Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo with White Rice

The following recipe was made for my Food Network Chefs Dinner. You can read about it and get other recipes made for the event HERE.

Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo with White Rice
(seen on the left below, in red pot)
shared at the event by Howard
(an Emeril Lagasse recipe, found HERE)

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 pound smoked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa, cut crosswise 1/2-inch thick pieces

4 pounds chicken thighs, skin removed

1 tablespoon Essence or Creole seasoning, recipe follows

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped bell peppers

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

3 bay leaves

9 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup chopped green onions

2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

1 tablespoon file powder

White Rice, recipe follows

Hot sauce

In a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven or large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until well browned, about 8 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Season the chicken with the Essence and add in batches to the fat remaining in the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, let cool, and then refrigerate until ready to use.

Combine the remaining 1/2 cup oil and the flour in the same Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes, to make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate.

Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and cook, stirring, until wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the reserved sausage, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Stirring, slowly add the chicken stock, and cook, stirring, until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Add the reserved chicken to the pot and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface.

Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken thighs from the gumbo and place on a cutting board to cool slightly. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Pull the chicken meat from the bones and shred, discarding the bones and skin. Return the meat to the gumbo and stir in the green onions, parsley, and file powder.

Spoon rice into the bottom of deep bowls or large cups and ladle the gumbo on top. Serve, passing hot sauce on the side.

Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from “New New Orleans Cooking”, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

White Rice:

2 cups long-grain white rice

4 cups water, chicken stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 bay leaf

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the rice, water, butter, salt, and bay leaf and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit, covered and undisturbed, for 5 minutes.

Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Discard the bay leaf and serve.

Beef & chorizo filling

The following recipe was prepared for my Tamales cooking class. You can read about my class and get other links to recipes HERE.

Beef & chorizo filling

4 lbs lean ground beef
1 pkg of beef chorizo (2 large links)
1 packet of Sazon seasoning
1 large onion, finely diced
2-4 garlic cloves, minced

In a large skillet, brown chorizo and ground beef.
Add remaining ingredients and cook through until onions have softened.
Place in bowl and allow to cool.
Cover and chill until ready to fill tamales.

Beer & Mustard Bratwurst

The following recipe was made for my Picnic Wine event. You can read more about it and get additional recipes HERE.

Beer & Mustard Bratwurst
w/ caramelized onions & mushrooms on the side
shared at the event by Joelen
recipe HERE

8 links original bratwurst
3 (16-ounce) bottles beer
whole grain mustard to taste
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell peppers
1/2 cup thinly sliced green bell peppers
1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow bell peppers
1/4 cup minced garlic
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
8 toasted hot dog buns

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. In a large saucepan, combine bratwurst, beer, onions, bell peppers and minced garlic over high heat. Add just enough water to cover sausages if necessary. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce to simmer and cook 15-20 minutes. Remove sausages from pot and place on grill. Cook 5 minutes, browning evenly on all sides. Set aside and keep warm. Continue simmering sauce until reduced by half then season to taste with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Serve grilled brats on toasted hot dog buns and top with onions, bell peppers and mustard.

Roasted sausages w/Grapes

The follow recipe was shared at my Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Event. You can read and view links to other recipes that were featured HERE.

Roasted sausages w/Grapes
shared at the event by Kara
recipe from

1-1/2 pounds hot Italian sausage, cut into 3-inch lengths (see Note)
1-1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, cut into 3-inch lengths
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2-1/2 pounds red or green seedless grapes, stemmed (6 to 7 cups)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Prick the sausages with the tip of a knife or a metal skewer and add them to the boiling water. Boil the sausages gently for 8 minutes, then drain them and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large roasting pan over low heat. Add the grapes to the pan and toss to coat them with the butter. With tongs transfer the parboiled sausages to the pan and push them down into the grapes so that the sausages will not brown too quickly.

Roast the sausages and grapes in the preheated oven, turning the sausages once, until the grapes are soft and the sausages have browned, 20 to 25 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sausages and grapes to a heated serving platter.

Place the roasting pan on top of the stove over a medium-high flame and add the balsamic vinegar. Stir to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan and cook the vinegar and juices until they are thick and syrupy.

Pour the sauce over the sausages and grapes and serve immediately, accompanied with mashed potatoes.

Cold Paella Salad

The following recipe was shared during my Chef Spotlight Dinner highlighting recipes of Chef Wolfgang Puck. You can view other recipes and pictures of the event HERE.

Cold Paella Salad
shared at the event by Robert
Original recipe here

1 small whole chicken (about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1/2 red onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, de-veined, and diced
1 green bell pepper, cored, de-veined, and diced
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1/2 pound chorizo, sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups rice
4 cups chicken stock or water
1 pound mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
Fresh Herb Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Season chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper. Add oil to a large, heavy, oven-safe skillet and heat over high heat. When oil is almost smoking, carefully add chicken to pan and sear until almost cooked through; remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add shrimp to oil and sear until almost done; remove shrimp from pan and set aside.

Add more oil if needed, reduce the heat to medium, and then saute the onions and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes; do not let onions and garlic brown. Add bell peppers and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add saffron and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chorizo and brown for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for about 5 minutes. Add rice, and stir until the rice is well coated, about 1 minute. Add stock, return the chicken and shrimp to the pan, and add mussels and peas.

Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle vinaigrette over. Refrigerate and serve chilled or at room temperature. If serving at room temperature, refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving and then bring to room temperature.

Fresh Herb Vinaigrette: 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves 1/4 cup minced chives 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1/4 cup sherry vinegar Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Put chopped herbs in a medium bowl. Add garlic and vinegar. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil until combined. Set aside until paella is ready.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Here are the recipes for the appetizers I’m serving up 2 hours prior to the Thanksgiving buffet dinner. I figured I’d post the recipes now before the kitchen chaos begins…

Stuffed Mushrooms:

2 pkgs 16 oz fresh white mushrooms
1 lb pork sausage, cooked & browned
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon italian seasoning
1 cup powdered Triscuits (which I processed in a food processor)
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 375.
Brown sausage in pan with onions, garlic and 1 tablespoon italian seasoning.
Place cooked sausage mixture in a bowl and add Triscuits, cheese and remaining italian seasoning. Toss gingerly to combine.
Prep mushrooms and discard stems. (You can chop the stems and add to stuffing mixture if you prefer)
Carefully fill each mushroom cap with the filling.
Place mushroom caps on a mini muffin pan or lightly greased baking sheet.
Top each filled mushroom with additional shredded cheese, if desired.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted & browned.

Sausage Apple Dressing

Tonight is focused on my Traditional fare menu and some desserts. Everything is set for the most part… and I approached it as if it were just one of my cooking class events where everything is prepped and ready to assemble. Here are recipes of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes on my menu.

with a few of my adjustments below

1 roll pork sausage
2 applea chopped
salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder to taste
1 package white melba toast, roughly crushed
1 package wheat melba toast, roughly crushed
1 package boxed stuffing mix
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary seasoning mix
3 cups chicken broth
½ stick butter

In large pan, cook sausage, onions and garlic & seasonings.
Place crushed melba toasts and packaged stuffing mix in large bowl.
Add sausage mixture and toss in chopped apples.
Combine chicken broth, butter and rosemary seasoning mix and butter in measuring cup and pour over toast.
Place in casserole dish and bake at 350 for 20 -30 minutes.

Corn Dog Poppers

We made these appetizers during the holiday appetizer cooking class I hosted. You can view pictures, the entire appetizer menu and get links to the other recipes from the class HERE.

Corn Dog Poppers

1 polish kielbasa, sliced in 24 rounds
1 small box of corn muffin mix
Ingredients to prepare corn mufffin mix
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare muffin pan by spraying the inside of each well with cooking spray.
Place one round of kielbasa in each well.
In a bowl, prepare corn muffin mix as directed.
Pour a small amount of corn muffin batter in each well until 3/4 full.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.

Zuppa Toscana ala Joelen

One of my husband’s favorite soups is a potato and italian sausage soup. Today both of us made a big batch for lunch. It’s chock full of potatoes, italian sausage, cremini mushrooms and spinach… swimming in a light chicken & cream broth.Here’s my recipe for Zuppa Toscana:

3 qts chicken broth
2 large baking potatoes, diced
1 chub of pork sausage
2 tablespoons italian seasoning
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup half & half
salt, pepper, italian seasoning to taste

In a dutch oven, boil potatoes in broth. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
Combine pork sausage with 2 tablespoons italian seasoning.
Brown sausage in saute pan.
Add cooked sausage to potatoes & broth.
Stir and continue cooking until potatoes are fork tender.
Add sliced mushrooms & spinach.
Stir and continue cooking for5-7 minutes.
Turn off heat and stir in half & half.
Season to taste.

Wonderful Won Ton!

I’m loving the cool crispness in the air! To help keep warm, I made some won ton soup. It’s a favorite and to accompany it, I made some crab rangoon.Here is my recipe for Ginger Pork Won Ton Soup. My crab rangoon recipe can be found here.

1 chub of pork sausage
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon each: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1-2 stalks green onions, sliced
1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped

1 pkg wonton wrappers – found in produce section by asian veggies
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
4-6 cups chicken broth
2-3 slices of ginger
2 stalks green onion, sliced

Combine all filling ingredients.
Place a small mound of filling on each wrapper.
Brush egg wash on 2 sides of each wrapper.
Fold over opposite side to form triangle.
Seal well and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
In a large pot, boil chicken broth with ginger.
Add filled wontons; allow it to boil until cooked.
To serve, garnish with sliced green onion.