Saturday, December 14, 2013

Recipes: Stay - a - Bed Stew and Our Favorite Jambalaya

As requested Readers.  Her are two of my favorite cold weather recipes:

Recipe:  Stay - a - Bed Stew (adapter from Peg Bracken, the "I Hate to Cook" cookbook).  With love and gratitude to Peg Bigley.

The name of this dish suggests what you can do while this easy one pot recipe long cooks.  And, oh, the aromas in the house!


Two pounds of stew meat, cubed, fat trimmed, but not entirely removed
One cup of cut up carrots (wash the carrots well and do NOT peel the carrots - all of the nutrients and most of the flavor are in that skin)
Two medium onions, chopped
One teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste - at least a 1/2 teaspoon
One can of condensed Tomato Soup, mixed with 1/2 can of water - I have moved away from condensed soups, but sometimes you just have to go with the original!
Two - Three large potatoes, quartered
One tablespoon each of fresh Thyme and Parsely - chopped - OR use 1 Teaspoon of dried herbs


Mix all of the ingredients - except the parsley - into a 2 1/2 quart casserole
Put the casserole into a 275 degree oven
Cook for five hours

Remove.  Skim fat if any is floating on the top.
Top with the parsley and serve

NOTE:  Make it "Beef Bourgourgne" - add 1/2 can of red wine instead of water!  Impress folks.

Recipe:  Crawfish and Sausage Jambalaya (adapted from Emeril Lagesse, "Every Day's a Party" cookbook)

This is delicious and easy.  Feel free to substitute medium to large fresh shrimp - peeled and cleaned - for the crawfish. However, most good seafood vendors now carry frozen crawfish tales.  Look for Gulf Coast on the crawfish label.  Just defrost - they are delicious! As you will see, this recipe uses the New Orleans cuisine staple:  The "holy trinity" - onion, green peppers and celery!


Two tablespoons of Vegetable or Canola oil
Two cups of chopped yellow onions
One cup of chopped green bell peppers
One half cup of chopped celery
One teaspoon of sale
One half teaspoon of cayenne
One pound of smoked sausage (your choice; kielbasi is used a great deal and, I think, is perfect). Cut the sausages in half, lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
Four Bay Leaves
Two cups of peeled, seeded and chopped canned tomatoes
One tablespoon of chopped garlic
One pound of crawfish tails or shrimp
Two cups of of long-grain rice
Five cups of low salt chicken stock
One half cup of green onions/scallions - green parts only


Heat the oil over medium heat in a Dutch Oven 
Add the onion, bell peppers, and celery and season with the salt and the cayenne
Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are wilted - about 5 minutes
Add the chopped sausage and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes
Add the bay leaves, tomatoes, garlic and if you are using crawfish, add them now
Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes
Add the rice and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes
Add the chicken stock and bring it to a boil
Reduce the heat to medium - low, cover, and cook for 15 - 20 minutes
If you are using shrimp, add them now and cook for about 10 - 15 minutes more, until the rice is tender and the shrimp  are cooked
Remove the bay leaves, stir in the chopped green onions, and serve hot.

Enjoy both of these delicious, basically one - pot, cold weather comfort dishes.

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