Saturday, November 30, 2013

Contessa's Chicken and Buttermilk Pecan Waffles with Maple Syrup

When the wonderful people at Schermer's Pecans reached out to me to bless me with their wonderful pecans for recipe development, the first thing came to my mind...Chicken and Pecan Waffles!

Who doesn't love fried chicken, and who doesn't love hot buttermilk waffles?

I have yet to meet a person who would ever turn down a plate of hot chicken and waffles with hot maple syrup!

I fried my crispy chicken tenders in a hot sauce based batter that turns the chicken into rich, golden brown, crispy, bites of goodness!

Next, I made a quick batch of buttermilk waffles, if you don't like buttermilk replace it with whole milk.

Assemble the dish by topping hot waffles with crispy chicken then drizzle on loads of Maple Syrup and extra pecans!

I think it's time to eat these while their piping hot people!

Contessa's Chicken and Buttermilk Pecan Waffles with Maple Syrup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


8 chicken tenders
8 waffles, recipe below
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon creole seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup hot sauce

For the Waffles:

1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup pecans, chopped
4 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
maple syrup
extra butter for topping waffles


Mix seasoning blend together and set aside. Add flour to a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of seasoning blend.

Rinse chicken and pat dry, add to a large bowl, add egg, hot sauce and seasoning blend, mix well and set aside. Heat oil in a pan until it reaches 350 degrees.

Fry chicken tenders in about 2 batches for about 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown and no longer pink inside.

Remove, place on paper napkin and set aside.

To prepare waffles, in a blender add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, blend well. In a small bowl add eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk, mix well, pour into blender.

Blend for about 30 seconds up to 1 minute until ingredients are combined, pour in butter and blend for about 20 seconds more. Fold in pecans.

Spray a preheated waffle iron with cooking spray, place about 1/3-1/2 cup of mixture in waffle iron, cook for about 3-4 minutes are according to waffle iron directions.

Remove, top with butter, and repeat.

Once all the waffles are completed top with chicken, maple syrup and enjoy!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Smoked Turkey Gumbo

Happy Holiday's everyone! I know everyone is still full from yesterday's feast, but you have to find something to do with that leftover turkey!

I decided to take my leftover smoked turkey and turn it got it, GUMBO!

Yes, I know, you just finished eating all that food yesterday.

Think about it, when you get back from Black Friday shopping, you're going to want something new and special to eat, to go with all the new and special items you just purchased.

Oh, and while we're on shopping, don't forget, you still have time to enter the New! Crock-Pot® Digital Slow Cooker with iStir™ Stirring System Giveaway (entry below).

All this luscious smoked turkey meat, skin removed, shredded and ready to add back to the hot pot of Gumbo!

I put on a pot of hot rice, but make sure that you don't add to much rice to your bowl. Otherwise it turns the gumbo into a stew and that's not what we want.

I do about 1 cup of rice to 3 cups of gumbo.

Don't forget to garnish with extra green onions for presentation.

This is the season of pretty things, so we must make sure that our food presentation is extra special!

The Gumbo is piping HOT, I am done with Black Friday shopping, and it's time to EAT!

Smoked Turkey Gumbo

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
Servings: 4-6


1 turkey drumsticks, smoked
1 lb. hot sausage, hot links, or andouille sausage, sliced on the diagonal 1/2" pieces
8 chicken tenders
1 small pack of chicken gizzards (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoon creole seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bell pepper, diced
1 white onion, diced
1/2 bunch celery, diced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 bunch of parsley, minced
1 bunch of green onions, diced
3 bay leaves
64 oz. low sodium chicken broth
64 oz. water
1 1/2 c. roux (click link for recipe)
hot sauce
pot of hot rice
gumbo pot
proper cooling and storing directions
extra virgin olive oil


In a large stock pot, add broth and water. Add all chopped vegetables, bay leaves, chicken gizzards that have been rinsed and cleaned under cold water, and add sausage that have been sliced on a diagonal about 1/2 inch slices.

Add  smoked turkey and all the seasonings. If you think your sausage might be extremely greasy, slice them and boil them in a separate pot for about 20 minutes to release the oil from them. Then add them to the stock pot. Allow this mixture to cook for about 1 hour on medium heat.

Start preparing your roux while the vegetable mixture cooks.

After 1 hour, remove smoked turkey from pot, peel off turkey skin and discard, shred turkey meat and add back to the pot.

Take chicken tenders and saute them in a pan over medium high heat for about 3 minutes on each side. Add to gumbo pot.

Lower heat to medium-low and add 1 1/2 cups of the roux mixture and cook for 30 minutes more. Be very careful when adding the roux, it will splatter and burn you.

I put a big spoon in the pot and allow the roux to fall on the spoon first so it slowly hits the hot stock. After adding the roux, put a lid on the pot with a slight vent and this will allow any grease that accumulates to rise to the top of the pot so you can skim it off.

You will not get all the grease off, its OK. Finally, dump the shredded smoked chicken in the pot.

Allow gumbo to cook 30 minutes more while you prepare your hot rice and get ready to eat.

Serve with lots of hot sauce.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas with Quick Chili Gravy

Countdown to Turkey Day!

It's almost Turkey Day and I've been so pressed for time this week I needed to create a quick lunch for Big Goo and I.

If it's Mexican food, it's always Big Goo approved! These Chicken Enchiladas with Quick Chili Gravy are really delicious!

Chili gravy is a Tex-Mex sorta's thick, unlike traditional enchilada sauce which is a lot thinner. It's also made with chili powder whereas my traditional enchilada sauce is made with dried chiles.

Don't forget I also have the New! Crock-Pot® Digital Slow Cooker with iStir™ Stirring System Giveaway (entry below).

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I wanted to take a moment to thank my family who have been very instrumental with my love of food, eating and cooking.

First, my mom and aunties, they taught me pretty much everything I know about cooking Southern food, they're experts...yes

Hey, I love Martha so don't go there! I might as well thank Martha Stewart for introducing me to gardening which produces food, that I actually!

Then there's my cousins, my eldest cousin Melody, second mom when I was a kid...taught me so much growing up, like the proper way to roll a burrito, yes people, it's a skill involved in burrito rolling...if you don't believe me, ask Big Goo, who can't roll a burrito and all his meat falls out the other end.

Melody also taught me how to properly stuff a roast and how to make the best....I mean the best stewed burrito meat on the planet. We used to make a big pot of meat and beans and then stuff the burritos, roll them perfectly and freeze them.

Oh and her pancakes...yep...she taught me how to make giant pancakes as well...and I owe my craftiness to her and Martha Stewart. Melody and I would paint ceramic figurines all the time which was my introduction and grew into my love of art and color.

And one must not forget...Melody always told me, I am not sure if she even remembers saying this to me...all the time, but I do... "Right now baby girl, you're a caterpillar, but one day, you're going to grow up and be a beautiful butterfly...just like me..." lol...she was so right...!

Then there's my cousin Stephanie sister taught me not only how to drive...yes...she took the Melody tried once with me and gave up...I didn't blame her at all.

Stephanie also taught me how to make pralines...and deviled eggs...we used to be in my aunts kitchen stirring, for what seemed like an eternity! I would be thinking, can't we just buy these!

But when I tasted them, I knew fresh was always best. Oh...I forgot to mention...pimento cheese stuffed deviled eggs...recipe coming soon!

Then there's the mighty enchilada. My cousin Bern taught me how to make Enchiladas when I was about 11 or 12 years old. Bern probably doesn't even remember...yes, it's been that long.

I remember the first time we made them, we were sitting at my aunts dining room table and Bern came over with all the fixings for enchiladas.

Bern was like, I am making enchiladas and I was thinking to myself, don't you buy those at the Mexican restaurant.

Well I watched and learned and when it came time to fill and roll them I was given the honor and yes people...I was quick, fast, and efficient...just like I am!

From that day forward, I became an enchilada making mama and now I have the privilege of passing down the Enchilada making legacy to my Baby Girl.

Don't think I forgot about blog followers...thank you so much for making this year very special and always supporting me, it never goes unnoticed...

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Chicken Enchiladas with Quick Chili Gravy

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2


2 chicken breast, boneless, skinless, diced
2 cups chicken broth, low sodium
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon creole seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon oregano, crushed
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
olive oil

For the Enchiladas:

8 corn tortilla shells
2 cups of cheese, grated
1/2 cup cooking oil
cooked chicken, diced
chili gravy sauce
green onions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix seasoning blend for chili sauce and set aside. Rinse chicken and pat dry, cut into 1 inch chunks, season with 1/2 tablespoon of seasoning blend, mix well, set aside.

Heat cooking oil in pot over medium low heat, add flour and whisk well for about 2-3 minutes, add seasonings and mix well for about 30 seconds, add broth, bring mixture to boil, reduce heat to simmer, allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste for flavor, thin out with water if needed or extra stock. Set aside.

In a medium skillet heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add chicken and cook for about 6-8 minutes, mix well. Remove from heat, allow to rest about 5 minutes and chop into smaller chunks.

Place cooking oil in pan and heat over medium heat, add tortilla shells one at a time, cook for about 30 seconds on each side, place on paper napkins to drain, repeat.

To Assemble enchiladas, place 1/2 cup of Chili Gravy in the bottom of medium casserole dish, spread evenly, dip one corn shell into remaining chili gravy, place in casserole dish, top with about 1-2 tablespoons of cooked chicken and 1-2 tablespoons of grated cheese, roll up, place seam side down in casserole dish, repeat.

Top with remaining cheese and green onions, pour remaining Chili Gravy over the edges of enchiladas, to prevent drying out. Drizzle a little Chili Gravy on top of cheese and green onions.

Cover with foil, bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, remove foil, bake 10 minutes more uncovered. Enjoy!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Chocolate Mint Sandwiches

Countdown to Turkey Day!

It's the last day of Countdown to Turkey Day and it's all about the sweet treats!

Not only do I have these wonderful Chocolate Mint Sandwiches, I also have the New! Crock-Pot® Digital Slow Cooker with iStir™ Stirring System Giveaway (entry below).

Plus a discount on the Heirloom Cookie Sheets (enter code CRENOV13 till 12/5/13).

Also don't forget we have a wonderful dessert recipe from my foodie friend below...Now that's more than enough goodies for one day people!

When the wonderful people at Heirloom Cookie Sheets reached out to me to test their wonderful cookie sheets, I must say I was really excited.

Everyone who bakes wants that perfect cookie sheet and Heirloom Cookie Sheets are perfect!

This is a heavy duty cookie sheet, not one of those flimsy cookie sheets that want last a year. This cookie sheet is 18-gauge stainless steel and it's dishwasher safe! 

Now for these wonderful cookies. These are the perfect cookies to make with children. Now only are they chocolicious....but they're also little bites of joy!

Don't forget you have to chill the dough overnight.

I placed my frosting in a piping bag for the cuteness factor, it's not required. Also if you're not into mint, you can always substitute the mint for vanilla.

These cookies are delicious and the perfect treat after all those heavy Thanksgiving eats!

Yes. I know it's not Thanksgiving yet, but I couldn't wait!

Look what Judith the food brains behind The Midnight Baker created, this Banana Split Parfait looks so good, you must make this for Thanksgiving!

Pass me a spoon people!

Chocolate Mint Sandwiches

¾ cup butter, softened (1½ sticks)
1 cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup quality cocoa
¼ cup milk

For the Mint Filling:

¼ cup butter (1/2 stick)
2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
1/8 tsp peppermint extract
¼ cup milk
Green food coloring


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.   

Cream butter; add sugar gradually; add vanilla; beat in egg. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  

Add dry ingredients and milk alternatively to the butter mixture.  

Chill until firm.  Shape dough into 4 rolls, 1 inch in diameter.  

Wrap in waxed paper or saran wrap; chill overnight.  

Cut into 1/8” slices. Roll into balls and place on un-greased Heirloom Cookie Sheets.  

Bake at 325 degrees about 8 – 9 minutes.  Remove immediately from cookie sheet and cool completely on wire rack.  Divide the cookies into two separate groups.

To prepare the mint filling, blend all ingredients and beat until smooth.  

Spread filling about 1/8 thick on one group of cookies and top each with cookies from the other group to make sandwiches.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cheesy Corn Casserole with Callies Pimento Cheese and Bacon

Countdown to Turkey Day!

Yes's still countdown to Turkey Day!  Today I present to you another delicious side for your Thanksgiving pimento cheese corn casserole with you guessed it...BACON!

Before we get to the cooking first I must tell you about the Pimento Cheese Spread.

The wonderful people at Callie's Charleston Biscuits was ever so kind to send me a wonderful assortment of biscuits and pimento cheese for recipe development.

I will get to the biscuits in a few days, but today it's all about the Pimento cheese, which I was eating straight out the container with a spoon, no crackers in's that good!

I knew exactly what would go with my Pimento cheese and that's corn.

We have the creaminess of the pimento cheese spread with the sweetness of the corn, it's a match made in foodieliciousness heaven!

It's time to EAT people...but don't forget, not only are we in the midst of a New! Crock-Pot® Digital Slow Cooker with iStir™ Stirring System Giveaway (entry below) foodie friends are also sharing a Countdown to Turkey Day recipe below.

This recipe can be easily adapted for your Crock-Pot slow cooker by cooking the bacon, add all the ingredients and transfer to the Crock-Pot for about 2 hours on high, 3 on low.

Jim from the Be Mindful. Be Human Eat crew created this wonderful Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Pancetta...can I get a YUM!

Pimento Cheese Corn Casserole with Bacon

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4-6


5 cups corn, fresh or frozen
6 slices bacon, diced
1 cup Callie's Pimento Cheese Spread
1 cup milk
1 cup sharp cheese, grated
1 cup jack cheese, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon creole seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 stalks green onions, extra for garnish


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease a medium size oven proof casserole dish and set aside.

Add diced bacon to a skillet over medium heat, fry until crisp, remove bacon, drain, reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in pan.

Add butter to bacon grease, add green onions and corn, season with spice blend and cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Add flour and cook for 3 minutes, add milk and mix well.

Add 1 cup of grated cheese and pimento cheese, mix well. Allow mixture to cook for about 3 minutes.

Transfer mixture to casserole dish, top with remaining cheese, cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, remove foil, top with bacon and bake 10 more minutes.

Garnish with extra green onions if desired. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Creole Cornbread Stuffing with Andouille Sausage and a Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Giveaway!

Countdown to Turkey Day!

I must start off by telling you how excited I am about today's post. First, I created some moist, delicious stuffing that's been kicked up with the addition of Andouille Sausage.

Secondly, my choice for best smiling food blogger, and my foodie friend Ashley at Center Cut Cook is bringing over the gravy for my stuffing (recipe below).
image provided by
Last, but for sure not least...thanks to the wonderful people at Crock-Pot...we have a New! Crock-Pot® Digital Slow Cooker with iStir™ Stirring System Giveaway (entry below)!

I told you today's post is exciting!

Time for the stuffing...start off with day old buttered cornbread. Next cook up some bell peppers, onions, and celery in lots of butter and a little olive oil.

Add plenty of spices and toss in the andouille sausage, casing removed. If you can't find fresh Andouille, smoked sausage works just as well. 

I added my precooked chicken gizzards, that I chopped finely in my blender because Big Goo doesn't like gizzards so I hide!

Allow this meaty goodness to cool then we mix it with eggs, milk, and the cornbread.

People...this is what you're looking for...moisture...if it's not moist before you put it in the oven, it want be moist after you take it out!

Oh, and this can be made in your Crock-Pot Slow Cooker just cook the meat and veggies as described above and transfer to the slow cooker and put in the remaining ingredients, cook on high for 45 minutes to1 hour, then reduce to low and cook for 4-7 hours.  

In the oven I baked it for about 1 hour at 350 degrees.

My stuffing turned out fabulous, and it remained moist, which is key.

Don't forget can stuff your Turkey with the mixture and allow more food miracles to happen, as the Turkey juices drip all over the stuffing as they both bake!

I have my fork and I am ready to eat...bring on the turkey...and the gravy that Ms. Ashley made below...YUM!

image provided by Center Cut Cook
I really have no words for this wonderful, or as Ms. Ashley from Center Cut Cook states...Perfect Turkey Gravy...just in time for Thanksgiving!

Creole Cornbread Stuffing with Andouille Sausage and a Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Giveaway!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hour
Total Time: 2 hour 20 minutes


5 cups day old cornbread, diced into 2 inch chunks
1 stick butter
1 cup chicken gizzards
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup onions, diced
1 cup bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup gizzard juice
3 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon creole seasonings
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Rinse gizzards and place in a pot covered with water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour are until tender.

Add more water as needed throughout cooking. Once gizzards are complete, add gizzards to blender and process until diced finely, reserve gizzard liquid, and add water if needed to make 1/2 cup. Set aside.

Mix seasoning blend and set aside.

Add butter and olive oil to a big pan over medium high heat, add bell peppers, onions, and celery and cook for 5 minutes, season with 1 tablespoon of seasoning blend, add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Add Andouille sausage to pan, season with remaining seasoning blend, and hot sauce, cook for about 15 minutes, breaking up sausage as it browns. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add cooled mixture to diced cornbread. Mix eggs, milk, broth, and gizzard juice, mix well. Pour over cornbread mixture and blend well.

Place mixture into a 13X 9 inch greased casserole dish and bake covered for 45 minutes, remove foil and bake 15 minutes, are until top is golden brown.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pecan Praline Candied Yams

Countdown to Turkey Day!

Turkey Day is almost here and I am still doing the countdown people! Today, I am sharing with you two of my favorite foods, Candied Yams and Pecan add these two tasty things together and you have a mouthwatering, delicious side for your Thanksgiving table.

Don't forget my foodie friends are also sharing their favorite Turkey Day Eats below. 

I started off with three large yams/sweet potatoes, prick them all over and bake for about 50 minutes at 400 degrees.

After the yams cooled slightly, I peeled and diced them into about 1-2 inch chunks. 

Next, I melted some butter with brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and maple syrup , toss in the yams, cook for about 5 minutes to heat the yams up and finish off the dish with a dash of fresh lemon juice and real vanilla.

This is a really quick side dish after the baking time, but I prefer to bake the yams instead of boiling them because I think the yam retains more of the flavor.

Something about boiling the yams just screams...the flavor is left in the water...!

The yams are all candied and sweet, and it's time to eat!

Look at the beautiful dish my foodie friend Heather at Sugar Dish Me created! This beautiful Warm Quinoa  Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Pecans and Cranberries is a must make for Turkey Day! 

Pecan Praline Candied Yams

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4


3 large yams or sweet potatoes
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup pecans, shopped
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse yams and prick all over with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes, remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, peel skin, dice into 1 inch chunks and set aside.

Place butter, sugar, pecans in a skillet over medium low heat, cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, add cream, maple syrup, and cinnamon, mix well.

Add sweet potatoes and cook for about 5-6 minutes, mixing well. Add vanilla and lemon juice, mix well, serve warm.

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I must confess I love great food. I decided to create The Creole Contessa blog after cooking and eating a great meal with my family Big Goo the hubby of almost twenty years and my lil’ Contessa Summer aka “Baby Girl." I told Big Goo and Baby Girl, it is just not fair to not share these great recipes with the world; and the Creole Contessa blog was born.

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