Lima Beans & Shrimp

Shrimp and Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lima beans, soaked overnight
  • 3 lbs. head-on medium shrimp
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 6 cups chicken stock water
  • ½ lb. pork (or turkey) tasso, diced
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup celery
  • ¼ cup green onion
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • thyme, to tase
  • Joe’s, Tony’s (creaole seasoning)

Roux

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup flour

Preparation

  1. In big stock pot, cover ham hock with chicken stock water, simmer on low for 1 hour.
  2. Peel shrimp, reserving ½ shells and heads. Dash shrimp with creole seasoning and place in fridge. Place shells and heads in pot with 6 cups water, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Skim impurities that rise to surface.
  3. Make a medium dark brown roux in heavy stock pot or dutch oven. After roux has reached proper brownicity, fold in onion, bell pepper, celery, green onion, jalapeño, garlic, and thyme. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Turn up the heat on the roux mixture and add beans, meat. Slowly cover with strained shrimp stock and ham hock stock. Add hock ad-hoc. Bam!
  5. Simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hrs, skimming impurities that rise to surface.
  6. Add shrimp and simmer for 20 more minutes, or until pink.

Serve over rice, and top with parsley before serving. Whip up some cornbread, too. You won’t regret it.

Red Beans and Rice

Finally documented my go-to read beans recipe today in the kitchen. It’s cooking now, so we’ll see if there’s any need for adjustment to the below in a few hours. I usually get the beans going to a boil as I’m prepping the rest of the veggies.

Ingredients

 

  • 1 lb dark red kidney beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 bottle red wine
  • 1 large onion, chopped (3 cups)
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped (2 cups)
  • 4-5 ribs celery, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 Tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2/3 lb. andouille sausage, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb. ham, cubed into 1/4 pieces (ham hock, ham steak, something smoked and w/ a bone is best)
  • Gumbo filé
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Optional Extras

  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 2-3 slices bacon, raw

Preparation

  1. Soak beans in water overnight. Drain, rinse and place in stock pot with water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add everything except parsley.
  3. Simmer uncovered for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add parsley just before serving in a bowl under white rice. Add filé to taste. Cornbread and hot sauce is also encouraged.

Makes 12 servings.

Eggplant and Rice Dressing

Alone or stuffed in a bell pepper, this dirty rice is the real ish. Ron, upon tasting, said this rice was “mad light, but mad good”.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (~ 2lbs)
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and brown the pork and beef. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery and cook for bout 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are wilted. Add the salt, cayenne, eggplant, and water. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until eggplant is very soft. With a spoon, mash the eggplant against the side of the pot.
  3. Add the rice and parsley. Mix thoroughly, breaking up any clumps. Heat until rice is warmed through. Serve Immediately.

Makes 8 servings

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients

  • 4 lagre bell peppers
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups rice (white or wild) cooked
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • bread crumbs
  • mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • cayenne papper

Prepearation

  1. Brown beef, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, onion, celery. Cook 4-5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir well. Add rice and some of tomato sauce to desired consistency. Add corn. Mix well. If needed, add more tomato sauce. Spoon into bell peppers.
  2. In separate bowl, combine bread crumbs with salt, pepper, cayenne and parmesan. Cover peppers with bread crumb mixture. Place peppers in pan and cover bottom with water. Cook in 350° oven 30 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella and cook until melted.

Jambalaya

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless chicken, cubed; AND/OR
    • 1 lb. shrimp, boiled in Zatarain’s and peeled; OR
    • 1 lb. leftover holiday turkey, cubed; OR
    • 1 lb. of any kind of poultry or fish, cubed; OR
    • Any combination of the above
  • 1 lb. (hot) smoked sausage, andouille or chaurice, sliced on the bias; OR
  • 1 lb. diced smoked ham
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 – 6 cloves garlic, minced (amount to taste; I like lots)
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 small cans tomato paste
  • 4 large Creole tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced; OR
  • 1 28-oz. can tomatoes
  • 8 cups good dark homemade chicken stock
  • Creole seasoning blend to taste (or 2 – 3 tablespoons); OR
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 1 teaspoon white pepper, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teapsoon thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked (Some people like converted rice, others prefer good old Mahatma. I use Uncle Ben’s converted, as the rice doesn’t get sticky or lumpy that way.)

Preparation

  1. In a sauté or frying pan, brown the chicken, sprinkling with Tony Chachere’s seasoning if you’ve got it; a bit of salt, black pepper and red pepper otherwise. Don’t brown if using leftover cooked bird, but you still might want to season the meat. Tear or cut the meat into bite-size pieces.
  2. Brown the sliced smoked sausage or andouille and pour off fat. In the pot, sauté the onions, garlic, peppers and celery in oil until onions begin to turn transparent.
  3. In the same pot, while you’re sautéing the “trinity”, add the tomato paste and let it pincé, meaning to let it brown a little. What we’re going for here is an additional depth of flavor by browning the tomato paste a little; the sugar in the tomato paste begins to caramelize, deepening the flavor and color. Keep it moving so that it browns but doesn’t burn. Some friends of mine hate this step, so you can skip it if you want, but then it won’t be Chuck’s jambalaya.)
  4. Once the vegetables are translucent and the tomato paste achives sort of a red mahogany color, deglaze the pan with the about 2 cups of the stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to mix up any browned bits, and stir until smooth, making sure the sautéed vegetables, paste and stock are combined thoroughly. It should be fairly thick.
  5. Add the Creole seasoning, tomatoes and salt to taste. Cook over low-medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the meat and/or seafood and cook another 10 minutes; if you’re using seafood, be careful not to overcook it.
  6. Add the rest of the stock, check seasonings, and stir in the rice, combining thoroughly. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is cooked through. If you haven’t checked your seasonings before adding the rice, it’s too late! It’s much better for the rice to absorb the seasonings while it’s cooking. Check seasoning anyway, then turn the heat down to low-medium and let the sauce thicken up a bit, with the pot uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Stir thoroughly to combine all ingredients. When the jambalaya has thickened up a bit and has reached the “right” consistency (you’ll know), it’s done.

Serve with salad and French bread.

From GumboPages.com

Chicken Biryani

This recipe requires a 3 1/2- to 4-quart saucepan about 8 inches in diameter. Do not use a large, wide Dutch oven, as it will adversely affect both the layering of the dish and the final cooking times. Begin simmering the spices in the water prior to preparing the remaining ingredients; the more time the spices have to infuse the water (up to half an hour), the more flavor they will give to the rice. Biryani is traditionally served with a cooling yogurt sauce; ideally, you should make it before starting the biryani to allow the flavors in the sauce to meld.

Ingredients

Yogurt Sauce – make ahead

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mint, minced

Biryani

  • 10 cardamom pods, preferably green, smashed with chef’s knife
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into 1/2 inch thick coins and smashed with chef’s knife
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 3 quarts water
  • table salt
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lbs), trimmed of excess skin and fat and patted dry with paper towels
  • ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, sliced thin (about 4 cups)
  • 2 medium jalapeños, one seeded and both chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups basmati rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, lightly crumbled
  • 1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves

Preparation

  1. Wrap cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, ginger, and cumin seed in a small piece of cheesecloth and secure with kitchen twine. In 3 1/2 to 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan about 8 inches in diameter, bring water, spice bundle, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to boil over medium-high heat; reduce to medium and simmer, partially covered, until spices have infused water, at least 15 minutes (but not longer than 30 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, season both sides of chicken thighs with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat butter in 12-inch nonstick skilet over medium-high heat until foaming subsides; add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and dark brown about edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Add jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to bowl, season lightly with salt, and set aside. Wipe out skillet with paper towels, return heat to medium-high, and place chicken thighs skin-side down in skillet; cook, without moving chicken, until well browned, about five minutes. Flip chicked and brown second side, 4 to 5 minutes longer; transfer chicken to plate and remove and discard skin. Tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. If necessary, return spice-infused water to boil over high heat; stir in rice and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain rice through fine-mesh strainer, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid; discard spice bundle. Transfer rice to medium bowl; stir in saffron and currants (rice will turn splotchy yellow). Spread half of rice evenly in bottom of now-empty saucepan using rubber spatula. Scatter half of onion mixture over rice, then place chicken thighs, skinned-side up, on top of onions; add any accumulated chicken juices. Evenly sprinkle with cilantro and mint, scatter remaining onions over herbs, then cover with remaining rice; pour reserved cooking liquid evenly over rice.
  4. Cover saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes (if large amount of steam is escaping from pot, reduce heat to low). Run heatproof rubber spatula around inside the rim of saucepan to loosen any affixed rice; usind large serving spoon, spoon biryani into individual bowls, scooping from bottom of pot and serving 1 chicken thigh per person. Hit with Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4