Low Country Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits. One of the quintessential low country dishes great for breakfast, brunch, or in my home, the perfect after work snack. Low country cooking is unpretentious, yet flavorful. It is representative of true American flavors! Low country refers … Continue reading

Creamy Baked Macaroni

BLOGGER’S NOTE: PHOTOS ARE NOT INCLUDED AT THIS TIME. I WANTED TO ENSURE THAT THE RECIPE WAS POSTED PRIOR TO THANKSGIVING. I WILL UPDATE POST WITH PHOTOS AFTER THANKSGIVING, IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS.

This recipe juxtaposes my two favorite versions of macaroni and cheese: classic U.S. southern style baked macaroni and West Indian macaroni pie. There are several imitations of macaroni pie on the internet and do not do the real thing justice. Both macaroni pie and southern style baked macaroni are staple on holidays and Sunday dinners often served along side a green vegetable such as callaloo, steamed cabbage, or collard greens and of course, stewed or fried fish and fried chicken! I like my baked macaroni a little spicy so I add finely chopped habanero pepper, but feel free to leave it out. What separates my baked macaroni from that bland stuff is all of the flavor, the creaminess, and richness. Note, I did not include the calorie/nutrition information here. Why not? Because it’s calorie free of course!

Seasoned Bechamel Sauce

3 cups evaporated milk (carnation or Pet; you may also use whole, 2% or 1% milk)

1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons ground/dry mustard

1 teaspoon white pepper

***optional***- 1 habanero pepper seeded and finely chopped OR 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce/hot sauce

Remaining Ingredients 

1 lb “elbow” macaroni or this for traditional style 

1-2 teaspoons kosher salt for boiling pasta

1 teaspoon vegetable or olive oil for boiling pasta

2 eggs whisked (remove the white string with a knife FYI this makes your eggs taste and smell “fresh” or eggy)

2 cups (1 lb) shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup (1/4 lb)   shredded pecorino romano

1 cup (1/4 lb) crumbly cubes (coarse chop using food processor) mozzarella or muenster cheese

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large heavy bottomed pot (such as the IMUSA castiron pot) melt the stick of butter over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour by the heaping tablespoon full whisking thoroughly and constantly before adding more flour. Be careful not to burn.

Once all flour is incorporated add milk slowly while constantly whisking.

Reduce temperature to medium-low and add garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, white pepper, and optional hot sauce or chopped habanero.

Cook for 5-7 minutes or until rather thick. Reduce stove temperature to low.

Take a cup full of bechamel sauce mixture and add it to bowl that contains 2 whisked eggs. Slowly pour cup of sauce into eggs, whisking constantly, as not to cook/scramble eggs. Pour egg mixture back into remaining bechamel sauce.

Add 1.5 cups of shredded cheddar and pecorino romano into bechamel sauce.

Boil pasta with salt and oil until al dente/cooked but firm (about 8-10 minutes).

Drain pasta reserving about 1/2 cup of water. While still hot, return pasta to pot it was boiled in and add the reserved pasta water. Set pot aside. Be careful not to return pot to hot eye of stove.

Pour cooked pasta into pot with bechamel sauce. Stir. Season with salt (approximately 1 teaspoon).

Pour 1/2 of macaroni mixture into well greased/buttered (you can use a cooking spray to reduce the calories, Ha! Ha!) casserole dish or pan. Sprinkle with crumbly cubes of mozzarella or muenster cheese. Add remaining macaroni mixture. Top with remaining 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden brown.

 

 

Catering and Private Chef Menu

Ebullient Enterprises Catering Menu

Enjoy our delicious soups, main dishes, sides, desserts, and beverages for your next meeting, party or special occasion. Our menu reflects our most common requests. If there’s an item that you’re interested in but it doesn’t appear on the menu, please inquire with one of our ebullient consultants. We offer delivery for a fee, and will return to retrieve the dishes.

                                     Soups
All soups require a 2 quart minimum purchase.

2 quarts (serves 4-6)                               $35

4 quarts (serves 7-8)                               $60

Farmhouse Vegetable

Heirloom Tomato

Southwest Chicken

Country Turkey Noodle

Oaxaca White Chicken Chili

Loaded Baked Potato

Cream of Broccoli

Butternut Squash Bisque

Mom’s Beef Stew

Abuela’s Chicken and Dumplings

Okra Gumbo (Chicken and Sausage)

Seafood Gumbo +$15

                                Meats and Main Dishes

Choice of 2 meats and 2 sides base price $20 per person. 2 person minimum. Pricing a la cart available upon request.

Additional meat + $3 / Additional side + $2

Pork Chops (fried, smothered, or w chutney)

Meatloaf (turkey or beef)

Chicken (Herb roasted, Mojo, Smothered, Curried, Jerk, or BBQ)

Cubed Steak

Beef Short Ribs (Braised or BBQ)

BBQ Pork Ribs (Regular or Peach Tamarind BBQ sauce)

Turkey Breast

Pork Shoulder (Traditional Mojo or BBQ)

Salmon (Ginger Glazed or Jerked) + $3 per person

Shrimp (Etouffe, Curried or Grilled) + $3 per person

Jambalaya (Chicken, Andouille or Turkey Sausage, and Shrimp) + $3 per person

Stuffed Bell Peppers (Ham, Sausage, and Shrimp OR Crab and Shrimp) + $3 per person

Lasagna (Beef, Turkey, Eggplant, Cheese, or Seafood)

Bourbon Baked Spiral Ham Market Price 

                             Sides

2 quarts (serves 4-6)                               $20

4 quarts (serves 7-8)                               $40

Greens (mustard, kale, collard, or mixed)

Callaloo

Braised Kale and Cabbage

Cabbage (smothered and fried)

Roasted butter or sweet potatoes

Broccoli (steamed or roasted w or w/o parmesan)

Vegetarian Red beans and Rice (white or brown)

Vegetarian Black beans and Rice (white or brown)

Arroz con Gandules (contains pork)

Vegetarian Curry Chana and Aloo

Dahl

Jasmine, Basmati or Vegetable Fried Rice (white or brown)

Dressing (Sausage +$5)

Homestyle or Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Potato Salad

Platanos Maduros

Curried Eggplant

BBQ Baked Beans (Sausage + $5)

Corn Bread or Muffins (Regular or Jalapeño Cheese)

Breakfast/Brunch Selections

Quiche (various combinations available)                                                                                                      $23- $43

Breakfast Hash (Ham, Pork Sausage, or Turkey Sausage)                                                                    $15 per quart

Cheese Grits                                                                                                                                                                $15 per quart

Salmon Croquetts w Remoulade                                                                                                                        $2 per piece

Chicken or Tuna Salad (Fruit, Curried, or Plain) w/ an array of crackers and breads               $25 per quart

Kale Salad with Homemade Vinaigrette or Salad Dressing                                                                     $15

Sauces and Accompaniments

Peach Tamarind BBQ Sauce                                                                                                             All $10 per pint

Remoulade Sauce

Habanero Hot Pepper Sauce

Seasonal Fruit Salsa

Homemade Croutons

Grilled Cheese Croutons

Desserts

Croissant Bread Pudding w Rum Sauce                    $30

Banana Pudding                                                                 $25

Praline Cake                                                                         $25

Beverages

Flavored Lemonade (Mango, Passion Fruit, Watermelon, or Peach)                        $20 per gallon

Sangria (White or Red)                                                                                                                  $50 per gallon

Sorrel with Rum                                                                                                                               $40 per gallon

Tanty Elmina’s Dhal (Trinidadian Yellow Split Peas)

Dhal  (also spelled dal or daal)  is dried lentils or peas that are prepared into a thick stew like soup. It can be eaten by itself, with rice, roti, or as an accompaniment. I often serve dhal  with curry chicken or saltfish buljol.  Dhal is … Continue reading

Perfectly Steamed Rice

Perfectly steamed jasmine rice. Time varies for brown and long grain rice

Perfectly steamed jasmine rice. Time varies for brown and long grain rice

I had no idea that so many people had difficulty making the perfect pot of steamed white rice. It’s so easy! The key? Do NOT stir it or lift the lid, and buy a good pot. A good rice pot need not be expensive. My favorite rice pot is an Imusa caldero that I purchased for $5 from my favorite Caribbean grocery (they also have AMAZING produce and fresh meat). If you’re just beginning to cook, this is a great place to start! This technique works for any rice dish.

Keys for Perfect Pot of Rice

  • Remember that rice doubles when it cooks, I like to serve 1/4-1/3 cup of rice per person. Therefore One 1/2 cup of dry rice will yield a whole cup when cooked, which will serve 4 people.
  • Always double the amount of water for boiling. If boiling 1 cup of dry rice, use 2 cups of water; 2 cups of rice, 4 cups of water, etc.
  • Use chicken, beef, or vegetable stock instead of water
  • Season water or stock with a little salt and pepper
  • Add a tablespoon of unsalted butter to boiling water for added flavor
  • Saute sliced nuts such as almonds for added and delicious texture to your rice
  • Scallions, yellow raisins, curry powder, etc are all great additions to your white steamed rice
  • Never stir rice while cooking
  • Never open lid
  • Brown rice takes almost double the time to cook, compared to white rice. be patient.
  • Keep all spoons away from pot until you’re ready to serve.
  • DO NOT STIR RICE

Directions

Place desired amount of water or stock in pot. Season if desired. bring to a boil.

Once liquid is rapidly boiling, add butter and dry rice.

Allow rice to boil rapidly for ONE (1) minute.

Immediately place pot’s top on it and turn to stove’s lowest setting.

Allow rice to cook on low for 20 minutes or until liquid is evaporated. Try not to peak (smile). After 20 white rice is done. If preparing brown rice, remember it will take almost 40 minutes. Top with another tablespoon of unsalted butter if desired.

Do not stir rice to serve. Fluff with a fork and scoop with spoon or small measuring cup to serve.

Braised Cabbage and Kale

Perfect side accompaniment for almost any meal. Easy to prepare at the last minute. Vegetarian and vegan friendly by removing the bouillon from the list of ingredients.

Ingredients

1 medium cabbage, sliced thinly/ julienned
1 large bag of fresh chopped kale or 2 bunches kale
1 red bell pepper julienned
2 carrots peeled and cut thin (using mandolin)
1 yellow onion sliced thinly
2 whole habanero peppers
1 tablespoon EVOO or garlic infused EVOO
1 tablespoon powdered chicken bouillon
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

In heavy pot add olive oil. Heat to medium heat.

Add onions and bell peppers. Cook on medium low for 5 minutes.

Add habanero peppers and carrots (if carrots aren’t julienned then add with onions and peppers).

Immediately add half of kale, that has been washed. Increase heat to medium high. Put top on pot. Cook until kale begins to decrease in mass mixing with other ingredients.

Add 1/2 of chicken bouillon and 1/2 of cabbage, which has been thoroughly rinsed and drained. Mix with ingredients already in pot. Put top on pot. Cook for 2-4 minutes.

Add remaining kale, cabbage, and salt/pepper and stir. Cover again and cook another 3-4 minutes.

Cabbage/kale mixture is finished when all greens are slightly wilted and tender.

When serving be careful not to serve the habanero peppers which have burst during the steaming/cooking process.