Another successful Recipe Night last night. I chose Cheryl and Bill Jamison’s American Home Cooking, a cookbook I borrowed several years ago from my friend Eileen and never returned. Oops. I did notice that she only paid $3 for it though….. I have never made anything from it but upon closer reading the other day I did find some appealing recipes. I have a weakness for sesame so I chose the following recipe.


Charleston Benne Chicken

1/4 cup plus 2 T sesame seeds
2 T flour
minced zest and juice of 1 large orange
3/4 t salt
1/8 t cayenne, plus more for dusting
pinch of freshly ground pepper
4 boneless skinless individual chicken breasts, pounded evenly to 1/2 thickness
1 T unsalted butter
1 T vegetable oil
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 T cream
orange slices

Blend 1/4 cup of the sesame seeds with the flour in a blender just until a coarse meal forms. Pour the mixture onto a plate and stir in the zest, salt, cayenne and pepper. Set aside 2 T of the sesame-flour mixture then coat the chicken breasts with the rest.

Warm the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the chicken breasts for 4-6 minutes per side, until golden brown and just cooked through. Remove the chicken breasts and place them on a platter. Sprinkle the reserved sesame-flour mixture into te pan drippings, stirring to avoid lumps. Whisk in the stock slowly and bring the sauce to a boil. When lightly thickened, pour in the orange juice and cream and heat through.

Spoon the sauce over the chicken breasts. Sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds over the chicken and dust lightly with cayenne. Garnish with orange slices and serve warm.

Overall very good. I forgot to dust it with cayenne darn it, which would have given it more of a bite which I was missing. I must say however that the sesame seed/flour coating was wonderfully flavorful with a nice light crispiness. I really liked it and will try it on other things too. I served it with a rice pilaf with roasted carrots and cumin and some green beans in an orange-shallot viniagrette. My viniagrette didn’t taste as good as I thought it would but the roasted carrots and rice were wonderful. Ernie had bought beautiful organic carrots and they were marvelous roasted.

I must mention another recipe even though it wasn’t a Recipe Night recipe…. Ernie and I always make lots of finger food for award shows—-it’s a tradition for us. I wanted to do something with shrimp for the Oscars the other night and was browsing Epicurious and came across this. The shrimp was absolutely fabulous! It’s a technique you could adapt for other flavors and it adds absolutely no fat—it is SUCH a keeper!

Peel and Eat Hot Pepper Shrimp

2 cups water
4 Scotch bonnet chiles or habanero chiles, halved
3 green onions, coarsely chopped
3 large fresh thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
2 tablespoons salt
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons whole allspice
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, unpeeled


Combine water, Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, green onions, thyme, crushed garlic, salt, bay leaf, and allspice in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Add shrimp and bring to boil. Remove pan from heat; let stand until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Drain, discarding liquid. Transfer shrimp to bowl and serve warm or at room temperature, allowing diners to peel their own shrimp.

Makes 6 to 8 first-course servings.
Bon Appétit (via
May 2006
Virginia Burke

Now I must note that neither Schnuck’s or Meijer’s had habanero or Scotch Bonnet peppers the other day. I ended up using 4 serrano and 4 jalopeno. It still had lots of heat although it would look pretty with the bright colors of the habaneros. I just served the bowl of peppers, spices and shrimp. My only caveat would be that the next day the leftover shrimp had absorbed more of the salt and was too salty. Love, love, loved it!


7 thoughts on “Recipe Night

  1. That all looks/sounds mouthwateringly good — especially the shrimp. Keith and I also love making fun foods for the Oscars.

  2. That all looks/sounds mouthwateringly good — especially the shrimp. Keith and I also love making fun foods for the Oscars.

  3. That all looks/sounds mouthwateringly good — especially the shrimp. Keith and I also love making fun foods for the Oscars.