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Cajun Cooking
        Here are some of the Deep South favorites from the heart of   
Cajun Country. If you have a favorite you would like to share with others,  
Send it along to us and we will try to post it.  


Homemade Dirty Rice
     1 lbs. raw rice
    1 lb. red onions
    1 tblsp bacon drippings
    6 oz. chicken livers and gizzards
    8oz Shrimp peeled and deveined
    salt to taste
    1 lg. clove garlic
    1 bunch green onions
    1 sm. pod red pepper
    1 sm. bunch parsley
    2 1/2 cups water

  Cook rice nearly done, dice red onions into small pcs. and brown in bacon drippin's. Chop giblets into fine pcs. and cook with onions until done, mince garlic and add to mixture. Chop green onions including tops and parsley, add to mixture.   
   Add salt, red pepper and water, mix together and pour over rice. simmer until rice is done and water is absorbed. Put in a large baking pan and brush top with melted butter. Brown top in 375 deg. oven.
               Serves 6 to 8


Brown Rice with Mushrooms
    1 med. onion, chopped
     1 stick butter
     1 can consomme'
     1 cup water
     1 can mushrooms
     1 cup uncooked rice

   Saute' onion in butter in cast iron skillet,remove onion and slowly add rice to skillet and while stirring, brown rice to a golden brown. Mix onions,rice, consomme', mushrooms and water and put in a baking dish and bake uncovered in a 365 deg. oven until rice is done and water is absorbed, stirring frequently.
                                        Serves 4

Black-eyed Peas Southern Style
    1 pound black-eyed peas
    8 cups water
    1 large onion, chopped
    1/2 green pepper, chopped
    2 celery sticks, chopped
    2 ham hocks
    salt and pepper to taste

   Wash peas and soak in cold water for a couple hours. Drain off water and put peas in a large pot with 8 cups water. Add ham hocks,celery, onions and green pepper. Salt and pepper to taste and cook about
 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. until peas are done and tender.                 
                         Serves 4



Cajun Red Beans
   1 lb. dry red kidney beans
    3 ham hocks
    about a pound Louisiana Sausages
    1 large red onion, chopped
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    1 bay leaf
    1 pod red pepper, chopped fine
    Cumin powder to taste

    Wash beans and soak for a couple hours in water. Cook sausages, onion and garlic until brown. Add beans, ham hocks, red pepper, cumin powder, bay leaf and cover with water. Cook real slow for about 3 hours until beans are tender and done.
                        umm-umm goood'
                         serves about 6 hungry souls     

Acorn Squash With Walnut And White Bean Stuffing (6 Pts)

2 large acorn squash, cut in half crosswise; seeded
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium red onion
1 rib celery; chopped
2 cloves garlic; minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 package Gimme Lean Beef*; (14 oz)
1 cup canned white beans; rinsed, drained well
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and fresh-ground black pepper; to taste
1/4 cup grated soy cheese or mozzarella; optional

Cut a thin slice off bottom of each squash so it sits flat. Place 4 squash halves, cavity side down, in a microwave-safe dish. Add 1/2 cup water and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Microwave on high 12 to 15 minutes until almost cooked throough. Or, you can cook the squash in the oven. Preheat oven to 375. Place squash halves, cavity side down, on a baking pan with sides lined with foil. Add 1/2 cup water to pan and bake squash 35 minutes until almost cooked through. Set squash aside. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add onions, celery, garlic, thyme and oregano and saute 3 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add the Gimme Lean, crumbling it with your fingers as you put it into pan so it resembles ground beef. Cook 2 minutes, add white beans, walnuts, tamari and parsley. Combine mixture well. Season with salt and pepper. Turn squash cut side up and divide stuffing evenly among squash halves. Pack stuffing in and mound top about 2 inches above squash surface, pressing lightly. You can top each squash half with 1 tablespoon soy cheese or mozzarella cheese, if desired. Place stuffed squash back on a baking dish, add 1/2 cup water to pan to prevent sticking and bake, uncovered, 10 minutes until heated through.

Per serving (without soy cheese or mozzarella): 364 calories, 20 percent calories from fat, 25 grams protein, 51 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams total fiber, 8 grams total fat, no cholesterol, 690 milligrams sodium.

*Gimme Lean is a soy-based "ground beef." It comes in a 14-ounce tube or chub and is a substitute for raw ground beef. It's available at natural food stores.


Yield: 4 servings

Deep South Dirty Rice and Shrimp Stuffing

Ingredients
4 cups long-grain white rice (about 1 pounds)
1 pound chicken gizzards and livers
1 pound fatty ground chuck
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium red onion, chopped
2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 cups thinly sliced scallions (about 3 bunches)
Directions Rinse rice in a large sieve until water runs clear, then drain well. Bring rice and 6 cups water to a rolling boil over high heat, uncovered, in an 8-qt wide heavy pot. Stir, then cover with lid and reduce heat to low. Cook rice, undisturbed, 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand with lid on 20 minutes. Transfer to a very large bowl and keep covered with dampened paper towels.
Meanwhile, finely chop gizzards and livers. (Gizzards can be finely chopped by pulsing in a food processor.) Stir gizzards and livers together with beef, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot, then cook half of meat mixture, stirring to break up lumps, until liquid given off is evaporated, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, scraping up brown bits, until meat is browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet and brown remaining meat in same manner, transferring to bowl.
Cook onion, bell pepper, and celery with cayenne and 1/4 tsp salt in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until vegetables are softened and browned, about 12 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring 5 minutes. Stir in stock and 1 tsp salt, then simmer, stirring up brown bits, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and simmer, stirring, until shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add shrimp mixture, meat, and scallions to rice and stir to combine.
NOTE: These stuffings are intended to be baked independently from the Holiday turkey. If you decide to cook your stuffing inside the turkey, please make sure it comes to 165F to prevent foodborne illness. Make ahead: Stuffing can be made 1 day ahead and chilled (covered once cooled). Spoon stuffing into an oiled 4-quart baking dish (15 by 10 inches), drizzle with 1/2 cup water and heat, covered with oiled foil, in a 350F oven until hot, about 20 minutes.