in the Series of:
Your author had the
pleasure of living upside the River in New Orleans while working on
his doctorate in biochemistry. By the way, biochemistry is just like
cooking only with lots of math.
My years in
New Orleans (NAwlins) impressed upon me the wonders of cooking
with a kick. As always with Cajun recipes, lots of substitutions are
possible. Cajuns cook whatever is fresh and find really creative ways
to use leftovers. They are creative and frugal.
Notes on Cajun
Rice - A staple of Louisiana cooking. The State is
second only to California in rice production. I prefer the short grain
fluffy white rice, lightly steamed. In future recipes Ill share
the secrets of dirty rice.
Most of us
in the South had Teflon coated rice cookers, which make perfect rice
all of the time. Rice blends with many Cajun and Creole ingredients
better than other starches such as potatoes.
Andouille - (An-doo-ee)- This smoked ham sausage from
Louisiana is wonderfully spiced and leaner than typical pork sausage.
It is firm and wont fall apart. A little goes a long way. Get
the best you can find, its worth it. Andouille can be a main spice
in many dishes from red beans (gads they are good) to Cajun Chaos.
Heat - The pepper compliment to Cajun food. Traditionally,
cayenne pepper is used but modern Louisiana cooking employs many other
peppers for both heat and flavor ranging from cracked black pepper to
fresh and dried chili from a variety of sources. For lazy Cajun cooks
like myself we just make up an essence (yes, Emerils
is good but later Ill show you how to make your own and save $$$).
Or use a jug of Crystal hot sauce (some prefer the
aged Tabasco sauce from the beautiful McHinnery factory in the bayou).
I love to use fresh vine ripened red Serrano peppers or dry flaked New
Trio - Chopped bell pepper, onions, and garlic. Oh
buddy. Go fresh, it makes a difference. I love Maui onions (which are
actually Texas yellows) and/or fresh shallots, red bell pepper (yellow
are even better), and loads of garlic. When the holy trio is married
to chili pepper the union is guaranteed to light up all of your taste
buds. Oh quit worrying about your breath. With all of the cannabis and
wine in this recipe everyone at the table will be far too baked to notice.
OK, here we go.
Rice - One cup
to two and one half cups of water- Steam till tender. Note: do not overcook
or allow to dry out. Just cook and set aside warm.
˝ to 1 pound
Two large shallots -
of garlic - minced
One bunch of
spring onions (green onions) - chopped
3 medium zucchinis -
1 bell pepper -
˝ cup red wine
(good Port if you have it)
1 large can
of crushed tomatoes or 4 large tomatoes finely chopped
New Mexico dried chili or two diced Serrano peppers
of you utterly out of your minds you may add 2 drops of Daves
Insanity sauce-from Habeneros)
Juice of one
1 bay leaf
(dont forget to fish it out at the end!)
cracked black pepper
4 tablespooons bud butter
Brown the Andouille
in a hot skillet with a minimum of olive oil-set aside on a paper towel
to cool and drain
skillet with the port wine, bring to heat and sauté the shallots and
and bring back to heat. Add spices and lemon juice. Cut the Andouille
into chunks, add and simmer covered for ten minutes. Add the zucchini,
green onions, and bell pepper and simmer covered for another 10-15 minutes
or until the zucchini is tender. Add (finish) the sauce by adding the
bud butter during the last five minutes
Garnish with a pinch of Romano cheese and powdered bud. Serve steaming over rice
Recommended wine: Any big red wine (I prefer Kendall-Jackson Cabernet)
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