Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cajun Superbowl Party Preview !

After watching the Saints win the NFC championship, Lafayette went wild! There were lots of parties and then more parties, but the biggest one is coming right up, and is right around the corner, when the New Orleans Saints go to the SUPERBOWL! GEAUX SAINTS! I will be having friends and family over, for the BIG game, and have already started planning the menu. I love to make these favorite party recipes, whenever I am having guests for a casual party buffet . Cest bon, cher!

Jalapeno Cheese Bread * Seafood Jambalaya * Crab- Stuffed Mushrooms * Spinach and Crawfish Bread Bowl * Spicy Cajun Buffalo Wings * Mini Muffalettas * Mardi Gras Slaw * Creole Potato Salad * Fresh Fruit and Veggie Trays * And who knows what else!? I'll be adding more, as I go along! Bon Appetit!
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Super Bowl and Mardi Gras parties just would not be the same without this fabulous Jalapeno Cheese Bread to compliment your party buffet. One of my favorite breads to make and eat is this buttery, hot, melt-in-your-mouth, jalapeno cheese bread! Oh cest bon, cher! Out of this world! Enjoy!

Jalapeno Cheese Bread

1 pkg. yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, butter, eggs, salt, and 1 cup of flour.
Beat on low till mixed well, scraping bowl. Stir in remaining flour, cheese, pepper, and jalapenos. Beat for 2 minutes on medium, until dough thickens. Scrape bowl and cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, ( about 40 minutes). Beat down with a spoon, about 25 strokes. Grease a bundt or pull- apart bread pan and spread dough evenly into pan. Cover and return to a warm place and let rise until double, (about 45 minutes) Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cest bon, cher!


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And here's a great side that is perfect for the Mardi Gras season! It has the Mardi Gras colors of green, purple, and gold, and is perfect for either your Superbowl or Mardi Gras party! And it is so delicious, you'll even forget that cabbage is so good for you!

 Mardi Gras Slaw
 
1 head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup chopped purple onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
2 tbs.'s red wine vinegar
2 tbs.'s fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup mayonaise, (light is good)
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. horseradish
1 tbs. Cajun seasoning
Salt to taste

Shred the cabbage in food processor. Place shredded cabbage, chopped onion and peppers in large bowl, and mix well. In separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and blend with a wire whisk. Add to cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Chill. Serves 6 Bon Appetit!


Cajun Supermarket :: Your One Stop Cajun Shop!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mardi Gras Around Lafayette - Part I

Everyone has heard of the world famous Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but Lafayette has the second biggest celebration in Louisiana, and is second to none, when it comes to throwing this party of all parties!

We are quite a bit more family oriented and have very little crime, when over 300,000 visitors descend on Cajun Country! It's a shindig that you'll never forget and is so much fun!!!

It's a magical time of year when we get to go to fancy balls, wear outrageous costumes, listen to and dance to great music, go to fantastic parades and catch lots of beads, and eat lots of fabulous food! Lafayette rolls out the red carpet for visitors from around the world and does so in a style that is uniquely "Lafayette". Good old Cajun hospitality, at it's best.









 









"Le Festival de Mardi Gras des Lafayette" is held at Cajun Field and has 2 music stages, with many great Cajun and Zydeco bands playing, throughout Mardi Gras, a giant amusement park, and is at the tail end of all big parades. Many floats hold off on throwing huge batches of beads until the end, so this can also be a great spot to catch beads, too. The Bayou Boys were rockin' the crowd, last year, on Mardi Gras Day! A bon ton, cher!

Then, there is the Krewe des Chiens parade in Downtown Lafayette. That's right, a doggie parade that is very popular and so much fun! Last year, my favorite entry was this cute wagon with "Daisy and Angel", dressed in their Mardi Gras finery. And loved this doggie float, too! (click to enlarge)
Then, on Fat Tuesday, there are three parades and the beads are really flying at these. Here's a little clip from The 2009' Independent Parade. Let the good times roll, cher! For a complete Lafayette Mardi Gras schedule, click here. Merci beaucoup for stopping by!
video



Monday, January 18, 2010

French Quarter Mardi Gras! + Sinful Bayou Crab Bisque

More beads and a lot more beads are what Mardi Gras revelers are hoping to catch at this year's Mardi Gras parades. Throwing trinkets to the crowds began in the 1870's in New Orleans by the "Krewe of The Twelfth Night Revelers". The beads were made of glass, back then, and were considered treasures, and were in the traditional Mardi Gras colors, purple- which represents justice, green- faith, and gold- power . Thus the tradition continues, only with plastic beads in every imaginable color and design. My bead collection is HUGE, but I am looking forward to adding to it. Shown here are beads that I caught at just one Lafayette parade.

Happy Mardi Gras, Ya'll!

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Mardi Gras in New Orleans

And one of my favorite things about Mardi Gras is wearing costumes.  Here is a clip of New Orleans creativity, at it's best! Fat Tuesday in the French Quarter! Let the good times roll, Cher!



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Sinful Bayou Crab Bisque

This sinfully delicious Louisiana recipe is a real treat for crab lovers, and is a "must have" for Mardi Gras! Adapted from "Cane River's Louisiana Living", this fabulous dish is "over the top". Enjoy! Cest bon, cher!
(photo courtesy of Keith's Ballroom, Lafayette, La.)

2 cups fresh lump crab meat
2 cans cream of portobello mushroom soup (undiluted)
2 cans cream of asparagus soup (undiluted)
1 cup half and half
1 cup milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. or more of Tabasco sauce
2/3 cup dry sherry
Salt and Cajun seasoning to taste
Bacon bits and croutons for garnish

Combine crab meat and soups, in blender or food processor and blend well. Pour mixture into a large, heavy, saucepan. Add half and half , milk, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and sherry. Heat thoroughly, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (do not boil) Garnish with bacon bits and croutons. Can be made one day ahead and kept in refrigerator, but should not be frozen. Serves 10 to 12. Out of this world, cher!
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Got My Red Beans Cookin' + Cajun Boogie !

Here's a family favorite that is just perfect for those cold winter days. Traditionally, red beans and rice is a dish made on Mondays, to make good use of the ham bone and any leftover ham, from Sunday dinner, in New Orleans. I have added some Andouille sausage, as well, which gives it a nice smoky flavor. Cest bon, cher! Bon Appetit!


 

Marguerite's Red Beans and Rice

1 (1 lb.) pkg. red kidney beans (I use Camellia brand)
1 ham bone w/ portion of ham meat on bone (optional, but desired)
1 lb. smoked hot sausage, sliced, browned, and drained
1 cup each of chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. Cajun Injector brand "Hickory Grill" seasoning
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. thyme
Salt and hot sauce to taste
1/2 cup chopped green onions

Rinse and sort beans and place in large Dutch oven. Cover with water plus two inches. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour. In a large skillet, brown sausage, drain and set aside. Add the ham bone and all other ingredients, except cooked sausage. Stir well and cook on low for 2 hours. Remove ham bone and stir, and add the cooked sausage, and hot sauce and continue cooking for 1/2 hour more hour or until a bean gravy forms. Serve over hot cooked rice with French bread. Garnish with green onions. Enjoy!
Bon Appetit!

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I've had a few requests for a little Cajun boogie. Here's a clip of Fred's Lounge, in Mamou, Louisiana, on a Saturday morning. The band starts at 8:30 am and plays till noon! Enjoy! Let the good times roll, cher! Merci beaucoup for coming by!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

French Market Beignets + Bayou Boogie

Since I've recently had several requests for a recipe for beignets, I thought that I would share one of my favorite recipes that tastes almost identical to the ones that are served at the French Market, in New Orleans. I started off my Sunday, with these fabulous beignets and coffee and worked my way up to grillin' some Cajun jumbo shrimp, chicken, and burgers. Yes, grilling ! It's a gorgeous day, (sunny and 70 degrees) in Cajun Country! Perfect for having family and friends over to watch the big game. Geaux Saints!


This recipe, adapted from Southern Living Magazine, 1998, is as close to the real thing that I've ever had! And so easy, too! There's really nothing quite like the heavenly taste of biting into one of these babies with a good strong cup of Community coffee! Cest bon, cher! Enjoy!

French Market Beignets

1 envelope active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 large egg
4 to 4 1/2 cups flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Combine yeast and warm water in small bowl, and let stand for 5 minutes. Combine yeast mixture, evaporated milk, and next 3 ingredients. Gradually stir in flour to make a soft dough. Cover and chill for 8 hours.


Turn dough out onto a well floured surface and knead 5 or 6 times. Roll dough into a 15 x 12 inch rectangle and cut into 3 inch squares. Pour oil into a large Dutch oven, to a depth of 3 inches and heat to 375 degrees. Fry 4 or 5, at a time, for one minute on each side or until golden. Drain and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes 2 dozen.

Bon appetit!


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And here's a little bayou boogie to go with your beignets! Three of my favorite Louisiana artists, playing together at Grant Street Dancehall! Lassiez les bon temps rouler, cher! Hope that ya'll have a wonderful, fun week!





Sunday, January 10, 2010

Crawfish-Spinach Bread Bowl + Mardi Gras Fun !

It's that time of the year, again! Crawfish Time!
Time for crawfish and time for more crawfish! And coinciding with the Mardi Gras season makes these spicy, succulent, boiled Louisiana crawfish even better! Mardi Gras and crawfish, what a fabulous combination! I'd like to share one of my favorite crawfish appetizers with ya'll that is sure to be a hit on your Mardi Gras party buffet. I have also made it with small shrimp and it is out of this world, too. Cest bon, cher! Enjoy!
Bon Appetit!

Crawfish Spinach Bread Bowl

 1 lb.peeled, cleaned crawfish tails
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup butter
1 8 0z. carton sour cream
1 small can Rotel tomatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbs.'s fresh parsley
Salt to taste

Saute the onion in the butter until tender. Add the tomatoes w/ liquid and salt and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add the crawfish and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the soups and a little water, to desired consistency, and cook on low heat for 30 minutes. Add the spinach, sour cream and parsley and cook for 10 minutes more.
Scoop mixture into a large bread bowl and serve with mini toasts or tortilla chips.

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And here's a little clip of the Lafayette Queen's parade, that I took last year, on Lundi Gras or better known as Mardi Gras Eve.We were in front of Stan's Downtown, a great place to catch beads. You can feel the excitement when parade goers are trying to catch some beads! Beads, beads, beads! That's what it's all about! Let the good times roll, cher and have a great week, ya'll!

video

And after the parade, we headed over to the Blue Moon Saloon for a little Lundi
Gras party. Balfa Toujour, a popular Cajun band, was rockin' the house! Enjoy!

video

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mardi Gras Season in Cajun Country!

With the holidays over and fading into a distant memory, Mardi Gras season is just beginning! That magical time of year that begins on "The Twelfth Night", (the twelfth night after Christmas!), and ends at midnight on Mardi Gras Day, better known as Fat Tuesday. On the Christian calendar, the twelfth day after Christmas is known as "Epiphany", "Twelfth Night", or King's Day". It is the day that the Magi visited the baby Jesus, bearing gifts and is celebrated with it's own unique rituals. As part of these rituals, a round oval cake is baked, in honor of the three kings, and is called a "King Cake". Life is a never ending King Cake Party, in Lafayette, during carnival season and the problem with these cakes is that they are every where, and you can't stop eating them! Sinfully delicious!


Here is a fabulous recipe , that I am re-posting for the king of all cakes, the Mardi Gras King Cake. This delectable cake originated in Europe and came with French settlers to New Orleans in the 1870's. They have been a part of the Mardi Gras tradition, since then, and King Cake parties are popular throughout Louisiana. The King Cake is made with a rich dough and covered with icing and sprinkles in the Mardi Gras colors, purple, green and gold. They can be filled with many different fillings, such as lemon, strawberry, chocolate, or cream cheese. It takes a little time, but it is well worth the effort. The person who finds the plastic baby in his or her piece is said to blessed with good luck throughout the year and is designated to bring the King Cake to the next King Cake party! Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Filled Cake

1 16 oz. container sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tbs. sugar
2 beaten eggs
6 cups bread flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. each of cinnamon and nutmeg
2 8 0z. packages cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp, vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
Purple, green, and gold sugar sprinkles
Vanilla frosting
1 small plastic baby doll

Dough

Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan, on low heat, stiring often, until butter melts. Set aside. Stir together yeast, warm water, and sugar in a small bowl.

Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups of the flour, and the cinnamon and nutmeg,with an electric mixer, until smooth. On low speed, continue to add the remaining flour until a soft dough forms. 

Place dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth. Place in a well greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. Punch down dough and divide in half. Roll each section into two rectangles.( 22x12 inches, each)

Filling

Beat the sugar, cream cheese, egg, vanilla and almond extracts with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth. leaving 1 inch border, spread the cream cheese mixture evenly on each rectangle.

Starting with 1 long side, roll up each rectangle. On a lightly greased baking sheet, place one of the dough rolls, seam side down. Bring ends of roll together to seal, to form an oval. Repeat with second dough roll.

Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes minutes or until golden. Let cakes cool for about for about 10 minutes. Insert the plastic baby doll into the cake. 

Icing 

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbs.'s lemon juice
2 tbs.'s water


Combine in medium bowl until smooth. Spoon icing onto cake and spread on top, only. Sprinkle evenly, alternating with colored (green, purple, and gold sugar sprinkles). Cool before serving. Makes 2 cakes. (15 servings each) Cest bon, cher! Bon appetit!

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Stay tuned for a series of Mardi Gras posts in the next five weeks. It's going to be a blast, cher! Have a happy, fun weekend, ya'll!! Merci for stopping by, cher amis!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Giveaway Winner + Creole Smothered Cabbage

It is with great pleasure, that I announce the winner of my Cajun cookbook giveaway! "Talk About Good II", compiled by the Junior League of Lafayette, is chocked full of authentic Cajun recipes, and is guaranteed to add some spice to your life. And the winner is Carol@The Writer's Porch !! Carol is a true Southern Belle and has a fabulous blog about family life on her farm in Mississippi. Congratulations, cher, I just know that you'll love it! Please send me your snail mail and I will get this treasure in the mail to you. Bon Appetit! 

New Year's Jambalaya

As promised, here is the photo of the New Year's Jambalaya recipe. I added a seeded and chopped jalapeno pepper, just to kick the heat up a notch. This was a powerfully good jambalaya. Oh, cest bon, cher! To see the recipe, click here. The great thing about jambalaya is that you can add or subtract different ingredients to make it your own. It would also be good with some sliced baby bella mushrooms, or shrimp in place of the sausage, etc. Oh cest bon, cher! Enjoy!

 Creole Smothered Cabbage
 

 I also wanted to share my favorite cabbage recipe with ya'll. It is out of this world and I have even had some non cabbage lovers tell me this. Creole Smothered Cabbage was passed down to me from my dear mother. The Cajuns follow the tradition that eating black-eyed peas and cabbage on New Year's Day will ensure good luck and good health in the coming year!

4 bacon slices, chopped
1 large cabbage, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup each, onions, mixed bell peppers, and celery
2 tbs.'s white vinegar
Salt to taste
2 tsp.'s Creole seasoning
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Cook the bacon in a large heavy pot, till crisp. Remove, crumble, and set aside. Saute the trinity in the bacon drippings for 10 minutes, stirring often and adding a small amount of water to prevent sticking. Add cabbage, mix well with the vegetable mixture. Add vinegar, seasonings, and crumled bacon and mix well, until cabbage is coated. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often. Add a little water, if needed. Cest bon, cher!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year ! + Holiday Lagniappe' !

As we step into 2010, I would like to wish each and every one of you a New Year filled with good health, good times, and prosperity! Merci beaucoup for stopping by! I will be announcing the winner of my Cajun cookbook giveaway, in my next post. Many thanks to all of you who entered and signed my guest book for two chances to win!


We went out to a fabulous New Year's Eve dinner at Copeland's
and had a healthy portion of delectable Cajun seafood. A Seafood Platter and Shrimp & Oysters w/ artichokes over Pasta! Cest bon, cher! Then, it was on to Vermilionville, for a New Year's dance, with Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie, rockin' the crowd! We had a blast, with a group of old friends! Hope ya'll passed a good time last night, too! Out with the old, in with the new! Lassiez les bon ton rouler!
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As a little New Year's gift, here's a handy recipe for those who may have had a few too many glasses of champagne, last night. Believe me when I tell you, cher, it is guaranteed to cure a hangover! Cheers!

Big Easy Bloody Marys

 2 oz.'s vodka
6 oz.'s V-8 juice
Few dashes Tabasco
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 dash white pepper
1 tsp. lime juice
Shake all ingredients and strain into cocktail glass
Garnish w/ celery stalks, olives, and cocktail onions

Happy New Year ! Let the Good Times Roll, Cher!!