Month: August 2009

Cajun Dirty Rice

Prepared Cajun Dirty Rice in pan
Prepared Cajun Dirty Rice in pan

This is an excellent recipe for Cajun Dirty Rice and what’s quite remarkable about it is that is had no seasonings in it. Plus, there is no added salt — it’s in the chicken stock already. We used this recipe as a base for the Spicy Old Bay Shrimp Recipe that we wrote about yesterday. This is truly a great taste treat. Be sure to spoon some of the extra sauce from the pan the Old Bay Shrimp was cooked in. The two recipes have flavors that simply complement each other.

3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup poblano chile pepper, diced
2 tsp Gilroy Farms minced garlic (jarred)
1/2 pound cooked chicken livers, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 cups cooked Basmati rice, cooked
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley

Cook the rice and chicken livers* while chopping the vegetables. Melt the butter in a large skillet, then add the onion, celery, red bell pepper, poblano chile pepper and parsley. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 – 8 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Peppers, Onion, Parsley, Cooked. Ready to add Garlic and Chicken Stock.
Peppers, Onion, Parsley, Cooked. Ready to add Garlic and Chicken Stock.

Add the minced garlic, and turn up heat. Add 1/2 of the chicken stock. Let reduce by half, then add other 1/2 of chicken stock. Again, cook until stock has reduced by half — this doesn’t take very long, only a minute or two. Make sure you boil the stock enough. You want a little juice but not so much that you make the rice soggy.

Reducing the Chicken Stock - Note the Rapid Boil
Reducing the Chicken Stock - Note the Rapid Boil

To wrap up this dish, reduce heat, add the rice, and mix in well (this is 4 cups of rice so make sure you choose the right size skillet. Ours in the picture is 14″ in diameter.) Finally, add the finely chopped chicken livers and stir to mix well.

Cooks Note: We use Gilroy Farms minced garlic whenever recipes call for fresh garlic. Gilroy Farms minced garlic has a creamy texture and we find that we have a more garlic flavored taste than when we use chopped fresh garlic. We suppose that’s because of the very fine mince the Gilroy Farms garlic has — this might be reproducible using a food processor — but it’s so much easier to open up the jar and get delightful results everytime!

*Cooking Chicken Livers
We cook the chicken livers in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes, then drain them and cool them by placing the cooked chicken livers in a wire mesh strainer and running cool tap water over them. Chop the chicken livers very fine (1/8″ crumbs) with a flat bladed knife.

Spicy Old Bay Seasoned Shrimp

Spicy Old Bay Seasoned Shrimp
Spicy Old Bay Seasoned Shrimp

This is an absolutely delicious recipe for shrimp. It’s among our “keeper recipes”. The picture shows the shrimp served over Cajun Dirty Rice.

2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup julienne onion
1 pound 26/6- shrimp, peeled, deveined
1/2 cup chili sauce
1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 cup chicken stock

Cook onion in oil until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add cleaned shrimp, chili sauce, chicken stock, and Old Bay Seasoning. Cook, turning often for 4 to 5 minutes (or until shrimp are cooked and pink.

Author: Matthew Schroebel

Peppery Hash Brown Breakfast Potatoes

Hash Brown Potatoes with Jalepeno Dices
Hash Brown Potatoes with Jalepeno Dices

This is a great twist from the standard hash brown potatoes which are either plain potatoes or are mixed with some onions. Our Peppery Hash Brown Potatoes add some diced Jalepeno Peppers and are quite simple to make.

1/2 package simply potaoes
1/2 medium onion diced
1 jalepeno pepper, diced (no seeds — only the green part, this is breakfast!)
1 tbsp McCormick Santa Fe Seasoning

In a medium greased skillet, add shredded potatoes, onion, and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Toss. Cook covered for another 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with eggs and your favorite meat such as sausage as shown below:

Serving Suggestion of Hash Brown Potatoes

Author: Matthew Schroebel

Delicious Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe with Vanilla Extract

Buttermilk Pancakes

We’re on a breakfast theme for a few days. Today we’re making Buttermilk Pancakes with Vanilla Extract served with pure Maple Syrup. These are absolutely delicious, light and fluffy pancakes. This is absolutely delicious.

1 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 cup 2% buttermilk
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Oil your griddle and start heating it over medium heat. In a small cereal bowl, beat the egg. In a medium size bowl, mix the beaten egg with buttermilk, then add the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add the Pure Vanilla Extract, mix in. Beat in the melted butter. Don’t worry about mixing the batter so muxh to mix in all of the flour. The lumps will work themselves out in the cooking.

Test your griddle for readiness by dropping a drop of water on top. It should sizzle and dance around if the griddle is hot enough.

Once ready, pour or ladle the batter onto the griddle. Be careful to take your time and not pour out too much batter — if you do you’ll have giant pancakes. Your looking for a nice 4 -6″ pancake.

Cook the pancakes until they bubble on top. If this is your first pancake experience, then left up a side and peak underneath the pancake. If brown, then flip the pancake over and cook the other side. Otherwise wait 20 seconds or so and peak again.

Serve with Pure Maple Syrup. I like to add an over-easy egg between the layers of pancakes and soak up the yolk with the pancake.

Author: Matthew Schroebel Author: Matthew Schroebel

Italian Sausage Spaghetti Ala Spatini

Spatini and Italian Sausage with Pasta

There are lots of ways to make Italian sauces and pastas. A favorite or ours, and of lots of folks we know, is Spatini Italian Sauce Mix. Up until a few years ago, Spatini was available in the local grocery store. Nowadays, Spatini is only available in bulk foodservice size pouches, which we offer here at Spice Place.

1 Pound Lean Italian Sausage (or Turkey Italian Sausage)
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tbsp Spatini Seasoning
Your favorite pasta

Cook the Italian Sausage until done, then slice into 3/8″ to 1/2″ pieces. Set aside.

In a saucepan, cook the onions until tender, then add the Spatini, tomato sauce, and water. Return to a boil, and add the sausage. Mix well and serve over your favorite pasta.

Serve with Garlic Bread.

Author: Matthew Schroebel Author: Matthew Schroebel

Asian Seasoned Grill Chicken

Asian Seasoned and Grilled Chicken
Asian Seasoned and Grilled Chicken

A unique and delicious taste sensation results from this recipe which is flavored with a large variety of Asian flavors. These tastes include McCormick Chinese Five Spice, Hoisin Sauce, Vietnamese Fish Sauce and Sesame Oil. If you’re a regular here, you’ll know we like to marinate our grilled foods before cooking and this recipe is no exception.

1/4 cup sugar (we like the Sugar In The Raw Style)
2 tsp Chinese Five Spice
2 tbsp Sesame Oil
1 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 tbsp Lawry’s Seasoned Pepper (or equal portions black pepper and crushed red pepper)
1 tbsp Pick-A-Pepper sauce (Jamaican Sauce similar to A-1. Use A-1 if you can’t find Pick-A-Pepper)
1 tbsp Vietnamese Fish Sauce
1 tsp Corn Starch
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp olive or canola oil

1 Pick of the Chicks package of cut up chicken (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks)

Combine all of the ingredients (except chicken in a small bowl. Mix, then microwace for 1 minute. Mix, and microwave again for 30 seconds. Mix, and microwave one more time for 30 seconds. Whip well with a fork. Set Aside.

Wash and rinse chicken well then place in a one gallon sized zipped style heavy duty plastic storage bag. Pour the seasonings over top of the chicken. Place in refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours.

Heat grill (We’re old fashioned an enjoy charcoal grilling. Use your gas grill if you like). Remove chicken from marinade and save marinade in a paper cup or ceramic cup to use during cooking. Cook chicken using indirect heat (i.e. coals on one side of grill and chicken on other). Cook for one hour to one hour 15 minutes, turning meat and marinating with reserved marinate at 15, 30 and 45 minutes. Test doneness with meat thermometer to 165° F. Discard any remaining marinade. Do Not add marinade after 45 minutes because it’s touched the raw chicken.

Serve with Steamed Corn on the Cob, Cole Slaw, and/or a tomato/cucumber/onion salad.