This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Vallery Lomas. I modified the method and proportions. I forgot the scallion garnish- an issue that I have on holidays. Fantastic nonetheless.
Yield: Serves 6
For the Grits:
3 cups whole or reduced-fat milk (see Tip)
6 T unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups stone-ground grits
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp or sharp Cheddar (I used New Zealand Sharp Cheddar)
For the Shrimp:
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used tail-on 21-25 count shrimp)
2 1/2 tsp Creole seasoning (see Tip) (I used Slap Ya Mama)
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces Andouille sausage, diced (I used Aidells)
1 medium or large yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 green bell peppers, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
21 oz San Marzano tomatoes with juice (about 3/4 of a 28 oz can)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup sour cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
hot sauce, for serving, optional
2 T thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
To Prepare the Grits:
Bring 3 cups water, milk, butter, salt, and grits to a simmer in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk, turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 25 to 30 minutes.
After the resting period, return the pot to low heat. (At this point, start preparing the shrimp.)
Intermittently, stir while the grits begin to thicken and become creamy, about 20 to 30 minutes. Add additional water a few tablespoons at a time if the grits thicken before they are cooked. When stirring, be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to prevent the grits from sticking and burning.
When the grits are done, remove from the heat and stir in the pepper and cheese.
Taste to adjust seasoning, adding up to an additional 1/2 teaspoon more salt, if desired.
To Prepare the Shrimp:
Pat the shrimp dry. Toss them in a medium bowl with the Creole seasoning; set aside.
Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. (I used a 14-inch stainless steel skillet.)
Add the diced sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until the fat has rendered and the sausage is crispy along the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Working in batches, add the shrimp and cook about 1 1/2 minutes each side, until cooked through. Transfer the shrimp to the plate with the sausage.
Add the diced onion and bell pepper to the skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes and stock, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon.
Once the liquid is boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add shrimp and sausage and cook until hot, about 1 minute.
Turn off the heat and swirl in the sour cream. Taste to adjust seasoning, adding salt or pepper as needed.
Serve immediately, topped with the hot shrimp mixture. Finish with a few dashes of hot sauce, if desired, and a sprinkling of scallions.
For a more savory profile, prepare the grits in 6 cups of low-sodium chicken stock instead of water and milk.
If you don’t have Creole seasoning, you can combine 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne.
My daughter was absolutely obsessed with making cowboy caviar this summer. This recipe made a large volume. The leftovers were perfect to have available to eat as a side, a dip, or over salad greens. Everyone loved it.
This version was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Margaux Laskey. We ate it with tortilla chips and grilled chicken sausages for dinner. 🙂 I served the diced mango as an additional topping on the side to please everyone in my crowd.
Yield: 8 cups
5 T olive oil
4 T freshly squeezed lime juice or red wine vinegar
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp granulated sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 beefsteak tomato, seeded, cored, and diced plus 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or any combination of tomatoes resulting about 1 cup diced)
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans or black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 2 to 4 cobs) or thawed, drained frozen sweet corn (about 8 ounces)(I used kernels from 3 ears of corn)
1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish, if desired
1 avocado, diced, optional
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled, optional
1 mango, diced, optional
1-2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped, for garnish, optional
tortilla chips, for serving
Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to combine.
Cut the corn kernels off the cob directly into the bowl with the dressing.
Add the tomatoes, red onion, black beans, pinto/black-eyed peas, bell pepper, jalapeño and cilantro. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
To serve, toss well and season to taste. Add the diced avocado, crumbled feta, and diced mango, if using.
Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with scallions and serve with tortilla chips. (Alternatively, the avocado can also be served over the top.)
I have a couple dishes to share that are absolutely loaded with greens. This colorful dish could be served as a main but we ate it as a hearty side with grilled mustard chicken thighs and roasted potatoes. I drizzled the potatoes with residual bacon fat (from this dish) prior to roasting- great.
This recipe was adapted from The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman, via The New York Times, contributed by Julia Moskin. I modified the method and incorporated my CSA beet greens, kale, and collard greens. The original recipe notes that carrots or summer squash can be substituted for the peppers and corn. Easy and delicious.
Yield: Serves 6 as a side
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot or small onion, minced
3 cups corn kernels, from about 4 ears corn (or a combination of corn and diced summer squash)(thawed frozen corn okay)
1/2 cup chopped red or orange bell pepper (or carrot)
pinch red pepper flakes
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
6 to 8 cups de-stemmed greens, like chard or kale, cut into 1/4-inch ribbons (or whole baby spinach, or another tender green)(I used a combination of beet greens, kale, & collard greens)
Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.) Transfer to paper towels to drain; pour off all but a teaspoon of fat from the skillet. (Reserve the bacon fat for another use- such as roasting potatoes!)
Add butter and melt.
Add shallot (and carrot, if using) and adjust heat; vegetables should sizzle, but not scorch. Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes.
Add greens and cook for about 4 minutes, until beginning to wilt.
Add corn (and/or squash), peppers, and pepper flakes and let sizzle, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Crumble bacon and add to skillet with scallions. Cook together 1 minute and serve hot.
I served this tasty dish for our Mardi Gras dinner followed by our essential celebratory King Cake for dessert. It was festive and delicious.
I admittedly used Cajun seasoning instead of Creole Seasoning- gasp! After making the dish, I read about the similarities and differences between the Cajun and Creole cuisines. Both cuisines use a roux, the “holy trinity” composed of onions, bell peppers, and celery sautéed in oil, and both are from Southern Louisiana. Cajun food incorporates more smoked meats and rice, such as jambalaya, and is from more rural parts of the region whereas Creole cuisine, such as étouffée, is from New Orleans. I included the recipe for the homemade Creole seasoning below. (for next time!)
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Vallery Lomas. I modified the cooking times and doubled the garlic. I also used store-bought seasoning and omitted the dried basil. The shrimp was cooked perfectly.
Yield: Serves 4
For the Creole Seasoning: (Optional)
1tablespoon smoked paprika
1tablespoon chili powder
1teaspoon onion powder
1teaspoon garlic powder
1/2teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less, if desired)
1/2teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2teaspoon black pepper
For the Shrimp:
1pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used large tail-on shrimp)
2teaspoons homemade or store-bought Creole seasoning, divided (I used Slap ya Mama)
1/4cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick / 4 T)
1/3cup (5 T) all-purpose flour
1medium or large yellow onion, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
2celery ribs, thinly sliced
1green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
4 to 8garlic cloves, minced (I used a food processor)
1(15-ounce) can tomato sauce (no salt added)
1 to 2teaspoons hot sauce, to taste (optional) (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
1teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2teaspoon dried thyme (or 1/2 T fresh thyme)
1/2teaspoon dried oregano (or 1/2 T fresh oregano)
1/2teaspoon dried basil (or 1/2 T fresh basil)
2dried bay leaves
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/4cup)
1/4cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems
steamed rice, for serving (I used white Basmati rice)
Make the optional Creole seasoning: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir together. The seasoning makes about 1/4 cup; store it in a closed container in a cool, dry place. (Only 2 teaspoons are used in this dish.)
Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Then toss the raw shrimp with 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning and set aside.
In a Dutch oven or large, heavy skillet with a lid, melt the butter over medium-low heat. (I used a low and wide enameled cast iron pot.)
Sprinkle the flour on top and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until a roux the color of peanut butter forms, about 5 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully- if the roux burns it cannot be saved.
Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper, increase the heat to medium and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
Stir in 1/3 cup water, then the tomato sauce, hot sauce (if using), sugar, thyme, oregano, basil (if using), bay leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally to make sure that the bottom doesn’t burn. (If needed, add more water.)
Once the stew has thickened, add the seasoned shrimp and simmer until opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes, turning each piece halfway through the cooking time. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes, uncovered.
Serve over steamed rice sprinkled with sliced scallions and chopped parsley.
This dinner was like a mini-Thanksgiving feast. 🙂 I served the chicken with roasted gold and sweet potatoes, broccoli, and acorn squash. The incredibly flavorful, rich sauce made the meal complete.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by José Andrés. It was inspired by the rotisserie chicken and sauce made by the Morales family at El Asador de Nati in Córdoba, Spain. The sauce incorporates the pan drippings with an entire head of roasted garlic. Wonderful.
one 4 1/2- to 5-pound chicken, patted dry
freshly ground black pepper
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise, plus 2 cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced yellow onion (I used 1/2 large yellow onion)
1/2 cup minced green or orange bell pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
pinch of dried thyme
Preheat the oven to 425°, preferably on convection roast.
Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper and place in a large ovenproof skillet (I used a 12″ sauté pan) along with the head of garlic, cut sides down. Roast for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken breast registers 160°. (I used the oven probe.)
Transfer the chicken and garlic to a cutting board; let rest for 15 minutes. Pour the pan drippings into a heatproof bowl.
Meanwhile, in the skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, minced garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the wine, bay leaf, thyme and the reserved pan drippings.
Squeeze the roasted garlic into the sauce and bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer over moderately low heat until slightly reduced, 5 minutes.
Discard the bay leaf. Transfer to a blender, add 2 tablespoons of water and puree until very smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. (I used a Vitamix.)
Carve the chicken and transfer to a platter. Drizzle with sauce and serve additional roasted-garlic pan sauce on the side.
I love Thai curries. My go-to Thai takeout dish is ALWAYS red curry- so this was a nice change of pace. 🙂 This dish is a super-quick cook made with store-bought curry paste.
I adapted this Everyday Food recipe by using a combination of chicken meat, adding shallots, green peppers, and coconut oil, and by serving it over brown rice. It was a wonderful end-of-summer dish as it made use of my grill, garden basil, and CSA green beans and bell pepper, while also being the warm and filling meal perfect for a cool evening. Healthy, flavorful, and delicious!
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast and 5 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 can (14.5 ounces) coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Season the chicken meat with salt and pepper. Grill or broil the meat to cook. Cut into 1-inch pieces, set aside.
Cook rice according to package instructions. (I cook 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of chicken stock for 30-40 minutes.)
Meanwhile, place cornstarch in a small bowl; whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons chicken stock until smooth (reserve remaining stock). Set aside.
Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium. Add onion and shallot; cook, tossing frequently, until they begin to soften, then add the green beans and bell pepper. Continue to cook until vegetables begin to soften as well, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add curry paste to green beans and onion in skillet. Cook, stirring and scraping bottom of skillet, until paste is slightly darkened, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add chicken, coconut milk, cornstarch mixture, and reserved chicken broth. Simmer until vegetables are tender and sauce is slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add basil and lime juice. Season with salt, and stir to combine; serve over rice.
I adapted this recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen to make a Minestrone that was more like a stew. It was really thick! I added Parmesan rind to the stew as it simmered, and finished it with freshly squeezed lemon juice to brighten the flavors. I also added baby spinach (instead of diced fresh tomatoes) just before serving to add color and texture. The parsley and freshly grated Parmesan garnishes also added a lot to the finished dish. Healthy and good. We ate it with warm flatbread.
2 T olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
5 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt
1 stalk celery, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 small zucchini, diced and/or 1 cup diced eggplant
1 tsp oregano
fresh black pepper, to taste
1 tsp basil
1 medium bell pepper, diced
3-4 cups (or more) water (I used stock)
1 14 1/2-oz can tomato puree (approximately 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups cooked pea beans, chickpeas, or kidney beans (if canned: well-rinsed and well-drained)
1/2 to 1 cup dry pasta (any shape) (I used Ditalini)
1 or 2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, diced (optional)
baby spinach (or other greens, optional)
fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly minced parsley
Parmesan cheese (and rind – optional)
Heat the olive oil in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then add celery, carrot, eggplant (if using zucchini, add it later, with the bell pepper), oregano, black pepper, and basil. Add Parmesan rind (if using), cover, and cook over very low heat about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add bell pepper, zucchini, water, and tomato puree. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Add beans and simmer another 5 minutes.
Bring the soup to a gentle boil. Add pasta, stir and cook until the pasta is tender. Add lemon juice. Stir in the diced fresh tomatoes or baby spinach, and serve right away topped with parsley and Parmesan.