February is Mardi Gras month and I had been thinking about those delicious New Orleans foods a lot, lately. Nothing fancy, just something to celebrate the season and etouffée came to mind. Alas, my cupboard was just a little shy of every ingredient – yeah, like that's going to stop me! – and I had to improvise. The results were absolutely yummy (a direct quote from my sister!) and I, most humbly, had to agree. Nothing wrong with getting a little creative in the kitchen -- that's how new recipes start -- right?
We're still going through a cold spell and the outside temperature was in the 40s with not a cloud in sight. My dish was a two-step process and the food would be hot going into the 250°F solar oven, so I wasn't afraid to start cooking at 1:30pm. All was done by 2:45, just as the sun disappeared over the roof of my house. Even though we're starting to get longer days with the sun higher in the sky, ten a.m. until two p.m. is still the ideal solar cooking time for the next few months.
Solar Etouffée (a variation)
1.5 chicken breast, skinned and cut into small strips/cubes
2 Tablespoons JRod's Backyard Grill Chipotle Brown Sugar Rub (a Midtown Market Vendor product!)
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper (no red pepper on hand)
1/2 cup thinly sliced cabbage (no celery on hand)
1 small bag of pearl onions (microwaved and outer skin removed)
1 stick salted butter
1.5 cups chicken stock
8 oz. clam juice (no clams on hand)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon fresh Stevia
3 Tablespoons AP flour
Preheat solar oven to 225°F 3-quart covered baking pan
Sweat bell pepper and cabbage in butter over medium heat in heavy skillet. Cover chicken strips with JRod's Rub by shaking in a bag; add to skillet and brown sides. Remove chicken, bell pepper, and cabbage from skillet with slotted spoon and place in baking pan; add pearl onions. Add flour to skillet and cook for approximately 3 or 4 minutes to brown. Combine chicken stock, clam juice, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and Stevia and slowly add to flour mixture, stirring as it thickens and becomes smooth. Pour over ingredients in baking pan and mix thoroughly. Cover and bake in solar oven for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. Serve over cooked rice or noodles, adding a bit of parsley for garni.
Feel free to accept compliments.
I hope you'll give this variation a try and let us know your results.