I once asked my granny what the difference was between creole, and cajun food. I can’t remember everything that she told me, but basically both types of food had their origins in the same region; Louisiana. Creole food was food that was fixed up in rich sauces, and cajun food was basically one dish meals, with the mainstay of their ingredients from Mother Nature herself.
For me, Mardi Gras has always been synonymous good parties, good friends and good food. I have here three recipes that will help you to have a Mardi Gras celebration with your friends and family, that will make this time synonymous with good food, for you.
Grease a 1 ½ quart casserole dish and set aside; also heat water for your boiling water bath.
Scald 1 ¾ cup of milk, then add 1 tablespoon of butter.
While milk is scalding, slightly beat 4 eggs, 1 can of cream-style corn, 2 tablespoons chopped pimento, 1 small jalepeno, seeded and chopped, 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion.. Mix this all together then add 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. As you beat this all together, slowly add the scalded milk, then pour into greased casserole dish.
Bake this in a boiling water bath at 300° F for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted halfway between center and edge of the casserole.
*To do a boiling water bath, I use a roaster pan, place my casserole dish on the inside and add boiling water up to the same level as the ingredients in casserole; then bake in the oven.
2 slices bacon – cut into small pieces
¼ cup chopped onion
1 jalepeno pepper – seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup of fresh tomato pulp
¼ cup water
2 ½ cups cooked rice
2 cups shrimp (I will sometimes use scallops instead of shrimp. It also makes good jambalaya)
Pinch of thyme, salt and pepper
In saucepan, render fat from the bacon then add onion and jalepeno and saute until done. Stir in flour and add tomato pulp and water. Bring these just to boiling then stir in cooked rice and shrimp. Add the seasonings. Stir over very low heat for about 10 minutes. Put jambalaya into serving dish and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
For my next recipe, I really did debate between this one and my Gumbo. In fact, I feel that my Gumbo is out of this world, but then so are my fried frog legs. These really are yummy.
Fried Frog Legs
I use a large cast-iron skillet, but if you have a skillet that is heavy, that will do.
Make sure your frog legs are skinned; then soak in 2 quarts of salt water. I use about 1 tablespoon of salt. After these have soaked about a half hour. Take them out of the salt water and drain on folded paper towels.
Put 1 cup of milk in bowl and set aside
In another bowl – ½ cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper and set aside.
Heat in the skillet over low heat 2/3 cup butter or margarine. Add to the skillet and cook about 5 minutes 1 clove of garlic thinly sliced.
Remove garlic – oil is ready – dip frog legs first in milk then in flour mixture. Fry until golden brown, turning as necessary with tongs. Drain on paper towels. Serve with Hot Lemon Butter Sauce:
Combine in a small bowl
1 cup butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne
Place this in microwave for about 30 seconds to one minute until melted.
Enjoy the dishes – Happy Mardi Gras!