So despite my moral dilemma of yesterday, I’ve decided to go ahead and pull this one out of The Vault. (As it turns out, my threshold for withholding secret recipes is quite shallow, which is probably to be expected from a person who has a blog about recipes on the Interwebs.)
Anyway, perhaps the groundhog will take a page from my book – you know, bringing things to light and such – and ignore his stupid shadow so we can get on with Real Spring instead of this faux Fall we’ve been having.
Annnnnd, rambling is now over. As I mentioned previously, this recipe has been a long time coming. My cousin Melissia had to watch my Aunt Sylvia make it three times to come up with the recipe because it had never even been written down. So it’s old school traditional is what I’m saying.
I’m also saying it is delectable, so even if you have to tinker with it a little bit to get it right, your efforts will be rewarded.
1 pan cornbread
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 raw eggs
2-3 boiled eggs, chopped
2 cans chicken broth
1 can oysters
1 tsp+ poultry seasoning
1 tsp+ sage
salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cook celery and onion in broth until tender.
- Crumble breads and mix all ingredients together. Taste and season accordingly. (This is where the extra sage or poultry seasoning comes in.)
- Pour into 9×13 pan.
- Bake for at least 40 minutes (longer if all of the excess moisture hasn’t evaporated).
This is another holiday dish that I will definitely be putting into the year-round rotation.
I first had this dip at a Christmas party 8 years ago, and I searched for the recipe for 5 years before someone pointed out to me that it had been right under my nose – namely in Heart & Soul – the whole time.
While this does take a little while to prep and cook, it is totally worth your time. And not just because it is delicious, but also because each step of the cooking process leaves the house smelling better than the last. Butter, creole seasoning, fresh herbs and seafood? I’m on board.
Two words of caution: Make sure to thaw and rinse your seafood well to get rid of any unnecessary fishiness, and make sure you use 2 teaspoons of creole seasoning and not 2 tablespoons at each of the saute steps. Not that anyone has ever ruined 2 pounds of perfectly good seafood by doing that, but I’d like to prevent it if at all possible…
1 lb crawfish tails
1 lb shrimp, raw and roughly chopped
1.5 sticks of butter (.75 cups)
6 tsp creole seasoning
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tbsp fresh basil (3 dried)
3 tbsp fresh thyme (1.5 dried)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup flour
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
- Melt half a stick of butter in a large skillet. Add 2 tsp creole seasoning. Add crawfish and saute for 5 minutes. Pour crawfish and butter into a bowl and set aside.
- Melt half a stick of butter in a the skillet, add 2 tsp creole seasoning, and saute shrimp in butter for 3 minutes. Add shrimp to bowl with crawfish.
- Melt the rest of the butter in the skillet with 2 tsp creole seasoning. Add onion, green and red peppers, celery, and garlic and saute for 5 minutes or until veggies are tender.
- Add fresh herbs, tomato paste and flour to veggie mixture in the skillet and stir constantly for 5 minutes.
- Process half of crawfish/shrimp mixture in blender (do not puree).
- Add crawfish/shrimp mixture (both processed and not-processed halves) to skillet and mix thoroughly.
- Stir in green onions and add hot sauce to taste.
- Serve with Thin Garlic Crostinis and get out of the way.
If there is one thing on a menu that will lock down The Chef’s order, it’s crusting something. With nuts or herbs specifically, but honestly, I think you could crust something with Captain Crunch and that would get him to bite… OK, that’s probably something that would pull at my redneck heartstrings more than his, but I think we can all agree that crusting is pretty yummy.
Another that makes this a Chef Favorite is the use of fresh herbs. I think he is second only to Jamie Oliver in his love of all things herby, so using three in one recipe is a definite win.
Incidentally, if you’ve never watched Jamie’s show on the Cooking Channel, you should check it out. He’s always Macgyver-cooking somewhere insane – like he’s annihilating a head of garlic with a rock on a beach while cooking fish he caught with his bare hands – and it still comes out looking delicious. He’s also rustically adorable, so look into it.
The Chef likes to top this with Lemon Buerre Blanc. To make that, follow this Buerre Blanc recipe and add some lemon juice and zest. Or top with Tanya’s Preserved Lemons and serve up with a side like Red Potatoes with Arugula.
4 salmon fillets*
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup dry mustard
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp finely chopped thyme
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
- Coat fillets with salt, pepper, and herbs.
- Add remaining ingredients to a dish and turn fillets in the mixture to coat both sides.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick saute pan and saute fillets on both sides, cooking until they are golden brown.
Jamie would pronounce this “fill-its.” You see what I mean? Adorable.
I know I am not good about posting to this blog, but this time I had an excuse! I have been vacationing in Rome the past 7 days and am now inspired to post a few recipes later this week (always the procrastinator). Obviously Rome is an amazing city for carb and wine indulging, but more important is their LOVE of pork. I think I consumed more pig in Rome then I did in Barcelona, which is hard to do. It was awesome, but the next few days I am only eating iceberg lettuce and drinking coffee, recent pics of Christina Aguilera should inspire me to do this.
Here are a few noteworthy food pictures from the trip along with the restaurant name in case you are planning a trip. I suggest asking Chef Morgan as well, girl has a great list from her abroad days. – ts
L’Enoteca Cul de Sac (near Piazza Navona)- small plates great wine list http://www.enotecaculdesac.com/
Pastificio San Lorenzo- you MUST go here. It is in an up and coming artsy area behind the termini called San Lorenzo, fun live music venue bars as well around the area; incredible meats and cheese; http://www.pastificiocerere.com/ristorante/index.php
Il Matriciano- Roman fare by the Vatican; the BEST artichokes I have ever had
Pork stand in Marino, a small hill side wine town just outside of Rome-
This recipe comes from JR’s friend Sewell, a good ‘ole Georgia boy who knows the importance of Cajun seasoning in anything that bears the “Creole” name. I normally wouldn’t post something from a Georgia fan two days before their (likely not epic but here’s-to-hoping good) battle with the Vols, but this looks too darn good to ignore.
The main thing to remember with this recipe is that juice is your friend. Don’t drain anything here. All of that sauce the ‘maters are packed in provides flavor and richness, so feel free to add more as you go if your Creole looks a little thirsty.
2-3 links andouille sausage, sliced
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small sweet onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 ear of corn, cut off the cob (or 1/2 cup frozen)
4-8 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 large cans diced tomatoes (Italian) + juice
1-2 cans of rotel + juice
1 cup rice, cooked according to package directions
olive oil or butter
- Brown sausage in large dutch oven with olive oil. Remove and reserve.
- Saute bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic in same pan until soft (about 5-10 minutes) with the Cajun seasoning.
- Add sausage, corn, tomatoes, and rotel.
- Let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add shrimp and cook for three minutes.
- Serve over rice with hot sauce.
The Chef brought this home last week for us to share. For two days I stole bites every time I was in the kitchen until he gave up and said I could have the rest. Which was good… because I had already eaten it. What I’m saying is, this is badass.
Clearly this recipe targets the rich and famous as it requires a whole pound of lump crab meat, but it is worth every penny. (I say this as a person who got hers for free, but whatevs. Details.)
For those of you who are budget-conscious, The Chef would like to remind you that you can use a lot of different things to supplement the crab if you don’t want to burn your whole paycheck on this dish. Cooked shrimp, lobster or scallops can be substituted for part of the crab, and I’ll attest that the 1/2 shrimp-1/2 crab combo is plenty delicious. Just please, for the love, leave the krab out of it.
The Chef suggests serving this on avocado halves as a first course or with crackers or crispy wontons. I, however, think this salad is something that should remain between a girl and her spoon.
1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
1/2 cup mayo
juice of 2 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
half bunch of green onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, fresh minced
- Drain crab and pick through for shells.
- Add everything except crab to a mixing bowl. Gently fold in crab meat.
- Eat immediately, preferably alone, before anyone else can get their hands on it.
Well corporate America, it’s almost quittin’ time on our most hallowed of holiday weekends. And nothing’s more American than using company time to do entirely personal things on a Friday afternoon, so that’s what I’m doing here.
This recipe is obviously of the rich and famous variety (because we clearly are SO VERY both), and it is as good as you think it is. The Chef made this in honor of our last dinner with The Grosshans (while we were still official Memphians, that is), and sitting on a porch eating this with a cold glass of white wine and good company is about as close to perfection as you can get. While you’re outdoors in Memphis in June, anyway.
The freshness of the tomatoes, the sweetness of the lobster and the bite of the balsamic make this dish truly addictive. So if you’ve decided to turn in your hot dogs for fancier fare this Fourth of July, this is a recipe not to be missed. (I obviously will not be doing that because hot dogs and me are an American love affair for the ages, but it’s your life.)
2 lobster tails
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Season lobster with salt and pepper and dab one tablespoon of butter on each tail.
- Roast for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Once done place in a ice bath to cool.
- Once cool dice and squeeze the juice of one lemon over them.
Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction:
2 yellow tomatoes, diced
2 orange tomatoes, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
salt to taste
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 cup balsamic vinegar
- Take one cup of balsamic vinegar and cook in a pot on low heat for thirty minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Season tomatoes with salt and toss with Basil Vinaigrette.
- Top with goat cheese and lobster. Drizzle balsamic reduction over salad and serve. (Makes 4 servings)
Luxuriate. That’s the only word that does this justice. And justice is American as hell.