Thursday, February 24, 2011

Saturday Baking. . .

I have pumpkin.  I have TONS of Pecans. . . I have Puff Pastry. .

Now I just need some Heavy Cream and I got me a pie night. . .


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jambalaya Time

It's that time of year again.  Thinking of Mardi Gras and missing a bit of New Orleans.  So. . . I've got rice, sausage, shrimp (actually they are prawns) and hmm. . . what should I make? Oh Yeah, Jambalaya!!
Sausage and Seafood Jambalaya

Back in 2009, I went to New Orleans on a congratulatory trip.  I had quit smoking and I wanted to celebrate and go somewhere.  During my stay, I attended the New Orleans School of Cooking Lunch Class Demo.  They made a Jambalaya that was just great!  The following year, for my wonderful cousins birthday, we did a Cajun Themed Backyard Party.  30 lbs of crawfish later. . . we had more than enough food and everyone enjoyed Everything.  Best party thus far.
So every once in a while, I get to missing NOLA and I make something.  I used my Class Act recipe and made some jambalaya, with a few twists!

Jambalaya ingredients:
1/4 cup Oil
1 tbsp garlic
4 pieces chicken sausage (andouille preferred), sliced into 1/4" pieces
1/2 lb raw medium prawns, cut into 1/2" pieces
5 cups stock (I use chicken)
4 cups chopped onions
2 tsp cajun seasoning
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped green pepper (bell pepper, I like orange!)
2 cups chopped green onions

Cook Shrimp and sausage in oil (or use butter).
Saute until shrimp are cooked, remove sausage & Shrimp, set aside.
In pot add celery, onion, green pepper, garlic and add 1 tsp paprika.
Cook to desired tenderness.  
Add stock & Cajun seasoning, bring to boil.
Now, adjust color by adding more paprika if you wish.
Add Rice, return to boil.
Cover and cook 10 minutes
Stir Rice from bottom to top.
Add sausage/seafood combo.
Add green onions and any chopped tomatoes
Cover and cook additional 15 minutes or until rice is done and most of the liquid is absorbed.

Here's how mine turned out.  I used too much 'Cajun' seasoning, so mine requires some milk.

Yum.   Now I should've made those hush puppies too. . .

Stay Tuned for more great foods!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Dinner Decisions

So, Valentine’s Day came, and sure enough, I was looking forward to some steaks, cauliflower and potatoes.  Sounds romantic, right?  I get home, open up the fridge, and sure enough, the steaks were in too long.  I should’ve put them in the freezer, and I don’t eat them once they’ve turned brownish.  Into the garbage they go.  My wonderful boyfriend, B consoled me with a sweet hug; it wasn’t the end of the world!

So here I am, hungry, crampy, and not sure what to make.  I think, I’ve got the frozen steaks, razor clam meat, and angel hair pasta.  Hmm, seafood pasta?  I made shrimp pasta the week before and B loved it!  So, as I dig through the fridge, I find the chicken andouille, onion, broccoli, and all the cheesy cauliflower ingredients. Out of the freezer came the mussels and razor clams.

I begin prepping the cauliflower, as I knew it would take about 45 min to an hour to cook all the way.  So out comes the frozen florets, into my white quiche/tart pan, with butter, cream, parm cheese, green onions, and topped with Colby jack cheese.  350 for 45! 

While I was cutting up the other ingredients, I started thinking I’d do cook it more like a scampi.  As the andouille was heating up; I thought that with the angel hair pasta, a red sauce would work best.  In the cupboard was Roasted garlic tomato sauce and some fire roasted diced tomatoes.  Hmm. . . Mussels and clams in red sauce with onion and andouille, WINNER!!

I dumped half the jar and the whole can of diced tomatoes into the sausage mixture.  At this point I took out the broccoli and started to eat them al dente (I was hungry!), then when B asked how long, I said at least 30 minutes, it’ll need to simmer – as I was pouring 1 cup of red wine into the mix. . . I popped some quick parmasean bread into the oven, checked the cauliflower and started on the seafood.  All chopped it just needed some butter/salt, a quick steam and into the red sauce it went!!

30 minutes later, we had a romantic last minute dinner for two, with lunch leftovers!

Speaking of. . . here’s my lunch.

Now, since B will be staying with me for a few weeks, I’ve got some other crazy dinners planned. . .

Tonight, Chicken and vegetables!