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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cheater's Jambalaya



So... I like jambalaya. I mean I don't know many people who don't like a good jambalaya. I do not, however, like a brown jambalaya. I like a good red tomato jambalaya like my Mawmaw used to make. This being said... I can cook anything out there, but I am an absolute epic failure at jambalaya. I am 37 years old, and I still call my mama to make jambalaya for me.

A few weeks ago I had extra kids at the house playing, and I had to feed the whole bunch for lunch. So what does a good Cajun woman do? She starts pulling stuff out the pantry and throwing it in a pot making things up as she goes along. I wound up making a rice mixture that is basically a jambalaya, but the rice is cooked separately and stirred in for you other jambalaya challenged people. This is a very tomatoey tasting jambalaya, but it's very close to what my Mawmaw Tasi used to make. Of course she used to cook her rice IN her jambalaya. Feel free to substitute chicken or shrimp and sausage instead of ground meat.

Cheater's Jambalaya

2 lbs ground meat
1 large onion
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 12 oz can tomato paste
1 cup water
5 to 6 healthy dashes Louisiana hot sauce
4 to 5 healthy dashes Worcestershire sauce
1/3 can Campbell's beef broth
1/2 tsp Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups rice

Cook 3 cups rice in a rice cooker and set aside.

Brown ground meat in onions and drain. Add ground meat back to pot. Add remaining ingredients to meat and cook down for about 20 to 30 minutes on a low heat until sauce reaches a paste consistency. Once this is cooked stir in your cooked rice until all blended. Serve with vegetable of your choice. Voila! Cheater's jambalaya!

As you can see it's even served on Cajun Cookware aka paper plates ;-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice is cooking today

Yum! Got some good ol' red beans and rice on the stove today! This is a favorite of my kiddies and hubby. I never have to fight anyone to eat beans and rice. Sometimes it's white beans, red beans, pintos, field peas... either way beans always goes over well in this house.

For red beans and rice you simply need a pound of dry beans, a large yellow onion, salt, pepper, water, and a pound of Hillshire Farm smoked sausage (in the yellow packaging!). It's the simplest of the simple recipes, and it hardly takes any prep time. You can also do this in the crock pot making it a great busy person's meal.

I was going to make a shrimp and sausage jambalaya this week, but Mr. Cooker decided to cook that yesterday while I worked soooo... it's on the back burner (snicker) until next week.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Time for my first giveaway!

I will be doing a Cajun Care Package giveaway featuring a jar of my homemade Satsuma and Louisiana Sweet Orange jelly! It's a unique jelly with a hint of sweet and a hint of tart, and it's a favorite in my household! I just made up a new batch so I have a jar to share with my fans! The care package will also feature a local cookbook and other Cajun goodies!

I will be opening the giveaway to entrants as soon as my Facebook page hits 100 followers. In order to enter the giveaway here's what you have to do... For everything you do here you will receive one entry into the giveaway

1) Become a follower of http://thecajuncooker.blogspot.com/ and leave me a comment saying you are now a follower

2) Become a follower of The Cajun Cooker's fan page on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Cajun-Cooker/111351412272699 and leave me a comment saying you are a follower

3) Refer me to your friends! For every friend that you send that says you sent them you get an additional entry into the giveaway!

4) For an additional entry blog about this on your blog and post about this on your Facebook tagging The Cajun Cooker in your entry or status update and let me know you did it by providing the link here in the comments section!

Good luck! The winner will be announced once the fan page hits 100 fans!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Video 1 of  "How to make a chicken and sausage gumbo"


Video 2 of "How to make a chicken and sausage gumbo"




Video 3 of "How to make a chicken and sausage gumbo"



Ingredients

5 lbs bone-in skinless chicken. I like to use dark meat, but I know a lot of people use white meat. 
1 large coarsely chopped onion
1 tbsp of freshly chopped parsley or dried parsley flakes
1 to 2 lbs fresh pork sausage
1 to 2 lbs Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage or smoked sausage of choice
1 cup (maybe a little less) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup *maybe less!!!!** Cooking oil (preferably any kind of olive oil or vegetable oil)
salt
black pepper or white pepper
1 cup of oyster juice or small container of fresh or frozen fresh oysters (don't use the canned ones)
large pot
1 lb - 3/4 to 1 inch of lunchmeat or chopped ham *optional*
1 lb - 3/4 to 1 inch of bologna *optional*


Directions:

1. Cut your fresh sausage into 1 1/2 inch pieces and put in a pot of water to boil while making your roux. By the time your roux is finished your sausage will be boiled enough so that you can drain the fat and grease out of the water. 

2. To make your roux mix flour and oil together in pot on a medium low heat. You want to make approximately 3/4 of a cup of roux for a 12 quart stock pot. The uncooked roux will be the consistency of Elmer's school glue, and it will not be watery or see through. I like to cook a roux with a whisk to stir because it's just easier to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot with a whisk. 

FYI... don't try to use a roux as glue. It doesn't work. My children may or may not have tried this. :-| Imagine my surprise when I saw brown stuff on my wall. At least it was just roux, eh?

Cook the roux stirring almost constantly until it turns the color of dark chocolate. **see video for reference** Yep! While your roux is cooking you will realize it smells like a pot of  "da stink." Roux smells almost as bad as rotten compost (ask me how I know about this!), but it's bearable since you're gonna get the smell of yummy goodness right after your roux is cooked. 

3. Once roux is dark brown add onions and parsley. Cook the seasonings until the onions turn clear. 

4. Once your onions are clear you get to the fun part! Time to add the yummy goodness and for you to get ready to start the drool and fending off the neighbors because they're gonna show up at your door wanting to know what you're cooking!

Your sausage should be finished boiling. Drain into a colander, and set aside because you'll be tossing that into the yumminess in a few minutes. 

Still with your stove on a medium-low heat add in your chicken. Stir your chicken and coat it in the roux mixture and let cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until the chicken begins to cook slightly on the outside. **see video for reference** Add in your deli meats (believe it or not adding the deli meats is sure to please the man and squirts) if you opted for them. Stir and coat in the roux mixture. Then add your boiled fresh sausage and stir and coat that in the roux mixture. 

If you had to do like I did in the video and start off in a small pot this is where you transfer your gumbo starter to your 12 quart or larger stock pot.

5. Add as much water as you want, but you need to at least add enough to cover all of your ingredients and make a nice broth. I used approximately 24 cups of water on this particular day. As you add the water it is perfectly normal for the roux to come off of the meat in the pot! Don't leave me comments saying, "ZOMG! THE ROUX IS COMING OFF THE CHICKENSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!" I will just point and laugh at you if you do this and tell you that you should have paid better attention to the video. Ok... so I won't point and laugh, but I will pat your back gently and say it's ok and normal for that to happen (then I'll snicker a little later in private). 

6. Add your oyster juice or oysters (if you opt for the oysters do NOT drain the juice off of them... just toss it all in there). Keep in mind... you do NOT have to add oysters or oyster juice. I make gumbo without it all the time. I just happen to loooove the flavor of fresh oysters in my gumbo. Oysters do NOT give gumbo a "fishy" taste or an "oystery" taste. It just gives it a yumminess that I really can't explain so will just leave it alone.

7. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 30 minutes. After thirty minutes add in your smoked sausage and let cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes. 

8. Now... this is kinda icky, but there will be grease on the top of your gumbo from all the fatty meats. Once again... IT'S OKAAAAAAAAAAAY! Just skim the grease off of the top of the gumbo using a spoon and paper towels **see video for reference**

9. Make you up a good ol' pot of rice. Once rice is cooked serve yourself up a bowl of gumbo served over rice. 

10. Invite the neighbors over for a card game of Pedro, an Abita beer, and a bowl of gumbo with a side of potato salad and amaze them all with your Cajun cooking skills!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Three days to figure it out...

...but I finally figured out how to upload rather lengthy videos!! Apparently blogspot doesn't care for my long-windedness (is that a word? sure it is!) sooo I had to re-route myself to YouTube. From YouTube I can load on to here. YAY! It may have taken me three days, but I DID get it!

Sooooooooooo videos are slooooooooooooooowly being loaded on to YouTube, and the first recipe of The Cajun Cooker will be up in the morning! You will learn how to make a real Cajun chicken and sausage gumbo.

Next on the list is either red beans and rice with sausage or easy, breezy apple jelly. Any ideas? Requests? Suggestions?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

First post as The Cajun Cooker

Hello! I am Celeste soon to be known as The Cajun Cooker! Mr. Cooker and I will be making lots of yummy videos with good ol' Cajun recipes and some new to me recipes and some good ol' family recipes that have been passed on down the line that I would like to share with friends and other lovers of good Cajun cooking!

I'm not a chef. I do not have a degree in the culinary arts. I'm a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a truck driver (yes! I did say truck driver!), daughter-in-law, niece... you name it. I wear many different hats, and each of those hats causes me to cook differently depending on my mood and the day and what's going on and of course... what my family requests from me in regards to vittles.

Today I made my first video on how to make gumbo! I will be posting it very soon, but I have a friend I have to go visit who is in the hospital so if I don't post it tonight rest assured that I will be posting it within the next 24 to 48 hours (children and job willing). Later on in the week I am hoping to get around to New Orleans red beans and rice!