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.. )