Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Recipes by Mahalia Jackson: Oven Pot Roast, Creole-Style; Stuffed Crabs

Mahalia Jackson's Oven Pot Roast, Creole-Style

4 pounds bottom round beef roast
1 small clove of garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium peeled onion, sliced
1 cup water
1 1/2 bell peppers, diced
1/2 rib of celery, cut in 2-inch pieces
10 peeled carrots, cut in half
2 large peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 small bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
A few gratings freshly ground pepper
8 peeled potatoes

Wipe off wash with clean cloth. Insert pieces of garlic into roast. Coat all sides well with seasoned flour. Place roast in large roasting pan with vegetable oil and onion. Roast uncovered in preheated 500 degree oven 30 minutes until browned on all sides. Remove from oven, reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Surround roast with pepper, celery, carrots, tomatoes, parsley, bay leaves and water. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, oven-roast 1 1/2 hours. Add potatoes and roast 1 hour longer. Remove lid to brown vegetables and reduce stock. Roast about 1/2 hour longer. Correct seasonings. Remove roast and vegetables to heated platter. Heat stock over direct heat to brown and thicken gravy. Spoon gravy over sliced meat and vegetables. Serves 10-12.

Mahalia Jackson's Stuffed Crabs

4 hard-shelled crabs (cook in salted boiling water 15 minutes)
1 cup cooked crab meat
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 bell pepper, minced
2 tablespoons minced celery
1 1/2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter (or vegetable oil)
1 tablespoon minced parsley
Pinch of powdered thyme
A few sprinkles of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few gratings freshly ground pepper

Wash crabs well, drain well. Crack claws with nutcracker; pull off hard shells, discard spongy tissue. Pick over, carefully removing meat from claws and back. Discard stiff tendons and bits of shell. Scrub shell well, set aside.

Add meat from crabs to other crab meat in mixing bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice. Let stand 15 minutes.

Saute pepper, celery and onion in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 5 minutes (or until vegetables are tender). In separate skillet, brown bread crumbs in butter (or oil) over low heat. Add cooked vegetables, half the bread crumbs to crab meat with parsley and seasonings, mix well. Stuff shells (or use aluminum foil in crab-shaped molds). Put in baking pan. Brown in preheated 400 degree oven 15 minutes. Serve with wedge of lemon as appetizer. Serves 4.

Thoughts: Mahalia's advice to brave cooks, "Use uncooked crab meat for freshest, best-flavored stuffed crab." Kill crab by sticking a small sharp knife or ice pick between the eyes. In the interest of time (it takes about 2 1/2 dozen crabs to yield 1 cup fresh crab meat), buy cooked crab meat from fish shops or supermarkets.

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