Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mardi Gras

 
 
GUMBO!
 
Last night we celebrated an early Mardi Gras at Kristos Olive Oil in Arvada.
 
Gumbo, Creole Caesar Salad, Bourbon Bread Pudding and Bourbon Truffles rolled in Pecan Praline
 
 
 
MOTHER PEARCE'S GUMBO
WITH A WHIRL*
Servings: 8-10
*Mother Pearce provided a recipe once for a Mardi Gras Party. I have tweaked and added to the recipe but bow to Mother Pearce. Items that have been changed or added are marked with a *
 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
6 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper* 
1/2 cup chopped celery
6 oz. vegetable oil*
6 oz. (by weight) (or by volume a little over a cup and a quarter) all-purpose flour*
1 cup sliced turkey kielbasa*
1 14.4 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 pound sliced okra
1/2 cup sliced scallions*
shredded meat of one chicken
1 pound Andouille or Louisiana hot sausage*
8 cups chicken stock*
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley*
2 teaspoons Angel Dust Seasoning (recipe follows)
1 pound shrimp
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley*

 
·        Heat the Olive Oil and sauté the onion, garlic, peppers, and celery until softened.
·        In a large, heavy stock pot heat the vegetable Oil, add the flour and stir until deep brown. This could take half an hour. Keep stirring or hire a neighbor kid to do it.
·        Add the ham, tomatoes, okra, scallions, chicken and stir to coat with the roux.
·        Add the stock and seasoning. Bring to a simmer.
·        Simmer for at least one half hour, Mother Pearce simmers for two hours, stirring often.
·        Add the shrimp and simmer until shrimp is cooked through.
·        Add parsley
·        Ladle over steamed white rice.
 
Jambagumboffee terms unscrambled:
 
Think of jambalaya as a distant relative of paella. It's got protein and vegetables (sometimes tomatoes, sometimes not), with rice and stock later simmered together or combined before serving. In contrast, gumbo — a mix of vegetables and meat or shellfish with thickened stock — is thinner and served as a soup alongside rice that's cooked separately.
Different from gumbo (which is considered a soup), étouffée  is a main course, made of one type of shellfish (crawfish or shrimp, for instance) that's been smothered in a thick sauce and sometimes served ladled over rice.
It is said that a Creole feeds one family with three chickens and a Cajun feeds three families with one chicken. Another major difference between Creole and Cajun food is in the type of roux used as the base of sauces, stews, soups, and other savory dishes. Creole roux is made from butter and flour (as in France), while Cajun roux is made from lard or oil and flour. Gumbo is perhaps the signature dish of both cuisines. Creole gumbo has a tomato base and is more of a soup, while Cajun gumbo has a roux base and is more of a stew.
 
ROO, RUE, ROUX
 
A ROUX an equal (BY WEIGHT) mixture of starch (flour) and fat (butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, bacon fat…). When liquid (stock, milk, water…) is added with heat, the starch particles swell and burst, thickening the liquid. The darker the roux, the less thickening power it has. One ounce of blond roux has the thickening power of 4 ounces of brick roux.
Here are general guidelines for thickening 1 gallon of liquid with a roux. This is a weight measurement.
·        For a thin sauce 12oz roux (6oz fat + 6oz flour)
·        For a medium sauce 16oz roux (8oz fat +8oz flour)
·        For a thick sauce 24oz roux (12oz fat + 12oz flour)
 
To scale down the amount: 1 gallon = 16 cups SO; 1 cup liquid is thickened with .75 oz. or 1 1/2 tablespoons for thin or 1.5 oz or 3 tablespoons for thick sauce.
 
White Roux is achieved when the flour has cooked enough to be rid of the 'floury' taste. This roux is the most powerful of thickeners.
Blond Roux is considered a 'medium' roux, many Creole dishes use a blond roux as a base.
Peanut Butter Roux is also thought of as a 'medium' roux, Classic Cajun cuisine will sometimes use a blond roux, but many of the distinctive flavors of Cajun dishes come from the incredible nutty, smokey flavors found in a peanut butter roux.
Chocolate Roux, Dark Chocolate Roux Keep stirring a medium roux over low heat, and the color will continue to deepen, as will the flavors. While roux that are 'dark' - such as the chocolate and brick roux, have more distinct flavors, it's not always what you are looking to achieve.
Brick Roux The richest, most distinct flavoring agent, a brick roux has lost much of the thickening power it started with. What is has traded for is FLAVOR. There is nothing like it. Brick roux is one small step from burnt roux, and if you burn it, start over. There's no way to salvage it.
 
CREOLE CAESAR SALAD
Serves 6
 
2 cups cubed dried French or Italian white bread
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Angel Dust Cajun Seasoning (recipe below)
1 anchovy fillet
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 large egg (coddled)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Creole mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon water
1/8 teaspoon Angel Dust Cajun Seasoning
Pinch black pepper
pinch kosher salt
1 pound romaine lettuce, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
Grated Parmesan cheese
CROUTONS
·        Preheat oven to 400 degrees
·        Toss bread cubed and oil, sprinkle Cajun Season and toss again
·        Place onto sheet pan and toast in oven, tossing occasionally, until crispy brown
DRESSING
·        Place anchovy and garlic into a food processor, pulse several times.
·        Add the egg and with motor running, slowing add the oils.
·        Add cheese, mustard, lemon and lime juices, water, Cajun seasoning, pepper, and salt; process briefly until emulsified.
SALAD
·        Toss romaine with the dressing, approximately 3 tablespoons per serving.
·        Top with croutons and additional cheese.
 
 
 
 
 
ANGEL DUST CAJUN SEASONING
Yield: 1/2 cup

3 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
5 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder

·        combine all ingredients. Store in airtight container.
 
BOURBON BREAD PUDDING
Serves 10
 

1 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup bourbon
16 cups cubed day-old challah or any rich egg bread
4 oz. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
4 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg        
8 large eggs, beaten
hot water
 

 
·        Soak the cherries in the bourbon for at least 1/2 hour
·        Place the bread cubes in a 9x13 baking dish, that has been buttered.
·        Drizzle the butter over the bread cubes.
·        Mix 1/2 cup sugar a 1 teaspoon cinnamon together and sprinkle over the bread, tossing to coat.
·        Heat the cream, 1 cup sugar, vanilla vinegar, nutmeg, and remaining cinnamon over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
·        Combine the eggs with warm cream slowly, whisking constantly.
·        Pour the cream over the bread and allow to stand for 1 hour, or overnight in the refrigerator.
·        Preheat oven to 350
·        Place the bread pudding dish into a larger pan and place in the oven.
·        Pour hot water into the baking pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the dish.
·        Bake 55 to 60 minutes, or until center is set..
·        Remove from oven and cool still in the hot water.
 
Top with whipped cream or a caramel sauce.
 
Ready? GO!

 

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