Southern Sausage and Shrimp “Gravy”

This dish is absolutely wonderful! We fried up eggs, and made biscuits to serve along and it was awesome. Although, the next afternoon, we just heated up the leftover gravy and ate it with crusty baguette and it was “even better” according to John.

The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled, and it can be made ahead, then reheated right before serving. Also, don’t worry about the red pepper flakes, I can’t handle anything spicy, seriously a level 1 is too much heat, but the amount listed is just perfect.

Southern Sausage and Shrimp “Gravy” – Serves 8
2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
1 lb mild pork sausage, casing removed
2 small onions, diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined
Kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper
1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon allspice
4 dashes Worcestershire
2/3 cups diced canned tomatoes
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 green onion, chopped, for garnish

Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pan over high heat. Add the pork sausage and cook, break up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon, and cook until meat is browned. Add the onions and continue to cook, until the onions are a deep brown, about another 15 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium, sprinkle meat and onions with flour, stir for about 2 minutes.

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, add them to the pan with meat mixture, stir and toss them around, until pink and curled, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan and place in a bowl, set aside.

Add the bell pepper, garlic, pepper flakes, allspice, Worcestershire, tomatoes, and chicken stock to the meat mixture, stir well. Increase the heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes. Add the shrimp to pot, and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.

To serve: Pour over biscuits and top with a fried egg, garnish with green onion./ Pour into small bowls, garnish with green onion, and serve with crusty bread.

Enjoy with a pitcher of Tipsy Arnold Palmers.

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Happy Cooking!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I love strawberries!¬† I love to eat them just as they are, but sometimes¬† I can’t resist dipping them in chocolate, covering them in nuts, and devouring them with a little champagne.¬† So that’s what’s going to happen with some amazing strawberries I got at the market.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
– 1 lb
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped
3 oz white chocolate, chopped
1 lb strawberries, washed and dried completely
Roasted salted nuts, crushed

Put the dark chocolate and white chocolates into 2 separate heatproof medium bowls. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set the bowls of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir until smooth.

Once the chocolates are melted and smooth, remove from the heat. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Holding the strawberry by the stem, dip them into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, let any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set the dipped strawberries on the parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Dip a fork in the white chocolate and drizzle the white chocolate over the dipped strawberries, or fill a pastry bag and decorate strawberries. Or garnish with nuts.

Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Summer Raspberry Parfaits

My friend Karen introduced me to vanilla wafers – something I hadn’t had before. I though they would make a perfect crumb for my parfaits, honestly I usually use Oreo’s, graham crackers, or even animal crackers – but I had these on hand..and I will never go back.

This is the perfect end to a summer dinner. This recipe can be halved, and you will need 4 or 8 glasses. These are the kind I used, they are inexpensive, don’t mind going the dishwasher, and I don’t care if someone breaks one: glass

Raspberry Parfaits – 8 parfaits
12 ounces vanilla wafers
5 cups raspberries
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar
Freshly grated zest of 1 orange

Pulse the vanilla wafers in a food processor, to a coarse crumb.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 2 1/2 cups raspberries and Grand Marnier. Cook until the berries break down, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the cream on high speed for a minute. Sprinkle in the confectioner’s sugar, turn speed back to high, and beat until soft peaks form.

Add the 2 cups raspberries, and orange juice to the room temperature raspberry syrup, stir until combined.

Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of vanilla wafer crumbs to cover the bottom of each glass, top with a tablespoon of raspberry mixture, and dollop of whipped cream. Continue to layer until you fill the glasses. Garnish with the remaining 1/2 cup of raspberries and sprinkle of orange zest.

Serve immediately!

Sorry there isn’t a photo, but you know it goes – guests get excited and gobble it before it hits the table – I can say that it was beautiful.