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!

 

What Do You Call A Cake Without Butter?

What Do You Call A Cake Without Butter?

What do you call a cake without butter? 

An Angel Food Cake 

Happy National Angel Food Cake Day!

My Texas Kitchen’s tips for making the perfect Angel Food Cake.

This Coffee Angel Food Cake is a State Fair of Texas Blue ribbon winner. Bake one today in honor of Big Tex. Your cake will be a blue ribbon winner too!

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Coffee Angel Food Cake

An award-winning cake . . . 2007 State Fair of Texas blue ribbon winner!

This angel food cake does not contain butter. However, please note that the frosting does contain butter. If you want a totally fat-free dessert just skip the frosting and dust the cake with confectioners' sugar. Your choice! It's delicious either way. :- )

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon powdered instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (10-12), room temperature
  • 1 t. cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla

Frosting: 1 cup room temperature butter, 3 cups confectioners' sugar, 1 T. powdered coffee dissolved in 1 T. hot water, 1 t. vanilla, 1/2 t. salt and 3 T. whole milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.

  2. Dissolve the coffee in hot water; set aside.

  3. Sift together the cake flour, sugar, and salt; set aside.

  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until frothy; add the cream of tartar and continue beating. Gradually add 1 cup sugar; whisking until the mixture is at a soft-peak stage.

    Be careful not to beat the egg whites until they are dry.

  5. Add the coffee/water mixture and vanilla.

  6. Fold in the flour/sugar mixture.

  7. Pour into the ungreased round tube pan.

  8. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

  9. Remove form the oven, invert onto a funnel over a wire cooling rack and cool.

    Once cool, turn out of the pan. Ice the top and just the top of the sides with the frosting.

Frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Add the coffee/water mixture, vanilla, salt and milk. Blend until smooth. Add a little more milk if needed to make the frosting a spreadable consistency.

Chili Is The Official State Dish Of Texas

Chili Is The Official State Dish Of Texas

Chili is the official state dish of Texas. The change of season, autumn is a time for a bowl of chili. It’s the perfect dish to accompany falling leaves, football, family, and friends!

Chili with Toppings

Chili is a great dish for football game watching with friends and family. Serve with assorted toppings.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 16 ounce can tomato sauce

Toppings: grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

  2. Add the beef and onion. Cook until the beef is browned and onion is soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano and pepper. Mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes.

  4. Add the flour, stirring to combine with the meat mixture. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes.

  5. Ladle into bowls. Serve with the toppings.

 

Nothing Says Home Like The Smell Of Baking

Nothing Says Home Like The Smell Of Baking

Nothing says home like the smell of baking . . . especially biscuits! A true southern staple for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Ever since I can remember I have been baking biscuits. Always searching for just the right recipe, ingredients and mixing techniques to create a light and fluffy biscuit. 

Back in my college days at TCU, a popular local restaurant, Texas Sampler, was known for their biscuits and gravy. After nagging the restaurant for the biscuit recipe for years, much to my surprise, they shared their secret recipe. Turns out it was a variation of a Southern angel biscuit. The two main ingredients were biscuit mix and yeast. And the mixing technique was simple than original angel biscuit recipes. Since then, I have baked these biscuits for my family. Each time with great results!

What are Angel Biscuits?

  • Angel Biscuits are made with three leaveners; baking power, baking soda, and yeast.
  • Angel Biscuits are a cross between a dinner roll and a flaky biscuit. 

Secret Ingredients:

Nothing says home like the smell of baking . . . bake some Texas Sampler Biscuits today!

Texas Sampler Biscuits

When I was a TCU student, Texas Sampler was a popular Fort Worth restaurant. Their biscuits and gravy were famous. After requesting their recipe several times, they finally shared it with me. These are angel biscuits, light and fluffy . . . a combination of a dinner roll and flaky biscuit. Perfect for making game day sandwiches with local delicious deli meats and cheeses!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups Pioneer Biscuit Mix
  • 1 cup warm water ( 105ºF - 110ºF)
  • 1 package Fleischmann's Yeast

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.

  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Set aside until frothy, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add yeast/water mixture to biscuit mix. Stir gently with a spatula, being careful not to over mix. (At this point, the dough will have dry spots.) Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times and shape into a ball.

  4. Pat out on a lightly floured surface to 1" thickness, cut into 2" biscuits, being careful not to twist the biscuit cutter.

  5. Place the biscuits, 1/2" apart on a lightly greased 8" X 10" X 2" baking pan. Cover with a clean towel. Leave in a draft-free place for 30 minutes.

  6. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

 

Oh My Pies!

Oh My Pies!

Oh My Pies!

There is something about fall, the change in season and the opening of the State Fair of Texas. It reminds me of growing up in Louisiana and cooking. I especially enjoyed making the famous Natchitoches meat pies. They were one of my favorite things to make.

We traveled to Natchitoches and visited with our cousins. Each time we dropped by one of our favorite restaurants, Lasyone’s. Their Natchitoches meat pies were famous and still are to this day!

Natchitoches, Louisiana was the oldest permanent settlement in the vast Louisiana Purchase Territory. It was founded in 1714 by Louis de St. Denis. Quaint brick streets wind along the high banks of the former Red River bed. 

Each year on the first Saturday of December, thousands of people flock to Natchitoches for the annual Christmas Festival of Lights. At dusk, a switch is pulled and beautiful decorations light up on both sides of the Cane River. The famous Natchitoches Meat Pies are among the favorite foods featured at the festival. 

I’m sure you remember the annual Christmas Festival of Lights as it was featured in Steel Magnolias, a favorite southern movie. 

Oh my pie . . . fry some Natchitoches Meat Pies!

Natchitoches Meat Pies

Fried pies filled with ground beef and a burst of creole spices. Delicious! Serve them during the fall and throughout the holiday season.

*Original recipes call for a blend of ground beef and ground pork. I prefer to make them with 100% ground beef. You can make them either way!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 t. salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 3 pods of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped, mainly green parts

Crust: 3 cups all-purpose flour, 2 t. salt. 1 t. baking powder, 6 T. shortening, 1 egg, 3/4 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Filling: Heat the oil in a large skillet, combine the ground beef, onion, bell pepper, celery, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until the meat looses its pink color. Do not overcook until the meat if dry. Add the garlic during the last minute or two of cooking the meat. Add the flour, stir until it is combined with the meat mixture. Remove from heat, add the green onions. Place the meat in a large colander to drain off excess liquid. Cool to room temperature.

  2. Crust: In a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt and baking powder. Whisk a couple of times to combine. Cut in the shortening. Add the beaten egg and milk. Mix lightly, pour onto a lightly floured surface, knead gently a few times and form dough into a ball. Wrap in wax paper. Chill for 30 minutes.

  3. To Assemble: On a lightly floured surface, roll about half of the dough into 1/8" thickness. Cut into 5" rounds. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling on one side of the pastry round. Dampen edge of pie with fingertips dipped in water. Fold top over meat and crimp edges with a fork.

  4. To Fry: Fry in a deep fat fryer at 350ºF. until golden brown.

  5. Freezing: The uncooked meat pies freeze well. When ready to fry, do not thaw before frying.

A Staple Of American Cuisine – Macaroni And Cheese

A Staple Of American Cuisine – Macaroni And Cheese

A staple of American cuisine – Macaroni and Cheese is one of our favorite home-cooked meals!

Thomas Jefferson discovered the dish while traveling abroad. Upon returning to Monticello, he planned to serve it for an important state dinner. He imported pasta, parmesan cheese and olive oil.

James Hemings was Jefferson’s chef and slave. Hemings was the first American to train as a chef in France. With his sophisticated techniques of French classical cooking, he prepared a “macaroni pie” for prominent guests at Monticello, Jefferson’s private mountaintop home and plantation in Virginia.

Until the late 1800s, it remained a recipe for upper classes. Once pasta was broadly available more people enjoyed macaroni and cheese. By the 1940’s, it became a hearty, inexpensive meal for the working classes. 

Tips for the best Macaroni and Cheese:

  • Select the best-quality butter, cheddar cheese, and pasta.
  • Make homemade breadcrumbs with day-old sourdough bread.
  • Make creamy béchamel sauce with a butter/flour roux and hot milk.

Steps for Creamy Macaroni and Cheese:

  1. Toss homemade breadcrumbs with melted butter.
  2. Boil pasta in lightly salted water until a little under al dente.
  3. Scald milk.
  4. Make a béchamel sauce, add the grated cheese to create a Cheese Sauce Mornay.
  5. Pour the cheese sauce mornay over the cooked pasta.
  6. Pour into a lightly greased baking dish.
  7. Top with bread crumbs and sprinkle with paprika.
  8. Bake until bubbly and golden brown. 
  9. Enjoy!

A staple of American cuisine – Macaroni and Cheese – make some today!

Macaroni and Cheese

A classic French sauce, grated cheese, macaroni and topped with bread crumbs - delicious, comforting and one of America's favorite home-cooked dishes!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart 2% or whole milk
  • salt, freshly ground pepper and nutmeg to taste
  • 6 cups 20 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated or mixed Gruyere and cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

    Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish. Set aside.

  2. In a 3-quart saucepan, cook elbow macaroni in lightly salted boiling water just under al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

  3. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, being careful not to boil it.

  4. In a skillet set over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter; add bread crumbs and toss to coat. Set aside.

  5. Make the bechamél sauce:

    In a heavy based saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt 4 tablespoons butter, whisk in the flour. Cook 1 - 2 minutes until foaming but not browned; let cool.

    Strain the hot milk, whisking constantly, bring the sauce to a boil, add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Simmer 3 - 5 minutes, until thickened.

  6. Make the Cheese Sauce Mornay:

    Remove the bechamél sauce, from heat, add grated cheese. Stir until cheese has melted.

  7. Pour the cheese sauce mornay into the cooked macaroni, stir to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumb mixture and paprika.

  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the macaroni is golden brown.