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Over the years, I have tried many different holiday menus on my “patient” family (you name it – I’ve cooked it!)…always ending with Mama’s Coconut Cake!  But, that Coconut Cake…most of the time, the poor thing just leaned in one direction and some years, I just told the kids that the Easter Bunny knocked it over when he was filling their baskets!  So, when it doesn’t “lean” or “fall”…I am thrilled

About 5 years ago, as we sat down for an Easter Brunch of  Grillades and Grits, Baked Tomatoes, Cheese Biscuits and Fruit Salad…everyone was sooo happy – that it was agreed (loudly) that it should be a tradition!  And, my children know that they don’t have to ask twice…it was a done deal!  Now that I am really thinking about it…maybe it is the “Brunch” idea that they really like – meaning that I feed them earlier than normal – sort of!

My Grillades recipe has been worked out through the years and is now set in stone…in my house….(You can use beef, veal or pork, but I always choose beef sirloin – sliced about 1/2 thick.)

Seasoning mix:

1 Tbsp salt

1 1/2 tsp onion powder

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp white pepper

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

Mix all seasonings together in a small bowl.

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4 lbs top sirloin or round steak (no thicker than 1/2 inch) – cut into pieces (about 4 inches X 4 inches)

8-10 cups beef consomme’ or beef broth (canned in fine!)

3 medium onions – chopped finely

4 stalks celery – chopped finely

1 bell pepper – chopped finely

4 cloves of garlic – minced

1 large can of tomato paste

1/2 cup of canola oil

All purpose flour – enough to coat meat

1/2 cup green onions – chopped

2 bay leaves

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Season meat with 1/2 of the seasoning mix and coat with flour

Heat oil in a large heavy pot

Brown meat well, on all sides, scraping the bottom of the pot often (cook in 2 batches if necessary…only brown one layer of meat at a time)

Remove meat from pot and set aside in a platter or half sheet pan

Scrape bottom of pot to loosen the drippings or “debris”

Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic to pot and cook until soft – continue to scrape bottom of pot to make sure that all of the drippings consolidate with the onion mix;

Add tomato paste and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes – stir constantly

Slowly add beef consomme’ or broth to pot, blending well in between the additions

Return browned meat to pot

Add the other 1/2 of the seasoning mix and bay leaves

Cook on a medium heat, stirring often, until the meat is “falling apart” tender – about 3 hours.

Sprinkle with green onions and serve over creamy grits…

Pair with baked yellow and red tomatoes…

Savory Cheese Biscuits…

And, a bright fresh fruit salad…

Now, this is a meal that works!

Getting back to that Coconut Cake…not a “slider” and not a “Leaning Tower of Pisa” – It became a combination Easter/Birthday cake for my son-in-law!

It’s my mama’s filling that really wins you over!

Just for lagniappe  –  It would be considered a venial sin if any holiday would come around and I would not go by Keller’s Bakery, in Downtown Lafayette, for a box of our favorite cookies!  Everyone, in my family, expects to see them…but more importantly – it gives me “the warm fuzzies” to just look at them on a pretty platter…

Who could resist?!!!

A note about Keller’s Bakery and these cookies…When I was growing up, every Sunday night (after 6:00 pm mass) our parents would take my brother and I Downtown to get some Folse’s Hot Tamales and Keller’s cookies.  These Sand Tarts with Chocolate Centers and the White Iced Brownies were the ones that we always picked out…Many a Sunday night – as we watched the Ed Sullivan Show, my brother and I would wipe out an ungodly amount of these delicious little things (Almost to the point where we thought that we would get sick!).  We never grew tired of them and still today, they are our favorites…If that isn’t something that “works” then I don’t know what else would!!!

I love days like today – good ole “new” days that bring back old memories and traditions helping us to create some of the best memories that we can imagine for the kids and that wonderful “next generation”…If you think that they aren’t paying attention – you’re not watching ….they don’t miss a thing, always watching!.  I guess if you are making good food and bringing your family together – the good new memories just happen – I promise…

Grillades and Grits for an Easter Sunday Brunch or any special occasion…Wonderful!!

 

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