Bonjour my fellow home chefs!
Summer is leaving us and the Great Pumpkin is on
the way along with the grand old Turkey! This will be the last
newsletter for the season and I'll be back after the New Year. I
wish you all well.
Wash the meat good!
We buy chops, steak, roast, chicken, etc. Before we cook it we
wash it like there is a meat show coming up and your meats' chrome
plating needs a big shine. What about ground meat? Do you wash that?
No, you plop it into the bowl and start working it. What's the deal?
Washing meat simply gets any saw remnants and lingering dirt off of
it. Cooking it is what sterilizes it (makes it fit for consumption).
What's my point? Quit freaking out!!!
Many of us coonies eat sausage at least once a week
in one way shape or form. We use it in Gumbo's, red beans and the
like, and, sausage is just another seasoning in some instances. So
what makes sausage so special? That depends on which brand and type
of sausage you use. For the most part smoked sausage is used for the
seasoning effect. Homemade or fresh sausage pretty much keeps to
itself, but, is also good in a dish. So now we have two trains of
thought... sausage "the seasoning" and sausage "the independent".
After saying all of that I don't want you to think
each scenario is "cooking law"! If you're a sausage connoisseur
you know what I mean.
Brand name and price have a direct effect on the
final product. In general the cheaper the price the more filler
there will be. Fillers include fat and water. Fat is cheap and water
is cheaper! When you cook low price sausage on the grill or Q and it
splits apart within 5 minutes it's full of :explosives (fat and
water). A quality smoked sausage won't normally do that. Now you can have
explosive sausage and have great taste too. Is this confusing or
what? Fat makes flavor and I like the flavor of flavor... write that down in your book of things to
remember. Cows don't have a lot of fat... but guess what? Pigs do.
So what is the most common filler? Pork fat.
What's my point in the writings above? Try different
sausages for different dishes. Test, test, test... To me the best
"first" sausage test is the grill or BBQ. That gives you a
starting point. For me heavily smoked sausages are best for gumbos.
The smoke taste adds "body" to a gumbo. Heavily fatted
sausage doesn't appeal to me not so much that it doesn't taste good,
I just don't like all the grease. Commercial smoked I assume is
smoked but you can't really taste the smoke. Local meat markets do a
much better job... search them out; it's well worth your time.
One more point then I'll leave this alone. Boudin is
not sausage although it looks like sausage. Boudin is pretty much
rice dressing but with the perfect combination (ratio) of meat and
rice and stuffed in sausage casing. Now, I'm going to let you in on
another little secret. There is a place just north if Lafayette
called Scott. Many of you know where I'm going with this so just be
patient please. The place is called "The Best Stop". The
name say's it all but here's my point. I mentioned smoking (smoked
meats) above. If you want some if the best smoked stuff they have
it! Let me add to that... If you never had smoked Boudin you've got
to put this stuff on your list of things to do or eat. Here's the
website... it's simple but the contact info is there http://www.thebeststopsupermarket.com/.
They ship all over the U.S. I've never been in the place when
there wasn't 15 people in there at the meat case! I'm not kidding
you... I've never seen anything like it. And when the customers walk
out they look like they just scored a big one at the day after
Thanksgiving Wal-Mart sale! I don't know how else to put it.
To read a lot more about sausage try this link
(funny huh? sausage... link). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sausage
I'll get a grip tomorrow... I'm having flavor withdrawals right at
Ballard Cornbread Mix
Many of you old timers to the site know this already
so y'all can skip on to the next subject; this is for the newcomers.
Ballard Cornbread Mix is well known throughout the South as
"The" cornbread mix to use in Cornbread Dressing. It was
missing for a while but now it's back in a new form.
Read more here...Click
Site for Sale
This site is for sale. If you would like to own the rights to
this site with all of it's content simply write a check out to me
for 10 Million dollars. If you can't afford that then simply keep
coming back and forwarding the site to your friends. Maybe
Donald Trumpodeaux will make me an offer! Let's be serious now, we
all know the Trumpodeaux's never had no big money. I don't make my
money as a comedian as you can well see.
Pepper is hot right? Well, it can be and can't...
you know that so here's the point of the subject matter. Let's go to
a simple dish of gumbo (again). What type of pepper would you use in
a gumbo? Answer: all four. Huh? Okay, we have Bell Pepper (that's a
pepper) cayenne pepper, black pepper and Louisiana Hot Sauce or
Tabasco (I prefer LHS). Why
four you ask? Because each type of pepper abounds from a different
source and each has its' place on the tongue (learned that from Leah
Chase). Here's what separates true Cajuns and Creoles from the
rest. True Cajun/Creole dishes are never really "pepper
hot", they are "pepper enhanced". What that means is
that the right combination of peppers can take the tongue and make
it dance with delight; that takes practice. If your mouth burns or you're sweating
because of the heat produced by various peppers then the cook didn't
take into consideration the fact that all folks' tongues are not
created equal, it makes them mostly feel BIG. You cook a dish with a full flavored body and put the
pepper stuff on the table and let them burn themselves to a frazzle
if they wish . I want to impress the kids...!
Oh Lord, the Turkey is going to catch hell again pretty soon...
Thanksgiving, Christmas. I'm surprised Turkeys are even around
anymore given their sad state of affairs during the season! But,
they hang in there and show up when the time is right. Some folks do
the "T" bird on both occasions. Let me throw a curve to
Turkey. Let me tell you what I did last year. I may have told
some you this already but whatever. I did the R.T. and sliced it all
up nice and pretty. Put the bones in a pan and added a few coals and
a few pieces of pecan wood and smoked the bones for about 3 hours.
Nice and brown they were and had a very nice smoked flavor. My next objective
(have many of those) was a turkey & oyster gumbo...something
about those two that just goes together. Anyway, boiled the bones to
make the stock, took the leftover meat and made us a big gumbo. I
wish I had a big bowl of it now instead of the tacos I'm fixin' to
eat.... I hate it when I do that to myself!
We're going to step back in time a little here and
review an old French seasoning method. The Bouquet Garni was
(and still is) a
combination of fresh herbs and/or spices (disputable) either tied together
or placed in a cheesecloth bag. Well why not just sprinkle the
seasonings from the little jars in my spice cabinet? Years ago they
didn't grind seasonings and if they did the store near your house
possibly wouldn't have them! Therefore you grew your seasonings.
Then, you know that fresh is best right?
So let's move on...
the popular combination used bay leaf, parsley and thyme. There are
other combinations (look it up), but, I'm going to assume that the
choices were based on spices that you wouldn't want to chew, spoon
out of your dish and naturally would season the dish in the way you
wanted it by your choice of the herbs or spices.
This has nothing to do with cooking but I can't
help to pass on a little household info that might help you. Bear
with me. When the lights go out (a common occurrence down here)
we're left in the dark right? Unless of course you have an
"automatic generator" set up. I don't have that. Here's the deal
folks. Sam's Club sells a Sylvania (trusted name in light bulbs)
device that is a combination nightlight, power outage light and
flashlight. It will be in a display all by itself so you'll have to
look for it. There's three lights in a pack for about $20...Here's the
Me to you
I'm going to leave you
with this old story/recipe
This writing is from the
Mme.(Madame) Begue's (Bag-gay's) recipes of old New Orleans Creole
Cookery published in 1937.
following is as it is written:
The praline, a crisp candy made
from the the kernels of nuts boiled in sugar, has been a distinctive
candy of New Orleans from the time of its settlement. In France, the
praline was made by cooking almonds in sugar called, "amande
rissolée dans du sucre." When Louisiana was settled by the
early colonist the housewife substituted the native pecans for the
almonds of the mother country. The name praline is derived from that
of French army man and diplomat, Ceasar du Plesses-Praslin, later
the duc de Choisuel. It was Marshal Praslin who, according to
tradition, first ordered his almonds cooked in sugar int the belief
that served in this fashion they would not cause indigestion. As
Praslin is pronounced "pra-lin," that name was adopted
as the name of the candy.
In the old days only brown sugar was
used in the making of pralines in New Orleans, Today however, white
granulated sugar and cane sirup makes the nutty confection. Into an
ordinary aluminum pot pour a cup of sirup (such as Brer Rabbit or
similar brand) and three cups of Domino granulated white sugar. A
little salt is added. When the sirup and sugar comes to a boil stir
in two cups of hulled pecan kernels-halves and broken pieces mixed.
Stir constantly until the mixture thickens. Prepare beforehand long
strips of waxed paper and with a large spoon drop the mixture on it
in plats or cakes about the size of a small saucer. As they cool and
harden, lift up the paper and turn them upside down.
spelling of Syrup?) You can get this book from some online book
stores. Copy and paste this into your search bar... Mme.Begue's recipes of old New Orleans Creole Cookery.
You'll also read about Mme. Begue's history here and might
be surprised... click
I will wish you all a Great and God filled
Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hope for you that these
economic hard times don't take the spirit of the season away. My
father told me of getting apples and oranges as Christmas
gifts. We're not doing so bad! Thanks you all many times for
visiting the site!!! Please pass it on to others....See ya' next year.
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If you've go a subject you'd like me to research, or, you've done
a little fact finding yourself, don't hesitate to contact me... this
is about us, not me! Cooking is
fun, and, that's what we do here... have fun cooking!
Till next time... eat well...be well.
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