Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ma' boys and da gumbo!

It isn't every day that we actually get BOTH of our boys over for dinner (typically it's the heavily orchestrated holiday dinner.... Or a drive by).  With that in mind and noting the season, we are having gumbo, jambalaya, sautéed spinach and corn bread. Guess my southern (Croatian) roots are showing .....

1/2 c flour
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c chopped celery
3/4 c chopped yellow peppers
1 T garlic minced (I added double)
2 T hot sauce
1/4 t of both thyme, cayenne pepper and oregano 
1/3 t salt
1/4 t white pepper
3/4 chopped tomatoes 
6 c of chicken stock
1/2 lb chopped chicken
1/2 lb shrimp
1 T file

Add oil and chopped veggies (no tomatoes) and lightly sautée. Add flour and spices then continue stirring until deep golden brown. Do not burn!  

Add broth, tomatoes and meats. Summer for 15 minutes.  Add a little warm broth to a cup and stir in the file to make a paste.  Add paste to gumbo. Simmer for another 30 minutes and pour over cooked rice (mine looks like a rich stew!)


Next up Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Nothing says LOVE like Lasagna!

My husband has become quite the cook.  I on the other hand have become a bad blogger thanks to my studies.  I'm sorry all....when the dissertation is done, I promise you an abundance of happy, healthy recipes.  For now, Hubby is the King of the Kitchen.....quite to my surprise.....and to the shock of my whole family.

As most of you know, Hubby likes to hunt (wild game) and, as such, I have been blessed with a full freezer.  He tells me that I am suppose to drain the freezer before summer.....oh good luck!

This weekend he treated me to an amazing marinara sauce that I turned in to lasagna the second night (because we ALL know that the sauce is better on Day Two!):

3 lbs. ground meat (deer from Montana)
4 onions, coarsely chopped
2 bell peppers (red and green), coarsely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
7 splashes of Maggi
Big sprig of rosemary
Bunch of fresh basil
3 small sprigs of oregano
3 or 4 healthy shakes of Slap Yo Mama seasoning
1 tsp or 2 of Vegeta ('cause we all know you can't cook in our house without it)
4 Tbsp olive oil (note this goes up or down depending on the meat....which is very lean!)
4 cans of organic tomato sauce

Put the oil in the pan and saute all the veggies and herbs.  When onions are translucent, add the meat and brown.  When browned, put in crock pot, season the heck out of it and add 4 regular cans of organic tomato sauce.  Cook for 6 hours on low.

Now on to the our house this is a VERY big deal.  My Mom's lasagna is TOPS.  It is the requested items at your birthday dinner and only around for special occasions.  It is LOVE on the plate.  I am really, really lazy so I do not go through all the trouble to boil the noodles, etc. so when Hubby finished the sauce, I found a super easy way to make lasagna.  For the record, my Mom and Dad both loved it and even my Teta Bunny thought it was tasty (she is an excellent cook)....rave reviews all around.

1 package of O'Solo Mio lasagna noodles (ready to use, fresh pasta)
2 8 oz packages of grated cheese (Italian blend is best)
2 to 3 c of my husband's sauce
1 cup fresh spinach leaves

Spray 9 x 13 with Pam.  Put a big spoon of sauce on the bottom.  Layer the noodles then add sauce and cheese.  Repeat and add a tin layer of spinach.  Repeat and top with more cheese.  Bake at 350 about an hour and until the center is warm.