Sunday, June 29, 2008

Laissez Bon Temps Roulez

Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
lyricsEddie DeLange / Loise Alter

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
And miss it each night and day
I know I’m not wrong this feeling's gettin' stronger
The longer, I stay away
Miss them moss covered vines the tall sugar pines
Where mockin' birds used to sing
And I'd like to see that lazy Mississippi hurryin' into spring
The moonlight on the bayou a creole tune that fills the air
I dream about magnolias in bloom and I'm wishin' I was there
Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans
When that's where you left your heart
And there's one thing more I miss the one I care for
More than I miss New Orleans

On Saturday evening, we gave a cooking lesson to a friend from church, who had bought the lesson through our church service auction. We had a grand time talking food, New Orleans, kids, and eating everything we made. The recipes are below.


Very similar to those at Central Grocery, which I remember eating on our trips there.

1 jar salad olives, drained
1 jar cocktail onions, drained
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped fine

Bread—Italian loaf, split in two
meats (cheap lunchmeats—bologna, ham, salami,)
mozzarella, provolone, Swiss cheeses

Mix olives, onions, garlic, and celery, and let sit in fridge a few hours or overnight.  Halve bread lengthwise. Layer sandwich with meats and cheeses and then spread on salad mix; top with other piece of bread. Bake at 350°F until brown and cheese melts.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
I didn’t really love gumbo when I was younger but it has certainly grown on me now. So, for the first time, the night before the crash of Flight 587, I made gumbo, based on my mom’s recipes and my New Orleans cooking school class notes. And you don’t really need Andouille sausage—just any smoked sausage. Note: My mom adds a can of diced tomatoes; I don't.

4-5 chicken breasts
½ cup flour
½ cup oil
2 large onions chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 lbs. sausage
6-8 cups chicken stock
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons Tony’s (approximately)

Saute sausage medallions. Saute onions, celery, pepper in sausage grease.
Make roux (Mom says you can microwave til brown, stirring after every minute; I tried this to start but then but it in a pot to finish).  Otherwise, cook flour in oil until brown—the color of peanut butter; do NOT burn.  If it burns, toss it out and start over because it will be bitter.   

Add chicken broth. Add onion, celery, pepper, and sausage.  Saute chicken until dry and stringy. Add to pot. Add bay leaf, garlic, Tony’s. Simmer for 2 hours.

Serve over rice. Freezes really well.

Vegetarian Red Beans and Rice

1 onion, chopped
3-4 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
1 lb red kidney beans (Camellia band recommended), rinsed and sorted
8-10 cups water
1-2 bay leaves
1-3 tablespoons Creole Seasoning (I use Tony's)
1/2-1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Saute onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add beans, water, and bay leaves. Note: I do not pre-soak or quick soak the beans, just simmer all day--you can pre-soak or quick soak, drain, and then start this recipe if you choose. Boil for 5 minutes and reduce to a simmer for 3-4 hours, or until beans are tender.

When beans are almost at desired consistency, add creole seasoning. Before serving, add liquid smoke. Serve with steamed rice (brown or white, your preference).

Mommy Hungry

Miss B's Red Beans and Rice

This recipe comes from Miss B, complete with tips on ingredients—Camellia beans and Tony’s Creole Seasoning. I think this was my first Cajun food, sitting at her kitchen table with a bowl ladled from a simmering pot. Mama and I made it at the end of the 9/11 week and the beginning of fall—with Goya beans and Chicken Apple Sausage. And it was perfect! Just what we needed.

1 lb. kidney beans
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons ground bay leaf [or 2-3 whole leaves]
1/3 cup bacon drippings [or 3 pieces of bacon]
2 lb. smoked sausage
garlic salt, salt, pepper [or 1 tablespoon Tony’s]

Wash beans. Fill pot with water (2-3 quarts). Add onion, celery, green pepper, parsley, bay leaf, and bacon drippings. Bring to boil uncovered. Simmer and keep adding water until beans are softened, and gravy and beans are desired consistency (we added 1 quart more), approximately 2 hours. Add sausage, then Tony’s. Simmer uncovered about ½ hour longer. Turn off heat, let rest for 30 minutes. Make rice. Serve.

Miss B

Shrimp Remoulade

4 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons prepared mustard (French’s)
2 teaspoons horseradish
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoons pepper (dark, cayenne)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 cup salad oil
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped green onions
2 –3 quarts cooked and peeled shrimp

Combine first 8 ingredients. Gradually add oil, beating with beater. Add shrimp, celery, and onion. Chill. Serve on shredded lettuce with crackers.


Shrimp or Ham Creole

1/3 cup olive oil (do not use with ham)
½ cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
dash of cayenne
1 bay leaf
1 lb 4 oz. can tomatoes
1 ½ pounds shrimp, shellled and deveined  or leftover ham, cubed
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
¼ cup chopped parsley (optional)
cooked rice

Saute vegetables in oil until soft.  Toss with flour, salt, and pepper.  Add tomatoes and bay leaf, with sugar if too acidic.  When cooked through, add shrimp until cooked or ham.  Serve over rice with parsley.


Bread Pudding and Rum Sauce
I got this from Southern Living. Mom makes it now for all of her events and gets raves of compliments from real Southern chefs. I usually decrease the number of raisins, which will burn on the bottom if not floured. I know some people insist on adding fruit cocktail; I don't.

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup butter, melted
2 ¾ cup whipping cream
4 cups cubed French bread
¾ cups raisins (or less)

Combine first 4 ingredients. Stir in butter and cream. Gently stir in bread and raisins. Pour in lightly greased 2-quart deep dish. Bake 375°F for 50-55 minutes, shielding with foil after 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Southern Living magazine

Bourbon Sauce

3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup sugar
1 cup cream (whipping, heavy, half-and-half)
2 (or 1) tablespoons bourbon (or your favorite--rum works well)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Melt butter in a small saucepan; whisk in flour and cook 5 minutes. Stir in sugar and cream; cook 3 minutes. Stir in bourbon, vanilla, and nutmeg, and simmer 5 minutes.

Family Circle

From my class at the New Orleans School of Cooking. They are a little grainy for me. I like the ones you can buy at Southern Candymakers, which are only sugar, butter, and cream, I think.

1 ½ cup sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup milk
6 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cup pecans (roasting optional—275°F for 20-25 minutes)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients and bring to a “softball stage” (238-240°F), stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Stir until mixture thickens, becoming creamy and cloudy, and pecans stay suspended in mixture. Spoon out on buttered waxed paper, aluminum foil, or parchment paper. When using waxed paper, be sure to buffer with newspaper underneath or hot was will transfer.


Praline Sauce: Add ½ cup corn syrup to mixture.
Chocolate covered praline candy
Flavored pralines (add 1 tablespoon peanut butter, chocolate, coffee, brandy, etc at softball stage)

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