Pluck, Pluck, Fried Chicken Fingers a.k.a. Raising Cane’s Chicken Tenders

It is January and we’re into football bowl season. What televised bowl game can proceed without fried chicken fingers at the watch party. Here in Louisiana, every mom & pop grocery store lunch counter claims bragging rights to the “Best Fried Chicken.” We love fried chicken here — Popeye’s Fried Chicken is from New Orleans as well as newcomer, Raising Cane’s. I have my own “favorite” fried chicken fingers recipe and bragging rights, too. My chicken fingers are incredibly tender and flavorful. My recipe is based on the one from Raising Cane’s fast food restaurant chain. Although I’m sure their recipe is a secret, my chicken fingers are a pretty close match. I am proud of this recipe; I worked long and hard to get it perfected. And my team-player husband had to sample all those chicken batches!

Continue reading

World-Famous Natchitoches Meat Pies

Today I’m making world-famous Natchitoches meat pies. What? Louisiana cuisine extends beyond New Orleans and the Cajun country. Every now and then you can find a culinary gem tucked in the other regions of Louisiana. The tiny city of Natchitoches, with 15,000 residents, is found in the north-central part of the state. They like to brag about their meat pies — of course they are “world-famous.” These little empanadas are stuffed with a spicy meat and vegetable seasoning filling in a pie shell-type crust. Typically the pies are fried, however, they can also be baked, as shown in this photo. I decided to try my hand at making these meat pies, embellishing the recipe just a bit by adding a few additional ingredients. This makes these meat pies extra special in the flavor category, in my opinion.

Continue reading

Instant Pot Magic: Let’s Steam a Whole Artichoke

Here’s something that I never ate until I was an adult. That is a fresh, whole artichoke. My husband’s family loves to eat this vegetable — just for the fun of it. It is a social activity — sort of like a Louisiana crawfish boil. My mother-in-law boils the artichokes in a pressure cooker until tender. To eat them, you pluck off individual leaves, dip them in butter — or garlic butter. — and pull the pulp off the leaf between your teeth. You also eat the artichoke heart — that’s the best part. When my husband brought some colossal artichokes home from the grocery store, we decided to try cooking them in my new Instant Pot. So simple and the artichokes cook much quicker than boiling on a stove. In addition to enjoying the wonderful flavor of the artichokes, we learned that they are a powerhouse of nutritional value.

Continue reading

Fried Chinese Wonton Appetizers with Buffalo Hot Sauce

Here’s a tasty appetizer for a the Chinese New Year which is on Saturday, January 25. I paired Fried Chinese Wonton Appetizers with Buffalo Hot Sauce. It is sort of an unusual combination — but the wontons served with homemade hot sauce is just right. I am particularly pleased with my attempt at making “Buffalo Hot Sauce.” Continue reading