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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tupelo Gumbo

There's a fairly new southern restaurant in Inman Square. I went with Kel and Reba right after it opened about 6 months ago and I had the gumbo. I LOVED it, and I've been wanting to go back ever since. Luckily, my most recent Food & Wine magazine featured Tupelo and included their gumbo recipe. Now we can all make it and save our money for dinner out somewhere else.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
6 cups chicken stock
6 oz andouille sausage, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 TB jerk seasoning
1 TB dried thyme
1 TB paprika
3/4 lb fresh okra, thinly sliced
Handful of cooked, shredded chicken (good use of leftovers from a roast chicken!)
Salt and pepper
Steamed rice (1 cup dry makes the right amount)

1. In a large dutch oven or cast iron casserole, whisk the flour and oil until smooth and until it forms a paste. Cook over moderatly low heat until deep brown (this will take close to an hour).

2. Add the onion, celery and garlic and cook over moderately low heat until soft - about 20 minutes.

3. Gradually add the stock and whisk until smooth. Add the sausage, bay leaves, jerk seasoning, thyme and paprika and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the okra and simmer in the soup until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken meat and season the gumbo with salt and pepper.

5. Serve in a bowl over a scoop of rice.

Shrimp & Cheese Stuffed Poblanos with Rice

Chiles Rellenos is probably my favorite Mexican meal. This is a great version and it's fast and easy to make.

1 cup basmati rice
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 onion, diced
1 TB tomato paste
3 poblano peppers
1/2 lb shrimp
handful of mushrooms sliced
3 cloves minced garlic
1 TB flour
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded queso blanco or Monterrey Jack
2 TB chopped cilantro

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onions and cook until soft. Add tomato paste and stir well. Add the rice and broth and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat to low.

2. Turn your broiler on high and place the poblanos into the oven. Keep an eye on them and turn as they begin to char. Cook until all sides are bubbly. When done, remove the poblanos and place them in a sealed ziplock bag for about 5-10 minutes.

3. Remove the poblanos from the bag and deskin them. Carefully cut the tops off and remove the seeds.

4. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to the pan to coat and then add the shrimp and mushrooms and cook until shrimp is done - about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside

5. Add the garlic and the red pepper to the pan and saute for about a minute. Add the flour and stir until it forms a paste with the oil.

6. Add the milk and stir for about a minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese. This should form a thick sauce. Add more cheese if you need to thicken it. When the cheese is melted, add the shrimp and cilantro and salt and pepper.

7. Scoop the cheese and shrimp mixture and fill each of the poblanos. Place on a lined cookie sheet and put back in the oven for about 2 minutes under the broiler.

8. Serve with rice.

Bibimbap


When I lived in Senegal, the most common rice dish was cooked so that the rice crisped and hardened at the bottom of the pot. Those chewy bits were the best and you were given a little as an added bonus, especially if you're a guest at someone's house. Well, Bibimbap isn't a West African dish, it's Korean. But it known for its brown, chewy, crispy cooked rice that forms a layer on the bottom of the pan. I love it. When you order it in a Korean restaurant, it's served in a red hot pot at the table. Need an excuse to eat veggies? You can substitute almost any veggies - bean sprouts, zucchini, mushrooms, etc. Here it is...

Ingredients:

1/4 cup soy sauce
4 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 lb thinly sliced pork tenderloin or beef - sliced as thinly as possible (note, this is a great use of leftover roast pork or beef that's been in the freezer - half frozen meat is a LOT easier to thinly slice)
2 green onions, chopped into thirds and thinly sliced, vertically
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 carrot sliced into matchsticks
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped/shredded
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 cups cooked sushi rice (substitute jasmine rice if needed)

1. Mix 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 2 tbsp garlic, the ginger, and brown sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the meat and mix well. Marinate for about 1/2 hour (or while you're preparing everything else).

2. In  a small bowl, combine the vinegar, 1 tbsp sesame oil, and green onions. Add salt and pepper, mix and set aside.

3. Heat a large cast iron pan on medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil and when hot, add all of the rice and press down firmly with a spatula. Turn heat to medium and let cook for 15 minutes, until it gets brown and crispy on the bottom.

4. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp sesame oil. Add the carrots and cook until slightly softened. Remove from pan and set aside, covered to stay warm.

5. In same pan, add 1 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp garlic, and the kale. Saute until just soft. Remove from pan and set aside with the carrots.

6. In same pan, add the meat and meat and cook until heated through. Remove from pan and set aside with the carrots.

7. Finally, in same pan, fry the two eggs, keeping the yolks runny.

8. While the eggs cook, spoon the rice into bowls. Add some carrots, kale, green onions, and meat. Put the fried eggs on top.