Monday, October 29, 2012

Mo's Crawfish Casserole

This, to me, is the Cajun version of COMFORT FOOD.
Give me a crawfish casserole any day over "meat & potatoes"!!

First, while you are preparing your Crawfish mix, you need to cook 2 cups of rice. Once these are done, just set them aside until you are ready to assemble. :-)


2 cups of raw rice
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. of crawfish tails (thawed)
Slap Ya Mama (or your own Cajun seasoning)
1 stick of butter
1 can of cream of celery soup
bread crumbs

(While your rice is cooking)

Preheat the oven to 375. Sauté the onion and bell pepper in the stick of butter. Season GENEROUSLY with Slap Ya Mama (depending on your family's ability to handle the heat!) When the veggies are soft, add the thawed crawfish tails and sauté for about 10 minutes, until they cooked through. Add the can of cream of celery soup and then turn down the heat. Let this mixture cook together (on low heat) for about ten more minutes.

While you are waiting, grease a baking dish (9x13 works great) and then sprinkle a thin layer of the bread crumbs on the bottom of the dish. 

Take your mixture from the stove and then stir in the cooked rice until your mixture is a LITTLE BIT SOUPY. Be careful that it is not DRY!  So add your rice about a half-cup at a time....mixing well.

Now spread your rice/crawfish mixture into your greased baking dish. Then sprinkle another layer of bread crumbs on top.... not too thick- just enough to cover it.

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, until it starts to get a little bubbly. Just don't let your top get too browned.

I serve this with Cajun Green Beans as a side dish-- a yummy meal your family will love! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mexican Rice

I am often asked for my recipe for my Mexican Rice, but it was not until my future son-in-law complimented it that I realized it must be really good. ;-) I believe his words were something along the lines of "this is better than the rice I have had made by real Mexican women"!!

So here goes:

Chop 1 medium yellow onion.
Using a NON-STICK saucepan-- combine the raw onion, 2 cups raw rice, 2-3 TBSPs cooking oil, and 3-4 generous shakes of Cumin.
Cook on medium heat until the onions are soft and the rice is a TINY BIT browned. DO NOT OVERCOOK.

Add 1 can of Ro-tel tomatoes (you decide how hot), 1/2 can of water (using the Ro-tel can), 1 can of chicken broth and 3-4 generous shakes of "Caldo de Tomate" (powdered tomato-- see picture to the right).

Stir everything together, watching it carefully.
As soon as it starts to boil just a bit, REDUCE the heat to LOW and then cover. Don't stir or bother it while it simmers.

It should take about 15 minutes (give or take) for the rice to be ready.

If you want more rice, adjust your chicken broth---but never your water. Do not ever add more than the 1/2 can of water.

If you are making this for dinner and want to prepare it early, do all the instructions above and then put the rice in your electric rice cooker (on WARM, not on Cook) and it will keep for a couple hours until you are ready to serve.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Baked Pasta in Béchamel Sauce

       Olive oil
       1 large onion, chopped
       3 garlic cloves, minced  (or 3 good shakes of garlic salt)
       1 red pepper, chopped
       1 pound of ground beef
       SEASONINGs (you KNOW what my choice is!)
       Large jar of Spaghetti sauce (I make my own sauce, but this is an easy substitute.)
       Dried red pepper flakes
       Fresh Cilantro-chopped 
       Pasta, cooked as per instructions on the box (I use corkscrew.)
       grated parmesan cheese
       Saute the meat, onions and peppers in olive oil with your favorite seasonings until the meat is browned and the veggies are soft. Add the garlic and cook about 2 minutes longer. 
       Add the spaghetti sauce / Make your own and turn down the heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Begin to boil the noodles and to make the Béchamel Sauce at this point. Add the chopped cilantro right after you remove it from the heat.
       Béchamel Sauce
       5 TBSP butter
       3 TBSP flour
       2 cans condensed milk 
       2 tsp nutmeg
       2-3 shakes of Slap Ya Mama 
       Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour.  Cook out the flour for a few minutes over low heat, and then slowly add the condensed milk whisking it in. Continue to whisk the mixture until thick. Add the nutmeg and season to taste.

Assembling your Baked Pasta

Place the cooked spaghetti noodles in a LIGHTLY GREASED casserole dish (13x9) and mix in the spaghetti sauce mixture and a third of the bechamel sauce.  Mix well and then top with the rest of the bechamel and 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 for 25 minutes until the cheese has melted.
Serve with garlic bread and your family will LOOOOOVE you!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Buttermilk Biscuits

This recipe makes about a half dozen LARGE biscuits or a dozen smaller ones... so I usually DOUBLE it so that I have biscuits for a few days after....which is very important when you live in a biscuit-less country!

Preheat oven to 400F.
Mix 2 cups of flour with 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt.
Cut in 6 TBSP of ICE COLD butter.
Use your hands to mix this together so that it resembles corn meal when you are finished.

Measure out 3/4 cup of buttermilk and add in 3 TBSP of honey. Blend together.
Add to the dry mix and blend everything together WITH YOUR HANDS. Be careful not to overmix.

Roll out dough onto a floured surface until it is about 1 inch thick.
Using a drinking glass (size of the glass will determine the size of your biscuits), cut out your biscuits and place on a baking sheet.

Bake about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Preferably with GRAVY! :-)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Kelli's Red Lobster biscuits

Want a dinner time twist on a a breakfast goodie?

Make a batch of Buttermilk Drop Biscuits.
Mince three cloves of garlic. I actually "mince" mine with an old-fashioned cheese grater (the kind most of kids don't even know exist!) Mix your garlic into your biscuit dough.
Add 3/4 cup of grated cheese. (or one full cup depending on your taste)
Blend well so your cheese and garlic are as evenly distributed in the dough as possible.

Bake the same way as you do the normal biscuits. And brush with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven.

Serve warm with butter and your family will never ask for Red Lobster's Cheddar Biscuits again. Guaranteed!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cajun Pasta With a KICK

And no..."with a kick" does not just mean SPICER!

First --decide if this will be Cajun CHICKEN Pasta or Cajun SHRIMP pasta.
If you choose chicken, you will need to season (with SYM, of course!) and saute your chicken (that you have chopped into bite sized pieces) in a little butter until it is cooked through. Set aside.

If you choose shrimp, peel and season (you know the drill!) your shrimp and then set aside.

Chop 1 large yellow onion (more julienne than diced). Do the same with 1 large red bell pepper. Saute them in 1 stick of butter, giving them a few shakes Slap Ya Mama (or your favorite Cajun seasoning). Just before the veggies are softened, add 2 minced cloves of garlic and 1 tsp of Red Pepper flakes and continue sauteing for about 3 minutes longer.

Dice 4 fresh & ripe Roma tomatoes. Add to the sauteed veggies.
Pour in 2 cups of chicken broth and 1/2 cup white wine.
Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and use a bit of corn starch to thicken the mix.

Stir in 1 cup of heavy cream.
Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.... At this point, you also should go ahead and boil whichever pasta you have chosen to use tonight PLUS grate your fresh Parmesan cheese to put on top! :-)

After about 10 minutes, add your meat and raise the heat JUST A BIT (just above simmer heat). Cook until the shrimp are pink or until the chicken has soaked up all that good juice (about 10 min).

Serve over freshly cooked pasta and top with fresh grated Parmesan.