Recipes

Crockpot Gumbo

I recently made my first gumbo ever. Hard to believe since I am a native New Orleanian. I did a lot of research. Of course, I also consulted my Mama.

From everything I learned, I found out to my surprise that you don’t need a roux to make gumbo. It is all about the okra! You can if you want, but a roux is not a necessity. Roux takes time and patience both of which I have little to spare. It is part of the reason I do a lot of crock pot cooking.

That being said this recipe does take time and preparation, but you don’t have over the pot. This is a two day process. First the okra has to be cooked down to make the base for the gumbo. Then you add broth to get your gumbo going and ready to eat!

Ingredients:
• 1.5 lbs of okra
• 4-5 medium tomatoes
• 4 sticks of celery
• 1 bell pepper
• 1 onion
• 4 tbsps butter
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 1 lb andouille sausage
• 1/2 lb tasso
• 2 chicken breasts
• 2 bay leaves
• oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, tony chaceres, garlic powder

Directions:
Add chopped okra, tomato, celery, bell pepper, and onion in the crockpot. Season with garlic powder, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and tony’s. Add 4 tablespoons of butter. Cook for 8 hours on low and stir intermittently. Once cooked down, chop all your meats, and add to the pot. Also, add your chicken broth, and add more seasonings if you want to. Cook again on low for 4 hours. Serve over rice.

Special Notes:
– Sadly, I have no picture to share. My roommates and I consumed it before I even thought of posting this!
– Also, this recipe fed about 4 people for 3 days, so it makes a good amount! This also means that the recipe can be scaled back to make a smaller portion. Gumbo freezes extremely well though.
– The stewed okra can be made in a bigger portion and frozen as well for when you need gumbo starter!
– Frozen okra also works instead of fresh okra. I just personally had fresh okra handy when making this.

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Dessert

Blackberry Blood Orange Pie

Blackberries are in season right now! I got a pint from a local farmers market with a grab bag package they do. The blackberries sat in the fridge for a few days, and I was really stumped. Cobbler was the first idea that came to mind. Personally, cobbler is one of my favorites.

One morning while the blackberries were the fridge and I was browsing what was already in the fridge to see if I could use any of it for any of my meal plans before heading to the grocery. I found on the door, 4 jars of jelly! One of them was blood orange, and I had a light bulb moment. Blackberry + Blood Orange would be amazing!

It really was amazing, a bit tart for my taste but nothing a scoop of ice cream can’t help with. It is also super simple!

Ingredients:
• 1.5 pints of blackberries
• 6 oz. Of Blood orange jam
• Ready to bake pie crust
• Honey

Directions:
Toss the blackberries in a sauce pan with the blood orange jelly. Use Medium to medium heat. You want to get the pot boiling and the jelly liquefied.Prep your crust in a pan. Lower the heat on the pot. Once the mixture is not boiling pour it into the pie pan.

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Liberally drizzle honey over the top of the berries with jelly mix. Cover with another pure crust and bake according to crust instructions.

Special Notes:
– I bought the blood orange jelly from World Market.
– I think the pie would benefit from adding some spices like clove and cardamom
– Again this pie is tart, so vanilla ice cream or whip cream really helps sweeten this dish.

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Recipes

Jalapeño popper stuffed mushrooms

This recipes is one of those moments where I just wanted to try something different. I was craving stuffed mushrooms, junk food, and bacon! Well, bacon is sort of an ever present craving really.

Fortunately, this recipe was also one those moments where trying something new paid off! Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the product as this was made before I started the blog. I haven’t made it again because my boyfriend had two new people, and this was a really a dish for two or an appetizer. When I make this again, I will be sure to add a photo.

Ingredients:
• 1 block of cream cheese
• 2 cups of shredded cheese
• 1.5 cups bacon bits
• Green onions
• 1 fresh Jalapeno, chopped
• Panko bread crumbs
• 1/4 cup Ranch dressing
• 1 carton of baby portabella mushrooms

Directions:
Let cream cheese come to room temperature. Remove the mushroom stem from the cap. Place all mushroom caps in a pan. Chop all mushroom stems. Put all the ingredients including the mushroom stems but the panko bread crumbs in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Fill the caps with the mix. Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs on the filled mushroom caps. Bake at 375° for 17-20 minutes.

Special Notes:
• The filling makes a really great dip, so don’t waste the excess, eat it with some tortillas chips. We did!
• I removed all the seeds from the jalapeño before adding it. This really prevented the filling from being too spicy to be enjoyable.
• When I made it, I also added the panko into the filling mix, but it isn’t necessary. That extra step did not bring much to the table.

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Dessert, Recipes

Mediterranean Fried Bananas

Sometimes my want to cook comes out of boredom and or from looking at pinterest all day. This recipe is a combo of both, and it came out wonderful. It is a healthy, simple dessert. Great for those who are dieting or for those with food allergies. Also, a great recipe for those only want to make dessert for one or two people!

My mom was very hesitant about this dish. She told me she never knew you could fry yellow bananas. She tried it and loved!

This dish was inspired by the traditional dessert Bananas Foster with a dash of Lebanese tea.

Ingredients:
• 1 banana
• olive oil or butter (I used butter)
• 1 tbsp honey
• 1/2 tbsp orange blossom water
• 1/2 tbsp rose water
• cinnamon
• clove

Directions: Slice banana. Coat pan with oil or butter. Put pan on medium high heat, toss in bananas. Cook bananas until brown on both sides. In a separate dish, combine honey, rose water, and orange blossom water. Stir well. Once the bananas are about ready to be served reduce heat to low, toss on your honey water mixture. Coat with cinnamon and clove then serve.

Special notes:
– Cardamom could be added to the spices or substituted on top
– I ate mine with butter pecan ice cream, so delicious!
– I also feel pine nuts, like in Lebanese tea, could bring something to the table, but I had none in the kitchen.

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Leftover Ideas, Recipes

Leftover Red Bean Chili

As I have examined before, I am not one to eat the same foods over and over. I can’t even do it with my favorite foods. However, I generally don’t cook in small portions.

Again this does involve a crock pot. We’re kinda lazy, and whatever I cook in the crock pot stays in until we eat all the leftovers or freeze them. This I just put the crock pot with leftovers back in the heater and cooked this meal.

Ingredients:
• leftover red beans (we had about a half a pot)
• 1 can of black beans
• 1 can of stewed tomatoes
• 1 packet of chili seasoning
• 1 lb of ground beef
• 1 lb of ground hot sausage
• 1 cup of beef broth

Combine all ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours, stirring occasionally.

Notes:
If you used the previous red bean recipe to make your beans then your chili should not require too much additional seasoning.

The hot sausage in this recipe can be replaced with another type of ground sausage or more ground beef.

I like my chili with Frito chips and cheese. Others serve it with cornbread or crackers!

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