Sunday, September 21, 2014

My birthday dinner

The birthday celebration continues as tonight my family and I serve my favorite dinner. Jambalaya with shrimp and Andouille sausage. And for dessert, a Hummingbird Cake. Yummy! The recipes are as follows:

Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage (serves 4)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced
1 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
1 bay leaf
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
¾ cups water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
½ pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. If using uncooked Andouille sausage, cook for 3-4 and turn and cook additional 3-4 until cooked through. Set aside to cool.
2. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, minced garlic, and sausage, sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3. Add rice, paprika, black pepper, oregano, onion powder, thyme and bay leaf; cook 2 minutes. Add broth, water, tomato paste, hot pepper sauce and diced tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add shrimp; cook 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Stir in parsley. Serve.

Hummingbird Cake

Nonstick baking spray
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 4 medium)
One 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
Frosting, recipe follows
Optional garnishes: sweetened flaked coconut, chopped macadamia nuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 9-inch baking pans with nonstick baking spray.
2. Roast the bananas on a baking sheet for 20-25 minutes until skins are black. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar and vanilla at medium speed with a mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.
5. In a bowl, remove bananas from skins and add the pineapple. Using a potato masher to mash the bananas and pineapple together. Add the bananas and pineapple to batter, beating until combined.
6. Using a measuring cup, spoon the batter into each of the three prepared pans, one scoop at a time to ensure an even distribution. Slam the pans against the counter to get any air bubbles out of the batter.
7. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.
8. Spread some Frosting between the layers. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with coconut and nuts if desired.

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Beat the butter and cream cheese together with a handheld electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar in increments. Lastly beat in the lemon juice and vanilla

For this cake, I toasted the coconut. To toast, spread coconut thinly as possible on a baking sheet and place in a 325° over and bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring the coconut every five minutes, until done to desired toastness.