Grilled Tuna With Lemon Tarragon Sauce 

Grilled Tuna
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ teaspoon dried whole tarragon
6 (1-inch thick) tuna fillets
Lemon-Tarragon Sauce
Lemon Slices (optional)
Combine oil, wine parsley, and tarragon; stir well.  Pat fillets dry with paper towels. Brush each side of fillets with oil mixture. Grill 5 inches over low coals 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a for. Basting often with oil mixture. Top each fillet with Lemon-Tarragon Sauce. Garnish with lemon. 
Lemon Tarragon Sauce 
1/3 cup tarragon vinegar
¼ cup minced shallot
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon dried whole tarragon
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
Combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture reduces to 2 tablespoons.  Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly with a wire whisk.  Cook until mixture thickens slightly.
Yield: 1 cup.

Grits Toast with Creamy Mushrooms

3 (14-oz cans) chicken broth (or 32 ounce package plus 1 and 1/4 cups water)
1 and 1/3 cups quick-cooking yellow grits
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1 cup for topping
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons melted butter for brushing grits toast
3/4 cup mayonnaise (or to taste)
16 oz pkg of fresh mushrooms, chopped and sautéed in butter ( or use canned) 
1 large can of French-fried onion rings (about 2 cups crushed)
Black pepper to taste
Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan.  Slowly stir in grits and salt and return to a boil, stirring constantly (or grits will lump).  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, or until grits are thickened, stirring occasionally.  Stir in ½ cup cheese and salt.  Remove from heat.  Spoon grits into greased 9 x 13 pan lined with parchment paper (have paper go up sides of pan so that you can lift out grits).  Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or until firm. 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lift out grits onto a large cutting board.  Cut out   rounds using a 2-inch biscuit cutter (this will make about 30).  Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper and brush with melted butter. Place grits rounds on pan and brush tops with butter.  Bake for 15 minutes. Turn grits, and bake 15 minutes more.  Up to this point, the recipe can be prepared days ahead.  If preparing ahead, cover and refrigerate grits rounds until you are ready to top with mushroom mixture.  Bring to room temp before baking. 
For topping, stir together the mayo, 1 cup Parmesan, drained mushrooms, and onion rings.  Top each grits round with mushroom mixture.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until topping is heated through and begins to brown.
Note:  This makes a great little appetizer (mostly make ahead).  The grits cakes would also be a great base for a black-eyed-pea or other salsa.  

Key Lime Pie with Brown Sugar Meringue

2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs 
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 stick melted butter
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup fresh Key lime juice (see note)
5 eggs, separated
Combine first 3 ingredients.  Press into a 9-inch pie plate.  To make crust an even thickness, place an 8" pan on top of the crumbs and press down.   Bake at 350-degrees for 10 minutes; cool.  
Beat egg yolks and pour through sieve to eliminate any solids.   Mix milk and lime juice and then stir in egg yolks until blended.   Pour into cooled crust.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20  minutes.  At this point, pie can be chilled for several days (covered).    Top with meringue and bake for approximately 15 minutes at 325 until desired degree of browning occurs.    
Brown Sugar Meringue:
1 and 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
5 egg whites ( at room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Put sugar and water in heavy saucepan and heat over medium high heat until the mixture reaches 245 degrees.  A candy thermometer is a must for this.  Start beating egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer as you begin heating the sugar.  The egg whites need to be forming firm peaks before adding the hot sugar.  As soon as the sugar reaches the correct temperature, slowly drizzle it into the egg white mixture and continue beating until stiff peaks form.  Spread over pie, making sure to cover the filling out to the edge of the crust.   For best results, make meringue no more than 2 hours prior to serving as it will begin to deflate slightly as it sits. 
Note:  It takes about 30 small key limes to get 1 cup of juice.  I usually get 2 small bags of Key limes at Publix and it comes out to exactly 1 cup.  A lemon squeezer is handy for this. 

King Ranch Chicken Casserole (Video)

About 5 cups of cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken, chopped*
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium-sized green bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 garlic clove, chopped fine
1 (10 ¾ ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10 ¾ ounce) can cream of chicken soup
¾ to 1 cup good quality chicken stock**
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
1 teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste) 
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (or to taste)
3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
12 (6 inch) fajita-size corn tortillas, cut into ½ inch strips   
Preheat oven to 350° degrees.  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté  6 to 7 minutes or until tender.  Add bell pepper and garlic and sauté 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in chicken stock, soups, tomatoes and spices.  Cook, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes.
Layer half of chicken in a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Top with half of the soup mixture, half of the tortillas and half of cheese.  Repeat layers.  Bake at 350° for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.   
*Cook your own chicken, reserving the broth, or take a short cut:  Buy two deli-roasted chickens.  Skin and bone the chicken and chop meat into bite-size pieces.  Can also used coarsely crumbled tortilla chips in place of corn tortillas.
**Kitchen Basics or Pacific Organic are almost as good as homemade.

Lazy Day Peach Cobbler (Video)

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour  (or use self rising flour and omit baking powder and salt)
1 teaspoon vanilla OR almond extract
1 cup milk
1 large cans sliced peaches 
Melt butter in an 8 x 8 inch baking dish.   Combine dry ingredients.   Combine  vanilla or almond flavoring with milk and stir into dry ingredients until moistened.     Pour batter over butter (do not stir).   Pour peaches with their syrup over batter.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve with ice cream if desired.
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