Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Amazing Grace in French.. and beautiful scenes in Louisiana

Okay Ladies, here is the link to a beautiful version of Amazing Grace, sung in French along with lovely scenery of the Atachafalaya Basin in southeast Louisiana. Make sure to have your sound on and volume up. I hope you enjoy this and are getting a feel for the lifestyle of the Cajuns who live here. .......La Grace du Ciel .....If you should have trouble with this link, just google Amazing Grace in French and it should pop up for you.. let me know if you can view it.. hugs.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Shrimp Recipes

Okay Girls, As requested some delicious new Shrimp Recipes. Let me hear from you after you have tried them! Louisiana is all about the food and we do take pride in our cooking! Try these, i am trying to give you all some recipes that are Delicious Not Difficult! Bon Appetit!

Shrimp Delight (serves 6-8)
1 stick butter Or margarine (hint-- use the good stuff)
2 1/2 cups shrimp, chopped
1 bunch shallots, chopped
1/4 cup parsley flakes
2 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 - 2 cups milk (may use cream)
1 tsp Creole seasoning (Zatarains or Tony's Chachere's)
Red pepper
1 small jar mushrooms, drained
1/4 lb. Romano or Swiss cheese, grated

Melt butter. Add shrimp and cook 2 minutes. Add shallots and parsley and saute'. Blend in flour and add milk. Stir until heated then add seasonings and mushrooms. Allow mixture to heat while gently stirring. Add cheese just before serving. Serve hot as an appetizer or dip OR as an entree over rice, pasta or potatoes. (can also use left over turkey or chicken in place of shrimp)
From Darlene Jones, Franklinton, LA.

Shrimp Marguerite( serves 6-8)
1 stick butter
1 1/4 cup onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 pods garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup water
1 can Rotel tomatoes, chopped
3 cups raw, peeled shrimp, cut in half
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup pimento, chopped
4 slices bread
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 cups cooked rice
Bread crumbs

Saute' chopped seasonings in the butter. Add shrimp and Rotel tomatoes. Cook together for 5 minutes. Add mushroom soup, water and pimento. Cook for 5 minutes more. Soak bread slices in water to cover. Squeeze all water from the bread. Add to shrimp mixture (break apart with spoon as you stir). Add 2 cups cooked rice and parsley. Pour into greased casserole and cover with bread crumbs. Bake 1//2 hour at 450 degrees. ummmmmm, good!
From Mrs. Marguerite Blue
Broussard, LA

Hot Shrimp (serves 3-5)

4 lbs. shrimp
Wishbone Italian dressing
Pepper, cracked or coarsely ground
1 lb. butter

Wash fresh shrimp. Cover with dressing and marinate overnight in covered container in refrigerator. Drain shrimp, leaving wet with dressing. Place in large baking pan. Cover with butter and pepper. Use pepper liberally. Bake 45 minutes (or less depending on your oven)in 400 degree oven. Stir Occasionally. Peel and enjoy!
From: Roselyn Causey
Ringgold, LA

Bonus: Bread pudding and Rum Sauce
Serves (8-10)
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 15 oz. can Pet milk(evaporated milk)
1 1/2 cups water
6 slices white bread
1 tbsp. vanilla

Rum Sauce
1 cup milk
1 cup evaporated milk (Pet milk-- our brand here in the south)
3 tbsp. corn starch
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 cups sugar
1-3 oz. Rum
1 tsp. cinnamon
l tsp. nutmeg

Melt butter, add sugar and mix. Add eggs one at a time mixing after each. Add milk and water and mix well. Tear up 6 slices of bread and punch down in the liquid. Add vanilla, it sometimes looks like clabber. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle over top with a mixture of 2 tbsp of sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp. nutmeg. Bake at 350 degrees for 25- 30 minutes.
Rum sauce preparation. Heat the two milks with butter and sugar, add the cornstarch mixed with a small amount of water. Cook and stir until thick. Remove from fire, add rum and stir well. Serve over bread pudding.. Hot is best, but can be cold if you prefer.

From Billie Howell
Grayson, LA

Just a note: You can be very creative with bread puddings. You can add fruit, like raisins, peaches or dates and some pecans never hurt either. Stale bread is great for this, especially stale french bread. My dad said it was not bread pudding without raisins! Experiment and enjoy ya'll.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Stuffed Baked Catfish

The story behind this recipe goes like this:
One Saturday afternoon, we recieved a call from some old friends from Up North, who announced they were dropping in on us that night and were really hungry for Cajun seafood. A quick forage through our kitchen produced some catfish fillets and some crawfish tails. My thought was that the more fattening a dish is, the better i like it. So, we combined all the ingredients and came up with Stuffed Catfish Fillets.. leave it to a Cajun to turn an otherwish low calorie dish into a meal that will get you offers to be the Weight Watchers poster child!
Our friends departed two pounds heavier but wouldn't leave until we gave them the recipe! Ed Roy (From the Tell me More Cookbook)

2 pounds catfish fillets
1 pound crawfish
1 stick butter
1 cup chopped green onions
1-2 (8 ounce)packages cream cheese
Salt, pepper, parsley, onion tops to taste

Season to taste and bake catfish uncovered on a Pam coated layer of foil until golden brown in a 500 degree oven. In a seperate pan, melt butter and saute' whole crawfish and green onions for about 10 minutes. Melt cream cheese into crawfish mixture and cook until bubbly.. Add other seasonings , pour on top of each fillet.. makes 4 servings..

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ready for another Recipe.. here is a tried and true one!

This one is called "Breakfast in a Hurry".. It won an award in 1992, the third place winner at the Acadiana Culinary Classic.. hope you enjoy this!

1 (16) oz package bulk sausage
6 eggs
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
1 cup biscuit mix
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon season-all

cook and drain sausage. Put in 8 X 11 inch casserole dish.. Mix together thoroughly the remaining ingredients. Pour egg mixture over the sausage and bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Serves 10 (taken from the Tell Me More Cookbook)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Gone Pecan and some Recipes!

Hello Girls... well, i am going to Panama City, FL for a few days to meet with Anita about all this Giddy Up business. May not have computer access while there and did not want to leave you all with "nothing new on the blog." SOoooo,, am going to list a couple of recipes to help you relax over the weekend.. Hope you Enjoy them and know we are STILL working on the Cajun Caravan trip for you all. Stay tuned for more news and other "stuff" when i return. Happy Trails! Did you check out the new music too? How are you liking the French songs? Are we in New Orleans yet? LOL

MY MINT JULEP(makes one drink)

1 dozen fresh mint leaves, plus 2 sprigs of fresh mint
1 tsp sugar
2 ounces of bourbon
1 oz of dark rum
Finely crushed ice
Put the mint leaves in a tall glass. Add the sugar and, with a spoon, crush the leaves and stir. Pour in the bourbon and the rum.
Fill the glass with the ice, then juggle (don't stir) until the outside of the glass
is heavily frosted. Garnish with the mint sprigs. Enjoy!

(makes 4 appetizer servings)

6 tablespoons of butter, melted
1 pound of lump crabmeat
1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup of finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup of toasted almond slivers
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
Toast points

Heat the butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add the crabmeat, lemon juice, green onions and almonds. Toss gently. Season with salt and cayenne.
Cook for two minutes and serve with toast points.

makes 6 servings

4 medium size red bell peppers
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups of chicken broth
1 quart of heavy cream
Salt, cayenne pepper, and Tabasco, (to taste)
1 pound of lump crabmeat

Split the peppers in half, remove the seeds and chop coarsely.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the peppers and cook, stirring, for two to three minutes, or until soft. Add the chicken broth and cook for five minutes.
Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and process for 15 seconds.
Return the mixture to the pot. Add the cream, bring to a gentle boil and reduce the mixture until it thickens slightly. Season with salt, cayenne and hot sauce. Add the crabmeat, reduce the heat, and simmer for five minutes. Serve immediately.

All recipes taken from "Who's your Mama, Are you Catholic and Can You make a Roux?" cookbook #2 by Marcelle Bienvenue

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cajun story Part III

Exiled from Acadie, separated from loved ones, mistreated and enslaved, the Acadians might well have been destroyed as a culture. But they endured and survived. Hearing of Louisiana with its own French heritage, thousands of exiles began a tortuous journey through the North American wilderness. When they reached New Orleans, they again faced disappointment and despair. The French Creole nobility wanted nothing to do with these French farmers and fisherman.
Ironically, it was the Spanish, then in control of Louisiana, who provided land grants in Southwest Louisiana for the Acadians. The long, hard journey ended in the lush coastal wilderness, where they would live in isolation until reasonably modern times, clinging to their language and customs and carving, from the marshes and swamps- another Acadie. Here they reaped the bounty of the bayous, rivers and the prolific Gulf waters, the untamed marshes and the great Atchafalaya swamp.
And, in their new Acadie, there was the same family spirit among neighbors and the same zest for living- undaunted by one of the most brutal ordeals in the history of the American continent.
The name Acadian has been contracted to "Cajun", and was actually resented at one time by the descendants of the Nova Scotia exiles. Now, it is used with affection and respect, and has a bouncy ring that seems in keeping with the laughing way of life of these unique people.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Southern Pecan Pie

They say Crayfish, we say Crawfish. They say Pee-Kan, we say Puh-Kahn. And our Northern friends are as fasicinated by our Pecan Pie as they are our crawfish dishes.. Regardless of how you say it, Pecan Pie is a true Southern Treat!

Southern Pecan (PUH KAHN) Pie
1 prepared pie shell

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup white karo syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups pecan halves

Pour into pie shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on cake rack.
from "Tell Me More Cookbook"

Cajun Story Part II

Once there was a place called Acadie... Located on the Bay of Fundy in what is now Nova Scotia, the areas was colonized in 1604 by hardy French farmers and fishermen who found such beauty, peace and joy in the family-like companionship of their neighbors in the simple setting, that they chose to give it a name derived from the Greek legend of the nearly Utopian province of Arcadia. Hence, the French colony became Acadie, and its people, Acadians.
The Acadians were willing and eager workers, and their hard labor brought forth a rich natural bounty from their new land. They lived in idyllic simplicity. There was little currency, goods and services were bartered. There was perfect harmony with each other and with their Indian neighbors. There land was truly Acadie.
Then the rule of the area passed from the French to the British, and eventually conflict arose between those countries. The British were wary of these French Acadians in thier midst, especially when they refused to sign an oath of alligance to the Crown, unless it contained provisions for them to continue in their Catholic religion and protected them from having to bear arms against the enemies of the British Empire, which could have included not only their French countrymen, but also their friends, the Indians. The biggest concern of the British was the concern over the fact that the choicest land belonged to these French Acadians. They felt the property so hard earned by the Acadians should rightfully be inhabited by the loyal British subjects.
The entire story is long and filled with manuevers motivated both by military concern and the attractivness of this precious real estate owned by the Acadians. The Acadians, in 1755 saw their villages burned and found themselves herded onto British ships, dispersing them throughout the colonies. Families were torn apart, many never to see each other again. Deaths on the ships were rampant. No one received the Acadians with open arms. Many were not allowed off the ships and many died in the cramped hold of those ships. Many were pressed into a form of slavery called Indentured Servitude. (to be continued)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Story of the Cajuns Part 1

This will be a " to be continued" story about the lifestyle of Cajuns in LA..hope you enjoy the history lesson!
In other parts of the world, little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice, while little boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails.. Little Cajun children, on the other hand are made of gumbo, boudin, sauce piquante,and crawfish stew! This was taken from an essay called "What is a Cajun?" This points up a truism about the Acadian people of South Louisiana: Food is more than sustenance, it is a keystone of the Cajun Lifestyle.
The history of the unique dishes served at the Cajun dinner table is a vital part of the overall history of the Cajuns. The culinary traditions were born in times when these unusual people battled hardships of epic proportion! Reflected in the traditions and recipes is the remarkable spirt and coping ability of a people who lived through years of brutal persecution and overpowering misery. For the most part the classic Cajun dishes were developed by people who were poor in material goods, and had to feed large families (12 children in a family was NOT unusual) with whatever the fertile but harsh land produced. They gathered what was available in their isolated world of dense forests, swamps, coastal marshes and undeveloped prairies, and with a culinary magic that is theirs alone, transformed these simple ingredients into gourmet delights.
This was taken from a book called Tell me More, a cookbook spiced with Cajun Traditions and Food memories)

Request for Etouffee!

First you start with a roux! Do we all know what a roux is? It is the basis for All of our rich southern dishes. If you do not know, you can look it up and/or email me and I can explain a roux on here if you want me too.. Just let me know and i will be glad to help you out! In this recipe the roux is red because it is an Etouffee.. and made with a tomato sauce base. In other dishes the roux is brown in color and is what gives the color to gumbo, etc.

This recipe is for Shrimp Etouffee, (but you can substitute crawfish if you want)

1/2 cup butter or olive oil
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 finely chopped celery
1 cup chopped dry onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme
1 Tbsp. crushed mustard seed or
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
a dash of cayenne pepper or a few
dashes of hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 (15 oz.) can tomatoes, cut up
1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 lb shirmp, cleaned and deveined
3 cups of hot cooked rice

In a large saucepan, combine the flour and the butter or olive oil, continuing to cook until it is a rich red brown (roux), stirring very frequently.. Stir in the onion, garlic, and celery.. Continue stirring and cooking until onion is limp, adding the thyme, mustard, pepper and salt..Stir in the tomoatoes, tomato sauce, and water and cook for about 15 more minues, medium heat. Add the shrimp and continue cooking until shirmp are opaque or done to your liking.. Serve the Etouffee over hot, cooked rice.. This serves 6 people. Enjoy

Tip: when making a roux, NEVER leave it unattended.. you must stir and keep the flour moving or it will stick and taste burned.. then the whole dish is ruined.. Make this when you have time to stand at the stove and stir often.. Delicious food awaits you!
This recipe taken from "A Taste of Southern Hospitality Cookbook"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cajun Recipes

Okay Girls to get you all prepared for the great food here in Louisiana .. we are gonna practice!! I am going to be posting some favorite foods and you can try them out on your families.. You have a year to get ready!
Let me just say this.. having grown up here in Louisiana I do NOT understand the concept that everything has to be HOT.. our food has always been known to be flavorful, not just spicy.. so use caution with the hot sauce, because you will bury the other great tastes, unless you "just like everything hot", and some do.. Enjoy!

Crawfish Dip
Serves 8-10

1 lb. crawfish tails (can buy frozen and thaw)
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
1 stick butter or margarine
2 tbsp. flour
1 can mushrooms, (bits and stems)
1 1/2 cartons sour cream
Salt and pepper
Hotsauce if desired

Saute' 1/2 bunch of green onions, i stick of butter and 1 lb. of crawfish tails until done.. ( a couple of mins.) Add parley and 2 tbsp of flour to thicken. Add 1 can of bit and stems ( mushrooms) and 1 1/2 cartons of sour cream.. salt an pepper to taste.. cook slowly, then serve warm with chips. Enjoy!

Crawfish Fettucine
serves 6-8

1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 tbsp flour
1 lb crawfish tails (can buy frozen if necessary and thaw)
1/2 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 pint Half and Half cream
Parmesean cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 package fettucine noodles
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. pimento
1 tbsp. jalapeno peppers (if desired)

Saute' first 4 ingredients for 15 minutes.. Add flour.. Cover and cook on low fire for 15 mins (sitrring freguently). Add crawfish tails.. stir well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes (sir often!) Add cheeses, cream, garlic, jalapnoes, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes more. Meanwhile boil noodles, drain and pour into sauce.. Gently blend together, then pour into buttered dish and sprinkle on Parmesean cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy~

NOTE: you can use shirmp instead of crawfish in both of these recipes if you cannot get crawfish in your part of the country.
(Both of these recipes were taken from The Louisiana Proud Collection of HOME COOKING cookbook.. )