Saturday, May 30, 2009

Spicy Cajun Burgers + Bayou Blues


Last night was a blast! The weekend was finally here and I went with a group of friends to the T.G.I.F Downtown Alive block party to celebrate the end of the work week and the beginning of the weekend. Something that Cajuns love to do! We got a great parking space, which is no easy feat, at this event. On our way to Parc Sans Souci, I spotted an old friend on the patio at Stan's Nightclub and Grille. I decided to stop and visit with the table of four, who were ordering some fabulous Cajun cuisine. 

 Suddenly, I was famished and I ordered my favorite item on the menu, Shrimp En Brochette w/ a house salad. Sinfully delicious! Just as we finished dinner, a band was starting to play in the club, so we all decided to move over and listen to some good old bayou blues. Let the good times roll. cher! Hope that all of my bloggie friends are having a fun weekend, too!


Melanie Foreman and Spellbound

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Spicy Cajun Burgers
2 lbs. lean ground chuck 
2 tbs. Cajun seasoning
2 tbs.'s minced garlic
1 or 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
Salt to taste



Place meat and all other ingredients in large bowl and mix gently, but thoroughly. Shape meat mixture into 6 patties and cover with foil and chill for one or more hours. Preheat gas grill on medium- high heat or charcoal grill on medium- high and cook for 7 to 10 minutes on each side, for medium. Baste buns with melted butter and grill to the side for 5 minutes to toast. Garnish with lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles and enjoy, cher! Ca cest bon!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Creole Shrimp Stuffed Avocados + A Cajun Waltz

With the warmer temperatures that we've been having, here in Cajun Country, a lighter fare is especially pleasing. Here is one of my favorite summer recipes that is just perfect for a poolside lunch or just whenever you're in the mood for something light. This divine shrimp salad nestled into an avocado half also fits nicely on a lunch buffet table and will really impress your guests. Garnish with spanish olives and a lemon wedge. Ca' cest bon, cher! Fab!
 


Note: I've had several inquiries about where to buy the Creole seasoning and liquid shrimp and crab boil, so I'm including a link at the bottom of the post.

Creole Shrimp Stuffed Avocados

3 lbs. fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tbs.'s liquid shrimp and crab boil
or  4 to 6 tbs.'s Cajun seasoning
Juice of one lemon 

3 bay leaves

Fill a large pot with water, and add the liquid shrimp and crab boil, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and add shrimp and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and chill for one hour.


6 ripe avocados,  peeled and cut in half
1/2 cup red onions, chopped
1/2 cup green onions and tops, chopped

Dressing

1  cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup chili sauce
1 tbs. Creole or Dijon mustard
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tbs. Tony's Creole or Cajun seasoning
Tabasco sauce to taste

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and chilled shrimp and mix well. Chill until ready to serve. Right before serving, place a large scoop of the shrimp salad on top of the avocado halves. Serve with a good loaf of French bread and a glass of wine. Bon Appetit!

Cajun Supermarket :: Your One Stop Cajun Shop!

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Of all the types of Cajun dancing, the Cajun waltz is perhaps my favorite. It is a romantic swaying of two people with a special etiquette of it's own. It is up to the woman, how close she chooses to get to her partner. This is determined at the onset of the waltz, by how far she extends her arm and body from her dance partner. This is, in turn, respected by the man. It is important to have a knowledgeable dance partner, as the woman dances backwards, and must depend on the man to steer her and avoid running into other couples. The Cajun Waltz is performed in a giant circle on the dance floor.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Cajun Crawfish Boil & Pig Roast ?



One of my dear bloggie buds sent me some pictures in an email, of a shindig that he went to that went on for two days in Millville, Delaware, this weekend. Yes that's right, Delaware! When I saw the pictures, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe some of the lost Cajuns of Katrina could have ended up in Delaware.When you're throwing a crawfish boil and a pig roast within twenty four hours, you'd have to think that Cajuns were somehow involved. After all, many people from New Orleans had ended up in every state in the country, after the mother of all storms hit on August 29, 2005'. When I asked my bud about this, he said that the people throwing the party were from the Eastern Shore of Delaware, but were currently working for a company owned and run by Cajuns! So, it all started to make sense to me. 


Looked exactly like a party that I went to in March, on the bayou in Abbeville. My friend, Cleo throws a big crawfish boil/pig roast every Spring and it is always a blow out of a good time. Cleo is a gracious hostess and spares no expense to make sure that her guests have a great time. When a band is playing at a person's home, then you know that it's going to be good. 

This shindig in Delaware also had a band playing! It looks to me like the friends in Delaware have become honorary Cajuns and they sure know how to throw a party. How does one become an honorary Cajun? One good crawfish boil/pig roast and then you'll understand. Great food, great music, and good old Cajun hospitality, honorary or not.

Let the Good Times Roll , Cher!

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Cajun Style Lobster + Bayou Two-Step


After a rainy day, here in Cajun Country, we pretty much figured that the T.G.I.F. downtown block party was a wash out. It was confirmed on the afternoon news, so I hastily made plans to meet some friends for dinner and dancing, at, Randol's Restaurant and Dancehall. It is not uncommon, to find these two, (restaurant and dancehall), co-existing under the same roof.It's the "Cajun way" to listen to good music, while eating, and to dance to good music, before or after eating, or both.

Tonight's special was Steamed Maine Lobster w/ grilled shrimp and steamed garden veggies. Oh, I could not resist ordering this highly recommended item on today's fabulous menu. Remember that this is the deep South and not every place knows how to prepare this delicacy. Having lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland , where steaming lobster and crab is a culinary art form, I know what a really good steamed lobster is supposed to taste like.


Well, when I tell you that this was one of the best lobsters that I have ever eaten, then you know that I mean it! Spicy and succulent and the butter garlic sauce was out of this world! Absolutely divinely delicious! Ca' cest bon', cher.


 The Jambalaya Cajun Band was cooking up a two-step with one of their melodic, traditional Cajun tunes, and the spirited crowd was dancing before, during, and after dinner. T.G.I.F! Looking forward to a fun weekend, with many Cajun adventures planned. Hope that yours is fun, too! Happy Memorial Day! Let the Good Times Roll, cher!

Jambalaya Cajun Band

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You know you're a Cajun if......
You refer to the four seasons as onions, celery, peppers, and garlic.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Time for Cajun Heartland State Fair + Cajun Grilled Chicken Jalapeno Poppers



It's that time of year again, for the much anticipated Cajun Heartland State Fair. The annual C.H.S.F. is an 11 day state fair, in Lafayette, and offers something fun for the entire family. This year's fair will host an exciting entertainment line-up, featuring Travis Matte and the Zydeco Kingpins, Keith Frank and the Soileau Family Band. Blaine Roy and Second Wind, Dustin Ray and Southern Groove and many more of your favorites. Keith Frank and the Soileau Family Band will kick things off on Thursday evening , May 21, with a fais do do, at the Cox Grandstand, located adjacent to the Cajun Dome. Come on out and get into the festival spirit for 11 days of fabulous Cajun music, food, and fun. This year's fair will also feature the Pepsi Playground, a huge amusement park with thrilling rides for all ages, and fun family oriented games . For more information and to purchase tickets online, click here. See ya'll there! Let the good times roll, cher!

Cajun Grilled Chicken Jalapeno Poppers

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves,
1 tbs. or more Cajun seasoning
12 large jalapenos, cut in half, lengthwise, and seeded
Two 8 oz. packages cream cheese
  3cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. bacon, cut in half, lengthwise


Cut the chicken breasts crosswise into 1/2 inch strips, and season with Cajun seasoning.


Sprinkle the top of each square of cream cheese with the minced garlic.
Cut each square of cream cheese in half, lengthwise, and then cut each half into 6 pieces for a total of 12 pieces per square.


Stuff each pepper with a piece of cream cheese, and press down. Then press a chicken strip down on top of the cream cheese. Wrap each pepper with a strip of bacon and hold in place with a toothpick. 

On an oiled grilling surface, grill away from direct heat for about 10 minutes on each side or until bacon is cooked. You might want to double the batch of these sinfully delicious poppers, cher! Bon appetit!

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Orleans Muffaletta + Cajun Boogie

Of all the wonderful cuisine that New Orleans is famous for, the Muff is one of my favorites. My favorite place to eat muffalettas -muff-uh-lot-uhs,- in New Orleans is Central Grocery, located on Decatur Street, in the French Quarter. The muffulatas, -moo-foo-let-tas-, as they are called at Central Grocery, are the real deal. Pure D. Sicilian! Sinfully delicious!

According to local folklore, the muffuletta was invented in 1906 by Signor Lupo Salvadore, the original owner of Central Grocery. More often, I make these scrumptious muffalettas at home, Cajun style. They are very easy to make and are a delicious addition to any celebration. Mini muffalettas can be made and served on large round platter for party buffets.

The quality of the bread is important. First you will need a 10 inch round French or Italian loaf with a good course texture, and a medium hard crust, and sesame seeds. Most bakeries and specialty bread stores carry this type of bread. And a good quality 16 oz. jar of Olive Salad. (I use Boscoli)

New Orleans Muffalettas


1 (10 inch) round loaf, French or Italian bread
1/4 lb. ham, thinly sliced
1/4 lb. Genoa salami, thinly sliced
1/4 lb. each, Mozzarella and Provolone cheese, sliced
1 cup olive salad, with oil
2 tbs.'s creole mustard

Split the loaf horizontally. Spread top half with Creole mustard. Spread each half equally with olive salad with oil. Place meats and cheeses in layers, alternating each on bottom half of bread.
Cover with top half and serve or, if desired, warm in a 325 degree oven for 5 minutes or until cheeses melt. Oh, Le Bon Manger, cher!

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I received an email requesting a video clip of a Mardi Gras party. There was quite a party going on at The Blue Moon on Lundi Gras, better known as Mardi Gras Eve. This one's for you, Wayne!


Balfa Toujour

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Live From Lafayette- It's Wayne Toups!

The weather cleared later, just in the nick of time for Crouchstock which was held this evening, at Parc International, in downtown Lafayette. Crouchstock is an annual fundraiser in honor of a young man, Jacob Crouch, who tragically took his own life at 24 years of age. The Jacob Crouch Foundation, created by his parents, is dedicated to raising awareness and educating others about this problem in our society, in hopes of saving lives.

It was a triple header with The Richard Revue, The Lost Bayou Ramblers, and Wayne Toups and Zydecajun, playing an awesome 6 hours of fabulous Cajun music. We met a group of friends at the seafood booth for dinner. Of course, I could not pass up the fresh gulf fried shrimp. Cest' bon, cher! The Lost Bayou Ramblers were playing their well seasoned brand of traditional Cajun music that earned them a Grammy nomination in 2009'. 

 
Then the legendary Wayne Toups and Zydecajun took the stage, playing their hot as Tabasco, Zydeco-Cajun music and the rowdy crowd went absolutely wild! Wayne, you out-did yourself! Had no problem dancing off the fried shrimp dinner. It was a total blast and for a great cause that raised almost $50,000! Let the Good Times Roll!


Wayne Toups and Zydecajun
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Fire Up the Grill for Spicy Cajun Kabobs

It's officially the weekend now and time to relax around the bayou and grill up some yummy good stuff. These are my son's favorite, so I decided to start with these fabulous kabobs. I'm expecting guests for dinner and I don't have a lot of time to prepare, so these will be quick and easy. First, you'll want to make the Cajun rub, which is fantastic for anything that you're grilling. I make a large batch and keep in an airtight container, for convenience. I will be serving these scrumptious kabobs with my Cajun Rice Dressing,  and Deviled-Egg Potato Salad. Bon Appetit!



Cajun Rub

2 tbs.'s Tony Chachere's Spice N' Herbs seasoning ( great for blackening or bronzing)
(or Cajun seasoning)
Salt to taste
1 tsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder,
paprika, and thyme

Spicy Cajun Chicken Kabobs


 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into quarters
12 slices of thick bacon, cut in halves
2 large yellow bell peppers, quartered
2 large green bell peppers, quartered
1 carton fresh whole mushrooms, stems removed


Rub chicken with Cajun rub,wrap in bacon and set aside. Place all veggies on large platter and sprinkle with remaining rub. Assemble on skewers, alternating the meat and veggies.

(green pepper, mushroom, bacon, chicken, yellow pepper, mushroom, bacon, chicken, etc.) You can get creative and add any veggies that you like. Grill on medium heat for 10 minutes. Flip and baste with honey mustard or barbeque sauce, and grill for 10 more minutes. Top off with more sauce and grill for 10 more minutes and they will be grilled to perfection. Just the beginning of grilling season in Cajun Country. Ca cest, bon, cher!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cajun Bloody Marys + More Bayou Boogie

Here is a great recipe that I acquired in college, that is
a "no fail" Cajun cure for a hangover. Guaranteed! Cheers!

Cajun Bloody Marys

Absolute vodka to taste 
64 oz. tomato juice
1 Tbs. Tony's Creole seasoning
1 Tbs. horseradish
1 tsp. steak sauce
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. Tabasco
Juice of 1/2 lemon


Mix all ingredients and shake well in a clean gallon jug or pitcher.
Garnish with celery tops and olives, and small cocktail onions.

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Some of my bloggie buds have commented that they want to hear some more music. A little Cajun or maybe Zydeco, or Louisiana Blues ? Lassiez' les Bon Ton Rouler, cher !

Clip # 1 - Festival Acadiens et Creole - Clip # 2 - Tab Benoit and Friends

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spicy Boiled Shrimp w/ Remoulade Sauce

Here's another spicy Cajun favorite that is really popular at my house. With the warmer weather upon us, it's time to think cool, think pool, and think light. It's so easy to fire up the boiling pot or the grill on the patio, in the evenings and it keeps the kitchen nice and cool. I was browsing through my summer recipe collection and came upon this wonderful recipe for Remoulade Sauce that my friend, Gail, gave me. Her boyfriend has a crawfish pond and his buddy is a shrimper, and they frequently bring over tons of crawfish, shrimp, and crabs, to boil on her patio. When she calls me and says, " they're on the way over", then you can bet that I say, " I'm on the way over, too" ! Oh, the life of a Cajun, is oh so good ! Enjoy !

Spicy Boiled Shrimp


3 lbs. fresh jumbo shrimp
1 cup white wine
2 tbs.'s salt
1 tbs. Louisiana brand Crab and Shrimp Boil
or 2 tbs.'s Cajun seasoning per pound
1 tbs. Old Bay seasoning per pound
2 onions, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
4 bay leaves

In a large pot, place the seasonings, wine, onions, lemons, and bay leaves. Add enough water to cover the shrimp + 2 inches and bring to a boil. Boil the seasoned water for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and continue to boil, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat , cover and allow to steep for 10 to 20 minutes, depending how spicy you like it. Drain and set aside and allow to cool.

Remoulade Sauce


 1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbs. yellow mustard+ 1 tbs. Creole mustard
1 tbs. horseradish
1/4 cup green onions + tops, chopped fine
1/4 cup celery, chopped fine
1 tbs.
or more, Cajun seasoning
1 tsp.paprika
Salt to taste
Few shakes of Tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients in bowl and blend thoroughly. Chill  for 1 hour before serving with shrimp. Bon Appetit !

Looking For Cajun Products? Look No Further : Cajun Supermarket

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Cajun Queen for a Day !

It was a marvelous family day, on the bayou, filled with good food, great music, and fun. The day began with a lovely breakfast in bed and roses and just got better as time went on. Families were out on their pleasure boats on the Bayou Vermilion, enjoying the warm but, beautiful day. The line was very long at the Mother's Day buffet, at my favorite restaurant, and was filled with just about every world famous Cajun and Creole dish imaginable. Well worth the wait !! Cest' bon, cher! The Crab Cakes and the Stuffed Shrimp were divine, cher!

Then it was on to the Blue Moon Saloon which celebrated Mother's Day with a benefit for for Lymphoma survivor and friend, Francis Haymark Handy, who has been bravely battling the disease for a couple of years. Happily, she is doing well, but the financial toll has been great.
There was a silent auction with various local artists donating their work for the event.




Three different bands played this benefit and drew a huge crowd. Band #1, "L'Angeleus" really wowed the crowd with their unique style of traditional Cajun music. They are the grandchildren of master fiddler, Hadley Castille, and it is evidently "in the genes".


They were a breath of fresh air with their unbridled enthusiasim and superb performance. Hope that everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day because tomorrow will be business, as usual, right? And time to give up the crown, or not?

L'Angeleus

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Friday, May 8, 2009

T.G.I.F. With French Rockin' Boogie !

There was a beautiful breeze tonight at the T.G.I.F. Downtown Alive, weekly block party at Parc International. Although any breeze is very unusual for May in Louisiana, it took the edge off the heat that was building up on the dance floor. With thousands dancing to the hot, hypnotic beat of Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie. It was just the perfect thing for those of us who may have had a stressful work week and for those just wanting to relax with family and friends It is better known as a fais do do, (fay- dough-dough) or street dance and described as one big,  giant happy hour.


The spirited crowd was really jamming to the traditional zydeco tunes that this popular band is famous for. Zydeco dancing is a very aerobic activity and is very helpful in burning off the many calories consumed in a typical Cajun meal. This is one of the secrets of being a Cajun that you will learn about by hanging around in Cajun Country. Dancing is good for the soul, as well as the body. To dance to a great band, to great music, with my friends and family, on a regular basis, is perhaps one my favorite pastimes. Next to eating delicious fresh gulf seafood, like this shrimp poboy that was my dinner tonight. Ca cest' bon! After while crocodile! Let the good times roll. cher!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spicy Cajun Cornbread + Bayou Boogie

Here's another family favorite that is really easy to make. This was my dear mother's recipe and it's still the best cornbread that I've ever eaten. The sweetness of the corn and the heat of the jalapenos, blend together like bread and butter. The buttermilk and cheese add a special touch. It is a perfect addition to any meal and is a common staple on the Cajun dinner table.

Spicy Cajun Cornbread

2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, optional
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup seeded and sliced jalapeno pepper
1 can creamed style corn

In a large bowl, beat the buttermilk, eggs and oil. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Mix well and pour into a greased cast iron skillet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Cajun Jam- Blue Moon Saloon

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo !

Leave it to the Cajuns to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. On May 5, 1862, the Mexicans defeated the French at the Mexican Battle of Puebla. For more on this battle, click here. A very forgiving group or is the Cajun love of a good party what turns any occasion into a shin-dig ? You tell me. We gladly and willingly joined the Cinco de Mayo celebration at Agave's Mexican Grill and Cantina, in dowtown Lafayette. Their Margaritas were excellent and were on sale, at that. After toasting to the underdogs, ("Long Live the French") we decided to order some of the fabulous food that was all around us. And since I love Mexican food, I decided to order one of my favorite items on the menu. The Fiesta Salad was divine and so colorful and appetizing.

After we ate, some friends called to say that they were at another Cinco de Mayo party at Serrano's Salsa Company and wanted us to join them. There was a Cajun band playing under a big tent, on the restaurant parking lot. It was Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys who have been nominated for several Grammy awards and are considered one of the best Cajun bands in the world. The mood was electrified and the party was just beginning. We had an absolute blast ! Let the Good Times Roll, Let em' Roll, Let em' Roll !

Monday, May 4, 2009

Crawfish Festival Lagniappe' + Bayou Blues

The fun went on Sunday, at the Crawfish Festival, despite a few light showers, later in the day. The long awaited Crawfish Etoufee' Cook- Off drew flocks of happy tasters and the judges had their work cut out for them. But, I still couldn't resist another couple of the Crab, Shrimp, and Crawfish Pistols. Oh, ca' cest' bon, cher! So good! The music was fantastic and Joe Hall and the Louisiana Canecutters were entertaining the crowd with their highly seasoned brand of Cajun/Zydeco tunes.




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Here's a special request from one of my bloggie buds, for this blues medley video that I took at Festival International.. This one's for you, Robert.


Lil' Buck Sinegal and Friends

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Live From Breaux Bridge- It's The Crawfish Festival !

It was a beautiful day at The Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. A tad warm and humid, but with a nice breeze, which kept it from feeling quite so hot. Thousands upon thousands of fans of some of the area's hottest bands were cutting the rug at the festival today, while the aroma of tons of spicy crawfish filled the air and enticed many to indulge in the tasty mudbugs. I ate at least 5 lbs and they were FAB, and so hot and spicy! Cest bon, cher!


I had my eye on this one food booth called Roger's Cajun Pistols. A little later after some Zydeco dancing, I decided to try the Crab, Shrimp, and Crawfish Pistols and "Lawdy Miss Clawdy", they were fabulous! Oh cest' bon!

The Cajun dance contest was a blast and was the fine art of Cajun and Zydeco dancing at it's best. We took a break and headed over to Daiquiris on Wheels for a little refreshment in the form of frozen strawberries and then headed over to the Festival Stage where Steve Riley and The Mamou Playboys were playing and rev-ing up the crowd. The heat was really rising off the dance floor with a whole lot of boogie-ing going on.


Another fun day and another great festival! Let the good times roll!

Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Cajun Life Along the Bayou

T.G.I.F- Thank Goodness It's Funday and Friday! This evening we had our annual community crawfish boil. A sort of reward for living in our great community. Although living here is reward enough, it's lagniappe. A good time was had by all who attended and the crawfish were the best yet. Lots of hot, spicy crawfish always seems to bring out the best in people.
 










 The caterers, La. Crawfish Time, really knew their stuff. Free crawfish and beer, a beautiful day, a good D.J. and great fellowship. Life along the bayou is good!


And tomorrow and Sunday we'll be going to The Crawfish Festival, in Breaux Bridge. I cannot wait to eat crawfish pie, and sample the crawfish etoufee, at the Crawfish Etoufee Cook Off, at the festival. And since many of my favorite bands will be playing, I am looking forward to dancing more than a few two steps. I will be getting lots of pics and videos to share with ya'll,  so stay tuned. It's going to be an absolute blast. Let the Crawfish Roll, Cher!