Thursday, May 31, 2012

Creole Daube


Creole Daube (pronounced “dohb”) is a New Orleans specialty that transforms an inexpensive rump roast into a wonderfully flavorful and tender meal. This tasty dish is a blending of Italian (“red”) gravy with a Cajun roux. An excellent example of the special melding of flavor, culture and cuisine that takes place in New Orleans.



GATHER YOUR GROCERIES:

1 rump roast (2-3 Pounds)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup canola oil plus additional for browning roast
1 can tomato paste (8 ounces)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups of water
2 bay leaves, dried or fresh
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Salt, cayenne and black pepper to taste

THE WAY TO DO IT:

Step 1: Cut the rump roast into 1 inch strips. Season roast strips with salt and pepper. Brown in a large pot, coated with canola oil, on the stove. Remove the browned roast and retain the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the diced peppers, celery and onion to the pot and sauté until wilted. Add the garlic, stir for a few seconds then remove mixture from pot. Wash and dry the pot before beginning step 2.



Step 2: Begin making your roux by preheating a thick pot using medium to low heat. Pour in the oil and add the flour gradually while stirring constantly with a spoon. Your arm will get tired, but continue to stir until your roux is the color of chocolate. Too high heat will cause the roux to speckle and burn. Use caution because the roux mixture becomes very hot and can burn like napalm. 


When your roux has reached the desired color, slowly pour the 2 cups of water into the roux, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Use caution as this process creates a lot of steam. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaves, basil, oregano, parsley and sugar. Slice the browned roast strips into ½ inch chunks, return to pot along with the onion, celery and pepper mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil.

Simmer Daube, uncovered, about an hour, add water if needed, stir occasionally.  Serve over cooked pasta, white rice or mashed potatoes. Buon appetito!

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Irish Great Great Grandfather

My Irish Great Great Grand-father Frank Lawrence was a milkman who delivered milk to the fine homes of New Orleans during the early 1900’s. At that time there was no widespread use of refrigerators until the late 1920's, although the icebox had been in common use (the ice had to be delivered) from the 1850's on. 

Milk would be delivered every day, except Sunday.  Each day, my Grandfather milked his dairy cows early, around 3:00-4:00 am. Then Grandpa Frank loaded his supply into a small wooden buggy, pulled by his horse. He would then make his way along his route, knocking on his customers' doors. The lady of the house would come to the door bringing whatever container she kept the family's milk in and Frank would take his ladle and scoop out the amount of milk she had ordered.  Then he would go to the next home. 

One day Frank wasn’t feeling well, so he asked his neighbor Joseph to run his route and deliver the milk. Joseph said I will help you, but I don’t know your route. Frank replied don’t you worry the horse knows the way.

The neighbor wasn't too confident in that ole horse, but to his surprise as soon as he flipped the reigns, the horse started along his way.

Each time the horse stopped in front of a house, a customer would meet him at the door with a container to be filled with milk.The route went smoothly all morning and into the afternoon until the horse stopped in front of a bar.
Joseph was a little confused but he had learned to trust the horse.  He jumped off the wagon and went inside and asked the bartender how much milk did he need?   The bartender looked at him like he was crazy for a moment then he answered don’t you know that this is a bar?  Joseph replied, I’m filling in on this milk route and the feller that owns the wagon told me that the horse knows the stops and sure enough he hasn’t been wrong until now.

The bartender looked out to the street at the horse and started laughing.  That’s old Frank Lawrence’s horse. Frank stops by and has him a cold beer every afternoon .


Friday, May 11, 2012

Annoying Little Song Bird

My husband and I are trying to sleep late this morning, but, an annoying little song bird keeps flying into our window and tapping on the glass with his wings.  



When he fails to get in, he lands on our balcony and chirps very loudly about the indignity of it all. 


It goes to show that song birds are just like people. There’s always a bird-brained one flying around you