So I probably should have posted these recipes last week before Thanksgiving, but I forgot and I wanted to test them out twice to get all kinks out of the way. I was lucky to have two Thanksgivings this year, a “friendsgiving” down in NOLA (which was way better then my family Thanksgiving) and family Thanksgiving. I still never want to eat again. Below is an amazing crawfish stuffing that Chef John’s family has requested a double batch of for next year. Perhaps you can save in your Thanksgiving recipe file for next year or break it out for the December holidays! Chef’s note: make sure to use dry corn bread so it soaks up all the sauce. – ts
Chef John Says: Everyone knows that the best part of Thanksgiving is the stuffing. I usually dedicate about 3/4 of my plate to it. My family always has a traditional stuffing/dressing but this past Sunday we had a pre-Thanksgiving feast at our friend’s house in New Orleans and it was decided that we should make a more NOLA-style dressing. Tanya came across this beauty: Besh’s Crawfish Corn Bread Dressing. Like ALL of Besh’s recipes, this is very easy and delicious.
You can make the corn bread ahead or use leftover corn bread. In fact, the dressing may be prepared a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until an hour before serving. I used more andouille, hot sausage, and garlic than it calls for… obviously. This recipe makes 8–10 cups, more than enough to stuff a turkey, but at our Thanksgiving we stuff our bird separately and serve dressings like this alongside. Serves 10
4 tablespoons rendered bacon fat (I used a couple tablespoons of butter instead)
¼ pound andouille sausage, diced
¼ pound hot pork sausage meat, removed from casing
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups peeled crawfish tails, chopped (you can usually find a package of frozen tails)
2 green onions, chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
2 tablespoons Basic Creole Spices
6 cups crumbled Basic Corn Bread
2 cups Basic Chicken Stock
½ cup heavy cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
- Put the bacon fat, andouille, and pork sausage into a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the pork with the back of a wooden spoon.
- When the pork sausage meat has browned, add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the crawfish and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the sausage and crawfish and stir together until well combined. Spoon the dressing into a large heatproof dish.
- At this point, the dressing may be covered and refrigerated (for up to 1 day) until you are ready to bake it. Bake the dressing in a preheated 350° oven until it is piping hot and golden brown, 15–30 minutes.
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.
It’s spicy up in here, y’all.
I feel like everywhere I look these days, there is a different colored bell pepper staring up at me, like a little edible Oompa Loompa. (Sometimes I like to imagine veggies are little people.. but then that brings up the distasteful idea of murdering them just so I can have salsa or whatever, and that’s a little more unseemly. Except for those Veggie Tales effers. Those creepy little things can burn.)
Anywho, there’s nothing better to do with these ripe little suckers than bathe them in a little olive oil, dress ’em up in garlic and send them out on the town.
The Chef tells me that “peperonata” is an Italian condiment for meats, but it can also be a great fish-topper and is yummy served cold as part of an antipasta course. I just think it’s fun to say.
As long as you don’t take it too far like Giada de Laurentiis (You’re Italian! We get it!). If I hear her over-pronounce “spahhh-gihhh-ti” or mohhh-zah-reh-lllla” one more time, I’m gonna smack the perky right off of her face.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1.5 tbsp of white balsamic vinegar
4 garlic cloves, chopped
salt to taste
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- Slice peppers and onions thin.
- Heat oil in a large skillet on medium low heat.
- Add onions and peppers and salt. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Then add garlic, rosemary, and vinegar. Cook for about 15 minutes. Voila.
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.
The Chef will be happy to know this shellfish recipe is not for mussels, but it is close; it’s for clams! Sorry I felt like that needed an exclamation point for some reason. Recently Chef John and I had a lovely trip to Newport, RI. While there I must have stuffed my face for every meal with clam chowda and lobster rolls. It was amazing. However, you can really go to just about any small town in New England and get amazing clam chowder or lobster rolls. Two dishes we had (both clams of course) stood out as very Newport, very amazing and will always remind me of this trip, Portuguese Littlenecks and Clams Casino. I had never had either before going to Newport and now I can’t get enough! Below is a great recipe for Portuguese Littlenecks. –ts
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces dry-cured chorizo, cut into 1/4-inch coins
One 1/4-inch-thick slice prosciutto cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 medium yellow onions, cut lengthwise in half and sliced into thin half-moons
1 bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, minced
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, drained and chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
4 pounds littlenecks or any small clams, such as cockles, manila, or butter scrubbed and rinsed
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Bread for serving
- Heat the oil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add chorizo and prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until touched with brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium; drop in the onions and bay leaf, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the tomatoes and any accumulated juice, the wine, and paprika. Discard any clams that feel heavy (which means they’re full of sand), have broken shells, or don’t close when tapped. Add clams into the pot and turn the heat to high. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally until the clams pop open, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaf and toss out any clams that refuse to pop open. Season with a few grinds of pepper, shower with parsley, and ladle the stew into wide shallow bowls. Oh, and have a big bowl on hand for the shells. Serve immediately with a large piece of bread to soak up juices.