Dec 302016
 

It is starting to get cold here in Arkansas. Time to start making soups. Here is a good one.

1 large Butternut Squash, about 3 pounds

1 large Yellow Onion, sliced

1 clove Garlic, minced

4 tablespoons Canola Oil

Chicken Broth to cover, about 2 quarts

2 Cinnamon Sticks

2 Star Anise

4 whole Cloves

1 quart Heavy Cream

Salt and White Pepper to taste

Peel and seed squash, and cut into large dice. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot, sauté onion and garlic in oil until transparent. Add squash and chicken broth to cover. Tie cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves in a cheesecloth bundle. Add bundle to squash mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is very soft. Remove spice bundle and puree mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return to heat and add cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!!!

Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living

Dec 302016
 

This is a great dish for people who only eat Fried Oysters, which my wife is one of them. The addition of the bacon and lemon butter elevated this dish way above the plain fried oyster.

9 strips thin sliced Bacon

18 large Oysters

2 whole Eggs

1 cup Milk

2 cups Yellow Corn Flour

1 tablespoon Salt

1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 teaspoon Black Pepper

1 teaspoon White Pepper

1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic

2 quarts Canola Oil for frying

Lay out bacon strips on a sheet pan and place in 325 degree oven for 5 minutes or until about half-way cooked. Remove strips from pan and place on a towel to drain excess oil. Cut bacon strips in half and wrap each oyster with 1 half-piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. In a small bowl, mix the eggs and milk. In a separate bowl, add the corn flour and season with salt, peppers and garlic. Dredge oysters in egg wash, then lightly coat with seasoned corn flour. In a 4 quart pan or deep fryer, heat oil between 325 and 350 degrees. Slowly drop oysters and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until crispy. Do not attempt to cook too many oysters at one time, , because the oil will cool down and the oysters will become greasy. Remove oysters from pot and place on a towel to drain excess oil.

Lemon Butter

1 cup White Wine

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold Butter, cut into chips

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon White Pepper

Place white wine and lemon juice in a small sauce pan and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup. Lower heat and slowly add the butter chips, a few at a time, stirring constantly until all butter is dissolved. Remove butter sauce from heat and season with salt and pepper. Place butter sauce on plate and serve with bacon wrapped oysters.

Enjoy!!!

Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!

Dec 262016
 

This is the best time of the year for Oysters. They start showing up everywhere. Of course, there is nothing like shucking an oyster and popping it in your  mouth. However, many people don’t like raw oysters. This week, I will feature two cooked oyster dishes.

6 Baked Patty Shells

3/4 cup Vegetable Oil

1 cup Flour

1 cup Onion, diced

1/2 cup Celery, diced

1/2 cup Green Bell Pepper, diced

1 tablespoon Garlic, minced

2 quarts Oyster Liquor

24 large Oysters

3/4 cup Green Onions, chopped

1/2 cup Parsley, chopped

Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Pre-bake the patty shells according to package directions and set aside. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pot, preheat oil over medium-high heat. Add flour and blend well using a wire whisk. Continue to stir until a dark brown roux is achieved. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Slowly add the oyster liquor ( chicken or Seafood stock can be substituted) stirring constantly with a wire whisk until all of the liquid has been added. Remember that once the oysters are added, the natural juices will thin out the stew. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes stirring occasionally, then add oysters. Continue to cook until edges of the oysters are curled, but not overcooked. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle a generous serving of oyster stew into the center of the patty shells. Garnish with green onions and parsley. Serves 1 as an appetizer or 2 as an entree.

 

Enjoy!!!

Good Cooking, Good Eating, and Good Living

Dec 242016
 

This is a very hearty dish to end out feast. This spicy dish is best served with a cold glass of Chardonnay.

6 to 8 Redfish filets, 6 to 8 ounces each, cut into pieces

6 to 8 Speckled Trout filets, 6 to 8 ounces each, cut into pieces

1/4 cup Canola Oil

1 cup Yellow Onions, diced small,

3/4 cup Celery, diced small

1/2 cup Bell Pepper, diced small

6 cloves Garlic, minced

1/2 cup fresh Parsley, minced

1 120z. can Tomato Paste

1 quart Chicken Stock

3/4 cup dry Red Wine

1 10oz. can Rotel

3 Bay Leaves

2 tablespoons Basil

1/4 teaspoon ground Thyme

3 teaspoons Creole Seasoning

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

2 teaspoons Hot Sauce

1 large Lemon, zested and thinly sliced

6 cups cooked Rice

Take the trout and redfish filets, wash them thoroughly under cold running water, and trim away every trace of the bloodline. Pat the filets dry and lay them on a sheet of waxed paper on the countertop. Meanwhile take a 6-quart Dutch oven or oval roaster, place it on the stovetop over medium heat, and pour in the canola oil. When hot, add the fish pieces to the pot a few at a time. When they turn slightly brown around the edges, remove them and set them on a platter to cool. After all the fish has been seared, add the onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and parsley in the same pot and cook, stirring constantly, until the veggies wilt. Now add the tomato paste to the vegetable mixture and whisk until the veggies combine with the paste, about 5 minutes. Next add the stock and red wine and stir in the Rotel (along with the liquid in the can). Then whisk to smooth out the paste, this is important because once the fish are added back to the pot you won’t be able to stir the pot. A smooth rich tomato-based sauce should begin taking form. At this point, add to the pot the remaining seasonings. When combined, stir into a uniformed blend. Now reduce the flame under the pot to medium-low, cover tightly, and cook for about 30 minutes. When ready, place the filets into the sauce side-by-side, but be careful now to break them up. Then once more, cover the pot, reduce the fire to very low, and simmer the filets until they flake easily with a fork. But don’t stir the pot again! It will mearly reduce the fish to nothing more than fish flakes. To serve, spoon over cooked rice.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!!!

Dec 212016
 

This is a a great way to include alcohol flavoring in your cooking. The alcohol cooks out, leaving the bourbon flavor in the sauce.

2 pounds fresh Shrimp ( head & shells on), 41-50 count

3 ounces Olive Oil

Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste

1 tablespoon crushed Red Chiles

2 ounces Bourbon

3 ounces Louisiana Cane Vinegar

3 ounces Corn Syrup

1 stick Cinnamon

2 ounces Lime Juice

Cooked Rice to serve

In a large heavy-gauge saucepan, lightly sauté shrimp in olive oil. When the shrimp becomes lightly pink, turn and season with salt, pepper, and red chiles. Deglaze with bourbon, and then add cane vinegar, corn syrup, and cinnamon. Simmer until sauce becomes thick and stir in lime juice. Serve over rice.

Enjoy!!!

Dec 192016
 

This dish is a take on the great Crabmeat Cheesecake from the Palace Cafe. This savory cheesecake is not to be confused with the dessert cheesecake. This is definitely not sweet.

1/2 (13.7 oz.) box Ritz crackers

1 cup Butter, melted

1/2  pound Andouille Sausage, sliced

1/2 pound Crawfish Tails

1/4 cup Jalapeno Peppers, chopped

24 ounces Cream Cheese, softened

1/3 cup Sour Cream

1 tablespoon fresh Thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper

3 large Eggs

1/2 cup Crawfish Beurre Blanc, recipe to follow

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor, add crackers, and process until finely chopped. In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs and butter. Press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes and set aside. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add sausage, and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add crawfish and jalapeno, and cook until jalapeno softens. about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside, and let cool. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add crawfish mixture, thyme, salt and pepper, and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. Pour cream cheese mixture over prepared crust. Set springform pan in a roasting pan, and fill with water half-way up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until set and cheesecake jiggles in the center, about 1 hour. Remove oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Cover, and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 3 days before serving. Serve with Crawfish Beurre Blanc.

Crawfish Beurre Blanc

2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil

1/4 pound Crawfish Tails

1/4 cup Shallots, chopped

1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning, divided

1/2 cup dry White Wine

1/2 cup White Wine Vinegar

1 tablespoon Hot Sauce

4 spring fresh Thyme

1 tablespoon Peppercorns

2 cloves Garlic

1/2 cup Heavy Cream

1 cup Butter, cubed

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add oil. Stir in crawfish, shallot and 1/2 teaspoon Creole Seasoning; cook until shallot is tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside and let cool. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine wine, vinegar, hot sauce, thyme, peppercorns, and garlic, and cook until reduced by 1/3, about 15 minutes. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer; return liquid to pan. Add cream, and cook  until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in butter, one cube at a time, until butter is melted and the sauce is smooth; stir in remaining creole Seasoning. Stir in crawfish mixture. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!!!

Dec 152016
 

Most people make gumbos. This stew is not as thick as a gumbo, which makes it a great inclusion is a large feast like this.

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

8 ounces Tasso, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/4 cup Flour

1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning

3 cloves Garlic, minced

2 Bell Peppers, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)

1 Onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups

5 cups Seafood Stock

One (15 oz.can) Diced Tomatoes

1 pound firm white fish, such as Halibut, Cod, or Grouper, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1 pound large Shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons fresh Parsley, chopped

Salt to taste

Cooked white rice

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Cook the tasso until browned, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the Tasso and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted and the meat is well coated, about 2 minutes. Add the Creole Seasoning, garlic, peppers and onions and continue to cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and tomatoes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and increase the heat to bring to a simmer. Lower the heat slightly and simmer until the stew is thickened and the flavors are melded, about 30 minutes. Gently stir in the fish and shrimp. Cook, making sure the stew is not bubbling vigorously, stirring once or twice, until the shrimp and fish have turned opaque, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Season with salt and serve over rice.

Enjoy!!!

Dec 122016
 

This is my take on my wife’s favorite dish at Drago’s restaurant. My dish is a little spicier than Drago’s. You can leave out the red pepper flakes and/or white pepper if you wish.

2 cups Heavy Cream

1 tablespoon fresh Basil, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh Thyme, chopped

2 teaspoons Salt

2 teaspoons ground Black Pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1 teaspoon ground White Pepper

1 cup Green Onions, chopped

1 cup fresh Parsley, chopped

1/2 pound raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 pound Crabmeat, picked thru for shells

1/2 cup shredded Swiss Cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

1 pound Fettuccine

Cook Pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Meanwhile, pour cream into a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just about boiling. Reduce heat, and add herbs, salt, peppers, oninos and parsley. Simmer 7 to 8 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in seafood, cooking until shrimp is no longer transparent. Stir in cheeses, blending well. Drain pasta. Serve sauce over fettuccine.

 

 

Dec 082016
 

Here is a take on my mother’s Shrimp Remoulade. It is a great variation. I think that Crabmeat is the seafood equivalent of Bacon. It makes every dish better.

4 tablespoons Horseradish Mustard
½ cup Tarragon Vinegar
½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 tablespoons Ketchup
½ cup Celery diced
1 clove Garlic crushed
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Salad Oil
1 tablespoon Paprika
½ cup Green Onions diced
2 pounds Lump Crabmeat
Mix vinegar, mustard, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, ketchup,
and garlic. Add oil, beating well. Add celery and green onions. Add
crabmeat and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve on shredded lettuce.

Enjoy!!!

Dec 052016
 

Oysters Mosca is a wonderful Creole Italian creation. For over 60
years, Mosca’s restaurant is located 20 minutes from downtown New
Orleans in the town of Waggaman on the Westbank of the river. Most
people in New Orleans have there own version of this dish. So here
is mine. I add a couple of ingredients that make this dish unique.
The first is Tasso, a seasoned piece of pork shoulder. The second is
Sriracha, a hot chili sauce found in the Asian section in the grocery
store.

4 tablespoons Butter melted
½ cup Olive Oil
1 tablespoon fresh Garlic chopped
1½ teaspoons Sriracha
1/3 cup Tasso diced
1 pint Oysters
1 tablespoon fresh Parsley chopped
1 tablespoon fresh Basil chopped
¾ cup Italian Bread Crumbs
¾ cup Parmesan Cheese freshly grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine butter and olive oil in a
9×9 baking pan. Stir in garlic, Sriracha and Tasso. Layer oysters in
the pan. In a separate bowl, combine parsley, basil, breadcrumbs, and
Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the oysters
making sure they are totally covered. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve
immediately. You can also put these into individual dishes for ease
of serving.

Enjoy!!!