Category Archives: recipes

Cajun Shrimp Chowder

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IMG_2834I have made this for both of my sons’ wedding receptions, plus for other events and always get asked for the recipe. The thing is, I don’t have one. But here is what I do. (The pictures are when I made it for a mission’s team of 75.)

First, here are the ingredients:

IMG_2828Hashbrowns, I used hashbrown patties that I purchased from a restaurant supply store and since they were frozen, I was thawing them in the oven. If you are making it for a smaller group you could chop and boil some new red potatoes, or use hashbrowns that are not patties : ) How much hashbrowns? Well, I’m not sure. I just eyeball it.

IMG_2830Shrimp, small is best and they have to be peeled, obviously. The size that would fit on a spoon. The slash through the number on this box indicates the number of shrimp in a pound. Thaw them too.

Seasoning mix. (See my crawfish recipe.) And minced garlic.

Frozen corn kernels. One bag for a small batch and go from there.

Seasonings:  Tony’s, kosher salt, cracked black pepper, hot sauce, dried or fresh parsley, dried thyme (this is a must!)

Butter, Whipping Cream, or whipping cream with half and half, or just half and half, and chicken broth. (I use the chicken base that you can buy at Sam’s. Not the squares with MSG.) Whipping cream can be expensive, so when I make it for a large group I use half and half with the chicken broth.

Second, here is how to put it together:

In a heavy pot (pick a size of pot that you think will feed the number of people you are serving), put a chunk of butter, real butter. Again I eyeball it. Over medium heat add the seasoning mix, I put in enough to cover the bottom of the pan, and cook until soft. Add a bunch of minced garlic. Cook for one more minute. Add the cream to the depth of one-third of the pot and a  couple of cups of chicken broth. Stir and bring to a boil. Add seasonings to taste. I usually make two passes of Tony’s across the pan and back, couple of dashes of hot sauce, salt and pepper, parsley and then maybe a teaspoon (or two depending of number of servings) of thyme that I rub between my palms before putting in pan. IMG_2831Now add the hashbrowns and a package of corn and cook until they are soft. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Now add the shrimp. 5 pounds of shrimp is good for 50 people. You can use more or use less. If you find it isn’t thick enough, add some cornstarch to some chicken broth and add to the pot and cook until thick. And it’s good to go. It really is easy to make and everyone who likes shrimp loves it! I always serve this as a first course but it is great as a main course too. I bet it would be good in a bread bowl. Or maybe throw in some bacon? Definitely bacon. I think I’ll try that next time : )

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Sunday Pot Roast

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This recipe is really, really good. Like slap yo’ mama good. And it’s doubly good after church, with mashed potatoes or rice or noodles. Whatever you like. You will need to marinate the roast the day before. Buy a 6-8 pound piece of beef, I get whatever is on sale. Since you are marinating it, you won’t need an expensive cut because the marinade will tenderize it. Now what I do, is cut the roast in half horizontally. It will cook faster, plus there is more surface area to absorb the flavors. Combine the following ingredients for the marinade:

I cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. minced garlic, or just dump some in
1/4 cup prepared mustard (this helps bind the oil and lemon juice together)
1 Tbsp. ground pepper, coarse ground is the best, and yes that is one tablespoon : )

Coat both sides of meat with the marinade and place in ziploc bag, then pour the rest of the marinade over. Seal and chill for 24-48 hours, turning occasionally. Or not, sometimes I forget.

Remove the meat and place in a roasting pan (discard the marinade).  Sprinkle the roast with one chopped onion and add two cups of beef broth. Can sprinkle with creole seasoning. Cover with the lid. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 50 minutes. Or place in crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. You could also cook it at 325 degrees while you are getting ready for church and then before you leave the house put the oven down to 275 or 250 depending on how long you will be gone : ) If you want to add carrots and potatoes, add some more beef broth and sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper.

Don’t be surprised if your family asks for it again the following Sunday!

And here’s one more way I save time on Sundays; I peel my potatoes on Saturday and place them in the pot covered with water. In the morning I boil them until they are soft, add butter and sour cream, salt & pepper. Put lid back on. When the butter is melted, mash and then just heat up when you are ready to eat!

Pasta Jambalaya Recipe

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So I made my version of pasta jambalaya tonight for one of the many missions teams that have blessed our church since Katrina. I don’t know how many times I’ve made it or how many teams have eaten it, but everyone likes it, and for all of you who asked for the recipe, here it is. This will make enough for 20 people.

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Start with 1/4 cup butter. Melt in a big pan. I use a heavy roaster that I put on two burners. Add a bag of seasoning mix, (a frozen vegetable mixture of the holy trinity: celery, onion and green pepper with some parsley) and cook till soft over medium heat. If you can’t find seasoning mix, use one onion, one green pepper and a couple stalks of celery. That should do.

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Now add some smoked sausage. I like Manda brand, but put in whatever you like. Two pounds should do, or more if you like sausage or less. I actually don’t know how much I put in. I had cut up 10 pounds because I buy big packages and just put some in the pan till it looked right to me. Cook this some more, till the sausage has browned. Now add minced garlic. I’ve never had anyone say I added too much garlic. So just put a couple of big spoonfuls in. I read it’s suppose to be good for you. Fry an additional minute. Add the meat that you removed from a rotisserie chicken. Doesn’t matter what flavor, traditional, bbq, lemon pepper. They all taste good in the jambalaya. Add two quarts of whipping cream. If you are watching calories and/or fat content, you can substitute milk or half and half, just mix in some cornstarch in with the cold liquid to thicken the sauce. I will use milk when I am cooking this for 100 people, cause whipping cream gets too expensive!

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Add two tablespoons of chicken base, sprinkle Tony’s, kosher salt and black pepper over the mix, splash some hot sauce in, and take a teaspoon of thyme, rub it between your fingers and add to the pot. Stir. Taste. Always taste. If it tastes good to you, let it simmer while you cook pasta. Bowtie or penne works well. Add the pasta to the pot, mix well, sprinkle some parsley and that’s it. We had it tonight with rolls and fried catfish.

Here is the list of ingredients:

1/4 cup butter

Frozen package of seasoning mix

Garlic

Rotisserie chicken

Two pounds sausage

Thyme, black pepper, kosher salt, hot sauce, creole seasoning (we’re pretty loyal to Tony’s)

Two quarts whipping cream

Chicken base

Fresh minced parsley or dried

Two pounds of pasta, penne or bowtie

Enjoy!

crawfish etouffee (ay-too-fay)

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crawfish etouffee (ay-too-fay)

This recipe was given to me by my dear MIL. It’s simple, great for company served with a green salad and french bread. Of course Louisiana crawfish is the best, especially leftovers from a boil, but I usually use Bernard’s found in the frozen seafood section.

Start with a heavy pot, I love my Magnalite. Add some butter. Depends on how rich you want it. Anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 a cup. Add a package of seasoning mix. IMG_1936

Found in the frozen vegetables. Btw, grab a couple of these because it is the base of pretty much all creole/cajun dishes. Nicknamed the holy trinity. If you can’t find it, that would be very sad. You would have to chop up some celery, green pepper, and onion.  One onion, a couple of stalks of celery and a green pepper chopped fine should do.  Cook over medium heat till soft. Add some chopped garlic. I buy a big jar from Sams and just dump some in. I’ve never dumped too much in and besides garlic is good for you. Cook for five minutes or so. Add a can of mushroom soup. I prefer Campbells. Or you can make a cream soup base yourself. But that won’t be as easy. Mix it up and then add your seasoningsIMG_1668Tony Chachere’s, Louisiana hot sauce, kosher salt, cracked black pepper, a few red pepper flakes. Start with a little then taste. Chopped fresh parsley would be better but dried will do in a pinch.  Also taste your cooking as you go along. No, I didn’t add the soul seasoning, I just thought it would be fun to add in the picture.

Now add the crawfish! IMG_1669

I also add some water to the bag, swish it around and dump in the pan to get all the goodness into the etouffee.  If you have it, add some whipping cream, for added richness. Reduce temperature to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. you’re done! Serve over rice or fried catfish. Fried catfish would be really good and take it over the top. Which is what I did, of course.IMG_1670Serves 4-5.  Bon Appetit!

If you have any questions, just ask!