Single-Skillet Sizzler

Whip up this easy, low-mess meal that will satisfy the whole family

BY ROBIN BARR SUSSMAN | FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY BY R.J. HINKLE

CAJUN DIRTY RICE SKILLET
Executive chef John Macdonald of Woodside Plantation Country Club in Aiken, S.C., likes to serve this flavor-packed, one-dish delight to his hungry family. He says even the kids gobble up the tasty combination of piquant andouille sausage, shrimp, corn, peas, rice, Cajun spices, and crabmeat.

1 pound andouille or other Cajun sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups white rice
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
5-1/2 cups water
1/2 pound large shrimp or prawns, peeled and deveined
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup frozen baby green peas
1/2 pound lump crabmeat
1 bunch scallions, minced
1 bunch parsley, minced
6 lime wedges

In a large, deep skillet, brown the sausage on medium heat, making sure not to burn it but getting a little color on the sausage. Add onions and garlic and cook for 2 or 3 minutes while stirring. Add the white rice (without water) and Cajun seasoning, and stir for 2 or 3 minutes, or until the rice and seasonings become fragrant.

Add water to the skillet and bring it to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat, cooking for 20 minutes. Remove the lid from the skillet, and add the shrimp, corn, and peas. Stir, warming the ingredients evenly. Gently disperse the crabmeat on top, warming it through for a few minutes.

To serve, divide into bowls, garnishing with the scallions, parsley, and a lime wedge.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Chef's Tip: "I call this a flex recipe because you can play with it. For instance, you can substitute chicken for the seafood, or add squid, mussels, or fish."

"This dish, with delicious culinary roots in both Louisiana and South Carolina, is a snap to prepare."

 - Executive chef John Macdonald, Woodside Plantation Country Club, Aiken, S.C.

 

MORE ONE-PAN WONDERS


Create these robustly flavored meals for your hungry bunch without making a mess of the  kitchen.

GARAM MASALA-BRAISED SHORT RIBS WITH WINTER ROOT VEGGIES
This recipe from executive chef Mason Denton of April Sound Country Club in Montgomery, Texas, will perfume your kitchen with exotic fragrances of Indian spices, tangy turnips, and beef short ribs marinated in cabernet sauvignon.

1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons garam masala (Indian spice mix)
6 beef short ribs
2 cups cabernet sauvignon
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup turnips, chopped
1/2 cup rutabaga, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup white onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig

Combine 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon pepper, and garam masala, and roll the short ribs in the mixture (or shake in a bag). In a large, oven-safe roasting pan or Dutch oven, add the wine, Worcestershire sauce, and broth, and marinate the ribs for 45 minutes.

Remove the ribs and reserve the marinating liquid. Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel. Combine the flour, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 1/2 tablespoon pepper, and paprika, and roll the ribs in the seasonings so they are evenly coated.

In the roasting pan, heat the olive oil on the stove and sear the ribs, browning all sides about 5 minutes each. Remove the ribs and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To the roasting pan, add the vegetables and garlic and cook on the stove over medium heat until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and continue cooking until a slight crust develops on the bottom of the pan. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of the reserved marinating liquid and bring to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and place the ribs, bay leaves, thyme, and remaining marinating liquid in the pan. Bake in the oven covered for 3 hours or until tender, turning the ribs halfway through cooking time.

Yield: 6 servings

Chef’s Tip: “Garam masala is a secret weapon spice to use when braising meats as it contains intense hard baking spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and peppercorns, and creates a sophisticated flavor profile.”


SOUTH-OF-THE-BORDER CHICKEN SKILLET
Executive chef Philip Carter of Aliso Viejo Country Club in Aliso Viejo, Calif., shares his simple recipe for tempting layers of chicken, tortillas, enchilada sauce, onions, peppers, and creamy melted Jack cheese. Expect a spicy Mexican kick!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound boneless chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup white onions, diced
1/2 fresh jalapeño, minced
1 large poblano pepper, diced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup enchilada sauce
8 corn tortillas
2 cups Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, combined and shredded
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a medium nonstick, oven-safe skillet, add olive oil and warm it in the oven for 5 minutes. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and bake it in the skillet for 15 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven. Let the chicken cool and slice it into 1/4-inch strips. Set the chicken aside.

Combine the tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and both peppers. Set the vegetable mix aside.

In the skillet, layer the ingredients, starting with 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce spread evenly on the bottom. Arrange 2 tortillas to cover the sauce and the bottom of the skillet, and top with 1/4 cup of the vegetable mix, 1/3 of the sliced chicken, and 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture. Cover with 2 more tortillas and repeat the process two more times. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese over the top layer.

Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes until the cheese bubbles. Sprinkle cilantro on top.

Yield: 6 servings

Chef’s Tip: “Blend Monterey Jack and cheddar in Mexican dishes because the combination of cheeses melts perfectly and the flavor is superb.”

 

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