, with some butter, a little sugar, salt and pepper and herbs (I like to use basil), until the tomatoes completely fall apart and the flavors have had a chance to meld. Top the hot stewed tomatoes with a few crunchy homemade croutons and you have a beautiful tomato side dish.

Here’s a tip: do not leave out the butter or sugar! While you can reduce the sugar a bit if you want, some sugar is needed to balance the acidity of the tomatoes, unless you are using usually sweet tomatoes. Butter is absolutely necessary for the taste of this dish.

This batch of stewed tomatoes was made with fresh heirloom tomatoes from the market; the better quality tomato you start with, the better the result will be. That said, during most of the year when farm fresh juicy tomatoes are not available we will make stewed tomatoes with good quality canned tomatoes.

What to serve with stewed tomatoes

You can serve stewed tomatoes as a side to roast chicken, baked fish, or as a base for poached eggs as in shakshuka. You can serve it alongside or tossed with pasta, or with white beans. One reader mentioned they love serving it with mac and cheese.

Our favorite dish to serve alongside stewed tomatoes? Tuna Macaroni Salad. There’s something about the buttery, warm stewed tomatoes that is the perfect balance for cool fresh tuna salad.

Stewed Tomatoes with Butter Toasted Croutons Recipe

This recipe uses unsalted butter. If using salted butter, reduce the salt and garlic salt in the recipe.

The sugar balances the acidity of the tomatoes. Use less or more to taste.

Ingredients

Tomatoes:

  • 3 cups cored, peeled, roughly chopped, fresh, ripe tomatoes (about 2 pounds), OR one 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 basil leaves, chopped

Croutons

  • 2 or 3 slices of crusty French or Italian bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Garlic salt

Method

1 Cook the tomatoes with butter, sugar, and seasonings: Put peeled, chopped tomatoes, butter, sugar, salt and pepper into a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes or until tomatoes are cooked, soft, and the flavors have blended.

Add chopped basil and add more butter, sugar, salt and pepper if needed for balance.

2 Make the croutons on the stovetop: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small frying pan on medium heat. Add the bread cubes, and arrange in a single layer on the pan. Let gently cook on medium heat so that the bread dries out and gets slightly toasted. Turn pieces over to toast other sides.

Cook for about 10 minutes or until the croutons are crunchy dry, and slightly toasted. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Remove from heat.

Serve stewed tomatoes with a few croutons on top of each individual serving, and the rest of the croutons available in a small bowl to add as desired.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!


Basic Stewed Tomatoes With Fresh Tomatoes

This basic stewed tomatoes recipe is simply made with fresh tomatoes, salt, pepper, butter, and sugar.

Use up those ripe tomatoes from your garden or grab a nice selection of tomatoes from the grocery store or farmers market for this recipe. It takes only 30 minutes to make from start to finish, so you will enjoy the ease of making it and its delicious flavor.

Stewed tomatoes can be eaten as is or throw some croutons on top for that extra crunchy texture. They are also great to use in stews, soups, and chilis.

Click Play to See This Recipe Come Together


Recipe Summary

  • 6 large tomatoes - peeled, cored, and chopped
  • ¾ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

Combine tomatoes, green bell pepper, onion, and celery in a large skillet over medium heat cook and stir until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat and cook until green bell pepper and onion are soft, about 5 minutes more. Stir in sugar, salt, oregano, basil, and pepper.

Whisk water and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Stir into the skillet. Simmer tomato mixture until thickened, about 5 minutes.


How to Make Stewed Tomatoes

  • 1 large onion
  • 1T butter or oil for sauteing
  • 4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (or a package of Real Bacon bacon bits)
  • 3 14.5 oz cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 4 slices of bread (toasted, cut into bite-size pieces)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute onions in a dutch oven.
  2. Add bacon (or Real Bacon bacon bits) and continue sauteing until onions are translucent.
  3. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
  4. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. (You can actually cook the stewed tomatoes as long as you like. The longer you cook it the more flavor these Southern stewed tomatoes develop.)
  5. Just before serving, add toasted bread pieces to absorb the juice and make a thickened tomato stew.

Canned Stewed Tomatoes Recipe

This Canned Stewed Tomatoes recipe is a great way to use up an abundance of garden fresh tomatoes.

During the peak of our garden harvest season, we typically gather 2-3 bushels of tomatoes every day.

Although we eat a lot of fresh tomatoes right off of the vine, it is impossible to eat them all before they begin to go bad.

A jar of canned stewed tomatoes.

So of course, we do a lot of preserving in the months of July, August and September.

We will use fresh tomatoes to make large amounts of soup. One of our favorites is Campfire Garden Chili.

But we also use the tomatoes to make Vegetable Soup and Tomato Soup.

Then we freeze them in quart size rectangular containers. Once they are solid, we transfer the soup &lsquobrick&rsquo to our food saver bags.

Therefore any time throughout the Winter and Spring, when we are missing fresh food from the garden, we simply heat up our homemade soup.

But we not only make soup from our garden tomatoes. We also make and can tomato juice, diced tomatoes, Rotel-tomatoes, salsa, picante sauce and more!

However, it occurred to me that I had never shared our Canned Stewed Tomatoes recipe.

Canned Stewed Tomatoes

So what exactly are canned stewed tomatoes?

They are different from diced tomatoes as stewed tomatoes are canned with larger chunks of tomatoes. And they also have diced celery, onion, and green peppers added to the mixture.

Canned stewed tomatoes with celery, onion and green pepper.

They are perfect to use in soups and stews as they give you that classic stewed tomatoes taste. But they also have the additional flavor of the vegetables that make them fantastic to use in recipes.

We will also add them to beef roasts and chicken recipes for that classic comfort meal taste.

How to Make Canned Stewed Tomatoes

Honestly, making canned stewed tomatoes is one of the easiest canning recipes out there.

The most cumbersome and time consuming part is peeling the tomatoes.

Although you don&rsquot necessarily have to peel the tomatoes, it is highly recommended. It improves the consistency when adding the stewed tomatoes to other recipes.

Peeling tomatoes is easy when you place them in a pot of boiling water.

If you leave the skins on, they will come off and curl up. And no one wants strands of tomato skins throughout your recipe.

Plus it really is an easy process to peel tomatoes. Simply bring a large pot of water to a boil and put your whole tomatoes in the pot.

Place the hot tomatoes into an ice water bath and the skins peel right off!

Let it boil for 1 minute and immediately remove to an ice water bath. As soon as the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, the skins will peel right off.

Then cut them in large chunks and add them to your pot! Next mix in the diced vegetables and heat the mixture to boiling.

Use a serrated knife to cut your tomatoes.

After it boils for 10 minutes, you are ready to begin the canning process!

Pressure Canning

Because of the addition of the vegetables changes the pH content of the Stewed Tomatoes, you MUST pressure can this recipe.

It is important to remember that although you may have been canning for decades, or you have a recipe from your grandmother that you want to use, today vegetables are much different than 30 years ago.

Therefore, the canning process may need to be different as well.

And that definitely the case for this canned stewed tomatoes recipe. Again, the only safe way to can this recipe is to use a pressure canner.

The jars are filled and ready to be pressure canned.

We bought a Presto Weighted Pressure Canner many years ago and still use it today.

This one time purchase will last you years and allow you to safely can a variety of recipes. And to be honest, it is much faster than using the recommended hot water bath times approved by the National Center For Home Food Preservation, USDA Agency.

We are able to can this recipe in pint jars, using 10 pounds of pressure for 15 minutes.

Believe me, it is worth the time and effort knowing that your canned food is safe to eat.


Scalloped tomatoes with croutons

The Food Network had the audacity (I am joking, a little) to air an episode of Barefoot Contessa in which she makes a “scalloped” dish with bread cubes, garlic, basil, Parmesan and the brightest most summer-bursting-forth, musta-tasted-like-the-heavens-above, thanks-for-rubbing-it-in-guys tomatoes over the winter, when there was absolutely nothing I could do to bring this dish into my kitchen. It wasn’t fair. It felt outright mean. For people as berserk about summer tomatoes as I am — people who avoid them in the off seasons, when they’re tomatoes in name only — being reminded of that which is as impossibly far off as the notion that there are days in the summer that are so hot, we actually long for the kind of weather that requires Gore-Tex and hot cocoa. It’s basically crazy talk.


Well, that day is today. Seriously, every time I arrive at the market during this wretched July, I am so hot, I’m almost dizzy (Do I remember my water bottle? Of course not. Do I feel like a tool for whimpering over the heat while carousing with people who work in fields all day? Um, yup.) and I cannot remember a single thing I had meant to buy because the sun, it’s like blistering my brain and ooh look! Tomatoes! Ah, summer, that’s why I keep you around.

I remembered this though: buy tomatoes, lots of them. Buy basil, a little of it. Buy a loaf of bread. Go home. Make it happen. I didn’t forget you, Ina, and your charming barn kitchen witty friends scalloped tomatoes. I sliced and diced and sautéed and minced and even turned the oven on and proceeded to have the best lunch I’ve eaten all summer. I’m literally about to walk back into the kitchen a get some more. Yes, I know it is 4 p.m. and I might ruin my dinner but I don’t care. If it had even a whiff of tomato, it was ruined anyway it would never compare. Fellow (and future) tomato junkies, come and get your fix below.

P.S. Weekend morning leftovers? Try it with a poached egg on top.

Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons
Adapted, only slightly, from Sarah Chase, who inspired this version from Ina Garten

Although it will feel blasphemous to add heat to that which is perfect just as it arrived, summer tomatoes, this doesn’t cook them to death, more like wilts them slightly. They’re still juicy (juicier, actually because the heat released all of their awesomeness) and rather than losing that sweet puddle, the bread cubes sop it up and you don’t miss a thing. The sugar seems odd, I know, but I trust The Ina, I trusted that she’s never led me astray and sure enough, it works in here. It just rounds out the whole dish. It just… I’m sorry, I can’t talk. I have to go get thirds.

3 tablespoons olive oil (reduced from original)
2 cups bread from a French boule, in a 1/2-inch dice, crusts removed (I went closer to 3 cups, after buying a loaf of very puffy Italian bread by accident)
2 1/2 pounds plum whatever good tomatoes you’ve got, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons Kosher salt (read this)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly slivered basil leaves, lightly packed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high. Add the bread cubes and stir so that they are evenly coated with oil. Cook cubes, tossing frequently, until toasty on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. When the bread cubes are toasted, add the tomato mixture and cook them together, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the basil. Pour into a shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking dish and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly. Serve hot or warm with a big green salad, a bean salad and/or a poached egg.


Wundo Sweet Corn

Wundo Pate'

1lb Braunschweiger
8oz Crean Cheese
Medium Onion, finely chopped

COLONEL WUNDO’S FIRST PLACE WISCONSIN GRILLED CHEESE

Judged best in the Professional Classic plus One Category

The Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Competition Iowa County Fairgrounds, Mineral Point April 21, 2012

Ingredients Sourdough bread Pumpernickel bread Shullsburg Butter (room temperature) Smoked Blue Cheese Jalapeno Havarti Cheese Gruyere Cheese Wundoemus Spice Blend

Preparation Shake your bottle of Wundoemus Spice Blend evenly on the bread, generously, but not caked. Butter the bread. Set aside bread matching butter side to butter side. Prep for all the sandwiches being served.

Slice the cheeses thinly as possible so the cheeses can be layered evenly across the sandwich.

Light the burner to preheat the pan, medium high heat. Drop a crumb of cheese in the pan to see that it’s hot enough to bubble. A hot pan is the key for getting that contrasting crunch on the outside of the sandwich.

Quickly assemble the sandwich layering the cheeses evenly across the sandwich with a dusting of Wundoemus Spice Blend. In the completion I built the two sandwiches in the pan but if a larger quantity is being prepared I would assemble the sandwiches before hitting the pan to keep a close eye while cooking.

Place the sandwich in the hot pan and put another crumb of cheese beside the sandwich. When that crumb is looking toasted, bubbled and brown on the bottom it’s time to flip the sandwich. At this point I turn down the burner and let cheeses melt together.

Place on the board and cut into triangular quarters for plating. Cutting like this exposes the most melted cheese! Serve immediately. Yum yum!

* I love the availability of the wide variety of fine cheeses made right here in Wisconsin. Hard cheeses slice easier at room temperature. Hard cheeses (Gruyere, aged Swiss and so on) have less moisture and are aged longer. I like to use a French (chefs) knife to get nice thin slices or grating works too but grated cheese is harder to control when flipping your sandwich. High moisture cheeses (the jalapeno Havarti and the blue cheese) slice better cold, right out of the refrigerator. I like to use a thin bladed paring knife. These softer cheeses stick to knives with wide blades.

WUNDOEMUS BAKED CHICKEN

• 1 (3-3 1/2 pound) chicken • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (melted) • Wundoemus® Spice Blend

PREPARATION: Cut Chicken into eight or nine pieces and wash. Pat dry and coat generously with Wundoemus® Spice Blend. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in a baking pan and cook for 30 minutes basting every 10 minutes. Turn Chicken and continue cooking until browned and done, about 40 minutes more. Baste frequently with the melted butter. Serve with your favorite vegetables and choice of potato.

WUNDOEMUS BAKED FISH

• 2 eight to ten ounce fish fillets (cod, redfish, roughly) • 2 tablespoons Wundoemus® Spice Blend • 2 tablespoons olive oil PREPARATION: Shake your bottle of Wundoemus® Spice Blend generously on both sides of the fish fillets. Bake in olive oil in preheated oven (350 degrees) until done.

WUNDOEMUS BAY BAKED POTATO

• 4 potatoes (medium) • 2 bay leaves • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 1 teaspoon minced garlic • 3 tablespoons Wundoemus® Spice Blend

PREPARATION: Peel the potatoes and boil in water with bay leaves. Cook until potatoes are slightly tender, but still firm. When the spuds are done add cold water to cool them off and then drain. Sauté garlic in the olive oil over low heat until slightly brown (do not over cook the garlic). Coat potatoes with the olive oil and garlic. Sprinkle Wundoemus® Spice Blend generously over the potatoes. Put potatoes on a baking sheet and roast in the oven 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn and lightly season again and continue roasting until golden brown.

WUNDOEMUS BAKED POTATOES are an excellent addition to WUNDOEMUS BAKED CHICKEN

BLACKENING WITH WUNDOEMUS® SPICE BLEND

Outdoor cooking or commercial hood very smoky!

• Propane stove Burner (Coleman propane stoves work well) • Cast iron Skillet • Spatula • Baking pan for use in coating the fillets with Wundoemus® Spice Blend • Boneless filets of your choice: Chickens, pork or fish. Should be 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick, beef and venison 1″ thick • And Wundoemus® Spice Blend

PREPARATION: Place the cast iron skillet on the burner (high heat) until the bottom is white (allow 10-15 minutes). Be careful: this process demands high temperatures! Pour Wundoemus® Spice Blend in the baking pan and coat both sides of the filets completely. Place in the skillet and cook for three minutes, flip and cook for an additional three minutes. Time will vary with thickness of the filets.

Optional: Top with Béarnaise or Hollandaise sauce.

Note for fish: coat with olive oil or melted butter berfore coating with

WUNDOEMUS® CHIPS

Grab a bag of your favorite corn chips (Fritos) or potato chips and empty it into a large bowl. Shake your bottle of Wundoemus® Spice Blend generously until you have obtained the right taste. (Remember, you can never use too much Wundoemus®. )

The recipe will also work on your favorite party mixes, popcorn, peanuts and many other soon to be famous recipes yet to be created by you!

CREOLE CARROTS

• 1/4-cup celery (chopped) • 2 lbs. carrots (cut into round 1/4 inch slices) • 1/2-cup onions (chopped) • 1/4-cup bell pepper (chopped) • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar • 1/4-cup sugar • 1/4-cup vegetable oil • 11 ounce condensed tomato soup • 1 tablespoon WUN-DOE-MUS • 1/2-teaspoon chervil • 1/2-teaspoon marjoram • 1/2-teaspoon sweet basil • 1/2-teaspoon celery seed

PREPARATION: Peel and slice carrots into 1/4 inch round slices (or smaller). Chop celery and add to the carrots. Steam carrots and celery for 20 minutes or cook in boiling water for 10 minutes. Chill the carrots and celery in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Chop bell pepper and onions, and then add to carrots and celery. In a separate bowl mix the Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, white wine vinegar, sugar, vegetable oil, condensed tomato soup, Wundoemus® Spice Blend, chervil, marjoram, sweet basil and celery seed. Mix all of the ingredients well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator over night.

NOTE: CREOLE CARROTS can be served as the salad course of a meal and makes an excellent dish for a picnic.

Submitted by: Freddie Lott

WUNDOEMUS STEAK ON THE GRILL

• 1 well marbled steak • 1 tablespoon Wundoemus® Spice Blend • 4 cloves fresh garlic PREPARATION: Rub your favorite steak with pressed fresh garlic. Generously season with Wundoemus® Spice Blend. Grill to desired doneness.

WUNDOEMUS JAMBALAYA

• 2 cups uncooked long grain rice (I like Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice, it doesn’t clump.) • 1/4-cup olive oil • 4 cups chicken stock • 1/2 cup chopped onion • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper • 4 table Wundoemus® Spice Blend • 1/2 cup diced ham • 1/2 cup diced smoke pork sausage • 1/4 cup chopped celery • 1/4 cup chopped green onion • 1 pound stewed tomatoes • 8 ounces tomato sauce • 1 tablespoon minced onion • 1/2 cup diced cooked chicken

PREPARATION: Sauté rice in olive oil until brown. Place rice into 9 by 11 roasting pan and add chicken stock till covered and add garlic. Mix together onion, bell pepper, celery and green onion. Take half of the vegetables mixture and add it to the rice. Sauté the rest of the vegetables with the diced chicken and add rice along with the stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, Wundoemus® Spice Blend, diced ham and smoked sausage. Cover the pan with foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil, stir well and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Great when topped with Wundoemus® CREOLE SAUCE.

ABOUT: This jambalaya & Creole sauce recipe were featured at the now memorable Wundo-dinners held at the Hoist House in the early 1990’s. After the fresh spinach salad, we served a bed of jambalaya dressed with Creole sauce then crowned with a Wundo-blackened chicken breast topped with Creole sauce with a garnish of coarsely chopped green onions. Fresh steamed & buttered asparagras is a good compliment to this entree.

Submitted by: Freddie Lott

WUNDOEMUS CREOLE SAUCE

• 3-table spoons unsalted butter • 1/2 cup chopped onions • 1/2-cup bell pepper (chopped) • 1/4 cup chopped celery • 1 teaspoon minced garlic • 3 tablespoons Wundoemus® Spice Blend • 8 ounces stewed tomatoes • 2 bay leaves • 1 teaspoon Tabasco • 8 ounces tomato sauce

PREPARATION: Melt butter in a large saucepan and add celery. Sauté until the celery is slightly browned. Stir in the onions and bell pepper, reducing the heat to a simmer. Add remaining ingredients and cook at a slow simmer until vegetables are tender and the flavors are married (about 20 minutes). Stir occasionally and remove the bay leaves before serving.

WUNDOEMUS ONION CASSEROLE

• 1 large yellow onion • 1 large white onion • 8 ounces cream of celery soup • 1-cup croutons • 3 tablespoons Wundoemus® Spice Blend • 1/2 pound grated aged Swiss cheese

PREPARATION: Slice onions and separate into rings. Layer all ingredients equally and top with croutons. Bake in 350-degree oven uncovered for 40 minutes.

WUNDOEMUS PARTY MIX

• 6 cups Crispix • 6 cups Cheerios • 6 cups Wheat Chex • 3 cups peanuts • 2 tablespoons Wundoemus® Spice Blend • 6 cups pretzel sticks • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce PREPARATION: Melt one stick butter or margarine. Add one-third cup Worcestershire sauce and two tablespoons Wundoemus® Pour over dry ingredients and toss. Spread mixture on four cookie sheets and bake in 250-degree oven for 45 minutes. Let cool. Sprinkle on more Wundoemus® Spice Blend and toss for added tingle.

Submitted by: Susan Louthain

WUNDOEMUS PORK CHOPS

• 6 cups Crispix • 6 cups Cheerios • 6 cups Wheat Chex • 3 cups peanuts • 2 tablespoons Wundoemus® Spice Blend • 6 cups pretzel sticks • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce PREPARATION: Melt one stick butter or margarine. Add one-third cup Worcestershire sauce and two tablespoons Wundoemus® Pour over dry ingredients and toss. Spread mixture on four cookie sheets and bake in 250-degree oven for 45 minutes. Let cool. Sprinkle on more Wundoemus® Spice Blend and toss for added tingle.

Submitted by: Susan Louthain

WUNDOEMUS RED BEANS AND RICE

• 1 lb. Louisiana red beans (or black beans) • 2 Smoked ham hocks or shanks • 3 teaspoons minced garlic • 8 oz. tomato sauce • 1/4-cup vinegar • 1 lb. smoked pork sausage • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce • 1/2-cup celery (chopped) • 1-cup onions (chopped) • 3 bay leaves • 4 oz. tomato paste • 1/4-cup brown sugar • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce • 4 tablespoons Wundoemus® Spice Blend

PREPARATION: Pick through the beans to remove bad beans. Rinse the beans once and soak in water overnight. Place beans, ham hocks, bay leaves, and garlic in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat with water to cover. Reduce heat to a simmer. Sauté onions and celery in a small amount of butter or vegetable oil, and then add to pot. Add Tomato sauce, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, smoked pork sausage, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, Wundoemus® Spice Blend. Simmer for 3 hours until beans are tender. Remove one cup of beans and mash thoroughly. Add mashed beans back to the pot and continue cooking at a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Serve over cooked long grain white rice.

NOTE: For extra flavor cook the long grain white rice in chicken stock instead of water. Use 2 cups of chicken stock to each cup of rice. This can be a vegetarian dish by holding out the meat then I like to add 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke.

SHRIMP BILOXI

Here’s my favorite recipe! I fixed Shrimp Biloxi for my family the other night and I had forgotten how really good this dish is! Informal dress is best because you’ll have the delicious sauce dripping from your elbows while you’re looking for more. Biloxi is easy and quick to prepare and is a very festive dinner.

• 2 lbs. jumbo green or white shrimp in their shells • 2 sticks unsalted butter • 6 ounces of beer • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best!) • 2 teaspoons minced shallots • 4 tablespoons Wundoemus® Spice Blend • 1 loaf French bread • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce • 3 tablespoons minced garlic

PREPARATION: Melt one stick of butter in a sauté pan over med.-high heat. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add shrimp, Worcestershire sauce, beer Lemon juice and shallots. Sauté for three or four minutes while continually stirring. Sprinkle Wundoemus® Spice Blend over the shrimp and continue cooking for two or three minutes. Remove the pan from burner and add the remaining stick of butter, stirring until the butter is melted. Serve immediately in a bowl with the French bread to dip in the sauce. This dish should use shrimp with the heads and shells on to attain the full flavors.

Submitted by: Freddie Lott

EASY LOW FAT WUNDO-DIP

• 1 lb. Low-fat Yogurt • 8 oz. Sour Cream • 2 tablespoons Wundoemus® Spice Blend • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional) PREPARATION: Combine all ingredients and serve with your favorite tortilla chips. Also works well as a flavorful low-fat alternative for baked potato topping.


The Well-Fed Newlyweds

What I looked forward to (and often ordered double servings of) were the stewed tomatoes. They were warm, a little sweet, and a little tangy. They were also topped with cubes of toasted bread that were crunchy on top and a little soggy where they touched the tomatoes. Those stewed tomatoes rocked my world.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything similar since I moved away. Surprisingly, it never occurred to me to try to make stewed tomatoes myself. It wasn’t until I came across today’s recipe for Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons that my cooking wheels started turning. And then my friend and I made the recipe for lunch one day. And I nearly fainted – in a good way.

While the bread toasts, combine the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Add the tomato mixture to the toasted croutons. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the basil. (I forgot the basil the day I took the pictures.) Pour the tomato mixture into a shallow (6 to 8 cup) baking dish.

Top with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is browned and the tomatoes are bubbly.


How To Make Croutons

The best things in life are simple and these croutons are no exception. We provide a basic recipe below for easy, crunchy baked croutons, ready for you to customize with whatever spices you'd like. They're great all-year round as a topping on easy summer salads or hearty fall soups or just as a snack!

Choose your bread

We prefer a crusty bread like a sourdough boule or French-style baguette: the open crumb structure creates perfect pockets where the seasoning can fall into, plus, the whimsically irregular shapes look adorable. At the end of the day, croutons are just crispy bites of toasted bread, so you can use absolutely any kind of bread for this recipe. Older, staler bread that's more dehydrated will toast and bake faster than fresh bread. Size also matters here: the smaller the bread cubes, the shorter the total baking time.

Choose your fat

A mix of olive oil and melted butter gives you the best of both worlds in terms of both flavor and color. Feel free to use only oil or only butter, as long as you follow this general rule of thumb: for the most flavorful croutons, use one tablespoon of fat per slightly heaping cup of cubed bread.

Choose your flavors

The only truly non-negotiable "spice" in this ingredient list is kosher salt. Everything else&mdashfrom black pepper to rosemary to Parmesan&mdashis up to personal preference. You can use any dried spice or herb that clings easily to the oiled bread: ranch powder for a bit of a junk-food vibe, smoked paprika or cayenne for a hint of spice, or curry powder for an aromatic, savory blend. (If using cheese, go for a hard, aged cheese with very low moisture content for the crispiest croutons.) The sky is the limit!

How long do croutons last?

The expected shelf-life for homemade croutons is about two weeks. Moisture encourages mold, so make sure your croutons are completely dehydrated during the bake and let cool completely at room temperature before storing them away in an airtight container. Humidity is the enemy, so keep 'em in a dry place for maximum shelf-life.

If you've made these, leave a rating and a comment down below to let us know how you liked it!