Can Drummers Cook?
I can. I love to cook, and what I love most is making up new recipes. My specialty is Cajun/Creole food, and last night I invented a recipe that was so good I just had to share it with you.
You start by boilng potatoes. Easy, right?
Now I always buy these inexpensive thin-cut New York strip steaks at the store, you can get three of them for eight or nine dollars. And I had an inspiration: Cajun Steak And Mash.
Cook the steak in a frying pan until it's seared on both sides, just for a couple of minutes at the most. It should be really rare, but it's going to be cooked some more. Put that steak somewhere so the cats can't get to it.
Then you make a roux using the same pan you cooked the steak in. Now making a roux is everything, it's the key. I use close to a half cup of vegetable oil and the same amount of flour. Put in the oil first and heat it until it's bloody hot, close to smoking. Then start adding the flour a little at a time, stirring it madly with a wisk and scraping the bottom of the pan to get all those little steak bits. Be careful not to burn the hell out of youself. You don't want the roux to splash on your hand. It burns like a bastard, seriously.
After all the flour is in and you've stirred and stirred you should have a dark-brown pasty sort of mixture. Take it right off the heat or you'll burn it.
If this was a real gumbo I would have added the holy trinity, which is about a half cup to a cup each of chopped onion, chopped green pepper and chopped celery. Traditionally those are added to stop the roux from cooking more. And, of course, they make the sauce taste much better. But all I had was onions so I just took my roux off the heat once it was the color I wanted. If you have those then definitely use them. I will next time.
You need some beef stock that you've already made. I just used a beef stock cube. Slowly, slowly pour in that stock a little at a time, stirring and stirring, mixing it together. It'll sizzle and act like it's going crazy but you have to hang in there, stirring all the time until you have what's essentially a thick gravy.
Some people like to add the roux to the stock, but I like my way because I only need one pan.
Now add your seasonings. I used a teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, white pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, basil, dry mustard and salt and black pepper. Put your pan back on a medium heat and put all that in all at once and keep stirring like crazy. If it starts getting too thick you can add a little water, but you have to keep stirring. And there's your delicious sauce. Turn the heat down to low.
Mash your potatoes, I always use a hand mixer to get them just right. You want them to be thick yet fluffy. I put in some butter and a little milk while I'm mixing.
Then you slice that steak into strips. Take those strips and put them into the sauce and stir. Get it all together in there.
Put your mashed potatoes on a plate, put the steak strips over and around the potatoes and pour some of that bad-ass gravy all over the thing.
Get yourself a bottle of Tabasco sauce and dig in. Oh baby!
Call me J