Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Who's your Mama, are you Catholic, and can you make a roux?!?
This was going to be a blog about dinner, but by the time it was over, it had segued to a walk down memory lane. This post meanders...I digress.
Tonight, Paula and Jamie Deen were making onion rings, and I threw up my hands in dispair. I just couldn't stand it, so I went into the kitchen to replicate her recipe. She made the kind I really like -- thin sliced, almost onion "String" that are dusted with flour but not battered. You dust them with flour and let the juice of the onion make it stick. They cook fast and are really crispy.
I wanted those.
So I sliced up two onions, and like Paula, shook them in a zippered bag with some GF pancake and waffle mix (a brand I got at the GF Food Fest, by ****Toro, had very little sugar. I took a chance on it. It was perfect for this.) I added a heaping teaspoon of Tony Chachere's seasoning, and viola (I know, it's voila, but I think viola's funny here) in a few minutes I had a pan full of juicy crispy onion rings. I seasoned them up with cayenne pepper...yummy.
I'm still not to memory lane, but this next part is for Julie Harrell Boucek. I owe you a birthday present. Here you go:
Paula made a sauce like they serve at Zaxby's. I wanted some of that too. (Randy will love that I know how to make this!)
Homemade Zax Sauce
1 cup mayo (can use light or fat free is you're a heathen. I use Duke's whole fat).
1/2 Chili Sauce (if you eat HFCS) or organic ketchup (if you don't)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (JUST A LITTLE) refrigerated horseradish (this is important for the zing of the sauce, the mouth burn.)
1 t. spicy season-all salt or Tony Chachere's seasoning salt (or a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper)
1/2 t. chili powder
I PROMISE you it tasted just like I remember Zax sauce (or the sauce at Outback), I mean it.
ANYWAY. After I ate the onion rings and sauce (I had lots of sauce left), I had to dispose of the cooled oil in my cast iron frying pan. While I was pouring out the oil, though, on the bottom of the pan I saw an inch of the most beautifully browned flour and oil mixture. I haven't seen that sight in about nine years...
ROUX! I had a cup of beautiful, perfectly cooked, chocolately brown-roux in the bottom of my frying pan!
(I haven't made roux or a pot of gumbo since I had Jenn Hill and Danny Watson over for dinner, Christmas 1999, when Jenn was editor of The Colonnade.)
So I scraped the roux into a plastic container, and this weekend, I'm going to make gumbo in my Crock pot. I have sausage, chicken, and okra in the freezer...YAY! And I'll report back...
And that, of course, comes back to my title. That was the name of a cookbook when I lived in Louisiana -- and I learned how to make a roux when I lived there. I loved the food in Louisiana -- I used to stop at a gas station in Ocean Spring, Mississippi and fill up coolers with crawfish-stuffed chickens, and andouille sausage...etc. I loved it.
And now, I'm thinking about gumbo, More to come, this weekend.
Much love, and try that sauce, Julie. You'll find the horseradish in the refrigerator section of the grocery store, usually by the eggs...