Great Big 'Ole Cajun Kitchen Sink Casserole

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 21, 2011 at 5:45 PM

The first part of this four part recipe is “The Quick Saute Stage.”
4 Tbsp.
butter
2 cups
prepared vegetable mix*
4
medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 cups
canned butter beans, washed and drained
4 Tbsp.
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup
baby carrots, halved
2 cans
whole new potatoes, drained and halved (16 oz. size)
1/2 cup
frozen green peas
1/2 cup
celery, large diced
1
large onion, large diced
1/2 lb.
fresh mushrooms, mixed halves and quarters
1 small
zucchini, large diced
1 small
yellow squash, large diced
1 small
bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small
bunch asparagus, cut into thirds

First, place a large roasting pan on your countertop, coat it thoroughly with non-stick spray, and set it aside momentarily.

Then preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Now, in a 12-inch anodized or Teflon-coated skillet melt the butter over a medium-high heat.

When the temperature reaches the right level, drop in the veggie mix and stir it around briskly to coat everything liberally.

Then when the veggies begin to show signs of “clearing and wilting,” drop in the diced tomatoes and sauté them as well, right to the point where they soften and give up most of their juices.

Now quickly stir in the butter beans until the entire mixture is fully blended; then transfer the contents of the skillet to the waiting roasting pan on the countertop.

Immediately thereafter, place the skillet back on the stovetop over a medium high heat and begin quickly stir-frying all the fresh vegetables—one vegetable at a time.

As each comes done (and “done” is defined as lightly tender-crisp), take a slotted spoon and transfer it to the roasting pan. Continue the process until all of the vegetables are in the roasting pan.

At this stage, slide the pan of veggies into the preheated oven and roast them (tossing occasionally to ensure that none burns) until they turn a rich golden brown.

For the Meats
4 Tbsp. rendered bacon fat or margarine
1 lb. Louisiana shrimp, peeled and butterflied 3 boneless center-cut pork chops, diced
6 chicken tender strips, sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 links andouille sausage, sliced and quartered

Heat the fat in a heavy 12-inch anodized skillet and begin the process by dropping in the diced andouille and sautéing it until it becomes seared and crusty.

Then, one ingredient at a time, a few pieces at a time, start adding the shrimp, then the pork, and then the chicken.

As they come ready, simply remove them from the skillet with a slotted spoon and place them temporarily on a large platter.

The Roux:

1/3 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup vegetable or Canola oil
1-2 cups whole milk, as needed
1-2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules, as desired
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup (10.5 oz. size)
1 tsp. Frank Davis Vegetable Seasoning
1 tsp. Frank Davis Bronzing Mix
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

While it may appear complicated, the procedure is very simple. Once again take a heavy 12-inch skillet, pour in the Canola oil, and heat it to the point of it “just beginning to smoke.”

Then begin sprinkling in the flour a little bit at a time, whisking it all the while with a wire whip until the roux turns smooth and creamy-looking.

Continue to add flour and whisk it until the texture of the roux resembles a heavy (but smooth) pancake batter.

Then when you reach that point, quickly remove the skillet from the fire and allow it to cool until it becomes warm enough to handle.

Now you can start pouring in the milk a little at a time and stirring it until you create a nice thick gravy.

It is also at this time that you stir in the bouillon granules, the can of Cream of Chicken Soup, and the remaining seasonings, taking extra care to fully combine each ingredient into the others.

Then when the “gravy” is ready, remove the roasted veggie pan from the oven, mix the seared meats and shrimp into the veggies, and spoon the gravy over everything.

Now gently toss everything once more until the ingredients are thoroughly and uniformly coated.
And now it’s time to finish this recipe!

The Topping:

1 double roll Pillsbury Pie Crust
1 small package EggBeaters

To do that, you first re-set your oven temperature to 425 degrees.

Then on a lightly floured surface, take a rolling pin and roll out the pre-made pie crust into a rectangle large enough to completely cover the pan containing the roasted and coated casserole ingredients.

I recommend you try to seal the edges as best you can, but be sure to cut a number of slits in the crust to allow for steam to escape while the casserole is baking.

All in all, it should take about 15 or so minutes for the crust to turn a rich golden brown. When it reaches that point, remove the casserole from the oven, immediately spoon it out on heated plates, and serve it to your guests piping hot alongside a cold, crispy Caesar Salad.

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

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Chef’s Notes:
The “prepared vegetable mix” I refer to in this and other recipes I do is the plastic container of chopped onions, celery, bell pepper, parsley, garlic, and scallions that you find in the produce section of your supermarket.

For best flavor, take time to thoroughly wash the canned butter beans before adding them to the ingredients in the roaster.

Avoid overloading the frying skillet! If you sauté a few pieces at a time the pieces will sear and retain their natural juices; if you overcrowd them they will sweat out their juices and lose a considerable amount of flavor.

If you don’t have any of my blended seasonings on hand, simple salt and black pepper will do nicely.
Whatever you do, don’t make the coating “gravy” too watery. Additional liquids will leech from the ingredients as the casserole bakes. If the consistency is too watery to start with, the crust won’t ever get crisp.


The package of EggBeaters in the recipe ingredients is used to brush over the entire crust just before the casserole gets baked. Containing mostly egg whites, the mixture serves to seal the pores in the pastry and produce a beautiful shiny finish on the crust.



 

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