Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Theme Week: Nola: Dirty Rice and Crawfish Cheddar Beignets

Tonight's dinner was inspired by my tired feet and body : ) I wanted to keep with my theme, but Nola cuisine is usually prepared slowly, and I didn't have the energy to be in the kitchen for longer than 40 minutes. I decided to use a standby dish that I love, not only for the flavor but also for the simplicity. Dirty rice is usually made with chicken gizzards and livers. But not mine. I am sure I have had dirty rice made with those ingredients and loved it, but I don't have it in me to prepare it like that. I make mine with spicy italian sausage and ground beef.
I needed something to go along side the rice dish, but i wasn't in the mood for a veggie or salad. I still had a taste for seafood from last night's dinner so I picked up some fresh (well previously frozen, boiled and peeled) crawfish tails at the grocery. I wanted something fried too, but I didn't want to just batter and fry the tails. I was thinking more of a fritter. After much browsing I settled on a crawfish and cheese beignet. I didn't find a particular recipe, but I did get some great ideas. These were also easy to make, and not at all time consuming. So I am happy, and full and I have the rest of the evening to relax.

Dirty Rice
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 lb spicy italian sausage casings removed and broken up into pieces.
  • 1 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup minced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 Tbs. fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs. Tony Chachere's creole seasoning
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 21/2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups cooked long grain white rice

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add hamburger. Cook until a light pink and add the sausage. Break up with a wooden spoon. When the sausage is almost cooked through add peppers, onion, celery, herbs and creole seasoning and pepper. Let cook for about 5 minutes more. Drain all but 3 Tbs. fat and return to pan. Add garlic and saute a minute or so and add the stock. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes and add rice. Mix thoroughly and serve.
Crawfish and Cheddar Beignets
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbs. Tony Chachere's
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup minced green pepper
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 1 cup crawfish tails finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • oil for frying
Mix water, cream, and eggs together. Add flour and mix together. add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined. Let sit in fridge for 15 minutes. Heat oil in a large pot over med. high heat drop by Tbs. and fry for about 4-5 minutes or until golden dust with creole seasoning and serve hot. Note: A dipping sauce would go great with these but I was too hungry to take the time to make one ;-)


Anonymous said...

Oh, those beignets looks amazing. Yum-ee!

Renea said...

The beignets look great! I've only ever had them with powdered sugar at Cafe du Monde. Love the theme week idea!

Brittany said...

I've never thought of making beignets like that, but YUM!

Tara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara said...

ummm...i think i just drooled a little over these beignets!! they look heavenly! :)