Friday, November 30, 2012

Sweet Potato Bread

This is a delicious Creole bread. (remember this is from my Grand Mama's cookbook, a pinch of this, a dab of that)  Since sweet potatoes are such a staple for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas throw a few extra in while baking. 
Sweet Potato bread Yum!

4 cups Mashed Sweet Potatoes
1 1/2 pints all purpose flour (ballpark, 3 1/2 cups minus 2 1.3 tsp)
1  pints milk (2 cups)
2 Tbs butter
1 Tb salt
1/2 teacup fresh yeast or 1/2 cake of compressed yeast (1/2 package of active dry yeast)

Make certain potatoes are baked. peeled then mashed. Add the milk,yeast & salt into a bowl; add butter (melted) beat thoroughly and set over night in a warm place.  In morning add mashed potatoes (pressed through a sieve) gradually add flour (sifted @ east 3 times for lightness) Beat into a sponge; cover set in warm place to rise (double) turn on to bread board mold into loaves and lightly greased pans let rise till light. Bake in moderate (350 degree) oven about 45 minutes.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pompano en Papillote

Pompano is one of the crowning glories of the New Orleans fish markets.  It is native to the Gulf  of Mexico waters, Mississippi sound, and the Louisiana Grand Isle shores The word Pompano was derived from a Spanish word Pampano given by the early Spanish fishermen for the greenish tint plant in the waters that helps it to hide. It is  fish with high oil content.
  • 4 fresh or frozen pompano (3/4 pound)
  • 4 ounces fresh or frozen shelled shrimp
Parchment paper                                                               
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 lemon slices                                
  •  1 bay leaf
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  •  1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  •  1/4 cup chopped green onion
  •  1 Tbs butter or margarine
  •  2 Tbs all-purpose flour
  •  1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
  •  Dash white pepper
  •  1/4 cup milk
  •  2 Tbs dry white wine or dry sherry
  •  2 Tbs snipped parsley   

  • Thaw fillets and shrimp, if frozen rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Measure thickness of fillets. Set aside. Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper into 9 x 12-inch heart shapes. 
  • In a 10-inch skillet bring water, lemon, bay leaf, and salt to boiling; add fillets in a single layer. Return to boiling. Reduce heat, then simmer, covered until fish flakes easily with a fork. (Allow 4 to 6 minutes for each 1/2 inch of thickness.) Remove fish, using a slotted spoon; keep warm. Add shrimp to poaching broth. Return to boiling. Reduce heat, then simmer, covered, for 1 to 3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp using a slotted spoon, reserving broth; keep shrimp warm. Strain broth, reserving 1/2 cup.
  • In the same skillet cook mushrooms and onion in hot butter or margarine over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender but not brown, stirring often. Stir in flour, tarragon, and pepper. Add reserved broth and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Stir in wine or sherry and parsley; heat through.
  • To assemble papillotes, place 1 fillet on half of each parchment heart. Arrange one-fourth of the shrimp atop each fillet. Spoon about 1/4 cup sauce over each fillet. Fold the other half of each heart over fillet to form the papillote. Starting at the top of each heart, seal tightly. Place papillotes in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until slightly puffed.
  • Quickly transfer papillotes to dinner plate. Open papillotes. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Molasses Cake (Gâteau à la mélasse)

This is a recipe from my Grand MaMa's cook book she was given pe-WWII three years prior to my appearance to my arrival on earth. Made w/molasses one of my more favored syrups.
2 cups Louisiana Molasses
1 cup boiling milk
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter3 & 1/2 cups flour ( sifted)
4 eggs
1tsp ground gnger
1/4 tsp cloves
1tsp cinnamon, handful golden raisins, slivered almonds (optional)

Melt the butter. Dissolve the soda in the boiling milk add to the molasses. Beat sugar and butter til very light (creamed) add well beaten yolks of the eggs. Add to the molasses,/soda, stir into creamed sugar mixture. Beat until smooth gradually and in flour, beating until very light and smooth. Now add in the ginger, cloves and cinnamon (other optionals if using). Add/fold the beaten (stiff froth) white of the eggs into batter. Bake in shallow cake pan.  You can divide equally between 2 nine " round pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, in a 350 degree oven (or until the cake tests done and springs back when lightly touched, or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Meringue Kisses

Boy, does this ever take me back to learning how to cook on an old 4 burner barely modern stove. The 4 burners were on the left,  the stove and broiler on the right.  Oven on top, broiler at waist level with no gauge!  We had to hang an oven thermometer from the bottom rack.  I made my own gauge by putting hash marks in the appropriate locations.  Besides the chips inside I've also seen them with a single kiss placed on the top as well.  We left out the chocolate period; I was never a choc o-holic.

2 egg whites
3/4 cu sugar
1 Tb vanilla
6 oz chocolate chips (optional)

Beat egg whites slightly, add the sugar a little bit at a time til stiff.  Add the vanilla continue beating to maintain stiffness. If you are adding the chips fold in now. Drop by tablespoon on to a foil covered (or silpat now) cookie sheet.  At this point you would place the single kiss.  Bake at 300 (25-30 minutes) makes 30 or so.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Doberge Cake

                                         Doberge Cake it's history & recipe

Since it's just past my birthday I'm gonna share w/y'all  my, forever B'day cake, from Gambina's. (as I called it)  Gambino's Bakery is an icon of New Orleans, more famous for the doberge cake than Beulah Ledner. (the creator)  Many people think that it began there, but found out that wasn't the case! The traditional flavors are chocolate, lemon and caramel. (I had 1/2 lemon & 1/2 chocolate for my B'day) Doberge cake is an staple of living in New Orleans. It is a yummy multi-layered cake with pastry cream inside and a poured glaze on the outside.

If you look up Doberge in a french dictionary and the word is not there. Back in the 1930's there was a New Orleanian lady named Beulah Ledner, who came from a baking family in Germany. She started baking during the Depression a variation on the famed Hungarian-Austrian dobos torta to supplement the familie's income. She changed the recipe to thin layers of butter cake with a custard filling, either chocolate or lemon. Since "dobos" wouldn't fly in New Orleans the word was "Frenchified" to fit the city. That's how the name "doberge" was born.

How do you pronounce it? (I say dough-bearj (what I heard most); some say dough-bosh or dough-boj.) After a heart attack Beulah sold the bakery, the name and the recipes to the Joe Gambino family.(I think after WWII) The original recipe is a secret held by the Gamino family(this is the closest I've run across I believe the original icing was glaze & poured not spread?)

Makes 1 (9-inch) Doberge Cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours (if your lucky)


Chocolate Ganache Icing:
 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Traditional multi-layered Chocolate
 12 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate
 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
 Chocolate Pudding Filling:
 5 large egg yolks
 1/2 cup sugar
 3 tablespoons cornstarch
 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 2 cups milk
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 4 ounces finely chopped semisweet chocolate
 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
 8 ounces (2 sticks) + 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
 3/4 teaspoon salt
 1 teaspoon vanilla
 6 large eggs
 1 3/4 cups sugar
 3/4 cup milk

(note: The ganache and pudding should be made first because they time to set up.)

Ganache icing:
Bring cream to a boil in a medium saucepan. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a heat resistant bowl and llargeet sit for 2 minutes. Whisk mixture until ganache has a nice sheen and is completely smooth.  Then whisk in butter and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface.   Set aside  (6 hours

Chocolate pudding filling: Whisk egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. Bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in a little egg mixture. Once bottom of bowl is warm, slowly whisk in remaining hot milk. Pour mixture back into a clean medium saucepan, add the vanilla, and whisk over medium-low heat until it thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Cook while constantly whisking until pudding   is glossy and quite thick, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer.  Transfer pudding to a clean bowl.  Add chopped chocolate and butter and gently whisk until chocolate is completely incorporated. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate (at least 4 hours)

For the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch spring form pan. Wrap the bottom in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Stir vanilla into 8 ounces plus 2 tablespoons melted butter and set aside another heat resistant bowl (large), whisk together eggs and sugar. Place over (not in) a pot of barely simmering water. Whisking constantly, heat the mixture until it is warm to the touch, (3 minutes) Remove from heat and whip on high until cool and tripled in volume, (3 minutes)  Reduce mixer speed to medium low and drizzle in the melted butter-vanilla mixture.

By hand, fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture followed with 1/2 of the milk. Repeat, ending with flour. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake until a toothpick tests clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pan 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack. Unclasp the spring form pan sides and carefully removing the ring, and allow the cake to cool completely with the pan bottom still in place. Once cool, remove the pan bottom from the cake and divide it into 4 equal layers.

Wash and dry the spring form pan and use it to assemble the cake. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of the pan with cooking spray. Place two (20-inch-long) pieces plastic wrap in pan so entire bottom and sides are covered, allowing ends of plastic to hang over sides of pan.  Place 1 cake layer in spring form pan and top with 2/3 cup chocolate pudding filling (you will have leftover filling after the cake is assembled), leaving a 1/2-inch border of bare cake around the edge. Repeat with the remaining cake layers and chocolate pudding filling. Cover the top of the cake with the plastic wrap overhang (or another piece if there isn't enough), and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Place four (6-inch-wide) strips of parchment paper hanging off the end of the platter. (This will keep the tray clean while frosting. Remove after you've iced.) Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the cake and invert cake onto the serving platter. Unhinge the sides of the springform pan and remove. Peel off plastic wrap. Give the ganache a stir and ice top and sides of cake with it. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cake can be served cold or at room temperature (even better).

White Chocolate Lemon Ganache
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
12 ounces white chocolate, chopped; NOT candy. Use an excellent quality chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
My choice B'day cake only plain w/ Happy Birthday written across the top
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon lemon extract
2-3 drops yellow gel food coloring (optional)
Lemon Pudding Filling:
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Ganache icing:
Heat the cream in the microwave, or in a pot, till it reaches a gentle boil. Pour hot cream oven chocolate, and gently shake bowl to cover the chocolate with the cream. Add the lemon zest and let the mixture sit for 2 minutes.  Stir the mixture, in one direction, and then gently whisk to combine, & til ganache is completely smooth.  Then whisk in butter and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface.  Add lemon extract, and gel food coloring, if desired.  Set aside for 6 hours.

Make the best lemon cake recipe you find and lemon pudding if you want the lemon cake.  What Gambino did was to cut one of each in 1/2 and combine them for 2 cakes each favor.  Your on your own for the caramel cake.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

French Onion Soup

M-m-m good
This was my family's Christmas Eve supper.  We would have it with extra crusty French bread then go to the mid night service. After we came home my brother and I would ask to open our presents.  When we were children we were told Santa hadn't come yet so the family's presents would have to wait to the morning after his arrival. (oh so sad)

4-5 large Onions (thinly sliced)1/4 cup butter
6 cups beef stock (hot)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika (smoky,hot or mild)
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
6 rounds French bread (toasted)
1/2 cup Gruyère cheese ( grated)
1/2cup Parmesan  cheese (grated)
1/2cup dry white wine (optional)

Sauté onions in butter til golden over low fire (20-30 min.) Add stock, seasonings (not Worcestershire)   and wine (if using) bring to boil then add Worcestershire.  Serve over round of French bread at bottom of
bowl.  Place the Gruyère cheese on bread before ladling soup over top sprinkle Parmesan cheese.  (serves6)

                   Here's an homage to modern times microwave instructions:

In a 3 qt. microwaveable dish combine butter and onions microwave covered on high til onions are tender (10 min.) Stir 1/2 way. Add everything but the Worcestershire. Microwave 10 more minutes on high.  Add Worcestershire follow instructions as above.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Vegetables with Brown Rice

Since I'm a veggie freak I loved this one; I use actual brown rice rather than make the recipe Chef Paul has in the book.  If you are a Chef Paul purest, please go get Fork in the road, there are tons more recipes! He has some marvelous desserts.  There's one called Chocolate Yum Stuff, believe you me, it's yummy. My mouth watered when I read it, let a lone when it was made!
                                            On to veggies with brown rice.
Seasoning Mix
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp sweet basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry  mustard
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp dillweed
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp savoy
1 eggplant
3 bay leaves
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup zucchini (diced)
3 cup fresh mushrooms
1 cup yellow squash (diced)
1 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup apple juice
2 cups defatted chicken stock    *
4 cups peeled, diced fresh tomatoes or 2 14 oz. cans
* see  Sweet Pepper Cream Shrimp recipe                                                                                                
Combine seasoning mix in small bowl.  Peel eggplant quarter it then sprinkle all surfaces with the seasoning mix.  Cook eggplant about 2 min. in a 12 inch frying pan (non stick preferable) you've pre-heated on high heat until brown. (2 min. per side) Add apple juice cook for 6 min. turning eggplant periodically til all the eggplant is caramelized, set aside.
Combine the onions, bell peppers, celery with 1 tablespoon seasoning mix cook stirring periodically til crust forms o the bottom. (12 min or so) Add 1 cup stock scraping bottom to get all the bits. Add garlic Cook until all the vegetables are all evenly brown and sweet tasting. (5 min)When the liquid has evaporated and a new crust has formed; add tomatoes loosening the crust from the bottom . Put in remaining veggies, seasoning mix and stock along with the bay leaves. When adding the eggplant to the skillet make certain it is submerged in the sauce. Reduce heat to medium simmer 12 min. or until eggplant is tender. I prefer the eggplant in smaller pieces as it over brown rice.  Remember,  I prefer true brown rice, which I cook according to the package instructions.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Oven "Fried" Catfish

This is a good way to "fry" any type of fish that one might otherwise fry. (doesn't have to just be catfish) My take on Chef Paul's recipe made the seasoning mix per Fork in the Road.

Seasoning mix
1 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sweet basil
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne

Catfish filets
1/2 cup read crumbs (toasted)
2 Tb parsley (fresh finely chopped, minced)
3 Tb finely sliced green onions
1 Tb olive oil
Combine seasoning mix in small bowl. Sprinkle evenly on all surfaces of  the fish 4 tsp only. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine the bread crumbs, parsley, green onions with the rest of the seasoning mix, add the oil combining it with your fingers until all the crumbs are moist. "Dredge" the fillets by carefully patting/pressing the crumbs to the fish flesh. Softly shake off any excess crumbs. Place into a non stick baking dish/sheet display side up.  Bake about 6 minutes, turn fish over and bake 6 more minutes.  Turn fillets over one last time  (display side up) cook 'til done. (4 more minutes) Serve straight away.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Crawfish Mushroom Omlete

Chef Paul, himself, in  Fork in the Road  said this is one of his favorites. It was the biggest  hit while they were testing the recipes.  He said if you can't get crawfish you can  substitute shrimp or diced chicken breast. Here we go with recipe. This makes four omelets.

Seasoning  Mix
2 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1 3/4 tsp onion powder
Crawfish Mushroom Omlete
1 3/4 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp cilanto
1 1/2 tsp sweet basil
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp back pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne

Creamy Mixture
5 oz. evaporated milk
1/2 cup non fat cottage cheese
2 Tb non fat cream cheese

oil cooking spray
1 cup chopped onions
2 Tb flour (all purpose)
1 cup defatted seafood stock*
2 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 oz. peeled crawfish tails (or whatever you're substituting)
4 (8oz.) cartons egg substitute (in case you don't know that's whites only, pure protein)

* again check New Shrimp Remoulade for recipe for defatted stock

Combine the seasoning mix  in a small bowl set a side. Put the creamy mixture ingredients in a blender purée until smooth and creamy. Pre-heat 10 in. skillet over high heat (4 min.) add onions cook til they begin to brown. (3-4 min) Add 1/4 stock scraping the bottom (for all the flavorful good stuff) 'til all the liquid evaporates and onions start to stick. Add another 1/4 cup of stock with the flour, mushrooms with 2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp of the seasoning mix. Stir until the flour is completely absorbed. Spread the mixture across the skillet (evenly) keep cooking scraping the bottom periodically as crust forms. (3-4 min.) Add remaining 1/2 cup of stock get all bits of "good stuff" from the bottom. Add creamy mixture stirring constantly while bringing it to a boil. Watch carefully as this may over flow; if that happens lower the heat. When it comes to the boil take off heat and transfer mixture to another container. Mix 1 1/2 tsp of seasoning mixture in each carton of egg substitute blending thoroughly. Clean pan put back over high heat (2-3 min.) Spray with oil (lightly) empty 1 carton egg substitute lower heat to medium and cook 'bout 30 seconds; with spatula push cooked eggs toward center of pan. When3/4 of the eggs have cooked add 1/2 cup crawfish/shrimp/chicken/whichever mixture across the center, gently fold, cook 1 min. per side. Voila, repeat the same process for the other three omletes.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Maque Choux Thibodaux

This is a highly seasoned corn dish loved by the most Louisianians.  It is pronounced "mock shoe". Thibodaux is the name of a city in Louisiana as well as a family name. This recipe is a variation on Chef Paul's family favorite made in a lighter fashion.

Seasoning Mix
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
"mock shoe"
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper

2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
4 cups fresh corn kernels
2 cups defatted chicken stock *
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup prune juice
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
1/4 cup non fat dry milk

* see Sweet Pepper Cream Shrimp recipe again for defatted stock

Combine the seasoning mix in small bowl set aside. Blend 1 cup of onion, 1/2 cup celery, 2 cups of corn with1/2 cup of stock til completely smooth. Pre-heat heavy skillet (non stick) to about 350 degrees over high heat. (4 min.)

This next step Chef Paul claims is the most important to achieve the final favor of the finished dish. He says don't rush the caramelizing of the puréed vegetables and also use the freshest corn you can find. Place the puréed vegetables in the skillet scraping the bottom periodically for about 12-13 min. as a thin brown crust forms and begins to stick to the bottom blend into the mixture. Do this repeatedly (every 2-3min.) You will find when tasting the brown bits it will have a slightly caramelized corn flavor. This is what you're trying to achieve.

At the end of the 12-13 min. add apple juice, prune juice, the rest if the veggies, seasoning mix and stock.  Bring to a full boil (8-10 min.) stirring to loosen any brown bits that may still be sticking to the bottom. Reduce heat to medium for 35 min. always checking that it doesn't stick to the bottom.. Combine the skim milk with dry in blender until the dry milk is completely dissolved. Add that to the mixture in the skillet. Bring to a simmer (5 mi.) making certain it doesn't stick.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Shrimp Stuffed Acorn Squash

One more from Chef Paul's Fork in the Road. Great for a savory winter meal.

2 medium acorn squash
2 1/2 cups of defatted chicken stock *

Seasoning Mix
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp dried sweet basil 
Shrimp Stuffed  Acorn Squash
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1 dried thyme
1 tsp white pepper
1 Tb sweet paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne

1 lb medium shrimp
1 whole plain bagel
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped onions
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cups finely diced apple (1 large)
1/2 cup apple juice
4 oz grated non fat Cheddar or Muenster cheese

* find how to de-fat stock in the New Shrimp Remoulade recipe

Pre-heat oven to 350  Cut unpeeled squash in half crosswise, scrape out seeds and membrane. Level all ends, stem and blossom, so they won't tip while baking. Put halves in a baking dish with 1 cup of the stock. Cover with foil and bake until tender about 45-50 minutes. When squash is cool enough to handle scoop the meat from the shells leaving jut enough so they'll still holdup. Set them aside, put scraped squash into a large bowl mashing it with a large spoon so it will break up. Set aside. Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl. Select 12 of the most perfect looking shrimp set aside for garnish. Cut the remaining shrimp into 1/2 inch pieces sprinkle them with 2 tsp of seasoning mix set aside.
Cut bagel in 3 slices toast then cut into 1/4 inch cubes. Pre-heat 12 inch heavy skillet (preferably non-stick) add onions, peppers, celery, apple and the remaining seasoning mix.  Cook about 10 minutes continuously scraping the bottom, add 1/2  cup of stock and  fresh garlic. (cook 5 min. more, don't stop stirring) add in the last of the apple juice and 1/2 cup  stock. Add shrimp making certain nothing is sticking to anything. Cook 3 minutes more remove from heat add bagel cubes gently mixing thoroughly.
To make the stuffing transfer all from skillet to the bowl holding squash gently fold and toss  until completely mixed. Fill acorn shells by transferring stuffing. (about 1 cup per shell) Garnish with reserved shrimp top with 1 oz of cheese. Add remaining stock to baking pan; bake in a 450 degree pre-heated  oven . (14-15 min)
To make a lovey serving display use the last of the stuffing.  Put a dollop on the plate press with spoon place each squash in it's own little nest .

Macaroni Salad

Another one from Chef Paul's lighter fare from Fork in the Road his cook book I spoke of before. This one is macaroni salad.
Seasoning mix
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
Chef Paul's macaroni salad
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper 
3 cups dry elbow macaroni
1/2/low-fat sour cream
1 1/2 cups nonfat mayonnaise
5 oz.can evaporated skim milk

1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green cabbage

1 Tb tamari (very intense soy sauce, if you can't find it any good quality soy sauce will do)
Combine seasoning mix in a small bowl. Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain, rinse and set aside to cool.Put Mayo, sour cream, skim milk,in bowl a large mix in tamari and seasoning whip until completely blended. Add cooled macaroni with the rest of ingredients and toss gently until all is well mixed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sweet Pepper Cream Shrimp

This is a great dish to prepare for a special occasion. what with it's colorful nature and silky cream sauce! (from my point of view a new but delicious recipe)

Seasoning Mixture
2 tsp salt
Sweet Pepper Cream Shrimp
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried sweet basil leaves
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 lb medium peeled shrimp

Creamy Mixture
1 (12 oz) can evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup non fat cream cheese
1/4 chopped onions
1/4 chopped red bell pepper
1/4 chopped green bell pepper
1/4 chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 defatted seafood stock * (see Remoulade recipe)
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
6 Tb nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup non fat mayonise
3 cups coked rice or 6 cups cooked pasta shells

Combine seasoning mixture in bow set aside. Purée creamy mixture  in blender til smooth and creamy. Preheat heavy (non stick preferably) over high heat (about 350 degrees) 4 min. Add 1/4 only of each color peppers plus 1 TB and 1 tsp seasoning mix. Stir while stirring (3 min.) add stock and 1/2 cup apple juice and garlic. Make certain to scrape all the bits stuck to the pan. Cook til almost evaporated. (12 min.or so) Add another 1/2 apple juice scraping bottom to dissolve any bits til it is kind o clear. (2 min.)
Transfer from skillet to blender, add dry milk, puree til smooth. (Remember pureeing/blending hot  is very volatile) Return puréed mixture to skillet over high heat stirring in remaining portion of peppers and apple juice (7 min.) scraping bottom to keep from sticking. Add the rest of the seasoning mix and the shrimp stir (3 min.) stir in the creamy mixture.
Creamy mixtures tend to "break" (curdle) while heating so bring liquid slowly and softy to the boil. Once broken there's nothing to do. Bring to a gentle boil (3 min.) stir immediately.  Reduce heat to medium cook gently stirring continuously. (2 min.) Turn off heat, remove 1 cup of liquid, strain it and purée with non fat mayonaise. Stir this into the entire  mixture in the skillet. Serve over pasta or rice.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New Shrimp Remoulade

The next few recipes I'm going to take from Chef Paul's cook book, Fork in the Road  It was published in 1993. It was his way of cooking the childhood favorites but in a  lighter style. I will start with a classic dish that we begin our meals with, Shrimp Remoulade. Since he didn't want to mess with tradition too much he re-vamped it with as little still the keeping of the old goodness that would allow!
Seasoning mix
1 tsp sweet paprika
New Shrimp Remoulade
1 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp dried sweet basil leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 lb unpeeled headless shrimp (medium)
1/2 cup nonfat mayonnaise
1 Tb ketchup
1/2 cup onions (minced)
1/2 cup bell pepper (diced green)
1/2/cup celery (diced)
1/4 cup cucumber (peeled & diced)
1 Tb  plus 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp creole mustard
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tb Worcestershire  sauce
1 cup defatted seafood stock *
2 1 gram artificial sweetener **
* this is the way Chef Paul defats all stocks. Refrigerate over night. The next day pack mesh strainer with crushed ice place strain over pot large enough to hold all the stock. Carefully pour stock over the ice in a steady circular stream. No thicker than a pencil. to remove all the fat this may have to repeated at least twice.
**many of our recipes, not just deserts, call for some kind of sweetening. Chef Paul says to combine2 different ones. Experiment as to the amount of your taste liking
Combine seasoning mix in a small bowl. Sprinkle shrimp with a Tb mix well and set aside.
Combine 1/4 cup each of  all the veggies with the Creole mustard, Dijon mustard, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce in a blender and puree. (makes about 1 2/3 cups) set aside
pre-heat heavy skillet over high heat (4 min.) add the balance of the veggies. Cook 1 min. add 1/2 cup stock stir/scrape making certain you get all the bits of flavor. Cook down til most of the liquid evaporates, the veggies begin to stick and get hard. When a good crust forms add the other 1/2 cup of stock and shrimp. Bring to boil cover for 30 seconds turn off heat and set aside for 5 min.
Remove shrimp, put in container place in refrigerator allow to chill. Transfer everything else to blender and purée til smooth and chill with shrimp. Serve when all is chilled


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Catfish Meuniere

12 jumbo shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 small onion (chopped)
A la meuniere
2 green onions  (sliced/cut)
6 Tbs butter
1/2 cup crabmeat
1 cup soft breadcrimbs
1 med. green pepper (cut into strips)
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/4 pepper
6 catfish fillets
Baked Stuffed Shrimp
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup lemon juice
tomato, lemon wedges (optional)
parsley (optional)
enough vegetable oil for about 1 1/2 inches in a frying pan

Slit the shrimp from head end to tail tip  slicing deeply enough where the shrimp can lie flat. Saute onions  in the 6 tbs butter til tender. Saute crabmeat about 3 minsutes add breadcrumbs mix well. Stuff the shrimp w/mixture. Arrange shrimp w/green peppers in a 13x9x2 baking dish and set aside.

Combine milk, eggs, salt and pepper; mix well. Dredge fillets in the flour then dip in egg mixture ten back in the flour. Fry in hot oil til golden brown. (drain well) Combine 1/2 cup butter w/lemon juice i small saucepan til blended thoroughly. Broil shrimp r-5 minutes. Place filets on a serving platter; spoon lemon butter over the fish. Then arrange and peppers on platter w/Catfish. Decorate (dress) w/tomato, lemon wedges and parsley (if desired)  (about 6 servings)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Olive salad for Muffaletta

(Prep Time: 15 minutes)
Muffaletta with olive salad
    3/4 cup pimento-stuffed olives
    1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
    1/4 cup giardiniera (Italian pickled vegetables)
    2 lg. pepperoncini
    3 - 4 pickled onions
    2 Tbsp. capers
    1 md. clove garlic, chopped
    1 tsp. dried oregano
    A couple of grinds of black pepper
    2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
    2 Tbsp. olive oil
Drain all ingredients.
Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
Refrigerate overnight.

My take on a Muffaletta

 A whole muffaletta is usually served on seeded round loaf of bread about eight inches in diameter and two inches tall. There are as many variations as there are people in New Orleans.  This would also include types of bread.  If you can’t eat a whole sandwich, Central Grocery (which in my mind is the only place to buy them) sells them by half or quarter sandwiches We’d often go in together and split the sandwich and the cost accordingly . My point of view is the main aspect is the Olive Salad Mix. So ideally, you should make the sandwich an hour or so before you eat it so the juices from the olive mix can soak into the bread.  This makes it a perfect picnic sandwich. (Prep Time: 10 minutes)

    1 loaf Mufaletta bread (or use a good loaf of store-bought Italian bread )
Original from Central Grocery
    1 cup olive mix
    1/4 lb sliced ham
    1/4 lb sliced mortadella
    1/4 lb sliced Genoa salami
    1/4 lb sliced provolone
    1/4 lb sliced mozzarella
 Cut bread in half horizontally.
 Spread half with olive mix then layer on meats and cheeses.
 Cover with top. (remember make the sandwich in advance then tightly wrapped in plastic wrap to allow for ultimate soakage) Slice into quarters and serve.
hors d'oeuv
Smaller versions of these on slices of baguette can be made to go w/soup on a chilly winter day, or as an appetizer, or hors d'oeuvres for parties 
w/soup for a hearty meal

(recipe for Olive Mix to follow )

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crayfish and Goat Cheese Crepes

Here's another one from my class outings w/the Connecticut Cajun (Phil Hubbard). It's a two part-er the crepes first, Phil calls them Big Easy Crepes:

1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
3 tbs unsalted butter
1 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients in blender til smooth. Cover batter and chill for @ 15 minute no longer than a day. Spray 7" non stick w/vegetable oil. Ladle w/small ladle (3-4 tbs) batter in center of pan. Swirl to coat entire pan.Cook until the edges are light brown (about 1 min) Gently loosen edges (w/spatula) and turn over to cook it will begin to brown in spots in 30seconds or so.@ that time transfer to another plate and cover w/paper towel. Repeat action till batter is all used (adding spray oil as needed). Remember to put paper towels between crepes and covering the last.
(makes about 20)

Now for the filling:
1 oz yellow onion (diced)
1/2 oz. green pepper (diced)
1 oz tomato (diced)
1/4 garlic (minced)
1/4  tsp Joe's Stuff (Creole seasoning)
4 oz Crawfish tails
1 oz white wine
1oz unsalted butter
1 tbs oil
5 oz Goat Cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chives (chopped)
1/2 tsp shallots (green onions chopped)

Add oil to saute' pan add peppers an onions saute' till soft.  Add  tomato, garlic and seasoning saute for 30 seconds add the tails and saute' for 30 more. Reduce heat slightly add wine the butter and adjust seasonings to your taste. Spoon onto warm crepes.  (filling serves 3)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Crayfish Quiche

Here's where I combined my love for crayfish w/my liking of quiche.

1/3 cup onions (finely diced)
1/4 cup red bell pepper (finely diced)
Crayfish Quich
2 tsp. garlic (minced)
1/2 lb crayfish tails
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbs. chives (chopped)
2 tbs. grated Parmigiana-Regina cheese
1/2 cup white sharp cheddar cheese
12 cup medium cheddar cheese
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs
(dash Tabasco to taste)
Pre-heat oven to 400           

Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add the veggies (not the chives) & 1/2 seasonings, saute' for 3 min.; add crayfish tails & saute' for 1-2min. more.  Remove from heat allow to cool.
In a mixing bowl whisk together milk, eggs, remaining salt & pepper, dash of hot sauce.  Arrange  crayfish tails in a pie shell (pre-made is fine w/me)

Reduce oven to 375 when pacing quiche in oven bake for 30 min. or til center sets.  Remove from oven when done & allow to cool before cutting.  Serve warm or cold to your liking

Sweet Potato crab chowder

This recipe comes from one of the classes by Phil Hubbard (the Connecticut Cajun) I went to as I spoke of in the about me section of my blog. Here we go:

2 pieces of bacon cut into 1" pieces
4 oz.smoked sausage (ground or chopped)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup shallots (green onions)
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tbs. minced jalapeno (seeded)
1 15oz. can cream style corn
2 15 oz. cans low sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp Joe's Stuff (another Creole seasoning mix)
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
2 cups cut sweet potatoes (cooked & diced)
1 cup whole milk
8 oz. coked lump crabmeat
2 tbs. of parsley (chopped)

Cook bacon in a large heavy stock pot. (I use my mama's Dutch Oven) Remove bacon as it crisps. Add sausage to drippings saute' sausage (about 3 min. set aside 2 tbs for garnish) Add bacon back w/all the veggies  saute' for 5 min. (til all are tender) Add cream corn, seasoning & pepper simmer uncovered (10 min.) Add sweet potatoes stir to incorporate allow simmer 5 more min., then gently add all but 2 tbs. of the crabmeat making certain the mix is heated through. Garnish w/all set aside.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fried Soft Shelled Crab / Boiled & Stuffed crabs

Crabs are exoskeleton they have to shed their shells in order to grow larger. Since they grow rather rapidly from juvenile to adulthood (12-18 months) the crab goes through multiple growth stages during its lifetime. The blue crab is one of the few species of crab that can actually be eaten in this form. Although one can eat the shell one has to be careful when preparing the crab for frying.
sniping off face
You have to cut off the face (eyes & such) so you can lift the shell & remove the dead mans fingers. (the lungs) also around this area is the sand pouch remove that. On the underside is the tablier or apron. When you look @ the apron it is easy to tell the sex of the crab. (the apron on the female is round; on the male it is long and thin) Wash gingerly in cold so as to not remove the delicate flavor.
decent sized soft shell

1 dozen soft shelled crabs
Breadcrumbs/cornmeal/crumbled crackers
1 quart milk
Seasoning (salt,pepper, cayenne, etc.)

soak & massage the crabs making certain that the seasoned milk has permeated the crab. Take crab out roll in one or the other of the above or a mixture shaking off excess then fry in hot grease/oil deep enough for the crabs to swim. Fry til golden brown take carefully out of pan an place on brown paper bags

Boiled Crabs Zatarain's Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil Complete 4 oz
Note this recipe was in a cook book pre the US entering WWII
(before packaged/bottled boils?)
1 dozen crabs
bunch of celery w/tops
4 sprigs sweet marjoram
4 sprigs sweet basil
4 sprigs thyme
4 chives
a dozen allspice
3 blades mace
3 bay leaves
a red pepper pod
cayenne pepper
enough salt to make a brine

Chop the celery stalks leaving about 2 inches w/tops. In a large pot toss in seasoning by themselves or in a cheese cloth bagged Bouquet garni for the smaller items. In 2-3 minutes after boiling brine should be flavored. Lower the crab basket into the boiling briny water (crabs should be alive) let them boil rapidly til shells are bright red (10 minutes)

Stuffed crabs

1lb crab meat (check for pieces of shell)
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion (minced)
Stuffed crabs in saved hard shelled backs
1 clove garlic (minced)
2 tbs green bell pepper (minced)
2 tbs celery (minced)
1 tsp thyme (fresh minced)
1/4 cup green onions (minced)
2 tbs parsley leaves(minced)
1 bay leaf (minced)
1 bay leaf (minced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pinch cayenne
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (fine)
1/4 cup cream

In a large skillet melt the butter and, til it begins to froth, add the trinity (onion, celery, and green bell pepper) Cook til translucent (4 min.) Add the garlic w/the spices (ya don't want it to burn) thyme, cayenne and bay leaf (1 minute more) Remove from the heat and gently fold in the crabmeat (not disturbing the lumps) parsley, green onions, egg, salt, cayenne, and black pepper, 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs (reserve a couple of tsps) and the cream (holding back some as well) Fold well to combine. Transfer the crabmeat mixture to the cleaned crab shells (if you have or saved any. If not you can purchase aluminum ones) and sprinkle reserved bread crumbs. Top each crab shell with a pat of butter and bake until golden brown and thoroughly heated, about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

King's Cake

Traditional shape indicating Wise men's route
The tradition is thought to have begun with French settlers, a custom dating back to 12th century France twelve days after Christmas. (When a cake was used to celebrate the arrival of the three wise men bearing gifts to the Christ child.) The celebration being called one of these names: The feast of Epiphany, Twelfth Night, or King's Day. The brioche-style King Cake is prepared in New Orleans bakeries for the period between the Twelfth Night (January 6) and Ash Wednesday. Although the cakes are baked in many shapes now (also different recipes) they were originally round in shape to portray the circular route taken by the Kings to confuse King Herod who was trying to follow the wise men so he could kill the child. The cakes usually contain a bean, pea, or a figurine symbolizing the baby Jesus.

In 1871 the tradition of choosing the queen of the Mardi Gras was determined by who drew the prize in the cake. It is definitely considered good luck to the person who gets the figure, and that person usually holds the next King Cake party. The colors of the King Cake are purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. (Since 1872 the colors have been used to tint the cake's icing.) As I said there are many different recipes more cake-like, doughnut-like, but to me they are not King's Cake!

This cake is based on a vintage recipe.


8 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted
A brioche style breakfast bread
6 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 pound butter or shortening
2 cups whole milk, scalded then cooled
to lukewarm
1/2 ounce yeast (2 1/4 once packages,
or about 4 1/2 tsp)
2 teaspoons salt
Candies to decorate


Take 6 cups flour, sift in a large mixing bowl. Before beginning the entire process in a second bowl, combine the last 2 cups flour with the salt; set aside. Add the 2 cups milk. Knead and mix the flour, while adding the milk. In a third mixing bowl, beat eggs with butter and sugar until light. Add to dough, kneading lightly, and adding more eggs if the dough is a little stiff. Let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, then add the reserved flour and salt.
Knead the dough by turning it over on itself three times and set to rise again, covered with a cloth, for about an hour. Take it up and work again lightly, and then form into a ring. This is a large amount of dough, so it should be divided into several King's Cakes. (Unless you have a bakery size oven.)

This represents the Christ child today
Pat gently and flatten a little. The image of the Christ child is tucked in before baking. (it was porcelain when I was young) Have ready a greased parchment paper and set the ring in the middle. Cover the pan with a clean cloth, and set the cake to rise for an hour longer. When well risen, glaze the loaves lightly with a beaten egg. Place in 325° oven; let bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or less if making smaller loaves. Decorate with colored icings and candies, as desired.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Smothered Cabbage

Med. head of cabbage                  
(chopped large and rinsed)
same size salty bacon (thick) 
 1 link andouille sausage 
 Bacon grease
 1 tsp creole seasoning
 Pinch of allspice
 Salt and pepper to taste
Cube the salt meat and boil for about 5 minutes. Save the liquid. Cut the sausage in 3/4 slices. (If not using salt meat fry thick fatty bacon) If the bacon has not rendered @ least 2 tbs of fat fry more bacon. Save the liquid. Cut the sausage in 3/4 slices.

In a pot with use the bacon grease to begin to browning the onions. When
the onions have wilted throw in the salt meat and sausage. Stir occasionally until every thing is slightly browned. Chop and rinse the cabbage.Taste the water from the salt meat. If it's not bitter pour about 1/2 a cup in the meat and deglaze the pot.Fill the pot till it's about 3/4 full w/ cabbage, stir, lower the fire and cover. In 15 minutes the cabbage will wilt down enough to put the remainder cabbage in. Watch so the liquid doesn't cook all the way out. You need to keep at least 1/4" of pot liquor.Once cabbage is all toss the remainder of the seasonings stirring well. 

This is where you make a decision. Cabbage al dente or, smothered to baby food? Choosing your preference. Some people baby food w/pot liquor, I on the other hand, like al dente w/ pot liquor.