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 over 50 years. 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.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Bacon-flavored Ol' Time Homemade Cathead Biscuits

Cathead Biscuits made with hog lard was a very tasty treat at breakfast time when I was a kid growing up on the farm and had a very distinct taste which separated it from today's traditional methods of making biscuits.

Hog lard was the most used cooking fat in our home at that time. There were also occasions when we used the rendered fat of other animals (chicken and beef) in which to prepare specific meals which were associated with the cut of meat being cooked.

If you have never experienced the taste of an omelet or scrambled eggs using a couple teaspoons of chicken oil, then you have missed out on some wonderful taste. To learn how to render oil from chicken skins see an earlier post entitled "Cacklin Cracklins".

Retail hog lard has begun to slowly disappear from the marketplace (even in the deep south) as it is steadily being replaced with processed industrial oils like soy and Canola--the same stuff used in lubricating machinery, running diesel engines, in the formulation of toxic pesticides, as well as for cooking. You can learn more about the toxic effects of soy and Canola oil as a food substance by visiting here.

Today we are going to bake-up a batch of Ol' Time Homemade Cat Head Biscuits made with bacon drippings. I suppose the reason they might be called "Cat Head" biscuits might be because someone  fashioned the biscuits by hand a little larger than usual and they wound-up looking similar to, and as big as, a cat's head when they were done baking. That sounds like a plausible story to me, so I'm sticking with it. I do remember when one of 'em could just about fill me up back in the old days when I was a boy.

I don't fashion the biscuit dough with my hands, however. Instead, I use the opened end of a clean empty food can as my biscuit cutter. It gives me more biscuits of normal size (6 - 8 servings).

This recipe will add a slight bacon flavor to your batch of cat heads. When using bacon drippings keep in mind that it already contains salt from the curing process. Therefore, in this recipe there is no need to add salt when converting the all-purpose flour into self-rising flour.

Note: To make 1 cup of self-rising flour add 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder, a small pinch of baking soda and 1/4 tsp. salt to 1 cup of all-purpose flour and mix thoroughly.

As mentioned previously, there is no need to add salt to make your self-rising flour in this recipe because the bacon drippings already contain enough to create the chemical reaction with the baking powder and baking soda that is needed to make the biscuits rise.

Tip: Liquified bacon drippings can be put in the freezer for a few minutes and it will solidify enough to be cut-in with your flour mix.

Ingredients

  • 2 cup self-rising flour
  • 3 Tbs. solid and cold hog lard (bacon drippings)
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. add self-rising flour into a food blender
  3. using the "Pulse" feature add 1/3 of the cold hog lard at the time until it mixes-in well with the flour
  4. slowly add and pulse the 1 cup of milk into the blender until a soft dough is made
  5. roll out the biscuit dough on a slightly floured cutting board to about 1/2 inch thick
  6. cut your biscuits into circles (the size of a soup can)
  7. place the biscuits onto a slightly oiled pan (touching)
  8. bake at 450 degrees F. for 10 - 12 minutes

Serves 6 - 8
Bon Appetit!
KT
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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Shrimp Etouffee (A-2-Fay)

Shrimp Etouffee (A-2-Fay) is just a fancy Cajun French expression for 'smothered' shrimp. The gulf shrimp are slow-cooked in a thick and rich garlic butter sauce. We begin by sautéing the Cajun trinity of vegetables--chopped onions, celery and bell pepper--to bring out the traditional and unmistakable flavors of Cajun-style cuisine.

The meal is simple to prepare and rates highly among the more popular Cajun entrées.

Ingredients

    Shrimp Etouffee (A-2-Fay)
  • 2 lbs. fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small can tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
    1. melt butter and stir-in flour, onions, celery and bell pepper, mixing well
    2. cook on medium heat until the vegetables become translucent
    3. blend-in the tomato juice, water, garlic and seasonings
    4. simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently
    5. add the fresh medium shrimp and cook for an additional 20 minutes
    6. serve over cooked long grain rice
     Yields 4 to 6 servings.

    Question: How do you smother chicken?
    Answer: Use tiny pillows and sneak-up on 'em while they are sleeping.

    Ahheee!! C'est bon!
    KT
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