If you know anything about me and my family we are not big salmon eaters (we prefer trout) but since I have been intentionally shopping on a budget and salmon was on sale I decided to purchase it instead of our regular which is trout. I wanted to try a new recipe with it and went searching the internet and settled on making a stuffed salmon. A lot of the recipes I found included crab or shrimp in the stuffing and that’s something I didn’t want to make due to a shellfish allergy. Sometimes recipes have to be adapted to fit your family’s dietary needs. I decided to instead make a simple stuffing and make a sauce to include shrimp (you can add crab to it as well) to pour over top if you want to. And believe me you’ll want to. Let’s get cooking!
Ingredients for the Stuffed Salmon:
1 tsp olive oil
1 stick of butter cut in tsp slices
1 block of cream cheese
4–5 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 handful of fresh spinach
1/2 juice of lemon and 1 whole lemon sliced
1-2 sun dried tomatoes chopped
Seasonings: I used Tony’s, ranch dry mix, garlic salt, onion powder, Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Start by adding olive oil and a tsp of butter to a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add spinach, then a tsp of minced garlic and the sun dried tomatoes. Mushrooms would be great but I didn’t have any. Once spinach is wilted turn off heat and add mixture to a bowl with softened cream cheese. Mix and then add seasonings and lemon juice. Once mixed throughly set aside and prepare salmon. I like color on my food so I decided to cut a slit for the stuffing and then season my salmon and sear the top in a pan on medium heat with 1 tsp of olive oil first. Then I set on a sheet pan and added the stuffing to the salmon (if you have any stuffing left over just set aside for now). I added lemon juice, lemon slices and butter to the top and placed in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. While baking I made the sauce.
Ingredients for sauce:
1-2 tbsp of butter
1/3 cup of Mirepoix mix (onions, celery and green pepper)
1-2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp of Tony Cachere’s dry roux mix
1-2 cups of heavy whipping cream
Juice from half a lemon
Seasoning (I used what I used on the salmon)
Directions for Sauce:
Melt butter on medium heat in sauce pan and add mirepoix mix. Cook until softened and add garlic then dry roux mix. Mix thoroughly, add more butter if needed. Then mix in leftover stuffing. Season shrimp and add to pan. Once shrimp is cooked whisk in heavy whipping cream. Simmer for about 1-2 minutes and then reduce heat. Taste for seasoning and add if needed. Remove salmon and spoon sauce over top.
I served this over zucchini noodles for a low carb option but it would be great with a salad, pasta or whatever side you enjoy. Since this meal had a lot of steps I recorded a reels video to walk you thru. Just check my Instagram @severalpeoplesmama. Save and share the video and please tag me if you make it!
It’s the holiday season and in the south that means we make gumbo! Now I am not here to debate what is right or wrong when making gumbo. I know there are some gumbo snobs but I truly believe that how you make your gumbo is a personal preference. It’s however you & the people you love like it! My mother made gumbo routinely growing up but it was not considered authentic because it was not made of a roux even though we still loved it. Roux’s can be intimidating AF!!! Ask me how I know! A roux is when you mix an oil or butter with flour over heat until a certain color and consistency is achieved. A roux can be as light as peanut butter or as dark as chocolate! The tricky part is getting it to the color you desire and NOT burning it! This takes time and patience which I don’t always have. After burning my roux several times I almost gave up making a more authentic gumbo until I discovered you can purchase a already pre made roux or mix in your local grocery store!!! And even though now I can successfully make a roux it is not something I need to know how or want to take the time to do. There are many rouxs in the store to choose from. The ones I have tried it the Tony Cachere’s mix (this is the first one I tried and use often) and a pre made one in a jar made by Kary’s. I prefer the Tony’s because I like that I am actually cooking it but sometimes it’s not the easiest to find so I will use the Kary’s in a pinch. So now that we have discussed how I cheat when making gumbo, let’s make some!
2-3 pounds of chicken (I prefer a mix of boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs with drumsticks. This allows me to have the flavor that dark meat brings without too much fat, but you can use whatever you prefer. Even a whole chicken will work)
2-3 cups of onions, green bell peppers and celery chopped (this is referred to as the holy trinity of Cajun/creole cooking. I use more onions and bell peppers than celery because that’s what my family prefers. You also can use a shortcut and purchase Mirepoix mix which can be found in your frozen vegetables section of the freezer)
1-2 containers of Tony’s Roux mix (depending on how much gumbo you’re making)
1-2 sticks of butter
1-2 pks of frozen okra
1-2 lbs of sausage sliced (the traditional sausage is Andouille, I used Zummos)
10-12 cups of water (you can use a combo of chicken broth but watch for the salt!)
3-4 pounds of peeled, deveined shrimp
3-4 pounds of crab (we used snow crab because that’s our preference but the traditional crab to use is blue crab. You can also just add crab meat)
Various seasoning- I used Tony’s seasoning salt, 2 chicken bouillon cubes, onion and garlic powder, old bay, & gumbo file’)
1 tbsp of oil (your choice)
I start my gumbo by heating my pot on medium high heat, adding the tablespoon of oil and the sausage. Again I’m trying to avoid having to skim fat off the top of my gumbo so that is why I use this method plus in my opinion it adds flavor. Once my sausage is cooked I remove to a paper towel and then drain all but about a teaspoon of fat. Turn stove to medium heat and then add your stick of butter and then your veggies. Cook veggies til softened. While veggies are cooking prepare Roux mix according to directions. I prepare mine in a separate bowl and then add to my veggies. This allows it to cook with my veggies for more flavor. You will need to make sure you cook your roux for about 5 minutes or so until no longer lumpy. I also taste mine to make sure there is no flour taste. It won’t taste like much but it should NOT taste like raw flour! Also make sure you DO NOT leave the pot while doing this! At this point you can add more roux depending on how thick you like your gumbo to end up. Once your roux and veggies have cooked enough add your water, chicken, sausage and seasonings (except gumbo file’) and bring to a boil on medium high heat. You will need to check back to stir occasionally so nothing is burnt at the bottom of your pot. Once boiling turn stove to medium heat and cook for about an hour or until chicken is tender. You can remove the chicken and bones and skin and shred and add back in. I usually shred it in the pot and remove any bones but most of the time the chicken will start falling apart on it’s own. Add your frozen okra and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. At this point you can taste for any more seasoning and add if needed. You now have prepared chicken and sausage gumbo! But we love to add seafood! I add my crab and cook for 10-15 more minutes and then my shrimp for another 10 minutes. Once the shrimp are pink you are through and you have made an easy and delicious gumbo!
I serve my gumbo over rice with semi-homemade garlic bread. I shared a quick video on how I make Cheater gumbo and the garlic bread on Instagram so make sure you are following me @severalpeoplesmama and make sure you tag me if you try this. I also want to thank everyone that has followed me, reposted or shared my content & recipes and tried them! It is my hope that I have made feeding you and/or your family easier! I also pray that everyone is healthy and safe leading into this new year and you are blessed with your heart’s desires! Please look out for so much MORE coming from me in 2021! Happy New Year!!!
If you don’t already know from looking at my past recipes WE LOVE SEAFOOD! We especially love the spicy savory seafood boils at different restaurants across Houston. But with a family of five eating at these places can get expensive so from researching different recipes I came up with my own version of a seafood boil. EXCEPT I don’t boil the seafood lol. I actually steam it in an oven bag you would use for turkeys in the oven. This seafood steams and the flavors get infused which tastes much better to us than boiling it and letting it sit and water where sometimes the flavor gets diluted. After many requests for the recipe I figured I better write this down and share on the blog so everyone would have one point of reference. So let’s make a seafood boil!
2 oven bags – I use the large size. We use two because we will double bag our seafood. You will also need a rectangular dish to lay the bag in.
Assorted seafood – we use snow crabs and shrimp but you can use what’s our family prefers- if you use frozen make sure to thaw out prior to cooking
5-6 sticks of real butter (salted or unsalted)
5 cloves of minced fresh garlic (don’t use the jar!)
1 tsp of garlic salt
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of onion powder
1 tsp of Cajun seasoning
2-3 tbsp of spicy crab or crawfish boil seasoning plus extra for sprinkling on the seafood
2 tbsp of paprika
1 tsp of lemon pepper
1 tsp of dried minced onion
Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon or you can use the juice in the bottle
1 tbsp or brown sugar (optional)
1 tbsp of dry ranch seasoning
1 tbsp of old bay
Hot sauce or cayenne pepper (optional)
3-4 small red potatoes (you will want to cook these in the microwave ahead of time for about 3-5 minutes
3-4 small ears of corn
1 sausage chopped (optional)
Directions: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make sure seafood is thawed out and rinsed. Place seafood, corn, potatoes and sausage in bag and then double bag it (similar to how you do your groceries at the store). Place bagged seafood in dish and sprinkle crab boil seasoning over seafood and set aside.
Place medium sized pot on medium low and add butter. Once butter has melted add minced garlic and stir. Add the seasonings, lemon juice and stir (with a whisk or fork). Mix in the brown sugar last if using. Let mixture come to a simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool slightly (just a few minutes so it isn’t scorching hot and burn your bag). Pour a little of the mixture into a bowl for dipping later. Pour rest of the mixture in bag. Now I physically massage the seasoning into my seafood but you can just tie a knot in the bag and massage thru the bag. Place pan with bag in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove form oven and let sit for about 5 minutes. I cut open the bag and let the juices flow into the pan and sit there for a few minutes prior to serving. We serve this family style by bringing the pan directly to the table and picking the seafood out to eat.
We love to do this for our family but it would be great for parties too. I hope you make this and your family enjoys it as much as we do! And if you do try it make sure to tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama