Gumbo Pr0n – With Homemade Andouille

DSC_9104 (1600x1060)…and chicken!  I even added some cut okra to this one.

Gumbo Pr0n – Shrimp, Andouille, and Crayfish

DSC_8209 (1600x1060)Mmm… gumbo.  I’ve made this often enough that I was able to put this one together without even glancing at a recipe.  We ran across some frozen crayfish tails while were were scouting brisket prices and “we can make gumbo” was the first thing that came to mind.

The general recipe is simple enough:  Chop up up the trinity of onions, celery, and green peppers and keep them ready to go, then start a roux and take it to a color that suits you, stirring all the while.  I use peanut oil instead of butter, use equal parts flour and oil.  A large flat bottom pot and a wooden spatula with a flat tip is the best thing I’ve found for making one although you can do the roux in the oven if you have time.

When the roux is dark enough to suit, stir in the trinity .  Season with your favorite spices.  Give the veggies five minutes or so to wilt then add your stock.  This time I used lamb stock I had on hand but the usual is chicken stock, or shrimp stock.  The lamb stock worked great.  Bring it to a boil and then simmer.

You are nearly home free, now.  Add everything else in its proper time, sausage and chicken can go in early, seafoods go in late.  I put okra in this one but that’s optional.  Mine came frozen and chopped, I added it to the simmering stock early.  It’s said to be a thickener but I really couldn’t say.  Adjust your seasonings and serve it with rice.

Chicken Gumbo with Chorizo Sausage

DSC_7656 (1600x1060)This starts as a basic gumbo – cook a dark roux with flour and oil, add the Cajun trinity of diced onions, celery, and green peppers.  Let the veggies cook for a few minutes then add chicken broth.  I browned chicken thighs and fresh chorizo in a separate pan then added those to the simmering broth.  The fresh chorizo is where this veers off the normal path.  Alas, I had no more Andouille and it really wanted sausage.  The recipe uses a homemade seasoning from this recipe.  That NOLA site is a goldmine for this style of cooking and you can do worse than spending a while looking over all the recipes.

When the sausage and chicken are cooked through remove them to cool, slice the sausage and strip the chicken meat from the bones and add it all back to the pot.  This will take a couple of hours.  I did the roux atop the stove on a medium high heat and stirred it constantly lest it burn, using a flat wooden spatula to keep the bottom scraped.  That took 20 minutes or so.

Gumbo!

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.

Fried Pies

I was looking through the freezer this morning and found some sausage that looked right for breakfast.  I set it thawing in the microwave and transferred it to the big skillet to fry.  A vague notion of biscuits and gravy came and went, then a pot pie was considered and rejected.  Aha – fried pies!  I scrolled through some Google returns and ran across these:  Louisiana Fried Meat Pies With Cajun Tartar Sauce and Natchitoches Meat Pies Recipe.

I had a fun morning.The stuffing was from the first recipe (only change – no ground beef, it was all pork sausage), and the crusts were from the second – I had the lard and wanted to try it in a fried pie.  Worked pretty well.The sauce recipe was from the first (Cajun Tartar sauce, heh) but I misread the directions and used only half the oil it called for.  The sauce didn’t thicken very well as a result.  I decided to use a healthy dollop of prepared mayo and whisked in enough to thicken it a bit.  It ended up more a dipping sauce than a ‘tartar” sauce but the flavor was good and I enjoyed it.

Crawfish rice dressing recipe

That store bought crawfish rice stuffed chicken we had yesterday was so good I set out to see if I could replicate it.  There are scads of recipes online and I looked at several to get a feel for what would work and settled for a fairly simple one that didn’t include canned soups.

It looked like I would need to find some crawfish tails, so I took my list in hand and went to market.  Found some first place I looked.  Yay!

I set those to thaw, started some white rice,  and busied myself dicing the onions, the green pepper, and the celery.  I added some ground pork along with the ground beef and got the meat and the trinity plus a half dozen cloves of minced garlic cooking in a big skillet.

I started adding some creole seasoning and tasting and adding more until the heat seemed reasonable.

I had some seasoning made up already but thought I would nod to the folks that made the stuffed chicken that sent me on this track.  When the rice was done I added it and the crawfish tails to the mix with a half stick of butter and combined everything nicely, adding more seasoning while I was at it.

This was tasting so good!  I crammed a roasting chicken full and tied the legs up with string…

gave the whole bird a good dusting with the seasoning and set it in a 350 oven in a covered roaster for about an hour and a half.  The lid came off for another twenty minutes or so and…Ta-Da!

Mmm…gumbo

I bought some roux in a jar with the last order from that Cajun grocer and decided to give it a spin today.  Disaster!  It was awful tasting.  I dumped the whole pot into a colander to drain the offending sauce away.  Seriously thought about rinsing every last bit away but figured that would be overkill.

I made another roux in a clean pot-not the dark roux I was really wanting but it was fairly brown, about a milk chocolate.  I dumped the remainders from the colander back into this new roux and gave it a brief stir before I added another quart and a half of chicken stock.

It turned out pretty good on the second try.

Enjoy!

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Mmm…Red Beans ‘n Rice

I’ve been wanting to make a mess of these ever since we got some tasso from that mail order outfit down in Louisiana.  I also received some dried red beans that were highly, and repeatedly, recommended.

I suppose everyone with  a Grandma from New Orleans has a secret family heirloom recipe for red beans and rice.  I’ve followed a couple that were subtly different but remained the same in essence:  Basic recipe is to sweat some of the trinity in bacon grease, add sausage/ham/chicken/some kind of meat to brown it some, then dump in some soaked beans and cover with stock or water.  The pot simmers for a few hours, spices are added, rice is cooked, onions are chopped and pretty soon you have a great dinner.

Today I printed out Emeril’s recipe and carried it to the kitchen.  I followed it pretty well with a few changes, nothing major. (Didn’t have enough celery so I chopped up some bok choy–don’t tell!)  Emeril calls for a ham hock, I used some sliced, smoked, ham diced into smallish cubes.  I sprinkled in some cayenne like the recipe said, and also sprinkled on some of the homemade Cajun seasoning I made up a while back from this recipe.

I used some Tabasco at the table over mine, and sprinkled on some extra creole seasoning and the result was pretty warm.  Mrs J’s portion was nearly too hot for her but she managed like a real trooper.

Enjoy!

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