Spring is crawfish season in Louisiana. I have several scrumptious crawfish recipes to share this year. “Cajun Fried Crawfish Tails” is not the most common way to serve this mudbug but it is a delicious dish. The fried crawfish are small, crispy and they “pop” with spicy Cajun seasonings. They remind me of fried popcorn shrimp. The “secret ingredient” in my recipe is Tabasco Sauce. It adds just the right touch of “hot” to this dish. Serve the fried crawfish as an appetizer or as part of a salad or at any special occasion where you want something really different to share.
This year, in celebration of Mardi Gras, I am making cupcakes with colorful cream cheese icing for an event where everyone is expected to bring a dessert. Mardi Gras has been celebrated since the early beginnings of New Orleans and was originally a Catholic holiday of indulging in a rich meal before the beginning of Lent. Over time Mardi Gras has extended well beyond the Catholic religion and “Fat Tuesday.” Lots of revelry and fun for everyone. So my cupcakes are “in the spirit” of the Mardi Gras season.
When I think of Mardi Gras, I think of New Orleans and recall all of our adventures to the city during carnival season. New Orleans has a distinct and rich cuisine; we’ve eaten at many restaurants over the years during these times. Blackened redfish, made famous by Cajun Chef Paul Prudhomme, is one of the memorable dishes of this city. With carnival season and Mardi Gras arriving soon, here’s my “blackened recipe,” a version using chicken rather than redfish.
Sour Grapes. Guess who is not going to the Super Bowl Championship game this year? The New Orleans Saints football team and fans. This includes our family who managed to watch over 50% of the Saint’s games this fall including several exciting wins. To commemorate the loss, I am posting two “sour grapes” recipes this week. In case you might like to try making them yourself on “Super Bowl Sunday,” I’m posting recipes for “Sour Grape Cocktails” and “Sour Grapes” today.
Every year my mother-in-law sends “gelt” (a.k.a. money) for Hanukkah rather than presents. I like to save the gelt for something really special; something I might not otherwise indulge in. This year an old-fashioned Bundt cake pan caught my attention. I love to bake and this seemed like a fitting use for her generosity. The first cake I made was “Pecan Rum Cake.” It is festive for the all the holidays — both Hannukah and Christmas. I liked it so much I also made a variation, “Satsuma Rum Cake.”
If you like pecan pie, then you will like Pecan Tassies. And if you are not a fan of pecan pie, I bet you might like my version of this dessert. I added persimmon pulp (or you could add pumpkin puree) and the custard filling mellows out the rich and so, so sweet flavor of traditional pecan pie. A Pecan Tassie is a favorite Southern dessert served during the holiday season and is a great addition to any party or buffet.
I grew a bumper crop of jalapeno peppers in my garden this summer; these hot peppers are extremely easy to grow. One of my favorite appetizers at a local restaurant uses these peppers in a dish called “Crab Stuffed Jalapenos.” All summer I’ve attempted to duplicate and copy their recipe using my large crop of jalapeno peppers. Here are several of my variations and results. The stuffed jalapenos are delicious; I do recommend having a large glass of water nearby. Continue reading
Will the REAL jambalaya recipe please come forward? Ever since President Trump served “Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya” in April at a state dinner honoring French President, Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, controversy has been brewing in Louisiana. That is not “jambalaya,” folks protested. This set off a flurry of newspaper editorials, recipes and opinions in our state. The truth is that there are many variations of jambalaya and many good recipes. Here’s own recipe, I think it’s one of the best!
Creole Remoulade Sauce is truly a recipe of New Orleans. It is a very tangy and full-bodied sauce usually served with boiled shrimp or seafood. Derived from French cuisine and adapted by Creole cooks, the sauce eventually making it’s way onto the menus of some of the oldest and finest New Orleans’ restaurants. With Mardi Gras celebrations and their pageantry and traditions in progress in New Orleans, I’m reminded of these restaurants and what made them famous. Continue reading
It’s Mardi Gras season in Louisiana and today we’re making King Cakes. This year I have teenager, Jessi, to help me make these sweet, rich and delicious yeast breads known as King Cakes. King cakes fill the grocery stores and hundreds are sold in New Orleans during the Mardi Gras season. It is fairly easy to make a king cake yourself at home using this recipe. The key is using a heavy-duty mixer to do the kneading.