Sunday, December 31, 2017

Welcome to Creole Cookin' Libby

Hello y'all I'm Libby and I miss my home town New Orleans. I miss it's comfort and its food. Together we're gonna help me return from time to time by sharing the recipes I was brought up on. There is always a good story (that goes w/most situations) in the South. Here is the lore I was told regarding the first recipe I'm sharing. A meal of Jambalaya I made for a supper at my church. Part of what I was told, due to necessities, certain dishes were made on particular days. I only remember Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. Monday was Red Beans and Rice, Fridays Shrimp Creole; I'll tell you a bit mo 'bout dat when I cover those recipes. This is what I was told about Jambalaya. Since there wasn't a good way to preserve foods (no refrigeration) and one didn't want their efforts (cookin',gatherin' and such) nor food go to waste; Jambalaya became Saturday's meal.  (the ultimate left over meal)  Maybe a bit of sausage, chicken, pork might be tossed in. There was always rice. (We put rice w/everything!)

There is confusion between Creole and Cajun and subsequently their foods. I'll try to break it down as best as I can. Creole is a full-flavored cuisine of refined European settlers in New Orleans (the best of the French, Spanish and African cuisines) Creole cooking relies on the culinary “trinity" consisting of chopped green bell peppers, onions and celery. Creole dishes typically use more butter, cream and tomatoes than Cajun dishes. A famous dish of Creole origin is Etouffee (a spicy and delicious stew traditionally made with crayfish (crawfish) or shrimp, vegetables and a dark roux; look for further roux description in the gumbo recipe) The French word etouffee means smothered. Cajun is the  country-style cooking of the descendants of the French Acadians (known as Cajuns). Cajun cooking uses a dark roux as the base of many dishes and it relies on the culinary “trinity”as well. Many Cajun dishes are spicier than Creole dishes. One more famous dish of Cajun origin is Jambalaya (a rice dish that contains the trinity, tomatoes and various meats, poultry and/or seafood; as I said, the ultimate left over meal)

Justin Wilson (I knew as a humorous story teller, the rest of the country knew him as a Cajun cook on PBS that told stories) once told a story while demonstrating a recipe said he was asked once "How could you tell a Cajun?" His answer was (after some thought) "If a man can walk up to a field of rice and can tell you with in two tablespoons how much gravy or sauce it'll take to cover it, he's a Cajun!" Sometimes there may or may not have been Shrimp Creole left over & that's why the difference between the two styles of Jambalaya brown or red. (Shrimp Creole being made w/tomato) Y'all may be confused as to the published date of this intro; I have set this blog up with the intro as a landing page so one can go from recipe to recipe quickly. Otherwise, there would be a long trek to the end of the line as in a comet. (where I don't like to be end of the line that is)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Balsamic Chicken & Veggies

This is not particularly Creole but as I've said can be made so. This is Balsamic Chicken & Veggies Use any Zatarain's o any other Creole seasons & or style of cooking. ((layers of flavors of course me, I love me some garlic; ain't no vampire gonna get me)
2 sweet potatoes
2 bunches of asparagus, ends trimmed
1¼ pounds chicken breast tenders
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper,, to taste
For the balsamic glaze:
⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
5 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
     1. Preheat oven to 400˚F/200˚C.
     2. Cut sweet potatoes medium julienne and spread      evenly onto parchment lined baking tray. Season        with olive oil, pepper, and salt.
     3. Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside.
4. Trim asparagus and cut into pieces diagonally. Season with olive oil, pepper, and salt. Spread evenly on the baking tray next to the sweet potatoes.
5. Season chicken with pepper and salt. Place on top of the veggies.
6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165˚F/75˚C.
7. While chicken is baking, reduce balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and salt in a small saucepan for 5-7 minutes until the sauce slightly thickens.
8. Distribute veggies and chicken into four containers.
9. Pour the sauce reduction onto the chicken.
10. Can be refrigerated up to 4 days.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Spicy-Praline Glazed Pork Chops

My favorite meat  "A little twist on good ole fashioned pork chops" Something that has become far easier for me up here in what I call Yankee Land is Walmart & Amazon. It is so-o-o much easier to get familiar products.
      Prep time: 5-10 minutes   Cooking time: 15-20 minutes   Serves: 10

Glaze or Praline sauce   
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk 1/4 cup light corn syrup 1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup Tony Chachere's Praline Honey Ham Marinade
1/2 cup Tony Chachere's Butter Jalapeno Marinade
Melt the butter in a saucepan stir the brown sugar into the melted butter til smooth
Add the evaporated milk and stir bring the mixture to a boil then immediately remove from heat. (see further directions below)
2 lbs. Boneless pork chops
1 cup Tony Chachere's Butter Jalapeno Marinade
1 Tablespoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
Marinate pork chops in marinade and seasoning for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
This is tricky while chops marinate, in a saucepan reduce glaze by half then stir the corn syrup into the milk mixture fold the pecans into the sauce.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat cook the pork chops til no longer pink in the center (5 to 7 minutes per side)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Shrimp and Corn Soup

A tasty soup (There's a cook book that's titled (called as we would say it) First you make a Roux a term one often heard when being given their first instructions on cooking. I've cover this before in the gumbo recipe and on my landing page what and why roux is/are are the basis/biases for multiple recipes. (different color for different recipes; see directions below Gumbos call for a darker roux prep time 5 mins  Cooking time about 1 hour 20 mins  Serves 6)

the color comes from the tomatoes not the roux
1/4 cup Oil
1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1 Whole Onion (chpped)
3 Whole Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Whole Chopped Bell Pepper
2 Whole Ribs Celery (chopped)
1 gallon Water
2 pound Shrimp (peeled)
14 ounce Stewed Tomatoes
15 ounce Corn (Creamstyle)
16 ounce Frozen Corn
1 dash Tony Chacheres Original Creole Seasoning
In a large pot, make a light roux by stirring oil into flour over medium heat
Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and celery cook (about 5 minutes) until vegetables are softened
Add tomatoes, cook (another 10 minutes stirring occasionally)
Add corn, water and seasoning reduce heat and simmer 1 hour add shrimp and cook an additional 10 minute

Pousse Cafe

I am not a drinker, per say, however this/was a layered drink I was allowed to have as a child.  The colored layers were fun and intriguing to me; later, when I became a bartender I found out how it was made. To create the layers one goes in reverse from densest to not so dense.
   (Prep time: 5 minutes    Constructing time: 5 minutes  Serves: 1)

Leaning tower of....
A play on the drink using fruit
1 ounce (fluid) Grenadine
1 ounce (fluid) Maraschino
1 ounce (fluid) Green Creme de Menthe
1 ounce (fluid) Creme de Violette
1 ounce (fluid) Chartreuse
1 ounce (fluid) Brandy
In the order listed above, pour an equal amount of each liqueur into a slender glass, forming a stack of layers. (one can/may change liquors to taste)
An array

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Louisana Meatloaf

This combines all the ingredients of your traditional meatloaf with a dash of spicy Cajun flavor
       Prep time: 20 minutes  Cooking time: 75 minutes  Serves: 8

1 cup Bread Crumbs
1 lb ground meat (I use 2 parts beef, veal)
1/2 pound Ground Lean Pork
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 c. chopped red onion
1/2 cup Red Wine (optional)
1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 tablespoon Chopped Onions
3 tablespoon Minced Parsley
3 tablespoon Chopped Celery
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 tablespoon Tony Chacheres Original Creole Seasoning
In a large bowl, moisten bread crumbs thoroughly with evaporated milk or red wine (depending)
Add other ingredients to bread mixture blend well to a smooth consistency
Mold free form (with fingers is best) or if you have a pan such as I do that drains juices)
Place in a greased loaf pan or and cover with the following sauce
Bake in a 325 degrees over for about an 1 hour

Creole Sauce:                                  
Yield:4 to 6 servings                      
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 c. tomato juice
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped Italian plum tomatoes
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
Salt, green onion (optional), and dash of hot pepper sauce
In a saucepan, with a lid, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, celery, and green peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables for 2 to 3 minutes (sweat until the vegetables start to wilt) Stir in the garlic, and herbs. Continue to saute for 1 minute. Season the vegetables with salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 12 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. Stir in the green onions and stir in the butter. Serve warm

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Gratons (Cracklings)

Prep time: 16 minutes   Cooking time: 21 minutes   Serves: 15

Gratons (Cracklings) are often a by-product of the rendering of lard, it is also a way of making even the tough skin of a pig edible. This is a two-step process where the skin is first rendered, dried, fried and puffed. The South's version of a potato chip Cracklin's are good to have as a snack to munch on they are sold in bags  pork rinds although high in sodium, fat, they are low in carbohydrates. (I'm guessing that's why I never was hooked on potato chips) In ancient cultures animal fats were the only way of obtaining oil for cooking so it was common ('til vegetable oils more common and affordable)

3 pound Pork Skins (With Fat)
2 tablespoon Baking Soda
3 cup Water
4 dash Salt
Cut pork skins in 1 inch squares.
Place in a heavy pot.
Start cooking on medium heat.
When the cracklings get hot, add a little water and soda so the cracklings do not stick.
Stir constantly; repeat water process to keep them from sticking.
Stop adding water when the cracklings begin to fry in about 1 inch of their own fat.
Stir often until cracklings are crispy and brown.
Drain on absorbent paper and salt generously.