7400.362 - Family Life Management
School of Family and Consumer Sciences
7400.362 Springboard Edition 2011
Instructor: David D. Witt, Ph.D.

Thursday Tips: Three Inexpensive Meals

As any good cook will tell you - quality ingredients, a healthy attitude, a little knowledge and experience, and a commitment family will always produce a tasty, balanced meal. People have been eating well without over spending on their food budget for many years. The time in the kitchen shouldn't be a solo endeavor. Food preparation is best when taken as a family activity. Here's some examples:

#1  Dave and Susan's Red Beans and Rice
Ingredients
1 pound red kidney beans, dry                         1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped                                    5 ribs celery, chopped
As much garlic as you like, minced                   6-7 cups of water or chicken stock.
1 large smoked ham hock or 3/4 lb. tasso (smoked & seasoned ham), diced (these are optional but you can find tasso online and it should be tried).
1 to 1-1/2 pounds good smoked sausage or andouille, sliced ¼"
1/2 to 1 tsp. dried crushed thyme leaves           1 or 2 bay leaves
   As many dashes Crystal hot sauce or Tabasco as you like, to taste -  A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
   *Creole seasoning* to taste; OR, red pepper and black pepper to taste - Salt to taste

The Process (requires a good crock pot)
Soak the beans overnight. (This helps reduce the, um, gas factor.)
The next day, drain, wash, and put fresh water in the crock pot & add the beans. (Make sure the beans are always covered by water). Turn crock pot onto high

Saute the Trinity (onions, celery, bell pepper) until the onions turn translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add this mixture to the crock pot. along with the the ham hock and sausage.
Leave the crock pot covered all day until the whole mixture gets creamy.
Serve in bowls with rice dollops and a little parsley sprinkled over and fresh French or Italian bread and butter.
This meal will feed 4-6 people wellfor about $10.
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***Creole seasoning Not a mystery- Emeril's "Essence" Creole Seasoning
2 1/2 tbs paprika     2 tbs salt                     2 tbs garlic powder   1 tbs black pepper
1 tbs onion powder 1 tbs cayenne pepper  1 tbs dried oregano   1 tbs dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly keep tightly closed.

#2 CRAWFISH or SHRIMP ETOUFFE - David & Susan Witt
Pretty good crawfish can be had in N.E. Ohio We get ours from any good fish market, which will sell cooked then frozen Chinese crawfish for about $4 a pound - unpeeled. Frozen peeled crawfish goes for about $8 a pound and is also available All shellfish should either be cooked or live - never dead and uncooked!
Ingredients
1 stick (1/4 pound) butter   2 cups chopped onions    1 cup chopped celery    ½ cup chopped bell peppers
1 pound peeled and cooked crawfish tails (substitute raw shrimp, deveined)
2 bay leaves     1 tablespoon flour    1 cup water     1 teaspoon salt    ¼ teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons chopped parsley    3 tablespoons chopped green onions  Cooked Rice

Process
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and saute until soft and golden. 10 to 12 minutes. Add the shrimp and bay leaves and cook until the shrimp start to turn. Add crawfish and bring to simmer. Reduce the heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, cook another 5 minutes.
Dissolve the flour in the water.  Add to the crawfish mixture and season with salt and cayenne or Creole Seasoning.  Stir until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Add the parsley and green onions and cook for about 2 minutes.
Remove the Bay Leaves and serve with a dollop of rice, nice French bread.
Keep the Louisiana Hot Sauce handy.        Serves 4 (or 1 hungry Cajun as the saying goes).
This recipe feeds 3-5 people depending on the amount of rice and bread consumed.
Cost is about $15----**Crawfish or Shrimp Yvonne is a variation on this recipe that includes extra spices and peppers, a peanut-colored roux instead of the flour/water, and Tabasco sauce. Chef Alex Patout also has a very useful cookbook based on his family's recipes.
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#3 CHICKEN AND SMOKED SAUSAGE GUMBO - Recipe by Emeril Lagasse
Ingredients
1 cup vegetable oil        1 cup flour    1 1/2 cups chopped onions    1 cup chopped celery    1 cup chopped bell peppers
1 pound smoked sausage, such as Andouille or Kielbasa, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 1/2 teaspoons salt    1/4 teaspoon cayenne    3 bay leaves    6 cups water
1 pound boneless chicken meat, cut into 1-inch chunks        1 teaspoon Rustic Rub, recipe follows
2 tablespoons chopped parsley        1/2 cup chopped green onions    1 tablespoon filé powder (or use okra).
Combine the oil and flour in a large cast-iron or enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, over medium heat.
Stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes, make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate. Add
the onions, celery, and bell peppers and continue to stir for 4 to 5 minutes, or until wilted. Add the sausage,
salt, cayenne, and bay leaves. Continue to stir for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the water. Stir until the roux mixture
and water are well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, stirring
occasionally, for 1 hour. Season the chicken with the rub and add to the pot. Simmer for 2 hours. Skim off
any fat that rises to the surface. Remove from the heat.  Stir in the parsley, green onions, and filé powder.
Remove the bay leaves and serve in deep bowls with rice and good french bread.
Serves 4 to 6 people for about $10