Friday, November 4, 2011

Simple Southern Favorites

The next two recipes use turkey sausage, green pepper, onion, and chicken broth in addition to a few other ingredients. I think they are both quick and easy to make. The additional ingredients only vary slightly so when I make one I usually make the second in the next day or two. Since I don't use a whole pepper, onion, or sausage for either recipe I need to use what's left while it's still fresh. The two meals are also prepared almost identically. The first recipe, Gumbo, is prepared as a soup. The second recipe, Shrimp and Grits, is prepared as a mixture to top a bed of grits.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
           1 8 oz Chicken Breast                   1 link or 7 oz Turkey Sausage 
 1/4 Medium Onion                      1/2 Green Pepper
 1 Can of Tomatoes and Okra            Low Sodium Chicken Broth
Cajun Seasoning                                  Oil 
Brown Rice

  • Begin cooking your brown rice. Typically brown rice will take 30-45 minutes. Once the rice starts cooking this should be enough time to prepare and simmer your gumbo having both finish at the same time. 
  • Chop your green pepper and onion. 
  • Cut your sausage into thin slices.
  • Saute your green pepper, onion, and sausage in a pot together with a small amount of heated oil. Season to taste with cajun seasoning.
  • While you're sauteing the first three ingredients slice your chicken breasts into thin, small strips. 
  • Once the vegetables soften and the sausage shows the first signs of browning add the chicken. 
  • Cook together until the chicken is almost cooked throughout. 
  • If the mix seems too greasy you can drain it. Since I'm using turkey sausage I usually don't drain to keep the flavor. 
  • Add your can of tomatoes and okra along with chicken broth until the pot is about 1/2 way full. 
  • Let simmer on medium-low heat for at least 15 minutes if not more.
  • Serve over brown rice with cornbread.

Serves 4

Shrimp and Cheese Grits
       Around 30 Medium Size Shrimp             1/2 Link or 7 oz Turkey Sausage
1/4 Medium Onion                         1/2 Green Pepper
                       Low Sodium Chicken Broth                            Oil
   Grits                                          Cheese
Heavy Cream (Optional)

  • Chop your onion.
  • Cut your green pepper and sausage into thin slices.
  • Saute in a frying pan with a small amount of heated oil. 
  • Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 
  • While you're sauteing the first three ingredients peel and devein your shrimp.
  • Once the vegetables soften and the sausage shows the first signs of browning add the shrimp. 
  • Cook together until the shrimp just begin to pink. This can happen quickly depending on the size of your shrimp. 
  • Add enough chicken broth to allow the mixture to float. Not too much. 
  • I prefer a light broth so I only use chicken broth. If you prefer more of a creamy or gravy sauce add cream to the mixture. 
  • Let simmer and thicken for a few minutes, enough time to allow the shrimp to cook throughout
  • Depending on the type of grits you are using allow enough time to prepare so that the grits will finish the same time as your shrimp mixture. I often will just use instant grits that only take 5 minutes to prepare. Add cubes of cheese to taste to give your grits that extra boost of flavor. A few suggestions are cheddar cheese, pepper jack, or gouda. 
  • Serve the shrimp mixture over a bed of grits.

Serves 4