Cooking

When you are working on your computer at home all day long, it helps to eat right.

These recipes are for traditional Cajun dishes that require a little preparation time and a long time simmering. Take a few minutes and get a good meal going, work all day, and when you are done you can have a great meal. It will increase your productivity to take a break during the day to check on how the food is doing. When the cooking is done, invite someone and have a great meal. Bon Appetit

Red Beans

Ingredients- Vegetarian
1 lb of Camellia Brand Red Beans
2 medium onions – chopped
2 medium bell peppers – chopped
2 stalks of celery – chopped
1 small can of Rotel brand Tomatoes and peppers
1 medium can of tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2-4 tables spoons of Olive Oil
Salt to taste

Ingredients- Traditional
Add 1 lb total of smoked pork or beef sausage and/or pork tasso,

Implements
6-10 quart with a heavy bottom pot
2-quart saucepan
1 large serving spoon

How to do the Red Beans
Sort the beans and throw away broken or discolored beans
Rinse the beans thoroughly to remove sand and grit
Soak the red beans over night or a minimum of 3 hours in water
Pour out the standing water in the morning
Add fresh water to cover the beans in the cooking pot
Chop the fresh vegetables
Open the cans of canned vegetables
Add the fresh and canned vegetables with the red beans
Place on high heat about 20 minutes or until simmering
Reduce to low heat to low simmer and cover the pot
Stir occasionally to prevent beans from sticking to the bottom of the pot
Cook for about 2 hours until beans are soft inside
Remove the pot lid and keep under lowest simmer possible
Add optionally traditional meats
As beans thicken, add the least water to prevent beans from sticking
Salt to taste after 1 hour
Cook until beans are broken and thick sauce appears
Serve over Cajun Rice.

Cajun Rice

Ingredients
4 cups of California long grain rice
4 cups of water
Salt to Taste


California rice has less arsenic than Louisiana rice.
Read about that here and here in consumer reports and here in Mother Jones.


Implements
2-quart saucepan
1 large serving spoon

How to do the Rice
Add an equal amount of rice to water in saucepan
Bring to a high boil
Reduce to lowest simmer possible
Cover the saucepan
Don’t pick up the lid
Don’t stir the pot
Cook for about 30 minutes
Remove the lid and check the rice for fluffiness at the top of pot
If not fluffy and dry add 1/4 cup of water else continue cooking for 12 minutes
Remove the lid and check the rice of fluffiness
Continue to add 1/4 cup of water every 12 minutes until rice is fluffy

Remember how much total water you added, and then add
That total amount next time you cook. You should have
perfect rice every time.

Cajun Gumbo

Ingredients- Vegetarian

1-cup oil
1-cup flour
2 large onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
4 quarts water
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons red pepper seasoning, or to taste
1 green onions (onion tails!!), tops only, chopped
2/3-cup fresh chopped parsley
Gumbo Filé powder (ground sassafras leaves) to taste

Ingredients- Traditional
Add one combination of optional meats

Combination 1
1 large chicken (young hen preferred), and cut into pieces
1 to 2 lbs andouille, smoked beef or pork sausage
3 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

Lightly brown the chicken in olive oil in saucepan
Add 2 hours to Gumbo

Combination 2
1 lbs of white chicken filets, lightly browned

3 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
Lightly brown the chicken in olive oil in saucepan
Add 1-½ hours to gumbo

Combination 3
1 lbs of white chicken filets
1 to 2 lbs andouille, smoked beef or pork sausage

3 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
Lightly brown the chicken in olive oil in saucepan
Add 1-½ hours to gumbo

Combination 4
1 to 2 lbs of raw peeled shrimp
1 to 2 lbs of raw Gulf blue or Alaska snow crab
Add 20 minutes to gumbo

First you make a roux:
Add the oil to a skillet
Heat oil to medium to high heat depending on skill
Sprinkle flour into the oil to avoid clumping
Stir flour and oil continuously with spatula or serving spoon
Cook until the color of dark chocolate
Turn off heat
Add vegetables
Stir until roux ceases cooking vegetables

Second you make the gumbo stock:
Transfer Roux and vegetables to large soup pot
Add water slowly
Bring and Maintain to a low simmer
Stir and mix roux with water
Add bay leaves and red pepper
Cook for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally

Third you add the meats or seafood if preparing traditional gumbo:
Cook and add to soup: Combination 1, 2, or 3 if cooking traditional chicken gumbo
Note the cooking time listed above.
or (!!!)
Add without prior cooking to Soup: Combination 4 if cooking traditional seafood gumbo
Note the cooking time listed above.
Then you let it simmer for a long time:
After 30 minutes, adjust seasoning by adding salt and red pepper
Occasionally, skim oil off the top of the gumbo as per your preference
Occasionally, add water depending on thickness of gumbo desired as per your preference
Wait 15 minutes before eating: add green onions as well as parsley
Serve in soup bowls with white Cajun rice
Add Gumbo File to taste