Real Cajun Cooking lets you choose from hundreds of authentic Cajun recipes. Learn to easily prepare and cook original Cajun-style family meals with help from south Louisiana's Cajun cook and connoisseur, Jacques Gaspard, who's been preparing great Cajun meals for several decades. Create the best gumbos, seafood, jambalaya, stews,, salads and deserts – the way they were originally prepared. Besides great original recipes, you will discover a hodgepodge of stories, recordings, music, videos and humorous anecdotes to entertain. So enjoy! Don't forget to tell all of your family and friends about Real Cajun Cooking. They will thank you for it.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Black-eyed Peas and Cabbage

Black-eyed Peas

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 slices of hickory smoked bacon
  • 2 Tbsp onions, minced
  • 2 Tbsp bell pepper, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Colgin liquid smoke
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

As is the case with thousands of other families across America, I also take part in the annual tradition of cooking-up a mess of black-eyed peas and cabbage in an effort to increase my luck for the coming New Year. Heaven knows we are gonna need all we can muster-up. (Okay. Stop ... no politics! Moving on.)

Contrary to popular belief, black-eyed peas don't have to be soaked over night or for any significant period of time because the peas have a thin skin and are relatively easy to cook.

Over medium (or lower) heat, black-eyed peas can be done in just a few minutes. It's the pot liquor that makes all the difference in how your peas will taste, however.

Think 'minced' and not 'chopped' when it comes to your vegetables. A couple tablespoons of minced onions and bell pepper - and about 1 teaspoon of minced garlic sautéed in the fat from a couple slices of smoked bacon creates a wonderful flavor and delicious taste. And, you can salt and pepper to your own liking.

Using a 2 quart pot begin by adding just enough water to cover the peas and sautéed vegetables by about an inch,  (or by a finger and a half as we say in Cajun speak),  and begin the slow process of cooking them to perfection, while stirring occasionally (around 1 - 1 1/2 hrs.). Keep an eye on the peas because you may have to add a little more water occasionally as they absorb and cook.You will know when they become tender enough by taste-testing.

Set them aside until the boiled cabbage is done.

A pound of dried black-eyed peas, when cooked, should yield between 5 and 6 cups.


Cabbage

Ingredients


  • 1 head of cabbage, leaves separated
  • 3 or 4 pork chops
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tbsp Colgin liquid smoke (hickory)
  • 1 measure DIY Cajun Seasoning
  • Additional salt and pepper (if desired) 

Cooking cabbage (boiled) is also easy to do and the way I prepare my cabbage, by popular demand I might add, is to include 3 or 4 pork chops with it. This is how I prepare my boiled cabbage.

The first thing I do is season the heck out of the pork chops with one measure of DIY Cajun Seasoning (easy to make - check it out), and fry them up in my cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat in a couple tablespoons of oil.

I fry the chops for a couple minutes on both sides until they are well browned, but I don't cook them all the way because they will finish cooking with the slow-boiling cabbage.

The next thing I do is get my kitchen shears and cut-up the chops into bite size pieces and add this to the boiling cabbage.

If you are using a heavy cast-iron skillet, chances are in your favor that a crust will form at the bottom of the skillet (it usually does when you cook meat fast on high heat).This is a good thing.

We Cajuns call this crusty material the 'gratin' - which is commonly used to compliment and enhance the flavor of various meat gravies.

Here's a little secret: keep the skillet hot but add in about 2 or 3 ice cubes and stir them around the skillet and they will magically loosen the crust (or 'gratin') and will produce a savory bouillon that you can add to the cabbage mixture to enhance the overall flavor.

Once you have liquefied the crust and added it to the stock pot along with the cabbage leaves and cut-up pork chops, you just go about your business of boiling cabbage like you always have (low and slow).  Adding a little salt and black pepper always helps.

I like to also include a tablespoon of Colgin liquid smoke (hickory flavor) and not that other brand. Keep mixing and tumbling the cabbage leaves in the pot occasionally so they don't burn. The only difference with cooking cabbage this way instead of the traditional way is that you now have a delicious pot liquor and a few bites of meat to go with your good luck food.

See there! Your lucks already changing.

I hope you like this great recipe for the coming New Year.

Catch ya later.

Bon Appetit! ... and a happy New Year! Ahheee!!
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

White Chicken Enchiladas

This White Chicken Enchiladas recipe was handed down to me by a friend who lives a few miles from me. It is sooo good that you'd better plan on making a couple batches of these if you have two or more people in your family or group, or they won't forgive you for not making more. It is easy to make as you will see.

Ingredients


  1. 10 soft taco shells
  2. 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  3. 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I prefer Kraft Tex-Mex)
  4. 2 Tbsp. butter
  5. 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  6. 2 cups chicken broth
  7. 1 cup sour cream
  8. 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilis

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease a 9" x 13" pan
  • Mix chicken and 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Roll up in tortillas and place in pan
  • In a saucepan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute
  • Add broth and whisk until smooth
  • Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly
  • Stir in sour cream and chillis Note: Do not bring to boil or the sour cream will curdle.
  • Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 22 minutes and then under high broil for 3 minutes to brown the cheese.
Enjoy! Let me know how you like 'em.

KT
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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Garlic-Loaf Shrimp Po-Boy

    Garlic-Loaf Shrimp Po-Boy
  • 2 dozen large shrimp, deveined and fried
  • 1 fresh loaf (garlic) French bread, large
  • 1 cup lettuce, shredded
  • sliced tomatoes
  • tartar sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Begin by frying a couple dozens large shrimp using the Gaspard's Spicy Catfish Nuggets recipe (just substitute shrimp). Deep fry until they float to the top.

Prepare a dozen at the time and don't over-cook. When a light golden-brown color is reached (about 3 minutes at 375 degrees F.) remove the shrimp from the hot oil with a slotted spoon and place them onto some paper towels to cool and to absorb any excess oil. Repeat the process until all the shrimp are done.

Purchase the garlic French bread already sliced in half (lengthwise). Use your oven broiler to lightly toast the garlic loaf (spread side up) and set aside. Later, when you are done, you can slice the loaf in half to make two equally proportioned po-boys.

On the bottom-half of the loaf, evenly distribute the shredded lettuce. Then on top of the lettuce arrange the tomato slices along the entire length of the sandwich.

On the top-half of the loaf spread a generous amount of tartar sauce. Complete your sandwich by arranging the fried shrimp on the bottom-half of the loaf, season to taste, put the bread-cap back on, perform your final cut ... and Voila!--two Shrimp Po-Boys...Cajun style! (if you end-up with a few left-over shrimp just eat them as a snack and enjoy) Ahheee!! C'est Bon!

KT
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Shrimp Cocktail

  • 12 Colossal wild shrimp, cleaned and deveined (leave tails on)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbs Zatarain's Shrimp & Crab Boil
  • ice
  • cocktail sauce
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 4 equal wedges


Add 1 Tbs. Zatarain's Concentrated Shrimp & Crab boil to 2 cups water. Bring to boil. Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes. Immediately put them on ice to stop the cooking process. Make a cocktail sauce by mixing 2 parts catchup; 1 part prepared-horseradish, a few drops of lemon juice and a couple shakes of Tabasco sauce. Mix well and serve in dipping bowl.

You can make your own shrimp boil by using red or cayenne pepper, bay leaves, cloves, powdered garlic and celery salt. (In the old days we used only cayenne pepper, quartered lemons and salt.)

Arrange the lemon wedges equal distant around the dip bowl with 3 large shrimp between each. Place bowl on a bed of ice on top of fresh lettuce. Serves 2 - 4.

This specialty dish can be prepared faster than a cat can lick its ... uh ... tail.

It don't get no better than this.

Mes amis--Enjoy!




Wild Gulf of Mexico White Colossal Shrimp
Whew! That was a mouth full--and so were the U/15 count shrimp, (meaning under 15 per pound), which I used in this easy to prepare shrimp cocktail recipe.

Shrimp are decapod crustaceans (ten legs). Like lobsters, crabs, and crayfish, shrimp are fascinating and busy underwater workers and a delightful addition to the culinary desires and tastes of diners throughout the world.

Out of the nearly 5 million tons of shrimp harvested annually, the largest importer is none other than the United States. Americans, no-doubt, love to eat shrimp.

Worldwide there are about 300 known species of shrimp ... but the world's best eating variety (the Wild Gulf of Mexico White Shrimp), is highly coveted for its firm texture; its uniquely delicate taste, and ease of preparation.

Today's chefs purchase shrimp and other seafood in an IQF state (Individually Quick Frozen), with convenience and preservation being the main consideration. By stocking an inventory of IQF shrimp, restaurant cooks (and home cooks, too) can remove as much as needed from the freezer, individually. They are not all stuck together.

Large shrimp boats are able to venture farther out in the waters these days to discover shrimp because they utilize spacious on-board arctic blast freezers. These blast freezers can render the entire catch into a sub-zero rock-hard state within moments after hitting the deck.

In this highly frozen state, the shrimp are less likely to attract harmful bacteria. Some boats stay out on the waters for weeks and months at the time before returning to dock with the knowledge that their seafood are as fresh as the moment they were harvested. The quality and freshness have been cryogenically frozen in time.

In the past decade or so, discussions on health-safety issues and the consumption of imported farm-raised shrimp (especially the popular Asian Black Tiger variety often seen in U.S. supermarkets and restaurants) have been swimming around in a sea of controversy.

The main issue seems to be the negative environmental impact created when foreign shrimp ponds are abandoned or misused versus harvesting the shrimp (in the wild) from the world's oceans, gulfs and bays.

Since the U.S. is the world's largest importer, any embargo or strict import regulations would present serious problems to the consumer by driving the prices up sky-high. To cover the present demand, should the foreign farm-raised shrimp become unavailable for any reason, would be practically impossible. The void could not be filled solely with "wild" shrimp. The oceans could become depleted in record-time.

The other concern has to do with the quality and safety of consuming overseas products which are not under the direct auspices of our own federal regulatory agencies. We are all privy to some of the tainted Chinese products (like animal foods, baby formulas and toys) that have been recently discovered and subsequently banned from the U.S. market place.

In other words, it's tough to keep a close-eye on foreign shrimp growers and suppliers. The U.S. cannot impose regulations on foreign growers with respect to using safe protocols as it does with its own shrimp farmers, nor can it filter-out any potentially harmful substances which may have been passed-on through the food chain into the mouths of the consumers. Most of the time, unfortunately, the discovery of unsafe products is usually made after-the-fact.

This is not the case with Wild White Gulf of Mexico Shrimp (or the pink and brown varieties for that matter) because all three American varieties are safe and good to eat.

In conclusion, if you are intent on buying farm-raised shrimp, you might consider purchasing the ones grown in America. The shrimp farmers there offer a safe product.


Bon jour!
Update: Toxic Seafood Warning!  (video)
Please follow this link to download a government published document about seafood fraud:
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09258.pdf?source=ra
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Sunday, December 07, 2014

Coca-Cola Cowboy Slow Cooked Smoked Deer Roast Recipe | A Smoking Hot New Way to Cook Venison

Cowboy Deer Roast
It’s that time of the year again. ‘Tis the season for bagging deer. Not reindeer, but White-tailed deer. We cannot put ol' red-nosed Rudolf in harms way until after the Christmas holidays, now can we?

The annual ritual of processing the White-tailed quarry into venison roasts, steaks and sausages has evolved into a near art-form, especially for many of the old timers I personally know who have been at this wild game for a long time. 

New ways of preparing and cooking deer meat is always a welcomed delight, too--especially if the end result is truly outstanding. It's got to be like a number 1 hit country song in my humble opinion--like this recipe.

Speaking of number one hit songs, perhaps you have already heard the country classic “Coca~Cola Cowboy” recorded by Mel Tillis [Released 1979; Label MCA ] who sings about his love interest--a woman who refers to him as a Coca-Cola cowboy with “an Eastwood smile and Robert Redford hair”. (If you haven’t heard the song you may listen to it by visiting the link provided below.)

So, what does this song have to do with cooking a dear roast you may be asking?

Well, not much quite frankly, except I was hoping the title might be catchy and a nice attention-grabber since I do use Coca-Cola Classic, and a couple of other secret ingredients, which gives the slow-cooked deer roast a nice smoked taste and helps to bring out the other wonderful and natural flavors of wild game. And, we can do it all without using an outdoor smoker or BBQ pit.

Let me show you how easily it is done.


Ingredients

  • 4-6 lb. deer roast, tenderized
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 small bottle Colgin Liquid Smoke
  • 1 pkt. Lipton’s Beefy Onion Soup mix
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola Classic
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into slivers
  • 1/2 garlic pod (about 6 cloves) cut into slivers
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. black pepper


Instructions

  1. tenderize the deer roast or ham on all sides (I use the Jaccard Supertendermatic to tenderize mine.)
  2. add 1/2 bottle of Colgin liquid smoke, making sure all the meat absorbs some of the liquid
  3. in a bowl mix the brown sugar, Coca-Cola Classic, salt and the remaining liquid smoke
  4. pour the brine-sugar-liquid smoke mixture on all sides of the roast and rub in firmly
  5. use the tenderizer again so that the mixture may absorb deeply into the cut of meat
  6. turn the meat over every few hours and reapply the syrupy brine mixture on top
  7. marinade for 12 hours as you repeat step 6
  8. gently wash the marinade off the venison using cold running water (do not over do it)
  9. using a sharp knife create enough pockets or 'slits' throughout the roast for stuffing
  10. combine the onion, garlic, ground cayenne pepper and half the Lipton Soup Mix and mix well
  11. stuff the slits (pockets) of the roast with this mixture until all of the stuffing is used up
  12. sprinkle a generous amount of garlic and onion powder, ground black pepper and remaining soup mix on all sides of the roast
  13. tightly wrap the entire roast onto a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil
  14. position the roast in a large enough roasting pan so the sides of the roast does not touch the sides of the roasting pan
  15. begin roasting in the oven at 275º F. for 3 hours, then at 300º for 2 hours
  16. let the roast cool down before carving (slice against the grain)
  17. make gravy with the drippings

    How to Make Venison Roast Gravy?

    Cooking deer meat slow and low, while it is wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, will produce a liquid which is filled with all of the seasonings which were added to the roast in the first place. This is where our gravy will come from. 

    Keep in mind that the liquid will also tend to be a little salty from our brine-sugar marinade, some of which is embedded an inch or more inside the muscles, and the Lipton Beefy Onion Soup mix. That shouldn't be much of a problem if you dilute the liquid in a medium sauce pan with more liquid and a thickening agent.

    We can do this by dissolving a couple tablespoons of all-purpose flour, or cornstarch, in about a half-cup, or more, of cold water. Bring the original liquid up to a slow-boil then slowly add the thickening liquid to the sauce pan while stirring at the same time. In a minute or two the gravy will begin to thicken. Turn off the heat and it's ready to serve. 

    I like to use this gravy on homemade creamed-cheese mashed potatoes. Talk about good! 

    Ahheee!! C'est bon!... Enjoy! 

    "Coca~Cola Cowboy"... song by Mel Tillis



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    Wednesday, November 19, 2014

    How NOT to Fry Turkey | (Video Demonstration)

    Turkey fryers of this kind are not UL approved. Be very careful when preparing your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey in this fashion.



    Please have a safe an enjoyable holiday. God Bless.

    Note: You can view alternative appliances for frying turkey by visiting here.
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    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    DIY Cajun Seasoning

    Cheese whiz. Where do I start? Like the myriad of gumbo recipes floating out there in cyberspace, folks will tell you all kinds of ways to conjure-up Cajun seasonings. Many popular commercial brands already adorn our supermarket shelves like Tony Chachere, Slap ya Mama, Zatarains and others. However, these ready-made seasonings also contain preservatives and anti-caking chemicals to extend their shelf-life while shortening ours.

    But, the truth about Cajun seasoning is that it's rather simple to make your own just about anytime you want because most of the spices and salts used to make a good mix are probably already in your spice rack.

    To make one measure begin by using the 4 main ingredients (in order of importance) and work your way down. Take care not to overpower your homemade Cajun seasonings with too much of one kind of spice or another. The following formula is a guideline which you may use to make your own. You can multiply this measured-mix to prepare more.


    • 1 tsp red or cayenne pepper, finely ground
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/8 tsp onion powder


    This is a basic well-rounded formula to which you may add additional spices, to taste, such as basil, white or black pepper, paprika, chili powder or celery salt.

    The reason I don't add more garlic and onion powder or celery salt, for example, is because many of the dishes I prepare already come with a trinity of fresh onions, peppers and celery so there is no need for redundancy.

    I mix-in the above amount with two cups of powdered gumbo roux to make a half-gallon of many of my favorite gumbos. It works out great for me with sausage and boudin recipes because I am free to add any of the other spices along the way to adjust the taste. When making sausage or boudin I will add my seasoning mix in a liquid solution like water, beer or broth so that it can be more easily disbursed throughout.

    You can save lots of dough by making your own Cajun seasonings as you go.

    Hope this helps. Ahheee!!

    KT
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    Friday, August 01, 2014

    Jacques Gaspard's Sliced Beef Roast Po-Boy Sandwiches (video)

    This Sliced Beef Roast Po-Boy Sandwich recipe just could become a favorite for your holiday guests. It's a lot like the N'awlin's style po-boys... 'cept much betta!




    A 4 lb. beef rump roast can easily go from very tough to fall-apart tender in just a few hours using my simple two-stage method of cooking as outlined below.

    But first, here's a little secret. If you take particular notice of the title to this post you will see that part of it reads "Sliced Beef Roast Po-Boy Sandwiches" and not "Sliced Roast Beef Po-Boy Sandwiches". That's because there is an easier way of cooking the beef roast other than using the conventional dry-heat method of roasting to create these wonderfully delicious sandwiches.

    So, true to our pledge of bringing you great foods without all the fuss and muss, read on as I demonstrate how simple it is to create great tasting beef sandwiches which are certain to impress even the more finicky taste buds around your home.

    Ingredients

    • water
    • 4 lb. trimmed beef rump roast
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 packets of Lipton's Beefy Onion Soup Mix
    • 4 beef bouillon cubes
    • 3 Tbs. garlic powder
    • 3 Tbs. onion powder
    • 5 Tbs. black ground pepper
    • 1 Tbs. cayenne pepper
    • 3 Tbs. Kitchen Bouquet
    • 1 loaf of garlic French bread, sliced lengthwise
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • shredded lettuce
    • vine ripened tomatoes, sliced
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions


    Part I - Boiling a Beef Rump Roast

    Place the rump roast in a boiling pot and add just enough water to cover the meat. Except for the salt and black pepper, add all of the dry seasonings to the water including the 4 bouillon cubes and 1 packet of Lipton's  Beefy Onion Soup mix.

    On medium-high heat bring the beef roast to a boil and continue boiling for 1 and 1/2 hours. Turn the roast over a couple times during the boiling process. Next, remove the roast from the liquid and set aside to cool before slicing. Continue boiling the liquid until the virgin roux is added.

    After the roast has cooled, cut across the grain into 1/4" slices and set aside until you are ready to add everything to the slow-cooker.

    Virgin Roux Gravy (uncooked all-purpose flour, water and seasonings)

    Add 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour in a bowl, the remaining packet of Lipton's Beefy Onion Soup mix and 4 Tbs. of fresh ground black pepper and salt (I prefer the coarsely ground black pepper for the stronger flavor). Mix well and begin slowly adding cold water (a little at the time) to make a thick slurry -- about 2 cups. This slurry will be added to the boiling liquid to create a thick and savory gravy which will compliment the flavor of the sliced beef when you are putting the final touches to your po-boy sandwich.

    The gravy, as you will see, will also be added to the slow cooker and used to infuse more flavor into the beef slices during the final stage of the cooking process. Any remaining gravy can be stored in the freezer for later use.

    Next, pour a portion of the gravy into the bottom of your slow-cooker then add the first layer of sliced beef followed by more gravy. Continue this until all of the beef slices and gravy have been added to the pot.

    Finally, turn your slow-cooker on to your preferred setting: high for about an hour or so... or, on low for about 3 hours.

    Part II -- Building the Sandwich (measure once cut thrice)


    I prefer to use garlic sour dough French bread for my po-boy sandwiches because it adds a richer flavor to the meal. Cut your French loaf in half horizontally, paint a generous amount of liquid butter onto both halves, sprinkle onion powder then oven-toast (face up) until the edges of the loaves are a golden-brown color -- just a couple minutes.

    Next, apply mayo and sprinkle some fresh black ground pepper to both halves. After that apply a gravy-soaked layer of tender sliced beef onto one half-loaf followed by a layer of fresh shredded lettuce and a layer of fresh sliced beef-steak tomatoes. (If you like a sloppy po-boy sandwich, now would be a good time to pour some of the peppery gravy on top).

    Finally, put the cap on your po-boy and cut the sandwich diagonally into 4 equal parts and serve. Hope you enjoy your sandwich! Ahheee!!
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    Monday, July 21, 2014

    ISF Sliced Green Tomatoes | How to Have Fried Green Tomatoes Year-Round | Video

    How to Freeze Green Tomatoes?

    ISF is an acronym for "Individually Slow Frozen". It is the opposite of IQF... which means "Individually Quick Frozen". But, before we learn about ISF, you may want to know about IQF first.

    IQF foods have been around for a long time. The industrial process involves very quickly freezing foods individually, like various meats, seafood and vegetables for example.
    Green Tomatoes

    The individually frozen foods do not touch each other during the freezing process, so they don't clump together during packaging. This allows the end user of the product to remove as much as needed from the container without thawing the entire contents.

    Frozen food processors are equipped with machinery which simulate strong arctic blasts. In a matter of a few short minutes, foods can be preserved at sub-freezing temperatures. IQF shrimp, for example, can be frozen at temperatures approaching -50º F.

    IQF foods are safer and last longer than foods which are preserved at just below 32º F. and it offers several advantages.

    IQF prevents bacterial growth and allows stores, restaurants and consumers to use practical methods of storing foods safely and for longer periods of time.

    Unfortunately, most of us cannot afford the large and expensive industrial blast freezers. We have to improvise by using our home freezers--which is not a problem.

    This is where ISF enters the picture. It merely takes a little more time to achieve similar results, keeping in mind of course, that the foods we preserve in our home freezers will not attain the subfreezing temperatures of the blast freezers

    This short video demonstrates how we can preserve sliced green tomatoes by 'slowly' freezing them on a cookie sheet lined with food grade waxed paper. And, we can do it in our refrigerator freezers.

    Getting it done is a breeze... or, should I say a "freeze'?

    However we describe it, this is a clever way of preserving sliced green tomatoes and it affords us the opportunity to have 'em year-round.

    Hint: If you plan to use your ISF sliced green tomatoes in the not too distant future, then it's okay to save them in your freezer using zipper or resealable bags. If not, then it might be a good idea to vacuum seal them so they can keep for a longer period of time.

    One other thing. It's important to not let the tomato slices touch each other during the freezing process so they may freeze individually. That way, as mentioned before, after packaging you can remove only the amount needed from the bag and save the rest for later.

    I hope this helps.

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    Thursday, May 29, 2014

    World's Smallest Cajun Cabins (For Rent)

    If you ever decide to vacation in North America's own 'land down under' called Acadiana, be sure to check out these quaint little cabins which are located near the center of the Atchafalaya River Basin Swamp.You can't beat the prices. But there's a catch: You must call my cousin, Carlos Daigle, at (337)-228-7801 to find out how much the rentals are. Just tell him that his cousin, Jacques Gaspard, (me) ask you to call.

    PS. You will notice a phone number posted at the bottom of the Cajun Cabins slideshow. Please disregard it and use the one posted above to contact Carlos. Thanks!




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    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

    Cajun Style Ground Beef and Turnip Burgers

    Cajun-style Ground Beef and Turnip Burgers are juicy AND delicious!

    Anyone who knows me well also knows that I'm always experimenting with something new in my kitchen.

    The other day a friend gave me a bag of turnips--each about the size of a baseball.

    Turnip
    What to do with 'em, I wondered?

    Last night I boiled two of them. I ate one while it was still hot and I let the other cool down for the purposes of mashing it later and mixing it with ground beef to make a burger (just to find out how it would taste).

    I used 1/2 of a mashed turnip to about 1/4 lb. of 80/20 mix ground beef (20% fat and 80% lean).  I also added a few of my favorite Cajun spices to the mix for extra flavor.

    The results were great!

    Although I could barely taste the turnip (maybe a little) it had the affect of creating a juicy and delicious burger without a lot of shrinkage. I think I'm on to something here??

    I hope you enjoy this new Cajun-style ground beef and turnip burger recipe as much as I did. It's always good to learn one more way to cook and enjoy turnips.

    One other note. The ingredients listed below is for only one burger. You will have to adjust it to make several burgers at a time.

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 lb. ground beef (80/20)
    • 1 Tbsp. butter
    • 1/2 boiled turnip (mashed)
    • 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper         
    • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
    • salt to taste

    Instructions

    1. thoroughly mix the ground beef, mashed turnip and dry ingredients together
    2. in a skillet melt the 1 tbsp. of butter
    3. fry on both sides (medium heat) for a few minutes until completely cooked
    4. serve as a sandwich or opened face


    CYL (catch ya later)... back to my lab.

    Bon appetite! Ahheeee!! 
    KT

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    Monday, May 12, 2014

    Fish Courtbillion (fish soup)

    Ingredients

    • 3 lbs. fresh fish
    • 1 cup onions, chopped
    • ½ cup celery, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 large can tomato sauce
    • 1 medium can Rotel tomatoes
    • 2 medium bay leaves
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 cup cooking oil
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    Cut fish into bite size pieces. Season generously with salt, red and black pepper then set aside.

    Using the flour and oil, prepare a roux to medium brown color. Add onions and celery. Cook over medium heat in uncovered pot until onions are barely soft, stirring constantly. Add tomato sauce, Rotel tomatoes, bay leaves, and water. Cook about 40 minutes to 1 hour. Add garlic and fish. Continue cooking over medium heat for about 25 minutes.

    Serve in soup bowls with cooked long grain rice. Use bread or hush puppies. Serves 8 to 10 people.

    (K-T)
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    Thursday, April 24, 2014

    Grilled Rainbow Trout Salad

    Now, I know this recipe is not true to theme, but it tasted so good and it was so simple to make that I just had to share it.



    I started with a couple of nice rainbow trout fillets, skin on. I coated both sides of each fillet with olive oil. On the meat side of the fillets, I sprinkled with Flower of the Ocean Celtic Sea Salt (this stuff is great). I added some lemon zest, fresh cracked black pepper, fresh dill, and oregano.

    I heated the grill to 375 degrees, cleaned and oiled the grate, then cooked the trout. I started with the meat side down for about 4-5 minutes. Then, I flipped the fillets over and did the same with the skin side down.

    When the fillets were done, I squeezed a little lemon juice. I tossed a baby green salad with some red wine vinaigrette, some blue cheese crumbles, and some candied pecans.

    The fat between the meat and the skin rendered nicely, allowing the cooked fillets to slide right off. I topped the salad with the grilled trout, and served with some chilled white wine. Delicious!





    Update:  I tried this again, but this time I skipped the lemon zest, and added smoked paprika to the spices I put onto the fish. I served the fish skin-side down. 

    On the salad, instead of pecans I used walnuts, but I added some chopped granny smith apple.  I squeezed a little lemon on the salad to brighten it up. 

    When I grilled the trout, I also grilled some shucked corn-on-the-cob over high heat, until I got some good browning on many of the kernels.  Back in the kitchen, I cut the roasted kernels off of the cob, and sauteed them in a pat of butter and olive oil, along with some chopped red bell pepper, and chopped red onion, with a little Celtic Sea Salt. 

    I served it with some chilled Menage et Trois white wine, which went perfectly with this healthy and delicious meal.



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    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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    Friday, April 04, 2014

    Barbecuing Chicken Leg Quarters

    I prefer barbecuing chicken leg quarters more so than the other parts of the chicken--especially the white meat (chicken breast). And, here are a couple reasons why I like barbecuing chicken leg quarters more than other parts of the yard bird:
    1. The dark meat has more flavor than the white meat.
    2. I am able to use my special dark meat secret marinade.
      The secret that I am about to reveal to you will certainly set you apart from the rest of the humdrum (always the same old stuff) culinary crowd--and it's very simple to do. All it takes is brown sugar, salt, liquid smoke, a large nonreactive container, an indoor oven... and eventually a barbecue grill.

      So, if you are ready... let's get started.

      Ingredients

      BBQ Chicken Quarters
      • 10 lbs. chicken leg quarters (fryers)
      • 4 oz. Colgin Liquid Smoke
      • 1/2 lb. brown sugar (dark if you can get it)
      • 1/2 cup salt

      Instructions

      1. remove skins from the chicken quarters (set aside)
      2. clean and rinse chicken quarters under cool running water (leave wet)
      3. put chicken quarters in a large non-reactive container (enamel, plastic, stainless)
      4. in a small bowl add half the bottle of liquid smoke, brown sugar and salt, mix well
      5. use clean hands to coat all of the chicken pieces thoroughly with the marinade
      6. marinate the chicken quarters for 6 - 8 hours, re-coating the chicken every couple hours
      7. when ready remove chicken quarters from the marinade
      8. gently wash the marinade off the chicken using as little water as possible (don't overwash)
      9. apply the remaining liquid smoke to the chicken quarters (even distribution)
      10. place all the chicken quarters in a large roasting pan
      11. set the oven at 275° F. and cook for 2 1/2 hours (lid on)
      12. transfer the cooked chicken quarters to the barbecue grill
      13. smoke the chicken quarters on low heat (away from the fire) for 30 more minutes
      Note: It is important not to pressure wash the chicken quarters under the faucet after marinating because it will wash away all of the slightly sweet smokey flavor that we are trying to capture. Over washing defeats the purpose of marinating.

      PS. If it's raining outside and you don't have access to a grill, just continue cooking the chicken leg quarters in the oven for about another hour. I promise it will still come out great.

      PPS. What do I do with the chicken skins? Glad you asked. Follow this link: Cacklin Cracklins.

      Bon appetite!
      KT
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      Thursday, February 06, 2014

      White Shredded Chicken and Monterey Jack Cheese Enchiladas

      This is the best White Shredded Chicken and Monterey Jack Cheese Enchiladas Recipe that I've ever run across. It is so delicious that I have to keep it a secret from my neighbors when I make a batch 'cause often times I wound up with none for myself. It's fairly easy to make and people will be begging for more... guaranteed!

      Ingredients

      10 soft taco shells
      2   cups cooked shredded chicken
      2   cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
      3   Tbsp. butter
      3   Tbsp. all-purpose flour
      2   cups chicken broth
      1   cup sour cream
      1   (4 oz) can diced green chilies

      Instructions

      1.  preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
      2.  grease a 9 x 13 inch pan or baking dish
      3.  mix 1 cup of cheese and chicken
      4.  roll up in tortillas and place in pan
      5.  in a sauce pan melt butter and stir-in all-purpose flour and cook for 1 minute
      6.  add broth and whisk until smooth
      7.  stir-in sour cream and chilis (don't boil because the sour cream will curdle)
      8.  pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese
      9.  bake 22 minutes and then under high-broil for 3 minutes to brown the cheese

      Bon Appetite!

      KT  


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