Monday, February 22, 2010

Cajun Shrimp Jambalaya + Weekend Lagniappe

Here's a family favorite that's chocked full of spicy flavor and sure to please! One bite of this mouthwatering dish and you'll know you're in heaven, cher! Serve with BeBe's Potato Salad, (re-posted below) and hot French bread.

1 1/2 lbs.'s medium shrimp,
( peeled and deviened )

1 cup cooked ham, cubed
2 tbs.'s olive oil + 2tbs.'s butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp.'s minced garlic

1/2 tsp. sea salt
pinch of thyme
1 tbs. or more Creole seasoning
Few good shakes Tabasco
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 can tomato sauce
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice

Of course, you may want to add a few of your favorite ingredients. Sometimes I reduce the shrimp to 1 lb. and add oysters or crab meat and maybe some fresh chopped tomato or Andouille sausage.The possibilities are endless for this classic Cajun favorite. Enjoy!


Melt the butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet. Add the salt, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and saute' for 5 minutes. Stir in ham and shrimp, and saute for 10 more minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and seasonings, and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, lower heat, and cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Add the parsley and the green onions in the last 10 minutes. Turn heat off and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir gently and serve. Serves 6. Cest bon, cher amis!
Bon Appetit!

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BeBe's Potato Salad

5 lb.'s red potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tbs. white vinegar
10 eggs
3 tbsp.'s sweet pickle relish w/juice
5 tbs.'s mayo (more, if needed)
2 tsp.'s yellow mustard
1 tbs. Cajun seasoning
Salt to taste
Few drops Tabasco

Fill a large pot with water (3/4) full and add the salt,vinegar, chopped potatoes, and eggs. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and cool, and season potatoes with the Cajun seasoning and place in a large bowl. Meanwhile, peel eggs and separate egg whites from yolks. Chop egg whites and add to potatoes. Place yolks in a medium bowl and mash yolks with a fork until fine. Combine mayo, mustard, salt, pickle relish, and Tabasco in small bowl and mix well, then add to the mashed yolks and stir, adding a little more mayo, until the desired consistency is reached. Add to the potatoes, blending gently.

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Weekend Lagniappe

It was a glorious, warm weekend in Cajun country, although a bit quieter than the past few. We went to Dwight's to eat some boiled crawfish. We started off with an appetizer, Fried Alligator Bites. Then we ordered 20 lbs., (5 lbs. per person), of hot and spicy boiled crawfish! And when I tell you that these hot and spicy, delectable crawfish were fabulous, then you know that I mean it, cher!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dat Tuesday! + Party Gras Day!


It was a picture perfect day, in Cajun Country, for Dat Tuesday! Not a cloud in the sky, sunny and 58 degrees, which was absolutely perfect, for the many Mardi Gras festivities going on around Lafayette.

Every where you went, people were shouting Who Dat or We Dat and cheering! There were Who Dat floats, Who Dat music, Who Dat, signs, Who Dat t-shirts; you get the idea? You might even say that many were STILL celebrating the New Orleans Saints Superbowl Victory! Woo-hoo! We "ALL" Dat, cher! Yeah, Saints!



We started out at Bisbano's for a little noontime happy hour and the King's Parade. These Cajun gals were dressed up for the occasion! That's a Hurricane that she's drinking! Guaranteed to make you happy, cher!

After the King's parade, we decided to head over to Cajun Field for the two afternoon parades. We were starving and went over to a friend's tent.


A fabulous array of goodies, including two King Cakes, on this snack table! As hard as it's going to be, I am giving up King Cake for lent, btw!



And some other friends were cookin' up some BBQ ribs and sausage! Out of this world, cher!


At Le Festival des Mardi Gras de Lafayette, the sensational , "Louisiana Red" band was jamming for the crowd. Check out the boots, ya'll! Kids of all ages enjoyed the great carnival rides.





These two floats were emptying their stash, as the parades came to an end!


You might say that catching beads is an obsession with some Cajuns!

video

And this was the day's bounty in beads! And catching my favorite mask beads
means good luck all year!


Everywhere you looked people were smiling, cheering, and catching beads, eating, drinking, being merry! And and just having a blast! The crowds were among the biggest, in Lafayette Mardi Gras history, and it was just an awesome day, filled with great Cajun fun! Until next year.....Let the good times roll, cher! And don't forget that Downtown Alive is right around the corner!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras Around Lafayette ! - Part II


We had an absolute blast at last night's Lundi Gras celebration, in Lafayette! Before heading to the parade, we went to Tampico's for a little refreshment. I had my favorite Crab Stuffed Jalapenos and we ordered a round of Coronas to quelsh the heat from these divinely delicious, hot peppers. Ca cest bon, cher!

We met some friends on Johnston Street, to watch the fabulous Queen's Parade where the beads were really flying! The crowd was ready to catch some beads! More beads!

Throw Me Somethin' Sista!

The crowd was wild and went wilder with each passing float!

Queen's Parade

video

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And just in case that you want to watch TODAY'S New Orleans parades, , LIVE,
just click here for the LIVE web cam! Many thanks to my dear fellow Cajun , Angie, over @ GUMBO WRITER who was kind enough to share this link, on her post, yesterday. Please pay her a visit, when you have time. Enjoy!

*******
After the parade, we were ready for some more refreshment and headed over to the Blue Moon Saloon for a "blow out" Lundi Gras party. The crowd was super charged and in full Zydeco dance mode. Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole were rocking the house. The place was packed to the gills with revelers, the dance floor was rocking, (literally) and the energy was electric!

Oh, the life of a Cajun, is oh SO FUN!!! And , Fat Tuesday, will be the most fun of all!
Lassiez les Bon Temps Rouler! Wish you ALL were here!

HAPPY MARDI GRAS!!!

Cedric Watson & Creole Bijou
video

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Decadent Cajun Valentine Treats !

Since Valentine's Day has always been one of my favorite holidays, I wanted to share a few of my favorite recipes that I like to make for the people I love. These Chocolate-Praline Brownies are so simple, yet so sinfully rich that you will not believe it, cher! These heavenly treats are guaranteed to please your sweetheart. You'd better make two batches of these! Cest bon ! Enjoy! Worth the calories, for sure!



2 sticks butter or margarine
1 lb.package brown sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp.'s baking powder
Dash of salt.
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
2 tsp.'s vanilla

Melt butter or margarine and sugar, stir over low heat, until smooth. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Cool, then stir in eggs. Combine dry ingredients in small bowl and beat into mixture, until well blended. Stir in pecans and vanilla.  Pour into a greased 13x9x2 inch pan. Bake @ 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes. Meanwhile, make the icing.

Praline Icing

1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring the first 3 ingredients to a boil. Boil for one minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and almond extract until smooth. Add pecans and continue to stir for about 3 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Pour onto cooled cake. Makes 1 1/2 cups. This is a divinely delicious icing and it will make you want to lick the bowl!
Decadent! Cest bon, cher!

*******
Valentine's Strawberry Daiquiri

1 1/2 oz.'s light rum
1/2 oz. strawberry schnapps
1 0z. lime juice
1 tsp. powdered sugar
 5 strawberries, stems removed and halved

Blend all ingredients with 1/2 cup ice in blender and strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lime slice. Recipe may be increased to desired number of daiquiris. I like to make gallon batches! Cheers!

Many thanks for stopping by and for all of your wonderful comments!
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Valentine's Day!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mardi Gras Lagniappe' + Cajun Crawfish Quesadillas

Last weekend in Cajun Country was so much fun and this weekend promises to be an absolute blast! It will be party hardy time and time for some serious Mardi Gras-ing!

 











We started off on Saturday, at Agave' Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, sipping a frozen Margarita and having a little bite to eat. I ordered my favorite, Fiesta Salad , and worked my way up to some succulent crawfish quesadillas. Out of this world, cher!


The Krewe de Chiens, (doggie parade) was set to roll at 2:00 pm and Agave' is right on the parade route. It was a beautiful day, and the crowd was jubilant! Thousands of doggie lovers and their pets lined the streets of downtown Lafayette to watch the costumed canines strut their stuff. What a blast!

Click here for the Lafayette Mardi Gras Parade Schedule

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Here's another spicy Cajun favorite that's easy to prepare and melts in your mouth. Shrimp can be substituted for Crawfish and the "heat" can be adjusted, as well. Ca' cest' bon!
 
Cajun Crawfish Quesadillas

3 tbsp.'s butter
1 large onion, chopped 
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. crawfish tails
1 can hot or mild enchilada sauce
1 (4 oz.) can green chilies, drained 
Salt to taste
1 tbs. Tony's Creole seasoning
1- 10-count package flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

In large Dutch Oven, saute the onion, bell pepper, green onion, Tony's seasoning, and crawfish tails, on medium heat, for about 20 minutes.

Pour in mushroom soup, enchilada sauce, and green chilies. Stir and mix well. Add salt to taste. Stir, cover,  and simmer for 20 more minutes. Spoon enough mixture, to cover the bottom of a large casserole dish.
 
Begin layering tortillas in dish 2 or 3 at a time. Spread mixture on top, sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Repeat in layers.

When complete, sprinkle top with remaining cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven until cheese melts.

 

Serve with a tossed green salad. Serves 6.

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Just in case you missed it, here's a clip of the New Orleans Saints victory parade! Woo Hoo! Geaux Saints!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Let the Good Times Roll, Cher !

It was an incredible, exciting weekend in Cajun Country! Three Mardi Gras parades and the SAINTS WINNING THE SUPERBOWL!!!!!!! WOOOOO- HOOOOO! GEAUX SAINTS!!! WE DAT!, CHER!
And this is the black and gold, king ake (filled with chocolate Bavarian cream) that I served at my Superbowl party. Cest bon, cher! I have lots of pics to share, but just to give you an idea of the electricity in the air, here is a little clip of one of the many Saints parties, that pretty much sums up how everyone in Louisiana is feeling right about now! And this victory party is just beginning and will be going on until midnight on Mardi Gras night! Wish you all were here! Merci beaucoup for stopping by and stay tuned!
Lassiez les bon temps rouler!!!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Spicy Saints Burgers +" Who Dat " BBQ Chicken

Photobucket 
When forecasters predicted a gorgeous, sunny weekend, with temps. in the 60's for South Louisiana, I immediately began planning to add a few grilled items to my Superbowl party menu. With just a few days left to finish the shopping and prepping for my "Black and Gold Superbowl " party, I wanted to share a few of the fabulous recipes that my son and I will be preparing for our guests, on the grill. Now I know that my northern friends won't be able to grill, for a while, (so sorry about that, save for Spring), but for everyone whose weather will be 60 degrees and sunny or above, ENJOY!

What would any good Superbowl, tailgating party be without some Spicy Saints Burgers? The secret that gives these wonderfully delicious burgers their zip is the Tabasco, horseradish, garlic blend. Even better to wash these babies down with your favorite brew! Cheers!

Spicy Saints Burgers 

 

2 lbs. lean ground chuck
1 tbs. Tabasco sauce
1 tbs. liquid smoke
2 tbs.'s minced garlic

1 tbs. prepared horseradish
1/4 cup green onions, excluding tops, chopped fine
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp.'s salt 
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 good burger buns
3 tbs.'s butter, melted

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, jalapenos, and pickles, and enjoy, cher! Ca cest bon!



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And if you really want some real, " finger- lickin' GOOD" BBQ chicken, delight your guests with this scrumptious HOT recipe with a bit of sweetness added! Also great for wings! Out of this world!

"Who Dat" BBQ Chicken

1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup ketchup
1 cup orange marmalade
1 tbs. Tabasco
1 tbs. vinegar
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 lbs. chicken pieces, (thighs, breasts, legs)
1 tbs. or more Cajun seasoning

Sauce

Combine salsa, marmalade, Tabasco, vinegar, chili powder, and Worcestershire sauce in small bowl, and mix well. Set aside.

Rub seasoning into chicken pieces, in large baking pan. Grill on medium hot coals. Cover and grill for 20 minutes, turn and brush liberally with sauce. Continue grilling for 20 more minutes, turn and brush other side with sauce. Grill for 10 more minutes or until done. Cest bon cher!!! Bon Appetit!

Hope that ya'll have a fabulous, fun, Superbowl, weekend!
Merci beaucoup for passing by!

GEAUX SAINTS!!!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Almost Time For Parades! + Mama's Shrimp Stew

Less than a week until the Mardi Gras parades begin! The Krewe of Rio parade will roll on Saturday night in downtown Lafayette and there will be a giant pre-parade celebration in Parc Sans Souci on Saturday afternoon. Plus, a lot of small towns in Cajun Country have their own unique parades and celebrations. One of my favorite Mardi Gras parades is in Scott, Louisiana and is just a stone's throw away from Lafayette. 

It is a wonderful family oriented event is considered a kick off to the parade season by many, and draws huge crowds of revelers and is very generous with beads! Did somebody say beads? Let the good times roll, cher! The Scott Mardi Gras Parade is on Sunday, February 7, at 1:00pm! See ya'll there! And don't forget the fais do do, after the parade at Fezzo's! And don't worry, you will have time to dance a few, before going to your "Black and Gold" Superbowl party! What a blast of a weekend, coming right up, cher! Oh the life of a Cajun is oh so fun!!!

Here are a few pics of last year's parade. (click to enlarge)





Throw me somethin', Mista!
  ^^^^^^

 Here's a Cajun fave that really hits the spot anytime, but is a Friday Lenten special in Cajun Country. My dear mother's shrimp stew was the most scrumptious dish you can imagine, and especially when she added a half dozen gumbo crabs to the pot! Cest bon, cher! She always made her delicious potato salad to accompany the spicy stew, and lots of French bread for dipping!
Enjoy! Le bon manger!

 


Mama's Shrimp Stew

2 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper,
chopped
3 ribs celery, sliced thin
1 can Rotel tomatoes w/ green chilies
2 tsp's minced garlic
Salt to taste
2 tbs.'s Tony's Creole seasoning ( divided)
1 cup warm water
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 lemon, sliced

Season shrimp with 1 tbs. Tony's seasoning and set aside. Make a roux with the flour and oil in a heavy pot. On medium heat, stir constantly, until roux is a rich brown color. (10 to 15 min.'s) Lower heat and add the onions, bell peppers, celery, Rotel, and garlic and stir for 5 minutes. Add the water, salt, and 1 tbs. Tony's seasoning and bring to a boil. Lower heat, add shrimp and place lemon slices on top and cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove lemon slices and add the green onions and parsley, and simmer for 10 more minutes. Serve over hot cooked rice with a scoop of potato salad and French bread. Serves 6 Bon Appetit!