Sunday, February 28, 2010

I'm a winner.

I just wanted to thank Pam from A love of NEW recipes for choosing me as her giveaway winner.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

I love Cajun food. My favorite being boudin, which is ground up pork liver, heart and sometimes head meat plus seasoned rice stuffed into a casing. Oh sausage and your intestinal casing, how I do love you. My grandparents brought it back a couple of times when I was younger. I haven't had it since then but I do keep very found memories of this exotic tasty treat.
While I'm not to excited to work with ground organ meat and intestinal casings, no matter how delicious the results might be, I have been working on perfecting my gumbo. It's a simple and tasty meal that's easy to make and freeze, plus it serves up well at parties.
Making the roux is the hardest part but it's really not as scary as people seem to make it.

Here is my (loose as always) recipe, adapted from this recipe.
A note about okra - sometimes I use it, sometimes I don't. I think it's an authentic addition that helps thicken the gumbo and add nutrients. If you want to use it chop it up and throw in at the end with the thighs and vegetables or sauted with the veges. 3 or 4 large okras will work.

1lb chicken thighs, skin on bone in adds good flavor.... just pick the offensive parts out later :)
1 package andouille sausage cut in pieces ( I use Amy's chicken andouille)
4 cups chicken stock or water
4Tbs butter
4Tbs flour
1 onion chopped
3 or 4 carrots diced
2 or 3 stalks of celery diced
a couple cloves of garlic minced
1 tbl cooking oil
cajun seasoning.... I make my own but you can buy it at Penzey's or the grocery store.

I suggest using a large heavy bottom pan. You can usually make everything in the same pot. Have everything chopped and ready to make before you start. Plus have an extra bowl ready to transfer stuff as you go.
  • Heat oil over medium heat and add the chicken thighs, cook till done.
  • add the sausage in the last few minutes to warm up.
  • Remove and set aside
  • Add the onions,garlic,celery,and carrots. saute for about 10 mins.
  • Remove and set aside with the thigh/sausages.
  • Now you make the roux. I like mine dark so that's how I'll tell you to make it, but do what you will.
  • Melt the butter stirring constantly.
  • Slowly stir in the flour to the butter. Keep stirring it will be paste like.
  • Stir this until the mixture becomes dark, it will look almost burnt. This could take 20 mins or an hour. I've heard it either way. Mine usually takes closer to 20.
  • Take off heat and add the broth , continue to stir, yes this is a lot of stirring. It's a work out.
  • Put back on the heat, add all the ingredients, including about 1-2 tablespoons of cajun spices and some salt. Simmer for as long as you want...20mins to an hour or more. Serve in a bowl with rice.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Just because......

Here are two recent stories that help illustrate what an interesting person my son is, while at the same time paint me in an unflattering light. That is the way of parenthood is it not?

Jasper is sitting in the backseat while we are dropping his dad off at school this morning. As we are pulling away I belch. From the backseat I hear " You are the best belcher, Mom! I hope when I grow up I can belch as good as you."

I bought a pineapple at the grocery store the other day per Jasper's request. I went to cut it at the table as he stood by watching and eating a few pieces as I cut them. I was pretty engrossed in getting the fruit out as well as my usual mind chatter. As I went in the kitchen to throw some peices away Jasper says "Look mom, I have something stuck in my teeth." about 4 times. Finally, without looking back I said " I see honey, we'll get it out in a minute" Jasper responded with a truely innocent and amazed tone of voice "You have amazing eyes."
It took me a minute to realize that he wasn't commenting on my beauty, but rather my ability to see him with out actually looking at him.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Yes, I'm patting myself on the back.

So I might not be throwing all my non traditional foods out but that doesn't mean I'm doing nothing good. I just wanted to brag that I completed a personal goal of mine and jogged 4 the cold no

Monday, February 1, 2010

Challenging Challenge

So today was the first day of the 28 day Traditional Food challenge. I open the email to see what the first small step in changing my eating habits were and well quickly hyperventilated and decided to not do it. The first step and they did say, small steps, was to through out everything in my fridge,freezer, pantry that has sugar, refined flours, perservatives, ect.
Hello! I realize that that is the basic of traditional eating but that is a cost prohibitive change. To much to soon for this already booked women. I will be trying to make more yogurt and fermented items this month, but no drastic food wasting challenges for me. Nope.