Tag Archives: Sausage

Low Country Boil for a crowd.


I love a good Low Country Boil, and so do a lot of people.  It’s really a very simple dish, but oh, so flavourful, and easy to make.   If you have a large enough pot that is.  I do, mainly cause I got a huge stock pot from my DH for Christmas one year.  I asked for a large stock pot, and when asked how big I wanted it, I said very big.  And I got it.  I didn’t realize pots came in extra-large gigantic size.   OK, so it’s only a 20 quart pot, but still…

I was visiting family a couple of weeks ago, and wanted to make them a typical southern dish.  I knew they didn’t have Collard Greens up there, so couldn’t make them a good greens and cornbread meal.  And I was not about to schlep up some frozen greens with me.
Can you imagine the mess in your suitcase as they melt?  Never mind that they would probably refreeze when the plane gets up to 30,000 feet, but on the ground they’d just melt again.
Sorry, got sidetracked there.

I decided a Low Country Boil would probably be something they would enjoy, and I was pretty certain they’d never had one.    And best of all, I knew I could get all the ingredients there.  Well, with one exception, I wasn’t too sure about getting Old Bay Seasoning, so I brought a tin with me.  Which was a good thing, cause only one store had it, and that was what we call a sample tin down here.
I prepare for my cooking adventures.  In fact I think that was one of my Girl Guide motto’s, Be Prepared.  hmmm, gotta go check that one out.  Later.

My sister also let me take over her kitchen, and gee, she had a lovely large stock pot, which I filled to the brim.

I was feeding 14 people, so I prepared accordingly, and when a couple of people weren’t able to make it, we ended up with some leftovers, but leftovers are always good.  (I had some for breakfast the next day).

I’m going to tell you how much of each item I cooked, but please don’t be put off by the quantity, cause if you make this, you’ll scale it up or down according to how many people you feed.

5 lbs. small new potatoes or red potatoes.  Don’t use Russet or any mealy potato, it will just cook out to moosh or mush.
3 lbs. link smoked sausage, cut into thirds.  Use your favourite brand here.  And if you happen to have some lovely garlic sausage, throw that in.  It really goes well in here.
8 ears fresh corn, cut into thirds, or enough so each person gets at least one.
3 lbs. Shrimp, fresh or frozen, doesn’t matter.  If you prefer it shelled and deveined, go for it, again, does not matter.
1/2-3/4 cups Old Bay Seasoning (you can cut this down, but this is supposed to be a spicy dish.)
1-2 lemons, cut in half.
2-4 garlic cloves, optional
1-2 lbs. Crab (I didn’t have any, but you can add this if you like.

 

 

Fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes and sausages, about half way up the pot or a little more,  add the Old Bay Seasoning, the halved lemons and bring to a boil.
Cook until the potatoes are just almost done, and add the corn.  Cook an additional 5 minutes, and then add the uncooked shrimp.   I added the shrimp on top, and then stirred them in a little, just wanted to make sure they cooked.

 

Cook another 2-3 minutes and scoop out the shrimp when they’re cooked, set them aside for just a minute while you scoop out the rest of that luscious boil, and place on either a long flat platter, or dump the drained goodies on some newspaper spread out on a table outside. It’s kinda traditional to do that in the south.

The shrimp were cooked to perfection, the potatoes were done and the corn, well, let me put it like this, you don’t need butter when you cook them in some Old Bay.

We also served some crusty bread alongside, just cause.

Add the cooked shrimp on top and tell everyone to dig in.   You can eat this with your hands, but it gets kinda messy.  Just make sure you’ve got lots of napkins or Southern Style napkins handy.  Southern Style napkins would be that roll of paper towel.
We actually had two big platters and we all had more than enough to eat.

As you can see from this platter.   In retrospect, I guess we could have had less potatoes, but hey, when you’re cooking for a crowd, you want everyone to have enough to eat.

The next day I had some of the potatoes and sausage fried up for breakfast and we also took a good helping over to friends of my parents who also got to try some.

We did have dessert as well.    I made a Banana Pudding which is kind of a southern staple as well.    But I’ll share the how and where and when of that on another post.

Peggy’s Paparito’s


If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I like a bit of spice in my food.  More specifically, I like Mexican type spice.  Well, Jalapeno’s, Serrano’s, Guajillo Chilies, Habanero’s, Anaheim Chiles, to name but a few.    I actually posted this recipe on my other blog a couple of years ago, but decided to revisit the recipe.   OK, I made some the other day, which is why I’m featuring it again.

A few years back I had the pleasure of meeting and making friends with a lovely lady named Peggy.   She was a transplanted Texan, and loved all things Tex-Mex.    She gave me the following recipe, and it ranks right up there with all the other Tex-Mex foods I love.

And you know, it would be a great light dinner as well.

I only know this cause I’ve done it.

To start with, boil a couple or three potatoes.  Red Potato’s, yellow potatoes or any other firm fleshed potato works best in this dish.  Burbanks or Russets, not so much.  They’re too mealy.

Cook the potatoes til they are done and set aside.  Peel them if you wish or not, personally I like unpeeled.  Peels are good food.   Chop them roughly or slice them into nice uniform pieces if that’s how you like your potatoes.   Does not matter at all.  Set them aside, you’re not ready for them yet.

Heat a pan and cook up some sausage.  I’ve used hot sausage, sausage patties, bulk sausage, really, whatever floats your boat.  If you use regular sausage, you can always amp up the heat a little with some jalapeno’s or some pepper flakes, or…    Cook until done.  Set aside.

Add a little oil to the pan if you like, or use the sausage fat, then cook off one chopped onion in the grease.   Cook til almost done, then add the potatoes, and brown them just a little.   Add in the sausage just towards the end.   Add some chopped green pepper if you like or do as I do, add in a small can of canned green chiles.  Stir that around, just a little.  Set aside, and keep warm.
Then scramble up a couple of eggs per person, or just one if you like, cook til soft set and set aside.

Warm up some flour tortilla’s, then divide the meat/potato mixture amongst how many people or tortilla’s you’re making and roll them up with some grated longhorn cheese.

Pour some warmed green tomatillo sauce over the top, sprinkle with cheese and place under the broiler to melt a little.

Serve hot.

Peggy’s Paparito’s
Stir fried potatoes with skins  ( I do about 3 potatoes for the two of us)
Scrambled eggs  1-2 per person
Grated long horn cheese
1/2- 1 Onion
Chorizo sausage or sage sausage, fried and crumbled
Diced green chiles and/or diced green pepper
Add a diced jalapeno or two if you like a little more heat, which I do.
 Flour tortilla’s
Mix above ingredients together and roll in a flour tortilla, burrito style.
Serve with warmed Green Chile sauce poured over and a sprinkle of cheese.
1 can green Chile sauce (Herdez  brand or another one like that.)

And if you have too much filling, it freezes beautifully, and you’ve got a head start on another breakfast.

Stuffed Jalapeno’s


Everyone has one, and this is mine.   A dish that can go to any potluck or covered dish affair and hold its head up.   And it’s great for Super Bowl Sunday as well.
Stuffed Jalapeno’s are easy to prepare, pretty to look at, and yummy to eat.    Here goes;

Start with some nice fresh jalapeno’s, give them a bath.

You then need to cut them in two, remove the seeds and membranes.

Pile them up in a pan;

Now prepare the filling;

Cooked sausage and cream cheese

Smoosh them together, (check out the glove, more about it later),

Stuff the peppers, then add a slice of cheese on top,  and put them in the oven.

Pull them out after a half hour or so and enjoy;

Here’s the full recipe:

Stuffed Jalapeno’s
1-2 8 oz. Cream Cheese
1 to 1.5 lb. Sausage, fried
Jalapeno’s (15 – 20 or …)
Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese,  use whatever kind you like.
1 pair disposable gloves.
Start by putting on a pair of disposable gloves, or at least one glove, the one you will be handling the jalapeno’s with. I usually just glove my left hand because I’m right handed. Trust me on this, you won’t be sorry. Jalapeno’s can be downright spiteful and nasty if you happen to rub a sensitive part of yourself if you haven’t protected your hand from the jalapeno juice.  I speak from painful experience on this one.
Cut Jalapeno’s in half and remove seeds and the membrane inside. Set aside.
Fry the sausage up, breaking it up a little, drain and set aside to cool.
Dump the cream cheese into a bowl and then put the cooled sausage on top and smoosh it all together. (I’ve found that if I use the other glove for this, it makes for a quicker cleanup. And no messy fingers. )
Fill the jalapeno’s with about a teaspoon to a tablespoon or so of the cream cheese/sausage mixture and place in a baking pan. When they are all filled, add a piece of cheese on top and put it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes at about 325 deg. Take them out of the oven, put on a serving dish and put them on the table. I would advise standing back at this point, as they tend to disappear.
Best part of this, if you end up with more filling than jalapeno’s (it has been known to happen), just stick it in the freezer and use up the next time. Same goes with jalapeno’s, you can stick them in the freezer after prep and use them up later on. Or just throw the leftover jalapeno’s into some other dish you need some heat in.
There are no exact measurements, roughly one pound sausage to 2 packages cream cheese to about 15 or 20 jalapeno’s, I think. I usually figure on about 2-3 per person, but that can vary as well.

Most important of all, enjoy.

Cream Cheese Ideas


I always have at least one package of cream cheese in my fridge.    The possibilities are almost endless with an 8 ounce package.     And then of course the various iterations of cheese, from full fat, to low-fat to fat-free.     They’re not interchangeable, but close to it.
Here’s some of the things I do with my cream cheese.

  • Add it to mashed potatoes for an extra bit of richness
  • Make cheese balls, with all kinds of flavourings
  • Make Smoked Salmon Spread
  • Bake a Cheesecake
  • Pour  Mango Chutney over it and serve with crackers
  • Make Crab Rangoons, or just put some inside some wonton wrappers and fry or bake them
  • Make a mock Alfredo sauce with the low-fat version
  • Make a Bologna Cake for a fun appetizer
  • Mix with sausage and stuff some jalapeno’s
  • Add to some cheese and stuff some mushrooms

Get the drift?

Stuffed Jalapeno’s
Bologna Cake
Stuffed mushrooms with cheeses

Have fun with your cream cheese.

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo


I tasted this Gumbo just before Christmas, we’d been invited over to a friends for dinner and it was so good.   (people have been known to invite me over, I don’t do all the cooking around here)

I love Gumbo anyway, but have to admit I’ve never made it from scratch, well, I now have a new recipe in my arsenal.    In fact, I made it the other day for dinner.   I did make a few minor changes to the original recipe, but hey, I’m the cook.   And don’t you forget it!    Sorry, I got carried away there.

I didn’t cook as much chicken as the recipe called for, but I did use the full amount of vegetables.   Veggies are good for you, aren’t they?

And this is more a note to myself, that when I put chicken stock in the freezer, to label it better.   I accidentally put some of my super charged (highly concentrated) stock into the gumbo by mistake, but was able to correct it.     And on the whole, the recipe was good.   Next time I make it I will try to use a some red or yellow bell peppers, more for the contrasting color than anything else.   I also didn’t make the full recipe of Roux either.  Something about a half cup of oil and a full cup of flour, I thought it would be too much for the three half breasts of chicken and one link of Andouille sausage I used.

Start with browning the chicken in a little oil, then set the chicken aside while you cook the roux.

This will take you a good half hour or so,  until it turns a rich dark brown.

 

You need to pay attention, cooking this over a low heat and stirring, and stirring and stirring.    I think next time I make this I will use a little butter in with it, just to add another layer of flavour.
But while it’s cooking you can chop up the vegetables, for that you need three of my fav’s, a green pepper, an onion and celery, or if you’re not into multi-tasking, just chop the veggies first and set them aside.

Chop up the celery, and onion quite finely, then rough chop the green pepper, and don’t forget the clove or two or three of garlic.  Especially since I forgot to get a picture of that.   And then the very important chile pepper.   I threw in a couple of Chile de Arbol peppers, but next time, I think I’ll add a couple more.   Not too sure where this Danish girl got her love of spice, but I do like me some spicy food.

Chop up the onion, mince the garlic and slice the sausage.   I used one link of the Andouille Sausage here.

 

Next, dump the chopped up veggies and sausage into the pan with the roux and stir it around, coating the veggies.  It will look a little odd at this point.

Pour in the stock while stirring, otherwise it kinda glops together.

Place the chicken into the veggies and stock, add a bay leaf and let simmer for about 30-45 minutes, or until the chicken and veggies are done.  And next time, I’ll cut the chicken into smaller pieces when I serve it.  These were a little unwieldy.   Even though I’d cut each piece of chicken into three.

Add either some fresh okra or some canned okra at the end, let that simmer for a few minutes, and then serve over rice.

We had enough for dinner and three lunches for me.  *giggle*, so I threw the rest into the freezer and now I have lunches.

Here is the full recipe.

Chicken Gumbo 
3 lb Chicken, cut into 6-8 pieces
1/2 cup oil
1 cup flour
2-3 dried red chili peppers or 1-2 fresh chili peppers
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large green pepper, roughly chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 oz andouille sausage or garlic sausage, diced
4 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Dash Tabasco  (I use Crystal Hot Sauce)
Salt and pepper
4 oz fresh okra  (I used one can of okra, could also use frozen here)
Cooked rice

Heat the oil in a large saute’ pan or frying pan and brown the chicken on both sides, 3-4 pieces at a time.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.
Lower the heat under the pan and add the flour.  Cook over a very low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring constantly until the flour turns a rich dark brown.   Take the pan off the heat occasionally, so that the flour does not burn.   Add the chili peppers, onion, green pepper, sausage and garlic to the roux and cook for about 5 minutes over low heat, stirring continuously.  Pour on the stock and stir well.   Add the bay leaf and dash of Tabasco if desired, and return the chicken to the pan.   Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
Top and tail the okra if using fresh, and cut each into 2 or 3 pieces, if okra is small, leave whole.   Add to the chicken and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and serve over rice.