Archive for January, 2017

My dog Cracker

Posted: January 31, 2017 in General
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photostudio_1469452472338I’m a bit brain dead today so I’m just going to brag a bit about my dog Cracker which is a Chinese Crested breed, Cracker can be hyper at times and loves to play even if your not in the mood to play he will pester you until you play with him, he is a needy type dog but you can’t help but love him.

Mark Boudreaux’s Cajun Jambalaya

Posted: January 30, 2017 in Recipes
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Jambalaya, a Cajun/Creole dish, is perhaps the most versatile main dish that Louisiana has to offer. The most important thing with this dish is to use the right equipment; any heavy bottomed cast iron pot or Dutch oven.

jambalayaIngredients

1 pound Andouille (Cajun) or mild smoked pork sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thigh meat, cubed
1 pound ground Italian sausage (mild)
1 pound cubed ham
2 cups onions, diced
1 cup bell pepper
2 tbsp minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup Old Bays Seafood seasoning (in all), divided
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp white pepper
1/2 tbsp red pepper
3/4 tbsp thyme leaves
3/4 tbsp basil leaves
3 to 4 medium bay leaves
5 cups chicken stock
1 beer
3 cups long grain rice
1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves

Directions

Season chicken thighs generously with Old Bay the night before.

Use high heat to preheat the pot and add the sausage. With a large spoon, constantly move the sausage from the bottom of the pot. Brown the sausage but be careful not to burn the meat; remove sausage.

Using excess sausage drippings, brown the chicken on all sides (you may need to add some oil to pan to sauté). Again use the spoon to scrape the meat from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pot. Be careful not to over cook the thigh meat to the point that it shreds; remove thighs.

Add Italian sausage and start to brown adding onions and bell peppers when sausage is halfway browned. (You may need to add a little oil again).

Add red, black and white peppers to mixture and cook until veggies are translucent, about 5-7 minutes over medium-high heat. Again use the spoon to scrape the meat from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pot.

Add the ham and garlic and cook for another minute stirring and scraping bottom of pot to not scorch garlic. Add the remaining Old Bay seasoning, thyme, basil and bay leaves; stir. Return chicken and sausage to pot; mix and fold. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. This will give the seasonings time to release their oils and flavors.

Add beer to deglaze pan scraping about 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the rice and fold in. Return to a slow boil and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes stirring and scraping pan bottom so rice does not stick and burn to pan bottom; mix in parsley. Reduce heat to the lowest possible setting and simmer, covered, for at least 30-35 minutes. Do not remove the cover while the rice is steaming.

After uncovering there may be some liquid remaining on top. Fold the rice in (DO NOT STIR). Turn off heat and let stand till liquid is absorbed. Remove bay leaves. Enjoy!

Classic Boudin (Boudoin)

Posted: January 30, 2017 in Recipes
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I bet you thought I was going to leave you hanging for those who cannot get Boudin for the Boudin balls recipe previously posted

This is the best classic boudin out there. Boudin is also spelled “boudoin.” Both are proper spellings of the same classic Cajun dish.

boudinIngredients

10 lbs pork roast (pork butt roast works)
4 medium onions
5 shallots
2 bell peppers
3 bunches green onion, chopped fine
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp black pepper
5 tbsp cayenne
9 3/4 cup cooked rice
1 package of casing

Directions

In a large stockpot combine the pork roast, 5 whole shallots, 3 whole onions, and 2 whole bell peppers with enough water to cover the entire contents of pot. Boil until the meat begins to separate from the bone. Remove roast from water and then trim the fat from meat. Reserve stock.

With a meat grinder, grind together the meat with the boiled onions, shallots and peppers. Also grind in one additional raw onion.

Return the meat mixture to the pot and add the green onion and parsley, both chopped fine. Add the white pepper, salt, black pepper and cayenne. Stir thoroughly.

Add the cooked rice to the mixture and keep the consistency "wet" but not too wet to handle. Stuff the boudoin mixture into the casing, make boudoin balls or eat as a rice dressing. Boudoin is often enjoyed with cracklins.

Because this recipe makes a substantial amount of boudoin, most of it will likely be frozen for future use. To thaw the boudoin, heat water to boiling in a large pot and place boudoin in the pot and boil for 10 minutes. Remove and serve. Or, if making boudoin balls, roll in a small amount of breadcrumbs before freezing. To thaw, deep fat fry until golden brown or cook in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes turning balls once.

Boudin Balls

Posted: January 30, 2017 in Recipes
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deep_fried_boudin_ballsIngredients

Boudin
Crushed crackers
2 eggs (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk (optional)
Salt, cayenne, black pepper, to taste
Oil for frying

Directions

Make your boudin, see our recipe. Or, if using the store purchased variety, remove the meat mixture from the casing. Roll the mixture into balls a little smaller than an egg; actually any size.

There are two ways to make these and two ways to cook them.
Method 1. Crush your crackers to a fine meal consistency and season to taste. Or you can buy any flavored crackers. Take the boudin balls and roll them in the cracker meal. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.Heat the cooking oil until a small amount of flour dropped in sizzles on top of the oil. Drop the boudin ball and fry until golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain. Serve warm but it tastes great even when cold.OR preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the balls on a cookie sheet and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown, turning halfway thru the cooking process.

Method 2. Combine the milk and egg in a glass bowl. Set aside.Crush your crackers to a fine meal consistency, season to taste. Or you can use flavored crackers. Roll the boudin balls in the cracker meal. Season to taste.Take the boudoin ball and first coat with the milk and egg mixture; then dredge in the cracker mixture. (You could do this step twice to get a really thick coating.) Place on a plate and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.Heat the cooking oil until a small amount of flour dropped in sizzles on top of the oil. Drop the boudin ball and fry until golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain. Serve warm but it tastes great even when cold.

Pork rinds compliments this dish very well.

Beignets – A French Doughnut

Posted: January 30, 2017 in Recipes
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beignetIngredients

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 packages yeast
6 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs, well beaten

Directions

Cream together shortening, sugar, and salt. Once fully creamed, add one cup boiling water and one cup milk, then set aside.

In another bowl, mix yeast well in 1/4 cup warm water. Add this and beaten eggs to the creamed shortening, sugar and salt mixture.

Add 3 1/2 cups flour and beat with spoon. Add another 3 cups of flour and mix. Put the dough in a greased covered container in the refrigerator.

When ready to fry, roll out dough 1/4 inch thick and cut into 3 inch squares with a knife. Use a knife to cut a 1/2 inch slit in the middle of each square.

Fry in oil heated to about 360 degrees until the beignet is golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Powdered sugar may be sprinkled on top. The dough may be kept in refrigerator for a few days.

Honey Lemon Tea Biscuits

Posted: January 24, 2017 in Recipes
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"Moist, lightly sweet biscuits are just perfect for breakfast or a cup of tea in the afternoon. Try both of these recipes.

Ingredients-640x426Ingredients

2 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Butter (room temp)
3/4 Cups Half & Half
1 Tablespoon Honey
1/2 Lemon Squeezed

Instructions

1.Mix Dry Ingredients
2.Add butter, honey, and lemon, mix until crumbly
3.Add half and half, stir until blended
4.Kneed dough
5.Roll/Pat flat
6.Use cookie cutter (or top of glass) to cut out even circles
7.Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes

 

Raisin Tea Biscuits Red heart

teabiscuitsIngredients

2/3 cup raisins
1 cup hot water
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

Directions

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Soak raisins in water for 10 minutes; drain and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with a knife or pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir milk into the flour mixture until moistened. Add the drained raisins. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll the dough out into a 3/4 to 1-inch thick round. Cut dough with a biscuit cutter and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush egg mixture on each biscuit.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minute

History of King Cakes and recipe

Posted: January 23, 2017 in Recipes, Tutorials
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kingcakeThe Mardi Gras or Carnival season officially begins on January 6th or the "Twelfth Night," also known to Christians as the "Epiphany." Epiphany comes from a Greek word that means "to show." Jesus first showed himself to the three wise men and to the world on this day. As a symbol of this Holy Day, a tiny plastic baby is placed inside each King Cake
The King Cake tradition is thought to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870. A King Cake is an oval-shaped bakery delicacy, crossed between a coffee cake and a French pastry that is as rich in history as it is in flavor. It’s decorated in royal colors of PURPLE which signifies "Justice," GREEN for "Faith," and GOLD for "Power." These colors were chosen to resemble a jeweled crown honoring the Wise Men who visited the Christ Child on Epiphany. In the past such things as coins, beans, pecans, or peas were also hidden in each King Cake.

Today, a tiny plastic baby is the common prize. At a party, the King Cake is sliced and served. Each person looks to see if their piece contains the "baby." If so, then that person is named "King" for a day and bound by custom to host the next party and provide the King Cake.

Mardi Gras Day has a moveable date and may occur on any Tuesday from February 3rd to March 9th. It is always the day before Ash Wednesday, and always falls 46 days before Easter.

King Cake recipe

lge_kingcakeIngredients

1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
2 packages dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
4 to 5 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup warm milk (105 to 115 degrees)
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup finely chopped candied citron
1 pecan half, uncooked dried bean or King Cake Baby
Glaze:
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
Purple, green and gold sugar crystals

Directions

Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Combine the warm water, yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside to a warm place for about 10 minutes. Combine the 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, nutmeg, lemon rind and add warm milk, melted butter, egg yolks and yeast mixture. Beat until smooth. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place the dough in a well-greased bowl. Turn once so greased surface is on top.
Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). Punch the dough down and place on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with the citron and knead until the citron is evenly distributed. Shape the dough into a cylinder, about 30 inches long. Place the cylinder on a buttered baking sheet. Shape into a ring, pinching ends together to seal. Place a well-greased 2-pound coffee can or shortening can in the center of the ring to maintain shape during baking. Press the King Cake Baby, pecan half or dried bean into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Cover the ring with a towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the coffee can immediately. Allow the cake to cool. For the glaze: Combine the ingredients and beat until smooth. To assemble, drizzle cake with the glaze. Sprinkle with sugar crystals, alternating colors.

Do I plan to attend the Mardi Gras Day  and the great parades? Oh yes I am! it’s not that far away for me to travel, I hope the battery power on my scooter can last as long as the parties, food and all the dancing in the streets, and I promise I won’t Martini glass and drive my scooter Fingers crossed

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