Tag Archives: cayenne

Shrimp Etouffee

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Shrimp Etouffee

Shrimp Etouffee

“Mama bought a rooster, she thought it was a duck. She put him in the oven with his legs straight up. Along came the children with a cup and the glass, tryin to get the gravy from the yas yas yas.” Whenever I think Cajun, I think of my neighbors Jay and Pokie Dean, and this is something I’ve heard them say at least 1,000 over the years. Don’t ask me what it means, because I have no idea, but I love listening to their Cajun rhymes and sayings. Their Boudreaux and Thibodeaux jokes are great, and I’ve never once left their house without a smile on my face and a full belly! This shrimp etouffee recipe was my attempt to satisfy my New Orleans craving, and I hope you’ll try it to in the spirit of Mardi Gras coming up!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 – 2 lbs raw shrimp with shells on
1 stick of butter OR 8 tablespoons bacon drippings (or you can use a combination of the two, but we’ll get back to that in a minute)
1 sweet onion chopped
1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper chopped or approx 8 mini sweet bell peppers chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 bunch of green onions chopped
8 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 tsp creole seasoning (I use Tony’s)
2 bay leaves (dried)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 T Worcestershire
Louisiana hot sauce to taste

1. Remove the shells from your shrimp and place shells and discarded onion skin and top into a stock pot. Add 3 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for a few minutes, then bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Set aside.
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2. Next, we’re going to start the roux for the etouffee. I always use my trusty cast iron skillet for this. Have I told you how much I love cast iron? They last more than one person’s lifetime and in the unlikelihood that your house ever burned to the ground, you would still find your cast iron skillet in the ashes just waiting to be used. If you don’t have one, go out and buy one, I’ll wait………….. Ok, glad you’re back! Let’s get started on the roux! First, use either 1 stick of butter OR 8 tablespoons bacon drippings. Or feel free to use a combination of the two equaling 8 tablespoons. Add your flour to this as well and turn heat to medium.
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3. Now you’re going to stand there over the roux and not leave it for about 20-25 minutes. Yes, I’m serious. It needs to be stirred almost constantly and keep a watchful eye on it so it doesn’t burn! Allow me to take you through the process of cooking the roux:
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4. Ok, now it’s done! Notice it sort of looks like you melted a giant Hershey’s chocolate bar in there. That’s how my mom always says you can tell the roux is done. Now, we’re going to mix in all those yummy veggies you chopped up!
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5. Stir them up and let them cook for about 10 minutes or until tender.
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6. Remember that shrimp/chicken broth you made? Strain it and discard the yucky stuff in the trash can. Then pour the juice into the vegetable roux mix. Also add your Worcestershire, Louisiana hot sauce, and seasonings.
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7. Bring to a simmer for at least 30-45 minutes or until it begins to thicken up.
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8. Now add your shrimp in and cook for another 10 minutes or so.
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9. It will look like this when it’s done:
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10. Congratulations! You’ve crossed the Louisiana border and made etouffee! It was a lot of steps, but 100% worth it once you taste this delicious dish! Don’t forget to remove your bay leaves before eating! Serve with rice and more green onion for garnish 🙂
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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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If you’re one of those people that thinks they don’t like Brussels Sprouts, I urge you to try this recipe. It’s delicious and goes great as a side to any main course!

Ingredients:
1 container of Brussels Sprouts halved
1/2 stick of butter
Olive oil
Garlic salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

1. Normally, I use a container of Brussels Sprouts for this recipe. However, my grocery store had this bad boy in stock for a steal! So I cut them off the stalk myself.
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2. Spread Brussels Sprouts halves over a cookie sheet lined with foil (to help with clean up later). Drizzle with olive oil and 1/2 stick of butter sliced into pats. The thing about butter is it makes everything delicious. I’m not a big stickler for how much to use here, so I try to go by this rule: when I think I’ve added enough butter, I add a little more just to be sure! Then season with garlic salt and pepper liberally and a light dusting with cayenne pepper.
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3. Pop these puppies into a preheated 375F degree oven for about 45 minutes.
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4. You’ll know they’re done when some of them begin to caramelize and turn golden.
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Spicy Chili

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Spicy Chili

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Yesterday when I woke up it was cold and foggy outside, and that’s when I knew for sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt… It was a perfect day for chili! This chili has the perfect amount of kick and goes perfectly on baked potatoes (pictured), tamales, Fritos, French fries, or even by itself. Trust me, you could put this on an old leather boot and it would be delicious!

Ingredients:
2 lbs ground meat (beef, turkey, deer, whatever you like)
1 large sweet onion chopped
1 large jalapeño chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 12 oz beer (I used a Miller Lite, but any beer dark or light would be ok. Rule of adding drinks like this to food is if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t put it in your food. That means don’t buy the cheap stuff.)
1 can Rotel
1 cup Spicy V8 juice
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons each of garlic salt, paprika, and cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup ketchup (Heinz ketchup is my favorite)
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (I love French’s)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Add onion and peppers to pot and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (go easy because you can always add more later, but you can’t take it out once you’ve added it). Sauté for 20 minutes on medium to high heat.

2. Add ground meat and chopped garlic and sauté until fully cooked. Add seasonings and stir well. At this point you can either keep in pot or transfer to crock pot on low.

3. Add beer, Rotel, V8, ketchup, and mustard and keep at a simmer on stovetop or crockpot for a few hours or even all day.

4. Garnish chili with your favorite toppings before serving. Classic chili toppings include onion, green onion, cheese, sour cream, and avocado.