Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 pounds frozen chopped okra
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 small onions, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup chopped green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste
3 large bay leaves
1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
13⁄4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1⁄4 teaspoon hot sauce
1⁄2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash white pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
7 cups water
1 pound spicy link sausage, cut into 1⁄2-inch lengths
21⁄2 pounds medium fresh wild shrimp, peeled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 cups hot cooked rice
Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven. Add okra and cook over high heat for 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 35 minutes, stirring often. Remove okra from pot and set aside.
In the same pot (there will still be some bits of okra in there), combine remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and flour and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a roux whisk, until the mixture is fragrant and has darkened in color. Add onion and celery; cook 5 minutes.
Add bell pepper, green onions and garlic; cook 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and next 11 ingredients (through water) and the reserved okra; stir well. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Add sausage and cook 5 minutes. Add shrimp and heat until shrimp is cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove and discard bay leaves, and stir in parsley. Serve over hot rice.
Deep Dish Brownies
11⁄2 sticks butter, melted
11⁄2 cups sugar
11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square pan.
In a large bowl, blend melted butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually blend into the egg mixture. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let brownies cool, then cut into squares.
Quick Yeast Rolls
3⁄4 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
3⁄4 cup almost-hot water
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 41⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons instant yeast
Melted butter for brushing
Combine milk and butter and microwave just until butter is about half-melted. Pour milk mixture and water into bowl of mixer. Add sugar and salt and mix just until blended. Add 2 cups of flour. Mix for about a minute, making sure flour is blended in. Add in yeast and remaining flour, 1 cup at a time. You want the dough to just be pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Mix for 5 minutes on medium speed.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap to keep heat in and let dough rise for 5 minutes. While dough is rising, grease a 9×13-inch pan. Lightly grease cutting board then turn dough out onto cutting board.
Divide dough with a sharp knife into 12 pieces. Gently shape each into a ball and place in prepared pan.
Place pan in preheated 170-degree oven and let rise for about 20 minutes or until doubled in size. Leaving the pan in the oven, increase temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter.
Makes 12 rolls.
12 fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon onion powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough ends.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems and sauté until any moisture has evaporated, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.
When cool, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan and seasonings. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing and place on prepared pan.
Bake for 20 minutes or until mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.