Sunday, March 1, 2015

Crawfish Ettouffe

There seems to be as many different recipes for Crawfish Ettouffe as there are cajuns. I remember when I went to work for an Architect here. He gave me his recipe for Crawfish Ettouffe and he said he used flour and butter to make a roux. I was shocked? I went home to question my Mom. Were we doing it wrong or was he? I was still a young woman with hardly any years behind me at the time. I don't even think I had cooked an ettouffe yet, I had just helped Mom. She explained that everyone does it differently and it really depends on the ingredients. If the ingredients are dry and don't lend liquid to form a gravy you sometimes have to help them out. She used cornstarch and water if it ever happens to her. Others make a light butter roux. Now with more years behind me and lots of blogs read and cooking shows watched; I know people add everything from a roux, bell pepper, stock, cajun seasoning, etc. Our family recipe is very simple and delicious. The flavor of the crawfish really shines through. Mom was taught by her Mom and they always just used butter, onion, maybe some celery, salt, pepper, green onions and parsley. As dear sister pointed out it is buttery and a little sweet. So good!

For this pot of ettouffe I used some frozen tails dear sister bought from a co-worker. His second job is a seafood business called B&D Seafood. He brings the delicious seafood of south Louisiana to all of us up here in north Louisiana. The crawfish tails were delicious and included the crawfish fat. They were certified Cajun and a product from right here in Louisiana. I will definitely buy from him again. His crawfish were so much better than the brands I find in my grocery store. We have one more pound in the freezer. I look forward to another crawfish dish real soon. I hope you will give our crawfish ettouffe and B&D Seafood a try.


Crawfish Ettouffe
Serves 4 

Ingredients

1 stick butter
1 onion, finely chopped (Mom sometimes adds a little celery, I used 1 rib)
1 lb. crawfish tails, reserve crawfish fat
Salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes (or cayenne), to taste
a handful of parsley, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
Cooked white rice

Directions

Melt butter in a pan add the onion (celery if using) and cook until translucent. Add crawfish fat and crawfish tails. Season with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Simmer covered 30 minutes. Stir in parsley and green onions. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve over rice.








Linking to:
Ms.enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Tumbleweed Contessa: What'd You Do This Weekend?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow Feb. 25, 2015

We seldom see snow here in North Louisiana. But it sure arrived today. Ice Monday, re-freeze Tuesday and snow Wednesday. As I type this the snow is melting from the trees. It will be gone as soon as it arrived.



 


Friday, February 20, 2015

Cheesy Chicken Tortellini Soup

Here is another "Souper" tortellini soup for you. Do you love rotel dip or cheesy chicken spaghetti? If you do, you are going to be crazy for this soup. It is loaded with flavor. Roasted chicken, onions, peppers, mushrooms, spicy tomatoes, tortellini and a cheesy broth. Oh it is so good! I used a leftover roasted chicken breast and this meal came together so fast. Taste just like crockpot cheesy chicken spaghetti but a lot less work. No waiting for pasta to boil or the crockpot to finish. And . . . I did not use any cans of cream soups. I know people are avoiding those type of prepared soups these days, so I gave it a try. I did not miss them at all. The soup was still creamy and had great flavor. It was delicious the next day for lunch too. All the tortellini soups are better the next day. I am definitely making this one again and again. I know of at least two friends who are going to love this quick take on cheesy chicken spaghetti. I hope you do too.


Cheesy Chicken Tortellini Soup
Serves 6

Ingredients

1 tsp. chicken fat or olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 (10 oz.) can tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (9 oz.) pkg. three cheese tortellini
1 roasted bone in chicken breast, de-boned and chopped
8 oz. 2% milk Velveeta cheese, chopped
2 cups 2% milk

Directions

Heat chicken fat in a soup pot over medium high heat. Add onion and bell pepper, saute until onion starts to get translucent. Add mushroom continue to cook until mushrooms are soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken stock and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Add tortellini and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 7 minutes and add chicken and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Reduce heat to low and stir in milk, allow to warm through and serve.

Note: The soup will separate after sitting for a while. Just stir and the creamy texture will return to normal. Re-heats well on the stove or in the microwave, just avoid bringing to a boil when re-heating.




Linking to:
Love Bakes Good Cakes: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
Love Bakes Good Cakes: The Ultimate Soup Recipe List Linky
Diary of a Real Housewife: Friday Favorites
Ms enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Tumbleweed Contessa: What'd You Do This Weekend?
Creative K Kids: Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Lit'l Smokies Egg and Cheese Drop Biscuits

I can't take credit for this idea. I was inspired! I saw I Just Like To Cook make Sausage Link Egg & Cheese Biscuit Melts on a YouTube video. I knew immediately I just had to try it on a smaller scale. So I used my families' Drop Biscuit recipe and some Lit'l Smokies sausages to make mini versions of Rod's breakfast treat. It worked great! So great I had to post right away. So excuse my iPhone photography and fingers in the photos. I will re-post one day with photos showing the steps in between. I just had to get this out there in case you were just waiting for a new breakfast idea. Check out Rod's video and recipe for the he-man size. Or try the mini version I made. You can even use your favorite biscuit recipe too. Heck, probably a can biscuit if you want? Just remember you will need one egg for every two biscuits. I loved the mini smoked sausage. Such a different spin on a sausage egg and cheese biscuit.



Lit'l Smokies Egg and Cheese Drop Biscuits
Makes 2 biscuits

Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour*
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp. vegetable oil
2-1/2 Tbsp. 2% milk
2 Lit'l Smokies sausages
1 egg, beaten
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. 2% sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add oil and milk. Stir until just combined. Divide dough in half and spoon on to baking sheet. Press one Lit'l Smokie into each biscuit and bake 10 minutes. Meanwhile cook egg in a pan over low until softly set. Remove biscuits from the oven; top with egg, season with salt and pepper and top with cheese. Return to the oven for 2 more minutes. Serve hot.

*Note: Spoon or sprinkle the flour into the measuring cup and level. Do not  pack in the cup.



Linking to:
Tumbleweed Contessa: What'd You Do This Weekend?
Love Bakes Good Cakes: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
Diary of a Real Housewife: Friday Favorites
Ms enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Creative K Kids: Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party

Friday, January 30, 2015

Two Olive Tapenades - 1 Spicy, 1 Rich

I told you about the Hummus Vegetable Sandwich I have been making. They are so good. Well I was cheating a little. I was just finely chopping up olives instead of using tapenade. Mainly because I could not find pre-made at the store the day I went to look for it. The good thing about my cheat is that it inspired one of these tapenade recipes. I was using jalapeno stuffed green olives for the sandwich. So when I went to make my green olive tapenade I substituted pickled jalapenos for the capers. The results is the green olive version is spicy, zesty and bright. The black olive version is rich and fruity. So delicious! Tapenade is so easy to make. The food processor does all the work. Just place the ingredients in and pulse until chopped, then turn it on and drizzle in the olive oil. That is it. You have a delicious spread for crostini or sandwiches and wraps.



Spicy Green Olive Tapenade
Makes over 1 cup (9 oz.)

Ingredients

6 oz. can dry weight green olives*, pitted and drained
1 garlic clove, minced
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
1 sprig of parsley
1 large leaf of basil, torn
1 Tbsp. pickled jalapeno, sliced
Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 shallot (or 1/4 small red onion), minced 
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Add the first eight ingredients to a food processor. Pulse and drizzle in the olive oil. 

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and more lemon juice if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.



Rich Black Olive Tapenade
Makes over 1 cup (9 oz.)

Ingredients

6 oz. can dry weight black olives*, pitted and drained
1 garlic clove, minced
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
1 sprig of parsley
1 large leaf of basil
2 tsp. capers in white balsamic vinegar, drained
Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 Shallot, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

Add the first eight ingredients to a food processor. Pulse and drizzle in the olive oil. 

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and more lemon juice if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Note: I used Lindsay Naturals Olives for both these tapenades. I bought them as a lower sodium option. I did not receive any compensation for using their products.







Linking to:
My Turn for Us: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
Reasons To Skip The Housework: Skip The Housework Link Party
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Dizzy, Busy & Hungry: Wine'd Down Wednesday

Hummus Experiment #3 and Recipe Reviews

Remember the smooth hummus experiment? Well I have been a little lax in experimenting. But when I came across Minimalist Baker's Best Ever 5 Minute Microwave Hummus recipe, I knew it was time for experiment number three. Dana went on and on about how close it was to restaurant hummus. Verdict ... She is SO RIGHT! Oh man this hummus is the right color, the right texture and taste amazing. It is so easy too. You just cook the garbanzo beans and garlic in the microwave and blend the hummus hot. Now you may be shocked at the amount of tahini and olive oil. But I think this is the secret to the recipe. I think many of us try to eliminate too much fat from our hummus recipes by cutting back on the tahini and olive oil. I am guilty of this myself. But it made a huge difference in the end results. So creamy and fluffy! I used four cloves of garlic because I knew cooking the garlic would mellow it out some. I didn't even add any salt because the can of beans I used were not low sodium. It taste perfect! I may have to revisit some of my own hummus recipes and "fatten" them up a bit.

So what did I do with this hummus? Well I admit, I ate some with a spoon. Don't judge! But the real reason I wanted to make hummus was to make a wonderful sandwich I just recently discovered. It is a Hummus Vegetable Sandwich from Martha Stewart. The first time I made this sandwich I made it with store bought hummus and finely diced olives. It was so amazing I decided to make homemade hummus and tapenade so I could make many more sandwiches. I have made sandwiches for my sister, I made a sandwich and took it to work for lunch. The hummus and the sandwich are so delicious. Turns out, this sandwich travels well too. It did not get soggy, it was perfect lunch time fare. I think this will become a regular around here. I hope you will try it for yourself.



Hummus Vegetable Sandwich
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves 1

Ingredients

2 slices light honey wheat bread
1/4 cup hummus
1 tablespoon olive tapenade
1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 coarsely grated carrot

Directions

Spread 1 slice bread with hummus; spread remaining slice of bread with tapenade. Top hummus with cucumber slices and carrot. Place bread with tapenade on top to form a sandwich.






Want to know more about the Tapenade click here 
for two recipes. One spicy and one rich.

Linking to:
Reasons To Skip The Housework: Skip The Housework Link Party
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Dizzy, Busy & Hungry: Wine'd Down Wednesday

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pulled Pork Rellenos Tacos

Don't you think it is time for another Chili Rellenos Taco? I do! This is Virginia BBQ meets Relleno Tacos. When I was in Charlottesville, Virginia I tried some Pulled Pork at The Ordinary at Michie Tavern. It was delicious, not heavily smoked or over sauced. It was moist, very flavorful and not too sweet. I purchased the cookbook in the gift shop but I was a little disappointed that the pulled pork recipe was not in the cookbook. So I began to search. I found a crockpot recipe at food.com for Virginia Barbecue. It was not the same but very tasty. I love the dry mustard in the sauce. Like the pork at the Ordinary it is flavorful, not too sweet and not over sauced. You can really taste the pork. The first time I made it, I served it on hamburger buns to the family with my Men's Club Coleslaw. It was very good but totally sogged out the bun. You needed a fork to eat it. It was then I had the idea of these tacos. I went to the store to buy poblanos but I could not find them. So the leftovers went in a baked potato instead. Also great!

Finally with the poblanos and all other ingredients in hand I was able to make these tacos tonight. It was just as good as I had imagined. The poblano adds a layer of heat and smoke and it also help prevent the tortilla from getting soggy. It cradles the pork so well. I loved everything together. It is warm and spicy from the pork and chili. It is also cool and creamy from the coleslaw. The cheese is a bonus. Everything is better with cheese. Definitely a great mash up! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.



Pulled Pork Rellenos Tacos
Serves 4

Ingredients


4 poblano peppers
1 cup pulled pork (Virginia Barbecue)
8 small flour tortillas
1/2 cup 2% sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup coleslaw (Men's Club Coleslaw)
1/2 red onion, diced
Pickled jalapenos, slices (optional)

Directions

To grill the poblanos: Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Place poblanos on the grill. Grill for five minutes on each side until skins are charred. Remove poblanos and cover with plastic wrap. When poblanos are cool enough to touch, peel off the skin of the poblanos. Cut poblanos in half from stem to tip, remove seeds, stem and veins being careful not to split open the sides of the pepper.

To assemble the tacos:  Place a poblano half on each tortilla. Place some pork over the chili, top with cheese. Warm in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute to melt the cheese. Top with slaw, onion, and jalapenos.






Linking to:
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
Love Bakes Good Cakes: Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
The Diary of a Real Housewife: Friday Favorites
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo

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