Saturday, August 15, 2020

How to Cook Garfish

Garfish Recipes - 2  Ways to Cook Gar Fish

  1. Fried Gar Balls
  2. Smoked Alligator Gar Roast
The garfish is a prehistoric fish.

Its natural skills and ability to quickly adapt to harsh environmental conditions; its slender and elongated armor-plated body which gave it agility and speed; and, its two rows of sharp teeth on a long and protruding snout, all came together millions of years ago to make the garfish a formidable candidate for survival without evolving.

They are, in essence, living fossils which come equipped with an inner air bladder. This means the gar fish can stay alive, out of the water, longer than most other types of fish. Even in low-oxygen conditions the garfish will come up out of the water for air much like some aqua-mammalians  (whale, dolphin and sea cow).

I prefer the smaller species of garfish (long-nose gar) for my table because they are easier to handle, clean and cook.

On the smaller fish, after removing the outer armor, I use a large metal spoon to scrape the meat out from between the connective tissue, which is common to all species of garfish, and set it aside in a bowl to mix with my other ingredients.

Warning: Under NO circumstances should you consume the eggs of a garfish (roe) because it is poisonous to humans and other warm-blooded animals.

I like to use the more-tender meat of a smaller fish to prepare fried gar balls. I usually go half 'n half (half fish meat and half crumbled baked potatoes) to prepare mine.

I add a couple eggs, chopped green onions, as well as salt and seasonings.

In a bowl mix everything together well and form the mixture into golf ball size spheres. Finally, coat them well by rolling the balls in Italian bread crumbs and fry at 365 degrees F. until they are golden brown in color.

I have also prepared alligator gar fish (3 - 5 lb. roasts) on the barbecue.

I use enough aluminum foil to completely wrap the fish roast, but only after I have smoked it and seasoned it enough.

By setting the alligator gar fish roast on a couple sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, (open-face),  I  can manipulate the amount of smoke I want my fish roast to absorb. The temperature should be between 120 and 180 degrees F. I always use hickory chips to create the smoke for my roast, but other hardwood chips will do just as well.

I gauge how much smoke I need by observing the naturally white meat of the garfish as I am smoking it.

When it reaches a slightly smoky color (dull-gray), I wrap the roast with the aluminum foil and continue cooking it until it's done, but not before dousing it with gobs of melted lemon butter and DIY Cajun seasoning. The larger roasts should not take more than an hour to cook after smoking.

I've also used lemon and orange peels on occasion to enhance the taste of the gar fish roast.

Garfish is a good-tasting fish and its meat is somewhat sweet. Some folks like to compare it to crab meat.

I like it for what it is. Try it some time. You might like it, too.

Ahheee!!!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Maque Choux

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter
  • 15 ears tender fresh corn
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • (or 2 fresh tomatoes diced)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

      1. cut corn off the cob and scrape the cob to remove all the juice
      2. in a Dutch oven combine 1 stick butter, onion, bell pepper, and garlic
      3. sauté until tender
      4. add corn and tomatoes
      5. season to taste
      6. cook over medium heat for 1 hour, stirring constantly
      7. add a little milk from time to time
      8. keep mixture soft to avoid sticking
      9. serves 5 to 6

      MI'KMAQ INDIANS AND THE ACADIANS

      Prior to 1755, a time before the Acadian expulsion from their homeland in Nova Scotia by British forces, a peaceful co-existence and assimilation between the two peoples (Mi'Kmaq and Acadians) led to cultural sharing, some of which can be experienced in today's Cajun foods culture.

      I want to further explore the subject, so if anyone has information about this, would you please send it my way?

      Mi'kmaq, also spelled Micmac, was the largest of the North American Indian tribes traditionally occupying what are now Canada's eastern Maritime Provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) and parts of the present U.S. states of Maine and Massachusetts.

      The Cajuns, prior to settling Nova Scotia hailed from a rural area of the Vendee Region of Western France. They began to settle in North America in 1604.

      The Acadians brought with them excellent farming and fishing skills and literally transformed saltwater marshes into arable lands to grow their food crops.

      The Mi'kmaq lived off the land and occupied a bountiful swath of the Northeastern Woodlands of these Canadian provinces.

      It is a very interesting subject and I'd like to learn more about some of today's traditional Cajun cuisine... and perhaps a historical gem or two about how this unique food culture has evolved.


      Note: To make chicken Maque Choux, cut chicken into bite size pieces and fry until brown and add to the Maque Choux. Cook 10 minutes.


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      Tuesday, June 09, 2020

      Cajun Baked Lemon Chicken with Onions and Sweet Peppers

      A fresh chicken fryer or broiler is better when preparing this wonderfully delicious meal. Use your favorite baking pan, and after 1 hour of marinating the bird, it will be ready for the oven. The entire meal can be cooked and served in around an hour. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
       

      Ingredients

      • 1 (3 - 4 lb.) chicken
      • 1 large onion
      • 2 med. green bell peppers
      • 2 med. red bell peppers
      • 2 Tbs. butter
      • 1/2 cup oil
      • 1/3 cup lemon juice
      • 2 Tbs. parsley, chopped
      • 1 Tbs. dried oregano
      • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
      • 1/2 tsp. ground red pepper
      • 3/4 tsp. salt

      Instructions

      1. combine all ingredients, (except chicken, vegetables and butter), to create the marinade
      2. marinade the chicken in the refrigerator for 1 hour (turning once)
      3. drain marinade then bake chicken at 400 degrees for 40 - 55 minutes.
      4. cut onions and bell peppers into 1/2-inch thick rings.
      5. on medium-high, sauté the onions and peppers in 2 Tbs. of butter for around 8 - 10 minutes 
      6. spoon the onions and peppers around the chicken when done

      This meal can be served with cooked long-grain white rice.
      KT 
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      Saturday, May 30, 2020

      Cheesy Deep-fried Buttermilk Jalapeño Hush Puppies Recipe

      Cheesy you say?

      Cheesy Jalapeno Hush Puppies
      Yes, but not that kind of cheesy. The bites on these puppies are much stronger than their bark. By adding mild shredded cheddar cheese to the mix, however, it promotes a smooth and savory transition for the taste buds as they also take in the robust and spicy flavors of the chili peppers and onions.

      Indescribably delicious! Bon appetite!

      Ingredients

      1 cup yellow cornmeal
      1 cup all-purpose flour
      1 medium onion, finely chopped
      1 (10 oz.) jar pickled jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
      6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
      2 eggs
      2 Tbsp. baking powder
      2 Tbsp. sugar
      1 tsp. salt
      1/2 tsp. garlic powder
      buttermilk (or half and half)
      cooking oil

      Instructions

      1. in a small deep-fry pot add about 4" of cooking oil (enough so the puppies can float to the top)
      2. bring the heat up to about 365 degrees (between medium and high)
      3. drain and finely chop the pickled jalapeno peppers and medium onion (I use a food chopper)
      4. add all of the remaining ingredients (except the buttermilk) together and mix well
      5. next, slowly and continuously add a little buttermilk (while stirring) until a smooth and barely liquid consistency is attained
      6. drop 1 Tbsp. at the time, in groups of four, into the boiling oil (a small fry pot will suffice)
      7. when the puppies float to the top, turn them over every few seconds and let them fry evenly on both sides 
      8. when the puppies have reached a golden brown, remove and place onto a paper towel to absorb any excess oil 
      Note: The secret to getting the batter just right is this: when you load a tablespoon full of the thick batter, and turn it upside down, it doesn't fall into the hot oil. However, if you turn the same spoonful of batter sideways, and it slowly pours out into the fry pot, then you have got it at the right consistency.

      If your oil is sufficiently hot, it shouldn't take more than 3 or 4 minutes to fry each batch of 4.

      Another variation of this recipe can be found here: Peño Puppies.

      Bon Appetite!

      KT
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      Tuesday, February 18, 2020

      Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

      I must confess. I have never baked a King Cake, but I do eat them and they are delicious.

      My friend Danno at NolaCuisine.com has graciously allowed me to post his King Cake recipe here for your enjoyment. Thanks for sharing, Dan! BTW, visit his site when you get the chance. There you will find an awesome display of great New Orleans style dishes to soothe the soul.

      King Cake Recipe

      For the Brioche:

      • 1 envelope active dry yeast
      • 2 Tbsp warm water (115 degree F)
      • 1 tsp iodized salt
      • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
      • 1/4 cup milk
      • 2 tsp orange zest, minced
      • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • 2 eggs, beaten
      • 1 1/4 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into very small dice
      • 1 egg beaten and 2 Tbsp water, for the egg wash
      • 1 plastic baby trinket

      Dissolve the yeast in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, let stand until frothy. Dissolve the salt, sugar, orange zest and milk in a small bowl. When dissolved combine the milk mixture with the yeast mixture. Mix the cinnamon with the flour.

      With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, then gradually add the flour, until all is incorporated. Knead on low speed for 10 minutes, or until a smooth elastic dough is formed. A little more flour may be necessary. With the motor running, incorporate the butter into the dough, a little at a time but rather quickly so that it doesn’t heat up and melt.

      Turn the dough into an oiled bowl, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour in a warm spot. When the dough has doubled in bulk punch it down, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

      Roll the dough out to a 6 x 18 inch rectangle. Spread the Pecan filling (recipe below) out in the middle of the rectangle along the whole length, leaving about 1 1/2 inch on each side. Place the baby trinket somewhere with the filling. Fold the length of the dough over the filling and roll up tightly, leaving the seam side down. Turn the roll into a circle, seam side down and put one end inside of the other to hide the seam, and seal the circle. Place the cake on a baking sheet and let rise, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

      Brush all over with the egg wash, then place the king cake into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

      When the cake cools, brush with some of the glaze (recipe below) thinned out with more cold water. This will help the sugars adhere. Decorate the cake with the colored sugars and drizzle some of the thicker glaze onto the cake.

      Place on a large round serving plate and decorate with Mardi Gras beads, doubloons and whatever else that you like.

      For the Pecan filling:

      • 1 cup pecan halves, broken up slightly and roasted until fragrant
      • 2/3 cup brown sugar
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 1 tsp cinnamon
      • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
      • 1 pinch of salt
      • 4 Tbsp Steen’s Cane Syrup

      Combine all of the ingredients together.

      For the glaze:

      1/2 cup powdered sugar
      1 Tbsp bourbon
      water (enough to make a paste that can be drizzled)

      Combine the sugar and bourbon, whisk in enough water to make a glaze that can be drizzled.

      Happy Mardi Gras ! ... Ahheee!!
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