Sep 102018

Pecans are starting to ripen and fall off of their trees. This week, here are a couple of recipes for those pecans. This first one is very addicting. You will eat them like popcorn.

2 cups Pecan Halves

1 tablespoon Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Granulated Garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Oil

1 tablespoon Canola Oil

Preheat oven to 375℉.

On a rimmed baking sheet, place pecans n a single layer. Bake until lightly toasted, 5 to 7 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine sugar, garlic, cumin, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne. In a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the canola oil. Add pecans and stir to coat. Add seasoning mix, stirring until nuts are coated. Remove to a paper towel or sheet of parchment paper to cool.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Sep 062018

Leah Chase is a master when it comes to gumbo.If you don’t agree, try this recipe. It will change your mind.


4 hard shelled Crabs, cleaned

1/2 pound boneless Veal Stew Meat

1/2 pound Chicken Gizzards

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

4 tablespoons All-purpose Flour

1 cup Onions, chopped

1 quart Water

6 Chicken Wings, cut in half

1/2 pound Chicken Necks

1/2 pound cooked Ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 pound Creole Hot Sausage

1/2 pound Smoked Sausage

1 pound (41-50) Gulf Shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 tablespoon Paprika

1 teaspoon Salt

3 cloves Garlic, chopped fine

1/4 cup Parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon Ground Thyme

24 Oysters in their shell

1 tablespoon FilE powder

Place crabs, stew meat and gizzards in a 6-quatDutch oven set I=over medium heat. Cover and let the ingredients cook in the rendered fat and juices for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a separate skillet set over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until a dark brown roux is achieved, about 15-20 minutes. Lower the heat, add the onions, and cook over low heat until the onions wilt about 10 minutes.

Add the onion mixture to the ingredients in the Dutch Oven. Slowly add the water, stirring constantly. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the chicken wings, necks, ham, sausage, shrimp, paprika, salt, garlic, parsley and thyme> Let simmer for 30 minutes.

Add oysters and liquid and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat. Add Filé Powdered stir well. Serve over rice.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Sep 042018

If you are not sure who Leah Chase is, google her. The Queen of Creole Cooking is still going strong at 95 years young. This week, I will share two of her classic dishes.

1 pound Red Kidney Beans

2 quarts, plus 1 cup Water

1 large Onion, chopped

1/4 cup Vegetable Oil

1 pound smoked Ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 pound Smoked Sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 cup Water

1 tablespoon Garlic, chopped

1 Bay Leaf

1 tablespoon Black Pepper

2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon dried Thyme

2tablespoons Salt

Pick thru the beans, removing all unwanted particles. Wash beans and place beans in a 5-quart Dutch oven with 2 quarts & 1 cup of water. Set the Dutch oven over high heat. Add onions and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low nd let beans boil slowly for 1 hour. When the beans are soft, stir well, mashing some against the side of the pot.

Heat the oil in frying pan set over medium-high heat. Add the ham and sausage and sauté for 5 minutes or until the fat starts to render.

Add the sausage, ham and oil to beans. Deglaze the pan with the remaining cut of water, then pour the liquid into the beans. Add the garlic, bay leaf, pepper, parsley, thyme and salt. Let simmer for 30 minutes.Beans should be nice and creamy.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Aug 292018

Quesadillas are a quick versatile dish. Usually, it is cheese (and sometimes meats) in a tortilla and cooked. Here is a little Creole twist on this classic.

1/2 pound Lump Crabmeat

8 ounces Goat Cheese

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 tablespoon fresh Cilantro, chopped

2 teaspoons Green Onions, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon Garlic,minced

1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin

1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

4 teaspoons Butter, room temperature

8 small Corn Tortillas

Mix crabmeat and the next 9 ingredients until throughly blended. Spread butter on one side of each tortilla. Spread 1/4 of the crabmeat mixture on unbuttered side of 4 tortillas. Top with remaining tortillas, butter side up.

In a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat, cook quesadillas, turning as needed, until golden brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve warm with guacamole and pico de gallo.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Aug 272018

Here in Arkansas, it seems like there is a Mexican restaurant on every corner. So this week, I thought I would share some Cajun-Mexican fusion dishes.

1/2 pound Crawfish Tails

1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Olive Oil, divided

1/3 cup Green Onions, chopped

2 teaspoons Garlic, minced

12 large fresh Poblano Chilies

2 large ears of Corn, shucked

1/2 teaspoon Salt

6 ounces Cheddar Cheese, grated

6 ounces Goat Cheese, crumbled

Preheat a grill to 350℉. Season crawfish tails with Creole seasoning. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add Green Onions and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add crawfish tails and sauté for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Grill (or broil in oven) poblanos until blackened on all sides. Seal chillies in a plastic or paper bag, and let stand 10 minutes. Remove blackened skin. split chiles( leaving stem end intact), and remove seeds.

Rub ear ear of corn with1 teaspoon olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Grill corn until cooked through, about 8 to 12 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels off the cob.

Combine corn, crawfish mixture, and cheeses, and season to taste with creole seasoning. Form mixture into 12 equal portions and gently stuff into chiles, pressing to close.

Place stuffed poblanos on hot grill and cook, turning occasionally, until the cheese is just melted, about 3 minutes ( or heat in a 350℉ oven until the cheese melts). Serve immediately.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Aug 232018

Here is a recipe from my hopefully soon to be published second cookbook.

Stuffed mushrooms are on of my wife’s favorite appetizers. Most mushrooms are stuffed with a seafood mixture. However, Andouille makes a great stuffing for mushrooms. These are great with a touch of Hollandaise sauce on top.

1- 8 ounce package Mushrooms

1 teaspoon Olive Oil

1/4 cup Celery, finely chopped

1/4 cup Onion, finely chopped

1 clove Garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano

1/4 teaspoon Creole Seasoning

1 Andouille Sausage link, finely chopped

2 tablespoons White Cheddar Cheese, shredded

3 tablespoons Italian Style Breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon Parmesan Cheese, grated

2 tablespoons Butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 ℉. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside. Wash mushrooms. Remove stems from each mushroom; set caps aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery, onions and garlic. Chop Mushroom stems and add to veggies. Season veggies with thyme, oregano and Creole seasoning; stir. Cook veggies for 6-8 minutes or just until tender. Add sausage and continue to cook another 5 minutes. Remove skillet from the stove. Place sausage and veggies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles crumbs. Fill each mushroom cap with a generous spoonful of stuffing. In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Pour melted butter over breadcrumb mixture and stir to coat. Top each with shredded Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over each cap. Place mushrooms on prepared baking sheet. Bake mushrooms for 10-12 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender and breadcrumbs are golden brown.


Good Cooking, Good eating and Good Living!!!

Aug 202018

Saturday night at the Centola house meant my dad cooking hamburgers. This is a tradition that has been kept alive by myself and my siblings. This past Saturday, however, I wanted to do something a little different. So staying true to my dad and allowing my creativity to come out, I made Bacon Cheeseburger Egg Rolls.

The sauce is a mixture of Ketchup, Hoisin Sauce, Soy Sauce and Ginger. One day I will measure out these ingredients. Here is the recipe for the Egg Rolls.

1 pound Ground Beef

1/4 cup Onions, minced

1 tablespoon Garlic, minced

Creole Seasoning to taste

8 ounces Smoked Cheddar Cheese, grated

6 ounces Bacon Jam or 1/2 cup Real Bacon Bits

Egg Roll Wrappers

Over medium heat, brown ground meat, onions and garlic. Drain well.Season with Creole seasoning. While still warm, mix in cheese and bacon. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.. Preheat deep fryer to 375℉.  Place 2-3 tablespoons in egg roll wrapper and roll up. Do not prepare egg roll more than 30 minutes before you fry them. Fry them until they are golden brown, remembering to turn them to ensure both sides of the egg roll cook. Drain on paper towels and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!


Aug 162018

Who’s Your Mama, Are You Catholic, and Can You Make A Roux? is the title of Marcelle’s classic cookbook. This book should be part of everyone’s collection of cookbooks. It is a treasure, filled with recipes from the bayou.

3 sticks Butter

3 medium-sized Onions, chopped

3 Celery Ribs, chopped

2 medium-sized GreenBell Peppers, seeded and chopped

1/2 to 3/4 cup All-purpose Flour

1/4 cup Parsley, chopped

1 1/2 pounds Shrimp

1 1/2 pounds Lump Crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage (peeled crawfish tails can be substituted)

2 to 3 cups Hald-and-Half

1 pound Velveeta Cheese, cubed

2 tablespoons Jalapeno Peppers, chopped

3 clove Garlic, minced

Salt and Cayenne Pepper, to taste

1 pound Fettuccini, cooked and drained

1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Melt the butter in a heavy, large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and bell peppers. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and lightly golden, about 8 minutes.

Add the flour and stir for 10 minutes, blending well. Add the parsley and seafood, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring gently. Add the half-and-half, cheese, jalapeño peppers and garlic, and mix.  Season with salt and cayenne and simmer, stirring often, until the cheese has completely melted and the mixture is smooth and thick, about 10 minutes. Add the fettuccini and toss gently.

Pour the mixture into a 3-quart buttered casserole and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered until bubbly and heated through, about 20 minutes.

Aug 132018

This week, I am featuring two recipes from one of the authorities of Cajun Cooking, Marcelle Bienvenu. The first one is from her book, Stir the Pot, The History of Cajun Cooking.

1 1/2 pounds Top-round steak, about 1/4-inch thick

Salt, to taste

Cayenne Pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

4 medium-sized Yellow Onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

1 1/2 cups Green Bell Pepper, chopped

1/2 cup Water, if necessary

Cooked White Rice, for serving

Cut the steak into 3-inch squares and season generously with the salt and Cayenne. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown, cooking each side for 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions and bell pepper. Season with additional salt and Cayenne. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are wilted and lightly golden. Add 1/2 cup of water if the mixture becomes too dry. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes or until the meat is tender. Serve over rice.


Good Eating, Good Cooking and Good Living!!!

Aug 092018

One of my favorite dessert flavors is Lemon. It helps refresh after a meal. How about a recipe for Lemon Squares?

1 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour, divided

1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons Powdered Sugar, divided

1/3 cup Margarine

1 1/3 cups Sugar

1 tablespoon grated Lemon Zest

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

3 large Egg Whites

1 large whole Egg

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice, divided

1/2 teaspoon Butter Extract

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Coat a 13x9x2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine 1 1/2 cups four and 1/3 cup of the powdered sugar in a bowl; cut in the margarine with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Combine the sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the lemon zest, baking powder, egg whites and egg in a medium bowl and blend with a whisk. Stir in 1/3 cup lemon juice and the butter extract. Pour the mixture over the prepared crust. Bake for 20 minutes, or until set. In a small dish, combine the remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar with the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice to make a glaze. Spread the glaze over the hot lemon squares. Cool completely in the pan before serving.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!