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February 2012




Great Recipes from our Fat Tuesday Party

For Fat Tuesday, we had a big feast at work.  I've included the recipes for the Jambalaya and New Orleans Creolé Gumbo, along with a peanut butter frosting that everyone was raving about, but which is super easy to make, as well as the Cilantro salsa.  I've also included a Watt family favorite recipe you've got to try - Can't Leave "Em" Alone Bars!

Next month I'll tell you what I bought myself for Christmas instead of the beautiful red fringed coat I'd wanted.

(Vickie Reffner)

1 large onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
1 or 2 links hot Italian sausage, sliced
2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
2 (8-oz.) boxes Zatarains New Orleans Style Jambalaya Mix

Place onion, green pepper, and Italian sausage in a large frying pan with 2 to 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil.  Fry over low heat until vegetables and meat are cooked through.  Meanwhile, prepare the Jambalaya mix according to package directions.  Combine mixtures, heat, and serve.

New Orleans Creolé Gumbo
(variation of an Internet recipe)

Note: for ease in preparing this dish, save bacon grease ahead of time to equal 3/4 cup or a little more.  Prepare the roux and Step 2 a day ahead.

Step 1 - Roux (takes 15 to 20 minutes, stirring constantly):
1 cup white all-purpose flour
3/4 cup bacon grease

Step 2 - Vegetable/Sausage Mix
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 pound link Hillshire Andouille Sausage, sliced

Step 3 - Water/Seasonings
3 quarts water
6 beef bouillon cubes
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
14.5-oz. can stewed tomatoes, chopped

Step 4 - Okra
2 tablespoons bacon drippings, or vegetable oil
2 (10-oz.) packages frozen, cut okra, thawed
2 tablespoons white vinegar

Step 5 - Crab and Shrimp
1 pound lump crabmeat
3 bags (12- to 16-oz.) small shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Combine the ingredients in Step 1:  flour and bacon grease in a large skillet over medium heat, stir constantly until roux is a rich mahogany brown color.  Do not allow to burn.  Add ingredients from Step 2 into the roux:  celery, onion, green pepper, garlic, and sausage.  Simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, stirring often.  Set aside.  In a large pot, add the Step 3 ingredients, water, bouillon cubes, sugar, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, thyme leaves, and stewed tomatoes.  Mix in the roux/vegetable mixture and simmer over low heat for half an hour.  Meanwhile, place the ingredients from Step 4 into a frying pan:  bacon dripping or vegetable oil, okra, and vinegar.  Cook over low heat for ten minutes.  Stir into gumbo.  Mix in ingredients from Step 5:  crabmeat, shrimp, and Worcestershire sauce.  Simmer until flavors are well blended.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Peanut Butter Frosting
(Bryan Bower)

16-oz. can Pillsbury creamy vanilla frosting
1/2 cup peanut butter

Place vanilla frosting and peanut butter in a mixing bowl.  Cream and spread on prepared brownies or cake.

Cilantro Salsa
(Oscar Lopez)

2 bunches cilantro, finely diced, minus stems
1 bunch green onions, finely sliced, including tops
1 medium yellow cooking onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon salt, or less (will help break down cilantro)
3 Jalapeños, seeded, and finely diced

About an hour before serving, combine the following ingredients in a mixing bowl and refrigerate:  cilantro, green onions, yellow onion, lemon juice, salt, and Jalapeños .  Serve with tortilla chips, or with/in cooked rice.

Three-Layered Can't Leave "Em" Alone Bars
(Diana Watt)

1 (18.25-oz.) box white cake mix
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chocolate chips

Grease 9x13-inch baking pan.  Place cake mix, eggs, and vegetable oil in a large mixing bowl.  Mix until blended.  Press ONLY 2/3 of mixture in baking pan.  Microwave milk, butter, and chocolate chips in a bowl until melted (check every 10 seconds and stir each time so chocolate does not burn - Marcie).  Stir until smooth and pour over crust in pan.  Top with gobs of remaining cake mixture.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.  When cool, refrigerate until ready to serve.  These are awesome - Diana.

Send your favorite family recipes to Marcella Stockin, 5200 Riceville Road, West Valley, New York 14171 or e-mail me at marcellastockin@yahoo.com.  Providing you with recipes to help make you the best cook in the neighborhood.  Visit my website at cellascookbook.com for more recipes and archived newsletters.