Posts Tagged 'onions'

Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice

Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice is the quintessential Louisianan comfort food. Nothing satisfies like steaming bowl of tender flavorful beans over classic white rice.

1 pound dried red kidney beans, rinsed and sorted over
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
1/2 cup seeded and finely diced green bell pepper (1 small pepper)
1/4 cup finely sliced celery (about 1 rib)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound smoked ham hock
1/2 pound smoked Andouille sausage, thinly sliced into rounds
10 cups water
6 cups cooked white rice, warm

Place the beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and set aside.

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pot. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, oregano, thyme, and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the ham hock and sausage and cook, stirring, to brown the ham hocks and sausage, about 4 minutes. Add the beans and water.

Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add additional water while cooking if necessary.

Remove the ham hock from the pot and pull the meat from the bones. Roughly chop the meat and return it back to the pot of beans. Adjust seasonings as needed. Discard the bay leaves. Spoon over white rice to serve.

Serves 6.

Cooking Tip: Add Tabasco® or your favorite hot sauce for a little heat.

Do-Ahead: Cooked red beans store very well in the refrigerator. Some even say they taste better the second day!

From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler


Tequila Chicken Fajitas

Tequila Chicken Fajitas 0708

Tequila Chicken Fajitas

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo – or any night – with these flavorful chicken fajitas hot off the grill.

Chicken fajitas are always a crowd pleaser, inexpensive, and easy to prepare. In about 30 minutes, you can have a delicious south of the border inspired meal on the table.

The secret trick for flavorful and moist chicken is to marinate it overnight. The lemon juice, tequila, onion, garlic, and spices not only flavor the chicken but also make it more tender. I suggest marinating the chicken in a re-sealable plastic bag so you don’t have a to dirty a dish. And, if feeding your family, don’t be concerned about the tequila in this recipe. When you put it on the grill, all the alcohol burns off.

This whole meal can be prepared on the grill if you like. Instead of sautéing the peppers and onions, grill them instead.  Even the tortillas can be warmed on the grill. Wrap them in aluminum foil and warm on the grill over direct heat for 2 or 3 minutes.

To serve, arrange the chicken and vegetables on a platter. Be sure to set out an assortment of south of the border toppings: guacamole, pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, to name a few. Your guests will enjoy assembling their own fajitas by putting their favorite ingredients in the tortillas.

Tequila Chicken Fajitas

For the chicken:
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons tequila
1 tablespoon hot sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Vegetable oil, for the grates
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the fajitas:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (1 small onion)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)
1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper (1 small pepper)
8  flour tortillas, warmed
1 cup guacamole (optional garnish)
1 cup pico de gallo (optional garnish)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional garnish)

To make the chicken: In a shallow nonreactive dish just large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer, stir together the lemon juice, tequila, hot sauce, olive oil, onion, garlic, and cayenne pepper. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover, place in the refrigerator, and marinate overnight.

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off the excess. Discard the marinade. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the chicken on the grill. Close the lid and cook, turning once, until no longer pink in the middle, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the grill. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

To make the fajitas: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the pan. Add the onion, red bell pepper, and yellow bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

To serve, thinly slice the chicken across the grain. Arrange the chicken and vegetables on a platter. Serve with warmed tortillas and your favorite toppings. Encourage diners to make their own fajitas by putting the ingredients in the tortillas.

Serves 4.

Cooking Tips:

It is best to marinate the chicken over night. If short on time, marinate for at least 2 hours.

This recipe can easily be made indoors on a grill pan.


Recipe from Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler.

Photo by the talented Justin Fox Burks.

Cheeseburger Pie

I had to laugh when my good friend Gay Landaiche gave me this recipe. Cheeseburger Pie?!  Whoever heard of such a thing? But Gay is a great cook, so I gave it a try. And just as she said it would be, this dish was a big hit for my whole family!

In fact when I was writing my cookbook Simply Suppers, my girls insisted that I include it in the book.  It is one of their favorite dishes.  It’s a cinch to make and fun to eat … so it’s a favorite of a busy mom like myself too!


Cheeseburger Pie
From Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler

1 unbaked pie crust (9-inch), homemade or store-bought
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small onion)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup small-curd cottage cheese
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 395 degrees.

Place the pie crust in a deep-dish pie pan. Flute the edges, if desired. Place the prepared pie crust in the refrigerator until ready to fill.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until a few droplets of water sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the skillet. Add the meat and onion and cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon, until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked meat to a colander and drain off the excess fat. Transfer the drained meat to a large bowl and stir in the flour and Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie crust.

In a small bowl stir together the eggs and cottage cheese. Spoon the cottage cheese mixture evenly over the beef. Arrange tomato slices on top of the cottage cheese and sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the top.

Bake until set and the cheese has melted, about 30 minutes.

Serves 6.


Crawfish Boil

Peel ‘um, Eat ‘um and Suck the Heads!

Crawfish is probably the one ingredient that most Americans associate with Cajun cooking. Once deemed a poor man’s food from the swamp waters of Southern Louisiana, these little lobster-like crustaceans were a treat that local fisherman enjoyed only at home.  It wasn’t until they were specially featured at the Breaux Bridge Centennial Celebration in the early 1960s that crawfish gained widespread social acceptance. Once the world discovered the sweet, tasty meat of the so nicknamed “mudbug,” they started showing up not only in backyard boiling pots but also on restaurant tables.  Due to their rise in popularity, crawfish are now commercially farmed throughout the South.

Crawfish boils where guests “peel ‘um, eat ‘um and suck the heads” are one of the most popular ways to enjoy this Cajun treat. Live crawfish are boiled in a spicy mixture of garlic, onions, corn cobs, new potatoes and the all important cayenne pepper. The finished product is dumped on a platter or a table covered with newspaper and guests eat the tasty meat of the crawfish tails and then suck the spicy juices from the head.

Crawfish season runs roughly from Mardi Gras (mid-February) through June.  Call your local seafood wholesaler or ask your grocer’s seafood manager to order it for you in advance.

Don’t let crawfish season pass you by without “sucking the head and eating the tail” of at least one (or in my case several dozen) mudbugs!


Crawfish Boil

Serves 15 to 20

30 pounds live crawfish (one sack)
2 cups salt for purging
2 (3 oz.) boxes crab boil seasoning
10 small onions, peeled and halved
2 pounds sliced Andouille sausage
5 pounds small red or new potatoes, unpeeled
4 heads garlic, sliced in half
10 ears of fresh corn-on-the-cob, shucked and broken in halves 

To purge the crawfish, place them in a large plastic tub or a large ice chest and rinse them in enough changes of water for the water to run reasonably clear. Then add more water to cover the crawfish and add 2 cups of salt. Stir for 3 minutes, then rinse crawfish. Keep the cleaned and drained crawfish uncovered until ready to cook.

Fill a large 18 to 20 gallon pot three-quarters full.  Add the crab boil seasoning. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Boil 2 to 3 minutes to allow the spices to mix well.

Using a large wire basket that fits into the pot, add the onions, sausage, potatoes, garlic, and corn. Maintain a boil and cook 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the crawfish to the wire basket, stirring them a bit.  Cook an additional 7 to 10 minutes, being careful not to overcook the crawfish. Remove the wire basket from pot.

To serve, line a table with newspaper. Lift the basket from the stock and drain. Dump the basket ingredients directly on newspaper.

Note: Be sure to have plenty of paper towels and beer on hand!

Cooking Tip: Leftover crawfish can be peeled and the meat frozen to be later used in dishes such as Crawfish Etouffee, Crawfish Pies, and Seafood Gumbo.

Photo by Natalie Root Photography. Styled by Jennifer Chandler.

Jennifer Chandler

Search Recipes by Category

Learn more with the Simply Grilling cookbook

Learn more with the Simply Salads cookbook

Follow me!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 157 other subscribers