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May 8, 2012

A Cajun Christmas Recipe

cajun jambalaya

Cajuns don’t celebrate Christmas without all the “fixins”. Every year I am responsible for either dirty rice or jambalaya. I’ll share my jambalaya recipe with you today.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of chicken (dark meat is best)
  • 3 links of sausage
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 3 celery stalks (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 7 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 1/2 bunch of green onions/scallions (chopped)
  • Seasoning (salt, black pepper, red pepper, parsley) to taste
  • 3 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups rice (washed)
  • 3 tablespoons of oil (preferably bacon grease)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut chicken up into chunks. Wash and pat dry. Season with salt and black pepper. In a large cast iron dutch oven, heat up 3 tablespoons of oil on medium to high heat. Once it is heated add the chicken and and saute until brown. Remove chicken from the pot. Add bell pepper, celery, and onion. Saute until onions are nearly translucent. Add garlic, green onions, and parsley. Add 3 1/4 cup of water to the pot immediately after. Put chicken back in the pot. Add rice. Stir. Temporarily turn up the heat and allow it to come to a boil. Cover tightly and place into preheated oven. Cook for 45 minutes. Stir only once halfway through cooking time. Serves 6 dinner helpings or up to a dozen holiday size samplings.

C’est Bon!

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Onion Rings and Dippin’ Sauce

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6 c. crisco Oil
4 vidalia onions, sliced and separated into rings
2 1/4 c. bisquick or baking mix
1 c. Amber Bock beer
2 t. salt
2 eggs

Heat oil in fryer or large stock pot to 375 degrees f. Toss sliced onion rings in 1/4 c. of bisquick mix. In mixer, blend 1 c. beer, 2 c. bisquick, 2 t. salt and 2 eggs. Dip onion rings in one at a time and drop by groups of about 6 at a time into the hot oil. Turn once, so that it is golden brown on each side. Take out and place on paper towels. Continue process until all onions are fried.

Sauce:
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. chili sauce
2 t. horseradish
1 t. cayenne pepper

Blend all thoroughly. Wonderful sauce for onion rings and very good on a hamburger, too!

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Wonderful Cajun Rice

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The day after Thanksgiving, my Chris’ mom often makes something completely “other” than turkey–Mexican, Cajun or Chinese.  It is a delightful tradition, I believe. Like any good Cajun, you could totally substitute whatever meats you have on hand–turkey, chicken, seafood.  We have friends from south Louisiana that used to just take what they had in the freezer and make a big ol’ pot of gumbo. 

1 bunch green onions and tops, chopped
1 lg. green pepper, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 T. canola (or olive) oil
1 lb smoked sausage link, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 c. shrimp, peeled and cooked (or 2 cans chicken of the sea shrimp)
1 can Ro*tel diced tomatoes
2 boxes of Uncle Ben’s original long grain/ wild rice mixes
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 t. gumbo file

Sauté vegetables in oil. Brown sausage and beef. In large covered stock pot, combine all ingredients using Ro*tel as part of the water called for on both rice mixes (Rotel and water should equal about 2 2/3 cups). For thinner more soupy mixture, add another 2 cups of water. Cover and simmer approximately 25 minutes.

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Cajun Fried Turkey

Man Carving Turkey at Christmas Dinner

There is nothing better than a crisp, hot piece of skin from this wonderful turkey.  We love to make this every few years.  It isn’t an every year kind of turkey for us, but it IS very, very good. I love when we get to partake of it.  You could say I am THANKFUL for it.

2 t. salt
1 T plus 2 t. cayenne, divided
10-12 lb turkey (fresh, not injected with butter or other seasonings)
4 T. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c. onions, finely chopped
1/4 c. celery, finely chopped
3 T. minced garlic
2 T. ground pepper vinegar
1 T. plus 1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1/2 c. turkey (or chicken) broth
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
5 gallons peanut oil (can subst. vegetable oil)

Mix together 2 t. salt and 2 t. cayenne in a small bowl. Set aside this mixture to rub on turkey.

Combine melted butter with onions, celery, garlic, pepper vinegar, 1 T. salt, 1 T. cayenne, black pepper, broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Inject into turkey (with this). Rub salt/ cayenne mixture on the outside. Refrigerate overnight.

Fry the turkey, using a turkey fryer (like this), according to instructions and with the peanut oil. Heat oil to 400 degrees. Lower the turkey into the hot oil. Adjust the flame slightly down to maintain a temperature of 350 degrees. Oil should be hot enough to bubble during the frying, but not so hot that the turkey burns. Make sure that the turkey remains submerged or turn very carefully every 10-15 minutes. Let the turkey fry until the juices run clear–about 3 minutes per pound (about 35-45 minutes). The turkey will look very dark brown when it is done. Don’t be afraid that it has burned; this is the right color. Carefully remove the turkey and place breast side down on the platter with paper towels. Let drain about 5 minutes, turn over and drain and cool for 15 minutes more before slicing. From Bessie Gartman.

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