Saturday, November 29, 2008

Live at the Blue Moon Saloon

After all that cooking, it was time to have some fun and what better place to find it than The Blue Moon Saloon, in Lafayette. The balmy weather was perfect for the double header, featuring Steve Riley and Friends and Cedric Watson and Creole Bijou. The lively crowd was ready to dance, as usual. More than a few pounds gained on Turkey Day were shed on the crowded dance floor 

 The bands were awesome with several of Acadiana's favorite musicians sitting in on the jam. Steve Riley and Kevin Dugas from The Mamou Playboys, Roddie Romero from the Hub City Allstars, and Chris Stafford from Feufollet, just to name a few. For a complete schedule click here.

Steve Riley and Friends

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cajun Cornbread Dressing

Here is an absolute family favorite, at any time of year, but especially at Thanksgiving. The sweetness of the cornbread combines with the spicy meat and is out of this world! This is my mother's recipe and is my Dad's favorite dish. It's easy to make and can be made ahead of time and frozen, until needed. Bon Appetit!

Cajun Cornbread Dressing 

1 lb. ground round beef
1/2 pound fresh ground pork
2 cups beef broth or stock
1 cup each (onions, bell peppers, and celery), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic , minced

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and Tabasco to taste
1 tbs. Cajun seasoning, divided
2 tbs.'s Worcestershire sauce

Brown ground beef and pork with 1 tsp, Cajun seasoning in a large heavy skillet. Drain excess fat and add trinity, garlic, and stir and cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in Worcestershire sauce and a few shakes of Tabasco. Add beef broth or stock, parsley, and other tsp. of Cajun seasoning and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

Crumble "day old" cornbread, (recipe below), in large bowl. Gradually add meat mixture until desired consistency is reached. Transfer to a buttered casserole dish and dot with butter. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cest bon, cher!

Mama's Buttermilk Cornbread

1 (1/2) cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tbs.'s sugar
2 (1/2) tsp.'s baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 large eggs
1 (1/2) cups buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and vegetable oil. And add to the dry ingredients, and stir until just mixed, and pour into a buttered baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cajun Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving already! It's that time of year, again, to begin planning your Thanksgiving dinner. Time to get out all those treasured family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Time to make the master menu, the shopping list and gather favorite recipes. I normally start these tasks around Halloween and gather what will be needed for the feast, gradually. Then, the weekend before, I wash the table linens, china, and silverware, along with a little Thanksgiving decorating. And then it will be time to actually prepare the feast, starting several days in advance of the big day. Here is a partial list of the feast that I will be preparing for my family and friends.

Deep Fried Cajun Turkey * Mama's Cornbread Dressing * Cajun Oyster Stuffing * String Bean Casserole * Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Sauce * Corn Maque Choux * Candied Cranberries * Butter Garlic Rolls *

Bourbon Bread Pudding * Chocolate Fudge Cake * Grandma's Pumpkin Pie*

Cajun Oyster Stuffing

1 9 inch cornbread, baked
1 pkg./sleeve- saltine crackers
1 /2 loaf of "day old" French bread
1 stick butter
2 cups (16 oz.) chicken broth or stock
1 quart oysters, chopped, with liquid reserved
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 Tbs's Cajun or Creole seasoning
5 large eggs ( lightly beaten)
Salt and Tabasco to taste

In large bowl, crumble the cornbread, French bread, and crackers. Add the seasonings and the parsley and mix well. Saute the onions, bell pepper, celery, and green onions in the stick of butter, until soft and add to the bowl. Stir in the chicken stock, eggs and oysters, adding oyster liquid, to desired consistency. Mixture will be wet. Pour into a buttered baking dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven, for 35 to 40 minutes. Cest' Bon! Enjoy!

Nanny's Praline- Sweet Potato Casserole

8 medium sweet potatoes , peeled, chopped, and boiled until tender
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup cane or maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp.'s cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

Whisk half and half with brown sugar, syrup, cinnamon vanilla, salt, and egg, in large bowl. Add the cooked, drained, sweet potatoes and beat with electric mixer until smooth. Coat a 13" by 9" baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon in sweet potato mixture and set aside. Make topping.

Praline Topping

1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 small can Pet milk
4 tbs.'s butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Melt butter in 2 qt. saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, Pet milk, and pecans. Cook and stir, constantly, on low heat until blended and smooth and thick. (about 5 minutes) Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Spread evenly over top of sweet potato mixture. Cover with foil and bake @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes. Serves 8 Cest bon! Bon Appetit!

Cajun Supermarket :: Low Prices On Louisiana Cajun Products

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

Gumbo, another Cajun favorite, is a delicious way to welcome the cooler temperatures of the season. With hunting season in full swing, many people are cooking their favorite gumbo. Duck or Venison may be substituted for chicken in this classic dish.


Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

1 cut up chicken or hen
1 pkg. hot, smoked sausage, sliced
3/4 cup each of chopped celery, onions, and bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 quarts warm water
2 tbls's Cajun seasoning
Salt and Tabasco, to taste
1/2 cup green onions
1/4 cup fresh parsley
3 bay leaves
File' powder
2 cups cooked rice

Season chicken with 1 tbls. Cajun seasoning. Brown chicken and sausage in separate pot, adding a small amount of water, to prevent sticking to pot. Set aside.

Next, you make a roux.

3/4 cup oil and 2/3 cup flour

Stir together in a separate large heavy pot, on medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, until medium brown in color. Stir constantly, scraping bottom and sides, often. When desired color is reached, cut off the fire and add the celery,onions, bell peppers and garlic, to lower the temperature of the roux, and stir for about 3 minutes, then slowly add the water. Mix well and add remaining seasonings and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add the chicken and sausage and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add the parsley and green onions and simmer for 10 more minutes. Skim off excess oil, sprinkle with file', and serve in gumbo bowls with a scoop of rice and/ or potato salad. Serves 8 Bon Appetit!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Whiskey River Now Open !

After a few months of renovations, after taking a heavy hit from Hurricane Gustav, Whiskey River Landing is back in business. Better than ever, with it's great bands and dancers. Tonight's band, Horace Trahan and The Huval- Doucet Band , rocked the crowd with it's traditional and sometimes not so traditional,Cajun music. A perfect blend of Cajun and Zydeco tunes, with an occasional waltz ,thrown in for good measure. The crowd was lively and spanned multiple generations, everyone being between 18 and 80 years young. It was so good to see old friends and of course, to dance with them. The only thing missing were the barbequed hamburgers, so treasured by the end of the night, by the patrons.

So, we headed up the Levee Road and decided to stop at Pat's Fisherman Wharf Restaurant for a little seafood, where the seafood is "to die for". Delectable Crawfish Etoufee and Fried Oysters with Grilled Shrimp Salad topped off a great evening. There was a band playing in Pat's nightclub,The Atchafalaya Club, adjacent to the dining room. When I realized that it was one of my favorites, Kevin Naqain and The Ossun Playboys, that meant another hour of dancing. Just a typical fun Sunday on the Basin. Check it out, you'll be so glad you did.