Oyster and Andouille Gumbo

While “there are as many gumbo recipes as there are cooks”, one of my favorite preparations includes freshly-shucked gulf oysters and hand-made andouille sausage from LaPlace, Louisiana along with the usual suspects of chocolate-brown roux cooked down with onions, garlic, green pepper and celery.  There’s some fresh okra and tomato in there, with plenty of cayenne, fresh thyme and oregano as well.

I like to use sprouted brown rice instead of the traditional white rice, adding in the salty-sea liquor from the oysters in place of some of the water..

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Rosemary Chicken Liver Skewers

(you might also like this recipe)

Local, pastured chicken livers pan-fried on rosemary skewers with garlic smashed purple potatoes and mushroom & onion gravy..

Rosemary Chicken Liver Skewers

Rosemary Chicken Liver Skewers

For 2 servings

Garlic Smashed Potatoes

3 medium purple potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1-2 cloves Chesnok or other strong garlic, minced
1 tablespoon pastured butter
2 tablespoons fresh whole milk
sea salt and cracked pepper

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Pour off all but 2 ounces of water and keep hot until 5 minutes before ready to serve.  To finish, pour off any remaining water and stir in butter and garlic.  Mash with a flat-faced potato masher and thin slightly with milk.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mushroom and Onion Gravy

1 tablespoon pastured butter
1 palm-full pearl onions
1 palm-full large brown mushrooms, quartered
1 oz Armagnac or brandy
4 oz roasted chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons roux
sea salt and cracked pepper

Sauté mushrooms and onions in butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until well browned.  Off-heat, de-glaze the pan with 1 oz Armagnac or brandy.  Return to heat and add chicken stock.  Reduce slightly, then whisk in a little roux to tighten.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Whisk in a knob of cold butter just before serving.

Rosemary Chicken Liver Skewers

12 oz fresh, pastured chicken livers, cleaned, rinsed and patted dry
4 6-inch rosemary skewers
1 tablespoon rendered chicken fat
1 tablespoon pastured butter
sea salt and cracked pepper

Thread 2-3 plump chicken livers onto each of 4 6-inch rosemary skewers.  Set on paper towels and pat dry.  Season with salt and pepper.

Sear livers on all sides in chicken fat and butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until nicely browned and medium-rare to medium doneness.  Add 2 tablespoons chicken stock and allow to sit 2 minutes.

To serve, mound smashed potatoes in the center of a large plate.  Place 2 skewers on top of the potatoes then spoon gravy over the top.  Garnish with bits of herbs and greens.

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This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays


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Chicken a la King

Tender pieces of pastured chicken simmered in bone broth with fresh cream, sherry, nutmeg, peas and mushrooms.  Invented in the late 1800’s, this retro dish is every bit as good now as it was then..

Chicken à la King

Chicken à la King

To make roux, melt 4 oz. pastured butter over medium-low heat until it just begins to sizzle.  Add 5 oz. by weight sprouted wheat or spelt flour and whisk to combine.  Stirring continuously, continue to cook until it smells like baked bread, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

To make topping, toast a piece of sprouted wheat or spelt bread in the toaster, then tear it up into small pieces and sauté in butter and parsley until golden brown.

Gently simmer chunks of pastured chicken (I’m using thighs, skin removed) in chicken stock with a little sherry and fresh thyme until just done.

Lightly sauté halved pearl onions, wild mushrooms and a bit of red bell pepper, then stir into the chicken.

Add fresh cream, green peas and freshly-grated nutmeg and simmer 5 minutes.

Whisk roux into the chicken and simmer, stirring continuously until thickened, 3-5 minutes.

Season to taste with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper.

To serve, simply spoon chicken mixture into a deep dish and top with toasted bread crumbs.


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Salmon Casserole en Croute

Salmon casserole has been a favorite in my family for some years now.  Here’s a simple, frugal version that doesn’t skimp on flavor..

Salmon Casserole en Croûte

Salmon Casserole en Croûte

For 2 servings

1 tablespoon pastured butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup fresh cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 oz dry white wine
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon Shichimi Togarashi (optional)
sea salt & freshly-ground pepper

1 can premium quality wild Alaskan salmon

1 cup spelt or quinoa pasta (optional)

1 sheet puff pastry dough
1 egg
1 teaspoon water

Prepare pasta, if using, leaving it very slightly underdone.  Drain and set aside.

To make roux, melt the butter in a non-reactive pan, whisk in flour and cook stirring continuously until the raw flour taste is gone, about 5 minutes.

Heat the cream in another pan until simmering, then whisk in the roux and cook until sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes.

Reduce heat, add lemon juice, wine and the liquid from the salmon and simmer a few minutes more.

Add tarragon, parsley, salt and pepper and togarishi (if using).  Stir to combine, then remove from heat.

Combine pasta, salmon, celery, chives and cream sauce in a bowl, taking care not to mash up the salmon.

Spoon salmon mixture into a buttered casserole, loosely filling the dish almost to the top.  Pour a little more white sauce over the top of the salmon.

Roll out puff pastry dough to 1/4 inch thickness and 1 inch greater in diameter than the casserole itself.

Brush the outer inch of the dough with some egg beaten with water, then flip it up and over the casserole so that the egg mixture is on the inside, against the sides of the casserole.

Brush the rest of the egg & water over the top of the dough, then cut several vent holes with the tip of a knife.

Bake casserole in a 350 degree oven until the dough has risen and is golden brown in color, about 30 minutes.

Allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.

The post is part of the Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet


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Crawfish Etouffee

Étouffée is a Cajun/Creole dish of crawfish, crab or shrimp smothered in a roux-thickened sauce of celery, onions and bell peppers with garlic, spices and a little sherry.  In New Orleans, étouffée is commonly served with jasmine or basmati rice..

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Crawfish Étouffée

(recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse and others)

Serves 2

1/2 stick unsalted, pastured butter
1 tablespoon organic, all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped yellow onions
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 1/2 cups shrimp stock* (shrimp shells, water, celery, onion, bay, thyme, lemon)
12 oz crawfish tails
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat until it begins to brown.  Add flour and whisk to combine.  Continue to cook and stir continuously until the roux takes on a dark, brown-red color.

Add the celery, onions and bell peppers (called the holy trinity of Cajun cooking) and cook for 5 minutes.

Add garlic, green onions, tomatoes, Worcestershire, bay, thyme, cayenne and cracked pepper and stir to combine.

Add shrimp stock (or water), sherry and crawfish tails, bring to a boil then reduce to low heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Add fresh lemon juice and chopped parsley, taste for salt and adjust accordingly.

Serve over rice and garnish with lemon wedges and very finely minced green onion, bell pepper, celery and parsley.  Offer Louisiana hot sauce.

* Mineral-rich shrimp is high in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, Vitamin B12 and niacin.  Use some of the shrimp stock to cook the rice; it helps to make it more digestible.

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