Saturday, March 30, 2013

5 Top Sandwiches for the true Sandwich lover...


Sandwich Love....!

Today I decided to do a recap on one of my favorite things....Sandwiches! For those of you who follow my blog, you are aware that I LOVE sandwiches. I am re-listing my all time favorites.


Sandwich Number 1-Blackened Fish Po Boy with Bacon.


Bacon, well, enough said...Whitefish, seasoned very well, topped with crispy bacon and served with a Coke in the bottle with pure cane sugar...It's greatness on a plate...

Sandwich Number 2-Chicken Shawarma


I love Chicken Shawarma...Marinated Chicken with Olive Oil, Lemon, Oregano and Garlic....This is one of the best grilled sandwiches around...Served on soft, warmed, naan bread, and you're talking about good, healthy, eats!

Sandwich Number 3-Spicy Creole Banh Mi with Sriracha Mayo.


Talking about DELICIOUS! This sandwich has all the right components..Smokey, Spicy, Savory...If you like the taste of Asia, you will love this.

Sandwich Number 4-Creole Reuben Melt


This is one of Big Goo's favorite sandwiches, it's full of meat and full of flavor. Homemade thousand island dressing, pastrami, ham and bacon, and two cheeses, do you feel the sandwich love....

Sandwich Number 5-Gouda Veggie Melt


OK. I originally created this sandwich to make my newly vegan Baby Girl happy. But it turns out, this sandwich was so good...even none vegans will enjoy it...I have remade this sandwich so many times and it gets better, every time.







Friday, March 29, 2013

Chipotle Fish Tacos


Good Friday, Good EATS!


Today is a wonderful day, why not fix some of my favorite EATS? Fish Tacos is my favorite way to eat tacos, and I make the best Chipotle batter around. Yes, I said around, because it's smokey, spicy and hits all the right notes, food notes, that is.

Now the key to taking these tacos over the top, is creating a topping feast.

I have fresh tomatoes, lettuces, cabbages, shredded cheese, sour cream, mashed avocados seasoned with a little lime and a pinch of salt and pepper. This is what I like, but please choose your favorite toppings to take your fish tacos to the next level.

 

Start with fresh white fish, cut into four pieces.

 
The beer batter is so simple, just put all the ingredients in a blender and blend well.


The beer batter is ready and it's time to fry!


Fry the fish until nice and golden brown, make sure you already have all your toppings ready to go. I like my fish hot out the fryer. If you want to make this in advance, you can reheat the fish in the oven to crisp back up.


 Beautiful and tasty, Let's EAT!

Chipotle Fish Tacos

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

Ingredients:

4 whitefish fillets, cut in four pieces each
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. creole seasoning
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. chili powder
2 eggs, beaten
beer batter (recipe below)
cooking grease
cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, avocados, jalapenos, salsas....to top tacos.

For the Chipotle Beer Batter:

2 chipotle peppers
24 oz. can of Mexican beer
2 c. flour
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. creole seasoning
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. Mexican oregano, crushed
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions:

Place everything for the batter in a blender and blend well.

Rinse fish and pat dry, place fish in a bowl and top with all ingredients, mix well.  Toss in beer batter and mix well. Place grease in a large pan filling half way with cooking grease. Allow grease to heat to 360 degrees. Fry fish for about 6-8 minutes. Drain and top with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, jalapenos, sour cream and enjoy!





Thursday, March 28, 2013

Texas Size Breakfast Sandwich with Bacon, Egg, Ham, and Cheese



Breaking the Fast! Texas Style.


If you had a long week, or very long weekend, this is the perfect sandwich to help perk you up, or down, maybe!  I promise you, after you eat this sandwich, you're going to need one of two things, a nap, and/or, a nap!


Start with some thick cut bacon, baked until nice and crispy.


Then, toast some good quality Texas toast, I went with garlic style, but you can also use a cheese version. This should be located in your freezer section of the grocery store. Hey, or make your own, it's just garlic bread.


And this is what you end up with after you fry up some eggs and add some good quality cheese.

Or for the truly adventurous soul, you could end up with ALL OF THIS! Hey, don't look at me like that, it was just a suggestion. I would never! OK, maybe, but I cut the sandwich in half, and shared it with Big Goo.  And I promise you, I did not eat the extra bacon on the side, that would be just wrong!

Texas Size Breakfast Sandwich with Bacon, Egg, Ham, and Cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings:  4

Ingredients:

1 pack of thick cut bacon
8 eggs
4 slices of cheddar cheese
1 c. grated jack cheese
8 slices of black forest ham
8 slices of Texas toast, garlic style
extra virgin olive oil
black pepper
creole seasonings
Hellmann's mayonnaise

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place bacon on an oven proof pan and bake for 20-25 minutes are until crispy, drain and set aside.

Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook ham for about 3-4 minutes. Add more oil and crack 2 eggs per sandwich and sprinkle lightly with black pepper and Creole seasoning, fry until nice and brown on both sides.

Toast bread according to package directions. Spread a little mayonnaise if desired.

Assemble sandwich by placing sliced cheese on bottom, top with hot bacon, top with hot egg and more grated cheese on top, enjoy!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spinach Artichoke Dip with Gouda and Bacon


Smokey, Creamy, Cheesy, Goodness!

 
I needed to make dip, not for any particular reason, but just because I love dip and try to make dip at least once a week. Today, I had spinach I needed to eat and bacon, well bacon, I wanted to eat. I love artichokes and always keep them in stock and we all know how much I love cheese. Last time I made a Creole Andouille Artichoke Dip, this time I went with bacon, because, it's bacon and I love it.


Dice the bacon into about 1/2 inches and use thick cut if you have it.


I used fresh, organic baby spinach, but you could use frozen spinach, just make sure you drain all the liquid out first.


I added a diced onion, 1/2 bunch of green onion and a jalapeno. Seed the jalapeno if you want to cut back on the spice.

 
Use marinated artichokes, drain very well, we don't want to dilute our creamy sauce.


I saute all my veggies and the reserved bacon grease and season everything very well. You can use olive oil if you prefer not to use the bacon grease, I think, LOL...


Do not forget to add the bacon back to the dip, this is a must people...Or you can just sprinkle all the bacon on top, prior to baking the dip like I do sometimes.



This dip can be served with crackers, chips or vegetables. I made homemade tortilla chips to eat it with, it allows you to get more dip on a chip....

Spinach Artichoke Dip with Gouda and Bacon

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

16 oz spinach, cleaned, chopped
1 pack of thick cut bacon, diced
3 c. marinated chopped artichoke
1 onion, chopped
1/2 bunch green onions
1 jalapeno, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 c. Gouda Cheese, grated
1 c. Monterrey jack cheese, grated
1 c. sharp cheese, grated
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. Hellmann's mayonnaise
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. creole seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, add bacon and fry until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside. Add onion and jalapeno to bacon grease and cook for 5 minutes, add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add spices and mix well.

Add spinach and cook until wilted about 7 minutes. Add chopped artichoke and cook for about 3 minutes. Add cheeses and mix well. Allow mixture to cool about 10 minutes, stir in sour cream and mayonnaise.

Mix well and place into a greased oven proof dish and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Place under broiler for 2-3 minutes. Serve warm.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Creole Pan Fried White Fish with Roasted Veggies


Simple Eats!



Who ever said, quick and simple, didn't equal delicious, has never tried my quick Creole Pan Fried White Fish. Today was very hectic and I needed to cook something that was not only quick, but pretty healthy if you can get past the butter. Which, I might add, can all be substituted, for extra virgin olive oil, if you choose.


First we must roast the veggies, I used red and yellow bell peppers, asparagus spears and sliced jalapeno for a kick. Toss in olive oil, a little pepper and pink Himalayan salt and roast for about 7 minutes under the broiler. Done!


Next, I whipped up a quick seafood seasoning blend, that consisted of dried thyme, creole seasoning, smoked paprika, garlic, onion powder and black pepper.


Lastly, I tossed my fillets in olive oil, sprinkled the seasoning blend, on both sides of course,  then put some lemon zest and juice on top and it's time to get to cooking.


Done, quicker than you can pull out a take out menu! I am happy, I am full and this was healthy and delicious, I know, minus the butter. But hey, we got to start somewhere.


Let's EAT!

Creole Pan Fried White Fish with Roasted Veggies

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

4 white fish fillets
1 lb asparagus spears, remove hard bottom stems
1 lemon, zested, juiced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced in 4
1/2 tbsp. creole seasoning
1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 stick butter
extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to broil:

Toss asparagus, bell peppers and jalapeno in a little olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper. Roast for about 7 minutes.

Reduce heat to 375 degrees.

Mix  remaining seasonings and set aside. Rinse and pat dry fillets, add olive oil on both sides of fish, sprinkle seasonings, lemon zest and juice.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of butter and olive oil in a medium skillet. Add fillets and cook for about 4 minutes over medium high heat. Place pan in oven and bake for 6 minutes.

Broil for 1-2 minutes and enjoy. Pour pan sauce over fish and vegetables when done.





Monday, March 25, 2013

Island Delight Almond Cake


Sweet Delight!



With Easter just around the corner, I needed to create a truly delicious desert. My Island Delight Almond Cake is the perfect holiday dessert. I made a bunch of mini cakes for my mom and aunt, and I created a bundt version for myself.


It is very important that your ingredients are room temperature. I allowed my butter and cream cheese to sit out about 8 hours. You want all the ingredients to incorporate well, and room temperature ingredients is the key.


After mixing everything together, I lightly dusted the drained, dried, pineapple and the coconut in a little flour. If you notice my batter is not fully mixed, I like to under mix the batter, and then use my spatula to finish mixing the batter, to prevent our cake from being over-mixed and tough.



I double glaze the cake, then I top it with almonds. I have a little secret for you, sometimes I add almonds to the glaze, then add extra almonds on top. Talking about DELICIOUS!


Look at it, moist, sweet, and delicious! Don't be like me, make the cake in advance, and try to wait overnight before cutting. The cake gets better and better everyday that it sits. Not that I would know this, but my momma told me so. My cake have never lasted that long.

Island Delight Almond Cake

Ingredients:

3 c. sugar
3 c. flour
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 8oz. pack Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. vegetable oil
6 eggs, room temperature
1 c. pineapple juice
1 c. crushed pineapple, drained, patted dry
1 c. coconut, shredded
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
Almond glaze (recipe below)

For the Glaze:

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 8oz. pack Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. confectioners sugar
1 c. coconut, shredded
1/4 c. heavy cream to thin, more if needed
1-2 c. sliced almonds to top cake

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch bundt or tube pan and set aside. In a mixer add butter, cream cheese and sugar, beat well for about 4 minutes. Add vanilla and vegetable oil and mix well for about 30 seconds. Add eggs one at a time beating 15 seconds between each addition.

In a separate bowl add flour, salt and baking powder, mix well. Add flour and pineapple juice to egg/cream mixture in 3 batches ending with flour. Beat 20 seconds between each addition. Do not over mix.

Take coconut and crushed pineapple, toss in about 1-2 tablespoons of flour, add to cake batter and mix for about 20 seconds. Add mixture to prepared bundt pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes are until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Allow cake to rest about 5 minutes in pan, flip out onto a platter and allow to cool about 20 minutes. Top with first coating of glaze and allow to cool about 20 minutes, top with second coasting of glaze and sprinkle almonds all over the cake, allow to rest overnight if you can stand it. Enjoy!

To prepare the glaze, mix butter and cream cheese for about 2 minutes, add vanilla and sugar,  coconut and drizzle with heavy cream while mixing until desired consistency is reached.



Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Real Mexican Pizza


¡Muy bien!



We have all been there, well, at least once. We're in a rush to eat, no time to cook, so we say, hey, I'll just stop by the drive through and pick up dinner. Yep, I knew it was not just me who is guilty of doing that sometimes. Well, with rushing, comes disappointment.

You order the Mexican pizza and think, this is going to be good, well it sure looks good by the glossy poster size picture on the drive through window. Then you bite into it, and say, what the heck was I thinking, I just spent $9.00 on this crap.

Yep, it's crap, and you eat it, because it cost $9.00, yep I have been there too. That leads me to this creation, for about $9.00 you can feed your whole family and be full, satisfied, and very happy to have created, The Real Mexican Pizza.



I made a few fresh toppings, chili verde, salsa and guacamole.


1 pound of chicken breast, marinated in a little lemon, lime and spices and that's it.

Lightly fry or bake the flour tortilla shells, top with enchilada sauce, beans, cheese, green onions and broil for about 3 minutes.


Look what we just created, for about $9.00 and 30 minutes, and the whole family is eating. And by the way, if you did not know it, I love food, and that leads me to the next fact, I am a food snob. 

My love of food, leads me into wanting to eat the best food, and sometimes, the best food requires us to make it ourselves. Eat up and enjoy and have some more, remember it only cost us about $9.00 and we have around 6 of these!
 
The Real Mexican Pizza

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
12 medium size flour tortillas
1 tbsp. creole seasoning
1 tbsp. chile powder
1 tbsp. Mexican oregano
1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lemon, zested, juiced
1 lime, zested, juiced
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 c. jack cheese, grated
2 c. sharp cheddar, grated
cooking grease
cheese
salsa-1 tomato seeded, 1 jalapeno, seeded, 1/2 red onion, minced, pepper, salt, lime juice, cilantro
guacamole- use half of the salsa, add 1 whole avocado, mash and mix, a little lime juice
sour cream
green onions
refried beans
enchilada sauce about 1 cup
salsa verde

Directions:

Slice boneless skinless chicken breast into cutlets. Place cutlets in a large bowl, add all spices, lemon and lime zest and juice.  Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and mix well. Marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

In a hot grill pan add olive oil and grill chicken for about 4-5 minutes on each side until no longer pink. Allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Lightly fry tortilla shells in cooking grease about 1-2 minutes per side, drain and set aside.

Heat oven to broil

Assemble by placing about 2 tablespoons of beans on bottom shell, top with 2 tablespoons of enchiladas sauce, add about 1/2 c. diced chicken, 1/2 cup of cheese, top with second shell, add 2 tablespoons of sauce, more chicken if desired, more cheese and a little salsa. Broil for about 3-5 minutes, until cheese, melts, top with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, green onions, salsa verde and enjoy.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Creole Crunch Sloppy Joes


Sloppy Goodness!


Growing up Sloppy Joes was something I was not going to eat! First off, I refused to eat anything that was coming out of a can, especially a sauce. Yep, even as a kid I was a picky eater. The funny part is Baby Girl was the same way. When she was little, I tried to feed her some canned ravioli because I was in a rush, she spit the stuff all in my face. Red sauce went everywhere. Let's just say I never tried that again.


Back to Sloppy Joes, in school they served this yucky, overly sweet sauce with mystery meat in it, and that forever turned me off to eating anything with the word sloppy in it. Until, I learned the truth.



Sloppy Joes are supposed to be savory with a HINT of sweetness. Sloppy Joes should not taste like a sugar factory.  And that leads me to my creation of Creole Crunch Sloppy Joes.


These are da bomb! Yep, I said it, da bomb! First off I made some quick simple barbeque sauce, why? Because Big Goo refused to give me his barbeque sauce recipe, which left me to create my own based on what I saw him do in the past.


Then I took some fresh andouille sausage, removed them from the casing and browned them up with some onions, roasted garlic and poblanos and ground turkey.


Flavor all that up, and let it simmer for a while and get ready! Oh, don't forget the crunch of the fried sweet potato chips on top!


Doesn't this just look great! It's thick, chunky, flavored, savory, it's all of that...


Just thought you needed to see it from another angle, lol...


Yep, it's Sloppy Goodness!

Creole Crunch Sloppy Joes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1hr 15 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground turkey or beef
1 lb. fresh andouille sausage
4-6 toasted hamburger buns
1 onion, chopped
2 poblanos, roasted, peeled, seeded, chopped
3 cloves garlic, roasted
1 bell pepper, roasted, seeded, chopped
1 tbsp. creole seasoning
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tbsp. dried crushed oregano
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 small can tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
1 1/2 c. barbeque sauce (recipe below)
sweet potato chips (recipe below)
extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Turn oven to broil, rinse peppers and add to a small pan, add garlic, toss in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper and roast until skin is blistered. Allow to rest five minutes, peel skin on poblanos, and see. Add all roasted vegetables a blending and chop until slightly chunky.

In a large pot add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, add onion and saute for about  5 minutes over medium heat, add andouille and ground turkey, season with 1/2 the seasoning blend, brown meat cooking for about 10 minutes, add tomato paste and cook 5 minutes more, add tomato sauce and barbeque sauce, chopped peppers and garlic and mix well. Season with remaining seasoning, allow mixture to cook about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Toast buns, add Sloppy Joes and top with sweet potato chips, ENJOY!
Bar-b-Que Sauce

Ingredients:

1c. ketchup
3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. molasses
1 tbsp. creole seasoning
1 tbsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Directions:

Place everything in a sauce pot, mix well, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. 

Sweet Potato Chips

1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced into thin slices about 1/4"
cooking oil
salt

Directions:

Peel sweet potatoes, heat cooking oil to 350 degrees, fry sweet potatoes until brown and crisp, drain and lightly salt.









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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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