Learn to cook like a Cajun and develop your own style with help from south Louisiana cook and humorist, Jacques Gaspard, who's been cooking great Cajun foods for nearly 50 years. Learn how to prepare the best gumbos, seafood, jambalaya, stews, salads and deserts – the way they were originally prepared – pure and simple. Besides great original recipes you will discover a hodgepodge of stories, recordings, music, videos and humorous anecdotes to entertain. So enjoy! ... Ahheee!!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cajun Garlic Bread

This is a simple non-fat garlic bread recipe for diabetics.
Cajun Garlic Bread

  • 1 French bread, whole wheat
  • 1 cup Italian dressing, oil free
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • parsley flakes; optional

Using a blender, blend the dressing, paprika and garlic well. Brush mixture on the bread and sprinkle parsley on top.  You can heat the garlic bread in the oven at about 250 F. for a few minutes to serve it piping hot.

Bon Appetite!
KT
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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 24, 2015

Simple Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe

This simple buttermilk cornbread recipe can become a base for all of the variations mentioned below once you get the hang of it.

The world is full of cornbread recipes like Mexican cornbread, Cajun cornbread with onions and creamed corn, cornbread with cheese, cornbread with cooked ground beef and cheese... the list goes on, but when you want an easy method check out this simple buttermilk cornbread recipe.

Remember, the more moisture in the cornbread batter, the longer it's going to take to cook. That just makes sense.

Some folks like to turn up the heat to around 450 degrees F. to get the job done more quickly. This method is fine and it does save time, especially when you have to serve a bunch of people in a hurry--like deer hunters at a campsite.

When the high heat method of baking cornbread is used, the cook must be more vigilant and pay close attention to the process.

If you want your cornbread to taste a little better, on the other hand, try baking at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. 

When baking, check the cornbread occasionally and keep your eye on the crust. When the crust begins to turn a golden brown it's an indication that most of the moisture has cooked out of the bread. 

Remove the finished cornbread from the hot oven and set aside to cool before serving.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda 

    Instructions
    1. mix well all of the above ingredients together, except the buttermilk
    2. while stirring, slowly add enough buttermilk (about a cup or more) to the mix until a thick batter is attained
    3. pour the batter in your favorite vessel and bake at 350 degrees F. for about 1 hour or until the crust begins to turn a golden-brown
    4. cut cornbread into 6 - 8 equal size servings.
    Note: I don't usually measure how much buttermilk I add to my cornbread. It's a little different for me each time.I merely add a small amount at the time while stirring briskly until it reaches the right consistency. Think of a volcano and how the thick melted lava slowly flows downhill. That is the consistency that I look for. Also, when I make cornbread in a cast iron skillet I will preheat it to about 350 degrees in the oven before I pour the batter.

    Another example of the right consistency is when you load a tablespoon full of the cornbread batter and turn it upside down it will not drop, but if you tilt the spoonful on its side, it will slowly pour out.

    Tip: If you don't have buttermilk on hand go HERE to find a few substitutes.

    Bon appetite! Enjoy.

    KT
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    Monday, February 23, 2015

    The Power of Antioxidants

    Free radicals are the culprits which work to diminish our health, say the medical experts who profess the power of antioxidants and the many benefits we receive by consuming foods on a daily basis which are high in antioxidants..

    Apart from comparing "free radicals” to the ones who are unfortunately in control of the highest offices in our government, who I think are also working to diminish our health, the ones I speak of here are the kinds which invade our bodies and stresses the oxidation process in our cells.

    That, the experts say, is the reason why we don’t live as long as we could live, and the reason for a long list of illnesses and diseases which are driving us to an early grave.

    Not to fret. We can certainly do something about these menacing malefactors.

    First, we can vote out the political free radicals in the next election; secondly, we can destroy the ones which are causing havoc to our bodies by simply eating the right kinds of foods.

    However, the question is how much of the right foods do we need to eat to get the biggest antioxidant bang for our buck?

    USDA Releases List of Top Antioxidant Foods

    Here is a list of common foods which are high in antioxidants:



    List of 20 Best Foods High in Antioxidants (In the list below, the foods antioxidant power is given as per their serving sizes.)

    Scientists at the USDA have developed a rating scale that measures the antioxidant content of various natural plant foods. The scale is called ORAC, which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity.

     1.   Beans/Legumes, Red Beans (dried) - Half cup = 13,727
     2.   Fruit, Wild Blueberry - 1 cup = 13,427
     3.   Beans, Red Kidney Beans (dried) - Half cup = 13,259
     4.   Beans/Legumes, Pinto Beans - Half cup = 11,864
     5.   Fruit, Blueberry  - 1 cup = 9,019
     6.   Fruit, Cranberry - 1 cup (whole) = 8,983
     7.   Vegetable, Artichoke (cooked) - 1 cup (hearts) = 7,904
     8.   Fruit, Blackberry - 1 cup = 7,701
     9.   Fruit, Prune - Half cup = 7,291
    10.  Fruit, Raspberry - 1 cup = 6,058
    11.  Fruit, Strawberry - 1 cup = 5,938
    12.  Fruit, Red Delicious Apple - One = 5,900
    13.  Fruit, Granny Smith Apple - One = 5,381
    14.  Nut, Pecan - 1 ounce = 5,095
    15.  Fruit, Sweet Cherry - 1 cup = 4,873
    16.  Fruit, Black Plum - One = 4,844
    17. Vegetable, Russet Potato (cooked) - One = 4,649
    18.  Beans/Legumes, Black Beans (dried) - Half cup = 4,181
    19.  Fruit, Plum - One = 4,118
    20.  Fruit, Gala Apple - One = 3,903
    * USDA recommends consuming foods containing at least 3,000 ORAC units a day.

    Bon Appetite!
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    Thursday, February 19, 2015

    Cast-iron Cooked, Hickory-Smoked Flavored Purple Hull Peas and Hamburger

    Garden fresh purple hull peas cooked in a cast-iron skillet with a couple slices of hickory-smoked bacon (drippings included) makes the best pot liquor imaginable--especially when about 1/2 lb. of fresh ground beef and your favorite Cajun seasonings are added to the pot.


    Ingredients

    • 3 cups fresh purple hull peas, culled and rinsed
    • 2 slices hickory-smoked bacon, fried and crumbled (save drippings)
    • water, (enough to cover peas)
    • 1/2 lb. ground beef, browned
    • 1 Tbsp. Colgin liquid smoke
    • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

    1. In a large cast iron skillet, crispy-fry 2 strips of hickory-smoked bacon
    2. Remove bacon strips and set aside to crumble up after cooling down
    3. In the same skillet, brown the 1/2 lb. of ground beef in the bacon drippings
    4. Add the crumbled bacon bits
    5. Next, stir-in the fresh peas and coat them well
    6. Braise the peas and meats on medium heat for 5 minutes before adding water
    7. Slowly add 2 cups of water and stir well (you will add more water later when needed)
    8. Add all of the dry seasonings and Colgin Liquid Smoke, stir and mix well
    9. Cover with lid and continue cooking on medium heat until peas are tender--about an hour. 
    10. Stir occasionally. Add a small amount of water at the time as needed.

    This delicious side dish can be prepared in a 12" cast iron skillet (with lid) entirely on medium or lower heat in about an hour. One of the good things about using cast-iron cookware is the even heat distribution (for slow and low cooking).

    Simmer the peas, stirring every few minutes--adding a small amount of water now and then to compensate for evaporation. Keep just enough water to barely cover the peas. 

    It is important to note that cast-iron pots and pans are not ideal for storing the foods which are cooked in them. To avoid a metallic taste, or darkened peas, remove them from the pot and add them into another vessel as soon as practical.


    This simple meal can be served as a side-dish, or over cooked rice. Bon Appetit!

     
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