Ah, the joys of New Orleans! I have to admit that I have an affinity for this cuisine as I was raised on the Mississippi River which connects North to South and runs through Memphis. Growing up, I had the best of the city and the country, a bit like in the movie “A River Runs Through It”. Couple that with a good John Grisham novel and there you have it. Court Square in Memphis was a nice relaxing place in the middle of downtown, close to Symphony Hall and right across from Goldsmiths which Is now Macy’s.
Times change, people grow and I have the memories. When I begin to prepare this dish, I think of Willie Mae, our maid, that raised me in Memphis, Beale Street and a nice laid back afternoon.
Continue reading Shrimp Ettouffee ala JK
Way down yonder in New Orleans, the gumbo be good! I been making this gumbo for a long time and it good. So good in fact that it don’t take no hot sauce because it be plenty spicy.
There is a difference between Creole and Cajun cooking. The Creole is a combination of French, Spanish and American Indian cuisines and was developed in New Orleans. The Cajun style is from the bayous of Louisiana.
First off, for any good Creole or Cajun dish like this one has to make a good roux. The standard is one to one on the oil and the flour. I use everything from bacon grease, corn oil to butter and even use some of the fat from the roast in this one to give it an extra punch. To make the roux, I use a black cast iron skillet on medium to medium low heat. Heat the oil and for this one I used ¾ cup of oil to ¾ cup flour. The oil was a mix of bacon grease, beef fat and corn oil. Stir the mix frequently or use a whisk for about 30 minutes and don’t try to speed it up. It should be a medium to dark brown for that extra flavor.
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Continue reading Beef and Sausage Gumbo
This is a recipe I obtained from the Dietician that was employed by my family in Milan, Tennessee. It is always a hit and even Jody, that does not really like broccoli, really enjoys this one!
Continue reading My Special Broccoli Casserole
You don’t get much more into the soul food tradition than this! The oxtails used to be a throw away part of the animal but now are coming into prominence in good Southern Cuisine. I use fresh as possible and like sourcing from farm to table as I prefer to know where the foods I use come from.
5 pounds oxtails
10 pounds collard greens
10 pounds mustard greens
Three hot red peppers
5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1 gallon of water to begin with
Wash the greens well in salt water. It usually takes two to three washings to get the grit off. Trim the leaves from the stems by pulling them off. I keep the stems for other uses.
Put the water on to boil with the oxtails in the pot. Add bacon or country ham to taste. When boiling, add the rest of the ingredients and reduce to a simmer for about two hours. Be sure and check the pot to add more water when needed. I sometimes use homemade chicken or beef broth to add more flavor to the dish.
When done, put the greens and oxtails in a big serving bowl and I serve the pot liquor on the side. The pot liquor is full of the necessary stuff for my joint lubrication and to cut down on that old arthritis pain. Adding fresh turmeric to the cooking pot also increases the medicinal quality of this great dish! I recommend it highly.