Tuesday, December 09, 2014

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:
Signature Icon

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.


  • 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


  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

    Signature Icon

    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.
    Signature Icon

    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!!

    Signature Icon

    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.

    Signature Icon

    Most Popular Posts of All Time