Slow Cooker Gumbo Recipe

We only used to make gumbo on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras).  Even though this dish is outstanding, we would only make it once a year because it takes about 4 hours from start to finish!  This is a much simpler recipe for gumbo that tastes just as good.  You can add everything into the slow cooker before you go to work and have great tasting gumbo for dinner any night of the week.  Here is the recipe:

1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, diced
3 ribs of celery, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 serrano chilies, deseeded and finely diced
16 oz. smoked Andouille  sausage, cut into thin rounds
flour, for dusting chicken

2 chicken breasts, chopped into 1 1/2 inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
ground cayenne pepper to taste

12 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 tspn Tabasco sauce

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the butter and olive oil.  Add the onion and saute for about 4 minutes.  After the onions have finished cooking, add them to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, celery, green pepper, red pepper, serrano chiles and Andouille sausage to the slow cooker.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Add the chopped chicken to the bowl.  Mix the pieces of chicken with the flour mixture so that they are well coated.  Remove the pieces of chicken from the bowl and add them to a skillet over medium heat.  Cook for about 8 minutes.  Add some of the chicken broth to the skillet to clean the bottom of the pan.  Add the chicken and broth to the slow cooker.  Discard the remaining flour mixture.
  4. Add the remaining chicken broth, chopped tomatoes, and Tabasco sauce.
  5. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
  6. After 8 hours, taste the gumbo and season as needed with Tabasco.
  7. Serve over warm rice. 
USA Flag United States Louisiana Flag Louisiana  [ print this recipe for Slow Cooker Gumbo ]

St. Patrick's Day - Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Green Beer Recipe

This meal of corned beef, cabbage, and garlic mashed potatoes is a classic Irish St. Patrick's Day feast. I also included a pint of green beer just for the occasion. Sláinte!!

The preparation of the potatoes and the cabbage is pretty strait forward. However, the corned beef takes some planning ahead of time. You will need a brining bag or a few heavy-duty zip-lock plastic freezer bags that you will use to soak the beef in a brine (salt) solution. This process takes about 7 days (believe it or not). The recipe for corned beef that you will need is listed below. But if St.Patrick's Day is just around the corner and you want to make corned beef in a pinch, you can get a kit at most grocery stores that include a pre-seasoned brisket and spices. Either way, you will be able to make a great, traditional St. Patrick's Day feast featuring corned beef and cabbage!! Erin go Bragh!!!

If a home stand in the kitchen is not what you had in mind, there are a few cities here in the States that have sizable Irish immigrant populations and also have respectable St. Patrick's Day celebrations. These include Boston, Chicago, New York and Savannah, Georgia. Out of these four cities, Chicago would be my first choice. Here is a guide to additional events happening in the Windy City this weekend...

If you do decide to go to Chicago, I recommend going to McGees and Kelly's. These two pubs are conveniently located across the street from one another in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on Chicago's north side. As stated in an earlier post, if you visit McGee's be sure to try the Irish Nachos!! Anyway, back to the recipes....

Recommended Equipment:
Dutch oven
brining bags (you can get them at Sur La Table) or heavy-duty plastic Ziploc Freezer bags

Corned Beef
2 1/2 pound beef brisket
5 cloves garlic, cut in half
8 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
4 tbsp sugar
1 cup kosher salt
3 bay leaves
1 tspn dry mustard
2 tspn peppercorns
1 pinch of ground cloves
1/4 tspn whole cloves
1/2 tspn allspice
4 garlic cloves, diced

  1. In a large pot, mix together the water, sugar, kosher salt, white vinegar, bay leaves, 1 tspn of the peppercorns, 1/2 tspn of the dry mustard, and a pinch of ground cloves.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it cool. This mixture is called the brine.
  3. Put the beef brisket in a brining bag. Then pour in the brine mixture and the 5 garlic cloves. The brine should cover the beef at all times so try to seal the bag with as little air remaining as possible. Then, place the bag in a larger bowl (in case the bag leaks). You may have to place a can of soup on top of the bag to keep the beef below the surface of the brine.
    brining bag
  4. Place the bag in the refrigerator for 7 days.
  5. After 7 days, remove the beef brisket from the brining bag and discard the brine.
  6. Rinse the brisket with water and then place the meat in an oiled Dutch Oven or large pot.
  7. Add enough water to cover the lower 2/3 of the beef brisket.
  8. Add the remaining 1 tspn of peppercorns, the allspice, the remaining 1/2 tspn of dry mustard, 4 diced garlic cloves, and 1/4 tspn of whole cloves.
  9. Heat the pot over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Skim off any foam that forms.
  10. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer for 4 hours.
  11. Remove from pot and cut the brisket across the grain of the meat.
    corned beef
3 cups of the mixture in which the brisket was simmering.
1 head of cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons.
salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 tbsp unsalted butter

  1. Add the 3 cups of the brisket mixture and the cabbage to a large skillet.
  2. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the skillet over medium heat.
  4. Heat the cabbage until it has softened but still has a slight crunch.
  5. Remove from heat and drain off any excess water.
  6. Add butter to the cabbage and stir.
  7. Serve hot.
Ireland [ print this recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage ]

Chocolate Guinness Pancake Recipe

chocolate guiness pancakes
This recipe for Chocolate Guinness Pancakes is a great choice for a post-St. Patrick's Day breakfast. All you need is a left-over bottle of Guinness Stout and a few basic ingredients.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn kosher salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Guinness Stout
dark chocolate chips
maple syrup

  1. Heat a greased skillet over medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix together the egg, milk, and Guinness.
  4. Gradually mix in the dry flour mixture with the wet Guinness mixture.
  5. When the skillet is hot, pour in about 1/8 cup of the batter and top it with a few pieces of the chocolate chips.
  6. When the pancake starts to bubble on top, flip it over and cook it until golden brown.
  7. Place the pancake in a warm oven until they are ready to serve.
  8. Repeat steps 5 through 7 until you have used all of the batter.
  9. Serve pancakes topped with butter and maple syrup.
Ireland [ print this recipe for Chocolate Guinness Pancakes ]

Char-Siu Bao Puffs Recipe

Char-Siu Bao puffs
Excerpted from 150 Best Ebelskiver Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2013 www.robertrose.ca May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Here, I've transformed one of my all-time favorite dim sum dishes - char siu bao, steamed buns stuffed with barbecue pork - into a quick and easy ebelskiver supper to be made anytime, in no time.

Recommended Equipment:
Æbleskiver pan (We bought a used cast iron pan on Ebay, you can also buy them new from Aunt Else's Æbleskivers)
Electric mixer

2 tspn vegetable oil
6 oz. extra-lean ground pork
1 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup water
1 tspn vegetable oil
1 tspn sesame oil

  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add pork and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, for 5 to 6 minutes or until no pink remains.  Add hoisin sauce and green onions; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, water, 1 tbsp (15ml) vegetable oil and sesame oil until well blended.
  3. Add the egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended (the batter will appear slightly lumpy).
  4. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat egg whites until frothy.  Increase speed to high and beat until stiff, but not dry, peaks form.  Using a rubber spatula, gently mix one-third of the egg whites into the batter.  Gently fold in the remaining whites.
  5. Brush walls of pan lightly with vegetable oil.  Set pan over medium heat.  When oil begins to sizzle, add 1 tbsp (15 ml) batter to each well.  Place 1 tspn (5 ml) filling in the center of each well and top with 1 tbsp (15 ml) batter.  Cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.  Using 2 skewers, flip the puffs over.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a bit of filling and a few moist crumbs attached.  Remove pan from heat and transfer puffs to a plate.  Let pan cool slightly.
  6. Repeat with the remaining batter and filling, brushing wells with oil and reheating pan before each batch.  Serve warm.
Excerpted from 150 Best Ebelskiver Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2013 www.robertrose.ca May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Related Posts:
Basic Aelbelskiver Recipe

 Chinese Flag China  [ print this recipe for Char-Siu Bao Puffs ]

Slow Cooker Chicken Biryani Recipe

Also spelled biriani, this dish originally comes from Persia (modern day Iran). It is popular throughout the Middle East, Pakistan, and India as well. Chicken biryani has been enjoyed by the people in these regions for centuries and as such has many varieties. In general, it is a spicy dish of layered meat and basmati rice. Biryani is usually an elaborate dish that requires many hours of preparation. However, this recipe for chicken biryani is much simpler to prepare but the flavor is just as rich and complex as traditional chicken biryani.  Try it with Homemade Tabasco Hot Sauce.

Recommended Equipment:
slow cooker

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 - 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tspn cayenne pepper, ground
1 tspn turmeric, ground
2 tspn fresh ginger root, minced
4 -5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tspn 5 spice powder
pinch of Kosher salt
spices for marinade

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced

2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 tspn cardamom, ground
1 1/2 tspn chili powder
1 tspn dried coriander, ground

1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
7 cloves
1  1/2 cups basmati rice
1 tspn ground cinnamon
basmati rice

sour cream or yogurt

  1. Mix together the yogurt, cayenne pepper, turmeric, ginger root, garlic, 5 spice, and Kosher salt. Place the pieces of chicken breast into the marinade being sure to coat all of the pieces. Refrigerate the chicken and marinade for at least 2 hours.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the diced yellow onion until some of the onions become crispy and dark brown.
    biryani - onions
  3. Remove the onions from the oil and retain the oil.
  4. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and mix in the mint, cilantro, cardamom, chili powder, coriander and the oil from the onions. Refrigerate the chicken mixture for another hour.
  5. Add 5 cups of water to a large pot over medium heat. When the water is about to boil, add the basmati rice, cloves, bay leaf, and the cinnamon stick. Cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the rice from the heat and strain off any excess water. Remove the cloves, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick from the rice.
  7. Grease the bottom and sides of the slow cooker.
  8. Place the chicken evenly across the bottom of the slow cooker.
  9. Next, cover the chicken with half of the rice
  10. Top the rice with the onions and ground cinnamon.
  11. Cover the onions with the remaining rice topped with one fresh mint leaf.
  12. Cook on low heat for 4 hours in your slow cooker.
  13. Serve the chicken biryani in bowls with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.
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