Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rustic Gumbo • Dish of the Month - June

Rustic Chicken and Andouille Gumbo.

I call this a "rustic" gumbo because it is made in the old style of using whole pieces of chicken, bones, skin, and all. The chicken is fried in the traditional way after being dusted with flour. The rest is pretty much the same. Of course you do have to watch out for bones, but the flavor this chicken imparts to the dish is great.

I made a really dark brown roux for this as well, it took a while. As you can see in the picture the gumbo is thick and luxurious. I normally serve it with rice. I really recommend you get a cast iron Dutch Oven, this recipe made just under 7 qts., plus cast iron cooks so well. I use a Lodge Dutch Oven.

I am posting the recipe HERE. This is my own recipe, but I was inspired by Chef Donald Link from his new book "Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link's Louisiana" He had a recipe he calls Fried Chicken and Andouille Gumbo. I add a few things he doesn't and vice versa. You should try this recipe, it is awesome. This gumbo is the Dish of the Month for June.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chefs and Restaurant Friends to aid Chef Matthew Murphy

Chef Matthew Murphy, the executive Chef of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New Orleans, had a bad fall on May 19. The next day, after continued complications and swelling, he went to the emergency room and from there was taken directly into surgery. He was diagnosed as having a group-A Streptococcus infection, toxic shock syndrome, and disseminated intravascular-coagulation. In other words he was a very sick man. He was given a 25% chance of surviving.

Now, as of June 2nd his wife Alicia reported he is breathing on his own, and on the 4th that he was talking. The couple have quadruplets and are expecting another child. The financial burden is tremendous, but some help is on its way. On June 14th between 4pm - 8pm, 45 area chefs, including Paul Prudhomme, John Besh, Donald Link, and Tory McPhail, among others, will convene at the Ritz Carlton for a fund raiser to help Matthew toward his medical bills. The price is $65.00 and reservations may be made by calling 504-670-2828. For more progress about Matthew go HERE. Our prayers are with him and his family.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Crab Cakes Extraordinaire!

Crab cakes are my favorites, and I thought I'd share my recipe with you, my fearless readers, and encourage you to make your own.

For Starters, I know crabmeat is expensive. I usually get the Special, it is a step under the Lump, and two under the Jumbo Lump. It works fine, yes you don't get the huge bites of crabmeat, but it tastes great. I use a cast iron skillet and a mixture of butter and oil to fry it in. I don't use very much, I like a nice sear on the outside, and too much oil or butter makes that difficult.

Here is the recipe...

1 lb. special crabmeat
1 egg (beaten)
3 tbs. mayonnaise
1 ½ tbs worcestershire sauce
12 Ritz crackers (crushed fine)
½ tbs tabasco
½ tbs Tony Chachere's (Creole Spice Mix)
½ tbs garlic (minced)
2 tbs onion (minced)
½ tbs vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 tbs fresh parsley (minced)

Place onion and garlic in a bowl with 1 tbs butter and ¼ cup of water. Place in a microwave for 2 mins. This will wilt them and take some of the bite out of them. Mix all ingredients, except the crab into a bowl and combine. Add crabmeat, scoop into balls and flatten into patties. Place on a plate lined with wax paper and place in the fridge for about an hour, let them firm up.

Fry in a cast iron, or similar, skillet or sauté pan, with 1 tbs of butter and 1 tbs of vegetable oil. Let them go on one side until it is nice and brown, then turn them and do the same on the other side. Serve with tarter or remoulade sauce. For an easy sauce, see the recipe below, it'll do in a pinch. This crab cake recipe should make about six good sized crab cakes, serving about 2 per person.

For my Easy Faux-moulade sauce, mix...

1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup cocktail sauce
1 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs creole mustard
1 tbs tabasco sauce


Server Change Problems

If you have been having trouble downloading recipes, or have seen some graphics missing, it is because my server is changing over and it might be a couple of days before we're up and running. Also it has been a while since you've had a post. I hope to get back to New Orleans in two weeks and start back writing good food posts. Hang in there. Until then, I will leave you a post about crab cakes.