Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Blow-Out on the Bayou + Crawfish Quesadillas !

It was another fun weekend in Cajun country, packed with great food, great music, and great times! We headed over to the Blue Moon Saloon, on Sunday, for a fundraiser event and benefit dance to help out a worthy cause. NuNu's Nitelife and Cafe', in Arnaudville, La., recently suffered extensive damage from a fire and this event was held to help them rebuild. Everything was donated and all proceeds went to the cause. The place was packed and the event was a huge success.


There were 6 local bands playing, including one of my favorites, Ryan Brunet and Les Malfecteurs. They were hotter than Tabasco and the crowd was doing some nitty- gritty dancing.



There was a lot of great Cajun food, for sale, and the smell was heavenly! These pork steaks, rice dressing, and red beans were fabulous and I had a little bit of each! Ca cest bon, cher!


There was a silent auction, with work donated from local artists, and there were T-shirts and cd's for sale. I loved this painting done on a piece of cypress, but someone else had already bought it.


Here's a little clip that I took, in between dances, of Ryan Brunet and Les Malfecteurs. The crowd loved this band and were really cutting the rug! The wooden dance floor was vibrating and the fans, (no air conditioning) were working overtime. Really sweated off a few pounds!


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We ran into some friends that told us about another fun event going on at Artmosphere, which is a restaurant, art gallery, and live music venue, and is just one block away from the Blue Moon. The Green Monkeys Foundation of Louisiana, was holding the first in a series of "Deep South Sundays", with Cajun dance lessons, a booray card game, and live music, all in an effort to preserve our Cajun culture. We couldn't resist checking it out!


Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band were just taking the stage, but I needed a little break.

These Cajun gals were having a blast!


I ordered a Lemon Basil Martini and sat back and listened to the music for a while. The aroma coming from the kitchen was wonderful and I asked to see a menu.


After all that dancing, I was starting to get hungry again. I decided to order one of my favorite items on the menu, the Crawfish Quesadillas. Cest bon! Divine, cher! For my recipe on how to make this succulent creation at home, click here.
Great with shrimp, too! Oh the life of a Cajun is so much fun!

Hope ya'll are having a great week! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cajun Catfish Feast w/ Jalapeno Hush Puppies + Cajun Boogie

It's Friday in Cajun country and that means time for some fabulous Cajun seafood! The catfish were on sale at my favorite seafood market, so I bought 5 lb.'s and will be cooking it up several ways for dinner guests that I'm having tonight. First, I will be making a spicy shrimp and catfish stew and then frying up some spicy catfish strips, and jalapeno hush puppies. After sticking to my veggie diet, all week, I plan on diving into this sinful spread with no remorse! Cest bon, cher!

 
Spicy Catfish Strips

2 pounds catfish fillets,
1 /8 cup each, yellow mustard and creole mustard
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp. milk
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste
Few shakes of hot sauce
1 tbsp. or more, Tony Chachere's Spices and Herbs seasoning
1/2 cup each of cornmeal and flour
1 cup vegetable oil

Wash fish and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and Tony's and cut into vertical strips. Combine mustard, egg and milk, few shakes of hot sauce and garlic powder. Toss fish in mustard mixture. Combine cornmeal and flour. Dredge coated fillets in cornmeal and flour mixture. Heat vegetable oil until hot. In large cast iron skillet, fry catfish strips until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Le bon manger!


Spicy Shrimp and Catfish Etouffee

3 lbs. catfish fillets
1 1/2 lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined
5 tbs.'s butter

5 tbs.'s flour
1 cup each , onions and bell pepper, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mushroom caps, chopped
1 can Rotel tomatoes w/ green chilies
1 cup or more, seafood stock or water, (to desired thickness)
1/4 cup each, green onions and fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbs. Tony's Creole seasoning, or Cajun seasoning (divided)
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp. McCormick's basil and garlic seasoning
2 whole lemons, quartered
3 bay leaves
Salt and Tabasco to taste.

Squeeze lemon juice on catfish and shrimp and rub with 1 tbs. Tony's Creole seasoning and 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning. Cut fish into quarters and set aside. In large heavy pot, on medium heat,  melt butter and add flour, and stir constantly for about 10 minutes. When roux is a light brown, lower the heat and add the onions, bell pepper, and celery, and chopped mushrooms  and continue to stir and cook for 5 minutes. If roux is too hot, add a little water and keep stirring.

Add seafood stock, salt, tomatoes, other tbs. Creole seasoning, basil and garlic seasoning, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, lower heat , and simmer for 30 minutes. Add hot sauce, catfish, and shrimp. Stir gently, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add green onions, parsley and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve over cooked rice with a scoop of potato salad, cole slaw, and hushpuppies. Divinely delicious ! Serves 8



Jalapeno Hush Puppies

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 tbs. sugar
2 tbs.'s flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp.'s baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk and a little more, if needed
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying


Combine all ingredients in the order given, in a large bowl and mix well, after each addition. Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil and deep fry until golden brown and they float to the top. Out of this world!
*****
Cajun Boogie 

I've had a few requests for some more Cajun Boogie. Well, it doesn't get any more Cajun than this, with this waltzing crowd, boogie-ing to the hot sounds of Wayne Toups and Zydecajun. Here is a little clip that I took at the Rhythm's on the River, Spring Finale' concert. Both Downtown Alive and Rhythms on the River are scheduled to resume in just a few short weeks, after a break for the summer, and I can't wait! See ya'll there! Let the good times roll, cher!

Hope ya'll have a fantastic, fun weekend! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Wayne Toups and Zydecajun

video

Monday, August 23, 2010

Creole Veggie Wraps w/ Salsa + Southern Peach Tea

When it's 95 degrees out, and I'm pressed for time, I love to make these delicious veggie wraps for a quick and healthy lunch. They are so versatile and you can use just about any fresh produce that you might have on hand, or you could add some shredded cheese, chunks of cooked chicken, or small cooked shrimp, for added protein. The variations are endless, just use your imagination! Serve with your favorite salsa. Cest bon, cher!

Creole Veggie Wraps

4 ( 8") flour tortillas
2 handfuls of fresh spinach or lettuce
1 small Roma tomato, sliced and cut in half
1 small onion, sliced and cut in half
1/2 small green or red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 small avocado, sliced and cut in half
1 small jalapeno, sliced
8 oz.'s cooked chicken, shrimp and/or shredded cheese
Salt to taste
Fresh herbs, (parsley, cilantro, or basil), chopped
Olive or canola oil cooking spray


Heat a medium skillet on low and spray with cooking spray. Place tortilla in skillet and add a line of spinach or lettuce, choice of protein, if desired, and a few jalapeno slices. Then add a line of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and avocados. Sprinkle with salt and fresh herbs. With a wide spatula, fold one side up, and then the other, and press down, gently. Cook for 2 minutes. Carefully turn and press down, gently and cook for 2 more minutes. Makes 4. Enjoy!


Southern Peach Tea

And as you can expect, your mouth might be begging for something cold and refreshing, to lessen the heat of those jalapenos! How about a nice big glass of Southern Peach Tea to wash it all down with, cher, and some cool watermelon for dessert!

Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 4 bags of Celestial Seasonings "Country Peach Passion" tea in a heat resistant container. Steep for for 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup sugar, while tea is still hot. Allow to cool and transfer to a 2 quart pitcher. Add one quart of cold water, ice cubes, and 1 large sliced, fresh peach and a handful of fresh mint leaves. Refrigerate for one hour, to let the flavor of the peaches blend. Stir before serving and garnish with mint leaves. Fabulous! 

I am sharing these over at Garden Variety Wednesday.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Spicy Creole Shrimp Cakes + Shrimp Festival Preview !

Here's a fabulous recipe that I acquired at last year's Shrimp Festival, in Delcambre, La. When I tell you that these spicy, succulent, shrimp cakes are "over the top", GOOD, then you know that I mean it, cher! And topping them off with this rich, sinful jalapeno cream sauce, will really send you into orbit! Cest bon, cher! Enjoy! Bon appetit!


 

Spicy Creole Shrimp Cakes
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined. and chopped
1/2 cup each, onions, red bell peppers, and green peppers, chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 tbs.'s fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup whole kernel corn
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbs. Acadiana Spice seasoning or Cajun seasoning
Few shakes hot sauce
2 tbs.'s mayonaise
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix shrimp, bread crumbs, eggs, mayo, sauteed onions and peppers and seasoning in large bowl. Mix well and form into cakes. On medium heat, heat oil and add shrimp cakes, and fry for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Makes 5 cakes or 10 cakes.

Jalapeno Cream Sauce

1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped fine
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup each, chopped onion, red bell pepper, and
green bell pepper
2 tbs. vegetable oil
Salt to taste
1/3 cup whipping cream
2/3 cup light sour cream

Saute onions and peppers in medium skillet, in oil over low heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well and simmer for 5 minutes. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

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Time for the Shrimp Festival!

It's that time again, for one of my favorite festivals! The 60th annual, Delcambre Shrimp Festival, kicked off last night and runs through Sunday! There will be tons of shrimp, they have assured us, prepared every which way that you can imagine, lots of great live music, with an all day, fais do do on Saturday, a carnival for the kids, and the blessing of the fleet on Sunday. But what I'm looking forward to the most is the Shrimp Cook-Off, which is taking place, tomorrow, Saturday, August 21, beginning at 9:00am, with tastings beginning around noon. I can't wait to taste all of the different entries in this shrimp lover's event! For a complete schedule, click here. Come on out and support our shrimpers and let the good times roll!


Wishing you all a wonderful, fun-filled weekend! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bananas Foster Crunch Cake + More Bayou Boogie

Here's another fabulous, Cajun delight that is guaranteed to please and is out of this world, cher! Based on one of New Orleans's favorite desserts, it's a perfect cake for any occasion and will have your guests begging for the recipe. I am baking this one for my Dad because it is one of his faves. So rich and moist, with just the right amount of crunch. Ca cest bon! Bon appetit!


Bananas Foster Crunch Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
1/4 cup light rum
1/3 cup milk or buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp.'s baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Topping

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/3 cup melted butter


In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer, until smooth. Add sugar, and beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well, after each. Add milk and mix well. Stir in mashed bananas, rum, vanilla. In small bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture, a little at a time, and mix well. Stir in the butterscotch chips. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan and set aside.
In small bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour, pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter. Sprinkle over batter and cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven, for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 more minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool and transfer to a cake plate. Enjoy!

And if you want to add a little more decadence, you can top it off with my rum sauce!

Rum Sauce


3/4 cup light brown sugar
4 tbs.'s butter
1 small can evaporated milk
2 tbs.'s dark rum or
2 tsp's rum extract
Melt butter in saucepan, and then add brown sugar, and milk. Bring to a boil and lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat stir in rum, or rum extract. Sinfully good!

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I've had a few more requests for some Bayou Boogie, so for your entertainment, here is a little clip of Lil Anne and Cayenne, getting down! I love to do my morning workout to this tune! Guaranteed to shed some calories! Grab a cold one and crank it up, , and let the good times roll, cher! Hope ya'll are all having a fun weekend! Merci beaucoup for stopping by!

Lil' Anne and Hot Cayenne



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cool Summer Drinks + A Bon Temp !

It's been hotter than hot in Cajun country, and what better way to cool off than with a nice, yummy, frozen drink. After a long, hot day and a dip in the pool, I whipped up a batch of these heavenly, Pina Coladas. So easy to make and so refreshing and relaxing, too! What could be better! Cheers!

Frozen Pina Coladas

1 1/2 oz. light rum
2 oz. cream of coconut
4 oz. pineapple juice
1 cup fresh frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup crushed ice

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy! Serve in your favorite cocktail glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge. Warning: These can be addicting!


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And for those of you who may want to refresh with a non-alcoholic, nutritious, drink, I am including my recipe for a Strawberry-Banana Smoothie. I've been making these since my kids were little and they are a great way to start the day! Sometimes I add a little protein powder or ground flax seeds, for an extra boost. This is my fave, but you can get creative and use whatever fruits that you have on hand. Enjoy!

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

6 strawberries, cut in half
1 banana, sliced
6 oz.'s vanilla frozen yogurt
1 cup low fat milk
2 tsp.'s sugar or sugar substitute, optional

Place strawberries, bananas, and sugar, in blender. Add frozen yogurt and milk. Add ice cubes and blend until smooth and thick. So delicious and good for you, too!


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A Bon Temp!

It was another great weekend in Cajun country and my guests wanted to sample some of the best Cajun cuisine that Lafayette has to offer. We made the rounds at some of my favorite haunts and totally over-indulged in some sinfully delicious selections. Oh cest bon, cher!

But, first, when they arrived, I had a big pot of Crawfish Etouffee waiting for them.


Next, it was lunch at Julien's Poboys for some nitty-gritty Cajun favorites.

Fried Shrimp En Brochette (my favorite)


And Hot Sausage Poboy! Out of this world!



Then it was time to lighten up a bit and we headed over to Jefferson Orleans Restaurant for a nice big salad, topped with Grilled Jalapeno Encrusted Tuna Steak. "To die for", cher!


Then, on Sunday, we took a ride to the levee in Henderson, and stopped, on the way, at Landry's Restaurant, for some Oyster and Shrimp Poboy's. You might say that we were on a tear!

This shrimp poboy was divine! Cest bon, cher!


Next stop was Turtle's Bar, at Basin Landing, for a cold drink, before heading over to the dance, at Whiskey River Landing. Our usual routine, on the levee! We so needed to dance off all of these calories!



When we arrived at the dance, we could hear the spicy sounds of Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin' Cajuns from the porch. Oh the life of a Cajun, is oh, so fun! To be continued......

Merci for stopping by, cher amis! Hope ya'll have a wonderful week!




Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chicken-Spinach Pasta Bake + The Same Ol' 2 Step

Here's a wonderful, family favorite that will surely become one of yours. Tender chicken and spinach in a spicy, creamy, cheese sauce, blended with Penne pasta , will have you going back for more. It's a great way to use leftover chicken and freezes well, too. Also, excellent with crawfish. Serve with a big tossed salad and garlic bread, for a delectable week night meal. Le bon manger!


 
Chicken-Spinach Pasta Bake

8 0z. favorite cooked pasta (I used Penne)
2 tbs.'s olive oil, divided
1/2 cup each onions, bell peppers, and celery, chopped fine
1 10 0z. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups cooked, chicken breasts, cubed
1 can cream of chicken/mushroom soup
1 soup can milk
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup shredded cheese (I used triple cheddar)
Few shakes Tabasco

Prepare pasta, according to package directions. Rinse and drain, and place in large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tbs. olive oil, and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Mix well and set aside. In small saucepan, heat the soup and milk and bring just to a boil. Stir in Tabasco and remove from heat.

In medium skillet, saute the trinity, (onions, bell peppers, and celery), and parsley, in the other tbs. olive oil for 10 minutes and remove from heat. Combine the soup mixture, cooked chicken, Cajun seasoning, and trinity, with the pasta and mix well. Fold in the cheese. Turn into a large buttered casserole dish and bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Oh cest bon, cher!
Bon Apppetit!

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I'm expecting guests for the weekend, and after hearing me talk about Cafe Des Amis, in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, they want to go and check it out. It will be our first stop on Saturday morning, for an authentic Cajun breakfast, and some Zydeco dancing, to the spicy sounds of "The Same Ol' 2 Step". The music starts at 8:30 am and goes until 11:30 am! It's a bit early for me, but after a few Cajun bloody mary's, you get into the groove. Here's a little clip of this hotter than jalapenos, Zydeco band, rockin' the early morning crowd. Grab yourself a cold one and crank it up for this one!

Hope ya'll have a fabulous, fun weekend! Lassiez les bon temps rouler, cher!
Merci beaucoup for coming by!

Same Ol' 2 Step