Monday, March 29, 2010

Week 6: Crawfish Etouffee

Andrew does not like this recipe; he's not a fan of onions and peppers, the "taste" apparently, does not sit well. This recipe is a bastardization of a recipe given to me by my mom, which is of course not nearly as good as hers (which is generally made from tails that she/family friends have personally boiled, tailed, and peeled. So, here's the recipe. It's really simple and good for people who want to make something that sounds really impressive but may not be as difficult to make as you might think (but shhhh you don't have to tell anyone else that :P)

A stick of butter
Half a Bell Pepper
Half an Onion
Crawfish tails (they have them frozen, but you should try to buy them as a Louisiana product)
Rice (I used instant rice because I'm a fan of instant gratification!)
1 can cream of celery
1 can cream of mushroom
cayenne pepper
Tony's seasoning (or some seasoning similar to this)

1. Chop the bell pepper half. I use an electric chopper because it makes really fine pieces, but you may hand chop it. You want it minced. Do the same with the onion. Add this to a 2 quart pot on medium-high heat. Add the BUTTER :D
2. Caramelize the peppers and onions (pretty much just stir them every once in a while to make sure they don't stick/burn until they turn squishy. Add some cayenne pepper, not very much (it will be overpowering if you do). Add around 1/8 tsp. Stir.
3. Add 1 can of cream of celery. Stir into caramelized pepper/onion/butter mixture. Add a sprinkle of Tony's. Heat all the way through.

4. Stir in the crawfish tails. Keep the heat on medium-high. Add a sprinkle more of Tony's. Add the can of cream of mushroom.
5. Add Tony's/cayenne pepper to taste. Heat all the way through. Let the heat travel through. Make sure it is stirred and mixed through so the deliciousness can be tasted all the way through :)
6. Serve over rice. (As I said, I used instant rice)

This recipe is delicious and is one of my favorites! It's pretty simple, but it takes a lot of self-decisions. There are no, let sit for x minutes, it's a touch-and-go situation.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Barbecued Zucchini & Cookies: (Chocolate Chip Malted Milk Balls)

After a sort of hiatus that Andrew and I took as a result of a few missed weeks initially due to a trip to Arkansas, then Mardi Gras, and then it had become habit. Although today is not Sunday, we are adding this blog in order to get back in the game!

So, while I was home at my parents' house this past weekend, we barbecued and my mother suggested I post about our barbecued zucchini. So, here's a simple recipe for something I find to be delicious. If you're worried about it being too healthy, read the recipe and you will find you are mistaken!

Barbecued Zucchini

a few whole zucchini, any size, though I would suggest medium-large
A seasoning such as Tony's or Slap Yo' Mama that is made of cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, etc.
A barbecue pit that has been going long enough to be hot and ready

1. On a cutting board and with a large, sharp knife, slice the zucchini in half lengthwise (don't slice it into a bunch of little pieces like I did the first time I was told to "horizontally slice it").
2. Lay the zucchini with the flat side up and cut slices into it with the knife.
3. Take about a tablespoon of butter per half of zucchini and smother it into the cuts made in step two and coat it. It's okay if it isn't completely smooth because it will melt. Sprinkle the seasoning over the top (not too much, or it will become too salty)
4. Place on a higher rack of the barbecue pit with the butter side up. Leave for about 7 minutes and then flip. After another 7 minutes has passed, flip back up. You may cook to taste. The longer they cook, the softer they will become, so if you prefer it crunchier you may not want to leave it for so long.

QED for this recipe and so onto the next! Chocolate Chip Malted Milk Ball Cookies! Andrew's week has been full of homework and tests, and mine has been filled with the same along with allergies and other troubles, so he proposed that we go out and eat and then bake. I have to admit, he did all of the work. He's the baker of our cooking team, and I prefer what I like to think of is the more substantial dinner part. This recipe called for a lot of recipes with memories, like Ovaltine, which was certainly a flashback to A Christmas Story.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of Ovaltine
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups roughly crushed chocolate-covered malted milk balls (like Whoppers)
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

1. Whisk flour, Ovaltine, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.
2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about three minutes, and scraping down bowl once or twice. Beat in vanilla, then eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl. Add about one-third of flour mixture and mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining flour mixture, mixing just until blended. Stir in crushed malted milk balls and chocolate morsels. To crush the Whoppers, Andrew put them in a sturdy bowl and crushed them using a wooden spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and chill dough for at least two hours or overnight (I'm pretty sure we didn't do this and it turned out fine. The softer the dough, the more likely the cookies are to spread).
3. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper (we also didn't line it, but it should be fine again. It doesn't stick).
4. Drop chilled dough by generously rounded tablespoon two inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake until edges and tops just begin to turn light golden brown, about twelve minutes. Place sheets on racks to cool for five minutes, then remove cookies from sheets and place directly on racks to cool completely.

You're done and they're pretty good. It's like biting into a chocolate chip cookie with an extra surprise!