Monday, October 23, 2006

What 'cha got cookin? Souper Tuesday

Well, I thought this would be a good video to go with a new recipe. This is an AWSOME gumbo recipe! Even the cajuns would have to agree. Seems a bit long, but it's not really difficult. I hope you get to try it, I just made it tonight and it was as good as it ever was! Have a great week everyone!

p.s. Lulu is doing great and the kids are really enjoying her. I still hope to get a pic of her on here soon.

Cajun Seafood Gumbo

8 Tablespoons oil, divided
1 pound okra, thinly sliced*
4 Tablespoons flour
2 cups onions, finely chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
2/3 cup green pepper, chopped
1 cup green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
3 large bay leaves
¼ teaspoon thyme, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 16-ounce can whole tomatoes, cut up
(reserve liquid)
5 cups water
2 ½ pounds raw shrimp, washed, peeled,
and deveined
1 pound claw crabmeat*
2 dozen oysters with liquid*
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
4-5 cups steamed white rice

In a large skillet, heat 4 Tablespoons oil. Add okra and cook until tender, stirring often, about 40-50 minutes. If necessary, add more oil to prevent burning.

In a 5-quart soup pot heat remaining 4 Tablespoons oil and gradually add flour, stirring constantly until the roux is caramel brown. Add onions and celery, and sauté until tender. Add green pepper, green onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and seasonings; add tomatoes with liquid and blend until smooth. Add cooked okra, and gradually stir in water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add shrimp and crabmeat, and continue to simmer covered for 10 minutes. Add oysters with liquid and parsley and cook an additional 10 minutes. If gumbo is too thick, thin with hot water. Serve in soup bowls over hot white rice.
10 Servings

*If fresh okra is not available, you can use frozen, sliced. Also, I use imitation crabmeat which works very well. I don’t add oysters, but if I was making for just myself I would!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Well, it's about time!!

Sorry for the delay y'all. I really wanted to post a pic with this, one that I took, but I guess I'll have to find one on the web that will do for now. My sister called today to see what the news is. She is an impatient one I tell you! Today is her due date and that is about all the anticipation she can handle right now, so she called and scolded me for not posting about my news. My apologies go out to all.

Ok, well I wanted to be sure before I said anything, but Friday I went and picked up a new member of our family. Her name is Lulu and she is a Jenday Conure. A conure is a small parrot. She is a sweetie (well, some of the time...we are working on it). That first night she wasn't much into being handled but the second day was better and now she comes to me and my son easy. I think she likes my son best, but he has spent the most time with her. A guy came into where I work and was giving her away. She came right to me that night and even gave me a kiss. At first my lead took her but she saw how much I really wanted her, and her husband wasn't thrilled at the idea of a bird, so she let me have her. She's a squawker, let me tell you! We have to work on that. At least at night when she is covered she is quiet. She even says a few phrases....."What you doin'?"..."I love you"... and "pretty bird". I"m not sure how old she is but she is used to being handled. She has bit us more than a few times and sometimes pretty hard, but she is getting better. She loves to sit on the top of her cage. She doesn't fly. I'm pretty sure her wings are clipped. This is what she looks like. I will post an actual pic of her when I get a chance.

I'm sorry if this isn't quite as exciting as you were hoping for, but I was thrilled. I have wanted another bird for a while, but just couldn't afford it. I guess to buy one of these they go for $300-$400. Plus I got the cage and a stand for the cage and all the feeding dishes and a couple of toys. I think she is going to work out just fine. She loves attention, and the more she gets the more trusting and easier going she will get.....I hope.

Nothing much else going on. Working full time now, so I'm staying busy. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and a great week! Hopefully I will have a new soup on Tuesday. I've had one posted on my comments (Thank you anonymous!) that sounds really good. I'll have to try it. See y'all later!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Souper Tuesday (on Thursday)

okay, so I'm a little late. First of all, it was too warm Tuesday and the few days before to have soup. We were up in the 80's! Beautiful weather. But mother nature was only playing a mean trick. Today reality came blowing in....high winds, temps in the 30's and SNOW! Yep, the first snow of the season. Nothing sticking, but snow showers none the less. So that made today the perfect day for hot soup. I made some French Onion soup for lunch. It was fabulous. Fairly easy, just time consuming. Keep in mind that you need to start this 2 1/12 - 3 hours ahead or make ahead and serve when ready.

French Onion Soup

2 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp butter
6 c. thinly slice onion
1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 qts beef broth
1/2 c. dry white wine
sprig fresh thyme (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
8 slices slightly stale French bread
2 c. grated Gruyere cheese

Heat the oil in a heavy 5-6 qt pan. Add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the onions and cook slowly, covered for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and salt. Cook onions slowly until onions caramelize and turn to a rich brown color. Do not let them burn! This will take 45-60 minutes.

Add the wine and cook 5 minutes, still over low heat. Add the stock and check for seasoning. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

To serve:
Toast the French bread slices until golden brown. Ladle the soup into an ovenproof bowl, add the toasted bread and cover with the cheese. Bake at 350 degreesF. for 20 minutes or 5 minutes under a hot broiler.


I have some really interesting/fun news to share with you, but I want to wait until tomorrow to be sure. I'm am SO excited, and there will be pictures (I hope). So be sure to check back. Take care and I am still looking for some new soup recipes. Please don't hesitate to share. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Souper Tuesday

There are many reasons I like to see Autumn come around....the colors in nature, sweatshirts and sweaters and boots, and soup! I love soup in cold weather. I usually don't fix it at all through the summer but when the cold weather hits I could eat soup every day. I have hit a dilemma though. It seems I keep cooking the same ones over and over. Occasionally I find a new one I like, but I would love to find some more. Cookbooks are one way to find new ones, but I have found the best recipes come from others.

So this is what I am going to try. Tuesday is going to be my day (for a while anyway) to post a soup recipe and I would love it if any of you have a favorite, to share it here. This will also make me post at least once a week. My first one will be one of my kids favorites. I fixed this last night. Fairly quick and easy. Hope you enjoy!

Corn Chowder

8 oz salt pork, diced (or bacon)
2 onions, chopped
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 bay leaf, crumpled
2 Tbsp flour
4 c. water
3 c. diced potatoe
2 c. cream corn
2 c evaporated milk
salt, pepper, parsley, paprika to taste

Cook pork till brown and crisp. Remove and pour off all but 3 Tbsp. grease. Add next 3 ingredients and cook for 5 min. Blend in flour. Add water and potatoe. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10-15 min, till potatoe are tender. Add corn and milk. Heat well. Season and add pork (or bacon).

*I adjust recipe so that I use 2 whole cans of corn and milk. In this case I use a few more potatoes, 6 c. water and 3 Tbsp flour. I just couldn't see the sense in wasting what was left in a can.