Category: Sausage

Shellfish and Sausage Gumbo

Cajun Cuisine

I was looking for something different to make for dinner the other night and Shellfish and Sausage Gumbo came to mind. I’d never made a gumbo before and did some research. There is a spice mix called Cajun spice mix that I was pretty sure I could find at Fairway. While I was there I picked some petite lobster tails, shrimp, scallops, and sausages.

Any gumbo requires a roux. This is a thickener made of equal amounts by weight of vegetable oil or butter and flour. For this style of Louisiana cooking, a dark roux is preferred for the depth of flavor it brings to the dish. The thickening power is weakened by the long cooking time but that’s easily remedied by adding okra to the pot or sprinkling a little filé powder (dried and ground leaves of the sassafras tree) to each bowl.

Cajun Cuisine

The Roux

There are two ways to make a roux either on the stovetop (30-40 minutes) or in the oven (1 ½ hours). I was in no hurry that afternoon, wanted to do some other things, and opted to make the roux in the oven. The stovetop version requires a little more attention. The oven version you have to stir a couple of times, so I set the timer for 30 minutes twice and gave a quick stir each time.

I diced up lots of aromatics: onions, celery, green and red bell peppers, scallions and garlic for a flavorful base with chicken stock, fire-roasted tomatoes and sausages.

To easily extract the lobster tails, I cut through the underside with kitchen shears before cooking. I wanted the lobster shells in the broth to add flavor and removed them before serving. These went in first for ten minutes followed by the shrimp and scallops and cooked for another 5-6 minutes. Don’t boil or the seafood toughens.

Cajun Cuisine

Mound some rice in a bowl and surround with the gumbo and top with a handful of sliced scallion greens.

 

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Shellfish and Sausage Gumbo

Cajun Cuisine

Don’t skimp on the dark roux – it adds lots of flavor that is typical of a gumbo. Use file powder to thicken the gumbo, let each individual sprinkle over his/her own bowl.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 portions
  • Category: Stews and Braises

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vegetable oil
  • 2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons minced cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spice mix
  • 4 smoked sausages, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups stock
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) fire-roasted or diced tomatoes
  • 4 petite lobster tails
  • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 sea scallops
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • GARNISH
  • Sliced scallions

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk the oil and flour together in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 1 ½ hours, stirring 3 times.
  3. Stir in the onion and salt and sweat for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the celery, peppers and scallions to the roux and continuing cooking, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the garlic and Cajun spice mix and cook until fragrant.
  6. Add the sausages, stock and tomatoes; bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. The stew can be made in advance to this point. Thirty minutes before dinner, bring the gumbo back to a boil and then add the lobster tails. Simmer for 12 minutes.
  8. Add the shrimp and scallops and continue cooking on low for 5-6 minutes.
  9. Serve over rice and garnish with scallions.

Notes

Don’t boil the gumbo after adding the shellfish; it gets very tough.

 

 

Sofrito Braised Country-Style Spare Ribs with Rice and Beans

 

I’ve been busy preparing for the onslaught of Eric’s friends for the Super Bowl. Dinner is Sofrito Braised Country-Style Spare Ribs Over Rice, Beans & Chorizo.

No one has a favorite team this year and I expect a rather low-key (no yelling or expletives) evening. They arrive around 4ish and expect noshes. I like to mix up the Super Bowl recipes and not always rely on salsa and chips and chili. Here’s a recipe for a quick and easy appetizer, Buffalo Wing Dip.

Check out some of these links for delicious dessert ideas!

Triple Chocolate Brownies

Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

Spare Ribs

Heat the oil in a 7-quart covered Dutch oven or heat-proof slow cooker insert over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (it quivers a bit), add the onion, cover and sweat for five minutes.

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Stir in the green pepper, tomatoes, salt and pepper flakes; bring to a boil, lower a bit and continue cooking until the liquid reduces about ten minutes.

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Add the garlic, sherry wine vinegar, coriander, turmeric, jalapeño and bay leaves, stir and cook for 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Pour in the stock and stir to combine.

Note: this is more liquid than I would normally use, but I want 2 cups of the flavorful liquid to cook the rice.

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Set the spare ribs in the sofrito and bring to a boil.

Stovetop Method: lower heat to barely simmer and continue cooking until the pork is fork tender, about two and one-half hours.

Slow Cooker Method: Set the slow cooker on low and cook until the pork is fork tender; check at six hours and adjust accordingly.

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Cool and refrigerate overnight. Skim the fat before reheating.

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Rice

Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and sauté until golden brown, about five minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

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Put the strained sofrito sauce and rice in a medium-sized covered saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook for the recommended time on the package.

Note: Follow instructions on package for cooking in Microwave.

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Stir in the beans, chorizo and cilantro; continue cooking until heated through.

To serve: Spoon the rice mixture in the middle of the plate, top with the spare ribs and ladle sauce over the top. Serve remaining sauce in a gravy boat.

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Braised Sofrito Country-Style Spareribs with Rice, Pink Beans and Chorizo

Make this a day or two in advance to let the flavors meld.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hour
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Braise

Ingredients

  • Spare Ribs
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced pepper
  • 2 cans (15 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken stock (water or vegetable stock is fine)
  • 4 pounds boneless country-style pork spare ribs
  • Rice
  • ½ pound chorizo, skin removed and ¼-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups strained sofrito sauce, return the vegetables to the pot
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pink beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Spare Ribs
  2. Heat the oil in a 7-quart covered Dutch oven or heat-proof slow cooker insert over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (it quivers a bit), add the onion, cover and sweat for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the green pepper, tomatoes, salt and pepper flakes; bring to a boil, lower a bit and continue cooking until the liquid reduces about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, sherry wine vinegar, coriander, turmeric, jalapeño and bay leaves, stir and cook for 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Pour in the stock and stir to combine.
  5. Note: this is more liquid that I would normally use, but I want 2 cups of the flavorful liquid to cook the rice.
  6. Set the spare ribs in the sofrito and bring to a boil.
  7. Stovetop Method: lower heat to barely simmer and continue cooking until the pork is fork tender, about two and one-half hours.
  8. Slow Cooker Method: Set the slow cooker on low and cook until the pork is fork tender; check at six hours and adjust accordingly.
  9. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Skim the fat before reheating.
  10. Rice
  11. Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and sauté until golden brown, about five minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  12. Put the strained sofrito sauce and rice in a medium-sized covered saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook for the recommended time on the package.
  13. Note: Follow instructions on package for cooking in the Microwave.
  14. Stir in the beans, chorizo and cilantro; continue cooking until heated through.
  15. To serve: Spoon the rice mixture in the middle of the plate, top with the spare ribs and ladle sauce over the top. Serve remaining sauce in a gravy boat.

Notes

Make this for Super Bowl Sunday or any dinner.

Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Calzones

Calzones

Superbowl Sunday is upon us, and while I’m not a fan, my husband is a fanatic (unfortunately for him, he’s a Jets fan). Some buddies are coming over for the game and, of course, I’m cooking.

This year I’m making Italian sausage and broccoli rabe calzones with a marinara sauce on the side as the main course.

Calzones

My favorite pizza dough recipe is from Anne Burrell; you’ll need to triple the recipe to get the 2 pounds needed for this recipe. Don’t hesitate to purchase your dough from the store or your favorite pizzeria.

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Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Calzones

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 Calzones
  • Category: Flatbread/Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded skim milk mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups chopped blanched broccoli rabe
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked crumbled sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked crumbled hot Italian sausage
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds pizza dough, divided into 8 four-ounce portions
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • cornmeal
  • 2 cups marinara sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Combine the egg, ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses in a large bowl. Stir in the sausage and broccoli rabe. Season as needed with salt and pepper.
  3. Roll out each individual pizza dough to an 8-inch round, about 4 ounces dough. Brush the edges with beaten egg. Place 1/2 cup of the filling in the lower half of the circle. Fold over and crimp the edges. Press the filling down a little to spread within. Place on a parchment lined sheet tray sprinkled with cornmeal.
  4. Brush the tops with beaten egg and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
  5. Serve with a marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

Notes

Note: Taste the mixture first before adding salt. The saltiness of the cheese and sausages varies.