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Showing posts from March 2, 2014

Quick Note: What to Drink with Gumbo!

So, chef, what wine do you drink with gumbo?

Gumbo is dark, earthy and rich and I’ll bet your first instinct is to break out the big Cab to pair with this, right? Well, that could work, but it could also be a case of two thunderbuck rams butting heads. If your Cab is as big as the gumbo is big, you may have a great success…maybe. You also may encounter a situation where your wine’s nuances are lost in the spices of the gumbo. Such a waste of good wine is hard to bear.

I recommend a bright, acidic red, served cool. Go for a cold-weather red like a Finger Lakes or Oregon Pinot Noir, or a quality Gamay from Morgon or a Spanish Grenache. I happen to LOVE Gamay with Cajun food! 
Serve the wine at true cellar temperature, which is 55-60 degrees farenheit. If the wine is too warm, drop an ice cube in it. Go ahead, be daring, yow, you are an iconoclast! There is no true rule on what temperature a table wine should be served at.

After all, it’s your table.

Ric Orlando's Chicken Gumbo Recipe

This Creole Chicken Gumbo is a slowly cooked, dark and earthy, OMG-delish stew.  The real deal, baby!
Makes enough for 4 to eat twice
Vegetable oil ½ pound andouille sausage, sliced 3 pounds natural or local chicken thighs 2 cups each:medium dicebell peppers, celery, and onion 1/2 cup scallions 1/2 cup parsley 1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning mix (have you tried my CAGE yet?) 1 tablespoon dry thyme Tabasco Worcestershire sauce 2 cups okra, sliced 6 cups chicken cooking liquid (see below) 4 cups tomato juice 1 can generic round tomatoes, squished salt and pepper 2 cups long grain white or brown rice.
The braising will take at least 2 hours, so make time!

Put the chicken in a pot. Cover with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil. Skim any skim that may accumulate. Once it boils,reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes or until cooked. Remove chicken from broth and let cool. Reserve the broth and the bird. Once cooked, pull all the meat from the chicken and roughly chop.Set aside.


Ric Orlando's Mardi Gras Mussels

Mardi Gras Mussels are an easy celebration dish, with classic flavors. These take no longer than 20 minutes to make! Nice, right? This makes a tasty little pasta dish as well, if you are thinking linguine!

Serves 4

2-3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded 1 each red, green, and yellow peppers, neatly diced 1 bunch scallions, chopped end to end 2 large fresh tomatoes, cored and diced Cajun seasoning to taste ½ cup Pernod or Herbsaint liqueur 12 oz clam juice ½ stick (or less) of butter, diced small splash of heavy cream, optional
Do a nice job dicing the peppers. (A great opportunity to learn the world brunoise.) Use a heavy pan or Dutch oven with a tight filling lid...This is quick restaurant style sauté stuff here!
Put pan on high heat. In quick sequence, add the mussels, toss, add the peppers, toss, add the tomatoes, toss,add half of the scallions, toss. Shake the pan well to mix. Now sprinkle with some Cajun seasoning and toss some more. Pour the Pernod into the pan until it fl…

Peppered Shrimp! Ric Orlando's Mardi Gras 2014 Recipes

--> Cajun Peppered Shrimp is one the great messy dishes of New Orleans. I still eat these shrimp a couple of times a week and I've been making them for many years.Yes, they are hot and sloppy, but what's wrong with that?

The sexiest way to eat peppered shrimp is with your significant other.Lift the shrimp by the tail with your fingers and suck off all of the sauce.Get the good stuff that clings to the shrimp's legs, too.Now peel the shrimp and swish the meat around in the sauce again. Suck it clean one more time before you bite! Dunk slices of baguette or other crusty bread into the sauce, too, or spoon it over rice.Get ready for a wonderful evening!

Head-on shrimp are traditional for this dish, but medium-large (16-20 or 21-25 per pound), unpeeled, headless shrimp work well too.I prefer the briny flavor and reliable quality of Gulf shrimp; ask your fishmonger for his best.Avoid tiger shrimp; not only are they bland, but often they are cultivated in water you wou…