Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Cajun-Style Jambalaya

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A great way to be transported from your dining room to the French Quarter is with my Cajun-Style Jambalaya! This one-pot wonder is done in layers. What I mean is, I’m going to season and cook each layer as I go, building layers of flavor.

The first is to prep all the vegetables.

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Next, on to the proteins for this dish.

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I marinate the chicken and shrimp in a mixture of olive oil,  Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, along with a Cajun seasoning blend.

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Once you season the shrimp transfer them to the refrigerator until they ready to be added to the pot. They’re the last ingredient to be added to this dish.

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Slice the sausage.

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The liquids along with the tomato paste are ready. So we are ready to start!

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, chef’s knife, 2 large mixing bowls, 1 large platter

Marinade For Chicken And Shrimp:
Shrimp:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 yellow onion, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 Poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 green onions, white parts sliced, (green tops sliced on the bias save for garnish)
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 12-ounce package Andouille sausage sliced (5 links)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (approx. 1 pound)
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning
1 1/4 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked
1 28-ounce can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
3 cups of chicken stock, unsalted

Directions:
1. In a large preheated Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Stirring frequently, add garlic, Fresno chili, (white parts) green onions, dried oregano, fresh thyme, Kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Cook for 1 minute.

2. Add in marinated diced chicken. Cook until golden brown, 5 minutes

3. Add in bell peppers, diced onion, diced Poblano pepper, tomato paste, sliced Andouille sausage, and stir through. Cook until fragrant, 4 minutes.

4. Add chicken stock, Cajun seasoning blend, crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, and rice cover reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until rice is tender and liquid is almost absorbed around 25 minutes.

5. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook until shrimp are pink and just cooked through around 3 to 5 minutes.

6. Turn heat off and the green onion tops for garnish, stir to combine.

Serve hot. This is my Cajun-Style Jambalaya.

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Louisiana-Style Gumbo

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This dish is a labor of love. It’s a dish that took me a while to master. They say, Gumbo is a thick soup/stew that’s usually served over rice, jambalaya is a rice dish that contains the proteins and the vegetables. I’d say Gumbo is the Cajun version of a Paella.

For my Louisiana-Style Gumbo recipe, I’m leaving out the okra. I love okra but Steve is not a fan. If you’re adding the okra in and it’s not in season, use the frozen variety. Add the okra in towards the end. I’ll remind you when I get to that point.

There are many components to this dish but they compliment each other beautifully. Using the best ingredients you can find makes a difference in the finished dish. Let’s get started.

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Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 30 to 40 minutes (includes pre-cooking sausage, chicken, cleaning the shrimp, and dicing all the vegetables)
Cook Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 47 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, 10-inch sauté pan with a tight-fitting lid, chef’s knife, 3 medium-size bowls, silicone whisk

Ingredients:
1 pound of Andouille sausage (6 links)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 2 1/2-inch dice
3/4 pound of medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (1 tablespoon for sautéing the *holy trinity)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, unsalted
3/4 heaping cup of all-purpose flour
2 cups of celery, diced, including leafy tops
1/2 cup of green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup of sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons of Creole seasoning (1 tablespoon to season the chicken, 1/2 tablespoon to season the shrimp)
1 (15-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes (substitute diced tomatoes)
1 teaspoon of ground thyme
2 bay leaves
5 1/2 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
1 (15-ounce) package of (cut-style) frozen okra, thawed (optional)
6 to 8 servings of Basmati rice, Success Boil-in-a-Bag, cooked
1/2 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped for garnish
1/4 cup of green onion tops, cut on the bias, for garnish

Directions:
Add the andouille sausage to a sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock to the pan. Place on a tight-fitting lid and bring the sausage links up to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

In the meantime dice the *holy trinity, onions, celery, and green bell peppers. Next is to mince the garlic for the dish. Transfer to a large platter and set aside.

Next, remove all the liquid from the pan, place the pan back over the heat allowing the sausage links to brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, transfer the links to a cutting board to cool down before slicing them on the bias. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

On a meat-safe board cut the chicken into 2-inch pieces. Season the chicken with 1 tablespoon of Creole seasoning, toss to coat. Using the same pan, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the chicken to the hot pan, cook, flipping the pieces of chicken occasionally, allowing them to brown on all sides. This process takes about 15 minutes. Transfer the seared chicken to a bowl. Set aside.

Next, is to peel and devein the shrimp. This takes about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Season with 1/2 tablespoon of Creole seasoning. Set aside. The shrimp will be the last ingredient that gets added to this dish.

The *roux is a very important player for a great gumbo. This is where the labor of love for this dish comes in to play. A dark peanut butter color is what I’m looking for. This means going past the blonde stage (blonde in color) for a standard *roux.

In a non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt 6 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Using a silicone whisk, slowly add the flour, whisking continuously, until the butter/oil mixture absorbs the raw flour in a paste-like and smooth consistency. At this point, the *roux will start to bubble.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to whisk for 3 to 5 minutes the *roux will start turning light caramel in color. Switch to a rubber spatula. Scrape down all the sides and bottom of the pan. Again, continue to whisk,  you’re looking for the *roux to turn a dark peanut butter color, this may take anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes.

In a preheated Dutch oven over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the onions, ground thyme, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. After the onions start to soften, add the diced celery, green bell pepper, and minced garlic. Stirring occasionally cook for 5 to 7 minutes. At this point add the tomato paste, stir to combine. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

Using a spatula, transfer the *roux to the Dutch oven, stir to coat the vegetables. Add the andouille sausage, chicken, fire-roasted tomatoes with the juice, and 2 bay leaves, stir to combine.

Next for the liquid. Continue over medium heat, add chicken stock, stir to combine. Bring all this up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer. Occasionally stirring, cook for 30 to 35 minutes. During the last five minutes of cooking, add the shrimp and thawed frozen okra. Cook for another 5 minutes.

At this point, the sauce will have thickened. Remove from the heat, cover to keep hot.

I like serving my Louisiana-Style Gumbo over Basmati. Right before serving, garnish with sliced green onion tops and Italian flat-leaf parsley.

*holy trinity:  The holy trinity of Cajun cooking consists of onions, bell peppers, and celery, the base for much of the cooking in the regional cuisines of Louisiana.

*Roux: a roux is a mixture of fat (especially butter) and flour used in making sauces.

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Cajun-Style Fajitas With Citrus Marinated Onions And Peppers

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I want to say, I love watching food shows. The shows give me a chance to keep learning new things. All types of chefs throughout the U.S. are always coming up with innovative ways to take classic dishes and make them their own.

I love to take what I’ve learned and put my own spin on the dish. The star of my dish is Andouille sausage. This type of sausage is widely used in New Orleans cuisine, for example; Jambalaya. It’s really flavorful, but it does have some heat.

These are my Cajun-Style Fajitas With Citrus Marinated Peppers And Onions.

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Prep Time:
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours minimum
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 12-inch sauté pan, 10-inch sauté pan, 2 large mixing bowls, large Tupperware container, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, non-stick cooking spray

Ingredients For Andouille Marinade:
10 links of Andouille sausage (about 1 1/2 pounds/2 packages), sliced on the bias
1 packed cup of light brown sugar
1 cup of molasses
2 tablespoons of water

Ingredients:
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
2 large sweet onions, quartered and roasted
2 red bell peppers, roasted, seeded and julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, seeded and julienned
12 ounces of orange juice
1/4cup of soy sauce, low sodium
1/4 cup of packed light brown sugar
6 limes, 2 juiced, 4 cut into wedges for garnish
2 large cloves of garlic, freshly grated
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated
2 cups of Queso Fresco, crumbled
6 (6-inch) flour tortillas
6 (4-inch) corn tortillas
Cilantro for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
In a large bowl add equal parts brown sugar and molasses. Add 2 tablespoons of water, mix to combine. Add the sliced Andouille sausage to the marinade, toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, overnight’s even better.

After quartering the onion place them into a large mixing bowl along with the bell peppers. Add olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, toss to coat. Arrange the onions and bell peppers on a rimmed baking sheet pan as seen in the picture above.  Roast for 40 minutes, turn the peppers halfway through to all them to char on all sides.

A Good Tip: When you open the oven to retrieve the roasted peppers, stand back for just a second so you don’t get a pepper facial.

Allow the onions to remain on the baking sheet to cool while preparing the roasted peppers for peeling. Using a pair of tongs grab the hot roasted peppers, transfer them to a large bowl and tightly cover with plastic wrap. This will cause the peppers to steam, while in the bowl, and this will ensure their skins will peel off easily. Give it around 30 minutes, before taking off the plastic wrap. Remove the skins and seeds. Slice the peppers into thin strips (julienne) placing them back into the bowl along with the roasted onions.

In a large Tupperware container add orange juice, low sodium soy sauce, light brown sugar, the juice of 2 limes, freshly grated garlic, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, whisk to combine. Add the roasted peppers and onions to the marinade, mix to combine and set aside.

The next step is to grate the Monterey Jack cheese and crumble the Queso Fresco. Transfer the cheeses to a plate and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the marinated sliced Andouille sausage. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens and sausage becomes caramelized. Add the roasted peppers, onions, and the citrus marinade to the pan. The marinade will help to deglaze the pan by using your wooden spoon to scrape any bits that may be stuck to the bottom. Frequently stirring the sausage, peppers, and onions together, cook for another 5 minutes or until the marinade’s reduced and the sauce has thickened, then turn off the heat

Preheat open to 400-degrees F.
I’m using both corn and flour tortillas for this dish. For the corn tortillas, I sprayed both sides with cooking spray and arranged them onto a rimmed baking sheet pan to crisp up in the oven, around 5 minutes.

The flour tortillas place on at a time into a dry hot sauté pan over medium heat. Cook for about 30 to 60 seconds, or until browned, then flip and cook for another 30 seconds.

Place a little of the marinated Andouille with the roasted peppers and onions on one of each type of the tortillas. Top with a combination of the Queso Fresco and the Monterey Jack cheese. Garnish with a kiss of very finely chopped cilantro. Serve with a couple of lime wedges. There you have it, my Cajun-Style Fajitas With Citrus Marinated Onions And Peppers

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