Video Recipe: Gumbo Balls

Stuart transforms seafood gumbo into a single, crunchy bite.

Quick & Easy Recipe: Quick Red Beans & Rice

Each week as part of my duties with I create recipes that combine the best elements of two popular Food Network shows, 5 Ingredient Fix and 30 Minute Meals – these recipes implore five ingredients (usually) and take 30 minutes or less (most of the time).  These recipes are geared towards the busy-family-on-the-go.   On occasion I will share on of these recipes here.  If you want the entire group just follow the Kitchen Hotline Facebook page.

Recipe: Quick Red Beans & Rice


  • 2 cups quick cooking rice
  • 1 lb. smoked turkey sausage, diced
  • 1 15.5 oz can red beans
  • 1 TBL Italian seasoning
  • 1 TBL beef stock base like Better Than Bullion
  • 1 tsp (or to taste) Cajun seasoning


  1. In a large pot cook the rice according to package directions – adding the stock base to the water.
  2. Add the can of beans (with liquid), sausage, Italian seasoning and Cajun seasoning then simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Season as necessary.

Fish Dish: Blackened Swordfish

I was excited to find that my local market has started stocking Full Circle all natural, wild caught, US fish in its freezer section. I live on the Gulf Coast and can get fresh Gulf seafood but these are not indigenous fishcicles. So I have decided to share this culinary voyage with you. I won’t be providing recipes per se but instructions on how I fixed each Fish Dish.

Blackened Swordfish

Fish Dish: Blackened Swordfish with Cajun Rice and Crème Fraîche Tarter Sauce.

Contrary to popular belief “blackening” food is not an age old Cajun or Creole cooking technique. It is, however, born from the imagination of one of America’s most important chefs, Paul Prudhomme.

Blackened anything has been seen on menues across the nation ever since Chef Prudhomme made Blackened Redfish the signature dish at K Paul’s, his famous French Quarter restaurant. The technique is as risqué for the cook as it is for the dinner as it temps both with high heat and a touch of danger.

The first thing you should do when attempting any blackened dish is open the closest window and turn your hood vent to HIGH. Coat your swordfish generously with blackening seasoning (Paul Prudhomme’s is available at your grocer or make one from scratch, the recipe for mine follows). Heat an iron skillet to medium-high to high, it should be smoking. Although traditional technique uses clarified butter, the purpose of this is to keep the dish healthy so I used canola oil, about 3 tablespoons. Add the swordfish; there should be LOTS of smoke.

After about 2 to 3 minutes turn your fish; it should looked nearly burnt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. If you are cooking on electric you may want to remove the pan from the burner for about 30 seconds until the temprature levels out. Remove the fish to a plate. Add finely diced onions, celery and bell pepper to the pan and saute briefly before adding brown rice. Toss until heated through and season with a pinch more of the blackening seasoning.

The tarter sauce was easy. I added a tablespoon of Mrs. Renfro’s Hot Chow Chow to 3 tablespoons homemade Crème Fraîche. Using the same ratio you can add pickle relish to mayo to make a less fancy tarter sauce.

Blackening Seasoning from Third Coast Cuisine

* 6 teaspoons paprika
* 1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon each finely ground black pepper, finely ground white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, & celery salt

Mix together and store in an airtight container.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

Stu’s Latest Kindle Single is Just $2.99

Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up


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