Jan 282011

Jambalaya is as classic a New Orleans dish as you are going to find. It consists of 3 parts, meat and vegetables, stock or broth, and rice. What makes Jambalaya so great, you can use whatever your have on hand, seafood, chicken, sausage, etc. Is Jambalaya a Cajun dish or a Creole dish. It can be either one, with the main difference being the inclusion of tomato in a Creole Jambalaya. I think you will enjoy it either way.

Jambalaya Cajun Style
1 Pound Andouille Sausage, cut into bite size pieces
1 Cup Chicken Meat, cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup Chopped Onions
¼ cup Chopped Celery
¼ cup Chopped Green Bell Pepper
¼ cup Chopped Garlic
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Quart Beef Broth
1 Quart Chicken Broth
2 cups Long Grain Rice
2 Tablespoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Basil
2 Tablespoons Oregano
2 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Paprika
Over Medium heat, cook sausage, chicken, onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic in olive oil.  Add broth and dry seasonings. Bring to a boil. Add rice. Cover and lower heat to low. Cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.
To make this Jambalaya a Creole Jambalaya, add a small can of Tomato Sauce with the Stock.

Jan 252011

This is probably the most asked for recipe I have in my collection.  The last restaurant I worked in was Cannon’s Restaurant in Gretna, La.  It closed in 2002. Their second location on St Charles Ave in New Orleans closed a year ago.  The Spinach Dip was their most popular appetizer. I have had many former employees inquire about this recipe.  Since Cannon’s is no longer, I guess it will not hurt to publish it.

Spinach Dip
3ozs.                     Butter
1/3 cup        Olive Oil
1 cup                    Chopped Onions
1 ¾ Tablespoon    Minced Garlic
½ cup                   Flour
2 Tablespoons       Flour
1 Pint                    Heavy Cream
1 Pint                    Chicken Stock or Broth
1 Teaspoon           Salt
1 ½ Teaspoons      Sugar
2 Tablespoons       Lemon Juice
¼ Teaspoon                   Cayenne Pepper
1 ¼ cup                Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup                    Sour Cream
1 Teaspoon           Tabasco Sauce
3 pounds               Chopped Spinach
1 cup                    Chopped Artichoke Hearts

Add butter and olive oil to a 5 quart pan and heat over medium heat.  Do not burn butter.  Add the onions and garlic.  Saute until onions are soft.  Turn down heat and add flour to make a roux.  Cook slowly for 5 minutes.  Do not allow roux to brown.  Slowly add cream and chicken stock to roux.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Add salt, sugar, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and cheese to mixture and remove from heat.  When the sauce has slightly cooled, add sour cream and Tabasco.  Add spinach and artichoke hearts to sauce and heat before serving.

Try it out and let me know how you enjoy it.

Jan 222011

Right now is a great time for Oysters. Oysters have come back from the oil spill to treat us to their salty goodness. Oysters are a perfect combination with pasta.  Try this dish.  You can add a little heavy cream to make this a hearty dish.  You can also top with some freshly grated Parmesan Cheese to finish the dish. Happy Eating.

Oyster Bordelaise
2 dozen Large Fresh Oysters
¼ cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Softened Butter
¼ cup Chopped Green Onions
2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
Pinch Creole Seasoning
1 lb Cooked Spaghetti
3 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmers.  Add the oysters, cooking them by shaking the pan and making them roll around until they plump up.  Add all the other ingredients except the pasta and the parsley and cook until the green onions have wilted – about 2 minutes. Add the cooked, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss with a large fork to distribute pan contents among the pasta. Serve with parsley
Jan 182011

This is another family favorite recipe. Family get togethers almost always included this New Orleans classic.  It is a very easy recipe to make.  Everytime I think about this dish, it brings back numerous memories. Try it at your next family get together.  You will be glad you did.  This is another dish (Crab Cakes) that is usually made with Mayonnaise.

Shrimp Remoulade
4 Tablespoons Horseradish Mustard
½ cup Tarragon Vinegar
½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 Tablespoons Ketchup
½ cup Diced Celery
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Salad Oil
1 Tablespoon Paprika
½ Cup Diced Green Onions
2 pounds Shrimp, medium size, Boiled & Peeled
Mix vinegar, mustard, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, ketchup, and garlic.  Add oil, beating well.  Add celery and green onions.  Add shrimp and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve on shredded lettuce.

What do you think?

Jan 152011

This recipe is probably one of my mother’s most requested recipe. It is a must for chocolate lovers. My nephew and I have been trying to duplicate the Fudge Pie we remember.  I thought his problem was that he needed to reduce the cooking time by a couple of minutes.  He told me that he needed to cook it longer to get the roght consistency.  It is still a great dessert if you cook it 30 minutes like the recipe calls for.  No one will ever replace my mom and I guess the missing ingredient is her love.  Try it. It is very easy to make.  Give me your thoughts.

Fudge Pie
1 square Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
½ cup Margarine (2 sticks)
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
½ cup Flour
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9 inch pie pan. In a double boiler, melt chocolate. Cream margarine until soft. Gradually add sugar and continue until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating hard after each. Stir in the chocolate.  Mix in flour and vanilla extract.  Pour into pie pan and bake 30 minutes.  At dessert time, cut into wedges and serve with ice cream.
Jan 112011

My wife has been feeling under the weather the last few days.  Tuesday nights are our date night.  With her unable to go out, especially in the freezing cold weather we have, I thought I would fix her a favorite dinner.
I made my Crab Cakes with homemade garlic mash potatoes.  What I failed to include with the Crab Cake recipe was a sauce for them.  The one I made tonight was a easy blender Hollandaise.  This  Mother Sauce  goes with almost everything. There are 5 Mother Sauces from which most sauces are made from: Hollandaise, Bechamel, Tomato, Espagnole(Brown), and Veloutte. Some people also include Mayonnaise in this list. Try it one night and let me know what you served it with.

Hollandaise Sauce
2 Egg Yolks
1 Whole Egg
2 Sticks (1/2 lb) Margarine
1 Stick (1/4lb) Butter
1 ½ teaspoon Lemon Juice
½ teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
½ teaspoon Ground White Pepper
¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Melt margarine and butter over medium fire. Bring to a boil, remove from fire and allow to cool. Blend egg yolks, egg, vinegar, cayenne, white pepper, and lemon juice. With blender on, pour melted margarine/butter slowly into other ingredients. Blend to thick.
Jan 092011

I thought I would suprise my wife and cook her one of her favorite dishes, BBQ Shrimp. For those who are not familiar with BBQ Shrimp, they are not cooked on a grill.  They are cooked on the stove in butter, Olive Oil, and plenty of seasonings.  The dish calls for large head on fresh shrimp.  Unfortunately, I do not have access to fresh shrimp here in Arkansas.  I used headless tail-on shrimp, which worked well.  Tell me what you think of my take on BBQ Shrimp. Enjoy!

BBQ Shrimp
3 pounds 15-20 or larger Shrimp Head & Tail on
1 ½ pound Butter (6 sticks)
1 ½ cups Olive Oil
8 Tablespoons Garlic, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Basil Leaves (Dry)
4 teaspoons Salt
3 teaspoons Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
4 Tablespoons Ground Black Pepper
2 teaspoons Oregano (Dry)
2 teaspoons Thyme (Dry)
2 teaspoons BBQ Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning
Melt butter in Olive Oil in a large pot.  Combine all other ingredients, adding shrimp last.  Cook on stovetop on Medium High Heat for 10 minutes. Serve in bowls with plenty of French Bread to sop up the sauce.
Jan 062011

Today is the official start to the Mardi Gras Season.  January 6th is called Twelfth Night, the twelfth day of Christmas. This is the day the three wise men visited baby Jesus. So let the carnival festivities begin. I guess there is only one recipe that I can post today – King Cake. I have never claimed to be a baker( I don’t have the patience.) The recipe I am posting is from the book Dam Good Sweet,, by David Guas & Raquel Pelzel. This book containes repices of Unique New Orleans Desserts.  I have made this king cake before and it was as good as any King Cake I have ever eaten. The King Cake pictured on the Blog is from this recipe. Enjoy.

King Cake
For the Cake
1 (1 ¼ oz) package dry-active yeast
¼ cup warm milk (105-115 degrees or warm to the touch)
1 cup plus 6 Tablespoons bread flour plus extra for folding
1 Tablespoon honey
¾ cup cake flour
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 Tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 plastic baby figurine (to hide in the cake), optional
For the Egg Wash
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon milk
For the Icing and Decoration
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
3 Tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups sugar
Green food coloring
Gold or yellow food coloring
Purple or red and blue food coloring
To Make the Cake
Whisk the yeast with the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer until dissolved.  Add the 6 tablespoons of bread flour and the honey and, using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until fairly smooth (there will still be a few lumps), 30 seconds to 1 minute, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
Once the dough has doubled, add ¾ cup of the remaining bread flour, the cake flour, eggs, egg yolk, sugar cinnamon, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt. Mix on low speed until combined, then switch to a dough hook, increase the speed to medium, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Increase the speed to medium-high and begin adding 4 tablespoons of the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well between additions. Continue to knead until the dough forms a slack ball (it will ride the dough hook, be tacky, and not slap the bottom of the bowl, but it should generally come together into a loose mass), 2 to 3 minutes.  If the dough doesn’t come together, continue kneading while adding up to ¼ cup of the reserved bread flour, until it does.
Grease a large bowl with ½ tablespoon of the remaining butter and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning it over in the bowl to coat with butter.  Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel and place bowl in a draft-free spot until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper with the remaining butter.  Generously flour your work surface using the remaining ¼ cup bread flour (if you used the bread flour in the dough, dust your work surface with more bread flour). Turn the dough out onto the work surface and sprinkle the top with some flour. Use your hands to press and flatten it into a rectangle.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a ¼ inch-thick strip that is about 24 inches long by about 6 inches wide.  Starting with one of the long sides, roll the dough on top of itself, making a long, thin baguette-shaped length. Pinch the edges to the body of the dough to seal, turn the dough so it lies horizontally on your work surface, and gently roll it on your work surface to even out any bulges and create a somewhat consistent 1 ½-inch-wide rope. Bring the two ends of the dough together and pinch them into one another to seal. Carefully transfer the dough oval or circle to the prepared sheet pan. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set in a warm, dry spot to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. To make the egg wash, whisk the egg and the milk together in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash over the top and sides of the dough, and bake the King Cake until golden and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.  Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, make a small slit in the bottom of the cake and insert the baby figurine (if using). Set on a rack to cool completely.
To Make the Icing
While the cake cools, make the icing. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, milk, and vanilla together in the bowl of a stand mixer on low speed until smooth and completely incorporated. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel until you are ready to glaze the cake.
To make the colored sugar, measure 1 cup of sugar into each of 3 reseal able quart-size plastic bags.  Add 4 drops of green food coloring tone bag, 4 drops of gold or yellow food coloring to another bag, and 4 drops of purple food coloring to the last bag (if you don’t have purple, make it yourself: measure 2 drops of red and 2 drops of blue ono a spoon and mix with a cake tester or toothpick until combined). Seal each bag and then vigorously shake to combine the sugar and food coloring.

Spoon the icing over the cooled cake.  Immediately after icing, decorate with the tinted sugar.  I like to alternate colors every 2 ½ inches, but you can also divide the cake into 3 sections and apply one color to each section. Slice and serve immediately or store in a cake box or on a baking sheet placed within a large plastic bag (unscented trash bags work well) for up to 2 days

Jan 012011

Happy New Year! I will start this blog off with a recipe that has been published in Louisiana Cooking Magazine and the Thomas Kinkade cookbook. The main difference between my crab cakes and most others is I use no mayonnaise. I developed this recipe because I felt that mayo takes away from the crabmeat taste. I hope you enjoy.  Let me know what you think.

Crab Cakes
1 pound crabmeat
1 Tablespoon Butter
4 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
1/3 cup Green Onions, chopped
¼ cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon Old Bay Seafood Seasoning
¾ cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
¾ cup Heavy Cream
¼ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
¼ teaspoon Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
Pick through Crabmeat, removing pieces of shells.  Set aside.
Over medium heat, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Sauté garlic in butter until golden brown.  Add green onions and cook until soft.  Add parsley and cook one minute. Add crabmeat to pan.  Add Old Bay Seasoning and mix thoroughly.  Add heavy cream and mix well.  Add breadcrumbs and mix well.  The mixture should not be liquidly.  If so add more bread crumbs.  Allow mixture to cool.  Form cakes in hand, making a 2 ½ ” circle.  Place on a foil lined cookie sheet.  Refrigerate for at least two hours.
Cook in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  You may also deep fry them by heating a fryer to 360 degrees.  Dip crab cake in mixture of milk and beaten egg, then cover with breadcrumbs.  Cook them for 3 minutes or until golden brown.