Cooking up adventurous cuisine

By ANDREW ARMSTRONG / Recipe Columnist

My sense of adventure longs for a place full of history, good food and crystal clear water. I was inspired this week by Christopher Baxter. Chris is a native from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is also a person who warms my heart. I deeply value his opinions and wise thoughts. I love to hear his liberal tales of pirate treasure and the burning of witches.

We as Alabamians have some stories to tell as well, but I sure do enjoy hearing stories of places I have never been.

Popular belief for many years was that John Smith was the one who truly discovered Virginia Beach. When a crew set sail for the new world and successfully landed on the morning of April 26, 1607, John was already imprisoned on the ship for unsuccessful mutinous plots.

Decades after the discovery of Virginia Beach in the year 1690, a baby was born to a ship captain named James Beard in Charleston, South Carolina. James named his son Edward Beard. Edward was a dastardly pirate known as Blackbeard, and he ruled the seas for a mere two years until his final battle at Ocracoke Inlet, where his head was claimed in victory on Nov. 22, 1718 and taken back to Hampton as proof. The only treasure found on Blackbeard at the time of his death was coco powder, sugar and cotton. These findings are what ultimately created the tales of long-lost buried treasure.

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Treasure Island Pound Cake

½ a cup of Crisco

2 sticks of butter

1 box of brown sugar

1 cup of white sugar

5 eggs

1 cup of milk

3 cups of flour, sifted

½ a teaspoon of salt

½ a teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 cup of pecans, crushed

Preheat the oven at 325 degrees. Cream together the Crisco, butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time. Once the eggs are blended in, slowly incorporate the remaining ingredients. Bake in a greased and floured tube pan at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Crow’s Nest Pudding

5 apples, cored and stuffed with brown sugar

5 tablespoons of brown sugar

1 quart of milk

6 eggs, beaten

¼ a cup of white sugar

¼ a teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Nutmeg to taste

Preheat the oven at 325 degrees. Place the prepared apples in a greased baking dish. In a saucepan beat the remaining ingredients and scald together with the milk. Whisk the ingredients continuously, while scalding the mixture. Pour over the apples and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Top with more nutmeg while baking if desired.

Garlic and Cheese Dressing

Sour cream (8 ounces)

1 cup of buttermilk

1 package of blue cheese crumbles

1 package of powdered ranch dressing

1 cup of Italian dressing

2 green onions, chopped

2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice

In a mixing bowl beat together the ingredients by hand or with a mixer. Do not use a blender. Serve this over vegetables or any kind of salad greens.

Virginian Bordelaise Sauce

1 cup of fresh mushrooms, chopped

1 tablespoon of butter

3 tablespoons of cornstarch

2 cups of beef broth

3 tablespoons of red wine

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 tablespoon of horseradish

Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the mushrooms and horseradish in the butter for 5 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch and blend in the broth. Cook this to a boil and add the remaining ingredients. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. this sauce is comparable to a gravy and is excellent for serving over roast beef, chicken and other meats.

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce

½ a cup of soy sauce

½ a cup of bourbon

3 tablespoons of brown sugar

1 pork tenderloin (3 pounds)

1 cup of sour cream

1 cup of mayonnaise

2 tablespoons of dry mustard

3 green onions, chopped

Mix the first three ingredients and marinate the pork tenderloin in the mixture for 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 325 and bake for 1 hour. After the first 30 minutes, turn over the tenderloin and finish baking. Mix the remaining ingredients and serve on the side for dipping. The juice left behind in the pan from baking is very good as well.

Pilgrim Vegetable Casserole

2 onions, chopped

3 yellow squash, chopped

3 tomatoes, peeled and quartered

1 green pepper cut in strips

½ a cup of rice

1 tablespoon of butter

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Soak the rice in hot water for 10 minutes. Sauté the squash, peppers and onions in the butter. Season with the salt and pepper. Once the vegetables have a light golden color, but they are not cooked quite all the way cut off the heat. Pour the vegetables in a mixing bowl with the tomatoes and the drained rice. Mix it well and bake at 350 degrees in a greased casserole dish for 30-45 minutes or until done.