On Tuesday, some of my friends came over to revise together for the upcoming exams. Realising that we were all hungry, I decided to whip up something quick before our brains gave in. I ended up doing some corned beef cooked up on the stove, with rice, carrots (and for extra protein some slices of boiled egg). It was funny how it actually tasted pretty good despite me not being a hardcore corned beef fan. My friends approved too! (Might actually have to upload the recipe one day for you guys :-p).
This kind of cast my mind back to last semester when I had invited my friends over for dinner…
The task at hand:
Cook something easy, tasty and with the ability to stretch to “feed the 5000” (I had invited quite a few round and they can each eat quite a bit too lolz).
I went down the Cajun/Creole route and put together a gumbo…
With Cajun/Creole cuisine one should expect, big flavours, vibrant colours and some chilli heat. This particular cooking style of Louisiana, USA incorporates various cultural influences including from West Africa, France, Italy and others. Gumbo, a wholesome stew thickened with okra or a roux (flour and fat), is one of their most sort after dishes, and for good reason.
Key ingredients with this cuisine include important proteins such as shrimp and andouille sausage (smoked pork sausage) and of course what is known by Cajun chefs as the Holy Trinity. This consists of onions, green sweet pepper and celery. Another important addition is known as the Pope ie. garlic. All of these ingredients pack a punch and bring a deeper flavour to their dishes.
A large portion of their dishes require the use of a spice mix. You can normally buy this seasoning ready-made in most supermarkets, but being who I am I thought it would be fun making mines from scratch.
Cajun spice mix:
1 tbsp thyme, dried
1 tbsp basil, dried
1 tbsp oregano, dried
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
4 tbsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
4 tbsp paprika
You can store this in your cupboard within an airtight glass jar for future usage.
My Gumbo recipe:
(Serves many lol)
4 Chicken breast, washed & chopped(or 3 to 4 handfuls of chicken wings)
3-4 tbsp Cajun spice mix (for marination)
250g shrimps/prawns, washed
400g andouille sausage, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
1 large onions, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 green sweet pepper, chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
400g okra, frozen
120g plain flour
60ml vegetable oil
1L hot water
1 can tinned tomatoes
60ml Worcestershire sauce
1 handful of parsley, washed and chopped
4 beef stock cubes
Salt and pepper to taste, if desired
Add about 3-4 tbsp of Cajun seasoning mix to the chicken and allow to marinate for 24 hours.
Brown the chicken and remove.
Repeat for the sausage.
Sprinkle the flour with the oil and tbsp of butter into a deep saucepan at a medium heat.
Stir continuously for 10-15 minutes until brown (the browner the roux the better the flavour).
Let the roux cool.
Turn it down to a low heat.
Add the remaining butter, sweet pepper, garlic, celery and onions and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper (to taste). This should then be followed by the hot water, beef stock cubes, chicken and the sausage.
Bring everything to the boil, reduce and replace the lid.
Leave to simmer for at least 1 hour.
After the tinned tomatoes and okra should be added and left to simmer for a further 30 minutes.
Before you plate up add the spring onions, parsley and prawns/shrimps.
Serve with rice and slices of French baguette to mop up the delicious juices.
Hope you guys love this new post and will talk soon.