The Next Best Thing To Being In New Orleans

The Next Best Thing To Being In New Orleans

The next best thing to being in New Orleans is cooking your favorite creole cuisine at home. Grillades and Grits is New Orleans quintessential choice for breakfast or brunch. Grillades and Grits, pronounced “gree-yahds”, are medallions of various meats, usually veal or pork. They are slow-cooked in a tomato gravy, the “trinity”(onions, celery and green pepper) plus plenty of garlic. Smooth, rich, cheesy grits and fluffy biscuits are the perfect sides.Grillades and Grits

Grillades and Grits:

  1. Cut the meat into medallions.
  2. Pound flat.
  3. Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  4. Dredge with flour.
  5. In a heavy-bottom skillet, brown the medallions. Set aside.
  6. Sauté the “trinity”, onions, bell pepper, and celery, add 1 tablespoon minced garlic.
  7. Add homemade beef stock. 
  8. Add the browned medallions and bay leaves.
  9. Simmer for 1 hour.
  10. Cook the cheese grits.
  11. Remove the bay leaves.
  12. Serve with cheese grits and crusty French bread.

Grillades and Grits are a popular dish at Mr. B’s in the French Quarter. 

The next best thing to being in New Orleans . . . make some Grillades and Grits for supper tonight!

Grillades and Grits

A classic brunch dish in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Enriched with creole flavors this is comfort food at its best!

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds veal round steak, about 1/2" thick
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 t. thyme
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. dried basil
  • 1 bunch green onions, green part only, chopped
  • 3 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped

Baked cheese grits

Instructions

  1. Combine the salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Set aside.

  2. Cut the meat into 2" squares. With a mallet, pound each piece of meat until slightly flattened.

    Sprinkle with seasoning mix and dredge in the flour. Shake off excess flour. Turn pieces of meat over and repeat the process.

  3. In a large cast-iron pot or enameled cast-iron, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the meat several pieces at a time and brown evenly on both sides, being careful not to overcrowd. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate. When all of the meat is browned, set aside.

  4. Remove any burnt drippings from the pan, add the oil. When hot, add the onions, bell pepper and celery, cook, stirring occasionally, in oil until vegetables are wilted, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 4 to 6 minutes.

  5. Return the browned meat to the large heavy pot, add the beef broth, sautéd vegetables, wine, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and basil.

    Reduce heat to a medium, simmer partially covered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally.

  6. Meanwhile, cook the cheese grits.

  7. When ready to serve, remove the bay leaves, add the green onions and parsley.

    Taste. Add seasonings if necessary.

  8. Serve with cheese grits and biscuits.

Drapes Are Beautiful Inside And Out

Drapes Are Beautiful Inside And Out

Drapes are beautiful inside and out.

During our uncertain times, families are focused on building spaces that bring comfort and improve everyday quality of life. Before the coronavirus pandemic, everyone wanted patio spaces that would work for entertaining. Our needs have changed. Work spaces and living spaces are our top priorities. 

Now is the moment to take stock of our outdoor patios and porches. What items need to be replaced? Most likely, it is our furniture cushions.

Here’s a crazy idea . . . cover them with drapery textiles. You know, the living room drapes that you are thinking about replacing anyway. Combine these two ideas into one. Find a local seamstress or sew them, either way, before you now it, beautiful new cushions will emerge and the warm textiles will embellish your patio. Now, add a some throw pillows, blankets, lighting, and outdoor heaters. You will be ready for daily living as well as Covid-19 style outdoor entertaining!

#RepurposedTextiles for the lounge

Established in 1958, family-owned, Childress Fabrics for the pillow fabrics!

Before . . . Sustainable living

After . . . Draperies Are Beautiful Inside And Out

  • Close up photo of the patio lounges with new cushion covers and pillowsUpcycle drapesDrapes are beautiful inside and out!
Happy National Pasta Day!

Happy National Pasta Day!

Happy National Pasta Day! 

Surprisingly, homemade pasta is easy to make.Homemade Pasta

Four Simple Ingredients:

  1. Flour
  2. Eggs
  3. Olive oil
  4. Salt

Equipment:

Happy National Pasta Day!

Pasta

A delicious pasta, takes about 30 minutes to make it and some time for resting. Serve with delicious butter/sage sauce.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 t. olive oil

Butter/sage sauce: 5 T. salted butter, 2 T. minced fresh sage, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and salt & freshly grated pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. On a large work surface, pour the flour and salt into a mound. Blend together with a fork and make a well in the center. Add the eggs, egg yolks and olive oil to the center of the well. Beat the eggs with a fork, working in a circular motion, gradually blend the ingredients together. Be careful that the liquid egg doesn't run out of the well. Once the egg is incorporated into the dry ingredients, knead briefly. Leave the dough to rest, covered, for 30 minutes to one hour.

  2. Dust the work surface lightly with flour. Roll out the dough, pushing it away from you, turning occasionally. Try to keep it rectangular. Roll out to 1/8" thick and about 24" in diameter. Place a clean tea towel over the back of a chair, drape the dough over the towel. Let it dry for 30 to 45 minutes.

  3. On a work surface, roll the dough up into a flat roll. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into strips 1/4" wide. Gently toss and unroll the strips. Set aside for a few minutes.

  4. Bring a pan of water to a boil. Add the noodles and salt. Stir immediately with a wooden spoon. Cook until just al dente. Drain. Toss with butter/sage sauce.

  5. Toss with brown butter/sage sauce. Add Parmesan cheese and freshly grated black pepper.

Butter/sage sauce: In a large skillet, melt the butter, add the sage. Set aside while the pasta cooks. Add the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with the salt and pepper. When the pasta is cooked, add it to the pan and toss.

 

 

 

It Is Patio Season

It Is Patio Season

It is patio season! Cooler weather is on the way. We are enjoying football games on TV. I am cooking more comfort foods and we are dining on our patio. So . . . now is the perfect time for a patio makeover! 

Five tips for a patio makeover on a limited budget:

  1. Select a fall color theme.
  2. Cut and sew patio custom furniture cushions with covers made of repurposed vintage textiles. 
  3. Shop at a local upholstery store for additional fabrics for pillows. In Dallas, family-owned, Childress Fabrics has a grand selection of fabrics.
  4. Shop your house for table scape items; ie. lanterns, candlesticks, vases, baskets, table runners, etc.
  5. With the money saved, splurge on pumpkins, dried flowers and candles to decorate the table.

Five reasons the patio project is worth your time:

  1. It’s sustainable.
  2. It’s a clever way to repurpose used drapes when you are done with them.
  3. Engaging in a creative project is meaningful.
  4. Your patio will be original and beautiful.
  5. It is a great money saver!

Happy with my patio makeover! The fabric’s texture, design and fall colors are well-suited for patio cushion covers. Don’t worry if you don’t have any drapes for a patio project, resale shops and estate sales are a great source.Repurposing drapes

It is patio season . . . Enjoy!

The Real Heart Of Cajun Gumbo

The Real Heart Of Cajun Gumbo

The real heart of Cajun gumbo is the roux! Gumbo, a hearty dish that’s part stew and part soup, is the official state cuisine of Louisiana!

In south Louisiana, where seafood is plentiful, seafood gumbos are popular. In north Louisiana, where I grew up, chicken and sausage gumbos are popular. All around the state, when the hunt is over, hunters enjoy making big pots of gumbo with duck, dove and wild game gumbo.

For the best gumbo . . . add Savoie’s Andouille Sausage.  Founded in 1949 by Ms. Eula and her husband Tom Savoie, Savoie’s Foods. has grown into a Cajun food empire. 

In Dallas, my favorite place to buy Savoie’s Andouille sausage is TJ’s Seafood. 

The real heart of Cajun gumbo is roux . . . and cooking some for your friends and family!

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Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Gumbo, the hearty dish that's part stew and part soup, is probably served more often in Louisiana to friends and family than any other dish. Gumbo is a great dish anytime and especially good for Sunday dinner!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound Andouille sausage
  • 2 cups onions, chopped (2 onions)
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

For serving: steamed rice and French bread

Gumbo filé is optional.

Instructions

  1. In an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven set over medium heat, make a roux of flour and water. Cook, stirring constantly, adjusting the heat to medium-low, until dark brown, about 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, season the chicken pieces with salt and cayenne pepper. Toss the chicken with the flour. Over medium heat, add the oil to a cast iron skillet. When oil is hot, add the chicken. Brown the chicken on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the sausage and continue cooking and stirring for 5 to 6 minutes.

  3. When the roux is dark brown, add the onions, celery and bell peppers. Over low heat, stir and cook until onions are clear, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and bay leaves, cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

  4. Add the chicken broth and chicken/sausage mixture to the roux/vegetable mixture. Stir to mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for one hour.

  5. Remove bay leaves. Add the green onions and parsley. Cook for 10 minutes.

  6. Serve in soup bowls with steamed rice and plenty of French bread!