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!


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


  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!

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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 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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Gateau de Roi - The King's Cake Story

This is an excerpt from "Mr. Lake's New Orleans Forum":

Gateau de Roi

Twelfth Night or King Cake

The story of the king cake begins, like the story of Mardi Gras itself, with the pagans. They had a celebration where a young man from the village was chosen to be treated like a king for a whole year. He was not denied during his reign, but after the year was over he became a human sacrifice to the gods. To eliminate this pagan custom, the Christian Church encouraged an observance calling for the preparation of a king cake containing a bean; whoever received the slice with the bean became king for a week and was allowed to choose a queen to reign with him. This took the place of the sacrificial pagan rite.

The King Cake tradition is believed to have been brought to New Orleans, Louisiana, from France in the 1870's. It evolved from the Twelfth Night or Epiphany pastry made by those early settlers. They added their own touches with the Spanish custom of choosing Twelfth Night royalty.

In European countries, the coming of the wise men bearing gifts to the Christ Child is celebrated twelve days after Christmas. The celebration, called Epiphany, Little Christmas on the Twelfth Night, is a time of exchanging gifts and feasting. All over the world people gather for festive Twelfth Night celebrations. One of the most popular customs is still the baking of a special cake in honor of the three kings..."A King's Cake" or Gateau de Roi.

A King Cake's ring shape, too, is significant, as some believe it symbolizes the unity of all Christians, and others believe it aptly resembles a king's crown.

A dried bean was originally hidden inside the cake but was replaced by coins, peas, pecans, rubber dolls, porcelain dolls, and in recent years plastic dolls. Starting around the 1930s, a tiny naked baby (Frozen Charlotte) was used instead of the bean or pea. The baby can be pink, brown, or golden. Some people believe that the baby represents the baby Jesus because Twelfth Night was when the three kings found the baby in Bethlehem.

Tradition has it that the person who finds the baby in the king cake is the next queen or king, he or she receives a year of good luck, is treated as royalty for that day and must host the next king cake party.

King Cake season lasts throughout Mardi Gras from the feast of the Epiphany until Mardi Gras Day.

The royal colors of purple, green and gold on the cake honors the three kings, Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar, who visited the Christ child on the Epiphany. Purple represents Justice. Green stands for Faith. Gold signifies Power.

The three colors appeared in 1872 on a Krewe of Rex carnival flag especially designed for the visiting Grand Duke of Russia. He came to New Orleans just for the carnival, and the universal colors remain his legacy.

You can visit Mr. Lake's New Orlean's Forum for more outstanding King Cake recipes (including a Mexican King Cake). Thanks Frank!

Special Note: I couldn't help but notice that the first of the Three Kings was named "Gaspar". Seems as though someone may have forgotten to add the letter "d" at the end of his name.

Ahheee!! Laisser le bon temps rouller!
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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Gaspard's Cajun Potato Salad

This is a Real Cajun Cooking - Pure and Simple original recipe which makes 12 - 15 servings and takes less than an hour to prepare. Yummy!

Gaspard's Cajun Potato Salad

  • 5 lbs. Russet potatoes, boiled
  • 5 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 3 Tbs. dill relish
  • 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. paprika


  1. peel, dice, boil and drain the potatoes then set aside
  2. boil, peel and finely chop eggs in a food chopper
  3. finely chop 1 medium white onion
  4. slice each stalk of celery in 4s (lengthwise) and finely chop
  5. chop green onions
  6. add chopped eggs, onions, bell pepper, celery, green onions, relish, mayo, mustard, cayenne pepper, salt and ground black pepper in a bowl and mix together thoroughly.
  7. in a larger bowl add everything together (except the paprika) then toss and mix well until all of the bits of potatoes are thoroughly coated. Try not to mash the potatoes in the process.
  8. level-off the salad and sprinkle paprika on top to add color
  9. set the salad in the refrigerator to cool before serving.
  10. makes 12 – 15 servings

Note: Do not use a blender to chopped your vegetables because it will cause your salad to lose the crunchiness. It is important to take your time to properly chop the onions, bell pepper and celery by hand to produce the perfect potato salad. The chopped pieces should be about the size of a pencil eraser. And, for a bit of extra color and eye-appeal you may want to add a few sprigs of parsley on top for good measure.

Enjoy! Ahheee!!

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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Smoked Beef Ribs

  • beef ribs
  • coarse ground sea salt
  • course ground black pepper
  • one stick of butter
  • one good size onion, chopped
  • lemon juice (about one cup)
  • about two cups white vinegar
  • about 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • good quality lump charcoal (for pit method)

Instructions for basting sauce:

Using a large saucepan, melt one stick of butter over low heat.  Add 1 chopped onion, and saute in butter until soft.  Add lemon juice, vinegar, and Worcestershire. Let it simmer on low as long as your ribs are cooking.

Instructions (Pit Method):

This is the preferred method, but it takes more work.  It takes lots of practice to master the pit, but if you know what you are doing, this is not too difficult.  If you don't have a good heavy barbecue pit with a firebox, thermometer, and good quality oak lump charcoal (something like lump charcoal, you might as well use the oven method, described below.  The oven method still produces excellent results, but you won't get that smokey flavor that gives the ribs that extra je ne sais quoi.  If you don't know how to handle your pit, or if you use that garbage charcoal you get at the grocery store, you can ruin the ribs with creosote (black, bitter, and burnt).

Also, everyone with a barbecue pit has an opinion.  If you have a strong opinion, then you probably have your own recipe.  I'm going to describe the way I do it, and I have never had complaints or leftovers.

Start with cool beef ribs.  Turn the ribs upside down, remove the membrane to the best of your ability. Any excess fat can be trimmed.  Pat the ribs down with a handful of paper towels so that they are moist, but not wet.  Generously coat all sides of the ribs with coarse salt and pepper.  Let the ribs sit at room temperature on a cookie sheet until they cool down.  While the ribs are resting, you can begin to work on your fire.

Soak about 10 - 15 lumps of charcoal with lighter fluid, and let them sit for a few minutes.  Stack them in a pyramid in your firebox, then light them.  The flame will get high as the fluid burns off, but will quickly subside leaving your charcoal burning at the edges.  Open the air vent to allow plenty of air into the fire chamber.  Let the lumps get completely hot - they may flame up again, which is ok.  Let the second flame subside, then push the hot coals to the front of the firebox (the side of the firebox closest to the cooking chamber).  Now fill the rest of the firebox with lump charcoal, and close your vent and smokestack by 1/2.  Shut the lid on the firebox and on the cooking chamber to let it heat up.

What we are trying to produce here is a low and slow burn.  The fire should stay at the front of the box.  You push the unburned coals into the fire as necessary to keep the fire going and the temperature constant.

You want the heat in the cooking chamber to reach 250 degrees, and stabilize.  This gets easier the longer the fire is going because the iron in the pit heats up which helps regulate the temperature.  You want to adjust your vent and smokestack so that a good deal of smoke stays in the pit, but you are getting enough airflow through the pit to keep the fire going.

Once the heat has stabilized in the pit, place the ribs into the cooking chamber right side up, then close the lid.  Don't leave the lid open for too long or you will lose your heat.

Now start making your basting sauce.  You don't need to baste the ribs for about 45 minutes, so you have plenty of time.  I like to keep my basting sauce warm by leaving it on the warming tray above my firebox.

After about 45 minutes, open the lid.  Using a sauce mop, baste both sides of the ribs make being careful not to wash away the salt and pepper.  Turn the ribs over, and close the lid.  We will let this go for another 45 minutes before basting and turning again.  Cook this way for about 4 1/2 hours.  Finally, remove the ribs from the heat and let them rest on a clean cookie sheet covered loosely in foil for about 30 minutes.

I find that cooking with this method requires no finishing sauce.  The ribs are tasty, easy to eat, and the smoke-cured meat will keep for several days in a refrigerator if you happen to have leftovers.

Instructions (Oven Method):

Basically the exact same as above without the charcoal.  Bring your oven up to 250 degrees.  Put the ribs directly onto the rack in the center of the oven (you can spray the rack with pam first if you want).  If you have a convection oven great, but not necessary.  Put a cookie sheet on the bottom rack to catch any drippings.  I find the oven method does not require as much basting because the sealed oven keeps much of the moisture trapped inside.  Baste when you feel it is necessary, but don't go crazy or you will make a mess in your oven.  Cooking time is again, about 4 1/2 hours.  Once done, remove the ribs and let them rest for about 30 minutes.

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