Most of us have our game day traditions, many involving food. BOD (Beware of the Dog) wants some of my recipes, so I'm going to share a few and encourage everyone to post their own favorites. Now most of mine are real Cajun food recipes. I don't cook/bake a lot of sweets, at least not from scratch. I have made homemade apple pie, but that is a lot of work. BOD would especially like some recipes for sweets if you have any favorites.
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My specialty is Gumbo.
Chop up the following.
1&1/2 cups onion
1 bell peper
3 stalks of celery
These veggies can be mixed together
a cup to a cup and a half of green onion (reserve to the side)
5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped, about a quarter to half cup (reserve to the siide)
1 cup flour and I use 3/4 cup Olive oil as opposed to the traditional cup of vegetable oil. Good for the heart and all that.
2 tablespoons Creole Seasonings
1 tablespoon Salt. (the creole seasoning already has salt in it.) If you need to you can always add more salt to your taste later.
Now I like mine hot so I use
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (red pepper for you Yanks)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper. White pepper is more easily digested and can be used instead.
3 Bay Leaves. If you can't get fresh in your area the dried variety will do.
3 to 4 lbs chicken. (I use thighs, we like our meat dark) most people use a whole chicken cut up.
1& 1/2 pounds of smoked Sausage. Andouille sausage if you can get it. I usually have to settle for a spicy brand available in the stores here. Cut in half length ways and cut in 1/2 inch slices.
sometimes I throw in 2 lbs of shrimp at the end. Be sure not to add until the last 20 minutes of cooking.
2 quarts of chicken stock or broth if that is all you have available. Broth can have a lot of salt also so I use a low sodium brand. Add another quart water(4 cups). Or you can use 3 quarts water or stock/broth. The Chicken broth/stock really helps the flavor.
Saute the onions, bell pepper and celery in a saute pan, with 3-4 tablespoons olive oil. Heat the oil and Bay leaves to just about smoking and add the veggies. Saute until soft, 5-7 minutes at a low/medium heat.
Brown your chicken and sausage, I do mine in the oven. Just Brown though, don't cook through.
combine the cup of flour and oil in a heavy pot. I have a cast Iron pot with an enamel coating on the inside. This makes clean up much easier. The Pot will need to be big enough to hold the liquid and meat. Use a stock pot if that is all you have, just be careful you don't scorch the roux/gumbo.
Heat the oil and flour at medium heat or lower, if you don't have a heavy pot, stirring constantly for about 20 minutes, or about 2 Bud heavies. I cook it to a fairly dark chocolate color, unless making strictly seafood gumbo. Also if making seafood gumbo only use 1/4 cup flour to 1/4 cup oil. The main thing here is slow and easy with constant stirring. If you scorch it start over. When the roux is the desired color, remove from heat and add the green onion and chopped garlic to it. This will help cool the roux down, as well as giving it a unique Cajun flavor, before you add your fluids. Be careful Roux is called Cajun napalm for a reason, and will seriously burn you if you get it on exposed skin.add the stock/broth and and the rest of the ingredients, (Onion/bell pepper/celery and spices) and bring to a slow boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add your chicken and sausage and cook for forty minutes. Don't cook the chicken too long or the meat will get stringy. If you browned everything in the oven, (do so in separate pans), pour the juice from the chicken into the gumbo, but drain the grease from the sausage. That's why I brown them in the oven, so I can remove as much grease as possible from my gumbo. I also strip the skin from the chicken, to reduce fat content.
Now I add 3 heaping tablespoons of gumbo filé during the last 20 minutes of cooking. This helps thicken the Gumbo as well flavoring it. You can serve the File as a condiment, which everyone can use to season to taste.
If you are adding shrimp, crawfish tails, or lump crab meat, do this now and cook for and additional 20 minutes.
Cook 2 cups of rice in 4 cups of water. Bring water to a boil adding a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of oil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. You have to cover your rice while it is cooking or the water will evaporate too quickly and you will have hard, burnt on the bottom, rice.
Put some rice in a bowl and add the gumbo and bon appetit.
Some good garlic French Bread goes good with this, as well as fresh cooked potato salad. I just use mustard and mayo along with some boiled eggs, in mine. I also like it warm not chilled.
I use this one from Emeril Lagasse.
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 1/2 cups fish or shrimp stock
- 1 cup peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- hot pepper sauce
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 pounds crawfish tails, with the fat
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Cooked white rice, for serving
In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter and whisk in flour to combine well. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until roux is a peanut butter color.
Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme and cook until vegetables are soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, salt, red pepper, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil.
Skim surface, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add crawfish tails and fat,lemon juice, green onions, and parsley and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining butter and stir to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve over hot rice.
Now for that sweet tooth BOD...nothing more Cajun than Pecan Pralines...if you are Diabetic, have your insulin handy!
If a recipe calls for butter, use butter, not margarine. Butter gives a better taste. If you are going to use margarine you may as well use olive oil. Better taste and better for your heart. I have included a butter to olive oil conversion chart.
Butter or Margarine to Olive Oil Conversion for Baking
|1 teaspoon||= 3/4 teaspoon|
|1 tablespoon||= 2 1/4 teaspoons|
|2 tablespoons||= 1 1/2 tablespoons|
|1/4 cup||= 3 tablespoons|
|1/3 cup||= 1/4 cup|
|1/2 cup||= 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons|
|2/3 cup||= 1/2 cup|
|3/4 cup||= 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon|
|1 cup||= 3/4 cup|
New Orleans Pralines
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light cream
- 1 ½ cups pecans, halved
- 2 tablespoons butter
Combine sugars and cream in a heavy 2-quart saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until mixture forms a thick syrup.
Add pecans and butter and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Remove sauce pan to a heatproof surface (such as a wire rack) and let cool for 10 minutes.
Use a tablespoon to drop rounded balls of the mixture onto sheet wax paper or foil, leaving about 3 inches between each ball for pralines to spread. Allow to cool.
Makes about 12 candies.