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Category: Side Items

How to Make Smothered Potatoes

[ 8 ] June 14, 2009

How to Make Smothered Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes Casserole

Scalloped Potatoes Casserole

Smothered Potatoes Recipe. Smothered Potatoes or also known as Scalloped Potatoes are easy and really delicious.

I love the taste of the sour cream sauce.

This is a baked casserole with white potatoes, milk, sour cream, cheese and green onions.

We like it with steak or grilled pork tenderloins.

Ingredients for the Smothered Potatoes Recipe

8 medium size white potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk or half & half
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped green onions
Tony’s Creole Seasoning

Cooking Directions for the Smothered Potatoes Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel potatoes and slice in half. Begin to slice in 1/4 inch slices. Potato slices should look like thin half moons. Place in a large bowl of cold water and set aside.

To make the white sauce, melt butter and whisk in flour.

Slowly add milk and stir constantly for 8 minutes.

Stir in the sour cream and blend until smooth.

Turn off the heat and toss in 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Sprinkle in a dash of Tony’s Creole Seasoning (salt and pepper will do if no Tony’s available).

Stir in 1 cup chopped green onions.

Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes in progress

Spray a deep casserole dish with canola oil spray.

Drain the potatoes in a colander.

Pour half of the potatoes in the casserole dish.

Pour half of the sour cream white sauce over the potatoes and spread evenly over the potatoes.

Repeat with remaining potatoes and sauce.

Place on a baking sheet and add casserole cover or foil.

Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes ready for the oven

Bake covered for 30 minutes.

Then, bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Add additional cheese and green onions if desired.

Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes ready to serve

Serving Suggestions for Smothered Potato Casserole

Serves well with our Grilled Filet Mignons, Grilled Chicken or Grilled Pork Tenderloin with a side of steamed broccoli or steamed asparagus.

Beryl Stokes

Cajun Cooking TV Chefs

How to Cook Squash

[ 0 ] May 6, 2009

How to Cook Squash

Smothered Yellow Squash Recipe. Yellow Crookneck squash is from the family of vegetables called summer squash; which includes zucchini and patty pan squash. Summer squash are named so as they are harvested when the vegetables are young and the skin still tender to eat with little or no cooking. In other words, you can eat summer squash either raw or cooked.

Fresh Summer Squash

Fresh Summer (yellow) Squash

In this recipe, we smothered the squash in a small amount of water with a sweet Texas onion, vibrant red bell pepper, seasonings and crumbled bacon. I had a couple junior cooks that I was teaching how to cook squash – Ashley and Marie.

Prep: 30 minutes
Serves: 6-8 as a side dish

Ingredients for Smothered Squash

4-5 yellow squash, sliced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4 slices bacon
2 cups water or chicken stock
Tony’s or salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese

Fresh Yellow Squash

Fresh Yellow (summer) Squash

Cooking Directions for Smothered Squash

Begin by heating 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 6 quart pot on medium heat (#6).

Cook the bacon. Set aside on a paper towel to drain and cool.

Saute‘ onion and bell pepper until softened.

Add 2 cups water.

Season with small amount of Tony’s or salt and pepper.

Add the sliced squash.

Crumble the bacon and add to the squash.

Stir well.

Cook covered for 20 minutes.

Serving Suggestions for Smothered Squash

Serve in small bowls as a side item topped with a sprinkling of Italian bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Optional: Substitute bacon with sliced and cooked sausage or ground pork.

Beryl Stokes

Beryl Stokes

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Eggplant Casserole Recipe

[ 5 ] May 2, 2009

Eggplant Casserole Recipe

Eggplant Casserole is made by cooking down cubed and peeled eggplant and mixing with ground meat, shrimp, crawfish or crabmeat.  We serve it is a side dish or as a party dip on crackers. You’ll definitely want to try this Cajun recipe. (Mike thought it would be awful, but he loved it!)

Ingredients for Eggplant Casserole

4 Eggplants
2 cups Cajun Trinity (or frozen seasoning blend)
1 stick of butter or 2-3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 pound ground round
1/2 pound ground pork (or one pound of either one)
Tony’s Creole Seasoning
2 cups bread crumbs
1-2 cups chicken stock

Eggplant

Fresh Eggplant

Cooking Directions for Eggplant Casserole

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray a casserole dish with spray oil.

First start by peeling the eggplant.

Cut in half and then cut into strips.  Then, cut crosswise into 1 inch cubes.

Heat in a large pot about 2 cups chicken stock.

Place in the pot the cubed eggplant.

Season with salt and  a sprinkle of Tony’s Creole Seasoning.

Let simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir occasionally.

Once tender, mash with a whisk or a potato masher to get the lumpy pieces.

Meanwhile, heat 1 stick of butter on medium heat (#6) in a deep skillet.

Cook the ground round beef and ground pork by chopping up with a flat edged wooden spatula.

The meat should all be brown and no pink.

Pour the meat mixture into the eggplant pot.  Stir well.

Then, add in 1 cup of bread crumbs.

Stir to mix all ingredients evenly.

Add seasoning if needed.

Pour into casserole dish and sprinkle with another cup of bread crumbs.

An optional step would be to also sprinkle on Parmesan cheese.

Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Serving Suggestions for Eggplant Casserole

Serve as a side dish in a small bowl or serve with a good butter cracker or whole wheat cracker for a party.

Other Options for Eggplant Casserole

Replace ground meat with boiled or sautéed shrimp, crawfish, or crab meat.

The seafood really makes for a tasty party dip.

Beryl Stokes

Beryl Stokes

How to Cook Cauliflower

[ 0 ] March 13, 2009

How to Cook Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a wonderful vegetable that is often overlooked as a great tasting cooked vegetable.

Cauliflower is most often used in vegetable trays with a dip.

Although I love to eat raw cauliflower and broccoli, having it steamed is also very tasty; especially with some finely shredded cheddar cheese, a cheese sauce, or fresh Parmesan cheese.

Garden Fresh Cauliflower

Garden Fresh Cauliflower

Ingredients for Steamed Cauliflower

1 head fresh cauliflower (it should be firm and free of brown spots on the top)
1 cup water
Dash of sea salt (plain table salt is OK)
Butter (optional)
Shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)

Steamed Cauliflower

Steamed Cauliflower

Cut off the green leafy part attached at the bottom of the cauliflower.

Cut off as much of the stem as you can.

You may have to insert a paring knife at an angle to get down to the stem.

Rinse well to remove any grit.

Heat 1 cup water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Place cauliflower in water. Sprinkle some salt.

Cover and lower the heat to medium-to-low #3.

Cook for 8-12 minutes or until soft enough to run a knife through the stem.

Ours took about 12-15 minutes.

Serving Suggestions for Steamed Cauliflower

Cheese Sauce

Cheese Sauce

Cut into serving wedges and top with cheese or cheese sauce.

A dash of Tony’s Creole Seasoning adds a great kick also.

Our daughter, Alexandra likes Tony’s on everything.

Happy eating and don’t forget to dance while you cook. We have so much fun!

One of Our Crazy Chefs!

One of Our Crazy Chefs!

Twice Baked Potatoes

[ 2 ] February 16, 2009

Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes, also called stuffed potatoes, give your meal that restaurant quality pizzaz.

We had to add twice baked potatoes to our Cajun recipes after enjoying them so much at Mike Anderson’s restaurant.

So, this is what we conjured up.

If you’re hungry for something a little jazzier than baked potatoes, try this twice baked potato recipe (some people call them stuffed potatoes.)

It’s sure to be a hit!

Ingredients for Twice Baked Potatoes

4 medium – large Idaho potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 small broccoli crowns (or 1/2 bag frozen broccoli crowns) – steamed
2 cups finely shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter
Bacon bits (optional)
Sea salt
Tony’s Creole Seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash potatoes.

Wrap in foil.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours turning over half way through cooking.

In the meantime, steam broccoli crowns.

Remove potatoes from oven and open from foil.

Let sit a few minutes.

Cut potatoes in half and separate.

Allow to cool a bit in order to handle.

Take a small spoon or ice cream scooper and hollow out the potato halves.

Put in a large mixing bowl.

(Do not scoop all the way to the skin so that you have a stable base.)

To the potatoes, add butter, sour cream, broccoli, green onions, cheese, and seasonings.

With a potato masher or a large whisk, mash all the ingredients together well.

Place the mixture back into the potato shells.

Place on a baking sheet or casserole dish.

Top with more shredded Cheddar cheese.

Bake 5-10 minutes to re-heat and melt the cheese.

Remove from oven and serve.

Serving Suggestions for Twice Baked Potatoes

A typical serving is a half potato for each person.

Enjoy with a steak or seafood or anything you like.

beryl stokes

Beryl Stokes

 

How to Cook Spinach

[ 0 ] February 8, 2009

How to Cook Fresh Spinach

Fresh Baby Spinach is so tasty and absolutely good for you.  Fresh vegetables just take so much better than out of the can.  My godchild told me she wanted Spinach with supper.  I said okay we’ll cook some.  Little did I know she only likes Popeye spinach out of a can.  Wow kids!  What can I say?  At least she eats spinach, and fresh broccoli and cauliflower.

Fresh Spinach Leaves

Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves

The best thing is, cooking fresh vegetables is really easy, the Cajun cooking way! So let’s show you how to cook spinach today.

Ingredients for Fresh Steamed Spinach

Steamed Spinach

Steamed Spinach (It cooks way down!)

1 bag of fresh baby spinach leaves (serves 2)
or 1 large container of fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons butter
small amount of water; maybe 2 tablespoons
dash of salt

Melt butter and add small amount of water on medium heat.

Add spinach and cover to allow steam to build up and actually cook the spinach.

Should only take a few minutes.

Steamed Spinach

Drain the excess water off of your steamed spinach

Serving Suggestions for Steamed Spinach

Stir and serve with Steak, chicken, pork or anything you like.

Beryl Stokes

Cajun Cooking TV Chefs

Cajun Green Beans and New Potatoes

[ 0 ] January 11, 2009

Green Beans and New Potatoes

 

green beans and new potatoes

Green Beans and New Potatoes

Cajun Green Beans and New Potatoes are a modern twist of the traditional holiday green bean casserole – without the mushroom soup.

We recommend using fresh or frozen green beans in this recipe.

You won’t get a good taste effect using salty canned green beans.

Give it a Cajun Recipe try – it’s a sure bet you’ll like it.

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients for Cajun Green Beans and New Potatoes

2 (10-ounce) packages whole green beans (or fresh green beans if available)
10 small red new potatoes
4   cups water
4-6 slices bacon (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1 small sweet onion (diced)
1 small red bell pepper (cut into strips)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Tony’s Creole Seasoning
Dash of Liquid Shrimp & Crab Boil

Taking several slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces.

On medium heat, fry in a skillet until brown.

Remove bacon to a separate bowl.

Carefully pour the hot bacon drippings in a large 6 quart pot.

Sauté the diced sweet onion until translucent and tender.

To the pot, add 4-5 cups water, red new potatoes, sea salt, Tony’s Creole Seasoning, garlic, and a dash of Liquid Shrimp & Crab Boil.

Boil for about 10 minutes until potatoes can break with a fork.

Add green beans and bell pepper.

Stir and lower the heat to medium-low (#3 or #4).

Simmer 10 minutes.

Green Beans

Fresh Green Beans from Our Garden

Serving Suggestions for Cajun Green Beans and New Potatoes

To serve at the table, transfer green beans and new potatoes to a casserole dish.

Top with crunchy French fried onions or chopped nuts for a tasty holiday fare.

Serves 6-8.

Don’t forget to make some corn bread muffins for dipping in the pot liquor.

Options:  Mix in a can of mushroom soup for an old fashioned green bean casserole and then, we top with a generous portion of shredded cheddar cheese and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

beryl stokes

Beryl Stokes

How to Cook Fresh Asparagus

[ 1 ] January 9, 2009

How to Cook Fresh Asparagus

asparagus

Fresh Asparagus

Fresh Asparagus is so much better than those served out of the can.

Asparagus is a tall plant with feathery foliage best known for its long edible shoots.

Often referred to as a delicacy, we enjoy fresh steamed asparagus with grilled steaks and grill pork tenderloins.

Asparagus comes in a variety of colors such as green, white and purple.

When purchasing asparagus, look for them to be displayed standing up in shallow water.

The stems should be moist and firm.

Ingredients Needed to Cook Fresh Asparagus

Fresh Asparagus

Fresh Asparagus

1-2 clusters of fresh asparagus
Butter
Sea salt (ordinary table salt is fine also)
Tony’s Creole Seasoning (optional)
1 cup water

Thoroughly rinse fresh asparagus in cold water leaving the bottom rubber band on.

(Asparagus can be sandy or gritty, so important to carefully rinse.)

On a cutting board, cut the bottom 2-3 inches off the asparagus.

(Keeping the rubber band on helps to keep the ends from flying all over the place when you cut them off.)

You can steam your asparagus if you have a steamer, or if you don’t have a steamer, you can cook them in a skillet.

Since a lot of folks don’t have or use a steamer, this recipe will assume you’re using a skillet.

In a deep skillet, pour in one cup water and bring to a boil.

Place the asparagus in the skillet – spread out all in the same direction.

Place a few pats of butter over the shoots.

Sprinkle a dash of salt and Tony’s Creole Seasoning.

Lower the heat to medium-low (#3 or #4).

Cook about 5-7 minutes.

Serving Suggestions for Fresh Asparagus

Carefully serve using a large serving fork or spatula.

Um Um it’s so good! We usually end up eating the asparagus before the steak.

beryl stokes

Beryl Stokes

Spinach Artichoke Dip

[ 10 ] January 3, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Dip

 

spinach artichoke dip

spinach artichoke dip

Spinach and Artichoke Dip or Spinach Dip are often referred to as Spinach Madeline in Cajun cuisine.

We make Spinach Artichoke Dip around the holidays.  It’s a family favorite.

I even have a special small crock pot to keep it warm when I’m expecting a crowd.

This recipe will serve about six guests.  For more, just double the recipe.

Ingredients for Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 (16-ounce) package of frozen spinach (cut spinach is best, but not chopped)
1 can quartered artichokes (I actually prefer just the hearts)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chopped Cajun Trinity (onion, bell pepper, celery)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (5-ounce) can PET milk or evaporated milk
6 ounces of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
6 ounces of shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Seasoning to taste with salt, white pepper, and Tony’s Creole Seasoning

Begin by cooking the spinach according to package directions.

Then, using two mixing bowls and a mesh strainer – begin to separate the spinach from the liquid.

Press out the excess well.  Reserve the liquid for use in the sauce.  Set aside.

Next, with one tablespoon butter, sauté the Cajun Trinity until translucent.  Add minced garlic toward the end.

Blend in the 3 tablespoons of flour to make a white roux.

Pour in the PET milk and stir constantly for about 3 minutes.  Be sure there are no lumps.

Add in the 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce.  Stir well.

Turn off heat and stir in the 1 cup of each cheese.  Stir well to melt.

Sauce will be thick, so add by spoonfuls the reserved spinach liquid and stir in well.

Sauce should still be creamy, but not too watery.

Fold in the spinach and artichokes.

Pour into a casserole dish.

Cover with more shredded cheeses and/or breadcrumbs.

Bake on 350 degrees for 20 minutes or enough to melt the cheeses.

Serving Suggestions for Spinach Artichoke Dip

Serve with crackers of your choice or petite toasts.

Other serving suggestions: spoon into prepared phyllo dough or mini pie shells.  We often make it for topping on baked potatoes with steak.  Enjoy this holiday favorite and be creative.

Beryl Stokes

Cajun Cooking TV Chefs

Skin Eatin’ Good Baked Potatoes

[ 0 ] January 2, 2009

How to Cook a Baked Potato

baked potato

Skin Eatin’ Good Baked Potato

A Baked Potato is a traditional side item for steaks – you know the saying: “I’m a steak and potatoes man”.

The potato referred to as a tuber plant that grows underground.  Potatoes were first cultivated in the Andes over 1800 years ago and later introduced in Europe in the 16th century.

Baked Potatoes are easy to prepare, but do take some time.

There is sometimes a misconception that a real Baked Potato can be achieved in the microwave.  This is simply not true. You bake a real baked potato in a real oven.

Give these Cajun Cookin’ baked potatoes a try and you will be eating the skins too.

Ingredients for a Skin Eatin’ Good Baked Potato

Large Idaho potato (one per person)
Canola or olive oil spray
Sea salt (plain table salt is fine)
Tony’s Creole Seasoning
Aluminum Foil

Prepping and Baking the Potatoes

Baking Potatoes

Baking Potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To prepare – thoroughly wash the potatoes and scrub the skin with a vegetable brush.  Do not dry off. 

Place each potato on an ample piece of aluminum foil at an angle.

Spray the potatoes thoroughly with spray oil. (You can also just rub the potatoes with oil instead.)

Sprinkle with sea salt and Tony’s Creole Seasoning.  Add any other seasonings you might like.

Wrap each of the potatoes and seal tightly.

Place potatoes on a baking sheet (starch may leak out while baking).

Bake for 40 minutes.  Turn potatoes over and bake another 40 minutes.

With a pot holder, test the potatoes for doneness by squeezing.  They should easily be squeezed.

Carefully remove from oven and unwrap from foil.

Serving Suggestions for a Skin Eatin’ Good Baked Potato

Baked Potato

Baked Potato Ready to Eat!

Slice down the middle with a knife.

With pot holders grasp each end of the potato and squeeze toward the middle and push down to open up.  This is how they do it in the restaurants.

Fill with your favorite potato toppings: butter, sour cream, bacon bits, chopped green onions and shredded cheddar cheese.

Don’t forget to eat the skin too!

Beryl Stokes

Beryl Stokes

P.S. – For a really special baked potato, try our Twice Baked Potatoes recipe

Twice Baked Potatoes