My roomie is from Louisiana so I have these moments in which I just want to sit down with a mason jar of sweet tea and eat some good old finger licking Cajun food. Now I would never dare attempt to make some crawfish or authentic creole cooking, but I wanted to do a quick weeknight homage to a girl from Houma, LA.
P/S I hate okra, but would love a kick a$$ gumbo or jambalaya recipe if any of you NOLA girls would like to hook a Philly girl up. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org and the winner will get posted on the blog and will also be eligible to win a groceries tote!
1/3 cup of half and half (original calls for heavy cream but its healthier this way)
1-2 tbsp. butter (ok seems like a lot but, its delish!)
1 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
2 tsp. of smoked paprika
2 tsp. of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. of crushed garlic
1 tsp. of dried parsley flakes
1 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup of chicken broth (again do the healthier option-low sodium)
On medium to high heat in a non-stick sauté pan create a roux (fancy French word alert: butter & flour mixture). That will be the base and thickening agent for your sauce. Slowly add in the garlic and spices. Once dissolved in the roux, add the liquids (both the half & half, as well as, the chicken broth). Stir the liquids to combine with the roux. Lower heat and toss in diced chicken or shrimp (cooking times will vary but any protein of choice will work. I did 1lb. of shrimp for 2 people) Now add the lemon juice and parsley flakes. Continue stirring, if the sauce is too thin add more roux (make another flour/butter combo). However, once completely mixed & you lower the heat, it should be fairly creamy and not watery. I served over cappellini noodles, but this would be very good over some dirty rice. Oh and I sprinkled with some chopped green onion for a traditional touch!
Guys, we need to stop having #fomo just because we aren’t in Austin. I re-created the feel of being down there by coming up with these sumptuous lil appetizers. You know because us grown ups have people over for drinks and apps on the weekends. Anyway, I went real southwestern with my home-made corn cakes, topped with spicy andouille chicken sausage & a dollop of my avocado sauce. It was sweet, spicy, creamy, crunchy, and filling. Everything you’d want to coat your stomach with before a night of cocktails. Plus, if you drink enough it will be way easier to pretend like your actually at SXSW.
1 can of creamed corn (400 grams)
2 cups of de frosted frozen corn
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar (I suggest sharp since its more flavorful, but go with whatever you have aka I may have just used leftover Mexican blend from fajita night, don’t judge)
1/2 of a red bell pepper chopped small (should be around the same size of the corn kernels).
1 tsp of baking powder
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flower
1/2 cup of milk
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
2 tsp. onion powder (I would even say thinly sliced green onion would be fab for this recipe, but I had to improvise with what was in my pantry. I am trying it with that next time though because this is a definite repeat dish).
salt & pepper to taste
Mix the creamed corn, eggs, chopped red pepper, corn, baking soda, flour, and milk. Then fold in the spices & cheese. Then in a sauté pan heat vegetable oil at medium to high heat (you don’t want to scorch the corn cakes, but if the oil isn’t hot enough you wont get a nice crisp on the cakes). Use a large tablespoon to measure out the corn cake mixture evenly in the pan. Meanwhile, I sliced the store bought sausage and threw it in the oven at 350 degrees to roast & crisp up as I made the corn cakes. I’d say about 10-15 minutes (but mine were fully cooked, in case yours are raw increase the cooking time to 20-25 minutes or when browned). Fry spoonfuls of the batter until bubbles appear at the top & flip (like you would do with pancakes). Allow to cook on the other side and then in a paper towel lined platter, cool the corncakes so the excess oil is absorbed. No one wants to be able to taste the grease, but they do want crispy & yummy corncakes. The batter should make about 15 corn cakes (varies based on size). Layer with a slice of the warm sausage and a cold dollop of the avocado sauce. Nosh your face off.