Oh, the eyes may open and shut, and the mouth may blabber, but inside I am all snuggled up asleep in a soft white fog. Aaaah.
Much to do this morning, so it will be a bit before you get to hear about The Great Road Trip. Until such time, allow me to serve you up some leftovers from the Thursday Three--Chef Tony von Krag (who is in the process of opening his own blogstaurant) sent me something Thursday evening that was too big for the comments section, and due to the aforementioned journey, I was not able to post it until now:
1) What is your favorite food that is usually available only in the southern United States?
A Gumbo of some sort, I prefer a smoked turkey and andouille to a seafood by far. This might help in learning.
SIMPLE CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE GUMBO Perhaps the simplest of the gumbos, but a hearty one and a classic combination. If you can't find andouille, use a local hot smoked sausage or kielbasa or whatever smoked sausage you like. This one's easy to knock off quickly for a great evening's meal.
* 1 cup oil
* 1 cup flour
* 2 large onions, chopped
* 2 bell peppers, chopped
* 4 ribs celery, chopped
* 4 tps chopped garlic
* 4 quarts chicken stock
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, or to taste
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* 1 large chicken @ 4 1/2# (young hen preferred), cut into pieces
* 3 pounds andouille or smoked sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces
* 1 bunch scallions (green onions), tops only, chopped
* 2/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
* Filé powder to taste
Season the chicken with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning and brown quickly. Brown the sausage, pour off fat and reserve meats.
In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil and cook the flour in the oil over medium to high heat (depending on your roux-making skill), stirring constantly, until the roux reaches a dark reddish-brown color, almost the color of coffee or milk chocolate for a Cajun-style roux. If you want to save time, or prefer a more New Orleans-style roux, cook it to a medium, peanut-butter color, over lower heat if you're nervous about burning it.
Add the vegetables and stir quickly. This cooks the vegetables and also stops the roux from cooking further. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes.
Add the stock, seasonings, chicken and sausage. Bring to a boil, then cook for about one hour, skimming fat off the top as needed.
Add the chopped scallion tops and parsley, and heat for 5 minutes. Serve over rice in large shallow bowls. Accompany with a good beer and lots of hot, crispy French bread.
YIELD: About 12 entrée sized servings.
2) What is your least favorite?
Okra... I'll use it and cook with it but I won't eat it.
3) AND FINALLY (Whew--who knew three questions could be so hard to type!?), what Southern specialty food item do you cook the best?
It's a tossup between my Roasted Duck w/Jambalaya or my Bourbon Pecan Pie. Heck when I do them I have never seen leftovers, wonder why?
I love blackeye peas/hoppin' johns and make them several times a year. To that recipe I'd add Tasso and sometimes a ham shank, onions, bell pepper and celery and cook them in a chicken stock. Seasoning is lot's o garlic (gotta watch out for vampires on NY eve) parsley, thyme, ground mustard powder, black, red and white pepper (gotta have heat to keep the blood flowing) with a dash or two of Worcester sauce. I hope this helps and feel free to post in parts if needed.
PS: All my editing is supervised by Miss Tobiko, she of the 4 legs, fur and a large bump o curious nose poke.
Suddenly, I feel much more awake...AND HUNGRY!
Anyway, see y'all in a little while.