Cajun Fried Rice


Tabasco is a great all-American brand — which makes this Asian-inspired recipe even better.

Ingredients:

1-1/2 tbs. soy sauce
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil, divided
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. minced ginger
3 tsp. Tabasco sauce, divided
1/2 pound shrimp
3 eggs
1-1/4 tsp. salt, divided
3 tbs. peanut oil, divided
1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced
3 cups cold cooked rice
1-1/2 cups bean sprouts
3/4 cup frozen green peas
black pepper, to taste

Preparation:

In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, 1 tsp. sesame oil, garlic, ginger and 2 tsp. Tabasco sauce. Mix well, stir in shrimp and set aside.

In another bowl, beat eggs with 1/4 tsp. salt, remaining 1 tsp. sesame oil and 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce.

Heat wok or large skillet until hot; add 1 tbs. oil. When hot add the shrimp mixture. Stir-fry 3-4 minutes until shrimp is done. Remove from wok and set aside.

Add another tbs. oil to wok and when hot, add onion. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes and remove.

Heat the remaining 1 tbs. oil in wok; add egg mixture. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add cold rice and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Add shrimp, onion, bean sprouts, peas, remaining 3/4 tsp. salt and pepper, cook for 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

Recipe courtesy Tabasco.com.

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Blackened Catfish


Authentic Louisiana Blackened Catfish

Traditional Louisiana-style blackened catfish seared
on an outdoor grill in a cast-iron skillet

This authentic recipe is taken directly from a restaurant in New Orleans. The seasoning is quite hot, so you may want to experiment with the cayenne powder the first time. A good, heavy cast-iron skillet is a must with this recipe. The high temperatures required for the blackening process will warp or burn the nonstick coating off of most other pans.

The process puts off a lot of smoke, so open up your windows and turn on the exhaust fan! I’ve also had great success cooking this on my outdoor charcoal grill.

The aroma is quite pungent, but ohhh so good!

Ingredients:

Click here for the Rub.

One or two fresh catfish fillets, pressed flat
Milk, buttermilk or olive oil
Butter for searing
Fresh lemon
Scallion for garnish

Preparation:

Mix the dry rub ingredients well and store in an airtight jar in your fridge or cupboard. Will keep for up to one year. This recipe uses only a couple tablespoons for dusting, so you will have plenty leftover for next time.

Make sure the catfish fillets are washed and patted dry. Press them flat with a heavy spatula. This will ensure more even cooking.

Dip each fillet in milk, buttermilk or olive oil. Shake off the excess and put in a plastic bag with about two tbs of dry rub. Shake evenly to coat.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet to medium-high. Put a pat of butter in skillet and sear each fillet for about 2-3 minutes per side until blackened. Depending on the thickness of the fish, actual time will vary. TURN ONLY ONCE OR YOU WILL PULL THE COATING OFF. Check the thickest part of the fish for doneness; it should flake easily with a fork and the juices should run clear.

Remove immediately and serve with lemon wedges and chopped scallion for garnish.

Emeril Lagasse’s Rustic Rub


All-purpose seasoning with multiple uses.

Ingredients:

8 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons cayenne
5 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons onion powder
6 tablespoons salt
2-1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
2-1/2 tablespoons dried thyme

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Blend well. Can be stored in an airtight container in your spice cabinet for up to 6 months.

Yield: 2 cups

Blackened Catfish Rub


This authentic rub recipe is taken directly from a restaurant in New Orleans. Click here for the Catfish recipe. Hot stuff!

Ingredients:

2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder (not salt)
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried thyme

Preparation:

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Blend well. Can be stored in an airtight container in your spice cabinet for up to a year. This rub is also excellent on grilled chicken, steak or shrimp.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

Chicken & Andouille Jambalaya


There are literally hundreds of variations of Jambalaya. No other dish quite captures the flavor of Louisiana. The recipe featured here is an instant classic by Emeril Lagasse. It is unbelievably good and quite spicy. Make this on a cold winter night for a football game and serve among friends. You will not be disappointed.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 cups chopped spanish onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
3 tsp. salt
1-1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4″ slices
1-1/2 pounds boneless white chicken, cubed
3 bay leaves
3 cups medium-grain white rice*
6 cups water
1 cup chopped scallion


Preparation:

Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven. Add the spanish onion, bell pepper, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. cayenne pepper. Stir and carmelize.

Add the andouille and brown. Season chicken with remaining cayenne and salt. Add the chicken and bay leaves to pot. Stir until browned.

Add the rice and stir to coat. *NOTE: DO NOT USE THE QUICK-COOKING 5-MINUTE RICE. IT WILL TURN TO MUSH IN A VERY SHORT TIME. Add the water, stir well and cover. Cook over medium heat for 30-35 minutes until rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Stir once during this process; there is no need to fiddle with it constantly.

Remove from heat and let stand covered for 2-3 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Add the scallion, stir and serve.

This dish is even better the second day. Serve with cornbread and a nice spinach salad.

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Jambalaya Origin: 1872
The word jambalaya in English dates from 1872 as a borrowing from the French of the Cajuns in Louisiana. It appears in the New Orleans Times for June 28, 1872: “Those who brought victuals, such as gumbo, jambalaya, etc., all began eating and drinking.”

The word is from Provençal, the Romance language of southwestern France, where jambalaia is composed mostly of rice and chicken or other fowl. In Cajun culture jambalaya is a staple of everyday cooking. Its contents are so varied that it has been said, if you have it in the kitchen you can put it in the pot. Popular ingredients besides rice and chicken include sausage, seafood, tomatoes, celery, onion, and green peppers. And don’t forget the cayenne pepper, garlic, thyme, and rosemary.

The traditional way to cook it, as with most stews, is for a long time. But like everything else, it is available nowadays as Fast Food too. In Louisiana, jambalaya is used figuratively too, for “a mixture of ingredients.” The Times-Picayune of New Orleans noted in 1951, “A Creole beauty, a murder in a fashionable French home, an illicit love affair…–these are the ingredients of the movies’ latest jambalaya.”

Chicken & Andouille Gumbo


This venerable southern selection is provided verbatim from Emeril Lagasse. It is unbelievably good. Words do not do it justice, so just make it. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

Ingredients:

1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/2″ slices
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves
6 cups boiling water
1 pound chicken meat, cut into chunks
1 tsp. Emeril’s rustic rub
2 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup scallion, chopped
1 tbs. file powder*

Serve with steamed rice

Preparation:

Combine oil and flour in a 5-quart cast-iron pot, stirring constantly on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes to make a mahogany roux. DO NOT SCORCH THE FLOUR OR IT WILL TASTE BITTER. The color will not kick over until the last 15 minutes – if the oil smokes, you have it too hot. When cooking it should gently ripple, and not be a rolling boil.

When the color of the roux is set to your liking, add onions, celery, bell pepper – stirring for five minutes. Add the sausage, salt, cayenne and bay leaves. Stir for about four minutes.

Add the boiling water and stir well to mix the roux completely. Reduce heat and simmer on low for one hour.

Season the raw chicken with rustic rub, and add to the pot. Simmer for two additional hours and skim fat from top.

Remove from heat. Stir in fresh parsley, scallion and file powder. DO NOT BOIL AT THIS POINT OR THE FILE POWDER WILL GET STRINGY. Remove the bay leaves and discard.

Serve with steamed rice and Tabasco hot sauce on the side.

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*File powder is made from ground sassafrass leaves. It is hard to find in some markets, but you can order it online. For the full Louisiana experience, it should not be omitted.
It creates a wonderful, velvety texture when added to the sauce, by helping to bind the remaining fat.

Even better the second day. If you still have leftovers, it freezes wonderfully.

Serves 6