Gail, a six month old kitten, was introduced to her her new staff yesterday. After her approval she allowed her new chauffeur to convey her to her new domain. We have no idea what this is. It’s about the size of a softball and is made of various fibers.I suppose it’s possible that it’s just a windblown ball of fluff that has been caught by the branch but it does appear to have been purposely anchored there by several loops of the same fibers as it is built of.Mmm… sloppy joes! I made a quick bean salad with a rice vinegar and olive oil dressing to go with it – based loosely on this recipe.I made corned beef the other day and ran the butt ends and scraps through a food processor just for this hash dish. Frozen shredded potatoes make it a quick and delicious meal. That’s hot sauce on the egg, I like a dash of Tabasco on mine. Gumbo is always a good idea. This one has shrimp, chicken, and some of my homemade Andouille. I still have a little bit left, sealed in vacuum bags and frozen. Vacuum sealing is working out very well, pleased to have rediscovered the method.I made a quick batch of Italian sausage from some plain ground pork because I had my heart set on some and found none at all in the freezer. I was sure I had some!I’ll make kitteh bookends to the post with this snap of Bea. The cats have shredded the carpet on this old cat tree so Mrs J set it outside on the back porch, pending remediation.
It’s turned off cool again here in Beautiful Southern Illinois™ so Mrs J demanded soup Some Sort of Soup, then quickly refined that to Some Sort of Potato Soup. I had the best part of a stick of Andouille sausage thawed from making the last pizza and I wondered if maybe… Yes! One of the nice things about search engines is that you can input ingredients you have on hand as search terms and you will probably get recipes that use them. A recipe from Emeril topped the page in the returns I got. (Google personalizes searches so your returns may not match mine – I browse recipes pretty often.)You can do it all in one pan but the one I wanted to use was busy melting frozen blocks of chicken stock so I enlisted my wok to start the onions and sausage. I just dumped all this into the pot with the stock when it was ready. The long handle on the wok lets me flip the contents like a real chef – hey Emeril, long time no see, Pal!
A stick blender will let you blend in some of the potato chunks to thicken the broth. I removed some of the potato pieces and stock to a small bowl to do that to keep away from the sausage and herbs.
I wish this had worked out better. I tried to carry the Cajun theme too far and made a sauce of celery, green pepper, and onions with a ton of garlic and butter. The crust just didn’t support the load when I added the crawfish tails atop that, too much moisture for the thin crust to manage. Lots of Cajun seasonings. It had pretty good flavor but it was just too soggy. Back to the drawing board! I have some of the tails left but no idea right now what to do with them. Cajun tacos? hmm…
Saturday Night In New Orleans (October 2010)
I’m back from my most excellent week in Los Angeles and Ventura County. I have some great photos and fun food stories to share, but work has been non-stop since I returned, so I haven’t even unpacked my camera from its bag to download the photos. I will do that this weekend.
I was mulling over what to post tonight and realized Mardi Gras is coming up soon and I have a stash of recipes that would fit that theme.
My fall back recipe when I want a touch of creole is Washday Beans and Rice (recipe here)
A trip to New Orleans a few years ago gave me my first taste of authentic Beignets at Cafe Du Monde and Po’boys at Johnny’s, I liked the sandwiches so much, I hunted down some recipes, (click here).
Dinner was fancier, Trout Amandine with Creole Meuniere Sauce (recipe here).
I flew home in time to miss the rain, but managed to drive home in white out conditions. I am so over winter, how about you? What’s on the menu for the weekend? Any favorite Fat Tuesday recipes? Hit the comments.
The featured recipe (pictured above) is from JeffrewW tonight:
Shrimp and Andouille in a Creole Mustard Sauce
- 1 pound uncooked peeled deveined large shrimp
- 1 tablespoon Creole or Cajun seasoning (recipe below)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 pound andouille sausage, cut crosswise on diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick pieces
- 1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch-wide strips
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
- 5 tablespoons Creole mustard
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Toss shrimp with Creole seasoning in medium bowl to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add sausage pieces, cut side down. Cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer sausage to bowl. Add shrimp to skillet; cook until browned and just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl with sausage. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, bell pepper, and thyme to skillet. Sauté until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add broth, mustard, and vinegar. Stir until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Return sausage and shrimp to skillet. Simmer until heated through, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- 1/3 Cup Paprika
- 1/4 Cup Granulated Garlic
- 4 Tbsp Onion Powder
- 1/3 Cup Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 3 Tbsp White Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Dried Thyme
- 2 Tbsp Dried Basil
- 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
Combine all ingredients and place in an airtight container.
Makes about 10 oz.
That’s it for this week. Until next week…. – TaMara
I was going to tell you that it’s my birthday, so there wasn’t going to be a menu tonight, but then I saw that JeffreyW posted some great looking red beans and rice (check out his outstanding photos!), YUM. I knew I could find a menu to go with that, so here it is. I’m off to celebrate.
On the board tonight:
- Washday Beans & Rice
- Sliced Steamed Zucchini
- Corn Bread
- Blueberries & Raspberries w/whip cream
Washday Beans & Rice
- 1 cup rice
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 14oz can red kidney bean
- 4 links Italian or Andouille sausage (sweet or spicy) – slice each link into 4 pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp to 1 tbsp Cajun Creole Seasoning (start with teaspoon and work your way up to taste)
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 1 large tomato diced (or 14 oz can)
2 quart saucepan and skillet
Combine rice with water & chicken broth in a saucepan, cover. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cook until all the liquid is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Over medium high, heat oil in skillet; add onions & sausage, cook until sausage is done in the center. Add sausage, beans, seasoning and tomatoes together into sauce pan. Keep heat low and let cook 10 minutes to let flavors blend. You can add shredded, cooked pork to the beans if desired.
There are many variations on cornbread, this one is pretty basic.
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup yellow corn meal
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup butter or oil
- 1 large bowl
9×9 baking dish, greased
Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, add corn meal, mix well. Add eggs, milk and oil. Beat with mixer until smooth (do not over beat). Pour into baking dish and bake at 425° for 20-25 minutes. Light brown on top, toothpick should come out clean.
- 1 cup rice
- 8 oz chicken broth
- 14 oz can red kidney beans
- 4 links Italian or Andouille sausage (sweet or spicy)
- Cajun Creole Seasoning (start with teaspoon and work your way up to taste)
- 4 green onions
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 large green pepper
- 1 large tomato (or 14 oz can diced tomatoes)
- 2 zucchini
- 1 cup yellow corn meal
- 2 eggs
- 8 oz buttermilk
- 1 pint Blueberries
- 1 pint Raspberries
- 8 oz Whipped Cream
Also: olive oil, butter, flour, sugar, baking powder
I was working on this when we decided to make a run to town yesterday, I had the gumbo simmering sans the shrimp – they are added in the last minutes before the stew is ladled into the bowls for the table. We got back and needed to eat because we were both running a little low but I hadn’t made any rice yet. We did the Reuben sammiches and saved the gumbo for the evening meal. This one has Andouille sausage, shrimp, and chicken, and is served over white rice. Add hot sauce to taste. This fellow has some great Cajun recipes, here is a very good gumbo recipe you can adapt to any sort of meat.