Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Soup night is back! This week I, Juliana, went and I made a Creole inspired menu. Red Beans and Rice is a Creole side dish staple. I took a new approach to this classic dish and made it into a soup. I turned out great, however next time for the okra salad I am going to chopped the okra into smaller pieces or bread it. In case you didn’t know, okra is very gooey.

Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Bread
Seared Okra Salad
Red Beans and Rice Soup
Sea Salt Caramel Brownies

Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Bread

Jiffy Cornbread Mix
½ cup Cheddar Cheese
Jalapeno, seeded and minced

Follow directions on the back of the box, but before you put the batter in the greased pan add jalapeno and cheddar cheese. Pour the batter in the pan, and top with additional cheddar cheese and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake cornbread according to the directions on the box.

Seared Okra Salad
*adapted from the food network

2 tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. finely chopped parsley
1/2 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Dash Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound small okra pods, topped and tailed
2 small heads Boston lettuce, separated into leaves
Mixed greens
I red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into fine julienne

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, pepper, parsley, and garlic. Drizzle in the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly, until it is completely emulsified. Stir in Tabasco.

In a large saucepan, bring a generous amount of water to the boil. Plunge in the okra and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. In a large heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Toss in the okra and sear it, tossing frequently, for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until golden. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool.

Arrange the lettuce leaves and mixed greens in a large serving bowl and scatter the okra on top. Pour the dressing over, toss together and scatter the red pepper julienne on top.

Red Beans and Rice Soup
Serves 6
*adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

1 tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle in adobo sauce, minced
1 tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
8 cups vegetable broth
2 green peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 bay leaves
1 cup long-grain rice
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 can small red beans, drained and rinsed
3 scallions, sliced thin
12 oz. andouille sausage

In a large pot heat olive oil, add onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika, cayenne, chipotle peppers, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil. Once the broth is boiling, add peppers, rice and vinegar. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, cook until rice is cooked, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile in a skillet sauté andouille sausage until cooked about 5 minutes. Place sausage on a paper towel lined plate to cool. Once the rice is cook, add beans and heat through. Remove from heat and remove bay leaves. Garnish soup with sausage and scallions.

Sea Salt Caramel Brownies
*adapted from Doughmesstic

Sea Salt Caramel
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. sea salt
1 cup sugar
2 tbs. light corn syrup
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream

In a small saucepan, combine the cream and the salt. Simmer over very low heat until the salt is dissolved. set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and corn syrup carefully. They will not combine well until the sugar begins to melt. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees, 6 to 8 minutes. Without a thermometer, just pull the sugar off the heat when it is a medium goldish brown – it will continue to cook in the heat of the pan. Better to pull it too early than too late. Remove from the heat and let cool for one minute.
Add the cream mixture and the vanilla to the sugar mixture. Whisk in the sour cream. Let the caramel cool to room temp, then follow the brownie instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate any leftover caramel. it makes a great ice cream topping or tastes great straight out of the jar.

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
pinch salt
3 Tbs Chocolate Syrup
half of the above caramel recipe

Preheat oven to 325F.

Melt Chocolate and butter in small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

In a bowl, mix together sugar, eggs, and vanilla, and mix until well combined. Add flour, salt, chocolate syrup and chocolate mixture and blend well. In a greased 8×8 pan, pour a little over half of the brownie batter and bake for 18 minutes.

Remove from oven and pour in the caramel. On top of the caramel, add the rest of your brownie batter. If it doesn’t pour smoothly, just plop it in a swirl it around a little bit. Return to oven and bake for another 18-22 minutes. Brownies will still appear a little shaky, due to the caramel, but they will firm up once cooled. Do not overbake. Serve with ice cream and additional caramel sauce.

Beer and Wine served
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