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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Revisting previous delicious recipes

Time sure flies when you’re having fun and doing what you love to do. It’s hard to believe that this will be the 300th article I have written for the Daily Citizen. The first article was dated December 18, 2016. Never in my wildest dreams would I think that six and a half years later, I would still be sharing my passion with you.

All of today’s recipes have been shared with you before. I have included Jambalaya Bites, Cajun Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya and White Chocolate Pralines.You obviously need the jambalaya recipe to make the Jambalaya Balls. To me, a meal is not complete without a little something sweet to finish it off. So, gather your ingredients and Let’s head to the kitchen!

Jambalaya Bites

Here is my most recent creation. It’s a take on boudin balls that are ever present on Cajun menus. It’s not as spicy as boudin balls can be.

Jambalaya (cut your proteins unto a small dice. You want to leave it a little wet, refrigerated for at least 30 minutes.)


4 eggs, well beaten

Italian style panko breadcrumbs

Creole seasoning

Using two tablespoons of jambalaya, form into balls and freeze for 1 hour.

Season flour and eggs with Creole seasoning

Roll balls in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in eggs, shaking off excess. Roll in breadcrumbs, shaking off excess. Place on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

If you have trouble getting the balls to hold together, dampen your hands with water.

Preheat deep fryer to 350℉.

Fry a few at a time, so that the basket is not overcrowded. Fry until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.

Cajun Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

This recipe comes from the first article I wrote. It’s a great basic jambalaya that you can add and subtract ingredients to put your own spin on it.

2 pounds andouille sausage, slice in bite sized pieces

2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thigh meat, cut into bite sized pieces

4 cups onions, diced

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

1 pound tasso, cubed

3/4 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, whole

3/4 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

1/2 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 tablespoon white pepper

1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes

5 1/3 cups chicken stock

2 3/4 cups long-grain rice

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

In a 2 gallon Dutch vven over high heat, cook sausage, stirring constantly so the sausage does not burn. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, stirring constantly. Browning the sausage and chicken should take about 10-15 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions and garlic; sauté for about 15 minutes or until the onions are very limp and clear. Add the tasso, thyme, basil and peppers. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the stock and  bring to a boil. Add the rice, reduce the heat to medium and gently break up the rice. Use a spoon to stir and scrape the bottom to insure that no rice sticks to the bottom. After about 5 minutes, fold in the parsley. Continue to scrape the pot. When the jambalaya returns to a boil, reduce heat to the lowest possible setting and simmer, covered, for at least 25 minutes.

White Chocolate Pralines

How could I not share a white chocolate dessert? The key to making pralines is to do it on a day with low humidity. This way, your pralines will set up quickly.

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 cup pecans

2 (1 ounce) white chocolate baking squares

Combine all ingredients. Cook low, stirring constantly until sugar and butter melts. Bring to a boil and increase heat to medium. Continue to stir constantly for 3 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 230℉. Remove from heat and beat with a wooden spoon until mixture begins to thicken. This may take up to 5 minutes. Working rapidly, drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper coated with cooking spray.

I am so amazed when someone said that they enjoy my recipes. If I can help one person put a new dish on their table, then I have done what I set out to do. Maybe one day, I will find the right location to open up a cooking school. Until then, we always have the newspaper!

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