Teeny Tiny Kitchen

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Cajun
Jedd's Jambalaya PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Jedd Kettler   
Friday, 02 March 2012 15:51


Jambalaya is so delicious, that it's worth taking a few years to perfect into a spicy and flavorful dish. The first time I tasted Jambalaya was as a quick, take-out, lunch break meal from a restaurant in downtown Burlington. It was a revelation, though, and made me want to know how to cook it myself. I wasn't much of a cook 18 years ago and I didn't own a cookbook at the time, so my first attempts to recreate this full-flavored, spicy cajun meal were blind stabs in the dark.

My lack of knowledge really showed then and Launie was the good-natured victim of all of my failed attempts. From the date at my apartment when I served her a painfully-cayenned stew of chicken and pepperoni (I hadn't heard or read the word "andouille" yet and the idea of adding thyme hadn't occurred to me) to the point when I finally stumbled on the right combination of spices and ingredients several years later in our house in Fairfield, she tolerated it all. The fact that I did finally find the right combination that is the foundation of Jambalaya is a testament to Launie's patience and sense of humor.

Though I now follow many of the tried and true traditions - starting with the Cajun Trinity of celery, onions and green peppers - the Jambalaya I cook today still isn't entirely authentic because I cook the rice separately. The flavor profile, though, is close to that lunch-break meal I enjoyed years ago and it pleases Launie, me, and our friends when they dare to come over when Jedd's cooking.

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Grilled blackened chicken and potatoes PDF Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Saturday, 30 July 2011 20:52

 

Even though it's a Saturday night we are still working - so tonight's dinner had to be fast. This is my favorite quick meal to throw together. What could be better than incredibly spicy chicken, simple grilled potatoes and strawberry chutney?

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A Cajun "Chrimbo" PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 11:39

Some friends of ours are Mississippi expats living in Vermont, and we love doing holidays together (though not always in a timely fashion). This year, our very late Christmas "Chrimbo" celebration - teetering into Mardi Gras territory - was in their apartment, and the food was pure Cajun. So, while their kids were playing with their brand new (and belated) Christmas presents from us, the adults were wandering between the living room and kitchen, drinking cocktails and listening to wwoz.org stream on the computer from Nawlins. And the reason why it was called "Chrimbo?" I have no idea. But, that's what Kelee and Ben call it. And I don't question anyone who feeds us that well.

 

The menu was: Red Beans and Rice, Deep Fried Okra, Jambalaya, and a King Cake.

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The many stages of gumbo PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Monday, 06 December 2010 15:43

 

My father calls me “The Freezer Queen,” because I have a borderline obsession with cold storage. In our freezer right now is a bizarre combination of little plastic bags and containers that are storing a multitude of items including: lasagna, chorizo, soups, stews, herbs, dried fruit, cookies, turkey gravy, pesto, tomato paste, chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, flour, apple crisp, cherry tomatoes and brown sugar.

It's a small freezer, so it can get pretty crowded. And a couple of weeks ago a claustrophobic package of Jimmy Dean sausage rolled out of the freezer, and onto my foot. Which angrily inspired to me to make room in the freezer, and to make gumbo for dinner.

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