Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oh Brother, Part 1

A few years ago my brother Paul and I made a dinner for a crowd. We picked a Louisiana theme -- the food was very tasty and the meal went over well. He'd lost the recipes and asked for them today, so I thought I'd post them here.

The first is a really good way to use some of that summer corn.

Cajun Corn Maque Choux
Adapted from Southern Living, DECEMBER 2001

1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen, thawed)
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped green onion tops
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Sauté onion and bell pepper in hot oil in a large skillet over medium heat 8 minutes or until tender. Add corn and tomato; cook, stirring often, 15 minutes. Stir in green onions, salt, and pepper; cook 5 minutes.

Makes 6 servings


This recipe makes a LOT -- 12 servings. Obviously, you could scale the recipe down if you're not feeding a mob. This dish uses the tasty Holy Trinity of Louisiana cooking: Onion, celery, and green bell pepper. The addition of a healthy amount of parsley is pretty standard, too, not to mention the roux.

Grillades and Grits

Grillades (gree-YAHDS) and grits, like salt and pepper or bread and butter, are an assumed pair in New Orleans. It sounds like dinner, and sometimes it is, but brunch is the most popular menu spot for the Creole dish.

4 1/2 pounds round steak (we used petite sirloin, pounded)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
Vegetable oil
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 bay leaves
2 cups water
Cooked Grits

Cut meat into serving-size pieces; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 cup oil into a Dutch oven. Fry steak in batches in hot oil over medium-high heat until browned (about 2 minutes on each side.) Remove to platter, and repeat until all meat is browned.

Measure pan drippings; add enough oil to drippings to measure 2/3 cup, and return to Dutch oven. Add flour; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 10 minutes or until roux is caramel colored.

Stir in onion and next 5 ingredients; cook until tender. Stir in tomatoes, next 3 ingredients, and 1 cup of water, stirring well.

Return meat to Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard bay leaves. Serve with Cooked Grits.

Yield: Makes 12 servings

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