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.
Ingredients
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.

Bayou Magic Mardi Gras King Cake - Small
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.

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

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
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 choose baby food w/no pot liquor, I, on the other hand, like al dente w/pot liquor.