January 7, 2012

Chicken and Andouille Cassoulet

CassouletCassoulet is one of those great comfort foods that is wonderful anytime, but absolutely perfect on a cold winter evening. It’s meant to be warm and rustic, can you can pretty much throw whatever you have into the pot and it will come out tasting good.

I made this recipe up tonight on the fly, but it was so good I had to share it. Try it yourself and let me know what you think.

Ingredients

  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast – cubed
  • 3 -4 links andouille sausage – diced (I prefer Aidells’ but any will do
  • 3 cans cannellini beans (white kidney) – drained and rinsed
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 4 roma tomatoes diced
  • 10 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 cups dry white wine
  • 2 – 3 cups chicken stock
  • salt, pepper, italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, and Emiril’s essence to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Fry the bacon in a large stock pot until crispy. Remove and set aside. In a separate pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Sauté the onions in the bacon fat for 5 – 7 minutes until translucent. Add the sausage and cook another 10 minutes, scraping the bottom with a metal spatula. Add white wine and garlic, and simmer for 2 minutes. Season chicken with emeril’s essence. Add chicken, tomatoes, carrots, beans, crumbled bacon, and other spices and stir. Add boiling chicken stock. The chicken stock should not quite cover the other ingredients, unless you want your cassoulet a little soupy. Cover the pot and put into oven. Bake at 350 for 75 – 90 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes. Leave pot uncovered for the last 20 minutes to help evaporate off some of the excess liquid. Serve it in bowls with lots of crusty bread (or just eat it plain if you’re on a low-carb diet like me). Enjoy! As always, if you try this recipe, please let me know.

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July 5, 2010

Mango/Pineapple/Habanero BBQ Sauce

Mango Habanero BBQ SauceI love all things BBQ. There is really nothing better on a hot summer day that firing up the grill or the smoker and cooking up some food of love. If you like seafood on the grill, it is hard to find a good sauce that is spicy but doesn’t overpower the delicate flavors of the meat. I created this sauce specifically for shrimp or lobster, but it would work just as well on any white fish. It is super easy to make, and will double as a salad dressing if you serve your seafood on greens.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh mango diced
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple diced
  • 2 habanero peppers finely chopped
  • 16 oz orange juice
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 bunch cilantro
  • 2 limes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs grapeseed oil

Dice the garlic and the white ends of the green onion. You can also substitute 1/4 white onion. Heat the oil in a sauce pan and add the garlic and onion. Cook 1 – 2 minutes to soften. Add the diced mango, diced pineapple and orange juice. Bring to a boil. Cut the habaneros in half and discard the membranes and seeds. Finely dice the habanero and add to the pot. Chop the cilantro and add to the pot. Add salt and black pepper, about 1 teaspoon each, and the juice of 2 limes. Bring entire mixture to a boil and let cook at boil for approximately 20 minutes. The liquid in the pot should reduce at least 1/3rd. Pour mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Put into an airtight container and let cool.

Try putting this sauce on shrimp, and serving on butter lettuce with sliced peaches, some of my mango salsa, and some grilled corn. Simply Heaven.

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Salsa Verde

I’m not normally a big fan of salsa verde. Most of the green salsas you get lack flavor or heat. While cooking up a batch of my feugo del diablo salsa, I decided to try my hand at salsa verde. The result was a nice well rounded mild salsa that goes well with chips, but would also be good as an enchilada base.

Ingredients

  • 6 tomatillos
  • 3 serrano peppers
  • 3 jalapeno peppers
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 2 -3 limes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Remove the husks from the tomatillos. Grill the tomatillos, peppers, and green onions on a grill until they have a nice char on all sides. The tomatillos should feel soft and will likely burst open. Remove the stems from the peppers, but do not seed them. Coarse chop the cilantro and garlic. Put the whole peppers, tomatillos, green onions, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, and the juice from the limes into a blender and blend until smooth.

If you want more heat, up the count of peppers. This is one of the simplest salsas I make, but it has a great smokey flavor and is a refreshing change to my spicier sauces.

UPDATE – I’ve recently started adding 2 – 3 habanero peppers to the recipe. The extra heat transforms this salsa from a solid, flavorful mild to a robust hot salsa and makes it truly spectacular. It is now my favorite of all my salsa recipes.

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January 24, 2010

Clam Chowder with Bacon and Crab

chowder

Cold winter Sundays watching playoff football scream for a large pot of chowder. A thick hearty soup warms the body and soul. My mom used to cook this in my youth, but I perfected the recipe about 5 years ago by doubling the bacon and adding lump crab meat.

Any recipe that starts with 2lbs of bacon has to be good! This is the ulitmate comfort food, best served in a sourdough bread bowl. It takes about an hour to cook, but is worth every second.

  • 2 lbs bacon
  • 28 oz canned clams
  • 6 – 8oz lump meat crab
  • 5 – 7 large russet potatos
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 stalk celery
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pint half and half
  • 1 pint non-fat milk
  • small sourdough loaves for serving (read more…)
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November 1, 2009

Jambalaya!

jambalayaNothing better on a nice autumn day than a little football, a little World Series baseball, and a whole lot of comfort food. I created this jabalaya recipe several years ago. It is a Creole or red style jambalaya, with equal parts sausage, chicken and shrimp. Other meats can be substituted, such as taso, duck or lump crab meat. The important part is the ratios. You can make this recipe as spicy or as mild as you want, by varying the amount of cayenne and Tabasco. It is important to chop the onion, jalapeño, bell pepper, and 1/3rd of the sausage as finely as possible. As the mixture cooks down, these ingredients will somewhat disappear, acting more like seasonings than major elements. As you are cooking, scrap the bottom of the pan frequently. This recipe takes about 90 minutes to cook, but trust me, it is well worth the time. This is the perfect dish for Christmas Eve, a football party, or any family get-together.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs Andouille sausage
  • 1 1/2 lbs Boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 lbs 21-30 Count shrimp (frozen)
  • 3 – 4 Yellow onions
  • 3 – 4 Green bell peppers
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 5 – 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 Bunches green onions
  • 4 Cups rice
  • 8 Cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil (or canola oil)
  • 20 Cloves garlic
  • Spices: salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, Emeril’s essence, and Tabasco to taste (read more…)
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October 18, 2009

Mango Habanero Salsa

Mango Habanero SalsaWhile creating my recipe for El Fuego Del Diablo, I started toying with ideas for fruit salsas. I wanted something that could be eaten with chips like a regular salsa, used as a garnish for fish or other meats, or served as part of a dessert.

I love mangos and I love habaneros, so that seemed like a good place to start. This recipe is a little sweet, has a little heat, and goes great with any Mexican food.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced mango
  • 3/4 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 2 finely diced habaneros
  • 1 lime

(read more…)

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El Fuego Del Diablo

el fuego del diabloMan cannot live on technology and politics alone. Occasonally, you gotta eat. You might as well eat well. Real men do cook, but they don’t cook like wussies. Thus begins my series of posts on my favorite recipes. Most of these I made up myself, or bastardized from the work of others, with my own special twists.

First up: SALSA!!!! Specifically, my own 4 pepper, fire roasted, burn your face off, devil’s fire salsa. This stuff is HOT but it has a great flavor to match the heat. It is addictive too. If you are a chili-head, you must try this. The key to this salsa is the BBQ. I fire roast everything. This gives it a great smoky flavor, caramelizes some of the sugars in the peppers to add sweetness, and really intensifies the flavors of all the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 5 – Green jalepeno peppers
  • 5 – Red jalepeno peppers
  • 5 – Serano peppers
  • 5 – Habanero peppers
  • 6 – Large Roma tomatoes
  • 2 – Bunches of green onions
  • 2 – Limes
  • 1 – Garlic clove
  • 1 – Bunch cilantro
  • Salt and coarse black pepper to taste

(read more…)

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