Eula Mae’s Maque Choux (Stewed Corn and Tomatoes)


A classic, Acadian French-Indian inspired side dish from Louisiana.

Ingredients:

2 tbs. butter
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup seeded and chopped green bell pepper
4 cups kernel corn (canned, fresh or frozen, but thawed)
1 medium-sized tomato, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Tabasco® hot pepper sauce

Directions:

Melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often until soft – about five minutes.

Add the corn, tomato, salt and pepper sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, until the corn is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Note: the traditional method uses rendered bacon fat instead of butter.

Recipe courtesy Tabasco.com

Red Beans and Rice


This is an easy version of Red Beans & Rice that goes well with a number of main dishes like ribs, chicken and even steak. Make it as hot as you’d like. The chimayo controls the heat.

Ingredients:

2 cups long-grain uncooked rice (basmati or other variety)
1 14oz. can chicken broth
1 14oz. can stewed tomatoes (plain)
1 14oz. can red beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 lb. bacon
2 medium Spanish or white onions – coarse chopped
4 cloves garlic, mashed
1 tbs. new-mex hot chimayo powder
1 tsp. mexican oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin from toasted seed
1/2 tbs. salt (go easy on the salt)

Preparation:

Saute the onions and bacon in a large skillet until slightly browned. You may want to start the bacon first.
Place in a 5-quart cast-iron dutch oven on medium heat.

Add broth and stewed tomatoes. Crush the tomatoes on the bottom of the pot with a masher. Add spices and simmer for 15 minutes, covered.

Add beans and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add dry rice and cover. Stir once and reduce heat to absolute minimum. Cook for 15 minutes more. Fluff and serve with Tabasco on the side.

Serves 6-8.

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

Andouille Sausage and Bean Soup


This is a great Southern-inspired recipe that also freezes well. Perfect with cornbread.

Ingredients:

1 lb. andouille sausage, cut into 1/2″ chunks
1 medium diced onion
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 15 oz. can peeled tomatoes
1 15 oz. can EACH of Pinto, Great Northern and Garbanzo beans
32 oz. chicken stock
1 cup frozen corn
Cayenne pepper and salt to taste

Preparation:

Add tomatoes to a 5 qt. dutch oven and mash with a large spoon or potato masher. Turn heat on low and cover.

Saute the sausage in a large skillet. Transfer to the dutch oven and keep covered. Saute the onion, celery and carrot until the onion is translucent. Add to pot.

Add the beans with their liquids to the pot, and the chicken stock. Increase heat and simmer on low, uncovered for about 45 minutes. Add the corn and season with the cayenne and salt.

Simmer another 15-30 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve.

Serves 6-8.