Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mardi Gras * FAT TUESDAY

A few years ago I had the extreme privilege of going to New Orleans for a chefs conference. I think it is an experience that everyone should see at least once in their life (cross it off that bucket list).  The city is all heart, the people there are warm and welcoming, the music is loud and full of soul, the drinks are cheap and the food is DELICIOUS.  When you are in New Orleans, you KNOW you are in New Orleans!
Every year before Ash Wednesday, I find now as I get older, this time brings forth an exciting menu that is spicy, smokey, flavorful and all around fulfilling.  If you are in for a few new recipes that are easy takes on some traditional dishes, try them out and make next years a fun themed pot luck dinner with your family and friends!!!!
Gumbo is a dish that originated in Southern Louisiana during the 18th century and typically consists of a fortified stock; meat and/or shellfish; thickened with file, roux and okra; and seasoned celery, bell peppers and onions. Several varieties exist so take a look and see which one might tickle your fancy for dinner!

6 Authentic Gumbo Recipes

recipe image


·         1 cup all-purpose flour
·         3/4 cup bacon drippings
·         1 cup coarsely chopped celery
·         1 cup all-purpose flour
·         3/4 cup bacon drippings
·         1 cup coarsely chopped celery
·         1 large onion, coarsely chopped
·         1 large green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
·         2 cloves garlic, minced
·         1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
·         3 quarts water
·         6 cubes beef bouillon
·         1 tablespoon white sugar
·         salt to taste
·         2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco®), or to taste
·         1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend, or to taste
·         4 bay leaves
·         1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
·         1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
·         1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce
·         2 teaspoons gumbo file powder
·         2 tablespoons bacon drippings
·         2 (10 ounce) packages frozen cut okra, thawed
·         2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
·         1 pound lump crabmeat
·         3 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
·         2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
·         2 teaspoons gumbo file powder


1. Make a roux by whisking the flour and 3/4 cup bacon drippings together in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat to form a smooth mixture. Cook the roux, whisking constantly, until it turns a rich mahogany brown color. This can take 20 to 30 minutes; watch heat carefully and whisk constantly or roux will burn. Remove from heat; continue whisking until mixture stops cooking.
2. Place the celery, onion, green bell pepper, and garlic into the work bowl of a food processor, and pulse until the vegetables are very finely chopped. Stir the vegetables into the roux, and mix in the sausage. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, and cook until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.
3. Bring the water and beef bouillon cubes to a boil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Stir until the bouillon cubes dissolve, and whisk the roux mixture into the boiling water. Reduce heat to a simmer, and mix in the sugar, salt, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, stewed tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Simmer the soup over low heat for 1 hour; mix in 2 teaspoons of file gumbo powder at the 45-minute mark.
4. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings in a skillet, and cook the okra with vinegar over medium heat for 15 minutes; remove okra with slotted spoon, and stir into the simmering gumbo. Mix in crabmeat, shrimp, and Worcestershire sauce, and simmer until flavors have blended, 45 more minutes. Just before serving, stir in 2 more teaspoons of file gumbo powder.


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2015 Allrecipes.com
 Cajun Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a  traditional Louisiana Creole dish of Spanish and French influence, possibly having its origins in Spanish paella and a Southern France dished jambalaia which is a mash-up of rice, chicken and saffron. Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts, with meat and vegetables, being completed by adding stock and rice.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
  • 4 ounces chicken, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 5 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
In a bowl combine shrimp, chicken and Creole seasoning, and work in seasoning well. In a large saucepan heat oil over high heat with onion, pepper and celery, 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. When rice is just tender add shrimp and chicken mixture and sausage. Cook until meat is done, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast): Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 1 Hour

Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 4 Hours 30 Minutes
Servings: 16



·         1 cup milk

·         1/4 cup butter

·         2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast

·         2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

·         1/2 cup white sugar

·         2 eggs

·         1 1/2 teaspoons salt

·         1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

·         5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


·         1 cup packed brown sugar

·         1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

·         2/3 cup chopped pecans

·         1/2 cup all-purpose flour

·         1/2 cup raisins

·         1/2 cup melted butter


·         1 cup confectioners' sugar

·         1 tablespoon water


1. Scald milk, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

5. To Make Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.

6. Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10x16 inches or so).

New Orleans Beignets Recipe

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. + chilling

Cook: 5 minutes per batch

YIELD:48 servings


·         1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

·         1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)

·         1 cup evaporated milk

·         1/2 cup canola oil

·         1/4 cup sugar

·         1 egg

·         4-1/2 cups self-rising flour

·         Oil for deep-fat frying

·         Confectioners' sugar


1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, oil, sugar, egg and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Do not knead. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

2. Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; roll into a 16x12-in. rectangle. Cut into 2-in. squares. 

3. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry squares, a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Roll warm beignets in confectioners' sugar. Yield: 4 dozen.  

Editor's Note: As a substitute for each cup of self-rising flour, place 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup. Add all-purpose flour to measure 1 cup.

© 2015 RDA Enthusiast Brands, LLC
Pork, Smoked Ham, Andouille Sausage & Shrimp
Rolling Out Beignet Dough
Deliciously Sweet!!!

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