Alligator Sauce Piquante

1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
3/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
4 bay leaves
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons bleached all-purpose flour
4 cups seeded and chopped plum tomatoes
3 cups Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Emeril’s Red Pepper Sauce or other hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 pounds alligator meat, cut into 2-inch strips
1 1/2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning
1/2 cup chopped green onions (green and white parts)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Perfect Rice, hot

Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in large heavy nonstick pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne, and bay leaves.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the flour and cook, stirring, to cook the flour without browning, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, Worcestershire, and pepper sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low.

Place several pieces of alligator meat at a time on a work surface covered with plastic wrap. Cover the meat with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 2-inch strips.

Combine the remaining 1/2 cup flour and the Essence in a medium bowl. Dredge the alligator pieces in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the meat and fry until golden brown, turning once, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Transfer to a platter. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet and repeat with the remaining alligator.

Add the meat to the sauce. Increase the heat under the sauce to medium-high and bring to a gentle rolling boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

To serve, spoon the rice into soup bowls, top with the meat and sauce, and garnish with the green onions and parsley.

Yield: 6 servings

Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven (Island Spice Red)

Colorful Jambalaya

1/2 lb keilbasa
1 cup chopped chicken
2 tablespoons oil
2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 large orange bell pepper, chopped
2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dry)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rice
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 lb of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Saute keilbasa and chicken in a dutch oven until brown. Remove and set aside.

Add oil to pot and cook the onions and garlic over medium heat until tender. Add the peppers, tomatoes, sugar, thyme, chili powder, and cayenne. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Slice the keilbasa and add to the pot with the chicken and rice. Stir in the chicken stock and heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the the rice is tender (about 30 minutes).

Stir in the shrimp and cover, cooking about 5 minutes more until the shrimp turns pink and the stock is completely absorbed.

Stir in the parsley and adjust seasons just before serving.

Number of servings: 6

Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Dual Handles, Pre-Seasoned, 5-Quart

Cajun Cafe Bourbon Chicken

1 lb. chicken legs or chicken thigh pieces, cut into bite size chunks
4 oz. soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons each dried onion flakes; white wine, set aside
1/2 cup bourbon whiskey

Mix all ingredients together except wine. Pour over chicken in a bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight, stirring often.

Bake at 350º for 1 hour, in a single layer, basting every 10 minutes. Remove chicken and scrape pan, juices and all brown bits into a frying pan. Heat and add 2 tablespoons white wine. Stir and add chicken. Cook for 1 minute and serve.

Cooking with Brown Sugar: 51 Recipes

Ezekiel’s Shrimp Gumbo

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups sliced fresh okra
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce, to taste
2 pounds raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt, to taste
4 cups hot cooked rice

Melt butter in stockpot over medium heat. Slowly stir in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until roux is dark brown, taking care not to let it burn, about 15 minutes.

Add onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic and 1/2 cup chopped parsley to roux. Cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Slowly stir in broth, then add okra, pepper, Worcestershire and a few dashes of Tabasco sauce. Cover; simmer on low 30 minutes.

Add shrimp; simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and opaque. Season to taste with salt and additional pepper and Tabasco. Serve over rice; garnish with additional chopped fresh parsley.

Makes 8 servings.

T-fal Specialty Total Nonstick Oven Safe Stockpot Cookware, 12-Quart, Black

Jim Carey’s Cajun Cornbread Dressing

Seasoning Mix
2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves

Combine, mix thoroughly and set aside.

1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 lb Polish smoked sausage, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
5 cups crumbled buttermilk cornbread
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
3 eggs

In a large sauce pan, melt butter and add onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic and bay leaves and cook over high heat. Saute about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the seasoning mix and continue cooking 5 minutes. Stir in the sausage, chicken broth and Tabasco sauce. Cook 5 minutes more stirring frequently. Turn off heat. Add the cornbread, milk and egg.

Spoon dressing into a greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees until browns on top for about 40 minutes.

Prepworks by Progressive Ultimate 19-Piece Measuring Cup and Spoon Set

One Great Gumbo

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil — 2 turns of the pan
1 pound chicken breast tenders — diced
1 pound boneless — skinless chicken thighs, diced or, double amount of white meat
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 1/2 pounds andouille sausage — casings removed and diced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ribs celery from the heart of the stalk — chopped
2 green bell peppers — seeded and diced
1 large onion — peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves — fresh or dried
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup hot cayenne pepper sauce (for mild to moderate heat)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart chicken stock or broth
3 cups chopped okra — fresh or defrosted frozen
1 can crushed tomatoes — (28-ounce)
1 can diced tomatoes — (14-ounce) in puree
3 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme leaves — several sprigs
8 scallions — thinly sliced on an angle
2 1/2 cups white enriched rice prepared to package directions

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil, 1 turn of the pan, and 1 pound of the diced chicken. Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of poultry seasoning. Brown on all sides, about 2 or 3 minutes.

Chop your veggies while it’s working. Add half the andouille to the pan and cook another 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer chicken and sausage to a dish and repeat with remaining chicken and sausage, remembering to season the diced chicken as you go.

Return pan to heat and add butter.

When the butter melts, add chopped celery, peppers, onion and bay. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Cook 3 to 5 minutes to begin to soften veggies. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes.

Slowly stir in the broth and bring liquid up to a boil. Add okra, chicken and sausage to the boiling broth, then stir in your tomatoes and half of your fresh thyme. Bring back up to a bubble, reduce to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes to combine flavors and adjust your seasonings.

Serve gumbo with chopped thyme and scallions to garnish. Scoop cooked white rice into the center of bowlfuls of gumbo using an ice cream scoop.

Serving Size: 8

Lodge Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven, 5-Quart

Creole Chicken

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained, 14.5 oz
1 can chicken broth, 14 oz
8 oz. cooked smoked Polish sausage, coarsely chopped
1 cup diced cooked ham
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 can tomato paste, 6 oz
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 cup chopped green sweet pepper

In 4 quart slow cooker, mix chicken, tomatoes, broth, sausage, ham, onion, tomato paste, water, Cajun seasoning and hot pepper sauce. Cover. Cook on low heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Turn off cooker. Stir in rice and sweet pepper. Cover; let stand for 10 to 15 minutes or until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.

Makes 6 servings

Proctor-Silex 4-Quart Slow Cooker

Cajun Pot Roast with Maque Choux

2- to 2-1/2 pound boneless beef chuck roast
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 10-ounce package frozen whole kernel corn
1 large green sweet pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 14-1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

Trim fat from meat.

Sprinkle Cajun seasoning evenly over all sides of the meat and rub in with your fingers.

If necessary, cut meat to fit into a 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 quart crockpot. Place meat in the crockpot. Add frozen corn, sweet pepper, onion, sugar, hot pepper sauce, and black pepper. Pour tomatoes over mixture in crockpot.

Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.

Remove meat from crockpot.

Drain vegetables, discarding cooking liquid.

Serve meat with vegetables.

Makes: 6 servings

Crock-Pot 4-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black

Jambalaya (3)

4 tablespoons margarine
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup green onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1 lb sliced sausage, cooked **
2 cups medium grain white rice

In a large saucepan, over medium heat melt margarine, sauté onions, celery, bell peppers, green onions, and garlic until tender-crisp. Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, and add all seasonings. Bring mixture to a boil. Add rice. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Fold in cooked sausage. Remove bay leaves, serve.

** Prepared duck, ham or seafood may be substituted for sausage.

Serves 6

Mirro Get A Grip Nonstick Stockpot with Glass Lid Cover Cookware, 8-Quart, Black

South Louisiana Gumbo

2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and red and black pepper, to taste
1 hen or large fryer
3 pounds shrimp, cleaned and deveined
3 pints oysters, drained
1 can crab meat (optional)
Crab claws (optional)
Okra (optional)
File (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon

Boil chicken. Debone and cut into bite-size pieces. Reserve 1/2 gallon stock.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large cast iron Dutch oven. Add flour; stir until roux is dark brown (the color of a brown paper bag), being careful not to burn. Add onions, bell pepper and garlic. Saute until tender.

Add celery, okra, salt, red and black pepper and chicken stock. Let simmer for at least 1 hour.

Add as much chicken as desired (reserve remainder for another recipe) and simmer for 45 minutes. Add shrimp, crab meat, crab claws, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and bay leaves. Continue cooking until you are ready to add oysters; oysters should not be added until 15 or 20 minutes before serving. Add file just before serving, but do not boil.

Serve over rice.

Serves 12.

Note: A leftover turkey carcass is excellent for this recipe instead of chicken. Boil the carcass; remove the meat from bones and reserve stock as you would for chicken. This recipe is better if made the day before and refrigerated. If not made the day before, begin preparing it in the morning if it is to be served at night.

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Dutch Oven with Dual Handles, 5-Quart