T r i e d   &   T r u e   R e c i p e s

Filete Steak Salteado

Chop vegetables coarsely, add salt and pepper and saute in oil until crisp tender. Add the following and simmer until well blended:

Add jar of whole stuffed olives (about 10 oz.) and 1 tbls. Worchestshire sauce. This portion of the preparation should be done at least one day before using!!
Just before using add:

Serve on bed of rice. Serves 8.

-- Ernest Pitman, "Big Daddy"

Minorcan Shrimp Creole

Cut bacon in small pieces and dry in large pot. Remove bacon and saute onions, add garlic, peppers and celery. Add olive oil when necessary to cover all ingredients and cook slowly. When they are soft and golden, add tomatoes and tomato sauce, return bacon to sauce. Stir and mix well. Bring to boil and cut back temperature to low, stirring often.

You do not want sauce to stick to bottom of pan, as then you will pick up scorch taste in sauce. Add seasonings. Simmer 3-4 hours and stir ever so often!! About 30 minutes before serving add 2-4 lbs. cleaned, veined and peeled raw shrimp. Bring heat up for few minutes but watch out for sticking on bottom of pot. Turn back to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve over a bed of white rice. This sauce (without shrimp) can be used for any dish requiring red sauce. Just improvise the degree of thickness for chowder, gumbo, fish stew, or baking red bass!! Remember it is a sin not to put in datil peppers or datil vinegar!

-- Carol Wilder Pitman

Boudin Blanc

A delicious Cajun white sausage made with rice, ground pork, chicken, and vegetables. When you cook it, the casing breaks open and the creamy stuffing becomes a smoky, spicy stew. Remove and discard the pieces of casing before serving, if you wish. We like to use heavy cream in preparing boudin blanc; for a slightly stronger flavor you can substitute chicken or veal stock. Use leftover chicken and prepare the rice ahead of time. (about 4 pounds of 16-inch sausage).

Prepare the sausage casings. Cut the pork and fat into small pieces and put into a heavy 5- to 6-quart saucepan along with the cream, onion, parsley, garlic, shallots, and seasonsings. Add about 1/3 cup water. Cook over high heat until the mixture begins to boil. Quickly reduce the heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently; then remove the pan from the heat. Cut up the poultry meat and add it to the contents of the saucepan, along with the cooked rice. Mix thoroughly, drain in a colander, and let cool for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the casings into 20-inch lengths, then stuff as directed, using the coarse blade.

To cook, place the boudin in a medium-sized heavy skillet or saute pan. Curl it around to fit. Turn the heat on low, add about 1/4 cup water, and cook very slowly over low heat for about 20 minutes, until piping hot. Turn the boudin over several times and stir frequently with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the skillet to prevent scorching. Add a few tablespoons of water, if necessary. As the casing breaks open, move the torn pieces to the sides of the pan. To serve, spoon the semi-liquid mixture onto heated plates.

Note:Allow about 1/2 pound sausage per serving.

-- Rima and Richard Collin, The New Orleans Cookbook (1975)

Navy (White) Bean Soup

New Orleans' most popular bean soup, this is cooked with a ham bone and smoked sausage and lots of whole beans in it. (for 8)

When you are ready to cook, drain the beans in a colander and put them, along with all the other ingredients, into a heavy 8- to 10-quart pot or kettle. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 3/4 to 3 hours; the beans should be very soft and the soup quite thick. Remove the ham bones and visible chunks of meat with a slotted spoon, and discard, then strain the soup through a coarse sieve. Remove about 2 1/2 cups of whole beans from the solids remaining in the sieve and put them, along with the soup, back into the pot. Warm over low heat for about 8 minutes and serve.

*Because most commercially sold sausage is very fatty these days, pan grill the sausage briefly and drain well before using in recipe.

-- Rima and Richard Collin, The New Orleans Cookbook (1975)

Seafood Okra Gumbo

The basic New Orleans seafood gumbo. Gumbo crabs are the hard shell crabs we use for cooking; any hard shell crab available in your area can be used. Whether you eat the cooked crab served in the gumbo is a matter of taste--some of us do and some of us don't. A delightful and slightly extravagant variation is to use lump crabmeat in addition to or as a substitute for hard shell crabs. We like chopped smoked sausage in this gumbo because it adds a fine, smoky flavor. Reserve half of the shrimp, and if you use it, half the lump crabmeat, then add them just a few minutes before the end of cooking time. This way your gumbo will have both the cooked-in taste of shrimp and also some good firm shrimp for eating. Be sure to have everything else ready before you start the roux because you can't do all that chopping and tend the roux at the same time. (for 8 or more)

Gumbo Base:

The Roux:

The Liquid and Seasonings:

After you have assembled the ingredients for the gumbo base, heat the oil in a heavy 7- to 8-quart pot or kettle over medium heat. Make the roux by gradually adding the flour to the oil, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat, always stirring, until a medium brown roux is formed. (This will take from 20 to 30 minutes. The roux should be the color of pecan shells or hazelnuts.) Immediately add the onion, green pepper, shallot tops, parsely, and garlic. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes longer, stirring constantly; the chopped vegetables should be lightly browned at this point. Add the cold water, 1 pound of the raw shrimp, the crabs, the okra, and the seasonings. Raise the heat slightly and bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Stir from time to time and scrape down the sides and across the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon or spatula to prevent scorching. At the end of the hour, still keeping the gumbo at a simmer, add the remaining 1/2 quart water and stir. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand at room temperature.

Before serving, bring the gumbo to a boil and add the remaining pound of shrimp and oysters. Simmer just until the shrimp turn pink, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir thoroughly, turn off the heat, and cover the pot. Let it sit, covered, for about 15 minutes before serving. Serve by ladling the gumbo over mounds of boiled rice in gumbo bowls or deep soup bowls.

-- Rima and Richard Collin, The New Orleans Cookbook (1975)

Crawfish Bisque

Crawfish bisque is considered by many to be the highest test of a great Louisiana cook. Crawfish bisque is a thick soup containing pureed cooked crawfish, firm crawfish meat, stuffed crawfish heads, chopped vegetables, and a great deal of pungent cayenne pepper. For Louisianians crawfish bisque offers the same sense of satisfaction and involves the same kind of ritual preparation as Thanksgiving turkey with all the fixings.

Making crawfish bisque the traditional way is a time-consuming job--catching the live crawfish, purging them, boiling them, picking the meat from the tails and the fat from the heads: it helps to have a large Cajun family to share the work. We prefer to buy the picked meat, fat, and shells already separated and frozen in supermarkets. We have prepared crawfish bisque the hard way and in the simpler form given here. They are equally good. But by using the packaged ingredients one can make bisque in a few hours, rather than spending a weekend at it.

The Roux:

THe Bisque Base:

The Liquid and the Seasonings:

In a large 5- to 6-quart heavy pot or kettle, melt the lard over low heat. Gradually add the flour, stirring constantly, and cook over low heat until a medium brown roux (the color of rich peanut butter) is formed. In a skillet or saute pan, melt the butter and in it slowly brown the chopped onion and white parts of the shallots. (It is possible to make the roux and sauce the onion and shallots at the same time on adjoining burners. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to slowly brown the onion and shallots and about 30 minutes to make the roux. The roux will not be left unattended; you simply stop stirring it for a minute from time to timem except during the crucial last 10 minutes. Keep a second spoon handy to stir the sauteing vegetables.) When the onion and shallot bottoms are browned, turn off the heat and let them sit in the skillet. As soon as the roux reaches the desired color, add the contents of the skillet to it, stirring rapidly, then add the shallot tops, celery tops, parsley, garlic, and all the seasonings; mix very thoroughly. Add the 1/2 cup chopped crawfish meat and the crawfish fat and mix.

Keeping the heat low, very gradually add the water, stirring constantly to keep the mixture smooth. Raise the heat to high and bring the bisque to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour. After 15 minutes of simmering, add the whole crawfish tails. Five minutes before serving, add to 2 to 3 dozen stuffed crawfish heads or 1 pound crawfish tails. Serve in gumbo bowls or deep soup bowls over boiled rice.

Note:Any leftover bisque can be refrigerated and served within a day or two. Reheat it slowly over low heat, stirring frequently. Do not let it come to a boil; it is only necessary to get it hot--boiling it will tend to overcook the stuffed heads or crawfish tails.

-- Rima and Richard Collin, The New Orleans Cookbook (1975)