Eat!

Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Grillades and Grits


Grillades and Grits

In case you didn’t know, New Orleans is one of my favorite places. I know most people think of it as a place of debauchery and that may be true during Mardi Gras. However, the rest of the time NOLA is simply lovely. Even though it is thoroughly modern, the city still has an old-world feel. This multi-layered culture was created by the French, Spanish, African and Native American people who lived here before there was a USA. It has retained that charm. The first time I visited, it felt like home.

I was worried that after Hurricane Katrina people would come in and try to capitalize on this history and create a Disney version of the real thing. Or that no one would return, and the culture would die. Luckily that did not happen.

When we go to NOLA we visit museums. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the World War II Museum are two of our favorites. Music venues like Preservation Hall and The Spotted Cat are always on our itinerary, because why visit the birth place of jazz and not listen to jazz? And of course we eat. And Eat. And Eat. Most every restaurant in New Orleans is going to be good because the city wouldn’t stand for it otherwise. From the very high-end GW Fins to the very affordable Cochon Butcher, New Orleans is about the food.

So, I am giving you a recipe for Grillades and Grits. You pronounce that GREE-odds. This is the quintessential brunch food. These are so good that last week I had them for breakfast at a restaurant and then went home and made them for dinner.


Servings: 8
Time:  Active: 30 minutes   Cooking: 1 ½ -2 hours   Dinner in about 2 ½ hours
Hardware:  A cutting board and knife, measuring spoons and cups, a meat mallet (or a rolling pin or hearty coffee cup) l-gallon plastic zip bags, a deep skillet with a lid, tongs, a large bowl, a wooden spoon, a whisk, a can opener

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs top round
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (I use Tony Chachere’s)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 8 ounces trinity mix (this is equal parts onion, bell pepper and celery-I buy mine pre-sliced in the produce section-if you don’t want to buy it pre-sliced then you need 4 ounces of onion and 2 each of celery and green bell pepper, roughly chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups beef stock
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce (Tabasco)
  • 14.5 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes, not drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Oil
  • ⅓ cup chopped parsley (I save a little for garnish)
  • Salt
  • Prepared grits (To make your grits better, substitute ⅓ of the required water for cream and stir in ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese and another ⅓ cup cream right before serving)

  1. Cut the meat into bite size pieces and pound to about ¼ inch in thickness. You can skip this step, but if you do the meat will take longer to cook.
  2. Place the Cajun seasoning in the plastic bag. Add the steak and shake to coat evenly. Then add the flour to the bag and shake again.
  3. Add enough oil for your skillet to be about ½ inch deep. Heat it on medium-high heat. Shake the flour from the steak and add it to the hot oil. Just brown on both sides, no more than 1-2 minutes per side. Place the steak in the bowl and set aside.
  4. If you need to add more oil to the skillet, do so. Then add the vegetables and cook until soft, stirring occasionally (5 minutes.) Place the vegetables in the bowl with the steak and set aside.
  5. Melt the butter in the skillet and slowly whisk in the flour. Scrape any little leftover brown bits into the roux. Don’t stop stirring. When the roux is a golden buttery color, slowly whisk in the beef broth. Add the wine, hot sauce and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and stir.
  6. Add the bay leaves, meat and veggies. Stir to make sure that everything is covered.
  7. Turn the heat down to a very low simmer and cover with the lid. Cook until the meat is fork tender. Only stir often enough to keep the food from sticking. Removing the lid slows down cooking time.
  8. Remove the bay leaves and adjust the salt. Stir in the parsley. Serve warm over grits.

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