Quick Fix Gumbo

I love gumbo. It’s my number one go-to Cajun dish. And to really make a great gumbo you need to devote some time (and love) for it to really be something special. Give me a cold winter’s day and I won’t hesitate to take that time, but sometimes, I just don’t have the luxury. That’s where my quick fix gumbo comes in. All the flavors of a full-blown gumbo, but it takes a lot less time.

Quick Fix Gumbo

The two major timesavers for this quick fix gumbo are using rotisserie chicken instead of cooking your own, and using a pre-made roux from the store. Making a roux takes a little time to do right, and it is worth the time… when you have the time. When you don’t, grab a jar of almost-as-good roux from the store. Our local grocery store has a (sadly, small) southern foods section. That’s where I found ready-to-use roux.

Quick Fix Gumbo

All the flavors of a full-blown gumbo, but in a lot less time.
Course Main
Cuisine Cajun
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 426kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions chopped, divided
  • 8 stalks celery chopped, divided
  • 1 large green bell pepper chopped, divided
  • 1 small red bell pepper chopped, divided
  • 1 yellow bell pepper chopped, divided
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 4 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons file powder
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 14 ounce andouille sausage cut into 1/4" rounds
  • 12 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large rotisserie chicken shredded
  • 1 cup pre-made roux or more, to taste (I used Ragin Cajun)
  • 4 cups rice cooked

Instructions

  • Add oil to a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add half each of the onion, celery, peppers and the bay leaves. Saute until just tender.
  • Add the remaining onion, celery and peppers and saute another 3 minutes.
  • Add all of the seasonings, the sausage, stock and chicken.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Stir in the roux in small amounts. Make sure it dissolves completely. Taste to see if you need to add more roux.
  • Cover and simmer another 30 minutes.
  • Add cooked rice and warm thoroughly.
  • Serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 1322mg | Potassium: 442mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 595IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Quick Fix Steak Sandwich using the Cuisinart Griddler

You’re at this post for a reason. Maybe, like me, you actually like Steak-Umms. Like many, I was first exposed to them in a school lunch cafeteria years and years ago. And like many kids of the time, I would go home and beg mom to get them so I could have a steak sandwich there too. Mom wasn’t too keen on them, but would buy them for me as a rare treat. I’d have them about as simple as you could get: fried the Steak-Ummm, put it on a bun or white bread with ketchup, eat. Well, now I step things up with my quick fix steak sandwich, made using the Cuisinart Griddler.

Quick Fix Steak Sandwich using the Cuisinart Griddler

The Griddler makes making a steak sandwich about as easy as you can get. Having the two big cooking griddles lets you cook several things at once. Without it, I’d end up with a skillet for the Steak-Umms, another for the onions and peppers, and I’d probably fire up the oven or toaster just to toast my sub roll. Sheesh, that’s a lot of stuff when I can do it all on my Griddler.

Quick Fix Steak Sandwich using the Cuisinart Griddler

The history of the Steak-Umm is actually rather interesting. You can read about it here.

Quick Fix Steak Sandwich using the Cuisinart Griddler

The Griddler makes making a steak sandwich about as easy as you can get. Having the two big cooking griddles lets you cook several things at once.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 326kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 hoagie sandwich roll split
  • 1 slice Steak-umm or other thin-sliced frozen steak
  • 1/4 green bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup onion sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Cheez Whiz or other cheese dip, warmed

Instructions

  • Open your Griddler so that the griddle plates are open flat. You want to use the smooth griddles.
  • Turn the Griddler Selector knob (the center one) to 'griddle'. Set the temperature know to 425 F, the maximum.
  • Once the green light is lit, indicating that the Griddler is at 425 F, you can being cooking.
  • Place the bell peppers and onion in a small bowl. Drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir and transfer to one side of one of the griddle plates. See my picture for how I arrange things on the Griddler.
  • On the other plate place the bread halves. Let them toast as long as desired as the rest of the ingredients cook.
  • Let the onion and peppers cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times.
  • Add the mushrooms to the onion and peppers. Stir and cook another 5 minutes. The vegetables should be just starting to turn tender.
  • Place the Steak-umm on the griddle plate alongside the vegetables. Season as desired.
  • Continue cooking the Steak-umm until it starts to brown along the edges. Flip and continue cooking until done.
  • Assemble the sandwich by placing the Steak-umm on the bottom bread half. Add the cooked vegetables. Drizzle on the cheese, add the bread top.
  • Serve with plenty of napkins. You want that cheese to be nice and runny!

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 837mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 325IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 11mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Quick Fix Taco Salads Version 2.0

It was one of THOSE days. Not enough time to even think about dinner. But, a quick glance in the fridge and pantry and I was able to throw together a plan. Quick fix taco salads it would be. And you know, they turned out great! Crunchy shells, crunchy lettuce, and all of our favorite salad toppings.

quick-fix-taco-salads

I used chopped grilled chicken to top these salads, but any cooked meat (or no meat for that matter) would be great too. Like chilled cooked shrimp. Or warm taco beef crumbles. Just because these taco salads are quick to fix doesn’t mean that they are low on flavor.

Also try my quick fix shrimp tacos.

Quick Fix Taco Salads

Just because these taco salads are quick to fix doesn’t mean that they are low on flavor.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 231kcal
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 4 taco salad shells warmed per package instructions
  • 1 12 ounce salad bagged, blend
  • 1/4 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Avocado Dressing  to taste, or use your favorite flavored Hidden Valley Ranch dressing

Suggested toppings

  • cheddar cheese shredded
  • black olives sliced or chopped
  • meat cooked chicken, beef taco meat, or shrimp
  • cilantro chopped
  • sweet corn kernels
  • tomatoes diced
  • avocado diced
  • green onions sliced
  • crispy tortilla strips

Instructions

  • Place chopped salad into a large bowl.
  • Drizzle with dressing.
  • Add desired toppings and toss lightly to coat.
  • Spoon into taco salad shells and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 1mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutritional values are approximate.