Category Archives: Creole Cooking

Cajun Thanksgiving Turkey

Standard

Do something different and tasty this holiday season! Since the usual turkey recipes get boring year after year, a little Cajun infusion might just spice up your holiday meal this season! Here is a tried and true recipe I’m sure you’ll love.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-18 lb. turkey
  • 6 lbs. butter

 Cajun seasoning (see below)

  • 1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons  paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

 

Preparation:

Cajun seasoning:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Use as much of the Cajun seasoning as you need for rubbing the turkey and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Use as much or as little as you see fit.

For turkey:
Cut four pounds of the butter into small cubes. Set the other two pounds of butter aside. Carefully work your fingers between the skin and the meat of the breast to loosen the skin away from the meat. Work two, of the 4 pounds of butter cubes in between the skin and breast meat and distribute it evenly.

Place the reserved 2 pounds of cubed butter in the cavity of the turkey and distribute it evenly also.

In a small pan, melt the last two pounds of butter, stir in the Cajun seasoning and the Kitchen Bouquet. Place the turkey into a deep roasting pan and gradually pour the melted butter and Cajun seasoning mixture over the turkey, massaging the mixture into the skin as you go along.

Place the turkey into a preheated 450-degree oven and roast one hour uncovered. After the first hour, cover the turkey with aluminum foil and continue to roast until the turkey is done (15 minutes per pound). Be sure to baste the bird every half hour to ensure you get a crisp, golden, crunchy skin.

A Rick & Mel Recipe

Oyster Dressing

Standard

With Thanksgiving upon us, I thought I would add my Oyster Dressing recipe hoping you will give it a try!
Oyster dressing has been a part of Thanksgiving since the days of Colonial America and lives on here in the south during the holiday season. If you have never tried Oyster Dressing, you don’t know what you have been missing!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 11 clove garlic, minced well
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped green pepper
  • 31/4 cup finely chopped celery
  •  tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 cup oysters, drained and chopped (reserve the liquid)
  • 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup oyster liquid or clam juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 11/2 teaspoon salt
  • /8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a large skillet, (cast iron if you have it) over medium-high heat, sauté garlic, onion, green onion, green pepper, celery, and the parsley in 2 tablespoons of butter, until the vegetables are soft. Add chopped oysters and sauté for 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the bread crumbs, oyster liquid and remaining ingredients and stir well.

Put the mixture into a greased, 8×8-inch pan and bake at 375 degrees until golden, about 25 minutes. Also, you can lightly stuff a turkey with the dressing and bake the turkey as usual.

A Rick& Mel Recipe

Dirty Rice

Standard

 

Cajun favorite, white rice dish mixed with chicken livers or gizzards, (the “dirty” part of the rice).
This dish is a one of those “must try” dishes! Dirty Rice goes with pork chops, smoke sausage, or makes a great side dish for just about anything.

 

Dirty Rice

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons bacon fat
1 cup chopped shallots
1 finely chopped rib celery
1 tsp. Fresh chopped parsley
1 pound finely chopped giblets
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups rice
4 cups water
salt, to taste

 

 

PREPARATION:

Sauté the shallots, celery, and chicken giblets in the bacon fat until golden brown. Add the water, tomato paste, rice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down cover, and let simmer for 30 min, stirring the mixture occasionally. Uncover and let stand for 5 to 10 min. Adjust the seasoning to fit your taste! Fluff with fork and serve.

 

A Rick & Mel Recipe

Shrimp Diane

Standard

This one is Mel’s favorite. She can’t get enough of this Shrimp Diane. This dish is a mix of butter, garlic, and cayenne pepper which gives it a nice flavor with a little kick. Serve it with a little French bread and you have a very satisfying southern dish.

Shrimp Diane

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds medium shrimp with shells
  • 7 tablespoons of shrimp stock
  • 2/3 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 and 3/4 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely diced green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1/3 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced into thick pieces
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • Pasta and French bread (Use your favorite pasta; I use angel hair)

 

Rinse and peel the shrimp; refrigerate until they are needed. Use shells to make a shrimp stock by boiling them in a pot of water for 45 minutes.

In a large skillet, melt 1 stick of the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter is almost melted, add the green onions, garlic, salt, cayenne, white pepper, black pepper, basil, thyme and oregano; stir the mixture well. Add the shrimp to the mixture and sauté just until the shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute. Be sure to keep mixing the shrimp during this process to cook the shrip evenly.

Add the 4 tablespoons of the stock and the mushrooms; then add the remaining 1/2 stick of butter in small chunks and continue to stir the mixture constantly. Before the butter is completely melted, add the parsley and the remaining 2 tablespoons stock; continue cooking the mixture while stirring until all ingredients are mixed thoroughly and butter sauce is the consistency of cream.

Serve over pasta immediately and  serve with French bread.

 

A Rick & Mel Recipe

New Orleans Shrimp Etouffee

Standard

Shrimp Etouffee is a classic Louisiana stew made with shrimp, Crawfish, or even Crabmeat!
Go into just about any restaurant in New Orleans and you will find this classic dish. The word Etouffee (Ay-2-FAY) translates to smothered, stewed, or braised. Here is my simple recipe that will surely satisfy your taste buds.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Celery, Finely Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 Cup fresh Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Cups Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp. minced Italian Parsley
  • 2-2/1/2 lbs. of Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined
  • 3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Season the shrimp with 1 Tbsp. of the Creole Seasoning.
In a large cast iron skillet, melt the butter; add the onions, bell pepper, celery, and sauté until the vegetables are translucent. Whisk in the flour to make a blonde roux, stirring constantly, for about 3-5 minutes. Add the remaining Creole Seasoning. To the mixture, add a small amount of the vegetable stock, stirring well to form a nice paste, gradually add the remaining stock, whisking constantly. Bring the Etouffee mixture to a boil, reduce to a slow simmer. You may need to add little more stock, but the Etouffee mixture should be the consistency of gravy, not too thick or thin.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, Thyme, Worcestershire, and hot sauce, a little salt, black pepper, and Cayenne to the Etouffee mixture and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Add the shrimp, green onions, parsley, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked all the way through. Stir in the 3 Tbsp. butter, and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Serve over Rice with some French bread on the side.

You may also substitute Crawfish or Crabmeat for the Shrimp to make Crawfish or Crabmeat Etouffee.

A Rick & Mel Recipe

Tasso (New Orleans Seasoning Meat)

Standard

Tasso is a New Orleans flavoring secret. You will find it in quite a few dishes here in the Crescent City. It can be hard to find outside of Louisiana so here is the recipe to make it yourself.

Tasso is highly seasoned and strong flavored smoked pork. It adds a great flavor to a variety of dishes. Give it a try the next time you need a Smokey flavor added to one of your dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 pounds boneless pork butt
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white pepper
  • 4 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder

Trim the pork butt of all excess fat. Cut it into strips about 1 1/2 inch thick and at least 6 inches long. Mix the seasonings together and place in a shallow baking pan. Roll each of the strips of pork butt in the seasoning mixture and place on a large tray. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of days.

A Rick & Mel Recipe

Crawfish Pie

Standard

Crawfish Pie is a simple mixture of crawfish and spices that is baked in a flakey pie crust. Here in New Orleans you can find it in just about any restaurant and it is made a variety of ways. This recipe on mine is a tried and true recipe to surely leave your taste buds happy and your stomach full!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup celery, minced
  • 1/8 cup red bell pepper, minced
  • 1/8 cup green bell pepper, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1/3 cup onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup scallions, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 pounds cooked crawfish tail
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • One 9-inch piecrust, buttered well

Heat oven to 350°F and bake the buttered pie for 9-11 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden brown. Set aside to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 375°F.

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Sauté the bell peppers, celery, onions, scallions, Creole seasoning and salt over a medium-high heat and be sure to stir the mixture occasionally until vegetables soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the flour, mix well, and cook 2-3 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the crawfish. Add the garlic, return to the heat, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and green onions and cook 2-3 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream. Remove from heat and add the egg slowly being careful not to scramble the egg. Now, stir in the bread crumbs.

Pour the mixture into the 9 inch piecrust, brush the edge of the crust with olive oil. Bake the “Crawfish Pie” in 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned.
Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.

A Rick & Mel Recipe