Author Archives: jeffreyww

Homemade Andouille Sausage

DSC_9075 (1600x1060)I used some sausage for the last gumbo that said Andouille on the package but it was a pretty poor excuse for it.  I ordered some from a vendor I’ve dealt with before – Cajun Grocer – along with a few other items I can’t get locally.  It came the other day but it got me wondering if I could make a credible version of it myself.  My go to guy for all things Cajun is this fellow and he didn’t disappoint.  I’m new at the stuffing sausage game and made some mistakes, and my smoking set-up isn’t the best but I managed to turn out the smoked links in the photo above.  These have spent the night in the fridge.  I kept a few back and vacuum packed the rest:DSC_9078 (1600x1060)

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Roasted Grape Tomatoes

We have a couple of grape tomato bushes out back and they have been churning out tomatoes by the score.  I went out this morning and picked a half bucketful and there were that many on the ground.  I went looking for a roasting recipe and Martha Stewart came through for me.DSC_9082 (1600x1060)I used more olive oil than required, probably, and had a lot of fresh thyme.  These took longer than a hour and I bumped the temp up to 400 or so before I got much in the way of  a color change.  I stirred them once and returned them to the oven.DSC_9088 (1600x1060)We ate some of them with angel hair pasta for lunch.  My basil has gone to seed but I did find a few bright green new leaves that looked tender.  The portion of the tomatoes I used for the dish had a tablespoon or two of butter stirred in.  Pretty good stuff, not sure what to do with the rest of the tomatoes, I picked enough to fill that pan three times, the last batch is in the oven as I write this.

Food Pr0n – Cheesesteak Fries

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Mrs J’s Famous Apple Pie

DSC_9061 (1600x1060)I asked the Missus if she had a link to her filling recipe and she said she just adds stuff until it tastes right.  Pretty much how I do things.  I do know she grates cinnamon and nutmeg and used apple cider.  I wasn’t watching very closely when she cooked it up, pretty sure she softened the sliced apples with butter in a saucepan to get it started.  She used the butter crust recipe from Smitten Kitchen.DSC_9064 (1600x1060)

Leftovers – Kicked Up with Kale

DSC_9054 (1600x1060)Not much to this dish.  We had the butterbeans and cornbread leftover from the other day.  A quick saute of some kale in bacon grease and chicken stock and this was a done thing.  We cooked a half dozen slices of bacon and set them aside to drain, then added a couple of minced garlic cloves and a little diced onion to the fat, gave them a minute to flavor the pan, and then dumped in the kale.  Separate the tough stems and rough chop or tear the leaves.  I tossed the greens a little to coat them with the bacon and then added a half cup of chicken stock and covered the pan.  Let the kale tenderize in the steam for five minutes then uncover and toss until the liquids evaporates.  I ladled the warmed over beans onto a bed of the kale and crumbled the crisp bacon and the cornbread over them.  I squeezed a lemon into the kale to add a bright note but that is optional.


DSC_9048 (1600x1060)The show on the Food Network that I enjoy the most is the one hosted by the spiky haired fellow named Guy Fieri – Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.  I have the dvr set to record all the shows and we watch them during meals.  All of the recipes are quick and easy although some of the sauces and seasoning recipes can be quite involved.

We saw this dish put together the other day and thought it looked pretty good.  It took some Google-Fu to find the recipe, the chef mentioned the name of it on the show but I never could really make out what he said despite several rewinds.DSC_9051 (1600x1060)I garnished this one with powdered sugar and a glop of creme fraiche, whipped cream or ice cream would work well.  I can readily imagine variations on this theme using different fruits.  I’m thinking peaches would be great using the same seasonings, berries should work but I’d have to give that some thought.  Mrs J nominates fresh pears.

Hah!  glad I found this Youtube before I hit publish.  It would seem correct that the name refers to the basic batter so a better title to this post would be Apple Pannekoeken.

Ham and Beans

DSC_9047 (1600x1060)A cool front came through and dropped the temps from the 90s yesterday into the 70s today.  When I saw the forecast yesterday I knew that soup would work great for the menus today.  I soaked these large lima beans overnight and started them simmering in a big pot this morning.  I sifted through the results on a quick search and settled on this recipe to work with.  Turned out pretty good!  I departed from the recipe only slightly, using water and chicken seasoning paste instead of stock.  The teaspoon of Creole seasoning wasn’t something that I would have thought of for this dish but it worked nicely in there.  I went with a bacon and jalapeno corn bread using the recipe off the corn meal box and preheated the cast iron skillet to get that nice crust.  It spent 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.


DSC_9025 (1600x1060)Here’s a piece of that raspberry pie.  Yum!  A scoop of vanilla will improve most anything whether it needs it or not.DSC_4874 (1600x1060)A hummer looks at the vitex.  A lot of the birds zoom in to check it out but there isn’t much there to keep them interested.DSC_9036 (1600x1060)We’ve eaten more of those stuffed Anaheims.  This batch is filled with cream cheese and cheddar with ground beef cooked with taco seasonings.  They are topped with more cheddar and a sprinkle of lime flavored red pepper.DSC_9032 (1600x1060)This is a curly dog with slaw, topped with yellow mustard I’ve turned into a relish with chopped and sliced serrano peppers.  Cut a hot dog lengthwise but not all the way through and then with crosscuts and they curl when cooked.  There was a diner in my home town that made these, I first ate one over fifty years ago.  Time flies!DSC_4884 (1600x1060)We spotted this snapper crawling at a considerable remove from its regular home in a small pond.  I’m not sure why it left home, it seems late for an egg laying expedition.  Just wanderlust, maybe?  Population pressure?DSC_9002 [1600x1060]Mrs J favors bean soups and I am happy to oblige!  This isn’t the best I’ve ever produced but it wasn’t bad.  I’ve developed a habit of taking some of the cooking liquids released from chunks of meat that I smoke and reducing them more in a saucepan.  Because of all the salt in many of my dry rubs the reduction is too salty to use in a gravy but  can be frozen in an ice cube tray and treated like homemade bouillon cubes.DSC_8997 (1600x1060)Tacos are a quick and easy meal.  These are ground beef with the usual accompaniments.

Habanero Hot Sauce*

* Ooops!  I forgot the title ’til I saw that “untitled post” had been favorited.  Fixed

DSC_8828 (1600x1060)I have many more habanero peppers than I will ever use.  I hate to waste such pretty things so I went Google diving, looking for a recipe I found last year and used.  I’m not sure if I posted anything about it.  I did a post that included a sauce recipe using habs but this one is a little different:

Habanero Hot Sauce

About 12-15 (give or take…) Habanero peppers. Remove the seeds.
1 can sliced peaches in either heavy or light syrup.
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
The original recipe called for 1/2 cup mustard but it seemed like too much so I halved it. Blend it all on high until liquified. Refrigerate overnight or use right away. You can also freeze or can jars of it. It’s also supposed to keep for a long time in the refrigerator. I canned the extra out of the first batch but I’m going through it so fast, after filling my old tabasco bottle with it I just freeze the rest until ready to use.

I’m not a huge fan of molasses so I used only a little, and subbed some of my whole grain mustard for the yellow.  After it all was processed in my machine it seemed a bit thick so I added some seasoned rice vinegar.  I have a pint of the finished sauce in the fridge, and 5 half pint jars full that I processed in a boiling water bath.  DSC_9021 (1600x1060)I guess how big the can of peaches is will make some difference – I used some re-hydrated peaches that we bought dried.  They were just too chewy to eat as is but when soaked in water for a day or two in the fridge they were pretty good.  Not like fresh or canned by any means.  The water they soaked in turned into a liquid nearly the same as syrup from canned, sweet even without any added sugar.DSC_9024 (1600x1060)

Cajun Food Pr0n – Gumbo

DSC_9004 (1600x1060)I always send folks to this page when they ask for a gumbo recipe.  It’s for a chicken and sausage gumbo but easily adapts to whatever meat you have on hand.  The pictured gumbo has the chicken and sausage, plus precooked shrimp and crawfish tails that were added just at the end to warm through.


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