Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spicy Creole Banh Mi with Sriracha Mayo

Umm Umm Good!

If you have never eaten a Banh Mi, then you are truly missing out on Vietnamese goodness!

The Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich filled with great meat, fresh and or pickled veggies, and some of the most delicious bread I have every tasted.

I've decided to take my favorite Banh Mi and "creolize" it!

 Yes, I am using perfectly seasoned, marinated flank steak.

Perfectly pickled vegetables that I will grill with a little butter and olive oil. I will finish my Banh Mi off with a nice Ciabatta bread.

 Yes, I am aware Ciabatta bread is Italian but it is one of my favorite breads and I say why not use it!

We're cooking people and that means we can use whatever we like. That's what makes cooking so much fun. There are no rules in cooking, baking on the other hand, please follow most of the rules are you will end up with hockey pucks for cake.

I know I don't even have to tell you this again, but, Let's EAT!

Spicy Creole Banh Mi with Sriracha Mayo

Prep Time: 20 minutes + Marinating Time
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Pickled vegetables for sandwich

1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1c. Daikon radish, peeled, grated
1/4 c. Italian parsley, minced
2 c. grated carrots
1c. chopped cabbage
¼ c. rice wine vinegar
1/4. C. sugar or maybe honey
1 tsp. creole seasoning
1 tsp. black pepper
Jalapenos, sliced 

Slice all vegetables, add everything to a bowl and toss well, allow to marinate at least 1 hour. 
Flank Steak
1 ½ lb. flank steak
¼. C. soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
6 cloves roasted garlic
4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. creole seasoning
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 lemon, juiced

Preheat oven to broil. Place garlic cloves on a piece of foil, pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top of cloves, sprinkle a pinch of salt and roast garlic cloves for about 20 minutes. 

Rinse steak and pat dry. Thinly slice steak, as thin as you can get it. You could also leave it whole and slice it prior to cooking. In a glass casserole dish or you could use a freezer bag, place steak inside. Pour remaining olive oil over steak and rub into steak. Add all the seasonings and pour soy sauce, mix well. Marinate steak for at least 30 minutes. I like to marinate for at least an hour if time permits.

Grill steak 2-3 minutes per side depending on your desired level of doneness. Remove steak from pan, add pickled veggies and sliced jalapenos. Grill for about 3-4 minutes. 

Assemble Sandwich:

1 ciabatta bread
sriracha mayonnaise= 1c. mayo+ 1 tbsp. sriracha=real spicy
grilled steak and vegetables
butter for grilling bread
fresh sliced jalapenos

In a medium pot, spread butter on sliced ciabatta, grill for about 3 minutes are until golden brown, top with mayonnaise, steak meat and veggies.  Enjoy

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mango Spice Doughnuts

Island Spice!

Everyone knows I have been on a mango kick lately. It all started with my Jamaican Jerk Fried Chicken with Mango Chutney and then I went on to create my Mangolicious Shrimp Tacos.

I decided to take my spice cake recipe and turn it into mango doughnuts.  The fresh mango puree is the key to these doughnuts. I also added allspice and Saigon cinnamon to kick up the spice!

These doughnuts are so light, spicy and fluffy. It's like eating a piece of thanksgiving pie.

I allow the doughnuts to rest for about 5 minutes in the doughnut pan, then I move them to a rack and it's time to dip baby dip. This is one time, you can double dip and not get in trouble.

Yes people, I decided to heat the glaze up in the microwave for about 1 minute, this allows the glaze to be dippable. If you are using this glaze for a cake do not microwave.  This is the first dip.

 Look what happens when we double dip!

Enough already, bite me!

Mango Spice Doughnuts with Double Cream Mango Glaze

1 ½ c. mango puree (recipe below)
3 large eggs
1 ½ c. brown sugar
½ c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. allspice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ¾ c. flour
Nonstick cooking spray
Doughnut pan


Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl except flour. Mix well until smooth. Add flour and mix until combined. Pour mixture into a freezer bag, snap off the end and pipe into doughnut mold that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. 

Remove from oven allow doughnuts to cool 5 minutes in pan. While doughnuts cool in a shallow bowl heat 2 cups of mango glaze in the microwave for about 1 minute, whisk well. 

Remove doughnuts from pan and dip in glaze. Allow to cool 5 minutes and dip again in glaze. Enjoy.

Mango Puree

2 mangoes, diced or 2 c. frozen mango, defrosted
1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
Makes 3 c. of mango puree

Blend and puree until smooth.

Mango Cream Cheese Glaze

½ c. mango puree
1 pack of cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick of butter, room temperature
3-4c. Confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat cream cheese, butter, and mango puree until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla and mix well.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tex Mex Chicken Lasagna


I created this recipe around 3:00 a.m. in the morning. I knew I wanted to make lasagna but I did not want the standard lasagna with the tomato based sauce.

My baby girl does not like lasagna with red sauce so I had to  improvise. She also does not like ricotta cheese, so the goal was to find a way to sneak it in the dish, mission accomplished.

My daughter loves macaroni and cheese and she loves to eat the cheese sauce right out the pot, like fondue as she always says. I decided to take my bechamel mac and cheese sauce and turn it into a lasagna.

 But best of all I decided to add roasted peppers and onions and Tex-Mex it up!

I used chicken thighs because I figured chicken breast would dry out. The chicken thighs were lightly browned for about 3-4 minutes on each side and allowed to cook before chopping.

The sauce was created with heavy cream, milk, ricotta, jack, cheddar and Parmesan cheese. The minced roasted peppers were added and the chicken was added back to the sauce to simmer for about 5 minutes. 

Allow the lasagna to rest, unlike I do, to prevent the lasagna from breaking apart. I would say about 20-30 minutes before serving. I have not eaten today so, excuse me, I am cutting it.

You can also prepare the lasagna the day before, refrigerate and bake the next day.

You all know what time it is! Let's Eat.

Tex Mex Chicken Lasagna

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 8-10


3 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
1 small red onion, skin removed,  cut in half
1 small white onion, skin removed, cut in half
1 bell pepper
2 stalks celery
1 jalapeno
½ lb. poblano peppers
½ lb. Anaheim peppers
4 cloves garlic
½ c. flour
2 c. heavy cream
2 c. milk
½ bunch Italian parsley
1 lb. jack cheese, grated reserve 1/2 c for sauce
½ lb. cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1/2 c.  ricotta cheese
1 box lasagna noodles
Extra virgin olive oil
Non stick cooking spray
aluminum foil

Spice Blend:

1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. creole seasoning
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. onion powder

Mix Well


Preheat oven to broil.

Put on a large pasta pot of water, bring to boil. Once the water is boiling add about 1 teaspoon of salt to water. To bring water to boil quickly top with a lid but remove lid during the cooking of the pasta.

Rinse chicken, pat dry place in a large bowl and set aside. Mix all seasonings in a small bowl. Sprinkle two tablespoons of the seasoning blend on the chicken and mix well. Refrigerate chicken while you prepare the vegetables.

Place all vegetables except Italian parsley on an oven proof tray. Coat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Mix well and roast all vegetables until slightly charred. Remove from oven and cover with a towel and set aside. Turn oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Remove chicken from refrigerator. In a shallow bowl add flour and 1 tsp. of seasoning blend, mix well. Take the chicken and lightly coat in the flour mixture. In a large pot or skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and brown about 3-4 minutes on each side.

Repeat until all the chicken has been browned. Do not discard flour mixture. Place chicken on a plate and set aside. Note: Chicken is not cooked all the way it will finish cooking in the oven when baked.

Remove skin and seeds of roasted Anaheim, Poblanos and Bell Pepper. Place all roasted vegetables into blender and pulse leaving slightly chunky and set aside.

Take chicken and chop. I like my chicken about 1/2 inch but it is solely up to you. If young children will be eating this dish, chop finely. 

In the pan that the chicken was cooked in add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add remaining flour and whisk well for about 2 minutes over medium heat. Lower heat to medium-low, add parsley and mix well. Pour in chicken broth, milk and cream, whisk well.

Add 1 tablespoon of seasoning blend and mix well. Add Cheddar cheese and 1/2 c. of Parmesan cheese  and 1/2 cup of jack cheese by the handful, blending well after each addition. Whisk in 1/2 c. of ricotta cheese. Add the roasted vegetables and mix well. Add remaining seasonings. Remove about 1 1/2 cups of cream vegetable mixture and set aside. This will be used to top lasagna. Add chicken and juices back to the pot and mix well. Cook  on low heat for about 5-6 minutes.

Add pasta to pot, stir, cook 6 1/2 minutes. Pasta will finish cooking in oven. Drain pasta, rinse in hot water, drain again. Coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to prevent sticking.

In a 9 X 13 oven proof casserole dish, spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

To Assemble:

Ladle about 1 cup of the sauce mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish, top with a layer of lasagna noodles, slightly overlap noodles. Top with a third of the sauce mixture, top with jack cheese, repeat with the next layer, ending with a final layer of lasagna noodles on top. Spread remaining sauce on top of lasagna sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and remaining jack cheese.

Spray a large piece of aluminum foil with non stick cooking spray to prevent cheese from sticking. Cover casserole dish and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for about 15 to 20 more minutes are until browned. Allow to cook slightly before cutting. I cool my lasagna about 20 minutes so it will cut better. Serve warm.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mangolicious Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Banging Shrimp!

Yesterday I made some great Jamaican Jerk Fried Chicken and Mango Chutney. Well I had a lot of left over chutney and I decided to find a way to eat it!

I took my Mango Chutney added a chiptole pepper a little extra seasonings and marinated some jumbo shrimp for about 30 minutes.

In my cast iron pan, I heated a little olive oil and sauteed the shrimp for about 3-4 minutes per side.

I took more mango chutney and created a sauce, which included mango chutney, mango juice, more chiptole peppers, Asian sambal, sour cream and a little Greek yogurt. All you have to do is blend this together and it's done.

I lightly fried my taco shells in a little olive oil, you could also just heat them in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Place some slaw on the bottom of the shell and top it with shrimp.  Enjoy!

Mango Shrimp Tacos

Prep Time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes to marinate
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Servings: 2


1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 c. mango chutney
1 chipotle pepper
1 tsp. creole seasoning
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder
spicy mango sauce (recipe below)
taco shells
shredded cabbage slaw (recipe below)
extra virgin olive oil

In a large bowl place peeled and deveined shrimp and set aside. In a blender add chutney, chiptole pepper and all spices and blend well. Pour sauce over shrimp and mix well. Marinate shrimp for 30 minutes covered in the refrigerator.

Heat a cast iron pot over medium heat, add olive oil.

Grill shrimp 3-4 minutes on each side.

Serve shrimp in warmed taco shells, top with shredded cabbage and spicy mango sauce. Enjoy.

Spicy Mango Sauce

6 oz. sour cream
1 tbsp. Greek yogurt
1/2 c. mango chutney
1 tbsp. mango juice or nectar
1 tsp. sambal
1 chipotle pepper
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Shredded Cabbage Slaw

2 c. shredded cabbage
Half of the spicy mango sauce.
Mix well, chill until ready to serve.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Jamaican Jerk Fried Chicken w/ Mango Chutney


If you're ever in Nashville you might want to stop by Jamaica Way Restaurant.  I got the idea for Jamaican Jerk Chicken after watching an episode of Diners, Drive-In, and Dives and Jamaica Way was cooking up a storm.

Of course I had to revamp the recipe based on my taste and this is what I came up with.

Start this recipe with the jerk marinade, all the ingredients are placed into the blender and pureed, real simple.

I breaded the chicken in about 4 cups of flour and 1-2 cups of panko bread crumbs for a nice crunch. While the chicken is frying let's get the mango chutney made.

The mango chutney is so easy to make. In a blender place, fresh mango, frozen mango and mango nectar with bell peppers, onions, garlic and don't forget the most important part a scotch bonnet pepper or habanero pepper.

I make a pot of mango rice to serve with this as well. Jasmine rice, chicken broth and mango nectar. A little caramelized onions cooked in butter and olive oil and you have the most delicious rice ever.

OK. you completed the dish and what else is there left to do but EAT!

The mango chutney is so delicious me and baby girl each placed a big bowl of it next to our chicken and also put some on top of the hot rice. Delicious!

Jamaican Jerk Fried Chicken with Mango Chutney

Prep Time: 30 minutes + 1 hour to marinate
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4


20 boneless, skinless chicken tenders
3 eggs, beaten
1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper (wear gloves if possible when handling)
1 jalapeno pepper
2 Thai chili
1/2 tbsp. thyme
1 tbsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. allspice
2 tbsp. creole seasoning or seasoning salt
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 lemon, juiced, zested
1 lime, juiced, zested

For the Mango Chutney:

1 c. frozen mango chunks
1/4 c. mango puree or juice
1 fresh mango diced
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/2 red onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 lemon, zested, juiced
1/2 bunch green onions
1 tbsp. fresh ginger
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

For the Chicken to Fry:

4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. panko or bread crumbs
1/2 tbsp. black pepper
1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tbsp. onion powder

For the Mango Rice:

3 c. jasmine rice
2 1/2 c. mango nectar or juice
2 c. chicken broth
1 small white onion
1/2 c. bell peppers, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


Rinse chicken, pat dry, place in a large bowl and set aside. In a blender add all remaining ingredients and blend well until pureed. Add pureed mixture to chicken and mix well. Marinate in the refrigerator for no longer than 1 hour.

Prepare Mango Chutney while chicken marinates. In a blender add all ingredients, blend everything leaving slightly chunky. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To prepare the chicken fry mix, mix all ingredients well. Dip chicken tenders in batter until well coated. If you have a brown paper bag add flour to bag, tenders and shake it up well.

Heat grease in a large pot, when grease reaches 350 degrees fry chicken tenders until golden brown about 6-7 minutes.

To prepare the mango rice, in a medium stock pot heat butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and peppers and saute for about 5 minutes, add salt, mix well.

Add rice and saute for about 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add broth and mango nectar, bring to a boil, cover, lower heat to low and cook rice for about 17 minutes.

Turn heat off rice and allow to steam covered for about 5 minutes more.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chocolate Superbowl Cinnamon Rolls


Yes, I have added these to the list of Superbowl eats, I will make them mini size for my Superbowl party.

Before we talk about how these beautiful cinnamon rolls came to be, let's spend one minute, or five talking about sports and the three-peat.

As you may already know, I love sports, to call myself a fanatic may not do me justice. To say I had to ban myself a couple of years ago from watching the NBA playoffs because I was becoming for a better word "un-lady-like" would be the best description of my antics.

And I mention the NBA because of one of the best coaches in the world of sports, Mr. Pat Riley. The handsome man behind the original three-peat and yes people, he was smart enough to trademark it! Bravo, coach Riley.

I bring up my favorite coach Pat Riley, love you Phil Jackson but I did not always like you, especially when you were coaching the Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls. Oh the days of agony caused to us Lakers fans by Michael Jordan, and oh how I wish I could forget, there was Phil Jackson, Mr. Zen,  sitting on the sidelines, barely any emotion on his face, almost a blank piercing stare, be it but for one thing, THE SMIRK, which spoke volumes. That smirk said, BOOM, Showtime is UP!

It took me years to get over the Chicago Bulls and Phil Jackson. Yes, I was still angry and disturbed some might say, dazed and confused, even when Phil Jackson coached the Lakers. I eventually got over it, but not until after Phil Jackson won his second championship ring as the Lakers head coach. But prior to ring 2 and Phil Jackson's own three-peat, I was the Lakers fan wondering who was the Lakers turncoat, who allowed Phil Jackson, Mr. Chicago Bulls on the Lakers parade float.

I repeat, if you didn't know it, I can be a tad bit fanatical about sports. Next to food, sports is my passion and like food, sometimes I have to cut back and go light.  And to quote Mr. Pat Riley, in one of my favorite books, Showtime, "shouda, coulda, and woulda, want get it done." I have lived by these words since youth. Time to Bake!

Oh and for those of you who might be wondering about the current status of the Lakers season, and the new generation of Lakers, i.e., Kobe and Dwight. I say to myself, I say self, what the heck is going on! And then I think of the late great Chick Hearn "This game's in the refrigerator! The door's closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter's getting hard, and the Jell-O is jiggling...." 
so says every team in the NBA who plays against the current Lakers. I joke, I joke, I kid, I kid...

OK. I got this idea for cinnamon rolls from three sources, hence the three-peat. Source one was Chef-in-training who lead me to source two,  No.2 Pencil, who finally lead me to source number three Duncan Hines.

After rolling the dough flat, spread the cinnamon-sugar butter mixture all over it.

Roll up the dough like a jelly roll.

Cut the jelly roll into 24 pieces and place into two 13 x 9 greased baking sheets. Allow dough to rise, covered until double in size.

Make the Milk Chocolate Cream Cheese Glaze while the cinnamon rolls are baking.

As soon as I removed the cinnamon rolls from the oven, I glazed them immediately.

  It's Showtime, so let's eat. Bring on the MILK!

Chocolate Superbowl Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours for dough rising
Servings: 24 cinnamon rolls


1 box Duncan Hines Devils Food Chocolate Cake Mix
5 tsp. active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
Cinnamon sugar mixture (recipe below)
Milk Chocolate Cream Cheese-Glaze (recipe below)

Mix yeast and milk until dissolved. Add cake mix, vanilla, salt and flour. Mix well. Cover tightly. Let rise for 1 hour. Punch down and then let rise again. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into rectangle about 1/4 inches thick. 

Spread cinnamon-sugar mixture all over dough. Roll up as if you were making a jelly roll. Slice into 24 equal pieces. Place in two greased 9x13-inch pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until golden-brown. Frost with chocolate cream cheese icing while hot. Allow to cool 5 minutes, and then serve.

Milk Chocolate Cream Cheese-Glaze

1 pack of cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 c. milk chocolate chips, melted
3 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, add powdered sugar, vanilla and melted chocolate, blend well.

Cinnamon sugar mixture:

2 cups brown sugar
1 ½ tbsp. Saigon cinnamon
2 ½ sticks butter, room temperature

Mix well.

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I must confess I love great food. I decided to create The Creole Contessa blog after cooking and eating a great meal with my family Big Goo the hubby of almost twenty years and my lil’ Contessa Summer aka “Baby Girl." I told Big Goo and Baby Girl, it is just not fair to not share these great recipes with the world; and the Creole Contessa blog was born.

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