Cooking Louisiana - Newsletter - Nov. 2009

Bonjour my fellow home chefs! I apologize for being late on the Thanksgiving Day stuff and hope you forgive me.

Here is turkey time, ham time, oyster time and whatever time. 

Before we start I want to ask you to say a prayer for a fellow subscriber. His name is Mr. Hulsey from Louisiana and has cancer. Thank you...

I also ask you to please consider sending a check, no matter the amount, to a local food bank or outreach center in your area. They serve the unfortunate and underprivileged. In this one time of the year when we concentrate on our own we should also do a little part to help our fellow people who don't have what we have and at least give a dime so they can have a decent meal. God will thank you for that, believe me.

Home Cooking (again)

With the job losses we're experiencing and lack of money (I've been out of work before) we need to make the ends meet, yet, they always don't. Preparation and forethought can get you through some serious meals in a cheap way. Okay, we have two big events Thanksgiving and Christmas; two meals that need to be different to some degree especially if most of the same people come over to eat.

Turkey is typically a Thanksgiving thing right? Okay, get one that is too big and is on sale. If it's too big you're going to have a lot of meat and bones left over. That equates to gumbos or other turkey dishes for the next event. Okay let's talk ham. Get a ham on sale... buy a big one... too big. Bone in or out... you're looking for a good price and leftovers to make the future meal. You must have a freezer to keep these leftovers naturally.

Vegetables must be fresh to be their best. But frozen veggies are okay. Canned veggies I don't care for... that's me, but they work. 

Here's the bottom line... on these holidays most people want to stuff themselves, sit on the sofa, watch football or whatever and fall asleep for a few minutes, or maybe an hour. The objective is this. Two meats, two or three portions of veggies. Breads, rice (starches) and two or three deserts. That's it. 

Do a holiday meal where you cook two dishes and let others prepare and bring their dishes and the meal is complete. Plan and share the expense (and work).

Here's my old saying... when we run out of food, or somebody doesn't like what we have, there's fast-food places up the street who would just love you to visit. Or, there's bread and butter of which I have both.

Quit spending money to please everyone. If you please 75% of them, you've done your job. If they just came to your home to stuff themselves and they don't like what you have; they haven't come over for the right reason.

I'm not mean, I'm just practical... sorry. If funds are short just be sure everyone knows that you're cooking light and maybe there may be no leftovers to bring home.

Homemade Pies

At this same time through the holidays we always want the best pies to serve as deserts. You already know where to buy the best pies, or may make your own. As you've read before not everybody is the same. Just make sure you have cold milk (naturally), and a good ice cream to throw on top.

Zatarain's' Jambalaya Throwdown

Read it...sorry, to me this makes me think that this contest was not directed to the people of Louisiana. It was not even advertised here to my knowledge. Oh well, it is what it is.

Here's the link... Click

Why is my baked Turkey always dry?

Moist turkey meat, especially the breast, is not hard to achieve. You must have water, not oil, to make it happen. You can buy all the butter basted, butter this and butter that turkey you want. You can even inject them but I'm going to tell you... that's all mostly flavor related which is good but not the secret.

Try this...
Bake the turkey according to the instructions. Prepare about a cup of water and add some seasoning to it right before the turkey is done... Tony's is good or whatever. Heat that water to boiling in the microwave. When the big bird is done don't turn the oven off. Take the bird out of the oven and slit the breast meat away from the breastbone... I didn't say cut it away totally; just slit it, that's the avenue for the introduction of moisture (seasoned water). Now, turn the bird upside down in the pan, pour the hot seasoned water in the pan and cover it. Put it back in the oven for about 15 minutes. Take the turkey out and let it rest for about 10 minutes... don't do anything to it while it is resting; don't even uncover it. (We're done with the oven for this bird). It's soaking up moisture. Now we need to add two things after the resting and here they are... moisture and flavor... sounds good? Let's do it.

Uncover the bird. Turn it over, breast up. Lean the pan to one side and get a serving spoon and start basting. Baste for a few minutes and recover. Let it set a minute uncover and baste again. It's all over after that. You have introduced as much moisture as you can. Carve as you wish and here's my method (I hate stringy breast meat) and tradition pictures of turkey carvings are all show. Click here 

Since we're on turkey let's talk turkey gravy. A recent issue of Consumer Reports says that Knorr Turkey Gravy mix is the best. Click Here... I'm testing it myself this year.

Swine Flu

The gatherings are coming... the Swine Flu and other illnesses are out there. They all transfer by human contact. Human contact includes serving spoon handles and holiday kisses just to name a few. No lip to lip kisses and WASH YOUR HANDS before serving yourself or doing anything! Get the word out, watch the kids, put up temporary signs (Wash Your Hands). All it takes is one person who doesn't follow the rules.

Purple Hull Peas and the New Years meal

The New Years meal includes black-eyed peas correct? It's one of the "good luck" dishes.

Well, you don't have to tell "all your secrets" right? You can cook purple hull peas, which are more flavorful, and tell the customers that "we have black eyed peas", and, they look the same. They look at them and assume they are black-eyed peas because they look so much alike. BUT the flavor will be greater (as you well know if you've visited the site). And you'll be the hero until you tell them the truth; kinda like the Santa Clause deal. It's all honest eating to a point; kinda like a cooking secret that was never really a secret but could only be revealed until the "right time"... If Santa is a "white lie"... well, a simple bean qualifies... what do you think?
Look here... 


Cabbage is a fall and winter crop veggie. Pound for pound it's good for you, and in the vegetable family it's proven to reduce breast cancer. You go look it up... 

Raw Oysters

We had a threat of the FDA closing or banning raw oyster sales because 15 people a year... excuse me... 15 people a year, die from a bacteria? How many people die from texting while they're driving? Give me a dang break. Okay, don't get me started... but I started it huh? Anyway, for now, we're good to go....this is not over.
Two bills in Washington have been introduced to at least help protect the industry and the precious raw oyster.
If you want to look them up they are House bill # 4022 and Senate Bill # 2752. I'm going look for a sack of raw oysters me....

Thanks and God Bless You

I do my best in my small way to offer a few cooking tips from a Cajun's perceptive. I unlike others am not a chef or a noted book author. I do this one thing for you. I give you from my experience in life the best of what I know and that's it. I'm not fake or otherwise...this website is not about making money, it's about cooking Cajun and Creole style in your home. If I make you laugh that's even better.

I thank each and every one of you for being subscribers to my site. I hope to have added a little knowledge in not only cooking but in safe cooking... both go hand in hand. I don't know you all personally but I wish I did. With that I bid you God's blessings a peaceful and happy Christmas and a fun-filled New Years Day.

You tell a joke and people smile... you cook a good meal and they never forget. Love to you all....and don't burn the roux!.


That's it for now folks... be well and happy cooking! I'll be back in the near future.
Please click on the ads on the right of each page... you'll help finance the newsletter and website... merci' beaucoup (lots of thanks).

Happy Thanksgiving!



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