Monday, January 11, 2010

Southern Living

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

The song above is appropriate for a post such as this....

Moving to Louisiana had it's share of difficulties in the beginning, but I have always tried to live by the phrase that my dad would repeat to me growing up, "Bloom where you're planted." Over the past 2.5 years of living here, I have really started to like it and appreciate the Cajun culture for its unique traits.
There is definitely a big difference between being from Texas and being from "the south", which I don't think I can really explain, it's just a matter of experiencing the two.
**Let me stop right there and say that I am a Texan and always will be; that is where my heart will stay.
I've already taken some Cajun Dance lessons with Allyson (Which I would love to take some more of, but I'm not sure I could get Allyson there again, lol); of course done the whole "Mardi Gras" thing; gone to a Saints game ("Who Dat?!"); gone to a few LSU games (since you can't live here without being engrossed with purple and gold); have come to discover that there is always a reason to throw a party and a festival (i.e. Jazz Fest, Voo-Doo Fest, Strawberry Festival, etc... you name it, they have a party for it); seen some plantation homes; done a little exploring of the state, which I would LOVE to do more of to get some pictures for my portfolio (there are some really beautiful areas around here!); met some real "Bobby Boucher's" and been to some areas that are straight out of the movie "The Water Boy" (blue bug zapper, swamp, and riding lawn mower included); We are to go on a swamp tour as soon as the weather permits us to (we were supposed to go this last fall but it got rained out); eaten at some authentic restaurants, and of course, met some amazing people!

Speaking of food....
Living in Louisiana has exposed me to some wonderfully yummy food, although I have to say it can't be so wonderful on my waistline, lol. I have decided that I have to take advantage of our time here to learn and practice some of these recipes. With some of my mom's side of the family being from Louisiana, I have some Cajun roots that I've never explored. Little did I know my grandma (Mammy, as I call her), has tons of authentic recipes to share. I think it's so fun to learn how to cook from different cultures. :)
So, I've decided that I will share my favorite Cajun recipes with you. They are so yummy, how can I keep them to myself?!
I have to warn you, though, that like most great recipes, there are not always exact measurements on the spices. The amounts of most of them can be up to the chief.

Shrimp Etouffee
by: My great grandma, Bo
*This can also be made with crawfish.

1 1/2 c. Bell Pepper
1 Onion
1 bunch Celery
3 sticks of butter
3 cans Cream of Mushroom
3 Cans Rotel (mild or spicy... I do a combo)
4 lb Peeled shrimp (depending on the size of the shrimp you may want to add more or less)
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
Dash of Lemon Juice
Basil, Oregano, Garlic, Pepper

1. Saute the vegetables in the butter until soft
2. Add the seasonings to taste
3. Add the Rotel and Cream of Mushroom Soup and let simmer for 3-4 hrs
4. Add the Worcestershire and Lemon Juice
5. Let simmer for another 30-45 min
6. Refrigerate overnight (this allows all of the flavors to infuse together)
7. Reheat the next day and once it has come to a boil, add the shrimp. Cook only long enough for the shrimp to cook thoroughly (about 5-10 minutes). If you cook it too long then the shrimp will over cook and become rubbery... not a good thing! lol
8. Serve over white rice

This goes great with some French Bread for dipping

Sausage Jambalaya
*I actually found a recipe online, but I made some changes when I made it so now it's really my own :)

1/2 cup butter
1 white onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
5 green onions, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 tsp Chili Powder (to taste)
Bay Leaves (about 2; I used some pre-chopped Bay Leaves, so I just sprinkled in enough to look like it equaled 2 chopped)
1 TBS creole seasoning (to taste)
1-2 tsp ground cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp dried thyme (to taste)
2 lbs smoked sausage, sliced
5 cups chicken broth
1 tomato
3 cups brown rice

As you can see I do a lot of seasoning "to taste". This is simply because some people are more sensitive to spicy foods than others. As for me, I love spicy food, so I tend to add a bit more than the norm.

1. Saute the butter, white onion, celery, bell pepper, green onion, garlic, and spices until vegetables are tender and the onions are somewhat clear.
2. Add the sausage, chicken broth, tomatoes, and rice
3. Let simmer for about 1 hour or until all of the water is absorbed into the rice.

Crawfish Cornbread
*This one comes from Jeff's Grandmother's kitchen. We've passed it around to so many people that I don't think she will mind me sharing on here. It's always a big hit!

** Can't find the recipe... I will have to do some digging and get it up here asap!

Shrimp Creole
*Another great one from Jeff's side of the family.

3 lbs Peeled Shrimp
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
8 cloves garlic
1 cup vegetable oil
12 oz Tomato Paste
2 8 oz cans Tomato Sauce
2 Tsp Sugar
2 Cups chopped celery
Salt, Pepper, Cayenne or Red Pepper

1. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and refrigerate
2. Heat oil in big pot on medium heat
3. Cook onions and celery until tender
4. Add tomato paste, fry in grease for about 5 min stirring constantly
5. Add tomato sauce and 4 cups of water
6. Cook about 40 min, stirring occasionaly
7. Add the bell pepper, garlic, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste
8. Cook for 30 min then add the shrimp and cook just until the shrimp are done.
9. Serve over rice

Now, to find a King Cake Recipe!


Stori said...

Oh yum! I need to start cooking more.

Melissa D. said...

I want to make all of these recipes right now, except the cornbread. I don't like cornbread. Too bad it is 11:00 at night. :(

Barbara said...

the creole recipe should say 4 cups of water


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...