Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


New Gas Range Installed

January 5th, 2022 · Comments Off on New Gas Range Installed

Back in October 2021 Monique ordered us a new Frigidaire Professional 30” Front Control Gas Range with Air Fry from Southern Pipe & Supply in Picayune, MS. It was delivered in early December 2021, but we still needed a gas source, which she ordered from TNT Propane, located in Carriere, MS. The propane needed a tank too, and for our newly installed backup generator we needed it as well. After some project management, Monique was able to get TNT out the Monday before Christmas 2021 to install the propane tank, hook up gas lines to both the generator and the new range, and fill the tank with propane gas. It took Tony and his son at TNT about 3 hours to complete the job in a very professional manner.

The range has been installed since December 19, 2021, and has worked perfectly in many functions, including oven features like baking, convection baking, roasting, convection roasting, and warming settings. The range top burners have been used many times for boiling, sautéing, grilling, braising, and other cooking methods. We are pleased with the new Frigidaire range, just need to test out the air fry function, and includes an air fry tray. It also has an internal thermometer probe that can be used for getting internal temperatures of roasted meats, still need to test out that feature too. The continuous corner to corner grate material is cast iron, and it comes with a cast iron griddle/grill that can be used on the middle oval burners. The 18,000 BTU burner on the right gives me plenty of power to get my water to a boil quickly, or to quickly sauté meats, fish., or vegetables.

New gas range

Cooking with gas!!! I love the new range and oven, gas is my preferred method of stove top and oven cooking. Gas gives you more control to make immediate adjustments to the heat level for an array of stove top uses. When I want to turn the heat down on pan I want it to be immediate, and not have to wait 5 or more minutes for the heat to dissipate, when I want to boil a pot of water I want it to come to a boil in a relatively short period of time, not 30+ minutes.

I hope to never go back to electric oven/stovetop cooking again!

All Hail Gas Cooking!!!

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Grilled Oysters

December 21st, 2021 · Comments Off on Grilled Oysters

This is a preview recipe from my new book, Complete Cajun Cookbook: 100 Home-Based Bayou Classics, available on Amazon now. The Kindle version is available now, and print versions ship 12/28/2021.

This is my third cookbook, and it’s the largest one with 100 recipes, and over 180 pages of Cajun Creole history and recipes.

This recipe is on page 133 in the Seafood chapter, and was perfected at Drago’s Restaurant in Metairie, Louisiana by owner Tommy Cvitanovich, it’s still a favorite and not to be missed.

Grilled Oysters
Click image for full view

Bon appetite!

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New Cookbook Pre-Orders Start Now

December 14th, 2021 · Comments Off on New Cookbook Pre-Orders Start Now

I’ve been working hard these past few months on ANOTHER book and I’m so delighted to finally share details with you all! If you enjoyed my last book The Easy Creole and Cajun Cookbook: Modern and Classic Dishes Made Simple, I hope you’ll love this one too! I’m excited to announce The Complete Cajun Cookbook: 100 Home-Cooked Bayou Classics!

Cajun food has deep roots in home-style country cooking and the rich heritage of Cajun culture, which combine to create unique flavors you can’t find anywhere else. The Complete Cajun Cookbook makes it simple to capture those flavors in your own kitchen, with detailed instructions for mastering regional cooking techniques and a comprehensive collection of beloved recipes.

Keep an eye out for lots of sneak peeks over the next few weeks!

I would love your support as I launch this new book. You can preorder your copy here:

The Complete Cajun Cookbook: 100 Home-Cooked Bayou Classics
The Complete Cajun Cookbook, Preorder now

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Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

December 9th, 2021 · Comments Off on Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

Every Christmas holiday we like to make cookies, and Monique picked these Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies out from the Kraft Philadelphia Holiday Cookbook, as found on pages 40-41. In the cookbook it lists the chocolate as 4 squares Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, but did not list the weight or volume, so I went with the whole block of chocolate from the package, which was 4 ounces. I found an updated recipe on the Kraft Heinz “My Food and Family” recipe website, and it confirmed my suspicions that the chocolate amount was correct, the online recipe lists “1 pkg. (4 oz.) BAKER’S Unsweetened Chocolate”. They have also updated the recipe from 1/4 cup raspberry jam to 1/3 cup.

Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies Cooling

The procedure and baking is quite straightforward and easy to prepare, you can have cookies ready to eat in under an hour. In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. In a separate large microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate until you can blend the chocolate into the butter. Then whip in 1 package (8oz) softened cream cheese. To this you add 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry, forming a solid dough ball. Place the dough in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.

Portion out 1-inch balls (I used a 1/2 tablespoon measure and weighted it on my electronic scale, they were 0.6 ounces each). I weighted out the dough balls and rolled them in granulated sugar, then positioned them on the ungreased sheet pans 2- inches apart. Then pressed my thumb in each dough ball forming a slight indentation, then filled each with about 1/4 teaspoon of raspberry jam. Baked in the oven for 10 minutes, then cooled 1 minute on the sheet pan, and transferred to a wire rack to cool completely. My portions yielded just under 5 dozen cookies, the recipe says you should have around 4 1/2 dozen.

Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies just out of the oven

Bon appetite!

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Aged Eggnog

December 8th, 2021 · 2 Comments

Eggnog is a traditional Christmas delight, served from bowls or pitchers at parties and dinners during the holiday season, always a delight to enjoy cold, and in some cases warmed. In grocery stores, eggnog starts filling the dairy cases a few weeks before Thanksgiving, seems every year it shows up earlier, might have even seen it for sale just around Halloween this year.

Aged Eggnog
Aged Eggnog in glass milk bottles

But why not make your own eggnog holiday beverage delight? I found Alton Brown’s Aged Eggnog Recipe several years ago, and have made it many times, I can’t remember how many, but at least 3 or 4 holiday seasons. The recipe includes 24 ounces (3 cups) of liquor, and while the original recipe calls for 1 cup each of cognac, Jamaican dark rum, and bourbon, I’ve altered the exact liquor every time depending on what I have on hand. This time around I used 1 cup spiced rum, 1/2 cup cognac, 1/2 cup Southern Comfort, 1/2 cup brandy, and 1/2 cup dry sherry. The fresh grated nutmeg makes a big difference in the flavor profile, I also used 6 whole eggs which replaced the original recipe calling for 12 egg yolks.

It’s best to make it at least two-weeks before serving to give it time to age, or ferment a bit. I made this batch on Monday (12/6/2021) afternoon, or 20-days before Christmas. But Alton says he allows it to mellow for several months, or longer. It’s also great just after mixing it together, as we did, with the extra that would not fit into the glass bottles, I filled two glasses that we downed fairly quickly.

Bon Appetite!

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