I’m so tired of restaurants playing with my emotions!! I was craving Cracker Barrel®️ Hashbrown Casserole so badly last night! I wanted nothing else. Those pillowy shreds of potatoes smothered in cheese with the faintest hint of onion flavor haunted my tastebuds! I need it. To my dismay, those folks have taken it off the menu! Sucked for me. But, great for you! Because I was forced to come up with my own version the next day! And, of course, it’s so much better!
I could make a roux from scratch with my own creams and stuff. But, why in the heck would I do that with Cream of everything exists! The canned stuff gets a bad wrap. But, this stuff is glorious in this recipe. Not too mention, opening a can is only one step. Roux who??
NO RAW ONIONS!
Don’t you dare put those raw onions in this casserole! I know we have to bake the thing, but it’s not enough! Sauté those veggies in butter for added flavor. You’ll still get a pleasant little crunch in the casserole.
I know you love to ask me if you can substitute this for that in my recipes. FUN FACT: I HATE that ish! I’m an artist! Just follow the dang recipe, hell! Yes, you NEED havarti cheese! Thank me now.
Spray or butter your foil to prevent it from sticking to the cheese. If you’re rich, just buy the nonstick foil. Save yourself some tears. Peeling off that beautiful top layer of cheese along with the foil will break your heart. Take my word for it.
Isn’t This Breakfast Food?
No. Well, yeah. But, it works anytime of the day. Don’t make this difficult. Your family wants this added to the Thanksgiving spread. They told me. Ciao.
I remember coming home from middle school and smelling my mom’s gravy from the driveway. I’d just roll my eyes, but my juvenile palette only wanted pizza rolls. Boy, was I missing out! Homemade gravy is a Southern staple! I was an adult when I learned that packaged gravy was an actual thing! “Brown that flour!” Mama knows best! And my Turkey Necks and Gravy recipe is indeed the BEST! Try it for yourself!
Wash That Meat!
Pause. Sorry. But, yes. Wash that damn meat! I don’t want to hear about spreading bacteria. Get the lemon juice and wash the grit off of those turkey necks! Remove as much of that excess fat as you can as well.
Brown is BEAUTIFUL!
Color is important when it comes to gravy. Some folks think using browning sauce is cheating. To hell with ‘em! It’s just extra. A little dap will do ya. We’re still creating our own roux for that homemade gravy.
Brown the necks on ALL sides! It’ll make a huge difference in the flavor of our gravy. We need that fond! It’s not burnt. Well, it shouldn’t be. So, lowered that fire a bit. Don’t get crazy!
See the beauty a good fond creates?? When you sauté those veggies, the fond lifts from the bottom of the pot and marries the flour. Delicious!!
Low and Slow
Don’t rush this meal. We could in a pressure cooker. But, if you’re using the stove, keep it cute. Keep the heat at a medium low setting, cover the pot, and let it do it’s thing for a couple of hours. It’s so worth the wait! Trust me.
Serve it Up!
I visited an incredible restaurant recently. If you’re ever in New Orleans go to Saint John’s on Decatur! Man, look! Those turkey necks are almost as good as mine! Hehehe. Seriously! They serve ‘em with potato salad like I do, too! I like to add rice to soak up that good gravy! Biscuits or cornbread will work, too. You’re gonna love this recipe!
How much do you trust me? Have I ever steered you wrong with food? NOPE! So, I don’t want to hear any gripes about the key ingredient in the recipe, okay? Good. Now, keep scroll to for the best chicken thigh recipe ever. I’m not exaggerating.
Decadent and deliciously fluffy carrot soufflé recipe requiring minimal ingredients. Easy to prepare!
1/3cuplight brown sugar
1/4cupall purpose flour
1TBSpure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Boil the carrots in a stockpot of lightly salted water until tender; about 15 mins and drain.
Place the drained carrots into a food processor along with the melted butter and evaporated milk. Process until the carrots are puréed. (Use may use a potato masher and an electric mixer if you do not have a food processor.)
Add all remaining ingredients into the food processor except the powdered sugar.
Process until mixture is puréed and smooth.
Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish and bake, uncovered for 40-45 minutes or until the soufflé has set.
This is the recipe you turn to when you’ve had a hard day, want some comfort, but don’t feel like looking at the kitchen. Take out just won’t do. You crave “REAL FOOD”! If you can relate to any of that, keep reading.
Trinity IS necessary
A good, full gravy needs the Trinity! The onions, bell peppers, and celery have to be finely chopped and smother in butter. Sauté it low and slow until they almost melt and release a ton a huge! That’s the foundation!
Stir Dat Roux, Sha!
I really need you to get over your fear of making a roux! There’s nothing to it! The gravy packs are cool. But, the flavor from making it homemade is unmatched. Here are some tips:
Use a heavy bottomed pan. Cast iron or Magnalite are my favorites
Keep the heat at a medium setting. Many will say you need high heat for a roux. Nope. Keep it steady for your nerves. Takes a little longer, but you’ll get there safely.
DO NOT LEAVE THE STOVE! Chile, let that phone ring and the baby cry.
Use the chicken of your choice. I had some tenders in the freezer I needed to use. I just chopped them up and threw them in. Boneless, skinless thighs are my favorite. But, I was NOT going back to the store. It worked!
I know this looks weird. It’s nothing, but a can of Cream of Mushroom soup! I love the creaminess and flavor it adds to this gravy. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, Cream of Chicken will work just fine.
I think I tapped into the mind of Ms. Trunchbull’s favorite baker, Cookie. This has to be the cake Matilda’s homeboy stole. I know Bruce would approve of this recipe. It’s easy. It’s moist and it’s decadent. This will be the ONLY chocolate cake recipe that you will ever need!
Easter in Louisiana is something special. Picture this. Church pews full of pastel colored suits, frilly dresses, and big hats. Kids with blank stares holding a microphone in front of the congregation, because they’ve forgotten the Easter poem their parents made them recite 100 times during the week. Ushers outside during the sermon hiding dyed eggs for the hunt after church. However, all that’s on your mind is the huge pot of Crawfish Bisque with stuffed heads that’s waiting for you in the kitchen back at home. Thank God for Jesus!
The hardest part of the recipe isn’t the roux. It’s following my Louisiana Crawfish Boil recipe: https://coopcancook.com/louisiana-crawfish-boil-recipe/ the day before and reserving some of the crawfish for this Bisque. Then, you have to peel said crawfish without eating them. Pure torture, I tell ya! Try your best to reserve 4-5 pounds of crawfish from the boil. The flavor of them in this Bisque is unmatched!
What’s that Yellow Stuff??
If you’ve never peeled a crawfish, just watch my tutorial. It’s somewhere on this page. Just keep scrolling. Anyway, you want to have 3 bowls setup. One for the crawfish tail meat. Another for the claws, cartilage from the heads, and other peelings. And lastly, one for the empty crawfish heads. And the yellowish, orange stuff on the crawfish tails? Yeah, it’s kinda like Manna from Heaven. It’s where a lot of flavor resides. Don’t trash it or wipe it off! Blasphemy!
To “gut” the crawfish heads, I just use my finger to lift it out. If you’re afraid to break or crack the heads by doing so, just use a butter knife. Scrape it out and rinse the heads well. Pat them dry, and set aside.
No Waste Gang
What I love most about this dish, aside from the taste, is that nothing goes to waste. We use every part of the crawfish for something! This is my favorite way to make crawfish stock. And it’s incredibly easy! Just dump all of the crawfish peelings into a large stock pot. Then, fill it with water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and forget it for an hour or so. You don’t need to add anything else if you boiled the crawfish right. All of the flavor from the boil with transfer beautifully into your stock!
Peel all of the crawfish; reserve the heads, peelings, and tail meat in separate bowlsRemove all of the cartilage and claws from the heads and add it to the rest of the peelingsReserve the empty heads and the tail meat. Add the peelings and claws into a large stock pot. Pour in 10-12 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 1 hour. Skim off the foam from the top of the stock then drain the stock into a bowl. Discharge the peelings and claws. Reserve the stock.
Now, let’s discuss this divine stuffing! Grind up some of those crawfish tails for this. Traditionally, you just add the tails, breadcrumbs, some veggies, and seasoning. I did all of that AND I folded in in some lump crabmeat! Seafood overload! This is completely optional. But, I highly recommend that you try it! I use a piping bag to stuff the heads. Easy, breezy.
Preheat the oven to 350°FRinse the empty crawfish heads well; pat dry and set aside. In a food processor, finely chop the onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and green onions. Melt the butter in a pan and sauté the veggie mix for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool at room temp. Add the 2 lbs of crawfish tails into the food processor and pulse until the tails are finely chopped. In a mixing bowl, combine the veggie/butter mix, finely chopped crawfish tails, and breadcrumbs. Mix well. Taste and add Cajun or Creole seasoning as needed. Stir in the beaten egg. Then, gently fold in the crabmeat. Add the stuffing into a piping bag and fill each empty crawfish heads with the stuffing. Place the stuffed heads on a parchment paper or aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
Don’t burn it. That’s all I’ve got to say. If you use a metal whisk to whisk that flour in, you better switch it out for a wooden spoon immediately. That metal will heat up and burn the roux. Wooden utensils are safer for rouxs. The good part is that we don’t need a dark, gumbo roux. So, we won’t be stirring for too long. Just until the roux is a nice, peanut butter color. Speaking of color, some prefer a red bisque. I like mine brown. The color of a good étouffée. But, if redder is what you’re used to, just add more tomato paste than I did. You can also add tomato sauce. Just don’t tell anyone it’s my recipe if you do.
Will the Stuffing Fall Out of the Heads?
Not if you don’t stir it like a bat out of hell! Just pack it in well, bake it, and all will be well. You’ll have to take it out of the heads to eat it anyway!
Spicy, tender, and full of flavorful! Louisianans love a good boil! Try this recipe and you’ll see why!
2bell peppersroughly chopped
1large onionroughly chopped
1whole celery stalkchopped
1cupshrimp and crab boil dry seasoning
1/4cupchicken bouillon powder
1-2TBSliquid crab boil concentrateomit for milder taste
2lemons for washing
1-2tspaccent seasoningyes, it’s MSG, so it’s *OPTIONAL. Don’t start crying to me about it. I don’t have time.
**corn and potatoes
Rinse the turkey necks well with water and juice from the lemons
Cut off excess fat and discharge
In a large bowl, mix the dry seasoning, bouillon powder, liquid crab boil, water, and accent* well.
Place turkey necks and all veggies into a 7qt or larger slow cooker.
Pour the water and seasoning mixture on top.
Cover with the lid and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 7-8 hours or until meat is tender.
Pour the water and seasoning mixture into a large stockpot.
Add in the veggies and bring to a boil for 10 mins.
Add in the turkey necks.
Reduce heat to a medium heat setting
Cover with a lid, but leave a slight crack.
Cook for 2 hours or until meat is tender.
You may need to add more water throughout the cooking time.
**corn and potatoes may be added during the last 2 hours of cooking time in the Crock-Pot. Check the corn every 30 minutes and remove when done to avoid overcooking. For the stovetop method, add the corn and potatoes into the boiling liquid after removing the turkey necks and cook until potatoes are tender.
The recipe was inspired by the scalloped potatoes I had in NYC. Took my friend to Ocean Prime in Manhattan near the Rockefeller Center. Pretty posh place. I pulled out my fancy shoes that I can barely walk in for the occasion. We had so much fun (and so much booze) that I ended the night barefoot in the Uber. That’s a good story for a later date. What are we talking about again? Potatoes! Scalloped ones! Yeah, this recipe will be your new favorite side dish. If not, your taste SUCKS!
Jalapeños are the not so secret ingredient. They add a nice, subtle kick. I like to leave a few seeds in for heat. But, that part’s up to you. Fresh jalapeños are hotter. But, if you like more spicy, sub a Serrano pepper instead, you daredevil!
They Should be Sisters, Not Cousins…No, Twins Even!
Slice the potatoes evenly. Get a mandolin if you’re hand is as inconsistent as mine are. Don’t slice them too thin, though. It will make them too mushy during the parboiling stage. We can’t skip that. Two reasons: one, it shortens our baking time. And, two, it gives us the chance to salt the pots. I hate unseasoned potatoes. Scalloped potatoes shouldn’t just rely on the sauce for flavor, ya know? So, yeah, don’t be shy with the salted water. And do not over boil the potatoes! Run Me My Coins!Philadelphia cream cheese owes me a damn sponsorship, cause what the hell?? I really put this in almost everything I make. Why is cream cheese so good? I use their garlic and herb blend, because I get to skip peeling garlic. Work smarter, people. Not harder. If you can find the garlic and herb, tough! Make your own. How? Are garlic and herbs. Duh! Or just buy the one with chives and green onions or something. Just make sure you add cream cheese.
As for cheese, I’ll always choose Monterey Jack. And a lot of it! Feel free to add other cheeses if you’d like. Fontina, Colby Jack, aged Cheddar, and Gruyere are good as hell in this stuff! Layer everything evenly. It’ll help when you’re chowing down. Golden goodness! Look at that! When your fork submerges into this excellently crafted side dish and those pockets of bubbly, gooey goodness spews out….remember, Coop can damn sure cook! I love you, k?