Roasted Sweet Potato Tasso Bisque

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I love Cajun and Creole food. I went to New Orleans for the second time and this time I had the opportunity to take my first cooking class. I took a hands-on class at the New Orleans School of Cooking and it was amazing. I really enjoyed learning about the cuisine of NOLA and meeting my 9 new friends. Chef Matt was an amazing teacher with a great personality. My favorite dish that we made was the bisque; so spicy, creamy and delicious. We used an immersion blender to puree. If you don’t have one of those you could use a food processor or blender in its place.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 TBS garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup tasso (if your grocer doesn’t carry this you can use bacon or prosciutto in its place)
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 TBS Joe’s Stuff seasoning (I have the link to order down below, but you can use a combination of salt, garlic salt, paprika and onion powder in its place)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and cook sweet potato for 45 minutes or until tender, remove from oven and let cool (poke holes in the potato prior to cooking and beware that it will leak all over your oven, so place it on a pan).

In a heavy bottom pot, heat butter and brown tasso on all sides at medium-high. Remove half from pot and set aside for garnish.

Reduce heat to medium and add onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic; saute until soft. De-glaze with stock, scraping the bits of the bottom of the pot. Add Joe’s stuff or your own seasonings and allow to simmer.

After sweet potato has cooled, split it in half and scoop flesh out with a spoon. Add potato to simmering liquid. Using the immersion blender, puree the contents of the pot until smooth.

Add heavy cream and return to pot to simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Garnish with tasso and green onions.

Here is where you can purchase the special creole seasoning:

http://store.nosoc.com/joes-stuff-4-5-oz/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patti’s Spaghetti Sauce

 

 

My mom’s wonderful neighbor and friend, Patti, shared this delicious recipe for spaghetti sauce with sausage and pesto. The kind of chorizo sausage used in this one is not the same kind you can find in the grocery stores in the Bay Area of California. It is not the tubes of  chorizo but actually sausage that stays bonded when cooked. At home, I used bratwurst or any kind of yummy sausage. In Canada, you can find the chorizo sausage in the original recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar Mezzetta Napa Valley Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onions
  • 5 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 8 oz. mushrooms sliced
  • 2 chorizo sausages sliced and cooked
  • Pesto

Directions:

Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until tender. Cook sausages. Add all to sauce and simmer approx. 30 minutes. Add pesto to flavor. Serve over noodles of your choice.

 

 

 

 

BBQ Pulled-pork Sandwiches in the Crock Pot

 

This is a super easy crock pot recipe that makes tender pulled pork every time. Don’t be put off by the cola because it simply develops a sweet crust on the meat. I found this recipe on Pinterest and don’t have the original site it was found.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lb pork shoulder
  • Garlic salt
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce, plus more for serving
  • Coca cola (or any other cola)
  • 1 onion, slices
  • Buns

Directions:

Season pork with garlic salt and place it in the crock pot. Add BBQ sauce, cola to cover meat and sliced onion on top. Cook on low for 8 hours or until pork easily shreds, discard liquid and shred pork to mix with BBQ sauce as desired. Serve on buns.

Slaughterhouse Five Ribs


This is the 2nd rib recipe I have placed on the website. The first called for most or all of the cooking time in the oven. This one is on the grill. BBQ weather has arrived and ribs are my all time favorite BBQ fare. This recipe is found in a BBQ cookbook called America’s Best BBQ. Slaughterhouse five ribs is a recipe feature from a restaurant called Oklahoma Joe’s Barbecue and Catering in Kansas City in the above described book. It’s a basic rub but has the best flavor I’ve tried so far.

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS white cane sugar
  • 1 TBS light brown sugar
  • 2 TBS Hungarian paprika
  • 2 TBS Lawry’s seasoned salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 2 slabs spareribs

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Remove the membrane from the ribs, season the slabs all over with the rub. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Cook the ribs using indirect method. They are done when you can easily tear or pull ribs apart.

Smothered Porkchops

I know I have been incognito for awhile but I am ready to get back to sharing recipes and cooking! I found this recipe on foodnetwork.com by Tyler Florence. They are really easy to make, tender and delicious. My son approves. My daughter has decided to become a vegetarian, so I will be trying to make more meatless dishes and sharing them with you if they are pleasing to the palate.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, bone-in
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup buttermilk
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Directions:

Put the flour in a shallow platter and add the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture and then dredge them in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess.

Heat a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove the pork chops from the pan and add a little sprinkle of seasoned flour to the pan drippings. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the chicken broth in. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly. Stir in the buttermilk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Baby-Back Rib Chili

I found this unusual chili recipe in the Jan 2003 issue of GQ magazine. Titled “A Big Bowl of Love” and it truly is. Article by Terry Sullivan; he says he received the recipe from his accountant, Liz. Thank you Liz!

Ingredients:

  • 1 or 2 slabs baby back ribs, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 large white onions, diced
  • 1 large bunch celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cans (28 oz) whole tomatoes
  • 1 can (28 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (40 oz) kidney beans, puree
  • 1 palmful cocoa powder or 3 to 4 oz chocolate syrup
  • 2 palmful chili powder
  • 2 tsp each salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 8 to 10 shakes Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

Partially precook ribs in a 450 degree oven for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the onions and celery in olive oil for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook for 30 minutes or so, then remove the ribs from the oven, pour off the grease, cut them into two-rib sections and add to the pot. Cook over medium heat for several hours stirring occasionally.

Best-Ever Oven Baked Ribs

 

I use to BBQ ribs so tender, I never needed to bake in the oven or boil to start, the good old days. For some reason, lately, all my ribs are turning out dry. So I tried this recipe found in the July 2012 issue of Bon Appetit and damn! They are tender and good. I have tweaked the recipe to give you the option of cooking the entire dish in the oven. Give this recipe a try.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 TBS dry mustard
  • 1 TBS paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 lb baby back pork ribs (Okay, I admit, I did not make this many ribs, make enough for however many people you are feeding)
  • low salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups store bought or homemade BBQ sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degree. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Place each rack of ribs on a double layer of foil. Sprinkle rub all over ribs. Wrap racks individually and divide between 2 baking sheets.
Bake ribs until tender but not falling apart, about 2 hours. Carefully unwrap and pour juices into bowl, reserve. Let ribs cool completely.
If you want to get that BBQ flavor, build a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill. Otherwise, set oven to broil and continue. Add broth to rib juices to make 1 1/2 cup. Whisk in BBQ sauce to blend. Grill ribs with direct heat, basting with BBQ sauce mixture and turning frequently, until lacquered and charred in places and heated through, 7-10 minutes. Serve with additional BBQ sauce.

Braised Pork with Cherry Gravy

Spaghetti and Meatballs

A good old-fashioned spaghetti and meatball recipe. I have ruined other meatballs for my children and myself with this meatball recipe. The recipe is originally from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen cookbook but I have changed it and made it my own to make it simpler. It is the best meatball recipe I have found and I have become an expert at making them. It really isn’t as difficult as it looks, give it a try.

Picture above from our trip to Venice, Italy in 2018 and my daughter enjoying her spaghetti when she was 5 years old (2008)….both great memories.

Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 35-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp crushed hot red pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese + 2/3 cups for cooked pasta
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound spaghetti

Directions:

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a 4- to 5-quart pot over medium high heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes, crushed red pepper and bay leaves, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, crumble the pork and beef into a mixing bowl. Add the bread crumbs, 1/3 cup grated cheese, the parsley, and garlic over the meat. Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl until blended. Pour over the meat mixture. Mix the ingredients with clean hands just until evenly blended. Don’t over mix. Shape the meat mixture into 1-1/2 inch balls.

Dredge the meatballs in the flour until lightly but evenly coated. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil and the vegetable oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Slip as many meatballs into the skillet as will fit without crowding. Fry, turning as necessary, until golden brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Adjust the heat as the meatballs cook to prevent them from over browning. Remove the meatballs, and repeat if necessary with the remaining meatballs.

Add the browned meatballs to the tomato sauce and cook, stirring gently with a wooden spoon, until no trace of pink remains at the center of the meatballs, about 30 minutes.

Stir the spaghetti into the boiling water. Return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta, semi-covered, stirring occasionally, until done, about 8 minutes.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Spoon in about 2 cups of the tomato sauce, tossing well until the pasta is coated with sauce. Remove from the heat and toss in 2/3 cup grated cheese. Check the seasoning, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve the pasta in warm bowls or piled high on a large warm platter. Spoon a little more of the sauce over the pasta, and pass the remaining sauce separately. Pass the meatballs family-style in a bowl, or top the bowls or platter of spaghetti with them.

Enjoy! I know you will love it.