Cooking Louisiana - Newsletter - January / February 2005

Bonjour my fellow home chefs! 

I hope your Holidays were good...

Mardi Gras Carbs...

The Mardi Gras season has officially started. As we all know the low or no carb. diets are still prevalent so many people won't eat your beautiful King Cake. What do you do?  Be sure to offer meat and vegetable dishes and use the Mardi Gras colors: Yellow, Green and Purple garnishes, toothpicks and platters. Keep it Colorful.

Here's some interesting Mardi Gras History... Klick Here...

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I'm Bugged!

I did some research recently on the crawfish and was surprised myself on many of the facts. Blue crawfish? Crawfish weighing 8 lbs.??  Here's a few tidbits of info... Click Here

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Crawfish Boudin

Have you ever had crawfish or seafood boudin? Well if you haven't you're missing a great food. It's made like regular boudin but filled with seafood that's readily available by season.

There are other places as mentioned, and, here's a site from Lafayette, LA that rates boudin around Acadiana. I couldn't think of a more enjoyable quest for the taste of the best boudin in Acadiana. You'll see not only the ratings, but pictures of the place of business, abidance, and great description of the product. Extremely valuable! The Boudin Link gets an A++ from me!
Find them here.... The Boudin Link

If you like a crispy skin on your boudin here's how you can get it done yourself (real easy).

Preheat oven to 250ºF. Line a pan with aluminum foil and spray some cooking spray on the foil. Spray one side of the boudin, then the other side and set in pan. Cook for 30 minutes on one side, flip over and cook another 20 minutes or longer. It should crisp up real nice.

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Meat Loaf Gravy

Do you love Meat Loaf with a nice gravy? image previewOnce the meat is done strain of the fluids and separate the water from the grease. A handy tool for this is a gravy separator shown here. 

In a pot put the water and add water to make about a cup and a half of total fluid. Put on a medium fire and add the following.

1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. creole seasoning
1/4 tsp. black or white pepper
2 tsp. Dale's Steak Sauce
1/2 tsp Worcestershire

Bring to a boil then start adding a little powdered brown gravy mix stirring constantly. Now, if you've never dealt with adding powdered brown gravy mix to a pot of boiling water you must know this. Dumping the powder in will create lumps that will be hard to deal with. To do this, just lightly sprinkle a little and stir, sprinkle and stir. Once you get the hang of it you'll see how easy it is. Remember to keep the water at a rolling boil while doing this.

Continue to sprinkle the gravy mix until the liquid reaches a nice light-creamy consistency. Lower the fire and simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste and add seasoning if needed.

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Spaghetti Mania

If you want to add pizzazz to your spaghetti consider using several types of meat. 
Use combinations of :
Chuck steak - cubed
Meatballs
Sausage (smoked or fresh)
Hot Dogs
Pork Chops - cubed
Beef Ribs - have butcher saw them in1-1/2" lengths
Baby Back Ribs

I wouldn't use all of them at once, just pick three or four.

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Stock-o-lot

The last time you boiled a hen or chicken and didn't use all of the stock did you freeze it? If you didn't you missed out on a chance to enhance the rich chicken flavor of your next soup or gumbo. Here's the deal... Let's say you're going to make a gumbo and you plan on boiling a chicken to debone it. Take the frozen stock, put it in the pot you're using to boil the chicken, let it melt and add enough water to boil the chicken. The final result is one stock made with two chickens (twice as rich)!

If you're going to freeze a stock go ahead and continue to boil it after the chicken is taken out to reduce the quantity.

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Eggs & Oysters

1 pt. oysters in liquor
3 large eggs, beaten
2 T. butter
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 green or red bell pepper, chopped

Fry the onions & peppers in the butter. Remove from pan and set aside. Add oyster liquor to pan over medium heat. Add oysters and cook 2-3 minutes. Add peppers and onions. Cook until heated through. Pour in eggs. Cook until set. This goes great with potatoes fried 'til crispy in bacon grease!

I ran across this on the Web and just had to share it with you.

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Have fun at the Parades!!!

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Cooking Louisiana wishes the best to the men and women of the military and to their families. We thank you for your service to the people of the United States. 

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