Nov 302011
 

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting recipes to be used for the Feast of the Seven Fish. This feast is celebrated on CHRISTmas Eve. It is believed to have originated in Southern Italy and is not a known tradition in many parts of Italy. Today, it is a feast that typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. Some American families have been known to celebrate with 9, 11 or 13 different seafood dishes. This celebration is a commemoration of the wait, Vigilia di Natale, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.

There are many hypotheses for what the number”7″ relates to, one being the number of Sacraments in the Roman Catholic Church. Another therory is that seven is a number representing perfection: the traditional Biblical number for divinity is three, and for Earth is four, and the combination of these numbers, seven, represents God on Earth, or Jesus Christ.

Of course, I will be doing the Feast of the Seven Fishes, using New Orleans’ style seafood dishes. Check back tomorrow for the first recipe: Crabmeat Ravigote.

Nov 282011
 

 

To go to New Orleans and not eat Beignets is like not going to

 

New Orleans at all. Beignets are New Orleans version of donuts. Café

 

Du Monde is the most visited restaurant in town. Open 24 hours and

 

never closes, except when Katrina came to town. Café Du Monde

 

serves Beignets as their only food. Beignets are delicious but can

 

be dangerous. Often when you bite into one, you create a cloud of

 

powdered sugar that goes everywhere. It’s best not to wear dark

 

clothes while eating Beignets. When visiting New Orleans, make sure

 

you don’t miss out on this delightful experience.

 

1½ cups Lukewarm Water

 

½ cup Granulated Sugar

 

1 envelope Active Dry Yeast

 

2 Eggs, slightly beaten

 

1¼ teaspoon Salt

 

1 cup Evaporated Milk

 

7 cups Bread Flour

 

¼ cup Shortening softened

 

Peanut Oil for frying

 

Powdered Sugar

 

Mix water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

 

In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix

 

the egg mixture to the yeast mixture. Add 3 cups of the flour to the

mixture and stir to combine. Add the shortening and continue to stir

 

while adding the remaining flour. Remove the dough from the bowl,

 

place on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray a

 

large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough in bowl and cover with a

 

towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours. Preheat peanut

 

oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Roll the dough out to about ¼ inch

 

thickness and cut into 1-inch squares. Deep-Fry,

flipping constantly, until they become a golden color. When Beignets are done, quickly

 

drain on paper towels, and then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve

 

immediately.

Nov 242011
 

Today is a day for reflection. There are too many things that I am thankful for. I am thankful for my wonderful wife Peggy and our “little girl’ Abigail. I am thankful for my two great Godchildren, Alyson and Andrew. My Godmother Kathy, my mother-in-law Lorraine and all my brothers, sisters, in-laws, cousins all make me a very thankful person. I am blessed to have a large group of friends who have supported me through the years. And of course, I am thankful for everyone who have encouraged me and supported me realize my dream with my cookbook. Here is a little recipe that you can use whenever you are cooking.

Creole Seasoning Blend

4 tablespoons Paprika

4 tablespoons Granulated Garlic

3 tablespoons Salt

2 tablespoons Black Pepper

2 tablespoons Granulated Onion

2 tablespoons Dried Thyme

2 tablespoons Dried Basil

1 tablespoon Cayenne

1 tablespoon Dried Oregano

1 tablespoon Ground Bay Leaves

1 tablespoon White Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend until fully

mixed. Store in an airtight container. It will hold for 3 months.

 

Nov 212011
 

I could not think of a better recipe to end my Thanksgiving recipes.

This is one that is near and dear to my heart.

This dish is in memory of my sister-in-law Denny. Whenever our

family got together, quite often everyone brought an appetizer for

snacking. Denny often brought this delicious treat. She had a smile

that lit up the room. She is sorely missed but remembered lovingly.

1 sheet frozen Puff Pastry

1 Egg slightly beaten

1 tablespoon Water

¼ cup toasted Pecan pieces

¼ cup fresh Parsley chopped

1 pound Brie Cheese round

Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat

oven to 400 degrees. Mix egg and water. Unfold pastry sheet on a

lightly floured surface. Roll into 14-inch square. Cut off the corners

to make a circle. Sprinkle pecans and parsley in the center of the

pastry. Top with the Brie. Brush the edge of the pastry circle with

egg mixture. Fold two opposite sides over Brie. Trim the remaining

two sides to 2 inches from the edge of the Brie. Fold these two sides

onto the Brie. Press edges to seal. Place seam-side down on a baking

sheet. Decorate the top with pastry scrapes if desired. Brush with egg

mixture. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 1 hour.

Serve with crackers.

Nov 172011
 

A little twist on a classic Thanksgiving dessert

The first time I tried to make this was a few years ago. It was

Christmastime and the holiday menu was being put together. For

dessert, someone suggested Pecan Pie and Chocolate Pie. Then

someone said that a Chocolate Pecan Pie sounded good. So, I took

it upon myself to come up with a recipe. Everyone enjoyed it and I

know you will to.

3 cups Sugar

Pinch Salt

7 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa

4 Large Eggs

1 tablespoon Vanilla

1 12-ounce can Evaporated Milk

1 stick Butter melted

1 cup Pecan Halves

2 unbaked Deep Dish Pie Shells

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, salt

and cocoa together. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla

and milk. Stir into the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter and stir

until well blended. Sprinkle pecan halves in the pie shell, about ½ cup

per shell. Pour the filling over the pecans. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Nov 142011
 

This is a great side dish for Thanksgiving.

Louisiana is the third largest grower of sweet potatoes. Sweet

potatoes are really starting to show its usability. Sweet Potato

French Fries have been around for years. Now, they are starting to

get recognized for their health benefits. It is a beneficial food for

diabetics, which I am one, for their help in stabilizing blood sugar and

in lowering insulin resistance.

4½ cups Sweet Potatoes cooked and mashed

1 stick Butter melted

1/3 cup Milk

1 cup Sugar

½ teaspoon Vanilla extract

2 Eggs beaten

1 cup Light Brown Sugar

½ cup Flour

3 tablespoons Butter

1 cup Pecans chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. In

a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, 1 stick melted butter,

milk, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Spread sweet potatoes mixture into the

baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and

flour. Cut and mix in 3 tablespoons butter until the mixture is creamy, them

stir in the pecans. Sprinkle pecan mixture over sweet potatoes. Bake

for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Nov 102011
 

To continue on my Holiday theme, he is my Oyster Dressing recipe.

This is the perfect holiday side dish. Oysters are at their best around

Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some people even use this stuffing

inside their turkey. It is also great on the side of chicken and duck.

Add it to your holiday menu.

2 teaspoons Butter

1 pint Oysters reserving the liquor they come in

2 tablespoons Canola Oil

2 cups Onions chopped

1 cup Green Bell Pepper chopped

1 cup Celery chopped

2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning Blend

2 Bay Leaves

1 tablespoon Garlic minced

¼ cup Fresh Parsley minced

1 cup Chicken Stock or Broth

¼ cup Green Onions chopped

4 cups French bread cut into 1-inch cubes

1/3 cup Fresh Parmesan cheese grated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish with

the butter. Drain the oysters, reserving the oyster liquor. In a large

skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onions, bell

peppers, celery, and Creole seasoning and sauté for 5 minutes or until

soft. Add the bay leaves, garlic and parsley, and sauté for 1 minute.

Add the stock or broth and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the green onions, oyster liquor and the bread cubes. Stir to mix

well and remove from the heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine the

bread mixture with the oysters and cheese. Stir to mix thoroughly.

 

 

Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 1 hour or until

bubbly and golden brown. Remove the bay leaves before serving

Nov 072011
 

The holidays are almost upon us. So I thought I would share a common Cajun Holiday Dish, Cajun Fried Turkey

Cajun Fried Turkey is a delicious way to prepare your holiday turkey.

 

It is not really a recipe, but a cooking technique. This dish can be very

dangerous. If your bird is not dry when it goes in the fryer, there is a

great chance of oil over flowing and possibility catching on fire. This 

is definitely something that cannot be done in a kitchen. When setting 

up your cooking pot (the same type of pot for boiled crawfish) make 

sure you have plenty of space around the pot, in case something goes

wrong.

Turkey up to 16 pounds cleaned and dry, giblets and neck

removed

Peanut Oil

A thermometer attached to the pot with the tip sticking in

the oil

Creole Seasoning

Marinade and Injector.

Light the fryer and set at a low

flame. Pour in peanut oil (for a 10-12 pound turkey use 1½ to 2 gallons oil; For a 13-16 pound turkeyuse 2½ to 3 gallons of oil). Remember; do not over fill the pot. Heat

oil to 325 degrees. Rub turkey with Creole Seasoning. If you use a

marinade, inject the turkey twice in each breast and once in the thigh.

It will take 15-20 minutes per pound. Remember, use caution when

frying a turkey. There are many ways you can burn yourself frying a

turkey. But the flavor of the turkey makes it would the risk.

Enjoy!!!

 

Nov 062011
 

Sorry I missed some post. I was on a cruise and did not connect to the internet. I had a great turnout at my first book signing on 10/29 at Commom Grounds in Gretna, La. I sold all of the books that I had and could have sold more. I have set up 2 book signings on 11/26 in New Orleans. The first one will be 11-12:30 at A Tisket A Tasket 910 Decatur St. in the French Quarter and 2-4 at Barnes and Noble in Harvey in the West Bank Expressway. I made some wonderful new friends on my cruise. I would tell you about the food but there is nothing special to talk about. The food was ok. Looking forward to my next trip to New Orleans for the signings. I will be back on schedule posting recipes on Mondays and Thursdays.