Archive | December, 2014

Seafood Mary, Kedgeree & Ghee

 

 

seafood recipe

Dinner in a Mug: Seafood, salad, and delicious frosty beverage that doubles as sauce.

With the hurry and hustle of the holidays, sometimes you need a quick solitary meal. It’s late, you feel harried, but you’d like seafood recipe that’s festive and merry. Last week I made a Bloody Mary for Harris, and he thought it reminded him of the sauce served with raw oysters. That got me to thinking that there’s a meal in that mix. I’ve made the proportions for one, though it’s a snap to increase the servings with my recipe app.

The second recipe is for a another quick and delicious entrée that’s great for breakfast, brunch or supper. It’s a British fav that features cooked rice, curry, smoked fish and eggs. Just the combination to warm you up on these cold days of winter. I like poached eggs for this version. Normally the norm is hard-boiled eggs — and if you have those on hand, it makes the dish all the faster to prepare. Two tricks to enhance this dish: be sure to cook the curry powder in the butter or ghee (or coconut oil) to mellow out the flavors. Curry powder can be a bit harsh otherwise. And draining the eggs of the watery white makes poaching way less messy. The resulting orbs are much prettier, too.

Ghee is a technique rather than a recipe, but I’ve included it in this week’s lineup in case you’d like to make it at home. Made from fresh butter, it’s much less expensive than purchased ghee, and it’s very simple to prepare. Basically ghee is clarified butter that’s cooked until it turns a deep golden color. How long you cook it depends on how you like the flavor. The darker hues yield a ghee that is nutty and rich tasting. I’ve added a note for making Louisiana ghee — a heady blend of ghee and the holy trinity of Louisiana cooking. The aroma is fantastic and will instantly upgrade anything you cook in it.

If you haven’t made a mix CD or playlist of Christmas tunes yet. I’ve got a favorite collection of eclectic tunes from country to jazz to R & B. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and fabulous new year.

Dinner in a Mug: Seafood, salad, and delicious frosty beverage that doubles as sauce.
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Seafood Mary
Who needs cake in a mug when you can have dinner in a mug? Seafood, salad, lovely beverage. This is supper for one (or a gang), and ready in moments.
Seafood Mary
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Who needs cake in a mug when you can have dinner in a mug? Seafood, salad, lovely beverage. This is supper for one (or a gang), and ready in moments.
Servings Prep Time
1serving 5minutes
Servings Prep Time
1serving 5minutes
Ingredients
Servings: serving
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Ingredients
Servings: serving
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Instructions
  1. In a 12-oz. mug or tall glass, add tomato juice and vodka (if using). Season with horseradish, celery salt, Worcestershire, Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze in lime juice and stir. Garnish with seafood and vegetables.
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Kedgeree recipe made with smoked fish, rice and curry.
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Kedgeree
When you need a quick meal, and have a few basic leftovers in the fridge, nothing beats the warm comfort of Kedgeree. This welcoming variation uses poached eggs instead of hard-boiled and comes together in flash.
Kedgeree
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When you need a quick meal, and have a few basic leftovers in the fridge, nothing beats the warm comfort of Kedgeree. This welcoming variation uses poached eggs instead of hard-boiled and comes together in flash.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
1serving 10minutes 5minutes
Servings Prep Time
1serving 10minutes
Cook Time
5minutes
Ingredients
Servings: serving
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Ingredients
Servings: serving
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Instructions
  1. Fill a sauce pan half full of water. Bring to boil over high heat. Add salt and vinegar. Reduce heat to brisk simmer.
  2. Crack egg into a strainer placed over bowl. Allow watery part of egg white to drain. Slip egg into simmering water. Repeat with remaining egg if using. Cook 3 minutes for yolk that is runny with a set egg white. With a slotted spoon, remove egg to paper towel lined plate. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  3. In a small skillet melt butter or ghee. Add curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the white of the green onions and sauté for 30 seconds. Add rice and mix well. If it seems dry, add broth or cream as desired. Topped with smoked fish, broken into bite-sized pieces. Heat for 2 minutes or until fish is warm. Season to taste.
  4. Place rice and fish mixture on a plate. Garnish with egg and green onion.
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Ghee: liquid gold.
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Ghee
Make your own ghee with this super simple recipe and enjoy the benefits of this delicious and high-smoke point cooking oil. Save money, too.
Ghee
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Make your own ghee with this super simple recipe and enjoy the benefits of this delicious and high-smoke point cooking oil. Save money, too.
Ingredients
Servings:
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Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place butter in heatproof pan. Place in oven and set to 250 degrees F. Cook for 2-4 hours depending on how deep you want the color and flavor.
  2. Skim solids and carefully pour into heatproof container such as a canning jar. One pound of butter yields about 12 ounces of ghee. When cool, store in refrigerator indefinitely. The liquid will solidify as it chills.
Recipe Notes

For a Louisiana version of ghee, add one peeled onion, halved; one green pepper seeded and quartered; one stalk of celery cut into chunks and 2 whole cloves of peeled garlic. The aromas may drive you crazy. This ghee is great with any dish that complements the Cajun/Creole trinity. Though I've never seen the trinity without garlic, so it should be the quartet, but that's not as poetic.

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Collard Rolls with Boudin and Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc

Cabbage Rolls' South Louisiana Cousin: Easy boudin filled collard leaves with luscious Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc.

Cabbage Rolls’ South Louisiana Cousin: Easy boudin filled collard leaves with luscious Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc.

Collaboration is a beautiful thing. Bringing together different skills to a shared goal is rich and fulfilling. Families should endeavor to do this as much as possible. Marriages within this framework are gratifying and life-affirming. So it is with the menu this week.

Harris’s garden continues to produce: Meyer lemons, collard greens, broccoli, and green onion tops. His new greenhouse is alive with thriving vegetables, flowers, tiny trees, ferns, and seedlings. We’ve dined on perfectly ripened tomatoes, and I harvested a handful of bâton-rouge red Tabasco peppers, dried and crushed them.

A corner of Harris's prolific greenhouse.

A corner of Harris’s prolific greenhouse.

Last week Harris had a brainstorm: how about filling the collard leaves with boudin? That sounded great; we had the requisite components, and I hadn’t narrowed down my recipes for the post. I asked, “What kind of sauce do you think would be good?” His answer: “Something with lemon.” The collaboration began, and the inspired result makes a unique and delicious entrée.

There’s an old joke about a South Louisiana seven-course meal: a six-pack of beer and a yard of boudin. Generally speaking, boudin is a snack food. Eaten on the go, it’s hard to resist diving into the fragrant, steamy treat, hot from your favorite boudin purveyor. Probably 90 percent of the boudin sold in this state is consumed while driving. Boudin for supper would be amazing and different. And a twist on cabbage rolls would be fun to try.

The collards are a perfect choice for wrapping the pork and rice sausage. Cabbage would be too strong. A sweet, tomato-based sauce wouldn’t do at all. Eliminating the baking stage would make a super quick and easy meal. The Meyer lemon beurre blanc would tie all the elements together. So we thought, and right we are. We both flipped for the combo and will make it a staple recipe in our repertoire.

They say that people in Acadiana have two distinct methods for procuring their boudin and their boiled crawfish: the boudin must be around the corner, and the crawfish has to entail a road trip. That was partially the case in our house … until a fateful trip to LSU one memorable and happy Sunday. We traveled a ways for both boudin and boiled crawfish, but the travel time increased for the boudin.

Harris was returning the girl child to school, and the packed parking lot at their usual boudin stop in Krotz Springs sent them across the street to a place we’d passed by a hundred times: Kartchner’s Grocery and Specialty Meats. Shame on us! That first purchase of boudin and cracklins led to a ritual snacking stop to and from LSU. We purchased boudin-stuffed chickens, deer sausage, duck-and-jalapeño sausage, housemade bacon and so much more — all of it superb. And now that our girl has graduated, it’s a good 20 minutes from the house: good being the operative word. If you’re ever in the area, don’t miss this gem. Just watch your speedometer. The limit is 45 and getting caught going over will cost you a bundle for your delicious boudin.

Don’t despair if boudin doesn’t exist in your area. It’s very simple to make. The hardest part is stuffing the casings, and that’s unnecessary for this dish. I’ve paired the collard rolls with smashed butternut squash. Or you could serve mashed potatoes.

For the music, I’ve chosen a playlist that is sparkling and contemplative by turns. It features Grace Kelly on sax — oh yeah, go check it out — and a tune by Terrance Simien that’s included on a new CD of Cajun and Creole lullabies. Talk about a collaboration! The Lafayette General Medical Center and Louisiana Folk Roots teamed up and created music to welcome newborns to the world. It’s called, “Je m’endors,” and it’s lovely. If you know a new parent, it makes a terrific gift. Another great tune is by Bonsoir Catin from their newly Grammy-nominated CD. So from our house in the woods to your abode: we hope your holiday season is off to a merry beginning, and that you enjoy our newest recipe collaboration!

Cabbage Rolls' South Louisiana Cousin: Easy boudin filled collard leaves with luscious Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc.
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Collard Rolls with Boudin and Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc
Iconic and delicious, boudin is not often a suppertime treat. But why not? And in this homage to cabbage rolls, boudin is wrapped in collard leaves and served with a Meyer lemon butter sauce. Super fast to make if you have a favorite boudin place nearby, and collard leaves are easier to work with than cabbage. If you (sadly) don't have access to Kartchner's in Krotz Springs, Louisiana, included is a recipe for making boudin yourself.
Collard Rolls with Boudin and Meyer Lemon Beurre Blanc
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Iconic and delicious, boudin is not often a suppertime treat. But why not? And in this homage to cabbage rolls, boudin is wrapped in collard leaves and served with a Meyer lemon butter sauce. Super fast to make if you have a favorite boudin place nearby, and collard leaves are easier to work with than cabbage. If you (sadly) don't have access to Kartchner's in Krotz Springs, Louisiana, included is a recipe for making boudin yourself.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
6servings 20minutes 15minutes 1hour
Servings Prep Time
6servings 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15minutes 1hour
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In an oven-proof pot, place pork, liver, onion, green pepper, celery, garlic and seasonings. Add cool water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil over medium high heat. Stir, cover and place in oven. Cook for 2 hours or until meat is tender.
  2. Being sure to reserve the meat-cooking liquid, remove the meat and vegetables, draining well, onto a sheet pan and allow to cool.
  3. In batches, chop meat and vegetable mixture well and add to a large mixing bowl. Add cooked rice and green onions. Mix thoroughly. By small amounts, add reserved cooking liquid and mix, until the boudin holds together when you scoop up a handful and squeeze it gently. Chill in refrigerator 30 minutes or until ready to assemble collard rolls.
  4. Fill a large bowl with ice, water and a tablespoon of salt. Fill a large sauce pot three fourths full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt and collard leaves one at a time so they remain flat. Lower heat to brisk simmer and cook collards for 5 minutes. Remove collards to ice water, stirring gently. When cool, carefully remove leaves and drain.
  5. In a large pot outfitted with a steamer tray, put 1-inch of water. Shape boudin into 3-inch logs (or remove boudin from casings and cut into 3-inch segments. Starting at the stem end of a collard leaf, place boudin perpendicular to the leaf stem and roll up once, pull sides of leaf to the middle, overlapping the ends. Continue to roll until neat, tight package is created. Repeat with remaining collard leaves and boudin.
  6. Fill steamer liner or basket with collard rolls and place inside pot. Bring water to a boil making sure water does not touch the bottom of the collard rolls. Steam until heated through, 10-12 minutes. Check temperature of filling by inserting the tip of a sharp paring knife into one of the rolls and touching the tip to your lip. When it is hot enough, turn off burner and remove rolls carefully. The filling will be soft, so using a large slotted spoon or a spatula is better than tongs.
For the Meyer lemon beurre blanc
  1. Add lemon juice and shallots to a small sauce pan over medium heat. Reduce to about a tablespoon, 3-5 minutes. Remove the shallots draining well. Return reduced lemon juice to the pan.
  2. This sauce is about technique. In order to keep it from "breaking" or losing its creamy look and consistency, the sauce cannot get too warm. Add a tablespoon of butter and without a spoon, swirl the butter in the reduced lemon juice. Above the low heat of the burner, continue swirling the pan, lowering it to gain additional heat and removing it once the butter starts to melt. Do not place pan directly on the burner. Continue add the butter by the single tablespoons, swirling and lowering. After one stick of butter has been added, season with salt, white pepper and cayenne to taste. Taste for acidity level. This is very personal. Continue to add butter by the spoonful until the flavor is bright with lemon flavor, but not too tart for your taste. Remove pan to a back, unlit burner until the collard rolls are ready to serve. Don't worry if the beurre blanc becomes thickened and starts to congeal. The heat of the collard rolls will return it to sauce consistency. Note: If the sauce does break, don't fret about it. Tell your diners you are serving a broken beurre blanc. The flavor will still be delicious.
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Earthy and creamy, this is butternut squash with lots of flavor.
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Smashed Butternut Squash
Squash that's boiled can be washed out and tasteless. Simmering the vegetable in butter and cream allows the full, sweet flavor to come through. And don't feel guilty about the richness: fat is needed for your system to extract the nutrients found in vegetables. Enjoy and be nourished!
Smashed Butternut Squash
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Squash that's boiled can be washed out and tasteless. Simmering the vegetable in butter and cream allows the full, sweet flavor to come through. And don't feel guilty about the richness: fat is needed for your system to extract the nutrients found in vegetables. Enjoy and be nourished!
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
4servings 10minutes 20minutes 15minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20minutes 15minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place squash, butter and heavy cream in sauce pan over medium heat. When butter is melted, lower heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally until squash is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Do not allow to brown.
  2. Mash the squash, leaving it as chunky as you like or until it is smooth. Season to taste, sprinkle with green onions and and a generous pat of butter.
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