It’s Chili, Chowder, or Stew Saturday – Chicken Gumbo SATURDAY

February 22, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in chicken, Diabetes Self Management, gumbo, It's Chili Soups or Stews Saturday | Leave a comment
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This week’s It’s Chili, Chowder, or Stew Saturday Recipe is a Chicken Gumbo. You’ll be needing Cooked and Diced Chicken Breast, Okra, 1 can No Sodium Diced Tomatoes, Onion, Garlic, Salt and Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Reduced Sodium Fat Free Chicken Broth, and Brown Rice. It’s Gumbo time! The recipe is from the Diabetes Self Management website where you can find a huge selection of Diabetic Friendly Recipes, Diabetes News, Diabetes Management Tips, and more! You can also subscribe to the Diabetes Self Management Magazine. Each issue is packed with Diabetes News and Diabetic Friendly Recipes. I’ve left a link to subscribe at the end of the post. Enjoy and Eat Healthy in 2020! https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/

Chicken Gumbo
Ingredients
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45–55 minutes.

Cooking spray
3/4 pound fresh okra or frozen, thawed okra, cut in 1/2-inch slices
1 tablespoon corn oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon (or 1 clove) minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) 50%-reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 cup water
1 pound cooked, diced, chicken breast (for convenience, thaw fully-cooked, frozen, diced chicken, such as Tyson)
3 2/3 cups cooked hot brown rice

Directions
Yield: 11 servings
Serving size: 1 cup gumbo over 1/3 cup rice

* Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray, warm over medium heat, add okra, and cook until slightly softened, about 6–8 minutes. Remove okra to a plate and set aside. Add oil to the skillet and warm over medium-high heat. Gradually add flour, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring until the flour-oil mixture turns golden brown, about 3–5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high then stir in tomatoes, onion, garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Cook until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile combine broth and water in a stockpot, cover, and warm over medium heat. Stir tomato mixture into hot broth, mixing well. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and stir in okra and chicken. Cover and simmer 30–40 minutes. Serve 1 cup gumbo over 1/3 cup cooked rice.

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 163 calories, Carbohydrates: 22 g, Protein: 12 g, Fat: 3 g, Saturated Fat: <1 g, Cholesterol: 22 mg, Sodium: 391 mg, Fiber: 3 g
https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/recipes/main-dishes/chicken-gumbo/

 

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Buffalo 5oz. Petite Top Sirloin w/ Fried Okra and Cut Green Beans

January 25, 2020 at 6:41 PM | Posted in Wild Idea Buffalo | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Buffalo 5oz. Petite Top Sirloin w/ Fried Okra and Cut Green Beans

 

 

 

For Breakfast this morning I just had a cup of Bigelow Decaf Green Tea. Light rain and snow showers out today, high of 37 degrees. After lunch I went to the post office, then by the bank to the ATM, and then stopped and got gas. Cleaned and straightened the fridge and pantry. Just trying to find stuff to do to stay busy. For Dinner tonight a Buffalo 5oz. Petite Top Sirloin w/ Fried Okra and Cut Green Beans.

 

 

 

 

I’ll be using the Wild Idea Buffalo Petite Top Sirloin Steak (5 oz.). To prepare the Steak; I rubbed the Steak with a 1 teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Then seasoned it with McCormick’s Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn. As the Steak rested I preheated the oven on 400 degrees and heated up a small Cast Iron Skillet on medium heat. When the skillet was heated I added my Buffalo Sirloin, I cooked it 1 minute per side. Then moved the skillet to the oven and cooked it another 5 minutes to a beautiful Medium Rare! The Wild Idea Buffalo Steaks are just incredible. So tender and juicy and the best flavor of any Steak, Beef or Buffalo, I’ve ever had.

 

Well this is a first, I’m having Fried Okra. I’ve had Okra in Gumbo but never on its own, until tonight! Mom said it had been forever since she had some so I thought I would give it a try. I bought a package at Meijer. I found many recipes for it online. I combined a few of them and came up with this recipe for Fried Okra. I’ll be needing fresh Okra (cut into 1/4 or 1/2 inch slices), Cornmeal, Flour, Cayenne Pepper, Black Pepper, Sea Salt, Egg, Low Fat Buttermilk, and Extra Light Olive Oil. I’ll be preparing them in a small Dutch Oven. To prepare it; Heat about 2 inches of Olive Oil in a small Dutch Oven, to about 350 F. As the skillet was heating, using a pie pan, whisk together the Cornmeal, Flour, Cayenne, Black Pepper, and Salt. Then in another bowl, beat the egg into the buttermilk. Next I dipped the Okra slices in the Buttermilk, then the cornmeal mix, tossing to coat. Added the Okra slices to the hot oil and cooked until Golden Brown. After they turned Golden Brown I removed them to a paper towel lined plate, to drain on paper the towels, added a sprinkle of the Sea Salt and served. Well Okra has a new fan! I really enjoyed these and can’t wait to have them again!

 

I also opened up a can of Del Monte Cut Green Beans. I heated them up in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Stirred often until heated, then served.I also baked a slice of the New York Bakery Light Texas Toast. For Dessert/Snack later a 100 Calorie Mini Bag of Snyder’s of Hanover Stick Pretzels along with a Sprite Zero to drink.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wild Idea Buffalo – 5 oz. Petite Top Sirloin Steak

Famous for their flavor, these juicy steaks are perfect for the grill. The steaks are cut from the middle and upper part of the primal sirloin and their smaller size makes a great meal for one. 5 oz.
https://wildideabuffalo.com/collections/steaks/products/petite-top-sirloin-steaks

 

 

 

 

 

Okra sliced

Okra…………

Okra the Superfood. Okra looks like a ridged pepper, but actually belongs to the same plant family as hibiscus and cotton. … It is also a good source of potassium and calcium and is high in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C. The oil from okra is high in good fat (unsaturated) such as oleic and linoleic acids.
Okra is a nutritious food with many health benefits. It’s rich in magnesium, folate, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C, K1, and A. Okra may benefit pregnant women, heart health, and blood sugar control. It may even have anticancer properties.

Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week – BUFFALO GUMBO

January 1, 2020 at 9:19 AM | Posted in Wild Idea Buffalo | 1 Comment
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This week’s Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week is BUFFALO GUMBO. Gumbo is delicious so many ways and using different ingredients, and here’s another using Wild Idea BUFFALO ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE. Also there’s a description of the BUFFALO ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE along with a web link back to the ordering page for the Sausage.You can find this recipe along with all the other delicious and healthy recipes and order any of the Wild Idea Products. Enjoy and Eat Healthy in 2020! https://wildideabuffalo.com/

 

BUFFALO GUMBO
Ingredients: (serves 8)
1 – Tb. olive oil
1 – lb. organic chicken, pheasant, or grouse, cut into bite size pieces
1 – cup onion, diced
4 – celery stalks – sliced
1 – green or red pepper – diced
3 – clove garlic – chopped
1 – tsp. black pepper
2 – tsp. salt
2 – tsp. paprika
1 – tsp. oregano
½ – tsp. thyme
½ – tsp. cayenne *optional
2 – Tb. olive oil
¼ – cup flour
2 – quarts organic chicken broth
2 – cups tomatoes, diced with juices
1 – 14 oz. Buffalo Andouille Sausage, cut into 1” slices on the bias
12 – Shrimp, peeled & deveined
½ – lb. Okra, fresh or frozen, sliced *optional lightly brown in butter
¼ – cup chopped parsley

Ingredients:
1.) In heavy soup pot over medium high heat, heat 1 Tb. oil. Add fowl of choice, sauté to slightly brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
2.) Add vegetables and stir to incorporate, along with all dry spices and cook until tender and slightly browned. Transpose meat and vegetables from pot to other bowl, cover and set aside.
3.) Return pot to low heat and add additional oil and flour, whisking to incorporate. Increase heat to medium, whisking constantly until roux is dark brown. About 15 minutes.
4.) Add meat, vegetables and any juices that have accumulated in bowl back to kettle, stirring to incorporate.
5.) Add, organic chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a low and simmer for 1 hour uncovered, stirring occasionally. *(Optional: Remove from heat, cool & refrigerate. Remove oil from top before reheating. Reheat over med high, bringing to a boil.)
6.) Increase heat to medium. Add tomatoes, and Buffalo Andouille, stir to incorporate and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
7.) Add shrimp and, cook for 5 minutes.
8.) Add Okra and cook until heated through.
9.) Stir in chopped parsley before serving.
Season to taste. To serve, place a medium scoop of sticky sushi rice or brown rice in center of shallow bowl, ladle Gumbo around rice and garnish with a parsley sprig.
An excellent make ahead and reheat dinner! The flavor just gets better!
https://wildideabuffalo.com/blogs/recipes/86982785-buffalo-gumbo

 

 

Wild Idea Buffalo – 12 OZ. BUFFALO ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE

Buffalo Andouille Sausage. We did our homework and tested many recipes until we landed on the perfect recipe. Coarse ground, seasoned with traditional Andouille spices, hand stuffed and lightly smoked true cajun flavor. Great on the grill as a brat, or use in soups, stews and casseroles. Jill’s recipe for Gumbo included with purchase.

Ingredients: 100% Grass-fed Buffalo, Water, “Free” Binder (Modified Potato Starch, Trehalose, Carrot Fiber) Sea Salt, Organic: Minced Onion, Minced Garlic, Smoked Paprika, Crushed Red Pepper, Cultured Celery Powder, Organic: Oregano, Black Pepper, Parsley. Encased in an Organic Pork Casing.

*All products are made without the use of added nitrites or nitrates, except for those naturally occurring in sea salt and celery powder.
https://wildideabuffalo.com/collections/brats-sausages-hot-dogs/products/14-oz-buffalo-andouille-sausage-14-oz

Healthy Cajun and Creole Recipes

October 8, 2019 at 6:01 AM | Posted in Eating Well | Leave a comment
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From the EatingWell website and Magazine its Healthy Cajun and Creole Recipes. Delicious and Healthy Cajun and Creole Recipes with recipes including Catfish and Sausage Jambalaya, Slow-Cooker Jambalaya, and Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya. Find these recipes and more all at the EatingWell website. Also don’t forget to subscribe to the EatingWell Magazine, packed full of delicious and healthy recipes in every issue! Enjoy and Make 2019 a Healthy One! http://www.eatingwell.com/

Healthy Cajun and Creole Recipes
Find healthy, delicious Cajun and Creole recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Catfish and Sausage Jambalaya
This catfish and sausage jambalaya recipe is one you might find in a neighborhood eatery in Creole country. Turkey sausage links have fewer calories and less fat than traditional pork sausage, but still deliver amazing taste to this dish……………….

Slow-Cooker Jambalaya
This hearty jambalaya is bursting with chicken, smoked turkey sausage, and shrimp. It takes just 25 minutes to prep in the morning and then your slow cooker will work its magic and deliver a tasty meal at the end of the day…………………

Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya
The slow cooker makes easy work of this healthy jambalaya featuring brown rice and plenty of veggies. If you don’t want to make your own seasoning, just skip Step 1 and use 1½ teaspoons purchased salt-free Cajun seasoning in Step 2……………………

* Click the link below to get all the Healthy Cajun and Creole Recipes
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/19698/cuisines-regions/usa/cajun-creole/

Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week – BUFFALO GUMBO

January 1, 2019 at 6:02 AM | Posted in Wild Idea Buffalo | Leave a comment
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This week’s Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week is BUFFALO GUMBO. Gumbo is delicious, especially when the weather turns colder. The recipe uses the Wild Idea Buffalo Andouille Sausage. Heat up these cold Winter days and nights with this week’s recipe of Buffalo Gumbo. You can find this recipe or purchase any of the Wild Idea Products at the Wild Idea Buffalo website. Enjoy and Eat Healthy in 2020! https://wildideabuffalo.com/

 

BUFFALO GUMBO
Ingredients: (serves 8)
1 – Tb. olive oil
1 – lb. organic chicken, pheasant, or grouse, cut into bite size pieces
1 – cup onion, diced
4 – celery stalks – sliced
1 – green or red pepper – diced
3 – clove garlic – chopped
1 – tsp. black pepper
2 – tsp. salt
2 – tsp. paprika
1 – tsp. oregano
½ – tsp. thyme
½ – tsp. cayenne *optional
2 – Tb. olive oil
¼ – cup flour
2 – quarts organic chicken broth
2 – cups tomatoes, diced with juices
1 – 14 oz. Buffalo Andouille Sausage, cut into 1” slices on the bias
12 – Shrimp, peeled & deveined
½ – lb. Okra, fresh or frozen, sliced *optional lightly brown in butter
¼ – cup chopped parsley

Ingredients:
1.) In heavy soup pot over medium high heat, heat 1 Tb. oil. Add fowl of choice, sauté to slightly brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
2.) Add vegetables and stir to incorporate, along with all dry spices and cook until tender and slightly browned. Transpose meat and vegetables from pot to other bowl, cover and set aside.
3.) Return pot to low heat and add additional oil and flour, whisking to incorporate. Increase heat to medium, whisking constantly until roux is dark brown. About 15 minutes.
4.) Add meat, vegetables and any juices that have accumulated in bowl back to kettle, stirring to incorporate.
5.) Add, organic chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a low and simmer for 1 hour uncovered, stirring occasionally. *(Optional: Remove from heat, cool & refrigerate. Remove oil from top before reheating. Reheat over med high, bringing to a boil.)
6.) Increase heat to medium. Add tomatoes, and Buffalo Andouille, stir to incorporate and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
7.) Add shrimp and, cook for 5 minutes.
8.) Add Okra and cook until heated through.
9.) Stir in chopped parsley before serving.
Season to taste. To serve, place a medium scoop of sticky sushi rice or brown rice in center of shallow bowl, ladle Gumbo around rice and garnish with a parsley sprig.

An excellent make ahead and reheat dinner! The flavor just gets better!
https://wildideabuffalo.com/blogs/recipes/86982785-buffalo-gumbo

 

 

 

Wild Idea Buffalo – 12 OZ. BUFFALO ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE

Buffalo Andouille Sausage. We did our homework and tested many recipes until we landed on the perfect recipe. Coarse ground, seasoned with traditional Andouille spices, hand stuffed and lightly smoked true cajun flavor. Great on the grill as a brat, or use in soups, stews and casseroles. Jill’s recipe for Gumbo included with purchase.

Ingredients: 100% Grass-fed Buffalo, Water, “Free” Binder (Modified Potato Starch, Trehalose, Carrot Fiber) Sea Salt, Organic: Minced Onion, Minced Garlic, Smoked Paprika, Crushed Red Pepper, Cultured Celery Powder, Organic: Oregano, Black Pepper, Parsley. Encased in an Organic Pork Casing.

*All products are made without the use of added nitrites or nitrates, except for those naturally occurring in sea salt and celery powder.
https://wildideabuffalo.com/collections/brats-sausages-hot-dogs/products/14-oz-buffalo-andouille-sausage-14-oz

It’s Chili, Chowder, or Stew Saturday – BUFFALO GUMBO

November 23, 2018 at 6:02 AM | Posted in It's Chili Soups or Stews Saturday, Wild Idea Buffalo | Leave a comment
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BUFFALO GUMBO
This week’s It’s Chili, Chowder, or Stew Saturday Recipe is BUFFALO GUMBO. Gumbo is delicious so many ways and using many different ingredients, and here’s another using Wild Idea BUFFALO ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE. Below I’ve left the recipe and instructions. Also there’s a description of the BUFFALO ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE along with a web link back to the ordering page for the Sausage.You can find this recipe along with all the other delicious and healthy recipes at the Wild Idea Buffalo website (https://wildideabuffalo.com/). You can also purchase any of the wild Idea Buffalo Products! So Enjoy and Eat Healthy in 2018!

BUFFALO GUMBO
Ingredients: (serves 8)
1 – Tb. olive oil
1 – lb. organic chicken, pheasant, or grouse, cut into bite size pieces
1 – cup onion, diced
4 – celery stalks – sliced
1 – green or red pepper – diced
3 – clove garlic – chopped
1 – tsp. black pepper
2 – tsp. salt
2 – tsp. paprika
1 – tsp. oregano
½ – tsp. thyme
½ – tsp. cayenne *optional
2 – Tb. olive oil
¼ – cup flour
2 – quarts organic chicken broth
2 – cups tomatoes, diced with juices
1 – 14 oz. Buffalo Andouille Sausage, cut into 1” slices on the bias
12 – Shrimp, peeled & deveined
½ – lb. Okra, fresh or frozen, sliced *optional lightly brown in butter
¼ – cup chopped parsley

Ingredients:
1.) In heavy soup pot over medium high heat, heat 1 Tb. oil. Add fowl of choice, sauté to slightly brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
2.) Add vegetables and stir to incorporate, along with all dry spices and cook until tender and slightly browned. Transpose meat and vegetables from pot to other bowl, cover and set aside.
3.) Return pot to low heat and add additional oil and flour, whisking to incorporate. Increase heat to medium, whisking constantly until roux is dark brown. About 15 minutes.
4.) Add meat, vegetables and any juices that have accumulated in bowl back to kettle, stirring to incorporate.
5.) Add, organic chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a low and simmer for 1 hour uncovered, stirring occasionally. *(Optional: Remove from heat, cool & refrigerate. Remove oil from top before reheating. Reheat over med high, bringing to a boil.)
6.) Increase heat to medium. Add tomatoes, and Buffalo Andouille, stir to incorporate and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
7.) Add shrimp and, cook for 5 minutes.
8.) Add Okra and cook until heated through.
9.) Stir in chopped parsley before serving.
Season to taste. To serve, place a medium scoop of sticky sushi rice or brown rice in center of shallow bowl, ladle Gumbo around rice and garnish with a parsley sprig.
An excellent make ahead and reheat dinner! The flavor just gets better!
https://wildideabuffalo.com/blogs/recipes/86982785-buffalo-gumbo

Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week – BUFFALO GUMBO

February 21, 2018 at 6:03 AM | Posted in Wild Idea Buffalo | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

This week’s Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week is BUFFALO GUMBO. Gumbo is delicious so many ways and using different ingredients, and here’s another using Wild Idea BUFFALO ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE. Below I’ve left the recipe and instructions. Also there’s a description of the BUFFALO ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE along with a web link back to the ordering page for the Sausage.You can find this recipe along with all the other delicious and healthy recipes at the Wild Idea Buffalo website (https://wildideabuffalo.com/). You can also purchase any of the wild Idea Buffalo Products! So Enjoy and Eat Healthy in 2018!

BUFFALO GUMBO
Ingredients: (serves 8)
1 – Tb. olive oil
1 – lb. organic chicken, pheasant, or grouse, cut into bite size pieces
1 – cup onion, diced
4 – celery stalks – sliced
1 – green or red pepper – diced
3 – clove garlic – chopped
1 – tsp. black pepper
2 – tsp. salt
2 – tsp. paprika
1 – tsp. oregano
½ – tsp. thyme
½ – tsp. cayenne *optional
2 – Tb. olive oil
¼ – cup flour
2 – quarts organic chicken broth
2 – cups tomatoes, diced with juices
1 – 14 oz. Buffalo Andouille Sausage, cut into 1” slices on the bias
12 – Shrimp, peeled & deveined
½ – lb. Okra, fresh or frozen, sliced *optional lightly brown in butter
¼ – cup chopped parsley

Ingredients:
1.) In heavy soup pot over medium high heat, heat 1 Tb. oil. Add fowl of choice, sauté to slightly brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
2.) Add vegetables and stir to incorporate, along with all dry spices and cook until tender and slightly browned. Transpose meat and vegetables from pot to other bowl, cover and set aside.
3.) Return pot to low heat and add additional oil and flour, whisking to incorporate. Increase heat to medium, whisking constantly until roux is dark brown. About 15 minutes.
4.) Add meat, vegetables and any juices that have accumulated in bowl back to kettle, stirring to incorporate.
5.) Add, organic chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a low and simmer for 1 hour uncovered, stirring occasionally. *(Optional: Remove from heat, cool & refrigerate. Remove oil from top before reheating. Reheat over med high, bringing to a boil.)
6.) Increase heat to medium. Add tomatoes, and Buffalo Andouille, stir to incorporate and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
7.) Add shrimp and, cook for 5 minutes.
8.) Add Okra and cook until heated through.
9.) Stir in chopped parsley before serving.
Season to taste. To serve, place a medium scoop of sticky sushi rice or brown rice in center of shallow bowl, ladle Gumbo around rice and garnish with a parsley sprig.
An excellent make ahead and reheat dinner! The flavor just gets better!
https://wildideabuffalo.com/blogs/recipes/86982785-buffalo-gumbo

 

 

Wild Idea Buffalo – 12 OZ. BUFFALO ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE

Buffalo Andouille Sausage. We did our homework and tested many recipes until we landed on the perfect recipe. Coarse ground, seasoned with traditional Andouille spices, hand stuffed and lightly smoked true cajun flavor. Great on the grill as a brat, or use in soups, stews and casseroles. Jill’s recipe for Gumbo included with purchase.

Ingredients: 100% Grass-fed Buffalo, Water, “Free” Binder (Modified Potato Starch, Trehalose, Carrot Fiber) Sea Salt, Organic: Minced Onion, Minced Garlic, Smoked Paprika, Crushed Red Pepper, Cultured Celery Powder, Organic: Oregano, Black Pepper, Parsley. Encased in an Organic Pork Casing.

*All products are made without the use of added nitrites or nitrates, except for those naturally occurring in sea salt and celery powder.
https://wildideabuffalo.com/collections/brats-sausages-hot-dogs/products/14-oz-buffalo-andouille-sausage-14-oz

One of America’s Favorites – Cajun Cuisine

October 30, 2017 at 5:36 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Po’ boy sandwiches are associated with the cuisine of New Orleans.

Cajun cuisine (French: Cuisine cadienne, [kɥizin kadʒæ̃n]) is a style of cooking named for the French-speaking Acadian people deported by the British from Acadia in Canada to the Acadiana region of Louisiana. It is what could be called a rustic cuisine; locally available ingredients predominate and preparation is simple.

An authentic Cajun meal is usually a three-pot affair, with one pot dedicated to the main dish, one dedicated to steamed rice, special made sausages, or some seafood dish, and the third containing whatever vegetable is plentiful or available. Shrimp and pork sausage are staple meats used in a variety of dishes.

The aromatic vegetables green bell pepper (poivron), onion, and celery are called the holy trinity by Cajun chefs in Cajun and Louisiana Creole cuisines. Roughly diced and combined in cooking, the method is similar to the use of the mirepoix in traditional French cuisine which blends roughly diced onion, celery and carrot. Characteristic aromatics for the Creole version may also include parsley, bay leaf, green onions, dried cayenne pepper, and dried black pepper.

Around 1755, Acadians were forced out of their settlements by the British, and as a result, they migrated in 1755 in what was called le Grand Dérangement, eventually settling in Southern Louisiana. Due to the extreme change in climate, Acadians were unable to cook their original dishes. Soon, their former culinary traditions were lost, and so, these other meals developed to become what is now considered classic Cajun cuisine traditions (not to be confused with the more modern concept associated with Prudhomme’s style). Up through the 20th century, the meals were not elaborate but instead, rather basic. The public’s false perception of “Cajun” cuisine was based on Prudhomme’s style of Cajun cooking, which was spicy, flavorful, and not true to the classic form of the cuisine. Cajun and Creole label have been mistaken to be the same, but the origins of Creole cooking began in New Orleans, and Cajun cooking came 40 years after the establishment of New Orleans down south on the bayou. Today, most restaurants serve dishes that consist of Cajun styles, which Paul Prudhomme dubbed “Louisiana cooking”.In home-cooking, these individual styles are still kept separate. However, there are fewer and fewer people cooking the classic Cajun dishes that would have been eaten by the original settlers.

Boudin that has been smoked

Primary Cajun Dishes Favorites
Boudin is a type of sausage made from pork, pork liver, rice, garlic, green onions and other spices. It is widely available by the link or pound from butcher shops. Boudin is typically stuffed in a natural casing and has a softer consistency than other, better-known sausage varieties. It is usually served with side dishes such as rice dressing, maque choux or bread. Boudin balls are commonly served in southern Louisiana restaurants and are made by taking the boudin out of the case and frying it in spherical form.

Gumbo – High on the list of favorites of Cajun cooking are the soups called gumbos. Contrary to non-Cajun or

Seafood gumbo

Continental beliefs, gumbo does not mean simply “everything in the pot”. Gumbo exemplifies the influence of French, Spanish, African and Native American food cultures on Cajun cuisine. The name originally meant okra, a word brought to the region from western Africa. Okra which can be one of the principal ingredients in gumbo recipes is used as a thickening agent and for its distinct vegetable flavor. Many claim that Gumbo is a “Cajun” dish, but Gumbo was established long before the Acadian arrival. Its early existence came via the early French Creole culture In New Orleans, Louisiana, where French, Spanish and Africans frequented and also influenced by later waves of Italian, German and Irish settlers.

A filé gumbo is thickened with dried sassafras leaves after the stew has finished cooking, a practice borrowed from the Choctaw Indians. The backbone of a gumbo is roux of which there are two variations: Cajun, a golden brown roux, and Creole, a dark roux, which is made of flour, toasted until well-browned, and fat or oil. The classic gumbo is made with chicken and the Cajun sausage called andouille, pronounced {ahn-doo-wee}, but the ingredients vary according to what is available.

Jambalaya – Another classic Cajun dish is jambalaya. The only certain thing that can be said about a jambalaya is that it contains rice, some sort of meat (such as chicken or beef), seafood (such as shrimp or crawfish) or almost anything else. Usually, however, one will find green peppers, onions, celery, tomatoes and hot chili peppers. Anything else is optional. This is also a great pre-Acadian dish, established by the Spanish in Louisiana.

Rice and gravy – Rice and gravy dishes are a staple of Cajun cuisine and is usually a brown gravy based on pan drippings, which are deglazed and simmered with extra seasonings and served over steamed or boiled rice. The dish is traditionally made from cheaper cuts of meat and cooked in a cast iron pot, typically for an extended time period in order to let the tough cuts of meat become tender. Beef, pork, chicken or any of a large variety of game meats are used for its preparation. Popular local varieties include hamburger steak, smothered rabbit, turkey necks, and chicken fricassee.

Cajun Cuisine Food as an event
Crawfish boil

Louisiana-style crawfish boil

Louisiana-style crawfish boil

The crawfish boil is a celebratory event where Cajuns boil crawfish, potatoes, onions and corn in large pots over propane cookers. Lemons and small muslin bags containing a mixture of bay leaves, mustard seeds, cayenne pepper and other spices, commonly known as “crab boil” or “crawfish boil” are added to the water for seasoning. The results are then dumped onto large, newspaper-draped tables and in some areas covered in Creole / Cajun spice blends, such as REX, Zatarain’s, Louisiana Fish Fry or Tony Chachere’s. Also, Cocktail sauce, mayonnaise and hot sauce are sometimes used. The seafood is scooped onto large trays or plates and eaten by hand. During times when crawfish are not abundant, shrimp and crabs are prepared and served in the same manner.

Attendees are encouraged to “suck the head” of a crawfish by separating the abdomen of the crustacean and sucking out the abdominal fat/juices.

Often, newcomers to the crawfish boil or those unfamiliar with the traditions are jokingly warned “not to eat the dead ones”. This comes from the common belief that when live crawfish are boiled, their tails curl beneath themselves, but when dead crawfish are boiled, their tails are straight and limp. Seafood boils with crabs and shrimp are also popular.

Family Boucherie

Cornbread is a staple Cajun starch

A traditional “boucherie” near Eunice
The traditional Cajun outdoor food event hosted by a farmer in the rural areas of the Acadiana. Family and friends of the farmer gather to socialize, play games, dance, drink, and have a copious meal consisting of hog and other dishes. Men have the task of slaughtering a hog, cutting it into usable parts, and cooking the main pork dishes while women have the task of making boudin.

Cochon de Lait
Similar to a family boucherie, the cochon de lait is a food event that revolves around pork but does not need to be hosted by a farmer. Traditionally, a suckling pig was purchased for the event, but in modern cochon de laits, adult pigs are used. Unlike the family boucherie, a hog is not butchered by the hosts and there are generally not as many guests or activities. The host and male guests have the task of roasting the pig while female guests bring side dishes.

Rural Mardi Gras
The traditional Cajun Mardi Gras (see: Courir de Mardi Gras) is a Mardi Gras celebration in rural Cajun Parishes. The tradition originated in the 18th century with the Cajuns of Louisiana, but it was abandoned in the early 20th century because of unwelcome violence associated with the event. In the early 1950s the tradition was revived in Mamou in Evangeline Parish.

The event revolves around male maskers on horseback who ride into the countryside to collect food ingredients for the party later on. They entertain householders with Cajun music, dancing, and festive antics in return for the ingredients. The preferred ingredient is a live chicken in which the householder throws the chicken to allow the maskers to chase it down (symbolizing a hunt), but other ingredients include rice, sausage, vegetables, or frozen chicken. Unlike other Cajun events, men take no part in cooking the main course for the party, and women prepare the chicken and ingredients for the gumbo.

Once the festivities begin, the Cajun community members eat and dance to Cajun music until midnight, as the beginning of Lent.

 

Soup Special of the Day…….Chicken Gumbo Soup

February 19, 2017 at 6:13 AM | Posted in soup, Soup Special of the Day | Leave a comment
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This week’s Soup Special of the day is Chicken Gumbo Soup.

 

Chicken Gumbo Soup

Ingredients
8 cups water
minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Frank’s Hot Sauce
2 carrots, sliced thin
4 ounces fresh mushrooms
1 (10 ounce) package frozen okra, thawed and sliced
1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half – cut into cubes (Perdue Perfect Portions Chicken Breasts)
1 1/2 cups uncooked whole grain rotini pasta
sea salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Directions
1 – Bring the water to a boil. Add the minced fresh parsley, garlic powder, cumin and the hot pepper sauce. Put the carrots and mushrooms into the pot of water. Cook for five minutes.
2 – Add the okra, wild rice, and chicken cubes. Turn heat to low, and cook for three hours.
3 – Add the spiral pasta, and cook for ten minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, garnished with green onions.

One of America’s Favorites – Gumbo

February 6, 2017 at 6:17 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A bowl of shrimp, chicken and bacon gumbo, served over rice

A bowl of shrimp, chicken and bacon gumbo, served over rice

Gumbo is a stew that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century. It consists primarily of a strongly-flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and what Louisianians call the “Holy Trinity” of vegetables, namely celery, bell peppers, and onions. Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used, the vegetable okra, the Choctaw spice filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), or roux, the French base made of flour and fat. The dish likely derived its name from either a word from a Bantu language for okra (ki ngombo) or the Choctaw word for filé (kombo).

Several different varieties exist. Creole gumbo generally contains shellfish, tomatoes, and a dark roux, file, or both. Cajun gumbo is generally based on a dark roux and is made with shellfish or fowl. Sausage or ham is often added to gumbos of either variety. After the base is prepared, vegetables are cooked down, and then meat is added. The dish simmers for a minimum of three hours, with shellfish and some spices added near the end. If desired, filé powder is added after the pot is removed from heat. Gumbo is traditionally served over rice. A third, lesser-known variety, the meatless gumbo z’herbes, is essentially a gumbo of slow-cooked greens sometimes thickened with roux, with rice served on the side.

The dish combines ingredients and culinary practices of several cultures, including French, Spanish, German, West African, and Choctaw. Gumbo may have been based on traditional West African or native dishes, or may be a derivation of the French dish bouillabaisse. It was first described in 1802, and was listed in various cookbooks in the latter half of the 19th century. The dish gained more widespread popularity in the 1970s, after the United States Senate cafeteria added it to the menu in honor of Louisiana Senator Allen Ellender. The popularity of chef Paul Prudhomme in the 1980s spurred further interest in gumbo. The dish is the official cuisine of the state of Louisiana.
Gumbo is a heavily seasoned soup or stew that combines several varieties of meat or seafood with a sauce or gravy. Any combination of meat or seafood can be used. Meat-based gumbo may consist of chicken, duck, squirrel, or rabbit, with oysters occasionally added. Seafood-based gumbo generally has shrimp, crabmeat, and sometimes oysters. Andouille sausage is often added to both meat and seafood gumbos to provide “piquancy, substance, and an additional layer of flavor” to the dish. With the exception of sausage and ham, beef and pork are almost never used. Most varieties of gumbo are seasoned with onions, parsley, bell pepper, and celery. Tomatoes are sometimes used in seafood gumbo, but traditionally few other vegetables are included.

 

Thickeners
Gumbo broth or gravy derives from three primary thickeners: okra, filé powder, and roux. Traditionally, okra and filé powder are not used in the same dish, although this rule is sometimes broken. Roux can be used alone or in conjunction with either of the other thickeners.

Okra is more often used as a thickener in seafood gumbos than those with meat. This mucilaginous vegetable is

Okra pods

Okra pods

usually cooked first, and other ingredients added once the desired consistency is reached. According to The Oxford Companion to Food, okra-based gumbos are becoming less popular, as changing tastes have made the okra texture less palatable.

Ground sassafras leaf, known as filé, is generally not added to the gravy until after the vegetables and meats or seafood have finished cooking and have been removed from the heat source. If added during the boiling process, filé makes the gumbo too ropey; when added at the end, the gumbo gains a slightly stringy texture.

Roux has become the most popular thickener, made from cooking together a roughly equal proportion of flour and fat (traditionally hog lard, although increasingly made with butter since the mid-20th century. The length of cooking time determines the final flavor and texture, since the longer the roux is cooked before being added to the gumbo, the darker it becomes and the less thickening power it retains. A very dark roux provides a much thinner sauce with a more intense flavor than a light roux.
Cajun vs. Creole gumbo

Creole seafood gumbo

Creole seafood gumbo

Gumbo is typically divided into two varieties. Combinations traditionally common in New Orleans and southeastern Louisiana are known as “Creole” after the Louisiana Creole people, descendants of French and Spanish settlers, who lived in those areas. “Cajun” combinations were common in southwestern Louisiana, which was populated primarily by Cajuns, descendants of the French-speaking settlers expelled from Acadia (located within the modern-day Canadian provinces of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) in the mid-18th century.

Gumbo is usually identified by its dark roux, cooked until it is a color “a few shades from burning”. The roux is used with okra or filé powder. Seafood is popular in gumbo the closer to the water the people are, but the southwestern areas of Louisiana often use fowl, such as chicken or duck, and sausage.[8][9] The fowl is generally not deboned, and onions, celery, and bell pepper are not strained out of the dish. Cajun gumbo is usually topped with parsley and green onions.

Creole gumbo most often consists of seafood, tomatoes, and a thickener. Before the latter half of the 20th century, celery was rarely used in Creole gumbo.
Gumbo is cooked for a minimum of three hours, and often simmers all day. Meat (but not seafood) is often browned beforehand and removed from the heat. Okra and roux are cooked before other vegetables and seafood. Okra is removed from heat when it reaches the desired consistency, while roux remains in the pot. Seasoning vegetables are then added to the sauce. When these have turned to mush (more commonly called cooked down), the meat and okra are added to the pot along with water and/or stock, then boiled uncovered until the desired tenderness of the meat is reached. Seasonings, including red, black, and white pepper, bay leaves, thyme, hot sauce, and salt, are added to taste. According to Nobles, “proper seasoning of gumbo is essential, and in Louisiana adding just the right zing is considered an art”. Because seafood cooks fairly quickly, it is not added to the pot until the end of the process. As the gumbo finishes cooking, green onions and parsley are sometimes sprinkled on it. When desired, filé powder is added last.

Creole and Cajun gumbos are served over hot rice, which helps the dish to feed a larger number of people. Gumbo

Cajun seafood gumbo

Cajun seafood gumbo

z’herbes is served with rice on the side. Gumbo is almost always served directly from the pot on the stove, although in wealthier or fancier homes the dish might be transferred to a tureen on the table. Often, gumbo and bread are the sole courses in a meal, although many Cajun families provide a side dish of potato salad. Occasionally, gumbo is served as part of a larger menu.

Soniat gives examples of the main types of creole gumbos, along with descriptions of family traditions about them.

 

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