Monday, December 28, 2009

Cajun New Year's Buffet

Here are a few fabulous Cajun recipes that will go great with your New Year's menu. I will be having friends and family over on New Year's Day, for a casual holiday buffet. I plan to serve an array of appetizers such as Spicy Cajun Buffalo Wings, and Crawfish Dip and several seafood favorites, such as Spicy Boiled Shrimp w/ Remoulade Sauce, and Fried Catfish, along with Smothered Creole Cabbage and New Year's Jambalaya. And of course, an assortment of homemade biscuits and muffins, and our first King Cake of the year! Did someone say King Cake? If it's New Years, can Mardi Gras be far behind?! Cest bon, cher! Bon Appetit!

Spicy Boiled Shrimp 

3 lbs. large fresh shrimp, heads removed
1 cup white wine
2 tbs.'s salt
1 tbs. or more Louisiana brand
Crab and Shrimp Boil, Cajun seasoning may be substi
tuted)
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
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 mayonaise
1 tsp. yellow mustard + 1 tsp. Creole mustard
2 tsp.'s horseradish
1 tsp. each, minced onion, bell pepper, and celery
1/4 cup green onion tops, chopped fine
1 tbs. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
Few shakes of Tabasco sauce
A little milk for consistency

Combine all ingredients in bowl and blend thoroughly. If too thick, thin with a little milk until desired consistency is reached. Chill sauce for 1 hour before serving with shrimp. Cest bon!

 New Year's Jambalaya

 1 pound andouille (or other smoked sausage),
sliced thin, then cut in half
1 cup cubed ham
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs.'s Creole or Cajun seasoning
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup, uncooked rice
1 cup cooked blackeye peas
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1/4 cup green onion
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Few shakes Tabasco

Brown the sausage and the ham in large Dutch oven, over medium heat. Drain excess oil, leaving a small amount. Add "the trinity" and Creole seasoning, and cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft. (about 10 minutes) Add the chicken stock, rice, black-eye peas, mustard, and Tabasco, and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower heat, stir and cover, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until liquid is absorbed. I love to serve this fabulous dish with a big salad and a hot crusty loaf of French bread. And maybe a nice glass of wine, too! 
Bon Appetit!

Happy New Year, Ya'll! Let the good times roll, cher! Cheers!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday Pics + Bayou Boogie !

Here are a few pics of some of the fabulous Cajun dishes that I served on my Christmas Eve buffet. The Roast Turkey and Cornbread- Sausage Casserole were really scrumptious and the Cajun Baked Ham w/Sugarcane-Bourbon Glaze was out of this world! And this was despite the fact that I accidentally turned the oven to broil, instead of bake, for 30 minutes, before I noticed !! This is what happens when I try to cook before I have my coffee! It just charred the outside of the ham, and the inside was moist and delicious! Oh, cest bon, cher!






And what's Christmas, without some sinfully delicious BeBe's Potato Salad and Crawfish Etouffee! Cest bon, cher!


And a few more yummy sides, Broccoli-Cheese Casserole, Sweet Potato Fluff, and Cajun Cornbread Dressing! Le bon manger,cher!




Hope that ya'll had a wonderful Christmas and are relaxing, tonight, with your favorite holiday drink. A few friends stopped by and we are drinking Banana Coladas and Cranberry Jacks and listening to some classic rock mixed in with a little bayou boogie.

Cranberry Jack

1 1/2 parts Jack Daniel's Whiskey
1 part Chambord
1 part cranberry juice
2 parts sweet and sour mix
1/2 cup crushed ice
splash of 7 Up

Shake first 5 ingredients together in shaker, strain, and pour into a festive glass. Top with a splash of 7 Up and garnish with a lemon twist! Enjoy!

Time to get your toes tapping and feet moving! Cheers!

The Lost Bayou Ramblers

 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cajun Cookbook Giveaway + Grandma's Chocolate Cake

In celebration of my 200th post, I am giving away a fabulous Cajun cookbook! "Talk About Good III",  compiled by The Junior League of Lafayette, is filled with authentic, mouth-watering Cajun recipes, and it is a treasure to add to your collection. For a chance to win, all you have to do to enter is leave a comment on any post on Cajun Delights, between now and New Year's Day.. And to double your chances of winning, just scroll down a little in my sidebar and sign my guest book! Link is right beneath "What's Cooking", under "Lagniappe'" . Winner will be announced shortly after New Years.

******

To show my appreciation for my wonderful bloggie friends, I am giving ya'll a special recipe for an old fashioned chocolate cake that was handed down to me from my dear grandmother. I guarantee that this will be the BEST chocolate cake that you've ever had! Decadent, moist and delicious! Cest bon, cher!




Grandma's Chocolate Cake
 
2 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp.'s baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter at room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cake pans with butter and dust with flour.
Mix the 2 cups flour, the cocoa, baking soda, powder, and salt until well blended.
Beat the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, in large bowl with electric mixer until fluffy.
Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with milk, until blended.
Pour into prepared pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans, and cool completely, before frosting.

Frosting

 
1 box (16 0z.'s) confectioners sugar
1 stick butter or margarine (softened)
4 heaping teaspoons cocoa
1/3 cup hot coffee

Mix sugar, butter, and cocoa in medium bowl. Beat till smooth. Slowly add coffee, adding a little at a time, until desired consistency. Divine!


 Happy Holidays and Joyeaux Noel!
Merry Christmas Ya'll! Let the good times roll, cher!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cajun Baked Ham w/ Sugarcane-Bourbon Glaze + Cajun Rice Dressing

Here is an absolute family favorite that finds a home on my buffet table on Christmas , as well as many other occasions, throughout the year. It satisfies the carnivores in my family and is so easy to prepare. And the left over ham bone can be used to make my delicious Red Beans and Rice. Cest bon, cher!
Bon Appetit !


Cajun Baked Ham w/Sugar Cane -Bourbon Glaze
1 fully cooked ham, 6 to 8 lbs.

Glaze
1/2 cup pure cane syrup,( Steen's)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup bourbon
1 tsp. creole mustard
dash of ground cloves, cinnamon, and allspice

Place ham, fat side up in a large roasting pan. Place 1 inch of water in bottom of pan and add more periodically. Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes per pound or until meat thermometer reads 148 degrees. About half way through, make the glaze. Combine all glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Remove foil and spread half of the glaze over the ham about 30 minutes before ham is done. Spread other half of glaze in the final 10 minutes. Bon Appetit! So easy, so delicious!


*******
Here is a wonderful dish that goes well with so many things. This is a special recipe that has been handed down for generations, in my family. It compliments a ham, beef roast, or chicken dish, perfectly and is easy to make. Also known as "Dirty Rice", it is almost always on the Cajun table, and is especially good with barbeque. Enjoy!

Cajun Rice Dressing

First, make a light roux.
2 tbls.'s flour
2 tbls.'s vegetable oil
Brown the flour in the oil and stir constantly until it is medium brown, (about 10 minutes) and set aside.

1 cup onions, chopped fine
1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped fine
2 tsp.'s minced garlic
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1/4 lb. chicken giblets, chopped, optional
Salt and Tabasco, to taste
1/2 tsp. red pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tbs.'s Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 bunch green onions, chopped, including tops
2 cups beef broth or stock
3 cups cooked rice

In heavy skillet, on medium heat, brown the beef, pork, giblets, salt and Tabasco, and cook, stir and chop with large spoon, until browned. Drain excess oil and add the trinity, (onions, bell peppers, and celery), garlic, and remaining seasonings and stir fry for 10 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, prepared roux, and beef broth, stir, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the green onions and parsley and cook for 10 more minutes. Cut heat off and add the cooked rice and gently stir until well blended. Divinely delicious! Serves 6


Wishing you all a fabulous, fun week, and a very Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Day of Shopping + Fabulous Holiday Desserts !

Another very rainy day, in Cajun Country! But, this was the only afternoon that I had to shop for the ingredients for my Christmas Eve buffet. So, I went over to my favorite specialty foods store and carefully selected the cheeses and wines that I will be serving, along with some fabulous seafood and meats . Joey's has a fantastic selection of everything that you might need and offers a lovely fireside lunch, too. I ordered my favorite shrimp salad sandwich, on whole grain bread and enjoyed the respite from the rain, which was pouring by this time. Sunny skies are predicted for the weekend.


When I returned home, I made a list of the fresh produce that I will need to make the side dishes and the ingredients needed for the baking. I will be gathering those tomorrow and will be baking over the weekend. So far, my dessert menu reads like this:

* Chocolate Praline Cheesecake * Grandma's Chocolate Cake * Mama's Apple Pie * Bayou Bread Pudding w/ Rum Sauce * Pecan Pie Brownies * Rum Balls *
Pecan Sandies*

This is one of my favorite bread pudding recipes. It will fit in nicely with your holiday dinner or brunch buffet , or on your dessert table , and it is also perfect for just anytime that you want a little something sweet. I especially love to eat this dish warm, topped with whipped cream, for breakfast, with a good cup of Community coffee. Heavenly! Enjoy!

Bayou Bread Pudding w/ Rum Sauce

1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple 
1 cup of golden raisins 
1 cup light rum 
1 lg. loaf of "day old " French bread 
1 qt. milk 
6 0z. melted butter
3 lg. eggs
1 small can Pet milk 
3 tbs.'s vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar 
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp.'s cinnamon

Place the pineapple and raisins in a bowl, add the rum and set aside to marinate. Break up the French bread in a large bowl and pour milk over and blend gently. Let stand for 1 hour, then drain excess milk. Drain the rum from the fruit and reserve for sauce. Add the fruit to the bread along with the melted butter, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the Pet milk, vanilla, and the sugars, and add to the bread and fruit. Mix with a large spoon, until blended. Transfer mixture into a buttered 9x13 inch baking dish and bake @ 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove and stir well. Spread the pudding evenly and bake for about 40 minutes.Serves 8. Serve warm with Rum Sauce.

Rum Sauce

2 cups sugar
8 ounces butter
2 large eggs
Reserved rum from fruit

Combine the sugar and butter in a double boiler. Beat the eggs and add to the pan and whisk rapidly until thick. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool, then stir in the reserved rum. Heat and ladle over pudding before serving. Serves 6 to 8
Did I mention that this bread pudding is divinely delicious!

*******
And here are two all time favorite desserts, that I am re-posting that are guaranteed to please your guests. Out of this world, cher. Cest bon!

Chocolate-Praline Cheesecake

3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Press into a buttered pie pan , going half way up the sides. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for ten minutes and set aside to cool.
 

Chocolate Sauce

8 (1oz.) squares semisweet chocolate
1 tbs. butter
6 tbs.'s whipping cream

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and stir and cook over low heat, until melted and smooth. Pour half of the chocolate sauce over the graham cracker crust and spread evenly. Reserve other half for drizzling.
 
Filling

3 (8oz.) pkg.'s plain cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs

In large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well, after each addition. Pour on top of chocolate sauce layer and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, until slightly set. Cool and refrigerate for 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Praline Sauce

1 cup chopped pecans, divided

1 cup light brown sugar
1 small can Pet milk
2 tbs.'s butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine 1/2 cup pecans, with all of the ingredients, in saucepan. Cook and stir on low heat until blended and smooth. Drizzle warm praline sauce and warmed, reserved chocolate sauce all over cheesecake when ready to serve. Garnish with chopped pecans. Bon Appetit! Enjoy!

*******


Pecan Pie Brownies

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 egg
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup dark Karo syrup
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. each, vanilla and almond extracts
1 cup pecans, chopped

Reserve 3/4 cup cake mix. Combine remaining cake mix and 1 egg in large bowl and beat until smooth. Add butter and mix well. Press into bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, 3 eggs, vanilla and almond extracts, chopped pecans and reserved cake mix in large bowl and mix well. Pour over the baked layer and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares. Heavenly!

Happy Holidays, Ya'll! Remember to relax, enjoy, and have a fun weekend, everyone!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Fun on the Bayou !


On Sunday, after a delicious breakfast of crawfish omelettes and biscuits, we headed out to find some Cajun fun. Vermilion Ville, a Cajun heritage and folk life park , in Lafayette, was having their Old Time Christmas celebration. But first we wanted to go to the Cajun Christmas Fair, going on at River Ranch, in Lafayette. With all of the rain we've been having in Cajun Country, you might say we're in the monsoon season, again! Thanks to El Nino, we've gotten over a foot of rain, so far in December, and it's only the middle of the month.

But thankfully, the rain held off on Sunday afternoon for "The Gift of Music" fundraiser, held at River Ranch, in Lafayette. It was a family event to raise money for several area youth programs and included a gumbo challenge, old fashioned games, live music, a live nativity scene, and an arts and crafts show.









We bought a few gifts at this great jewelry booth
and enjoyed some fabulous music, before heading over to Vermilion Ville for "An Old Time Christmas".

Old fashioned craft demonstrations were held all day, at Vermilion Ville and The Jambalaya Cajun Band was playing in The Performance Center, Le Jour de Fete, from 1-4 pm., where there was a whole lot of dancing going on.



The weather was warm and balmy which was perfect for walking around the grounds, along the Vermilion Bayou and attending the various activities planned for the day.
Boat rides on the bayou were also offered.




Then someone told us that they were serving a delicious Christmas buffet at the restaurant, La Cuisine de Maman. Who could resist an all you can eat Cajun Christmas buffet! A perfect ending to an enjoyable day!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Great Cajun Appetizers! + More Dancin'

It's time for holiday parties in Cajun Country and I wanted to share a few of my favorite appetizer recipes with ya'll. The first one is an office party favorite and I always bring these fabulous meatballs to share with my dear colleagues at the annual Christmas party. The second one is always a big hit, and tends to end up on my New Year's buffet. Lots more goodies coming up, so stay tuned! Cest bon, cher!

 Spicy Cajun Party Meatballs

1/2 lb. ground pork
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp.'s garlic, minced
1 or 2  jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
2 tbs.'s fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 or 2 tbs's. Cajun seasoning
Salt and Tabasco to taste

In medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, breadcrumbs, and Worcestershire sauce. In separate large bowl, combine meat with all remaining ingredients. Combine the egg mixture with the meat and mix well. Shape mixture into 2 inch balls. Arrange meatballs in baking pan and bake @ 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once halfway. Drain and place in crockpot on warm. Meanwhile make sauce.

Sauce

 
1 bottle chili sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. yellow or Creole mustard
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup grape jelly
1/2 cup beer
2 tbs.'s Liquid Smoke

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour over meatballs and coat well. Serve in crockpot to keep warm.

******
Crab Stuffed Jalapenos

5 ounces cream cheese
3 ounces of grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces lump crab meat
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 green onion, chopped fine
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt to taste
12 large jalapenos, seeded and cut in half

Blanche the jalapenos in a large pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds
Plunge into ice water and drain.
Combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, crab meat, onions , salt, and lemon juice
in a medium sized bowl. Mix well. Makes 24
Fill the jalapenos and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. I love these because they're baked and not fried, but I also love the fried version.

Hot, spicy and delicious. Bon Appetit!

******
More Dancin'

I've received a few requests for some more Cajun dancing videos. Here's a little clip
that I took at this year's Festival Acadiens, in October. Not even a little mud will stop a Cajun from dancing! Let the good times roll, cher! 


Hope ya'll are having FUN, too! Merci beaucoup for stoppin' by!

video

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cajun Fried Shrimp + Bourbon St. Blues

Here is one of my all time favorite recipes for fried shrimp. There is nothing like biting into one of these babies, after dipping in some tangy hot seafood sauce. Or sometimes I just love them in a big salad. I grew up eating lots of fresh Gulf shrimp and have perfected the recipe over the years. These are really easy to prepare and are out of this world! Oh, cest bon, cher!

Cajun Fried Shrimp

2 lbs. large peeled and deviened shrimp
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tsp. each, yellow and creole mustard
2 tbs's. Cajun/ Creole seasoning
1 pkg. Louisiana brand fish fry mix (another brand may be substituted)
Vegetable oil for frying

Place shrimp in large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tbs. Cajun/Creole seasoning and few shakes of Tabasco and coat well. In separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, mustard, and Cajun seasoning. Pour mixture over shrimp. Let stand for 30 minutes, in fridge. Combine fish fry mix, and 1 or 2 tbs.'s Cajun seasoning. Dredge shrimp in fish fry and fry in batches in the vegetable oil, until golden brown. Enjoy, cher!

Tangy Hot Seafood Sauce
 
6 tbs's ketchup
2 tsp.'s horseradish
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco to taste
 

Mix all together, chill for 1 hour, then serve.

******
Since I've noticed a lot of cases of the blahs around the blogosphere, lately, I thought I'd post a little clip of some good old Bourbon Street blues. I know how stressful the month of December can be and it's nice to take a break from the madness and listen to some upbeat music, each day. Grab a cold drink and crank it up, cher! Cheers ya'll!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pecan Pralines -Two Ways + Cajun Lagniappe'

Here is one of my favorite praline recipes that I acquired from Vermilion Ville ( a Cajun Heritage and Folklife Park), in Lafayette, from Margo Latiolais. She was conducting a cooking demonstration in the L'ecole de Cuisine, (cooking school) on how to make Pecan Pralines, the old fashioned Cajun way. One bite of these heavenly, melt-in-your-mouth pralines will send you into orbit. Cest bon, cher! They were some of the best I've ever eaten!


Margo's Pecan Pralines

2 cups brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tbs.'s melted butter
2 tbs.'s vanilla
2 cups pecans, whole or chopped

*Mix brown and white sugar,and evaporated milk, in saucepan
*Continue cooking and stirring on medium heat until mixture reaches a softball stage
*Stir constantly and add butter, vanilla, and pecans
*Continue cooking about 1 minute or until mixture is thick again
*Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper

********
Here is another great praline recipe, using the modern Creole method . These are fabulous and make wonderful gifts, nestled in a holiday tin. Enjoy!



My dear friend, Nancy, over at, Life in the Second Half , is putting together a post of holiday recipe links received from her followers. Please pay her a visit to get some great recipes and to checkout her wonderful blog!

********
Cajun Lagniappe'
 

It was a cold, but fun weekend in Cajun Country! On Saturday, one of my dear cousin's called and wanted to take me to lunch. So, I was delighted to go and let her choose the restaurant because it was her treat. She wanted to go to this great Chinese buffet that I hadn't been to in ages. This particular place has an awesome buffet that includes king crab legs, boiled shrimp,  and boiled crawfish, in season, as well as a super salad and fruit bar,  plus the standard Chinese cuisine. Only in Lafayette, will you find all of these items on one giant buffet! So, we thoroughly "pigged-out" on everything and got around to opening our fortune cookies. ( Sorry no pics, since it was an impromptu lunch and I didn't have my camera) When I opened my fortune cookie, this is what it said.

I thought that this was a rather strange coincidence, as I have been thinking about this same thing, lately, and trying to decide which one is the more important of the two. I'm still trying to decide. Now there is a custom, down here in Cajun Country, that you should always add two words to the end of your fortune, in fortune cookies. ( 1. in and 2. bed ) So let's see, what would that be? A good friendship is often more important than a passionate romance,(
-- ---) What do you think? And do you agree or disagree with the original fortune? Have a great week everyone!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Make Mine Caj-Mex Tonight ! + An Award

My dear friend, Dave, over at, A Year on the Grill, recently honored me with an award of the highest order. An award that he created and so kindly passed on to me. His fantastic grilling blog is full of divine culinary surprises and is most entertaining and fun, too. Any guy who can make homemade bread is a real treasure, in my book! To check out one of his his delicious bread making posts , click here. Merci beaucoup, cher, I am truly honored!


 

The "I Can Cook That Award" is presented to a blogger who must:

1) Take inspiration from or outright steal a recipe from a fellow blogger
2) Actually make the item, or make a close copy of the item
3) Blog about your efforts, giving proper credit and links to the
inspiree
4)If you receive the award, be honored, as there is no greater feeling than having your efforts not just recognized, but duplicated! That is the only real rule, is to feel honored. BUT, feel free to post this in your side bar and to pass it on to one of your favorite
bloggers which you have made one of their recipes.
 
I took the inspiration from one of my favorite bloggers , my dear friend and fellow Cajun, Katherine , at Smoky Mountain Cafe, whose gourmet blog is the utmost in fabulous cooking. And it is my pleasure to pass this great award to her. Her blog and her step by step photos are amazing. To see Katherine's original Tamale Pie post, click here.

I rarely follow a recipe to a T, and tend to add my own little Cajun tweaks, here and there. I have changed a few things in the recipe, but have tried to stick to the basic instructions, as much as possible. I also cut the recipe in half, as there were only two of us for dinner, tonight. Cest bon, cher! Nothing like Tamale Pie on a cold winter's night! And it's SNOWING now, for the second December in a row! A record for Louisiana! Let it sneaux, cher! Bon Appetit!


Tamale Pie

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in Dutch oven and sauté 1 medium onion chopped, 1 cup baby bella or white mushrooms, and 1 cup of thinly sliced green onions over high heat until softened, about 4 minutes. (I omitted the mushrooms and added 1/2 cup each of bell pepper and celery and I also browned the meat first, then added the trinity) Sorry, Katherine,but old habits die hard!


Then drop in 2 lbs. of lean ground meat, and cook it down until it fully browns. Strain the beef and veggies and set it aside. Remove all the juices that accumulated in the pot and put the pot back on the burner.

  Add to it, the 2 cans of Rotel tomatoes. I used one can of original Rotel tomatoes and 1 can of Rotel with lime and cilantro. Cook the tomatoes for about 3 minutes on high heat or until the liquid reduces slightly.

Put the meat back into the pot and stir into it the 2 cloves of minced garlic, 3 heaping teaspoons of chili powder, 2 level teaspoons of cumin, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce, 2 cans Mexican corn, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Combine everything well and simmer the meat mixture covered for about 5 minutes. (I cooked the meat mixture for 15 minutes and added a few good shakes of Tabasco)


While the ground beef is cooking, butter an 9x13 Pyrex baking dish and sprinkle with 12 broken taco shells evenly over the bottom.

 
In a small bowl prepare two packages of cornbread mix. (I used Martha White's Jalapeno Cornbread mix)

Remove the cover from the pot and stir in 1 can of black beans with the liquid. Fully incorporate the beans into the meat. Cover the pot and simmer for 5 additional minutes.
(I omitted the black beans because I didn't have any in my pantry)

Spoon out the meat mixture over the taco chips, spread 1 cup of sour cream over the meat, spread the cornbread mixture over the sour cream, sprinkle cheddar cheese or a blend of cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese. (I omitted the sour cream because my son dislikes it)
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the corn bread is golden brown. Serve piping hot! Cest bon, cher!

*Serve with a big tossed salad and French bread.* Le Bon Manger!



Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lunch at Peppa Mello's + A Cajun "Go Green" Fair

When my dear daughter called and wanted to meet for lunch, I was just thrilled! We're both so busy these days, that we have to fit in these little lunches, just to get a visit in. She suggested that we go to a cool little place near the U.L. campus, where she had a class to go to in one hour. It was a lovely day, so we chose to sit on the front porch at Peppa Mello's. She ordered her favorite Seared Tuna Steak Salad and I ordered a large burger with french fries. It had been a month since I had a good burger, so I figured, what the heck! And then I noticed the "Not So Mello" Margarita Machine, and saw that these wonderful Margaritas were only $3.00 at their daily Happy Hour, from 4pm to 8pm. Perfect, after a stressful day at work. She then told me about a fundraiser that she and the Green Monkeys were organizing for the Go Green Fair that was coming up on Sunday. And of course, I wanted to go.










********

Go Green Fair

The Green Monkeys and Peppa Mello's Restaurant sponsored a Go Green Fair, this past Sunday, to promote the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's environmental action organization S.P.E.A.K. (S.P.E.A.K. stands for "Students for Peace, the Environment, Action and Knowledge" ) It was a beautiful warm day and there was a great turnout for this fantastic event. The goal of the Go Green Fair was to spread awareness of recycling, sustainability and environmental non-profit groups in Acadiana.


(And of course to hear some great music and have a good time!!!) Throughout the day there were tournaments played-- dodge ball, kick ball, badmitton and a green scavenger hunt and trophies and prizes were awarded. Locally owned bike shop, Recycled Cycles, donated a bicycle that was raffled off at the Fair. I bought several chances for my daughter because her bicycle was stolen right from her back yard, with a flat tire! Peppa Mello's donated 10% of their sales this day to S.P.E.A.K. And Hebert's Specialty Meats provided some great Cajun food and all the cold Abita beer you could drink for $10.00!


There were 4 fabulous bands that played throughout the day. Included in the lineup were : The Outfit (a classic rock cover band), Bonsoir Catin (a mostly female Cajun-Folkroots band), Farouche (an Irish-Cajun fusion band), and Vagabond Swing (a rock-jazz-funk band) The event was very family friendly and there were guests of all ages attending, from barely one year old to people in their 80's! It was a lot of fun and for a great cause. Maybe there is hope for the planet!


The Campaign Managers of the event were: Lauren Auverset-- Public Relations Officer for S.P.E.A.K., John Pastor-- President of The Green Monkeys, and Joe Cole-- Gen. Manager of Peppa Mello's Restaurant