Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Everything Jambalaya

Everything, but the kitchen sink.  Yeah, that's about it.  Bacon, pork sausage, smoked sausage, chicken, and shrimp are all in there.  This makes a big gumbo pot full, so invite the family and friends over.
Ingredients:
  • 2 C. of chopped onions
  • 1 C. of chopped bell pepper
  • 1 C. of chopped celery
  • 6 cloves of mined garlic
  • ½ lb. of bacon
  • 1 lb. of fresh pork sausage, squeezed out of the casing
  • 3 lbs. of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 5 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 lb. of smoked sausage cut into semi circles
  • 1 can of Rotel
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes (3 ½ C.)
  • 6 C. shrimp stock or chicken stock
  • ½ C. of Louisiana or Crystal Hot Sauce
  • 1 T. of salt
  • ½  C. flour
  • 5 C. parboiled rice
Directions:
  1. Cut bacon into thin small strips
  2. In cast iron pot, fry the bacon until crisp and remove
  3. Add the pork sausage in crumbles and cook about 5 minutes and remove
  4. Make a roux with the bacon and sausage drippings and flour over medium high heat until the color of dark peanut butter
  5. Add onions, bell peppers, and celery and cook until soft, about 10 minutes
  6. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute
  7. Add Rotel and crushed tomatoes then transfer to a gumbo pot
  8. Add chicken or shrimp stock, smoked sausage, bacon, pork sausage, salt, and hot sauce
  9. Bring to a boil and cook for 45 minutes
  10. While cooking cut chicken into 1 inch chunks
  11. Add chicken and cook for 15 minutes
  12. Add rice and cook for 15 minutes on low heat
  13. Add shrimp and make sure they are all covered by the rice
  14. Cook for an additional 15 minutes
  15. Serve hot!
Tips and Tricks:
·     You can make shrimp or chicken stock.  It is easy!  Follow my link to find out how I make mine.
·      If you don’t have a cast iron pot you can make a roux in a heavy bottomed pot instead.  The trick is to stir constantly.  You can NOT multi-task during this step.  This is where the base of flavor for your jambalaya comes.  Be diligent, it takes about 15 minutes to make a roux the color you need.
·        I use Bryan Cajun Smoke Sausage. 
·        ½ C. of hot sauce might have you scared.  Don’t be!  The sausage, chicken, shrimp, and rice all absorb the hot sauce and give this jambalaya a great flavor.  It is spicy, but not tongue numbing.
·        This freezes well.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

Shrimp with garlic and lemon, Yum!  This is another Barefoot Contessa recipe that I have slightly tweaked.  It is so flavorful and makes a nice presentation.

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. of linguine
  • 3 lbs. of medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 T. butter
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ C. freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 – 4 lemons)
  • 1 t. grated lemon zest
  • ¼ t. red pepper flakes
  • 2 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • 1 t. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
  • ½ C. grated Parmesan cheese
Directions:
  1. Boil pasta as directed on package and strain
  2. In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat
  3. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute
  4. Add the shrimp with the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and Tony’s
  5. Cook for 5 minutes
  6. Remove from heat, then add the lemon juice and lemon zest to the pan
  7. Add the pasta and toss
  8. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese then serve
Tips and Tricks:
  • I use Angel Hair pasta for this as well.
  • I sprinkle some fresh chives over the top when I serve this dish.  It is not necessary.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Shrimp Stack

This is the appetizer that we have at just about every family function.  It is a recipe from my cookbook that Darlene made for me.  If I had a dollar for every time I've made this recipe, I'd be rich.
Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. of small boiled shrimp
  • 2 (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • ½ C. green onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ t. grated lemon peel
  • 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 t. Crystal hot sauce
  • 1 bottle of Cocktail sauce
  • Crackers
Directions:
  1. Let cream cheese soften, before starting to make this appetizer.
  2. Combine the softened cream cheese with all the following ingredients (except the Cocktail sauce)
  3. Spread the cream cheese mixture into a serving dish
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve
  5. When it’s time to serve, pour the Cocktail sauce over the cream cheese mixture
  6. Place the boiled shrimp on top of the Cocktail sauce and serve
Tips and Tricks:
  • I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese.
  • I serve this dip with Butter Thins from Pepperidge Farms.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Boiled Shrimp

This is my Dad's tried and true recipe for boiling shrimp.  They are always yummy when prepared this way.
Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. of Fresh Shrimp
  • 1 orange (cut in fourths)
  • 1 lemon (cut in half)
  • 1 onion (cut in half)
  • 1 head of garlic (cut in half)
  • 2 T. concentrated Liquid Shrimp and Crab boil
  • 2 T. salt
Directions:
  1. In a large pot, put water, lemon, orange, onion, garlic, and crab boil (NO SALT)
  2. Bring to a boil, then add shrimp
  3. Bring to a boil again and cook for 2 minutes
  4. Turn off the heat
  5. Add salt and let the shrimp bathe in the salt water for 5 minutes
  6. Strain and eat
Tips and Tricks:
  • My Dad swears that the reason his shrimp would always peel easily is because he put the salt in AFTER the boiling.  It works.
  • This recipe can be altered for more or less pounds of shrimp, but be careful with the crab boil.  I like my seafood spicy and use a tablespoon for each pound.  This is NOT what the label recommends.
  • If you want potatoes and corn, just fish the shrimp out of the water and use the same water for a quick one pot meal.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Asian Crunchy Slaw

I have about three different recipes from three different people and they are all similar, but each one changes a few things.  This is a combination of those recipes.  This a great dish for a picnic or pool party.  It tastes best cold, but it can be left out because it has no mayo.
Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. of coleslaw mix (green and purple cabbage and carrots)
  • 1 bunch of green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 packs of chicken flavored ramen noodles
  • ½ C. of sliced almonds
  • 1 C. of sunflower seed kernels
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 2 T. sesame oil
  • 1/3 C. rice vinegar
  • ¼ C. vegetable oil
  • ½ C. dark brown sugar
  • 1 t. black pepper
Directions:
  1. Place coleslaw mix, green onions, and sunflower seed kernels in a large bowl
  2. Heat a skillet on medium heat and toast the sliced almonds until lightly brown, then add to the bowl
  3. Add the crushed ramen noodles to the bowl (see tips and tricks for my hint)
  4. Whisk all the other ingredients together in a separate bowl, including the flavor packets from the ramen noodles
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well
Tips and Tricks:
  • To crush the ramen noodles, place in a Ziploc bag and roll a rolling pin over the noodles until they are in bite size pieces.  If you don’t have a rolling pin, use a mallet or even a coffee mug to crush the noodles.
  • Don’t be tempted to add SALT.  The flavor packets from the ramen noodles are full of salt and extra salt is NOT necessary.
  • Sesame oil can be found on the international aisle of the grocery store.  It spoils quickly and you won’t be using much, so keep in the refrigerator to extend the life of the oil.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Shrimp Creole

This was my favorite dish growing up.  My Mom is a great cook and this is her recipe.
Ingredients:
  • 1 C. of chopped onions
  • ½ C. of chopped bell pepper
  • ½ C. of chopped celery
  • 4 cloves of mined garlic
  • 5 lbs. of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cans of tomato paste
  • 4 cans of tomato sauce
  • 4 C. water or shrimp stock
  • ¼ C. of Crystal Hot Sauce
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 T. of salt
  • ½ T. of black pepper
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  • ½ C flour
  • ½ C vegetable oil
Directions:
  1. Add oil and flour to a cast iron pot to make a blonde roux over medium high heat until the color of a walnut (about 7 – 8 minutes)
  2. Add onions, bell peppers, and celery and cook until limp
  3. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute
  4. Add paste and cook for about  3 minutes
  5. Add sauce, stock, hot sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, and cayenne
  6. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes (stirring often)
  7. Add shrimp and cook another 20 minutes
  8. Serve with hot rice
Tips and Tricks:

  •        You can make shrimp stock to use instead of the water.  It is easy!  After you peel your shrimp, place everything that is left in a big pot with 12 C. of water, 2 onions cut in half, 4 stalks of celery, 1 head of garlic cut in half, 1 T. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.  Boil for 1 hour then strain stock. 
  •        This Creole is very smooth.  If you like a chunkier sauce, you can use crushed tomatoes instead of the sauce.  Rotel tomatoes are good for this also, but cut out the cayenne and hot sauce or it may get too spicy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Broccoli Italiano

Easy, yummy!  The broccoli becomes almost nutty tasting after roasting it.  The other ingredients don't hurt the flavor either.
Ingredients:
  • 1 bunch of broccoli
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • ¼ C. parmesan cheese        
  • ¼ C. bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 t. salt
  • ½ t. black pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Steam broccoli for 5 minutes, then place in a baking dish in a single layer
  3. Pour oil then sprinkle cheese, bread crumbs, garlic, salt, and pepper over broccoli
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is browned
Tips and Tricks:
  • Steaming the broccoli is not necessary, but I have baked it and it has remained very crunchy.  I like broccoli more on the soft side.  If you like crunchy broccoli, don’t steam it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw

This is a recipe from the Neelys.  I have tweaked it a bit.  This is a great side dish when grilling.
Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. of coleslaw mix (green and purple cabbage and carrots)
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • ½ C. mayonnaise
  • ¼ C. Creole mustard
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ C. sugar
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • ½ t. cayenne pepper
 Directions:
  1. Place coleslaw mix  in a large bowl
  2. Whisk all the other ingredients together in a separate bowl
  3. Pour the dressing over the coleslaw and mix well
  4. Refrigerate for at least two hours
 Tips and Tricks:
  • This is so yummy on a pork sandwich.
  • We have added 1 C. of sunflower seeds to this recipe, when we want the saltiness and crunchiness of the nuts.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mexican Corn Dip

I do not know where I got this recipe.  It is typed on a plain white sheet of paper.  What I do know is I like it and so do others.  It's a quick fix dip.
Ingredients:
  • 1 can of white and yellow corn
  • ½ C. of mayonnaise
  • ½ C. of sour cream
  • ½ C. of salsa
  • 3 T. of chopped pickled jalapeño peppers
  • 2 green onions, chopped fine
  • 2 C. of shredded Mexican cheese
  • ½ T. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
Directions:
  1. Finely chop the green onions and the jalapeños
  2. Drain the corn
  3. Mix all ingredients
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving
Tips and Tricks:
  • I serve this dip with Fritos Scoops.
  • You can use any corn for this recipe.  I like the white and yellow mix.  DelMonte and Green Giant both have a white and yellow mix.
  • Mexican cheese is not necessary.  Cheddar is fine, but Kraft has a bag of shredded Mexican cheese.