November 17 2017

I Am Thankful for this Cajun Thanksgiving

We have a lot to be thankful for this time of year in Bayou Country – a beautiful environment, outstanding outdoor adventures, satsumas – but our cuisine takes center stage during the upcoming holiday and we have to say a sincere thanks for that. Although we can’t fit all of you at our Thanksgiving table, we invite you to try out a few of our favorite dishes with your family this holiday season.

SEAFOOD GUMBO
from the kitchen of Senator Allen J. Ellender

SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS
7 tablespoons fat (vegetable oil or
smoked bacon fat)
1 rounded tablespoon flour
2 lbs. onions, chopped fine
3 pieces celery, chopped fine
1 medium bell pepper, chopped fine
1 lemon rind grated (remove white
membrane and chop rest of lemon)
3 cloves minced garlic
Dash of Worcestershire, Tabasco,
thyme and McCormick Season All
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste
2 ½ lbs fresh okra
3 lbs peeled shrimp tails
1 lb. crab meat
1 pint oysters
Parsley and chopped green onions

DIRECTIONS
In a large, heavy bottom saucepan heat 5 tablespoons of fat over medium high heat.

Using a wire whisk, add flour, stirring constantly until dark brown roux is achieved.

Add onions, celery and bell pepper and sauté until wilted then add lemon, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, Tabasco, Worchestershire, Season All and salt to pan and reduce heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes.

Cut okra into small pieces, combine with remaining fat and cook slowly in small pot until okra is no longer ropey. Stir to prevent scorching or browning then add to gumbo mixture and cook for at least 20 minutes

Add shrimp, crab meat and 10 minutes later, oysters.

Add water to create soupy consistency. Cook for 20 minutes after the mixture has started boiling.

Serve over rice with parsely and chopped onions.

SHRIMP STUFFED MIRLITON
Chef John Folse Culinary Institute

SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS
3 Mirlitons, sliced lengthwise (substitute another squash or eggplant if mirliton is unavailable)

1/4 lb butter

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

1/4 cup diced garlic

1/2 lb diced ham

salt and pepper to taste

pepper sauce to taste

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup shrimp, peeled and devained

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

6 pats of butter

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 375° F. Boil mirlitons in lightly salted water until flesh is tender enough to scoop from the shells. Once tender, remove and cool under tap water.

Using a metal spoon, remove seeds from the center of the mirlitons and gently scoop all flesh out of the shell. Reserve flesh and save shells for stuffing later.

In a 4-quart sauce pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Sauté onions, celery, peppers, garlic and ham for approximately 15 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add chicken stock should vegetable mixture become dry during cooking.

Add mirlitons and shrimp and continue cooking approximately 25-30 minutes or until mixture is well incorporated.

Remove from heat and season to taste using salt, pepper, pepper sauce and parsley. Sprinkle in seasoned bread crumbs to absorb excess liquid.

Stuff mirliton mixture into the shells, dividing equally into 6 portions.

Place stuffed mirlitons on a baking pan and top with one pat of chipped butter and remaining bread crumbs. Bake until golden brown.

 

PECAN PIE
SERVES 8-12

INGREDIENTS
3 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup of sugar
1 rounded tablespoon of all purpose flour
1 ½ cups of dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of pecans
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the eggs in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and flour together and stir to blend. Add the sugar mixture to the eggs. Add the corn syrup, vanilla and pecans. Fold into the mixture. Pour mixture into the pie shell and bake until the filling sets, about 45 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and cool for a few minutes before slicing to serve.

As always, all our best from Bayou Country and Happy Thanksgiving!


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