Saturday, October 31, 2009

Grilled Beef Tenderloin w/ Mushroom Wine Sauce


Here's one of my favorite recipes from one of my favorite cookbooks. "Something to Talk About", compiled by the Junior League of Lafayette is chocked full of nouveau and traditional Cajun recipes for occasions we celebrate in South Louisiana. Recipe entries are from many of the great Cajun cooks of Lafayette. From Mardi Gras fare to Christmas dinner, this special collection of recipes will help you to prepare and enjoy the world famous Cajun cuisine, no matter where you live. Cest bon! Bon Appetit'!
Click on title to see a review of this cookbook.
Something to Talk About


Grilled Beef Tenderloin

Beef
 
2 lbs beef tenderloin
3 tbs.'s olive oil
1 1/2 tsp.'s salt
1 1/2 tsp.'s pepper

Mushroom Wine Sauce
 
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine
6 shallots, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 tbs.'s all-purpose flour
1 10 oz. can beef consomme'
3/4 cup red wine

For the beef, preheat the grill. Coat the beef with olive oil. Rub a mixture of the salt and pepper into the beef. Place on a grill rack and grill over hot coals for 30 minutes for medium.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallots, onions, and garlic. Saute' for 2 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms. Saute for 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the beef consomme' and red wine for 5 to 8 minutes, until sauce has thickened. Serve immediately over the
beef. Serves 6 to 8 Serve with a big tossed salad and some good French bread to soak up the wonderful flavor of this delectable sauce. Le bon, manger!

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I have received a few requests for more festival dancing videos, so here is one that I took on the Saturday of Festival Acadiens, earlier this month, before the dance area turned into a mud slide. Enjoy! Let the good times roll, cher! Hope that you're all having a great weekend! Happy Halloween!

Balfa Toujour

video

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Time for The Blackpot Festival ! + Mama's Apple Cobbler

Wow, do we ever have a fun weekend coming up, here in Cajun Country! Beginning tomorrow, Friday, October 30th, at 7 p.m., we have the 4th annual South Louisiana Blackpot Festival and Cook-off, taking place at Acadian Village in Lafayette. Some of Louisiana's hottest folk roots bands, will entertain the crowds. Cajun music legend, Hadley Castille , will kick things off on Friday night, at 7:00pm, with the music rolling till midnight. The festival will continue on Saturday, from 11:30 am till midnight. With fall temperatures predicted and sunny skies, on Saturday, it will be a pure pleasure to be outdoors and take in all of what the area has to offer. Get out and enjoy the wonderful festival atmosphere. And did I mention they will have campsites available, just in case you want to have a real Cajun adventure!

A few of the fantastic 21 regional bands slated to perform at the Blackpot Festival are Walter Mouton & the Scott Playboys, The Pine Leaf Boys, with the Red Stick Ramblers closing out the festival on Saturday night. And don't forget about the food. The Blackpot Festival celebrates the old fashioned Cajun way of cooking with black cast ironed pots, without electricity. This cook-off challenges chefs to make their best recipe and then share it with the lucky crowd. For a complete schedule and more details, check out: www.blackpotfestival.com



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Mama's Apple Cobbler

Every fall, while I was growing up, my dear mother would make the most delicious apple cobbler, as an after school snack for us. As soon as we would hit the door, the wonderful aroma of this fabulous treat would announce it's presence in the kitchen. It is, to this day, one of my favorite desserts and simply heavenly with a bit of whipped cream on top or even a scoop of ice cream. Cest bon, cher!


Filling
5 cups apples, (I used Gala), peeled and chopped
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tbs.'s brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
2 tbs.'s butter


Combine all filling ingredients, except butter, in large bowl. Gently mix until blended. Pour mixture into a buttered baking dish and place butter on top, in center.



 


Topping
1 cup flour
1/4 cup each, white sugar and brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tb.'s butter, softened
1 egg

Combine all topping ingredients in a medium bowl, and blend until mixture resembles a crumble. Place topping evenly on top of filling.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serves 6.
Serve a la mode or with whipped cream. Oh, cest bon, cher!! Enjoy!



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Grilled Crab Stuffed Mushrooms + Louisiana Hot Sauce Tour

With all of the requests that I've had for these melt in your mouth mushrooms, I just had to post the recipe. One of my favorite appetizers, these sinfully delicious treats are so divine that you'll want to double the batch! And so quick and easy for those busy days. Bon Appetit!

Grilled Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

1 1/2 cups lump crab meat, picked over
1 tbs. crushed garlic
1 tbs. bread crumbs
1 tbs. Cajun seasonings
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 pounds large fresh mushrooms, stems removed
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp.'s melted butter
Grated cheddar or Parmesan cheese

 
Combine crab meat and 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Add garlic, parsley, and seasoning and mix well. Stir in egg and blend gently. Fill mushroom caps with crab mixture. Mix 1 tbsp. bread crumbs in melted butter and place a little of this mixture on top of each mushroom. Top with cheese. Grill on medium heat for 15 minutes or bake @ 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Serves 10 Enjoy!


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Louisiana Hot Sauce Tour


What do you get when you have two master bluesmen playing a gig in one club, packed with Cajuns, in downtown Lafayette? One hellava good time, cher, oh the fun!! Nitetown night club was the scene Friday night, for the Louisiana Hot Sauce Tour, featuring two of the best Southern blues musicians in the country! The place was packed to the gills with happy fans!

One of the greats performing was Kenny Neal, who was born in New Orleans, and is the son of master bluesman, Raful Neal. Kenny has mastered the art of the harmonica, bass, trumpet, piano, and guitar, making him one of the masters of the genre. Kenny and his hotter than hot band were getting down!

 
Born in Baton Rouge, Tab Benoit rocked the packed house with his eclectic style of swamp and soul, blues guitar, mixed up with a little Chicago blues. When I tell you that he is good, cher, you know that I mean it! Tab was letting his hair down at this great show. Let the good times roll, cher!

Here is one of my all time favorite videos of Kenny Neal & the Neal Family Band.
Grab a cold drink and enjoy these fabulous bayou blues! Cheers, ya'll!!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tailgating Fun - Cajun Style!




















What a blast we had on Saturday, tailgating at the U.L.L. (University of Louisiana at Lafayette ) homecoming game, in Lafayette. (also, my alma mater and my daughter's) Cajun Field played host to 21,000 Ragin' Cajuns fans decked out in red and hot peppers and cooking up a storm.
 
The Krewe Des Amis tent was my favorite, by far! Dynamite, food, decorating, and music!


Check out this platter of wings!


When I tell you that these Cajuns know how to throw a tailgating party like nothing you've ever seen......... And Lawd have mercy, cher, there was some good eating at Cajun Field today! This guy was grilling up some crab-stuffed mushrooms and boudin. Both, out of this world!!!

And what's a Cajun party without some fabulous live Cajun music provided by Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin' Cajuns. This is one tight band that blew the roof off the place with their high energy tunes. Let the good times roll, cher!


The crowd loved this band!


My camera battery went out, 19 seconds into the video that I was taking.
So, I danced for the rest of the time. But at least you can get an idea of the fun!

video

This one only lasted 9 seconds. Cie la vie!

video

A beautiful day, well spent with friends and family, enjoying great food and music, supporting our team. Does life get any better than that? What did you do for fun, this weekend?

An Award + Cajun Lagniappe!


I was totally surprised and honored when my dear friend, Dave, over at My Year on the Grill, presented me with the "i give good blog award"! In his award post, (click here to read) he gave me the best shout out that I've ever received and I'd like to say "Merci beaucoup, Dave! Please take time to visit his incredible grilling blog, which entertains, informs, and educates so many of us foodies. His recipes, step by step directions, tablescapes, and writing are excellent and worthy of praise. And did I mention that he's hilarious and makes me laugh, every time I visit him. He is currently in New Orleans, taking Cajun dance lessons, eating Cajun food, and having a blast in the French Quarter but will soon be back, posting all about his adventures in Louisiana. Lassiez les bon ton rouler, cher!

The rules for the
"i give good blog" award: Make a cocktail, pick out four of your favorite bloggers. Send this award to them, and tell them why you think they give good blog.

Banana Colada Daiquiris
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4 oz. spicy gold rum
8 oz. pineapple juice
2 oz. coconut cream
2 bananas
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In blender, place all ingredients plus 1 cup crushed ice, and blend on high speed for 1 minute.
Garnish with maraschino cherry, banana slice, and fresh pineapple slice. Serves two. Enjoy! Cheers!


Note: This simply divine drink can also be made without alcohol. Equally delicious!


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Now that everyone has a drink, heck, make it a double, since it's Friday!, I'd like to propose a toast to several bloggers who give VERY good blog! There are so many great bloggers out there, but I'm supposed to only pick four. Cheers!Angie @ Gumbo Writer
whose fun blog with a slightly Cajun view on things, will keep you on your toes, as a writer, and have you rolling with laughter at her jokes. Her great writer's contests and interviews are always interesting and there is never a dull moment ! As "canaille" as they come!
Carol @ The Writer's Porch
whose Southern charm and humorous posts about farm life in Mississippi, capture the hearts of many and her sunrise photos are gorgeous. Her yard sale/flea market finds never cease to amaze me, as do her great book reviews and writing . A true Southern belle!

Eddie @ Clouds and Silvery Linings
who has one of the best blogs on the planet. His imagination is second to none and his kindness and friendship are hard to beat! His writing and wit are fantastic and he really gives you a bang for your buck! A charming English gentleman! (when he's not portraying Mr. Hyde)


Katherine @ Smoky Mountain Cafe'
whose fabulous cooking blog has inspired so many to venture out of their comfort zone and try something new. Her nouveau New Orleans cooking style and recipes are wonderful and her photos are excellent! And check out her Thanksgiving 08' post! True Southern hospitality!

Please pay them a visit and tell them I sent you! Congrats to all!

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Another great fun weekend coming up, here in Cajun Country. With beautiful weather,
(mid to upper 70's and sunny) on tap for the whole weekend, it's sure to be a blast. Get out there and enjoy everything that Acadiana has to offer! Here are a few lagniappe pics of some recent Cajun fun. Have a bon ton , ya'll!




Lassiez les bon ton rouler, cher!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gumbo Cook Off + French Rockin' Boogie !

After a delicious Shrimp Poboy for lunch, at Pat's Downtown, we took a break from eating, and went over to the Filling Station Pub and Grille for a little siesta. It was a beautiful day, perfect for sitting out on their lovely patio, and sipping a glass of wine with a good friend. We were resting up for the Gumbo Cook Off, at 4 o'clock, at Parc International, in downtown Lafayette.

Happy hour started a little early today at 4:00 pm, at the Acadiana Realtor's Association, Gumbo Cook Off.There were lots of different kinds of gumbo, with 24 booths to choose from!! Of course, I tried the seafood gumbo first. When I tell you that this was some of the best seafood gumbo that I have ever eaten, then you'd better believe it, cher! Cest bon! Then, there was duck and sausage, shrimp and okra, chicken and sausage, crab and oyster.... etc. Are you starting to get the idea? Le bon mange'!

This duck and sausage gumbo was going fast! Cest bon, cher!


Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie

And what's a gumbo feast without a little Cajun/Zydeco music? Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie entertained the crowd and sent the dancers into Zydeco overdive! My camera was having issues, so I couldn't get a video, but here is a clip that I took, this summer, of Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie, at Whiskey River, on the beautiful Atchaflaya Basin. Just to give you an idea of how this band can rock a crowd. Oh, the life of a Cajun, is oh, so good!!

video

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicken, Andouille, and Oyster Gumbo + Cajun Blues

With our first taste of fall, here in Cajun Country, I had the strongest "ahnvie" to cook a gumbo. No arguments from anyone at my house. It is a perfect dish for cooler weather and satisfies the soul. There are about as many ways to cook a gumbo as there are cooks, but this is one of my favorites. I used Andouille sausage, a spicy local sausage that is brimming with flavor and adds a smoky taste that is out of this world! Cest bon,!


Chicken, Andouille, and Oyster Gumbo

Roux
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cut up fryer or gumbo hen
1 pkg. Andouille sausage (or smoked sausage), sliced
1 pt. oysters w/liquid
1 cup each onions, bell peppers, and celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbs.'s Cajun seasoning (divided)
Salt and Tabasco to taste
3 bay leaves
3 quarts warm water

First, you make a roux.

Combine flour and oil in a large Dutch oven, on medium heat, and stir constantly, for about 10 to 15 minutes, until medium brown in color. Scrape bottom and sides, often. When desired color is reached, lower heat and add the "holy trinity" ( onions, celery,, and bell peppers), and garlic, stir well for about 3 minutes, then slowly add the warm water. Add seasonings, bay leaves, and Tabasco , and bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, brown seasoned chicken and sausage, on both sides, in a large cast iron skillet. Drain excess oil and add to the gumbo. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add green onions, parsley, and oysters, and a few shakes of Tabasco, and stir and cook for 10 more minutes. Skim excess oil and serve with a scoop of rice and potato salad and hot French bread. Serves 8

They say that it's a true sign of a Cajun to eat the potato salad IN the gumbo, instead of ON the side!
Moi-j'aime-ca-comme -ca , (I like it like that), cher! Bon Appetit!

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Here is one of my favorite bands, The Traiteurs, It is comprised of a group of Cajun Country's finest and guaranteed to make you wanna dance. Crank it up and enjoy, ya'll!!



Saturday, October 17, 2009

75 Years of Great Cajun Seafood + T.G.I.F !

There is a special anniversary coming up on Sunday. Don's Seafood and Steakhouse, in downtown Lafayette, is celebrating their 75th anniversary! It was a tradition in my family to go out to Sunday dinner, at our favorite restaurant in Lafayette. Every Sunday, after church, we would travel to Lafayette (20 miles) to eat a sinfully delicious dinner at Don's. My dear mother cooked 6 days a week and Sunday was her well deserved day off. We would always sit at the same table and the food was always divine! 


My darling daughter and I had lunch at Don's, only yesterday and this is an actual photo that she took of her Broiled Seafood Salad! "To die for", cher! I just love their stuffed shrimp and crabs , seafood gumbo, and the seafood platter is fabulous! But I ordered the Seafood Stuffed Eggplant and after one bite, I thought I was in heaven! Happy 75th Don's, we love you!

 
T.G.I.F.

It was a glorious cool day in Cajun Country and the T.G.I.F. block party, at Downtown Alive, was packed to the gills for an excellent and exciting performance by Sonny Landreth and his highly seasoned Southern Rock/Blues band. They were on a very high frequency and really rocked the high spirited crowd into oblivion! Sonny is an old friend of mine from the college days. That is another post entirely! It was a fantastic show and a everyone passed a good time!


After the concert the massive crowd headed over to different downtown restaurants and clubs, for a little refreshment. The Harley gang was parked in front of Stan's Downtown, as usual. There was such an excitement in the air that was so invigorating! It feels as if Fall is finally here and we are getting some nice weather.


Lots of Cajuns having fun and enjoying life! The music, the food, the dancing, everyone just having a blast! The weekend is going to be packed with fun with the 73rd Annual Rice Festival in Crowley,( go here for a complete schedule of events), and don't forget the Boudin Cook Off on Saturday, in downtown Lafayette. Hope you all have a blast over the weekend! Let the good times roll, cher! Cheers ya'll!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Marguerite's Cornbread Muffins + More Bayou Boogie!

When my kids were little, they didn't like cornbread, cut into triangles, so I started making cornbread muffins. Suddenly, they loved cornbread and would eat several at a time, especially with chili or soup. I have used my basic cornbread recipe and added a few tweaks. Now that they're grown and have developed a taste for hot and spicy food, I add jalapenos and cheese. Buttery, hot, and delicious!

 
Marguerite's Cornbread Muffins

2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped jalapeno pepper (optional)

In a large bowl, beat the buttermilk, eggs and oil. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Mix well and pour into greased muffin cups, or use paper liners and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Bon appetit!

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Here's a little more bayou boogie, from the Festival Acadiens ,on Saturday, that I uploaded to You Tube. I'd like to dedicate this song to my dear friend, Janine, over at Sniffles and Smiles, who had surgery today. Please visit her wonderful blog and keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas were rockin' this crowd before the dance area became mud. Hot! Enjoy!!

Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas

Monday, October 12, 2009

Festival Finale' + Dancin' in the Mud

Heavy overnight rains turned the final day of Festival Acadiens et Creole into a bit of a mud bath, and a good pair of boots was needed to maneuver the muddy terrain. However, the mud did not dampen the spirits of this group of Cajuns, in the least, and the show and the dancing went on! A testament to a Cajun's love of a good party, no matter what!


Many others opted for bare feet, if they were doing some serious dancing. And some serious dancing was going on, indeed, as you can see for yourself. It would take a lot more than a little rain and mud to stop these Cajuns from having their good time!


Some really got into it because after all, mud does wash off, and it will be another long year before this festival returns. The lovely blonde in the photo is my dear daughter, and let me tell you, she was dancing up a storm with this guy from New Orleans! I took a lot of videos and will be posting them, here and there, for a long while to come! A Cajun Woodstock, indeed! Now do you know what it means to be a Cajun?

Saturday- Balfa Toujours
video

Sunday- Lost Bayou Ramblers

video

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Oh Big Fun on the Bayou ! - Part Deux

Festival Acadien et Creole - Day 1




An amazing day here in Cajun Country and DRY!! Day 1 of Festival Acadiens went off without a hitch! It didn't rain all day, except for a few light sprinkles and if you were dancing, it felt good! A whole lot of rosaries were said for the rain to go away and it did!!! The second day of the festival was an absolute blast and the music was INCREDIBLE! I took a lot of pics and videos, but no time to upload, now. The crowd was electric and highly charged and there was some of the best dancing going on that I've ever seen. Lawd have mercy ! Fun, oh so fun!! It rained steadily all night last night, so the festival park was quite muddy. This was turning into a Cajun Woodstock , more than ever, with all the slipping and sliding and dancing in the mud.


Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas were driving the crowd wild, with some of the best bayou blues/zydeco/jitterbug boogie!



Balfa Toujours was hot as jalapeno peppers, with their highly seasoned, traditional Cajun dance music, and lots of two-steps.


And Jimmy C. Newman and Jo-el Sonnier brought the house down.


And, "The Food"! Well you just can't even imagine how sinfully good the Cajun booths were.



And Bon Creole was the pick for Shrimp and Crawfish Poboys.


And the seafood etouffee from Fezzos was out of this world! And the best part is that we get to do the whole thing all over again, tomorrow! Lassiez les bon temps rouler! Oh the life of a Cajun is, oh, so fun!!! Hope that ya'll are having fun, too! Merci for coming by, cher and stay tuned!!!