Gumbo seemed like another great food to send over to Frances after the birth of her cute new baby girl. It travels really well and the brown rice is a great source of fiber.
Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo
¼ cup oil
¼ cup flour
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 red peppers, seeded and chopped
4 ribs of celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
32 oz chicken broth
1 lb chicken andouille sausage, sliced
1 lb shrimp, shells removed
16 oz package frozen sliced okra
1 tablespoons gumbo file
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
cooked long grain brown rice
In a large heavy pot, on medium low heat, stir together the oil and flour. Keep stirring over the low heat until the mixture turns a dark brown but does not burn. Add the onions, peppers, celery and garlic to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium high and cook, stirring, until the vegetables get soft and translucent. Add the seasoning and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Ass the chicken broth, and sausage, shrimp and okra. Cook the soup, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is fully cooked. Add gumbo file and salt and pepper to taste and to thicken the soup. Before servicing, stir in the fresh parsley. Serve the gumbo with a nice mound of brown rice.
It has been really cold outside here in NYC. So that means comfort casserole time. I normally default to mac and cheese when I’m having these sorts of cravings, but I wanted to produce a healthier version. This has all of the warmth and comfort but with the addition of veggies and protein.
Cheddar Broccoli Chicken and Rice
3 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 ½ pound chicken thighs, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 pound bag of frozen broccoli, thawed
½ cup ricotta
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 12oz bag shredded cheddar
½ cup milk
½ cup parmesan
Place the rice and the butter in a large pot. Melt the butter and toast the rice grains. Add the water, salt, garlic and bouillon. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then turn the heat down to medium low and place the lid on the pot. Cook for 30 minutes.
Transfer the rice to the final casserole dish. In the same large pot, heat the oil, chicken, and seasoning on medium high, stirring occasionally. Keep cooking the chicken until it is done and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the broccoli to the chicken and cover to steam and heat through. Remove the cover and allow the rest of the liquid to evaporate.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Return the rice to the pot and add the cheeses and milk, except for the final amount of parmesan. Mix the rice mixture to fully combine. The cheese will melt as you mix. Transfer the rice mixture back to the casserole dish. Smooth the top of the rice mixture and spread out the remaining parmesan cheese over the top. Spray or drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil over the parmesan cheese.
Bake the casserole in the oven for 45 minutes or until the cheese on the top forms a nice crusty brown. You can also switch the oven to boil to finish the browning process.
This soup is magic. It cures colds, the flu and any sort of weird bug that is ailing you. I suspect it’s a mixture of good chicken enzymes and black pepper, but it cured my classmates in college when a really bad flu broke out. You can make it in advance and freeze it to have it on hand for when you might some down with something.
Vietnamese Rice Soup
½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup jasmine rice
1 cup chicken broth
bunch of scallions, chopped
salt and pepper
fried onion, optional
Place the chicken, rice and broth n a large pot. Cover with water to form a decent amount of broth. Heat the soup on medium high for at least 30 minutes. The chicken will be fully cooked and the rice will bloom. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Add the scallions, salt and pepper to taste and more water to the pot, lower the heat to low and simmer. Once the chicken is cool enough, tear it into bite-sized pieces and add it back to the pot. Fill a bowl and garnish with the fried onions to serve.
I think I learned it from my mom, but I hate to throw things away. After a dinner with Sean, Sabrina and Dave there was leftover rice that was destined for the trash. I rescued it and gave it an elegant new life.
3 cups cooked rice
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cup coconut
1 cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Crushed pistachio nuts
Put all of the ingredients, except the vanilla and nuts, into a medium size pot on medium high height. Stir the mixture and cook until boiling. Reduce the heat to medium low and let it cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, so that the mixture reduces and absorbs most of the milk. Taste the pudding and check for consistency. You do not want it to be too stiff. It will get thicker as it cools. Turn off the heat and add in the vanilla. You can either serve it hot or cold, sprinkled with the nuts.
It’s cold, really cold, in New York. I’m held up in my infinitesimally small studio apartment avoiding the elements. The only thing I want to eat is something starchy, creamy and rich. This doesn’t require a lot of effort and always hits the spot.
Butternut Squash Risotto
1 butternut squash, pealed, cleaned and cubed into bit size pieces
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 ½ cups short grain rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 quart chicken stock
fresh thyme, sage or parsley
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
On a large baking pan, toss the squash pieces in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast in the oven for 1 hour, turning 40 minutes into the cooking time
In a large pan, on medium high heat, sauté the onions in 2 tablespoons butter and some olive oil till clear. Add the rice, stirring and cooking till the edges also turn clear. Season the rice lightly with salt.
Add the wine. Stir until it is absorbed into the rice. Slowly add the stock, one ladle at a time, stirring the rice till it is absorbed. Do this until the rice is almost done, maybe 30 minutes? You want to rice to be done but not mushy. It should have the typical creamy risotto texture.
Fold the roasted squash, Parmesan cheese, remaining butter and fresh herbs into the rice. Check for seasoning and serve immediately.
I live in NYC and I have had a mouse. I’m insanely clean. Bordering on OCD. So really the mouse just runs around looking for food but it is all in vain. Regardless, I’m on a campaign to eat everything I have in the house to make sure there will never been anything to attract these little suckers. I have a bag of organic brown sticky short grain rice. I was going to use it to experiment with brown risotto, but have yet to.
I took about a cup of the rice and I’m now making soy rice pudding out of it. God, why am I compelled to bake? I guess it is ultimately because I have a huge sweet tooth. So I simmered the rice covered with some water just to get it started. Then I added some milk, sugar and cinnamon. Then I simmered the rice mixture till it got thick and absorbed the milk. At the end I finished it off with a splash of vanilla. Fantastic and impossible to screw up!
Soy Rice Pudding
1 cup brown short grain rice
1/2 cup water
2-3 cups soy milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
pinch of salt
Place the rice and water into a sauce pot and cook on medium heat till the water is boiling. Stir the rice on the heat until the water is absorbed. Add the milk, sugar and cinnamon and keep cooking until the liquid is all absorbed and the pudding is thick. Total cooking time will probably be about 30-45 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat, add the vanilla and salt and stir before serving.