Monday, September 23, 2013

From my kitchen...

I can't believe it's been almost a month since Darkly Beings was released. Where does the time go? want to thank everyone for their guys rock! And yes, for those that keep emailing me, book four in the Travelers Series will be out in a few months! 

In a couple of days, Dave and I will be presenting at this year's Fall for the Book - Haute Cuisine at the Hylton this Thursday. I am so excited to be able to attend this event with the hubby! If you're in the Virginia/DC area, we'd love to see you there! 

So with that in mind, I am going to post two recipes that are featured in the book, including the gumbo recipe Dave will be demo'ing at the event. 

Chef Dave Lefeve's Cajun Gumbo

In Darkly Beings, Big Momma Ledoux's gumbo recipe is Creole. Dave prefers Cajun, having been a chef in Lafayette, LA. 

1 (4-5lb) duck (or any poultry)
4 tsps of salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup small diced onion
3/4 cup small diced celery
3/4 cup small diced green, red, and/or yellow red pepper
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 (12oz) bottle of Shiner Bock (or any dark beer)
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
5 tsps Cajun seasoning (we like Slap Ya Momma, made in Ville Platte, LA)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
*2lbs andouille sausage, cut into 1/2in rounds
steamed white rice, for serving
1 cup chopped green onions

Rinse duck under cold running water (inside/out). Cut back of duck on either side of the spine. Remove spine and reserve for stock. Cut through breastbone to give you 2 halves. Cut legs from each half and the first two digits of the wings. Set aside and cut the breasts in half horizontally.

Season duck with 2tsps of Cajun seasoning. Place in large Dutch oven over medium heat for 2 mins, or until hot. Place seasoned duck, skin side down in the pan and sear until golden brown, about 7-8 mins. Turn duck over and sear the other side for an additional 7-8 mins. Remove the duck from the pan and place on a platter while you make the roux. 

Add butter to the pan, as well as flour. Using a wooden spoon, stir the roux continuously over medium heat until the color of dark chocolate, about 20-25 mins. Add onions, celery, peppers, and garlic to the roux and stir gently until the vegetables are slightly wilted, about 4-5 mins. Pour beer over the vegetables and stir to incorporate. Add chicken stock to the pan with the thyme, bay leaves, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper and the remaining 2tsps of salt. Add the sausage. Stir the pot well to ensure that the roux and stock are well blended. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the gumbo to a boil; then lower to a simmer. Return the seared duck pieces to the pan and cook (skimming any foam and fat that may rise to the surface), for 1 hour and 30 mins. After an hour and a half, remove the duck pieces from the gumbo and place on a platter to cool. Once the duck is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and meat from the bones and add the meat to the gumbo. Discard the skin and bones and re-season the gumbo, if necessary. 

To serve the gumbo, ladle 1 cup into a heated soup bowl with 1/4 cup of white rice. Garnish with green onions. 

*the sausage Dave will use for the gumbo will be provided by Forrest Pritchard (straight from his farm, Smith Meadows), who will also be presenting at this event. 

South Texas Michelada's

In the book, Wyatt orders a Michelada to cure a hangover. This shot was taken during my last trip home to South Texas, where my dad surprised us with a little pick-me-up. 

1 32oz bottle of chilled Clamato (or tomato juice)
3 12oz bottle of chilled Mexican beer (we prefer Tecate or Victoria) 
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp Maggi seasoning (personally, I think this is optional) 
2 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
lime wedges for serving

Mix Clamato, beer, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and Maggi seasoning in a large pitcher.

Mix salt and chili powder on a small plate. Rub rims of pint glasses with *lime wedges and dip in salt mixture. Fill glass with ice, add Michelada mixture, and garnish with lime wedges. 

Serves 6-8

*if you can get ahold of some Lucas (sal y limon) use that instead of the lime wedges/salt mixture.