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.
We cooked this on one of our last dinner parties at our apartment in NYC. It was amazing. We made a huge pot of it, and I am pretty sure there were no leftovers. People were stuffing their face and going for third helpings. Chef John and I love “My New Orleans” cookbook. Other then the obvious fact that his recipe’s are amazing, I also love this cookbook because John Besh describes the cooking process and why it is important to do certain things while you are cooking. -ts
Chef John says: If you don’t have John Besh’s book, “My New Orleans,” than you need to have your head examined, go buy it. In my opinion, he’s easily one of the most talented and innovative chefs out there and best of all he likes to use pork… a lot. I’m trying to eat my way through his book at the moment but wanted to share with you his Jambalaya recipe. Prior to this, I’ve never tried to make it on my own and I was really surprised by how easy it was. This is one of my favorite comfort foods and provides a great base for a long night out.
2 pounds bacon, diced
3 pounds andouille sausage, diced
1/2 cup lard (OPTIONAL- we did not use bc there is enough pork fat)
2 pounds fresh pork sausage, removed from casings
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, roughly cut into 1-inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
6 large onions, diced
4 bell peppers, seeded and diced
10 stalks celery, diced
12 cloves garlic, minced
9 cups converted Louisiana white rice
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 dried bay leaves
3 tablespoons pimention de la Vera or smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon celery salt
6 cups canned crushed tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
5 pounds Louisiana white shrimp or other wild American shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 bunches green onions, chopped
- First, you’ll need to heat a very large pot 3-5 gallons) over high heat until it is hot, then reduce the heat to moderate. This will allow the heat to be uniform all over, preventing those little hot spots that are likely to burn.
- Render the bacon with the sausages and the lard in the hot pot, stirring slowly with a long wooden spoon or a spade. While the pork is rendering, go ahead and season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pot, stirring, and cook until the chicken becomes golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- After the chicken as browned, add the onions to the pot and all them to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the bell peppers, celery, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Continue stirring from time to time so that everything in the pot cooks evenly.
- Next add the rice, thyme, bay leaves, pimention, cayenne, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoons black pepper, and the celery salt to the pot and cook, stirring often for 3 minutes.
- Increase the heat to high and add the tomatoes and chicken stock to the pot, Bring the stock to a boil. Reduce the heat do medium low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking in the covered pot, season the shrimp with salt and pepper and save them, along with the green onions, to be added at the last minutes.
- After the rice as simmered for 15 minutes, go ahead and remove the lid from the pot and fold int he shrimp and green onions. Turn off the heat and let everything continue to to cook in the hot covered pot for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the jambalaya and serve.
So as it turns out, mangoes are kind of amazing. As in you know you like them but you’re not sure how much until they’re all dressed up in their killa heels and slinky black dress.
And I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but combining mangoes with the fresh scallops from Paradise Seafood is simply and surprisingly blissful. I don’t know how, but all of their seafood that tastes like tiny sweet little lobsters. You put a perfect sear on one and hit it with this vinaigrette and you are dunzo.
2 ripe mangoes, peeled and rough chopped
1 lime, juice and zest
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon, fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon honey
salt to taste
1/2 cup of olive oil
- Place all ingredients except oil, 1 mango in a blender or food processor.
- Slowly add oil. Once blended, you are good to go.
- Toss the chopped avocado and mango together and reserve to top scallops with.
- Heat a non stick skillet on high heat.
- Dry off moisture from scallops. The Chef places them in between 2 paper towels. Usually on Bonnie’s counter instead of a plate like a normal person, but it’s your life. Do what you need to do.
- Salt and pepper scallops. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of butter to the skillet.
- Add scallops to the pan and be sure not to mess with them or they will stick. Patience, my dear.
- Sear 2 minutes on each side for medium rare. “Cook longer for you and Bonnie,” says The Chef. Yes, I will eat meat that is still mooing, but for seafood I prefer it well done.
- Top scallops with mango vinaigrette and serve with mixed greens. Refreshing and tangy. Nothing better.
Hey there Nummy Num Num; I feel that an apology is in order. I haven’t called or written or even as much as Facebook-stalked you, and you don’t deserve that. All I can say is it’s not you, it’s me. I have been under the post-graduation stressfest of job-searching, and snarky-yet-succulent recipe-posting fell by the wayside.
Well, no more! A job has been procured and I can now get on with the incredibly important business of telling you all how to pile on the pounds in the most delicious fashion. So here goes.
The Chef, in his endless quest to make every type of taco imaginable, concocted a ceviche variety in order to take advantage of the amazing tuna Paradise Seafood sells at the Memphis Farmers Market. When it’s as fresh as theirs is, a few veggies and some fresh citrus are all you need to highlight the tuna’s fantastic flavor.
I’d suggest serving this alongside the highly addictive Mexican Corn and with Angie’s Salsa Fresca or Southwestern Slaw as topper options (three more recipes that will allow you to take advantage of MFM’s unparalleled produce). Top it all off with a Blue Ribbon Margarita and you’ve got the perfect summer supper. Bon Apetit!
1 lb of sushi grade tuna, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 poblano pepper, diced small
1/2 red onion, diced small
juice of 4 limes
juice of 1 orange
salt to taste
sriracha hot sauce to taste
1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let marinate for 5 minutes. (Note: This is for rare tuna because The Chef likes it to still be swimming when he takes a bite of it. If you prefer yours a little more done, let it marinate longer.)
- Serve on crunchy tacos (crunch is key for ceviche, so don’t swap out for soft tortillas) and top with sliced avocados. Find a patio, pour yourself a ‘rita, and enjoy.