Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Fire Up The Stove, We’re Cooking Creole In NYC

Fill Your Printer With Paper, These Are Recipes You're Gonna Print!

With thousands of restaurants in NYC, you could certainly make a case for eating out just about every night.

Of course, this line of thinking can also make a substantial dent in your wallet, so shopping and eating at home can be a good thing, too. And as you well know, we would do more of this if in fact we could get over the biggest hurdle... what are we having?

Well, creole and cajun cooking is custom fit for this delimma, as whatever you cook, you'll likely be eating it for a few days.

That's because Louisiana folks cook with two things in mind. First, they don't know who the hell is showing up for dinner, so you think of how many you may be serving, and then double it. Second, they know that today's good gumbo, will be tomorrow AMAZING gumbo, so they make enough to enjoy on day 2.. and 3... etc.

So, this week, we head into the kitchen, with a list of recipes I have gathered from previous posts on this blog... and a few new ones. They are really easy, and very authentic.... so make your grocery list, do a little shopping, and go for it!

Here are a few of my favorites.

Yes, It's a bit hot for this one, but what the hell... what's life without a bowl of gumbo?

Andre’s Gumbo Like I Like It

(Shrimp and Okra Version)

4- 5 Quarts Chicken Stock
4 pounds frozen okra
1 lrg can of diced tomatoes
1 regular can of diced tomatoes
2 large white onions, diced fine
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1⁄2 teaspoon chopped garlic, fine
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
3⁄4 cup all purpose flour
3⁄4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoon of lea and perrin’s
2 tablespoons crystal hot sauce (or frank’s)
1 1⁄2 tablespoons of creole seasoning (Emerils or Tony’s)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
2-3 tablespoons Kitchen Bouquet
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped parsley, fine
4 pounds peeled medium shrimp
Chopped green onions

In a separate pot, heat 3 tbl vegetable oil, and sauté white onions. Add garlic, frozen okra and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium low heat until tender (at least an hour, if not longer). Okra should be very tender and want to break up. In a large stockpot, heat oil (3/4 cup) and add flour to make roux. Stir constantly over medium heat, making sure not to burn. Bring to desired color… peanut butter color is recommended for best flavor. Once desired color is reached, whisk in chicken stock, 4 qts first and save the rest if needed (chicken base dissolved in water can also be used , but NOT bullion). Add seasonings (wet and dry) and kitchen bouquet for desired color. Add okra mixture and bring to boil. Reduce to low simmer, and cook for 1 1⁄2 hours. Last half hour, add shrimp and parsley and simmer and very low temp, not to overcook shrimp. Serve in bowls, topped with a scoop of cooked long grain rice and top with sprinkle of green onion.

Gumbo is best if cooked day before. Make sure to cool completely before storing in fridge.

The perfect everyday, all day, what do I want to eat dish, Jambalaya.

André’s Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

2 cups oil or BACON GREASE
5 lbs uncooked rice (mahatma is fine)
6 pounds chicken (thighs work great, also legs)
6 pounds sausage, sliced
4 lbs white onions, chopped fine
2 bunches green onions, chopped fine
2 pounds celery (2 bunches), chopped fine
2 pounds (6-8) green bell peppers, chopped fine
3 tbs. Minced Garlic
15 cups chicken broth or stock
½ cup crystal hot sauce
½ cup lea and perrins
1 bunch parsley


Season your raw chicken with Cajun seasoning (Tonys, etc) Cayenne pepper will also work. If using bacon grease, fry one pound of bacon very well in you heated jambalaya pot. Remove bacon, save and eat with your beer while you cook. Add you chicken pieces to hot grease. Fry until golden brown, remove and set aside. Add sausage and cook until pieces are nice and browned. Remove sausage. Remove almost all grease from pot. Add onions, celery, garlic and bell pepper and cook until golden brown. If onions start to stick, add small amount of water. Be careful not to burn onions. When onion mixture is cooked, add chicken and sausage, chicken stock, salt, pepper, lea and perrins, hot sauce, parsely, salt and pepper to taste (maybe 2 tbs of salt and 2 pepper) and green onions. If you need a darker color, you can use kitchen bouquet. Bring to a boil and stir. Add rice and stir again. Cook approximately 20 minutes on low heat. Remove lid and turn rice over. Do not stir a lot! Replace lid and cook approximately 10 more minutes. Then, do not open pot….turn off the fire, leave the lid on, and let Jambalaya rest 20 MINUTES with the LID ON. Remove lid and fluff Jambalaya. Should be perfect!!!

Serve with white or French bread and Miller Lite, and you too will be a coonass.

** you can adjust the rice and chicken stock…. Just remember to use 2 parts liquid to 1 part rice.

You have heard me talk about it... here's your chance to do it yourself!

Louisiana Boudin

2 1/2 pounds pork butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 pound pork liver, rinsed in cool water
2 quarts water
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup chopped green onions tops, (green part only)
6 cups cooked medium-grain rice
1 1/2-inch diameter, casings, about 4 feet in length

In a large sauce pan, combine the pork butt, pork liver, water, onions, garlic, bell peppers, celery, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1 1/12 hours, or until the pork and liver are tender. Remove from the heat and drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the broth. Using a meat grinder with a 1/4-inch die, grind the pork mixture. 1/2 cup of the parsley, and 1/2 cup of the green onions, together. Turn the mixture into a mixing bowl. Stir in the rice, remaining salt, cayenne, black pepper, parsley, and green onions. Add the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix thoroughly. Either using a feeding tube or a funnel, stuff the sausage into the casings and make 3-inch links. Bring 1 gallon of salted water up to a boil. Poach the sausage for about 5 minutes, or until the sausage is firm to the touch and plump. Remove from the water and allow to cool.

The following recipes can be gathered to make one amazing meal.

Andre’s Pan Fried Chicken

3 pounds chicken breasts and legs
1 egg
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup lard or crisco
1 cup solid white vegetable shortening

Let chicken warm to room temperature. Wipe with a damp cloth. In a wide bowl, beat egg with buttermilk.

Place flour, salt and peppers in a brown paper bag. In a large skillet (preferably cast iron) heat lard and shortening. Dip each piece of chicken into the buttermilk-egg mixture and place in a brown paper bag. Close top of bag and shake until piece is well coated. Remove, and repeat for each piece.

When shortening is hot (375 degrees F on a deep-fat thermometer), ease chicken into pan and cook over high heat, turning so both sides cook evenly. Do not crowd more than a few pieces of chicken into pan at one time. When chicken is light gold on both sides, turn down heat to low and partially cover skillet. Cook 15 minutes, turning chicken once.

Remove chicken and drain on brown paper bags. Serve warm or cold. Serves 6 to 8, or André and his brother Allen.

...and on the side....

White Bean and Corn Relish

2 pound white beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
4 bay leaf
4 cups freshly shucked corn (or canned shoepeg works great)
4 tablespoons chopped shallots
Olive oil for cooking
2 cups small diced cucumber
8 tablespoons small diced red bell pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
4 tablespoon champagne vinegar
8 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Creole spice(your house blend!)

In a small sauce pan cook the beans until tender: drain and rinse. Cooking time depends on how old the beans are. In a small saute pan cook the corn and the shallots in hot oil until tender, about 3 minutes. Season with creole spice. Set aside to cool. In a small bowl combine the cooled beans, cooled corn and shallots, cucumbers, peppers, thyme, vinegar and oil. Season highly with house or Creole spice.
Yield: 12 cups

Andre’s Favorite ColeSlaw Dressing

1 tablespoon fresh, finely minced garlic
1 ¼ cups mayo
1/3 cup yellow mustard
3 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon black pepper

Yield 2 cups


15 cups shredded green cabbage
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1 ½ cups finely chopped yellow onions
¾ cup finely chopped green bell peppers
2 tablespoons green onions
2 cups of coleslaw dressing

In a large mixing bowl, combine green cabbage, purple cabbage, onions, bell peppers, and green onions. Using hands, toss well. Add dressing, toss and serve.


21/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
1 tbl. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. baking powder
8 ozs. cream-style corn
1/2 cup chopped pimento
3/4 cup chopped jalapeño peppers
3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese

1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together except buttermilk and oil. Add buttermilk, stirring in, until you achieve a medium-thick batter.

2. Pour batter into a well-oiled cast-iron skillet and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.

Enjoy as a side dish with red beans, white beans, friend catfish, or you name it.

OK, It ain't cajun, but I love it just the same.....

André’s Favorite Meat Ragu

2 lbs. lean ground beef

2 tbls. olive oil

1 lb. ground pork or 1 medium pkg. of pork spareribs

1 medium red onion, chopped

2 cups chopped yellow onions

1 cup chopped bell pepper

2 stalks celery, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb. Italian link sausage (I like the spicy here, but sweet works well, too)

2 (6-oz.) cans tomato paste

2 (6-oz.) cans tomato sauce

2 (10-oz.) cans tomato purée (San Marzano if you can swing it)

1 (10-oz.) can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies

4 tbls. dark brown sugar

3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed

1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. Tony Chachere's Original Seasoning
(or your favorite cajun seasoning)
1 tsp. kosher salt

4 cups water (use some to rinse out tomato paste cans before adding water to pot)

6 cups chicken stock or broth

1/2 bunch fresh chopped curly parsley

1. In a large Dutch oven, stew pot or Le Creset pot, brown ground beef in olive oil. Remove browned meat from pot and set aside. If using ground pork, brown in same pot. Remove from pot and set aside.

2. Add onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic and sauté until transparent.

3. While the meats are browning and vegetables are sautéing, cut sausage into 1/2-inch pieces and cook in a 350-degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Drain oil and set aside.

4. Add tomato paste to the Dutch oven (my large le cruset pot is perfect!) with the sautéed vegetables. If using spareribs, also add at this time. Stir and blend for 10 to 15 minutes, being careful not to let the tomato paste burn or stick.

5. Add the tomato sauce, tomato purée, all seasonings and Rotel tomatoes and cook on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring gently to keep mixture from sticking. Add fresh chopped parsley, simmer on low for an additional hour. Add chicken broth to get the gravy the right thickness... the way you like it!

This one is one of my old stand-bys......

Andre’s Smothered Pork Chops

Sides: Put on a pot of white rice, and stew some okra or green beans with bacon and onion. Biscuit would be nicey-nice.

Serves 4 normal people, or Andre and his brother Allen.

4 bone-in rib loin pork chops, cut about 3/4-inch thick
Ground black pepper
1 tbl. olive oil
2 tbls. all-purpose flour
2 tbls. vegetable oil
2 medium onions, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 tbl. brown sugar
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 baked sweet potato, cut into chunks
3 tbls. fresh minced parsley
Cooked rice

1. Season pork chops with pepper and salt.

2. Sear (brown) chops in heated olive oil over medium-high heat. Remove chops, set aside.

3. Make a roux in the same skillet with the flour and oil added to the browned bits left in the skillet from the chops. Cook to a medium-brown color.

4. Stir onions, garlic, bell pepper and carrot slices into the hot roux and stir and turn vegetables until they are coated with the roux. Lower heat and put top on skillet to sweat the vegetables for about 10 minutes as they brown.

5. Return chops and any juices from the chops to the skillet. Mix brown sugar into the vegetables and chops, cover skillet and cook for 5 minutes more.

6. Uncover skillet and add chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, chunks of sweet potato and additional seasoning if desired. Stir to make sure the vegetables are covered evenly with the broth. Cover again and simmer for 30 minutes or until chops are tender and the gravy has thickened nicely.

7. If the gravy gets too thick as it simmers, add a couple of tablespoons of water to thin it.

8. Sprinkle chopped parsley over chops and gravy and serve with cooked rice.

Note: Sometimes I add a can of good quality tomatoes when I stir in the chicken broth. This dish reheats well, but why not just finish it off?