Wednesday, December 12, 2018

CAJUN-STYLE SHRIMP & ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE GUMBO

Here is another recipe for Cajun gumbo with shrimp and andouille sausage. If you can't find andouille sausage, substitute kielbasa.



½ cup avocado oil or peanut oil
12 oz smoked andouille sausage, halved lengthwise, and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T Cajun Seasoning 
1 t smoked paprika
½ t cayenne pepper (optional, if you want a little more heat)
2 t dried thyme
1 T Worcestershire sauce
4 bottles clam broth
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 bottle Abita beer or other amber beer
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sliced okra
1 T filé powder (dried and ground leaves of the North American sassafras tree)

1 bunch chopped scallions, for garnish 
Louisiana or Crystal hot sauce, for the table

In a large cast-iron pot or Dutch oven, fitted with a lid, add the oil and cook the sausage until light brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside.

To make the roux, whisk the flour into the oil in the pot.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. 
Let the roux cook until it’s the color of peanut butter.
Lower heat to medium-low and let roux cook until it’s the color of an old copper penny, about 5 to 10 minutes more.

Stir in the “holy trinity” of onion, bell pepper, and celery.
Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the Cajun Seasoning, paprika, cayenne, thyme, Worcestershire, clam broth, beer, bay leaves, and the browned sausage.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Partially cover with a lid and simmer 20 minutes.
Add okra and shrimp and simmer another 3 to 4 minutes.
Turn off heat and stir in the filé powder and let sit for 5 minutes.

Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with scallions and serve with cooked white rice and crusty bread.

Serves 4

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

CREOLE-STYLE SHRIMP & ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE GUMBO

To make a Creole or Cajun gumbo, you first have to make a roux. I like to use my well seasoned cast-iron stew pot to make gumbo. I also like to use a little less oil to flour ratio than most gumbos call for. Let your roux come to the color of an old penny before adding the "trinity".
I also added my recipe for Cajun Seasoning. Cajun seasoning does not contain dried oregano and basil. Traditionally Cajun food does not contain tomatoes. This recipe is for the more city-style version.




1 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
½ cup peanut oil or avocado oil
12 oz smoked andouille sausage, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T Creole Seasoning (recipe follows)
1 t smoked paprika
½ t cayenne pepper (optional, if you want a little more heat)
2 t dried thyme
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 (14.5-oz) can fire roasted tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes
4 bottles clam broth
1 bottle Abita beer or other amber beer
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped okra, fresh or frozen
1 T filé powder (dried and ground leaves of the North American sassafras tree)

1 bunch chopped scallions, for garnish 
Louisiana or Crystal hot sauce, for the table

Place shrimp in a bowl and refrigerate.

In a large cast-iron pot or Dutch oven, fitted with a lid, add the oil and cook the sausage until light brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside.

To make the roux, whisk the flour into the oil in the pot.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. 
Let the roux cook until it’s the color of peanut butter.
Lower heat to medium-low and let roux cook until it’s the color of an old copper penny, about 5 to 10 minutes more.

Stir in the “holy trinity” of onion, bell pepper, and celery.
Cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the Creole Seasoning, paprika, cayenne, thyme, Worcestershire, tomatoes, seafood stock or clam broth, bay leaves, and the browned sausage.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Partially cover with a lid and simmer 20 minutes.
Add okra and simmer another 5 minutes.
Add shrimp and simmer for 2 more minutes.
Turn off heat and stir in the filé powder, cover with a lid, and let sit for 5 minutes.

Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with scallions and serve with cooked white rice and French bread.

Serves 4

Creole Seasoning
3 T paprika
2 T sea salt
2 T garlic powder
2 T cayenne pepper
2 T onion powder
2 T dried thyme
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried basil
2 T ground black pepper
1 T ground white pepper

Pour above ingredients in a jar fitted with a lid. Shake well and store in a cool dark place for up to one year.


CAJUN-STYLE CHICKEN & ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE GUMBO

Cajun-style gumbo is a hearty stew created from the melting-pot of Louisiana cooking. The first known recipes were in the early 1800s. In the spring the gumbo would include crawfish, catfish, and other freshwater fish. Late summer was the time to make it with chicken, duck, goose, or other fowl raised at home. In the autumn and winter, it was common to use duck, squirrel, rabbit, and other wild game brought home by the hunter. 




½ cup avocado oil or peanut oil
12 oz smoked andouille sausage, halved lengthwise, and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T Cajun Seasoning (recipe follows)
1 t smoked paprika
½ t cayenne pepper (optional, if you want a little more heat)
2 t dried thyme
1 T Worcestershire sauce
3 cups chicken stock
6 to 8 boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of any fat and cut into 3 to 4 pieces
1 bottle Abita beer or other amber beer
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sliced okra
1 T filé powder (dried and ground leaves of the North American sassafras tree)

1 bunch chopped scallions, for garnish 
Louisiana or Crystal hot sauce, for the table

In a large cast-iron pot or Dutch oven, fitted with a lid, add the oil and cook the sausage until light brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside.

To make the roux, whisk the flour into the oil in the pot.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. 
Let the roux cook until it’s the color of peanut butter.
Lower heat to medium-low and let roux cook until it’s the color of an old copper penny, about 5 to 10 minutes more.

Stir in the “holy trinity” of onion, bell pepper, and celery.
Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the Cajun Seasoning, paprika, cayenne, thyme, Worcestershire, chicken stock, cut up chicken thighs, beer, bay leaves, and the browned sausage.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Partially cover with a lid and simmer 20 minutes.
Add okra and simmer another 5 minutes.
Turn off heat and stir in the filé powder and let sit for 5 minutes.

Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with scallions and serve with cooked white rice and French bread or corn bread.

Serves 4

Cajun Seasoning
3 T paprika
2 T sea salt
2 T garlic powder
2 T cayenne pepper
2 T onion powder
2 T dried thyme
2 T ground black pepper
1 T ground white pepper


Pour above ingredients in a jar fitted with a lid. Shake well and store in a cool dark place for up to one year.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

BAKED BRIE WITH PECANS, DRIED CRANBERRIES, & POMEGRANATE SEEDS

This is a delicious appetizer to serve during the holidays.



8 oz round of Brie cheese
¼ cup honey
2 T balsamic vinegar
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup pomegranate seeds

Place cheese on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in a 350-degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes, just to soften.

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, simmer the honey, vinegar, cranberries, pecans, and pomegranate seeds for 5 minutes.

Place cheese on a serving plate and spoon sauce over the cheese and serve with crackers.



Monday, November 19, 2018

CLAMS, CHORIZO, & BEANS STEW

Here is a Spanish inspired clam dish. The chorizo gives the stew a robust flavor.





½ lb dry-cured Spanish chorizo, sliced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 14-oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 14-oz can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup dry white wine
1 lb fresh small clams, cleaned
½ t red pepper flakes
¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley, divided
Extra-virgin olive oil

Place a paella pan or large cast-iron skillet fitted with a lid over medium heat.
Add the chorizo and cook until crisp.
Add the onion and cook another 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the tomatoes, beans, and wine.
Simmer 10 minutes until the liquid is slightly reduced
Scatter on the clams, red pepper flakes, and half of the parsley.
Cover with a lid and cook until clams have opened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Ladle into 2 warm soup bowls and garnish with the rest of the parsley.
Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil.

Serve with crusty bread.

Serves 2



Friday, November 16, 2018

KIELBASA & CABBAGE SKILLET DINNER

Here is a weeknight dinner ready in under 45 minutes. If you would like to add a few small potatoes, just tuck them into the cabbage along with the sausage.



3 slice bacon
1 (¾ lb) Kielbasa sausage link, sliced diagonally
1 T unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small head cabbage, chopped
1 t smoked paprika
½ cup chicken broth
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Parsley, for garnish

Cut bacon into small pieces and fry in a large skillet fitted with a lid.
Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and set aside.
Pour off some of the bacon grease and discard.
Add the sausage and cook until lightly brown on both sides.
Remove sausage to a bowl and set aside.
Add the butter and sauté the onion for a couple of minutes.
Add garlic and cabbage and cook another 5 minutes.
Add the paprika and chicken broth.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover with a lid and slowly simmer 30 minutes.


Sprinkle with bacon bits, scallions, and parsley and serve.

Serves 2 to 3