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April Moot – Chicken Creole, Gumbo, Jambalaya, Red Beans & Rice

Menu possibilities:
Chicken Creole
Fried Catfish
Red Beans & Rice (if I can get mom’s recipe and have the time)
Macaroni & Cheese (if you want something not rice)
beans & bacon (the way you make them)
corn bread
cheese grits
Jello mold
Sausage Balls (if you can find a way to turn gluten-free flour into a bisquick substitute)

Chicken Creole
1 stick of butter
1 medium – large onion depending on preference
2-3 lbs of chicken breast
1 green bell pepper
10 garlic cloves
as many tomatoes as you can peel (or 3 cans)
season as needed

Melt 1/3 of the stick of butter and saute diced chicken breast until barely pink. Add onions and keep cooking until chicken is cooked through and onions are creamy golden. Add garlic and give it just a moment to cook in the fat before adding the tomatoes and bell pepper.

Add a lot of salt, some pepper, a bay leaf if so inclined, and absolutely a dash of worcestershire sauce.


Gresham Gumbo (that is with neither tomatoes nor okra)
2 medium onions
3/4 – 1 cup flour
2 1/2 – 3 lbs chicken, cut up (white or dark)
smallish stalk of celery
2 bay leaves
6 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 lbs shrimp, cooked and cleaned (with tails still attached)
1 1/2 lbs crab meat, picked over (or 6-8 soft shell crabs)
worcestershire sauce
seafood seasoning

Dice and saute onions in butter until translucent.

In a separate pan, brown flour and make into a roux. Add enough water to make a thick gravy.

Pour gravy in a stock pot and add onions. Add chicken. Add more water until the gravy is medium thin.

Add salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, and a dash or two of seafood seasoning to taste. Add smallish stalk of celery, bay leaves, and garlic.

After a bit of cooking, add shrimp and crab.

Let cook until perfect. Serve over rice (with tabasco sauce and gumbo file).

Jambalaya (altered from a Bon Appetit recipe – never tried)
1 stick of butter
1 large red onion
2 medium yellow onions
4 scallions
1 large green bell pepper
6 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
2 celery stalks
2 jalapeno chilies, w/o seeds
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
1/2 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon powdered thyme
3/4 teaspoon vegemite
1 lb andouille sausage
3/4 lb ham
(and/or chicken, shrimp, mussels, whatever) (can brown meats first, too)
2 1/2 cans of chicken broth (45 ounces-ish)
2-3 cans of tomatoes
3 cups rice

garnish with scallion and/or parsley

Melt butter in a heavy large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, scallions, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, celery, jalepeno, Creole seasoning, cayenne pepper, oregano, and thyme. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Mix in vegemite. Add meat, broth, tomatoes, and rice. Bring mixture to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until rice is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Garnish with green onion or parsley.


Red Beans & Rice
Look over the beans and remove any stones or seriously defective beans.

Wash the beans in at least three complete changes of water.

You have a choice: either soak the beans overnight, or cook them longer. I usually cook them longer.

Put the beans and a gracious plenty of water on the stove and bring to a boil.


1 clove of garlic, minced very fine (you don’t want to
consciously taste garlic)
One large-ish onion, diced.
Meat: I use fresh pork, but I prefer ham
Seasonings: pepper (not too much), worcestershire sauce, dash of tabasco.
About half a teaspoon of sugar (or less; go by taste; it removes any bitterness/astringency)
(Maternal grandmother used to put in a stalk of celery for an hour or so of the cooking, but mother never did.)

Cook and add water for hours and hours, until a good bean gravy has developed. Correct the seasoning–which usually means add more salt, unless the ham was very salty.

If it’s good, that’s it. If it doesn’t seem _quite_ perfect, add a bit of gumbo file about five minutes before you serve it.

Serve over plain white rice.

Just figuring out a menu for the week

Townes van Zant thing until late
leftover sloppy joes

Tuesday *turned out very well*
Thai Curry
– green beans
– yellow & red bell peppers
– chicken? tofu? no protein at all?
– ginger
– carrots
– maybe buy some hot peppers to put in, too
over rice – make with coconut cream instead of butter

union elections
Meat & Potatoes
– last of the leftover beef
– potatoes
– onions
– garlic
– red bell pepper
– bacon!
– frozen gravy

2 bacon & egg sandwiches
going to see V for Vendetta

Sloppy Joes

Due to a surfeit of cooked beef and hamburger buns, I attempted to make sloppy joes from scratch using the Better Homes & Gardens recipe. It was edible, but not worth the effort as it was no where near as good as the stuff from a can.

(note: comments to this entry later asked whether the recipe had included any sugar. It had not. Adding some greatly improved the end result. Possibly still not to the level of the canned stuff, though.)

Storytime for Space Hamsters

So I very rarely boil water in the microwave. Occasionally, I’ll melt stock or heat water that I’m going to add to something I am cooking over high heat, but in those circumstances, I am rarely patient enough to do more than take the chill off the liquid.

I certainly never boil water for tea in the microwave…

… because of the A-Team.

There’s one episode where Murdock eats a sandwich cold out of a vending machine, instead of microwaving it, because he’s afraid that the space hamsters will get in it.

Shortly after watching that episode, I was microwaving water for tea, and noticed how breaking the surface tension by adding sugar caused a wash of white foam on the top. Space Hamsters!

So, yeah, to avoid the space hamsters, I always boil water with a hot pot’s heating element or on the stove.

This was a public service announcement.

Dinner tonight (+ lunches)

I am going away for the weekend, so I’d like to use up my perishables.

Foodstuffs with short lifespans
1-2 meal-worths of roasted beef
1-2 meal-worths of ham
3 small red bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
green beans
1/2 a small iceberg lettuce

1/3 a loaf of white sandwich bread
a few pocket pitas
Argh – yeah, and I have pears, too – I should check whether they are ripe yet

I think the green beans should go in a stir fry with the beef. If I cut them lengthwise, they’ll have a better texture after being frozen.

I think I will not try to make one big stir fry with all the ingredients because, while I could probably make it work, I’m a little horrified by the idea. Partly because the kind of stir fry with green beans should go over rice, but the kind with the lettuce should go with fried noodles. At least in my head.

So I’ve got ham running around. I could make the stir fry and freeze all of it and then make a dinner of ham, eggs, and toast. Or I could scramble them together, with some of the bell pepper, and put them in pita bread.

Okay, so that takes care of everything except a few miscellaneous slices of bread. I could toss them. I used the last of the milk last night, so bread pudding is out. Hmmmm… any ideas? Oh, yeah, and pears. You think I could cut up the pears, mix them up with some bread and brown sugar, bake it, and end up with something edible?

There’s hope that I might finally be getting a new supermarket! It has be vaguely under construction since it closed, but they do seem to actually be making progress recently. Yes I am excited about the cheaper groceries of greater variety – but I am even more excited about the public restroom. Oh my god, will people quit using the lot behind mine as a toilet? Don’t worry, there is a fence between my backyard and the lot, but when the supermarket was open, I could shortcut through the lot… not anymore!