Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cajun Spice

For some bizarre reason this week, I've been making a lot of Cajun food. I'm not sure why - it could be because Kim just came back from New Orleans or because I'm getting excited about going to Biloxi in a couple of weeks. It could be because I'm starting school next week and I won't have the time so much to cook these sorts of meals.

Whatever the reason, it's almost been down home week from a culinary standpoint. I figured I would share the recipes here - how's THAT for a twist?

On Sunday, I made a roast chicken with the fixins, so we had plenty of leftover chicken, stock, and fat to use for a nice gumbo I made Tuesday night.

I took 1 cup of the chicken grease/fat (you could use oil if you had no grease or fat) and added some pepper, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, paprikaand a cup of flour to make a nice roux.

Once it was all mixed together and heated (turning golden brown, as it should) I added my leftover chicken - probably about a pound or a pound and a half and a can of diced tomatoes, and mixed it all together.

The next step in most recipes calls for chicken stock and water - but, well, I didn't have any stock so I turned to what I actually had in the cupboard - chicken noodle soup, which was a good way of getting the kids' attention when eating. It also took care of the salt content and bringing the consistency to a level more like what gumbo should be.

After that came the vegetables. Now, I didn't spend all day chopping vegetables - I got home and had about 90 minutes to put it all together. I already had sliced the vegetables I needed - okra, celery, corn, peppers and onions. I added those in, put in some bay leaves and a bit of hot sauce, and let it all simmer for about 40 minutes.

It turned out extremely well - a little salty, because I used the soup mix instead of stock, but very good nonetheless. The kids ate their food quickly, which is a rarity - normally they fidget or pick at food, but this time they ate it up fairly quickly.

Now, to turn back the clock one more day - I skipped Monday. In New Orleans, Monday is laundry day - put on the red beans, let them cook all day, do the laundry, then finish making red beans and rice.

Well, it didn't take me all day, but once I got home, I made some red beans and rice after starting some laundry. Since I didn't have all day to let them boil, I used two cans of red beans - it's a type we normally bring back from Louisiana because they don't sell it in Atlanta, called Blue Runner. It's a creamy style, and saves a lot of time on our end without compromising the quality.

(No, this is not a paid post. We just really, really like them. And one good thign about writing is that you learn new things - such as, you can order them online without driving 530 miles to go get them.)

Anyway, we'll take the beans, cut up about a pound of beef sausage or Andouille sausage (which they do sell here, thankfully), brown it up, and add onion, garlic (or garlic powder), worcestershire, spicy mustard, a lot of ketchup, pepper, and a lot of Crystal hot sauce. Mix it, cook it up, cook some white rice, and ...mmmmmmmmmmm.

I've gotten hungry just writing this post.

It's a good thing I've got some gumbo left for lunch today. I made a lot last night.

Too bad I didn't snap any pictures to post to really get your mouth watering.

I'm just glad it's only 16 days until a return to the Bayou.


Cohort12Fellow said...

Sounds DELICIOUS!! If you like Andouille sausage (not sure of the spelling) try some Chorizo (Spanish style)--that GREAT with rice!

Oh and the Okra didn't get slimey? I haven't tried to cook with it because I hear that's a problem.

APOSEC72 said...

Nope, it stayed firm, not slimy. That happens sometimes with instant or frozen but thankfully, it was not slimy.