Saturday, February 17, 2018

Dirty Rice Gumbo Soup for #SoupSaturdaySwappers

 I'm so glad I'm a member of this group, Soup Saturday Swappers.   I get to, not only make soup and eat it, and share the recipes here, but I also get to explore other cuisines.  This month the challenge, well, theme actually, was Mardi Gras - Cajun or Creole Soup.  It's being hosted by Kathy of A Spoonful of Thyme
I love Cajun/Creole food and while I like Gumbo and Jambalaya and Etouffee, I know there's more to the cuisine than just those.   One dish that I make for myself from time to time is Dirty Rice, from the box, cause it's easy.   And I like it.
I've also been doing an inventory of my pantry and freezer lately as well.  Amazing the stuff I've been finding in both places.  I have a lot of chopped tomatoes frozen and waiting, odds and end from numerous Taco nights, and I hate to throw out a tablespoon or more each time, so into the
freezer it goes.  I also have a lot of beans, navy, cannellini, kidney, black and garbanzo's in the pantry as well.
Where am I going with this?  Well, in the best tradition of not only Cajun foods but also soup making, I used up bits and pieces and came up with one of the best soups I've ever made.  BTW a Cajun friend of mine summed up Cajun food in just a few words once, when I asked him what Cajun food was, "It's Cajun if it's something you don't think you can eat and you eat it anyway, that's Cajun."
I think I'll stick to this soup for awhile. 
 It was so good in fact, as tempting as it might be, I'm only eating it one bowl at a time.
Did I mention that this is also mostly vegetarian?
It is.  And if you had some vegetable stock, you could make it totally vegetarian.  You could also add meat to it.  Maybe some chicken, some sausage, some shrimp, maybe even ham?  You choose. 

Yield: 6 servings

Dirty Rice Gumbo Soup

prep time: 5 MINScook time: 30 MINStotal time: 35 mins
This soup is right up there with the best traditions of Cajun and Creole cooking in that it uses up bits of leftovers and turns it into a hearty, yet healthy soup. And it's ready to eat in about 30 minutes or so.


8 cups stock, vegetable or chicken
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 can of corn-okra- tomatoes or
1/2 -1 cup corn, frozen works
1/2 to 1 cup okra - canned or frozen
1/2 to 1 cup chopped tomatoes - opt.
1 can Navy Beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 chopped jalapenos
1 cup diced celery
2 roasted and chopped onions
1 package Zatarains Dirty Rice prepared according to directions.


Add the vegetable to the stock and let it come to a boil, then simmer while you prepare the Dirty Rice. 
When the rice is ready, add a spoonful to a bowl and then top off with the soup.  The vegetables will be nice and tender.  Serve with a hard roll, or buttered bread or ?
This is a hearty, filling soup and with the rice and beans you also have a complete protein. 


You can add cooked chicken, sausage or ham to this as well.  
I always have frozen tomatoes in my freezer, anytime we have fresh tomatoes and don't eat it all, I throw it into a baggie and into the freezer and add them to my spaghetti sauce or to soup.
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Friday, February 16, 2018

Cod - Danish Style en papillote for #FishFridayFoodies

Sole or Cod ?
That was the question for this month's theme of Seafood en Papilotte for Fish Friday Foodies.
Cod - Danish Style en Papillote for #FishFridayFoodies
I had both in the freezer and they were sitting there, each vying for my attention.
I hated choosing one over the other, but finally decided that the Cod would be perfect.  And I wanted to put a little Danish twist on this as well.
You knew that was coming, didn't you?
We Danes love our fish, fresh, pickled, dried, fried, boiled, made into various fish balls, you name it, we've probably served it that way.
Well, I started doing some research and couldn't find one single recipe, not that it may not exist, but I couldn't find it, of cooking the fish En Papillote.  Which means wrapping the fish in parchment paper and cooking it that way.
Personally, I love fish cooked this way, it's moist, flavourful, and almost decadent in its mouthfeel. OK, so TMI, sheesh.

To start with, I pulled my frozen cod out of the freezer, let it sit in the fridge overnight, and then I had fun.  I sliced some firm fleshed potatoes up very thin, potato chip thin, and layered them on my reusable parchment paper,  brushed them with some butter, then sprinkled them with some leaves from my Curry Leaf tree.  Then I added some matchstick carrots and asparagus.  Added a little butter to the top.

Folded them up in the paper and placed them on a pan in the oven at 375 degrees.  Let them cook in the oven for 10 minutes while I prepared the cod.
 I then got another piece of parchment paper out, and placed the cod piece on there, spread some butter on top and  added a couple of leaves from my Curry Leaf tree and some paper thin slices of lemon, and folded them into the paper. (The lemon is the last one from my little tree, and is totally organic.)
Cod - Danish Style en Papillote for #FishFridayFoodies

Cod - Danish Style en Papillote for #FishFridayFoodies

And here's the Danish link.  I made a lovely sennepsauce or mustard sauce and placed a dab on top of the cod.  It's traditional to serve boiled cod with mustard sauce and new boiled potatoes but I did a twist.
Cod - Danish Style en Papillote for #FishFridayFoodies

I'm so glad I've got more cod in the freezer so I can do this again.  Heresy here, but I think it's better than the traditional way of serving cod.
OK so it's at least an option.

And I forgot to add that Sue from  A Palatable Pastime is our hostess this month for Fish Friday Foodies and suggested the theme.  Thanks Sue.  

Yield: 1 serving

Cod en Papillote Danish Style with Mustard Sauce
Cod - Danish Style en Papillote for #FishFridayFoodies

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 35 mins
This is a twist on the traditional way of serving Cod in Denmark, but it's delicious.


1 Cod Fillet 4-6 oz.
1 potato, cut in thin slices
1 carrot, cut into matchstick's
1 stalk asparagus, cut into matchsticks reserving the tip
4 lemon slices
2 teaspoons butter
6-8 fresh curry leaves (optional)

For Mustard Sauce
1 teaspoon flour
liquid from fish packet
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon Mustard, Country style
1/2 cup of vegetable stock or chicken stock (if you have fish stock, even better)


Cut the potato into very thin slices, and place on a piece of reusable parchment paper.  Add the carrots, asparagus, and curry leaves, top with the asparagus tip.  Dollop with one teaspoon butter and then fold the parchment paper over and fold in the sides.  I used a binder clip to keep it fastened. Place on a small cookie sheet into a preheated 350 degree oven and let cook for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the fish.
Place the cod on a large piece of parchment paper, one that is large enough to fold over and pleat.  Add the remaining teaspoon of butter and spread it along the fish.  Place the curry leaves on top and add the lemon slices.  Fold the parchment paper over and fasten end with a binder clip to keep it closed. 
Place in oven with the potato package and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, depending on how thick the fish is.  
When the fish is done, take out of oven and very carefully open one end of the pouch and pour the liquid inside into a small sauce pan.  Set the fish aside while you prepare the sauce.
In the sauce pan with the liquid from the fish package, add 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard, and whisk together.   Whisk in a teaspoon of flour and then add a half cup of either vegetable stock or light chicken stock, bring to a boil.  

Take the potatoes and vegetables out of the parchment paper and place on a plate.  Remove the curry leaves from the cod and discard.  Take the lemon slices off and set aside.  Using a spatula remove the cod from the parchment paper and place on plate next to the potatoes. Ladle a little of the Mustard Sauce over top and serve.
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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

It's Pancake Day again...

It's Fat Tuesday and also, PANCAKE DAY!!!!

Here's a few ideas if you're undecided as to just which pancake or pancakes you'd like to make today. 

I did do a Pancake roundup a couple of years ago but I have to showcase a couple from there as well as some new recipes. 

Being Danish, I have to first off tell you about  Æbleskiver, which can be described as little pancake balls, but we just refer to them as little bites of greatness.

Then there's our other wonderful pancake, which we call Pandekager.   A thin pancake rolled up with a bit of jam inside. 

I also made this sorta paleo friendly pancake and it's also gluten free.  This is the way to go if you have slightly overripe bananas and are tired of banana bread.  Banana Coconut Pecan Pancakes

And if you're not into the totally sweet, these Savoury Oat Pancakes are a great after school snack or a light lunch as well.

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