Recent Kitchen Experiments


Staff member
I've been doing more experiments in the kitchen. Two of the better results have been:

1) Pan-fried cherry tomatoes. (Well, any small tomatoes will do.) What I did was cooked a bunch of just-rinsed small tomatoes- whole- in the oil, drippings & seasonings left in the pan after frying up some steaks. I turned the heat down to about medium, and just let them sizzle a bit, moving them around from time to time. By the time the steaks had rested and the other veggies had been plated, the tomatoes were done- mostly still round, but just a little bit of browning, splitting, and shriveling. I added a little bit of garlic pepper for additional pop.

The end result was a nice tasty side that partnered well with the main course. I'll probably try this again in the future, sans steak drippings, to go with other dishes.

2) Modified Louisiana hot sausage. I can't give the recipe because it is actually a commercial recipe used by my family, so I'm under an honor-system NDA for the next few decades. However, I modified it in a key fashion. The original recipe called for a certain amount of water to be added to the meat in order to give it the texture & consistency to let it be stuffed into the sausage casings. I HATE STUFFING SAUSAGE CASINGS! But I needed this sausage to make gumbo according to the way we've been doing it since...well...before I was born.

So I cut the amount of water in the recipe by 50%. This did 2 things: it concentrated the flavors just a bit- thankfully not too much, since this was a hot sausage to start off with- and it changed the consistency to a firmer end product. It was still malleable, but it was far too firm to get into a casing. However, it was now firm enough to cook WITHOUT the casing. Now, I can store it rolled into cylinders in the freezer, and when I take it out to use, I have all kinds of options. We used to fry the sausage, cut it in half lengthwise, and make sandwiches with it. Now I can make a burger-like party with it instead.

And for the gumbo, the all-important gumbo? As the cylinders thaw, I cut them into medallions and fry them before adding them to the gumbo., and they don't fall apart during the cooking process. All the flavor, half the fuss.

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