Super Bowl Party: Touchdown Worthy Cajun Inspired Recipes Posted by: Aaron Stearns | 0 Comments
Ryan Prewitt is Executive Chef with the Cochon and Cochon Butcher, legendary in the Crescent City. I recently caught up with Chef Prewire to get his insights on what southern (cajun) foods to serve at a Super Bowl party. The point of the discussion was to figure out how to spice up the normally drab meat and cheese trays with something relatively easy to make, yet full of interest and spice. Naturally, gumbo is at the top of that list. But Prewitt is the first to admit that it would be hard to discern where the Link gumbo recipe tapers off and his version begins, so he suggests Donald’s recipe in Real Cajun. Another personal favorite of Prewitt’s is anything smothered. “The beauty of smothered dishes is that they are really simple. You want something that gets better with time and this dish—Smothered Chicken Thighs with Bacon Gravy and Popcorn Rice—is one of those. It is really crowd-friendly.” Chef Prewitt adds that the rice of choice in their restaurants has to be Louisiana in origin, like Panola or Cajun Boy. “These just have a buttery flavor that comes through all on their own.” Po-Boys are also a natural choice for any party with lots of big eaters. If you can get your hands on some Leidenheimer bread, these Roast Beef Po-Boys are one of the most authentic things going. To make the party truly something from the Quarter, stock up on plenty of Dixie beer to serve with your spread. When all is said and done, you’ll have more to talk about on Monday than just some over-priced commercials. If you’re really lucky, you might even have leftovers.
Get the Party Started
Andouille-Sausage Stuffed Mushroom Caps Makes 24 Ingredients: 24 fresh mushroom caps, stems removed and reserved 2 tablespoons olive oil ¼ cup chopped shallots 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced 1 pound Andouille sausage, chopped ¼ cup dry white wine ¼ cup ricotta cheese 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 egg, beaten salt and freshly ground pepper garnish, minced chives, chopped scallions or parsley Directions: 1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Chop reserved mushroom stems. 2) Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for three minutes. Add thyme and chopped mushroom stems; sauté for three more minutes. Add chopped Andouille sausage and stir to combine. Add wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool. 3) To the cooled meat mixture, add ricotta cheese and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Fold in beaten egg; season with salt and pepper. 4) Place mushroom caps in a glass baking dish (depending on size, you may need two) and fill each with equal amounts of the meat filling. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Note: You may prepare mushroom caps the day before and refrigerate (covered) until you are ready to bake and serve. Need a back-up app faster than you can say AAAAAIYEEEE? Grab a bottle of Pickapeppa sauce and an 8-ounce package of cream cheese. This ubiquitous condiment can be found in almost every pantry in New Orleans because, as the label says, it’s great “for seafoods, cheese dishes, salads, gravies, etc.” Pour a ¼ cup over a package of cream cheese and serve with buttery crackers.
The Main Event
Ryan Prewitt’s Smothered Chicken Thighs with Bacon Gravy and Louisiana Popcorn Rice Feeds 10 people. For Chicken Thighs: 5 to 6 pounds chicken thighs, about twenty 4-oz pieces salt 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 pound slab bacon, diced 2 teaspoons salt 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 3 yellow onions, diced 1 head celery, diced 3 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded, minced 2 tablespoons tomato paste ¼ cup whole grain mustard ¼ cup flour 1 gallon chicken stock For Rice: 3 tablespoons butter 4 cups Popcorn Rice, or another delicious long grain varietal 2 teaspoons salt 2 bay leaves 6 cups water For chicken: Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Dry the chicken thighs off with paper towels. Make sure they are as dry as possible. Coat the chicken thighs with 2 tablespoon of oil, then sprinkle with salt. Working in batches, sear chicken thighs, skin side down, over medium heat until well browned, about 5-8 minutes. Flip over and brown the other side, about 3-5 minutes. Remove thighs to a plate while you sear remaining chicken. If oil is still usable, go for it. If not, pour out the old oil and add a few tablespoons of fresh oil to your pan. Render the bacon until it is almost crispy. Add vegetables and seasonings and cook until lightly browned and completely soft. Turn down heat and add tomato paste and mustard, then cook for about 5 minutes, being careful not to let it burn. Add ¼ cup of flour and cook for about 5 minutes to fully incorporate. Add 1 quart of the stock, stirring to combine with flour. When the flour is incorporated, add the remaining stock and bring up to a simmer. Place the chicken thighs in a single layer in one or two baking dishes, depending on what you have available. Cover the thighs with the stock mixture and place in the oven. Cook uncovered for about 1 ½ hours. Add more stock or water if it starts to dry out. For the Rice: Melt butter in a one-gallon pot over high heat. Add the rice and salt, then cook until the rice becomes fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves and water, stir well, then bring to a boil. Stir once again, then cover with a lid and turn the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid, stir rice, then cover and let the rice steam until done. To Finish: Skim any fat that rises to the surface of the chicken thighs, but don’t go crazy. Just pull enough off so that it’s not greasy. Serve the chicken thighs on a large scoop of rice with chopped scallions and enjoy.
Roast Beef Po-Boys Serves 20 Ingredients: 2 four- or five-pound chuck roasts 1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning 2 medium yellow onions, minced 2 cans Amy’s Organic Cream of Mushroom soup po-boy rolls or Leidenheimer bread garnish: Boursin cheese, lettuce, tomato slices, Creole mustard Directions: 1) Rinse chuck roasts and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, poke deep slits all over each roast. Cut garlic cloves into slices and stuff into slits in the roasts. Be sure to flip the roasts over so each side gets a thorough stuffing of garlic. 2) Sprinkle each side with a light dusting of Tony Chachere’s—more if your group likes it spicy, less if they don’t. Place each roast on a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Top each with equal amounts of minced onion. 3) Pour one can of soup over each onion-topped roast and wrap tightly in the foil. There should be a tight seal on the packet so as to keep all the juices in. (Note: The roasts can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated for up to 8 hours before cooking. If refrigerating, be sure to bring roasts to room temperature before proceeding to the next step.) 4) Place the foil-wrapped roasts on a heavy-duty, rimmed cookie sheet or roasting pan. Put the pan in a cold oven and turn oven to 250 degrees F. Cook for at least 6 hours. If the seal is tight on the foil, these roasts can stay in the oven for longer. They won’t dry out, just keep getting more and more tender. 5) Remove the roasts from the oven and carefully unwrap. Pour all accumulated juices into a slow cooker. Shred the meat and add to the slow cooker. Keep warm until ready to serve. 6) Serve on po-boy rolls or Leidenheimer bread. Garnish with Boursin cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and Creole mustard as desired.
Lagniappe—a little something extra
By now your guests are full but may feel the need for a little something sweet to eat in the second half. Offer guests a small scoop of buttermilk ice cream with a little drizzle of store-bought caramel sauce. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt, if desired, and a nice glass of bourbon. (Not feeling comfortable in the kitchen? Make things easy by ordering Cajun Bites original Meal Solutions from BourbonandBoots.com. Stock up on Crawfish Jalapeno Pot Pie, Crawfish Etouffee, and stuffed chickens to keep it real.) Southern food and lifestyle writer Christiana Roussel lives in Birmingham, Alabama. When not enjoying the occasional biscuit festival or bourbon tasting, there are four chickens, three dogs, two children and one husband who keep her very busy.
Southern food and lifestyle writer Christiana Roussel lives in Birmingham, Alabama. When not enjoying the occasional biscuit festival or bourbon tasting, there are four chickens, three dogs, two children and one husband who keep her very busy.
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