Today is clean out the freezer day! Going into April, I want to use up all the odds and ends of last year’s harvest before this year’s veggies start coming in, as well as making sure that nothing from the back of the freezer languishes forgotten.
Lo and Behold, what do I find in the frozen depths but a couple of bratwurst sausage patties, a few bags of poblanos, a bag of okra, and a rotisserie chicken carcass. Time to match that up with some beans, also from last year’s harvest.
I used 1500 Year Old Cave Beans (aka Anasazi Beans), but this is also delicious with red beans, for a variation on Red Beans and Rice.
I started by putting the chicken carcass in a stockpot full of water and let it simmer for a few hours to make the chicken broth while the beans soaked. This will also be used for making jambalaya, so plenty of broth is good.
This recipe was inspired by the Cajun sauce at Cheesecake Factory.
Jambalaya is one of my absolute favorites. This is another recipe that is fairly inexpensive and so very tasty. It also makes for great leftovers.
I was on a Cajun kick for a while. Gumbos are great for getting a veggie blast into your body.
6 cups cabbage, chopped
2 cups mustard greens, chopped
2 cups leeks, chopped
2 cups zucchini, chopped
2 cups portabela or crimini mushrooms, chopped
4 cups chicken broth (I make my own from the carcass after I’ve made roast chicken)
16 oz Chicken Sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 cup okra, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1.5 tbsp cajun seasoning
Southwestern Mills Gravy Mix (if desired)
mix all ingredients except gravy mix.
bring to boil
simmer for 90 minutes
Add 1/4 cup gravy mix at a time until thickened to taste, if desired.
Serve with rice or sourdough French baguettes
I vary the ingredients based on what I have from the garden and freezer. This could also be made with andoulle sausage, chicken, shrimp…
This recipe happened while I was on a Cajun food kick.
1/2 pound of crawfish tail meat*, reserve liquid. (They usually have it at Heinens or Giant Eagle), or one 3 lb box intact crawfish.
Chorizo from Gibbs Butcher Block on Columbia Station (they make their own sausages, amazing place). http://www.gibbsbutcherblock.com/
1 banana pepper
2 large bell peppers, chopped (various colors)
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of a bold flavored garlic sliced thin or 1/2 cup chopped garlic scapes
1 to 2 cups chopped leeks
2 cups chopped celery leaf
1 cup mustard greens
1 medium zucchini
1 cup chopped okra
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
Southwestern Mills Old Fashioned Pepper Gravy Mix (about 1/2 to 1 cup)
Blackened Redfish Magic Seafood Seasoning or Cajun seasoning
1 1/2 cup brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
In separate pot, combine rice with 1 cup chicken stock and 2 cups water. Bring to boil, then simmer for 30 min until water is absorbed. Set aside.
If crawfish are in shell, remove tail meat from tails, reserve 4 crawfish heads, and set aside remaining crawfish head and claws for making a stock. (Do this ahead of time, as peeling crawfish can take a while).
Add all vegetables, garlic, 4 crawfish heads, crawfish liquid and remaining chicken stock to pot.
Add Seafood seasoning to taste. (I use a heavy hand).
Bring to boil, then simmer until soft, about 1/2 hour to 45min. Add water as needed so that mixture is covered. At end of cooking time remove crawfish heads and add tail meat .
Cook for 3 more minutes.
Slowly add gravy mix, stirring, until the broth achieves the consistency of a sauce or gravy.
Serve over rice.
* it takes approximately 3 pounds of crawfish in the shell to generate 1/2 pound of tail meat.