Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Jambalaya for Fat Tuesday

The first time I had Jambalaya was at my son and daughter-in-laws home in New Orleans. I fell in love. Trying to duplicate the recipe in Colorado is somewhat of a disappointment. Nobody but nobody can duplicate New Orleans, but this comes close. It is Emerill's recipe for Jambalaya. I have made a few minor adjustments.

1/4 cup olive oil
24 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
1/2 lb. chicken, diced
1 TBS Creole seasoning-Bayou Blast

10 oz. Andouille sausage, sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce, I used Louisana Hot sauce, but Tabasco will work
1 1/2 cups rice
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped parsley or chopped green onion for garnish
2 chopped green onions
Salt and pepper 

In a bowl combine shrimp, chicken. Mix in the Bayou Blast seasoning till all of the meat is coated. Let set while you get everything ready or put in refrigerator until ready to cook. In a large saucepan or pot, heat oil over high heat. Stir-fry onion, pepper and celery about 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Stir in rice and slowly add chicken stock. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. When rice is just tender add shrimp and chicken mixture and sausage. Cook until meat is done, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. 

This is delicious the next day for lunch with a little cheese melted on top.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Creamy Tomato Soup

I was skeptical when I tried this recipe.  It comes from Pioneer Woman.  I love making soups, but in my mind, soup cooks all day.  This tomato soup does not.  It's quick. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

1 46 oz. Bottle Tomato Juice 
2 cans Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 Onion, diced 
6 TBS Butter
3 TBS Sugar
1 TBS Chicken Base
1 cup Cooking Sherry (this is where the flavor comes from)
1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream (in a pinch, I've used sour cream with great results, but to blend, add hot tomato slowly to the sour cream before blending into the soup)
Fresh Chopped Parsley

Sauté diced onions in butter until translucent. Add canned tomatoes, tomato juice, chicken base, sugar, pinch of salt, black pepper and stir. Bring to a near boil, then turn off heat. Add in sherry and cream and stir. Add chopped, fresh parsley, about 1 TBS. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  This is great with PW's Olive Cheese Bread, made gluten free of course.
 Also good with cubed cheese.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Cuban Sandwich

Saturday night, Michael and I watched the movie "Chef." One of the stars of the film, IMO, is the Cuban Sandwich.  I had no idea what this was, but after witnessing the creative process of constructing this sandwich, I wanted to try one.

Naturally, it had to be gluten free. Since I don't live in Miami, Florida, I figured it would be futile to find a restaurant that makes gluten free Cubanos.  I found a recipe posted in the Denver Post from the movie. I wanted to make these for lunch, but this recipe required 24 hour marinating of the pork and 2 1/2 hours to cook. I found a very similar one that used a pressure cooker to speed the process. I thought I could recreate it using gluten free french bread.

If you've seen the movie, you'll notice right away, that my sandwich does not live up to the standard of NEVER letting the outside of this grilled sandwich become over toasted, not even a little bit. Mine burned before the inside cheese was good and melted. Today is National Sandwich Day, so I am sharing the recipe anyway.

Loaf of GF french bread
6-8 slices Swiss Cheese
6-8 Ham, thinly sliced
sliced, marinated pork
Dill Pickles sliced length-wise

Slice bread in half. Butter each half, and warm in skillet over medium high heat. Remove from pan when lightly browned. Spread mustard generously over one side. Place 3 slices onto mustard, pork, pickles, ham, and top with cheese and other half of bread.

To cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Brush outside of sandwich generously with butter and place in the skillet. Place another heavy skillet on top and press down. I placed some large sweet potatoes inside to weigh it down. Cook until lightly browned (not burned, if cooking too quickly and the cheese is not melting, turn heat down.) Before flipping over, brush the other side of the bread with melted butter. Heat until this side is also lightly browned and cheese is nice and gooey. (Don't forget to press down with heavy skillet.) Remove from pan, slice and serve.

To make marinated pork:
2-3 lbs Boneless Pork Shoulder 
1 Onion, sliced
1 cup fresh Orange Juice
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 Lime, juiced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Bay Leaves
1 TBS ground Cumin
1 TBS dried Oregano
1 TBS olive oil
Salt and fresh ground Pepper
 Brown pork in olive oil in pressure cooker pan. Add garlic and onions and saute for a minute or two. Add broth, orange juice, lime juice, bay leaves, cumin, oregano. Salt and pepper meat and place top on pressure cooker. Cook until rocker pressure is reached and turn down heat to medium. Cook 25 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

If you have time to marinate meat overnight and roast it, you might want to try the Chef recipe for Cubanos.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bruschetta Fail

(Before putting them in the oven.)

I have never made bruschetta before, most likely because I had never heard of it until we went gluten free. Having an abundance of homegrown tomatoes caused me to remember the Bruschetta Lauren made this summer for Eisabeth's bachelorette party. She found some amazing bread at a local GF Bakery. I bought 3 GF baguettes and immediately texted Lauren to find out the recipe. Tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella were the main ingredients.  Perfect!

1 GF Baguette
Tomatoes, chopped (I used a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes but equaled about 2 cups)
1 Garlic Clove, minced
Fresh Mozzarella Ball
1 TBS Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp. Apple Cider Balsamic Vinegar (I didn't have plain balsamic vinegar)

Chop tomatoes.  Add remaining ingredients, except mozzarella, and let sit about an hour. Slice baguette. Top with a slice of mozzarella (this will keep the bread from becoming soggy.) Add tomato mixture.  Broil for a few minutes until edges of bread crisp and cheese is soft/melts.

Everything went beautifully, until I had this idea. To toast the bread nicely, I decided to place the bread atop a rack. Just when it looked perfectly done, I pulled the rack out and all of the bread tipped and dropped off the back of my oven, toppling off and dropping to the bottom of my oven.  Wish I could say the bottom of my oven was sparkling clean.  It wasn't. I couldn't bear to get a picture of the mess I made.

Michael suggested I just scoop the mess up and the bread and plop it back on the bread and serve it.  Thankfully, I wasn't having company and it was just the two of us.  We were able to ignore the black flecks that stuck to the mozzarella from the bottom of the oven and ate it anyway.  He declared it one of his top 5 (well, that and I served it with steak.)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pasta Salad

I made PW's Spicy Pasta salad w/smoked Gouda several times with great success. Recently, my pregnant daughter is very sensitive to spicy foods and last time she ate this salad declared it too spicy.  Since we had her and her hubby over for dinner tonight,  I attempted to make a similar salad that wasn't spicy.

12 oz. Gluten Free Pasta
1 cup Smoked Gouda Cheese, cubed
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup black olives, cut in half
1/2 cup Basil Leaves, (approximately) sliced thinly
2 slices Turkey Pastrami, chopped (optional)

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Wine Vinegar, garlic flavored
1 seeded and chopped Pepperocini
1/2 tsp. Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Rinse in cold water and drain well. Mix dressing ingredients. Place pasta in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and dressing. Mix gently. Add additional salt, pepper, or basil according to taste.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sun Dried Tomatoes

Fearing our tomatoes might be ruined in a moment with the changing of seasons, Michael and I tried our hand at sun dried tomatoes. (In the dehydrator)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Shrimp & Cheese Grits

We video chatted with our granddaughter. She and her parents are living in California after 3 years in New Orleans. Visiting with Ivydee caused me to miss not only her, but New Orleans and the fun experiences we enjoyed with Lauren and Christopher. Ivydee and I shared more than one bowl of cheesy grits. After our conversation, I decided to make Cheesy Grits and Shrimp. 

2 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups shredded cheese (I used part cheddar/jack, part pepper jack)
3 cups water or chicken broth
1 cup quick-cooking grits
6 slices bacon, cut up
6-8 green onions, chopped
2 TBS butter
2 TBS parsley, chopped
1 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
Emeril's Seasoning

Bring chicken broth to a boil; stir in grits. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened-about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salt, butter, cheese, and pepper. Cover and keep warm until ready.

Cook bacon over medium-high until crisp; drain on paper towels. Don't discard bacon grease.
Over medium-high heat, saute shrimp and garlic in pan with bacon grease until pink. Add green onions, lemon juice,  and worcestershire sauce and saute a few more minutes. Add bacon.

Spoon grits onto individual plates; top with shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with Emerill's Seasoning as desired. If you like your shrimp spicier, add 1/2-1 tsp Emerill's seasoning to the shrimp before cooking. Enjoy

Friday, September 26, 2014

Maple Dijon Chicken

This recipe has been floating around the internet for some time.  I first made it with honey instead of maple syrup.  I like it both ways and honey is usually less expensive.  Give it a try. For those who love rosemary, add it fresh.  Rosemary is one of those herbs that you either love or hate.  I used to hate it, but after 20 years or more, I tried it again in this dish. I have a new fondness for rosemary, especially when I have it growing fresh in my garden!

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup or honey (based on your preference)
1 TBS rice vinegar (I use garlic rice wine vinegar)
 Salt & pepper
2 tsp. Fresh chopped rosemary (optional)

Line a baking dish with foil, preferably nonstick, or use disposable foil pan. (I have cooked this in a glass dish with no foil and the maple syrup burns on the glass and is extremely difficult to clean.) Salt and pepper both sides of chicken and place in dish. Whisk together mustard, syrup, and vinegar. Pour over chicken.

Bake at 425 degrees for 40 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary, if desired. Serve over rice, pasta, mashed potatoes or as is. (Serves 4)
Can be cooked in crockpot for 3-4 hours, depending on how hot your slow cooker cooks.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chipotle Aioli

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or chipotle hot sauce
salt and pepper
Mix mayonnaise with chives, garlic, lime juice, and chipotle chile powder. Season with salt and pepper; chill until ready to serve.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bayou Blast

This recipe is for Emeril's Creole Seasoning or Bayou Blast. My son and daughter-in-law made Emeril's Cajun Jambalya for me when they were living in New Orleans.  I've never been able to quite duplicate the recipe, I think because Colorado isn't known for having truly fresh shrimp or for creating Andouille Sausage.  Here is the recipe for the seasoning.  I've used it to make fish tacos, as a dry rub for salmon and of course Jambalaya. Most recently I used it to season the salmon for my Salmon BLT Sandwich.

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

You can double, triple, or quadruple the recipe and keep in a airtight package.  I use a glass jar. Add all ingredients to the jar and shake to mix. Experiment to see how you best like to use this.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Salmon BLT

Whenever I'm in Arizona, I visit Liberty Market at least twice within one week.  One of my recent favorite dishes is the Salmon BLT. They have delicious gluten free buns. Now that I am back in Colorado, I am wishing I could go there for this.  Today, I attempted to recreate this delightful dish.  I know it will sound complicated, but truly it wasn't.  You could use a different seasoning, but I have the Emerill's seasoning ready-made. It was the best solution for me. Not sure if Emerill sells this.

4 Salmon Filets (skinless)
4-6 strips of Bacon
Emerill's Cajun Seasoning
Chipotle Aioli
Shredded Lettuce
1 Tomato, sliced
4 GF Buns

Cut bacon in half and fry in a pan.  Drain on paper towels. Season both sides of salmon filets with Cajun Seasoning.  Use a fish pan or basket and cook over hot grill or pan fry. Toast bun. Spread one side with Chipotle Aioli, top with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

GF Panzanella Salad

I had never heard of panzanella salad, but with all of these lovely tomatoes from my garden, I went in search of a tomato salad recipe.  I was a bit disheartened to find recipes with french bread when we are gluten free.  That is until I realized I had a loaf of GF bread that was going to get moldy if I didn't eat it up quick.  Now that two more daughters and my mother-in-law has moved out, it wasn't very likely that the two of us left would finish the loaf. so I used PW's recipe for Panzanella (with a few obvious and not so obvious changes) to make a bread salad that was also gluten free.

So here is my version:
  • 1 loaf Gluten Free Bread
  • A variety of  Tomatoes, Cut or sliced (I used about 3-4 cups)
  • 1 cup Basil Leaves, sliced or gently torn
  • 1/2 cup smoked Gouda Cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 sweet onion, slivered
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Salt And Pepper
  • Olive Oil, For Drizzling
Because I didn't have french bread, I cubed the bread and spread it on a cookie sheet. I warmed it in the oven at 275 degrees for about 20 minutes so it was more like croutons, then cooled.

Place the bread in a bowl.  Add onion and tomatoes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Add cheese and basil and mix gently. Cover and allow to sit until ready to serve. (If it's going to be more than a couple of hours, you may refrigerate but tomatoes lose flavor and texture very quickly when chilled. My advice is never to chill/refrigerate tomatoes.)