Thursday, February 26, 2009

Creole Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

Another family favorite, Creole Shrimp and Okra Gumbo, is a spicy, yet savory dish that is out of this world. I like to make a big pot of this recipe on Friday, and watch it disappear over the weekend. It was one of my mother's favorites and is very popular at my house. Serve with hot cooked rice, a tossed salad, and crusty French bread, for a hearty meal.

Creole Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

2 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 carton oysters, with liquid
5 tbs.'s vegetable oil
5 tbs.'s flour
1 cup each, onions, bell peppers, and celery
1 lb. fresh okra, sliced
2 tbs.'s olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can Rotel tomatoes w/ green chilies
2 quarts of seafood stock or water
1 tbs. vinegar
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs. creole seasoning
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup each, chopped green onions and fresh parsley
Salt and hot sauce to taste

Season shrimp with the creole seasoning and set aside. In a large heavy pot, on medium heat, make a light roux with the flour and vegetable oil. Stir constantly until roux becomes golden brown. (about 10 minutes) Lower heat and add the onions, bell peppers, and celery, and stir for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and garlic, and cook for 10 more minutes. Slowly add the warm stock or water, oyster liquid, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and hot sauce, and simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the okra in the olive oil and vinegar, in large skillet for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the seasoned shrimp and okra to the gumbo pot and bring to a boil , lower heat and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the oysters, green onions, and parsley and simmer for 10 more minutes. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday 09'!

Mardi Gras Day, better known as Fat Tuesday, began with a bang, in downtown Lafayette, with a costume contest in Parc Sans Souci, followed by the King Gabriel Parade. After the parade, we decided to head over to Cajun Field for a while, to Le Festival de Mardi Gras, where thousands were already enjoying the beautiful day and dancing to the boogie blues of The Bayou Boys. Next, it was back to Johnston Street, for the two afternoon parades. The last parade, The Independent Parade, was throwing beads like crazy and we really racked up on beads there.

 By this time, we were ready for some refreshment and headed over to Artmosphere for, 
you guessed it, more partying! Trueman Posse and Dirty Laundry were just two of the bands playing today and entertaining the crowd. An absolute blast and we're not done, because we're headed to Bisbano's Cellar Door for the Jazz Jam and more Mardi Gras-ing. Let the meatballs roll, cher! Happy Mardi Gras! See ya'll at Downtown Alive in March! Right around the corner!

Happy Mardi Gras!

Record crowds turned out to celebrate Lundi Gras (Mardi Gras Eve) tonight, in Lafayette. The Queen's Parade started rolling at 6 pm. and shortly after, the downtown party was in full swing. Elaborate floats with costumed revelers and lots of beads made this year's Lundi Gras parade a lot of fun.

And the crowd went crazy for the The Krewe Of Attakapas float which is known for throwing the most beads. After the parade, we headed over to the Blue Moon Saloon where a super Mardi Gras party was already in progress. Balfa Toujours, a popular Cajun band, was rocking the house and the dance floor was filled to capacity with a whole lot of two-stepping going on. Hot is the only way to describe it! Fat Tuesday, coming up next. See ya'll there! Let the good times roll, cher!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Live from Randol's Dancehall

After a whole day of Mardi Gras parades and parties, we headed over to Randol's Restaurant et Salle de Danse, for some boiled crawfish and a little dancing. The place was packed with Mardi Gras revelers, dancing to the Cajun sounds of Kevin Naquin and Ossun Express. Since this is one of my favorite bands, I danced more than my share of songs. Then our crawfish came and once we started eating, we couldn't stop. Cest bon, cher!

What a blast! Lassier Les Bon Ton Rouler!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Let the Fun Begin!

Lafayette is ready for the biggest 5 day bash of the year, otherwise known as Mardi Gras. The Friday night "Kick Off Parade" went off without a hitch with tons of beads being thrown to some of the biggest crowds of the year. The float riders and revelers alike, were excited and you could hear it in the cheers of the crowd, as the coveted beads were tossed and caught. After the parade, we headed over to Le Festival de Mardi Gras, at Cajun Field. Travis Matte and the Zydeco Kingpins were playing a dance, at a fais do do, there. Lots of nitty gritty zydeco-ing going on. We had an absolute blast and plan to get up early tomorrow morning and go to Fred's Lounge , in Mamou, where they have a dance from 8:30 to 11:30 am.

 Then, it's on to Breaux Bridge to a Mardi Gras King Cake Party , (everyone welcome), at the home of Jerry Spranger. Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie will entertain the crowd from noon to 4 pm. For more information, call: 337-332-5841. Then, it will be time to head back to Lafayette, for The Krewe of Bonaparte Parade. Let the good times roll, cher!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mardi Gras Slaw with Cajun Hush Puppies

This delicious side dish is perfect for the Mardi Gras season. In keeping with the Mardi Gras colors, purple, green, and gold, it adds a festive touch to any celebration. And the Cajun hush puppies are sweet morsels of buttery cornbread that seem to melt in your mouth. Both go perfectly with the Creole Stuffed Catfish or Bourbon Street Fried Shrimp. Enjoy!

 Mardi Gras  Slaw

1/2 head green cabbage
1/2 head purple cabbage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
2 tbs.'s red wine vinegar
2 tbs.'s fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup mayonaise
1 tbs. horseradish
2 tsp.'s 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


 Cajun Hush Puppies
1 (1/2) cups yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp.'s baking powder
2 eggs
1  jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup milk
Oil for frying

Mix cornmeal, sugar, seasonings, baking powder, and flour in large bowl.
Add the eggs, first, then the milk, and chopped jalapenos and mix well.
With a melon scoop, drop by scoopfuls into hot oil, in a cast iron
skillet. Deep fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Krewe des Chiens Parade

The 2009' Mardi Gras parade season kicked off this afternoon with the Krewe des Chiens Parade, (Doggie Parade), in Lafayette. Thousands lined the streets of downtown Lafayette to watch this unique parade of dog owners and dogs. There were about as many different breeds of dogs as people, all dressed up in Mardi Gras finery. Of course, the owners tossed the beads and the rain held off until later.

This Krewe was formed in 1999, with it's mission being to help the animal shelters of Acadiana, with various fundraisers held throughout the year. After the parade we headed over to Agave' Mexican Grill and Cantina for a little south of the border feast and one of their famous Margaritas. As always, it was Cest' Bon', Cher! And maybe enough time for a cat nap, before the next parade. Happy Mardi Gras! See ya'll there!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

BeauSoleil Takes Grammy

Many fans and supporters of Michael Doucet avec Beausoliel gathered at The Blue Moon Saloon on Grammy night . A complimentary Red Beans and Rice dinner was served. The Jimmy Breaux Band rocked the crowd, with Roddie Romero on the guitar. Jimmy is, of course, the accordion player for Beausoleil and is now wishing that he had gone to L.A.

 Some serious champagne drinking going on right about now, out there. The crowd was lively and went wild when they heard the news; that Beausoleil, 11 time Grammy nominee, had won the 2009 Grammy in the best zydeco/Cajun category, for " Beausoleil Jazz Fest Live 2008'" Congratulations and have a blast in L.A.! Let the Good Times Roll!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Cajun Seafood Feast

The ways I love to eat seafood. Let me count the ways.
1. Grilled
2. Stuffed 
3. Fried
4. Boiled 
5. Steamed
6. Baked 
7. Broiled
8. Stewed
9. in gumbo 
10. in po-boys

As we approach the Lenten season, this is the first in a series of fabulous Cajun and Creole seafood recipes that I will be posting throughout lent. This is one of my favorites. Absolutely divine! Bon Appetit'!

Grilled Shrimp with Bourbon Glaze

1 lb. (24 count) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 tbs.'s butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp.'s Cajun seasoning, divided
Salt and Tabasco to taste
2 tbs.'s bourbon

Season shrimp with 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning  In a 2 qt. saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir until golden. Remove from heat and add Bourbon, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Light mixture with a long match to burn alcohol off. On low heat, add butter, gradually, until sauce forms. Add other tsp.Cajun seasoning and salt. Brush shrimp with Bourbon glaze. Arrange shrimp in grill pan in a single layer. Grill on medium heat about 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Baste shrimp often. Cest bon, cher! Delicious!

Creole Stuffed Catfish

It's that time of the year again to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras parades. We are going to the Krewe of Vieux Parade which winds it way through The French Quarter. Before the parade, we plan to have dinner at one of our favorite Bourbon Street restaurants. My favorite item on the menu is the Creole Stuffed Catfish. It has a delicate, yet spicy taste that is almost too good to be true. Here is my own version of this delicious dish.

Creole Stuffed Catfish

2 medium sized catfish fillets, cleaned
1/2 lb. fresh lump crab meat
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup each minced onion and bell pepper, and celery
1 tsp.minced garlic
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
2 tbs.'s Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning
1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
Juice of 1 lemon

Slit a pocket in the catfish for stuffing.
Season inside and out with 1 tbs. Creole seasoning
Baste with 1/2 of the lemon juice

Melt butter in skillet, and add garlic, onions, bell pepper, and celery. Sautee' until wilted.
Add breadcrumbs, green onions. parsley, crab meat and other tbs. Creole
seasoning. Stir and cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Fill catfish with stuffing
and place in a buttered baking pan. Dot catfish with butter and
pour remaining lemon juice on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven, for 35 to 40 minutes.
Baste occasionally. Serves 2 Bon Appetit!

Note: This recipe also works well with flounder.