Jambalaya is one of those dishes that has almost as many versions as there are people who cook it. I grew up eating my aunt’s jambalaya at her big house in little Mamou, LA and her version will forever live in my mind as the classic Cajun recipe. Fresh gulf shrimp, andouille sausage and chicken jambalaya was her South Louisiana answer to “surf and turf,” with a little “sky” thrown in for good measure. Continue reading
For some reason I’ve only eaten steak on the rare occasion. It isn’t that I dislike steak, it’s just that I like chicken and fish considerably more. I even went a year without eating beef or pork, and only started up again because at the end of that year I happened upon a blood drive and they almost wouldn’t allow me to contribute because I was borderline anemic. The nurse asked me if I was a vegetarian, and when she was certain that I didn’t have any moral objections against doing so she suggested that I start incorporating more red meat into my diet. Continue reading
This so happens to be one of our favorite stir fry recipes that I adapted from a Better Homes And Gardens article a number of years ago. What can I say about stir fry that I haven’t already said except to reintegrate the ease and flavors of these main dishes. You’ll find that oriental
cooking has several techniques aside from stir fry such as firepot cooking, tempura, steaming, grilling and etc. A good oriental cookbook on this subject is great fun and very educational. You’ll soon find so many wonderful, healthy recipes to indulge in and enjoy.
I like Japanese cooking as well. The main difference between Chinese and Japanese is in Japanese cooking the sauce is not thick such as in Sukiyaki. Continue reading
Remember a few years ago when salsa was poised to pass catsup (ketchup?) and become the most popular condiment in the United States? Caramelized onions may never take the number one (or, numero uno) spot, but they are definitely in my top five. Maybe even my top three. Continue reading
For a long time this stuffed bone-in chicken breast was one of my go-to recipes whenever I cooked for friends. It’s so easy to make that I’ve cooked it over a campfire on several occasions, and so adaptable that I’ve done many different versions.
I grew up in Minnesota and we occasionally had something that would require barbecue sauce however, now that I live in Texas I now understand the importance of this spicy, tangy sauce.
Texans love their barbecue sauce and I have to say I’ve tasted some wonderful varieties living here. Continue reading
I have made this Boeuf Bourguignon recipe on a number of occasions over the years and it is sublime. It’s easy and much faster than the original French recipe. However, it is still dark, rich, and wine based with a slow cook style. Slow cooking is very important, a simmer for three to four hours is key. Continue reading
We’ve got a great recipe for a spicy link sausage to share with you. A number of years ago I discovered making my own sausage– Italian, spicy pork, and a chicken sausage as well as a few others. To say I had such fun making these (as well as eating them) would be an understatement. I don’t know why but I really enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and it’s so simple with savory dishes. Add a touch of this, a sprinkle of that… a pinch here and there makes life more interesting, don’t you think? As your palate experiences different flavors it just gets easier to expand and perfect recipes to your own taste. Let’s face it- cooking should be a fun and creative outlet. Continue reading
Early on I made a chicken stock for you, as winter had arrived and well, lets face it, there is nothing like homemade soup- for which you need a good stock. So today we’ll make beef stock and oh I see beef stew in my future. Actually, French Onion Soup sounds really wonderful with melted cheese… and a glass of wine, too. Doesn’t it sound perfect?
There are many occasions where a recipe calls for either chicken or beef stock and what is called stock in our grocery store is so watered down it no longer resembles a stock with the appropriate adjectives such as rich, deep flavor, mouth watering, and soul satisfying. Your stock is the essence of the dish; if it’s not the very best the dish will not be your best creation. You can make a good stock and freeze it and for the occasion when you just need a few tablespoons it’s a great idea to freeze them in ice cube trays then pop out what you need. Great for soups, stews and sauces.
In classic French cuisine stocks are so important that they are known as the “fond du cuisine”
or the foundation of cooking. Stocks are not intimidating by any mean but rather easy and economical and taste wonderful. Save all your bones, freeze them and they will be there when you have time to cook them up and make your stock. Here we go.
In a large stock pot add all your bones, vegetables, spices and water. Bring it to a boil then lower heat to medium and continue simmering for 2-3 hours. Check it often and adjust the temp if necessary. I usually aim for 3 hours as it has time to render the marrow and make it richer. Remove bones and vegetables to a strainer and drain broth thru strainer right into a bowl, pressing any liquid out of vegetables with the back of a large spoon. Discard any solids and drain remaining stock if any in the same strainer catching any spices or pieces. Again, press liquid out with the back of a large spoon, and discard the solids. If you can drain everything all at once, great! I tend to do batches- it’s just easier and I don’t have a large enough strainer. Remember you want a smooth, silky broth.
Refrigerate stock so fat rises to the top, you can now skim off and discard the fat. Freeze in ice cube trays or freezer bags. Now you’re ready for the next time you prepare a soup, stew or sauce. You’ll taste the difference and never purchase at the grocery store again. I promise.
- 4 pounds meaty beef neck bones or beef soup bones
- 12 cups water
- 1 large onion
- 2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into pieces
- 2 large celery stalks with leaves cut into pieces
- 1 large leek, cleaned and cut into pieces
- 1 heaping Tablespoon parsley
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- Add all ingredients to a large stock pot.
- Bring to boil.
- Lower heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours.
- Remove bones and vegetables.
- Strain liquid into a container.
- Refrigerate until fat solidifies at top.
- Remove fat.