Louisiana Cookin’


Behind the house we dug a pond.  Two actually.  One is full of catfish.  One is, supposedly, full of crawfish.  We have them just for fun.  Just so we can spend some lazy time fishing.  Just so we can have fresh fish when we want it.  Or crawfish.  The catfish are getting big.  When we stocked the pond two years ago they were fingerlings.  Now they are close to and some are over 2 pounds.  It is like fighting a 40 pound monster when they bite.

And they are delicious. Usually we fry them.  With fries.  With hushpuppies.  But we got tired of hushpuppies so I tried something new.

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Fritters filled with fresh corn and okra.

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MUCH better than plain hushpuppies.

I found them in the July/August 2014 issue of “Louisiana Cookin'” on page 55. But they are also on the magazine’s website.

I have had fun cooking so many recipes from this magazine.  Plenty more marked.  Most of the recipes from the past issues are on the Louisiana Cookin’ website. So, if yo want some GOOD Southern or Louisiana recipes this is the place to go.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

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This is my last recipe for March’s Cookbook Countdown. I managed to do seven!   Now all I have to do is figure out which cookbook to use for April!  So many cookbooks, so few years!!

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Each month “Louisiana Cookin'” chooses a recipe from a reader to include in the magazine. In the August/September 2012 issue this one from Claudius Whitmeyer was featured in reader’s recipe

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One thing I always have in the freezer is shrimp. Not hard to believe since shrimp is my fave seafood. Usually Louisiana Shrimp and wild caught. They have the best flavor. I cook with shrimp year round. Only the type of dish changes with the season depending on whether we want something filling and warming or light and fresh. THIS dish fits that light and fresh category.

    3 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon celery flakes
    1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning {I used Tony’s}
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 pound small Louisiana shrimp, peeled, rinsed, and patted dry
    3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon butter
    1/2 cup sliced purple onion
    1 large dove garlic, sliced thin
    5 green onions, chopped about 1/4-inch (green ends only)
    1 rib celery, chopped about %-inch
    2 mini carrots, julienned
    Chicken, shrimp, or seafood broth, as needed for deglazing
    3 cups cold precooked rice

Preheat oven to 200°. Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Toss shrimp in flour mixture to lightly coat.

In a large skillet, heat olive·oil and butter over medium heat, and add purple onion. Cook until almost brown, then·add garlic. After about 2 minutes remove onions and garlic from pan and set aside.

In same skillet, saute shrimp, turning only once. When just done, combine shrimp with onions and garlic, and place in warm oven. In same skillet, cook green onion, celery, and carrots about 2 minutes. Deglaze skillet with a small amount of broth. Add rice to vegetable mixture, and heat everything through.
Mound a serving of rice on each plate, and top with shrimp/onion mixture.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

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IF you are like me you rarely have alligator3-183x91 meat in the freezer.  Who am I kidding? Nobody has alligator meat in the freezer! Unless you live down in Bayou Country around the Atchafalaya River or down in the delta region.

But I had some just at the right time because I have friends who have friends who have friends who live in Bayou Country.  And I had one piece of Gator Tail in the freezer.  Just enough to make something really different.

 

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I have only had ‘gator’ a couple of times.  Fried on a Stick at a Festival and this dish at a local restaurant.  Down here it is NOT a delicacy or an exotic food.  It is just food.  And it looks like pork.

If you haven’t had ‘gator’ meat it is a very mild tasting meat.  That means it absorbs the flavors of what ever you put on it or put it in.  But you have to be careful.  The fat, and there is usually lots of fat, must be trimmed as much as possible because that is where the gamey taste is.  If you have tail meat it cooks up well on the grill or fried.

The sauce was sooooo good.  Lots of onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic and spices.  But, first, you have to make a roux.  That is the start of most Louisiana ‘stew like’ dishes.  Heat up 1/2 cup oil.  Add 1/2 cup AP flour and brown while stirring CONSTANTLY!!! If you have a good roux your dish will be perfect.

I am hoping my friend of a friend of a friend brings me more.  I want to try Blackened Gator.

The recipe is on page 78 of the May/June 2014 issue but it is also on the La Cookin’ website.

This is part of Cookbook Countdown.  I am cooking this month from the magazine “Louisiana Cookin'”.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

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If you don’t live in the Deep South you probably don’t make a bisque.  You may not even know what it is. According to Wikipedia,

A Bisque is a smooth, creamy, highly seasoned soup of French origin, classically based on a strained broth of crustaceans. It can be made from lobster, crab, shrimp or crawfish.

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While you may think this is just a soup it is much more than that.  It is creamy, full of meat, and perfect on a cold winter day.  Did I say it was also delicious?

    ½ cup butter
    ¾ cup all-purpose flour
    ½ cup chopped yellow onion
    ¼ cup chopped celery
    ¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
    2 cups half-and-half
    8½ cups Shrimp Stock, recipe follows
    ¼ cup brandy
    5 tablespoons tomato paste
    1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    1 pound peeled and deveined large fresh shrimp

    Garnish: dry sherry, chopped fresh parsley

In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 6 minutes. Stir in onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and Old Bay. Cook, stirring constantly, 7 minutes.

In the container of a blender, combine onion mixture and half-and-half. Blend until smooth and return to Dutch oven.

Add Shrimp Stock, brandy, tomato paste, and smoked paprika. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 35 to 40 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink and firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Garnish with a drizzle of sherry and chopped parsley, if desired. Serve with French bread. {Notice there is no French Bread with the bisque. I served mine with Okra and Corn Fritters (recipe coming)

The magazine also has the recipe for the shrimp stock but I used my own.

    10 cups Seafood Stock
    shells and heads from 5 lb peeled shrimp
    1 cup sliced yellow onion
    1/2 cup celery, cut into pieces
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    1 tsp Tony’s Seasoning
    2 tsp coarsely grated pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce and simmer for about 1 hour. Strain for a clear broth.

I use seafood stock because it adds a more wonderful flavor. If you cannot find seafood broth, use veggie broth or 10 cups water.

This was filling, comforting, and so full of flavor. Definitely something to make when it’s rainy and cold outside. OR why wait for that kind of weather…..

For the month of March I am using Louisiana Cookin’ magazine for Cookbook Countdown.

The recipe is from Louisiana Cookin’ Sept/Oct 2013 but it is also online at Louisiana Cookin’.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

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Blackened Catfish is NOT what you call catfish you burned while cooking it. It is all about the spices, browning it well, and NOT using any breading – flour or cornmeal. And it is so easy….

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Easy because it is just a matter of dredging the catfish fillets in a spicy mix.  The recipe calls for 8 6-oz fillets.  I had 4 8-oz.

Spice Mix:

    1 Tbl sweet paprika
    2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp cayenne
    3/4 tsp ground black pepper
    3/4 tsp ground white pepper
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    1/2 tsp dried thyme

Melt 2 sticks butter. Set aside while you mix the spices. In a large skillet heat the melted butter over medium-high heat.
Place the fish in the pan and cook 2 – 3 minutes (I did mine 4 minutes) on both sides until cooked through.

I served mine with stewed okra and tomatoes (Very Louisiana) and baked sweet potatoes (also Very Louisiana).

I would recommend making twice as much of the spice mix to get a good coating on the fish. And don’t let the butter ‘boil’ and bubble or you won’t be able to see how the fish is cooking.

THIS is not an every day meal since you use a full cup of butter, but it is good!!

The recipe is on page 44 of the Nov/Dec 2014 issue of Louisiana cookin’

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

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We have had a non-winter winter here in the deep South.  I didn’t cook nearly as many gumbos, soups, or stews as I wanted.  For some reason those just seem like winter fare to me.  But last night was a little chilly so I took advantage and made this Shrimp stew.  

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It is simple to make.  All you need is:

2 pounds medium fresh shrimp, shells and heads on

6 cups water

1 yellow onion, quartered

2 dried bay leaves

1 tablespoon salt

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped yellow onion

½ cup chopped green bell pepper

½ cup chopped celery

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

The recipe is on line so I won’t include it here.

This was sooooo good.  Lots of shrimp flavor in this one.  A lot of that is due to the fact that you make a shrimp stock using the shells, heads, onions, and bay leaves.  While the recipe called for water I used Seafood stock and added the ingredients to that instead of the water.

This is definitely a South Louisiana dish as it called for a serving of Cajun Potato Salad on the side.  But we are not fans of that mix so I served it with rice instead.  {If you want to try the Cajun Potato Salad the recipe is with the Stew recipe.}  I did make one change.  It seemed a little thin even with the roux {First – you make a roux!} so I added a little water/cornstarch slurry.  Next time I will simply make more roux. 

As soon as cool weather is back (about January here in the South} I will definitely make this again.

The recipe is on the Jan/Feb issue on page 63 but it is also online at Louisiana Cookin‘.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

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It’s a new month which means using anew cookbook for a month.  One that I don’t cook from often enough.  Last month I used Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen . This month I am going a different route.  A MAGAZINE!   Now, wait!  I cleared it first with Joyce.  She said she considered cooking magazines as mini cookbooks.  Done!!  I’ve got my next ‘book’.

Here in Louisiana we have stupendous cuisine.  African.  Native American. French. German. British. Spanish.  This is a state that has had many ‘rulers’ over the years and each one added their spin to the cuisine.

North Louisiana food is different from South Louisiana. The Prairies serve different food from the Coastal areas.  And Central Louisiana, where I live, is a mish/mash of all of it. Lucky us!

I didn’t grow up in Louisiana even though I was born here so I never really learned to cook ‘our’ dishes.  But now, I am learning.  So I subscribe to a mag called Louisiana  Cookin‘ which also has a web site with some of the RECIPES  I will be sending out this month.  You really need to check them out.

Ready for some Louisiana Cuisine?

How about

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Chicken, Andouille, and Shrimp Jambalaya?

Jambalaya is a Louisiana Creole dish that is basically Spanish and French.  It is, but it isn’t a chicken and rice dish.  It is similar to a Paella.  Actually it IS paella but the Spanish in New Orleans couldn’t locate some of their familiar ingredients so they adapted.   It usually contains the “holy trinity” in Creole and Cajun cooking: onion, celery, and green bell pepper.  There is also usually chicken, and sausage of some sort, often a smoked sausage such as Andouille. Some other meat or seafood, frequently pork, crawfish, or shrimp is also included.

The Atakapa Indians are responsible for the name.  The original word “Sham, pal ha! Ya!” means “Be full, not skinny! Eat Up!”. Spanish influence resulted in the current spelling of the name

The recipe is on the Louisiana Cookin’ website so I won’t include it here. But the ingredients include:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 pound andouille sausage, sliced

2 pounds boneless-skinless chicken thighs, cut in 1-inch cubes

1½ cups chopped onion

1½ cups chopped celery

1½ cups chopped green bell pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups long-grain rice

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

5 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

2 fresh bay leaves

1½ pounds large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Garnish: chopped green onion

You really need to make this.  Really!  It is a wonderful example of Louisiana Cookin’!

The recipe is from the September/October issue.  Page 46

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

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