May 312011

Today was Creole Italian day. For lunch, we ate at Tony Mandina’s, in Gretna on the West Bank. I ate the Lasagna, which was wonderful. It was great to see the Mandina Family.  For dinner, my family got together at Mo’s pizza in Westwego. I had a pizza turnover and a sausage wrap. The food was good and the company was great. I think I have my Italian fix for a week. 

May 302011

Went to lunch at my wife’s favorite restaurant, Cafe Maspero in the French Quarter. We both had the seafood plate, consisting of fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, and calamari. It was the best I have had at Maspero in years. For dinner, we went to my brothers’, Mike, house. I am going to say this is going to be the best meal I will have in New Orleans. Smoked oysters, char grilled oysters, oysters Mosca, 3 different grilled sausages, pasta salad, smoked brisket, smoked Buffalo wings, and my mother’s baked eggplant. I am so full that I it might be hard to eat tomorrow, but I will do my best.

May 282011

Finally rolled into New Orleans around 4:30pm. After visiting with my mother-in-law, we went to eat at Cafe 615 Home of Da Wabbit in Gretna. My wife and mother-in-law both had the Fried Soft Shell Crab Orleans, which is served with au gratin pasta sauce. I had a seared Duck Breast topped withan orange cane syrup sauce. This was a great meal to start the trip. I even had a chance to eat half of my mother-in-laws Soft Shell. Even cold, it was delicious. Tomorrow, we are going to a crawfish boil at my sister-in-laws’ house.

May 282011

Since I will be on vacation this week, I probably will not be posting any new recipes. But you never know. I may just post my dining adventures in New Orleans.

May 222011

Blue Crab season is right around the corner. So, I guess it is time to dust off my Crab recipes. Crabmeat au Gratin is a great way to eat Lump Crabmeat. You do not want to use claw meat in this dish. The flavor will be the same, but the lumps of crabmeat make this rich dish.

Crabmeat au Gratin
2 Egg Yolks
12 ounces Heavy Cream
½ stick Butter
½ cup Onion minced
3 cloves Garlic minced
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon White Pepper
1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
¼ cup Flour
½ cup Mild Cheddar Cheese shredded
½ cup Monterey Jack Cheese shredded
1 pound Lump Crabmeat, pick over for shells
1 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×9 inch baking pan. In a bowl, whip together egg yolks and heavy cream. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic about three minutes. Season with Creole Seasoning. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender. Mix the flour into the sauce pan and cook for five minutes, stirring continuously. Mix in the egg yolk mixture. Stir in the mild Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses until melted. Remove from heat and fold in the crabmeat. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan. Top with breadcrumbs and sharp Cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until bubbling lightly.


May 192011

I have been told that my father-in-law was a good cook. I keep hearing about him cooking Redfish Courtbouillon. No one knows what happened to the recipe. So, to honor Wesley Anderson, here is a recipe for Redfish Courtbouillon.

Red Fish Courtbouillon
2 ½ pounds Red fish fillets cut into chunks 2-3 inches wide
¼ cup Flour
¼ cup Butter
2 teaspoons Green Onions chopped
2 cups Onion finely chopped
½ cup Celery finely chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper finely chopped
1 large can tomatoes drained reserving the liquid
3 cloves Garlic minced
2 Bay leaves
½ teaspoon Marjoram
¼ teaspoon Basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon Thyme
1 teaspoon Crystal hot sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups Seafood Stock or Chicken Broth
Hot cooked Rice
In a heavy pot on medium-low, heat butter. Add flour and cook for 10 minutes or golden brown, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and stir in the onions, celery and bell peppers. Cook until the vegetables are soft, stirring often. Add the tomatoes and cook five minute. Stir in dry seasonings, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Slowly stir in one cup of the reserved tomato liquid and stock. Simmer for five minutes. Add redfish and adjust seasonings. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Serve over hot rice.


May 162011

Boudin is a sausage made from pork rice dressing. Whoever thought to take little nuggets of Boudin and deep fry them was a genius. I guess now I know how someone came up with fried mac and cheese.

Fried Boudin Balls
1 package Boudin
2 cups Corn Flour
1/8 teaspoon Thyme, dried
1/8 teaspoon Basil, dried
1/8 teaspoon Marjoram, dried
Creole Seasoning
Preheat deep fryer to 375 degrees. Season corn flour with thyme, basil and marjoram. Cut the Boudin into 2 inch pieces and roll them in a ball. Roll in corn flour, shaking off the excess. Fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.


May 142011

As crawfish season starts coming to an end, it is time for me to post crawfish recipes. Crawfish Bisque came to mind. Earlier, I posted a Crab Bisque recipe. That recipe was made like Lobster Bisque. This Crawfish Bisque is made just like they make it on the bayou. I only wish that fresh crawfish were available year-round.

Crawfish Bisque
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Flour
1 cup Diced Onions
½ cup Diced Bell Pepper
½ cup Diced Celery
2 ½ tablespoons Garlic
¼ cup Tomato Sauce
3 quarts Seafood Stock room temperature
1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning
1 pound Crawfish Tails
1 cup Diced Green Onions
½ cup Fresh Chopped Parsley
Cooked Rice
In a heavy 6 quart pot, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in flour, stirring constantly, until you get a dark roux. Add the onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are soft and translucent. Add tomato sauce and stir. Add stock slowly, stirring well to incorporate with the roux. Add Creole seasoning and stir. Cover and reduce heat, simmering for 30 minutes. Stir in crawfish tails, green onions and parsley, cover, and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve in a bowl over rice.


May 092011

The starting point for many Creole and Cajun dishes is a roux. A roux will make or break your dish. Roux is more than just a thickener. It also adds flavor to your gumbos and other dishes. You must be very careful with the roux. If you start smelling a burnt smell, throw it out. Even if you think you got all of the burnt parts out, your finished dished will still taste burnt. You also need to make sure you do not splash any roux on you. It leaves another type of burn.

Equal parts Vegetable Oil or Butter and Flour
Heat oil in a pan over moderate to low heat. Add flour and stir until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, to the desired color. Roux should be glossy in appearance. White Roux should be barely colored, or chalky. Pale or Blond Roux should be golden straw color, with a slightly nutty aroma. Brown or Black Roux should be deep brown, with a strong nutty aroma. Do not burn. Even if you slightly burn a roux and think you have gotten the burnt pieces out, throw it away. The burnt taste will be present in the finished dish. Add your seasonings(onions, garlic etc.) before you add your liquid. Make sure your liquid is room temperature or cool.