Adding spice to your table Cajun style

Donna Alexander Published:

CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage

1 (2 1/2 lb.) chicken, cut up

2 celery stalks, sliced

1 med. red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 med. green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 med. onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup long-grained rice

1 bay leaf

1 Tbsp. Tabasco brand pepper sauce

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley

METHOD: Cook sausage over medium-high heat in 5-quart saucepan until well browned on all sides, turning frequently. Remove sausage to plate. When cool enough to handle, cut sausage into 1/2-inch thick slices. Cook chicken in remaining drippings until well browned on all sides, turning occasionally. Remove chicken to plate. Cook celery, red and green peppers, onion and garlic in drippings remaining in skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, rice, bay leaf, Tabasco sauce, salt, sliced sausage and chicken. Heat to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Makes 6 servings.

SPICY SPOON BREAD

3 cups milk, divided

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup canned or frozen corn, well drained

1 Tbsp. Tabasco brand pepper sauce

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

3 eggs, separated

METHOD: Preheat oven to 375 degrees, grease 2-quart casserole dish or souffl dish. Combine 2 cups milk and cornmeal in heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until thickened, stirring constantly with whisk. Remove from heat. Stir in corn, Tabasco sauce, salt, baking powder, melted butter, parsley and remaining 1 cup of milk until combined. Beat egg yolks with fork; add cornmeal mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into cornmeal mixture with rubber spatula until just blended. Spoon mixture into prepared dish. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until top is golden and puffed. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

FAT TUESDAY NOODLES WITH SMOKED SAUSAGE AND SHRIMP

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. McCormick Italian Seasoning

1/2 tsp. McCormick Crushed Red Pepper

1/2 tsp. McCormick Coarse Ground Black Pepper

1/2 lb. smoked or andouille sausage

1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined

32 oz. (4 cups) chicken broth

8 oz. angel hair pasta, uncooked

METHOD: Saut onion, celery, and bell pepper in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in Italian seasoning and red and black pepper. Cut sausage in half lengthwise, then in 1/2-inch slices. Add sausage and shrimp to skillet. Cook 2 minutes or until shrimp begin to turn pink. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Break pasta in half; add to skillet. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until pasta is just done. Makes 7 (one-cup) servings. 313 calories, 14g fat, 18g protein, 29g carbohydrate, 64mg cholesterol, 765mg sodium.

SOUTHWESTERN GRILLED CHICKEN WINGS WITH BLACK BEAN DIP

2 lbs. chicken wings

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

2 Tbsp. hot pepper sauce

1 tsp. cumin

2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

2 Tbsp. lime juice

Black Bean Dip:

1/2 cup cooked black beans, drained

1/4 cup prepared salsa verde

1/4 cup sour cream

1 Tbsp. lime juice

2 tsp. hot pepper sauce

2 tsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 tsp. salt

METHOD: Prepare gas or charcoal grill, or preheat broiler. While grill is heating, prepare Black Bean Dip, by placing beans, salsa verde, sour cream, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce, 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro and salt in blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Set aside. Place chicken wings on grill and cook over low heat, turning, until cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes per side. Place wings in bowl and coat with melted butter. Add hot sauce, cumin, cilantro and lime juice. Toss well to coat. Serve wings with Black Bean Dip. Makes 15 wings. 131 calories; 9g fat, 2g carbohydrate.

SPICY HERBED CHICKEN ON THE GRILL

4 chicken leg quarters

1/3 cup fresh sage leaves

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tbsp. hot pepper sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise

16 potatoes, small, cut in half

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

METHOD: Prepare gas or charcoal grill, or preheat broiler. In bowl of blender or food processor, place sage, mint, parsley, basil, garlic, hot pepper sauce and mayonnaise. Blend until smooth. Set aside. In boiling salted water, place potatoes. Cook for 4 minutes, or until tender-firm. Place chicken leg quarters and potato halves on baking sheet. Spread 3/4 of the herb mixture over chicken and potatoes, rubbing the mixture in under the skin of the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place chicken and potatoes on grill and cook, turning, until brown and cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Just before serving, brush chicken and potatoes with remaining herb mixture. Makes 4 servings. 720 calories, 38g fat, 60g carbohydrate.

WILD RICE GUMBO

1/2 cup flour

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 lb. beef polska kielbasa, cut into bite-sized chunks

1 med. onion, chopped

2 celery ribs, sliced

2 bell peppers (assorted color,) chopped

4 scallions, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans (14 oz. each) chicken broth

1 can (14 oz.) beef broth

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning

2 bay leaves

4 cups cooked wild rice

1 lb. small raw shrimp, peeled (about 50)

1 Tbsp. fil powder (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

1 to 2 tsp. hot pepper sauce (optional)

METHOD: Preheat large skillet over medium heat 2 minutes. Add flour; stir constantly until dark beige (about 5 minutes dont scorch.) Immediately transfer to plate. In a large saucepan, cook bacon until starting to crisp; add kielbasa, onion, celery, peppers, scallions and garlic. Cover; cook 5 minutes. Uncover. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are lightly browned; stir in flour. Gradually stir in broth; add tomatoes, parsley, Cajun seasoning and bay leaves. Partially cover; simmer 40 minutes. Add wild rice, shrimp and fil powder; simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Remove bay leaves before serving. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

BRINED TURKEY WITH CREOLE RICE STUFFING

Brined Turkey:

1 (12 lb.) turkey

16 cups cold water

2 cups packed light brown sugar

1 cup coarse salt

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup Tabasco brand pepper sauce

Creole Rice Stuffing:

1 cup long-grain rice

1 (9 oz.) pkg. sliced frozen okra, thawed

3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 celery stalks, diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 lg. onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. dried oregano leaves

2 tsp. Tabasco brand pepper sauce

1 (16 oz.) can crushed tomatoes

Fresh herbs for garnish

Champagne grapes for garnish

METHOD: Remove giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey under running cold water. Combine water, brown sugar, salt, soy sauce and Tabasco sauce in pot large enough to hold brine and turkey. Turn turkey in brine mixture. Refrigerate 24 to 48 hours; turning turkey occasionally. Creole Rice Stuffing: Prepare rice according to package directions. During last 5 minutes of cooking rice, stir in okra. Meanwhile, heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add celery, red and green peppers, onion and garlic; cook about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Add salt, oregano, Tabasco sauce and crushed tomatoes. Stir vegetable mixture with cooked rice mixture in large bowl, until well blended. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Stuff neck and body cavaties of turkey loosely with stuffing. Close cavaties with skewers. Tie legs together; tuck wing under body. Place turkey, breast-side up, on rack in open roasting pan. Roast turkey 30 minutes. Brush with pan drippings. Continue roasting an additional 2 1/2 to 3 hours until breast skin is crisp and golden and juices run clear when thigh is pierced with fork, or until meat thermometer reads 180 degrees. Baste occasionally with pan dripping during roasting. Remove turkey from pan to serving platter. Let stand 15 minutes before carving. Garnish with herbs and grapes, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

ROASTED POTATO FANS

3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

2 Tbsp. Tabasco brand green pepper sauce

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp. salt

6 med. baking potatoes

1 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives

METHOD: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine butter, Tabasco sauce, garlic and salt in small bowl. Cut each potato crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices, being careful not to cut all the way through. Place on 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Brush potatoes with butter mixture. Bake 1 hour or until potatoes are fanned out and golden, brushing occasionally with butter. Sprinkle with chives. Makes 6 servings.

PEPPERY BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

2 1/4 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

3 Tbsp. butter or margarine

2 Tbsp. shortening

1/2 cup diced red pepper

1/2 cup diced green pepper

1 cup buttermilk

1 Tbsp. Tabasco brand pepper sauce

1 egg

Tabasco Spiced Butter

METHOD: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease 8-inch round baking pan. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl. With pastry blender or two knives used in scissor fashion, cut in butter and shortening until small pieces form. Stir in red and green peppers, buttermilk and Tabasco sauce until blended. With floured hands, shape dough, 1/2 cup portions at a time into balls; place in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Beat egg in small cup; brush tops of biscuits with beaten egg. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until biscuits are golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Tabasco Spiced Butter: Stir 1/2 cup softened butter and 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce in small bowl, until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with biscuits. Makes 8 biscuits.

SPICY SAUSAGE GRAVY

1 lb. bulk pork sausage

3 Tbsp. flour

1 cup turkey drippings with fat removed or chicken broth

3/4 cup milk

2 tsp. Tabasco brand pepper sauce

Salt to taste

METHOD: Cook sausage until well-browned on all sides in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. With slotted spoon, remove sausage to medium bowl. Remove all but 3 tablespoons fat from skillet; stir in flour until blended. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture is thickened, stirring frequently. Gradually add turkey drippings and milk, stirring constantly until smooth and mixture thickens. Stir in cooked sausage, Tabasco sauce and salt to taste; heat through.

CHICKEN HOLLANDAISE WITH ASPARAGUS AND CRABMEAT

1/2 cup prepared Hollandaise sauce

1/2 tsp. seafood seasoning

1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped

1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 (16 oz.) pkg. Perdue Fresh Fit N Easy Thin Sliced Skinless and Boneless Chicken Breast or Turkey Breast Cutlets, (8 oz.)

1 Tbsp. butter

4 oz. jumbo lump crabmeat

8 asparagus spears, steamed

4 lemon wedges

METHOD: Whisk together Hollandaise sauce, seafood seasoning and 3 tablespoons chives. In a shallow dish, stir together flour, salt and pepper. Coat chicken slices on both sides with flour. Melt butter in a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add chicken and saut until brown on both sides and firm. Reduce heat to low and add crabmeat and 1/4 cup Hollandaise to skillet. Stir gently until warm. To serve, divide chicken between 2 plates. Top with asparagus and crabmeat. Spoon remaining Hollandaise over and sprinkle with remaining chives. Makes 2 servings.

SPICY PIEROGIES AND BROCCOLI

2 tsp. olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. grated lemon peel

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 pkg. (16.9 oz.) frozen Mrs. Ts Potato and Cheddar Pierogies

3 cup fresh or frozen broccoli florets

METHOD: In a large serving bowl, mash oil, garlic, lemon peel, salt and red pepper flakes with a fork until well combined. In a saucepan, cook pierogies in boiling water for 3 minutes; add broccoli to pot; cook until tender, about 2 minutes longer. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking water; add to garlic mixture in bowl. Add pierogies and broccoli to bowl; toss with dressing. Makes servings. 242 calories, 11g protein, 6g fat, 41g carbohydrate, 921mg sodium, 10mg cholesterol.

Credits: Tabasco, McCormick, National Chicken Council/U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Council, Perdue, Mrs. Ts Pierogies.

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