Saturday, September 03, 2005

New Orleans Menu - In Remembrance

As a tribute to the refugees from Katrina, IMBB and Paper Chef have joined together in asking you to stay home this weekend and cook, donating what you would have spent on dinner out to the relief effort.  Owen has chosen tomatoes, sausage, shrimp and beer as the ingredients.  I do not eat pork or shellfish, so I will substitute beef sausage and chicken.  I have included both breakfast and lunch, as well.  Enjoy your “day in New Orleans,” in remembrance.

Beignets or
Brioche or Croissants (with jam and real butter)
Café au lait

Paté de Campagne
Crusty baguette
Brie or Camembert
Fresh fruit
Bottle of wine

Chicken & Okra Gumbo (Thanks to Jan and Donna from Metarie, LA, who helped me perfect my roux)

1/3 c flour
1/3 oil
1 chicken, cut up, (back, wings and neck reserved for stock at later date)
½ pound smoked beef sausage, diced or in thin slices
1 onion, diced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried, crushed thyme
2 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce (not Tabasco®, but one more vinegary than hot)
1 can okra with juice (frozen or fresh okra will not impart the tang of canned—critical to my version)
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
filé powder
water or chicken broth
1 1/3 cup white rice

Make a nut brown roux with flour and oil in a cast iron (enameled Dutch oven) .  When done to your taste, add diced onion to hot roux, along with thyme and bay leaf, sausage and chicken, stirring and browning onion and chicken in the hot roux (Adding the chicken and browning it in the hot roux prior to adding liquid will set the flesh of the chicken—it will stay together—flesh on the bone.). Add canned okra and tomatoes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Add 2 quarts boiling water or broth and Louisiana hot sauce and simmer for at least one hour.  Add salt and cayenne to taste.  Keep hot.

Add 1 1/3 cups uncooked rice, 3 cups cold water and ½ teaspoon salt to a saucepan and bring to a boil--do not stir!  Turn down to low and cover; simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is done and fluff with a fork.  

Stir filé powder into gumbo and serve immediately over rice in soup bowls.  Have extra hot sauce and filé powder on the table to add for taste.

Serve with crusty bread and a glass of cold beer

Cream Cheese Ice Cream
Your favorite dessert wine

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