Spinach & Oyster Loaf

The following recipe was prepared for my Chef Spotlight Dinner highlighting New Orleans chefs. You can read about it and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Spinach & Oyster Loaf
shared at the event by Robert
recipe can be found here

1/4 cup butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups finely chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup heavy cream
2 dashes hot sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt
3 cups fresh breadcrumbs
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup coarsely chopped and drained oyster

Preheat oven to 400°F and butter a loaf pan.

Melt butter in a large skillet, add onions, celery and garlic and cook over medium high heat, stirring until vegetables soften.
Add spinach, cream, hot sauce, nutmeg and salt.
Cook 5 minutes, stirring often.
Remove pan from heat, stir in bread crumbs, eggs and oysters, stirring until well mixed.
Spoon mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
Set pan in a larger baking dish and add about 1 1/2 inchs of boiling water.
Bake 45-50 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Seafood Jambalaya

The following recipe was prepared for my Chef Spotlight Dinner highlighting New Orleans chefs. You can read about it and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Seafood Jambalaya
shared at the event by Joelen
inspired by this recipe & adapted from here


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 red onions, chopped
5 green onions, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 jalapeño chili, finely chopped with seeds
1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound andouille sausage or hot Italian sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 pound ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 14 1/2-ounce cans chicken broth
1 16-ounce can plum tomatoes, diced, with liquid
3 cups long-grain rice

Melt butter in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add red onions, 4 green onion, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, jalapeño, Creole Seasoning, cayenne pepper and oregano. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Mix in tomato paste. Add sausage, ham, 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 remaining green onion and serve.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

The following recipe was prepared for my Chef Spotlight Dinner highlighting New Orleans chefs. You can read about it and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta
shared at the event by Betsy
recipe can be found here

2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
2 cup diced peeled and seeded tomatoes
2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
3 cup chicken or shrimp stock
1 pound vermicelli pasta or linguine
1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deviened (can substitute chicken)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions
Saute the onion in the olive oil for approximately four minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Add thyme, cayenne and black peppers, and basil and cook at low heat for five more minutes. Add everything else except for the pasta, shrimp, and cheese, and cook over low heat for an hour. Saute the shrimp in some butter and garlic until three-quarters cooked (pink, but not totally opaque). Add the sauce and cook for an additional two minutes. Add the cooked pasta and toss well with the grated cheese. Serve hot.

Red Beans & Andoille Over Rice

The following recipe was prepared for my Chef Spotlight Dinner highlighting New Orleans chefs. You can read about it and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Red Beans & Andoille Over Rice
shared at the event by Teresa
recipe can be found here


1 pound dried red beans, rinsed and sorted over
3 tablespoons bacon grease
1/4 cup chopped tasso, or chopped ham
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 pound smoked sausage, split in half lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound smoked ham hocks
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
10 cups chicken stock, or water
4 cups cooked white rice
1/4 cup chopped green onions, garnish

Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add the tasso and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers to the grease in the pot. Season with the salt, pepper, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the bay leaves, parsley, thyme, sausage, and ham hocks, and cook, stirring, to brown the sausage and ham hocks, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and stock or water, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and starting to thicken, about 2 hours. (Should the beans become too thick and dry, add more water, about 1/4 cup at a time.)

Remove from the heat and with the back of a heavy spoon, mash about 1/4 of the beans against the side of the pot. Continue to cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves.

Serve over rice and garnish with green onions.

Chef Spotlight: NOLA Cuisine Roundup!

Tonight was my monthly Chef Spotlight dinner! In remembrance of Hurricane Katrina that swept through New Orleans three years ago, we paid homage to the culinary talent that managed to withstand the winds and rains. My friends and I gathered around dishes we made using recipes of famous New Orleans chefs or random Cajun/Creole inspired recipes. Here’s what graced our table:


Cajun Caviar

shared at the event by Ruth

Cajun Crabcakes

shared at the event by Ruth

Spinach & Oyster Loaf
shared at the event by Robert

Red Beans & Andoille Over Rice
shared at the event by Teresa

Seafood Jambalaya

shared at the event by Joelen

Cajun Shrimp Pasta
shared at the event by Betsy
Bananas Foster Bread Pudding
shared at the event by Joelen
To join in the fun, my fellow bloggers have submitted recipes inspired by Cajun & Creole cuisine. As I do with each blogging event I host, a lucky blogger receives a giveaway related to the food theme. This event’s winner is Stina of Eat Something! Stina will be receiving a Cajun Cookbook compliments of Tony Chachare and a jar of King Creole Seasoning from The Spice House. Congratulations Stina and thanks to all that participated in the blogging event! Read on to check out the recipes submitted by my fellow bloggers…
Stina of Eat Something!
from Mephis, TN
Potage Maigre & Praline Bread Pudding
Stina contributes 2 meatless dishes and shares her thoughts on Creole food. Check out her blog for the Potage Maigre and Praline Bread Pudding recipes as well as her views on Creole cuisine!

Rachel of The Crispy Cook
from New York
Scallop & Corn Salad
Rachel joins the event with a colorful and refreshing salad, using lots of tomatoes, peppers, basil,and corn right from her garden. Check out her blog for the recipe and “BAM!” your guests with it!

Jessica of New Year, New Name, New Me
from Wisconsin
New Orleans French Market Beignets
What would a New Orleans food event be without Beignets? These soft pillowy treats are what Jessica shares with us. Check out her recipe on her blog and you just might stop eating doughnuts!

Elizabeth of Elizabeth’s Edible Experience
from Fairfax, VA but originally from NOLA
Cornbread & Andouille Dressing
Elizabeth joins us for her first blogging event and shares her amazing dressing. It has some great flavors mixed in so be sure to check out her blog for the recipe!
Ally of Culinary Infatuation
from Atlanta, GA
Healthier Red Beans & Rice
Looking for healthy recipes without sacrificing flavor? Give Ally’s recipe for Red Beans
& Rice a try! She lightens it up using brown rice & smoked turkey sausage. Check out her blog for the recipe and give it a try!

Heather of The Shannon’s Kitchen
from Florida
Jambalaya Pasta
Heather made an Emeril Lagasse recipe for Jambalaya Pasta chock full of chicken, shrimp & andoille sausage. Check out her blog for the great recipe and find out what interesting side dish she made to accompany it!

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

The following recipe was prepared for my Chef Spotlight Dinner highlighting New Orleans chefs. You can read about it and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding
shared at the event by Joelen
inspired by this recipe & adapted from here

4 loaves – French bread, each 1’ long
1 qt – Heavy cream
1 ½ C – Whole milk
1 ½ C – Sugar
3 C – Light brown sugar
12 ea – Egg yolks
3 ea – Bananas
1 C – Rum
½ t – Ground cinnamon
4 T – Vanilla extract
Fresh mint for garnish

Slice French bread and dry in a 200° oven for 20 minutes. Combine remaining pudding ingredients in a large container and blend well with a hand mixer. Thinly slice dried French bread and place in an 8” x 10” x 2” pan. Pour pudding into pan and mush all bread by hand so that the liquid is absorbed and the bread becomes very soggy. Be sure to flatten all of the lumps. Cover pan with foil and bake at 300° for 2 ½ hours, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the pudding comes out dry. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Foster Sauce
4 ½ C – Unsalted butter
4 ½ C – Packed dark brown sugar
3 t – Ground cinnamon
2 ¼ C – Golden rum
2 ¼ C – Banana liqueur
8 – Bananas, sliced lengthwise and in half

Melt butter in a saucepot. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Add the rum and ignite. Allow the flames to subside. Then, stir in the banana liqueur. Add fresh bananas and simmer over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until the sauce coats the spoon.

To Serve: Cut bread pudding into 3 ½” x 3 ½” squares. Top warm bread pudding with Foster sauce and garnish with mint leaves.

Cajun Caviar

The following recipe was prepared for my Chef Spotlight Dinner highlighting New Orleans chefs. You can read about it and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Cajun Caviar
shared at the event by Ruth
recipe can be found here


1 (10 1/2 ounce) can black eyed peas, drained
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped (I use a mixture of red and yellow peppers)
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced (large)
1/3 cup pickled jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oill

Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.
Keep chilled until ready to serve with tortilla chips, corn chips or crackers.