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Friday, July 02, 2010

New Orleans Recipes: Day One


My mom and I decided to have a few days of cooking in the kitchen. We picked out some recipes from some cookbooks that I got at the library.
Here is a picture of our first project: Crawfish Bisque
Ingredients:
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. all purpose flour
You have to make a roux for this dish. A roux is the base for many cajun/ creole dishes and can be made with olive oil or butter and flour. You are heating the oil and then slowly adding the flour while stirring constantly. I use a large wooden spoon, but a whisk works well too, and the longer you cook your roux the darker it will be. The lighter the roux, the thicker it will be in your dish. The main trick is to stir it constantly and don't let it get too hot. You have to keep it moving so it won't burn.
This dish calls for a blonde roux.
Once you have your roux, you add your chopped seasonings:
1.5 c yellow onion, 1.5 c celery, 1/2 c. green pepper, 1/2 c. green onion, 3 cloves garlic minced
1/4 c. fresh parsley, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Onion, Celery and Green Pepper are usually called the trinity, as the three are found in so many cajun/ creole recipes.
Cook these until they are tender, stirring often. Then add 4 cups seafood stock slowly while stirring. Cover and simmer one hour, stirring occasionally.
Two minutes before serving, add 3 lbs crawfish tails and 1 cup heavy cream. Also you can add salt, pepper, cayenne here to flavor. You'll need to turn the heat back up to warm the bisque.
You can serve this over rice, but I like mine plain with warm French bread to dip in it.
While our bisque simmered, my mom made this simple chocolate silk recipe.
Chocolate Silk:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 oz. high quality semi-sweet chocolate, in pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
In a medium saucepan, heat the heavy cream, butter, and sugar stirring with a wire whisk bringing it just to a boil. Put your chocolate pieces in a large bowl. We used the tiny chocolate morsels, but this would be really divine with dark chocolate pieces broken up. Pour the hot cream over your chocolate pieces. Let it sit for 30 seconds, then gently stir with a spoon mixing until creamy. We poured ours into these small dessert glasses, it filled four. You could also put this in a pie shell. Refrigerate 2 hours. Right out of the fridge, these have a very solid pie texture, but if you let it sit for 30 minutes, it is like a pudding. Very rich!
Here's my favorite: Blueberry and Blackberry Crumble
The crumble part can be made in advance. It's good one week in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
Crumble:
1/2 c almond slices and 1/4 c. quick oats
Heat oven to 325 to toast almond slices. Toast almond slices 8 min. Add oats and toast for another 4-6 minutes.
Take out and put on the side.
4 tablespoons butter, 1/4 c. sugar, 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 c. all purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon salt
In a bowl beat butter, sugar and brown sugar with a wire whisk. Stir in vanilla. With a fork add the flour, cinnamon and salt. You want chunky nuggets. Freeze 10 minutes. Add almonds and oats, cover and refrigerate.
Heat oven to 350
Berry Filling:
1lb (4c) blueberries, 1 lb (4c) blackberries, zest of 1/2 lemon and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons corn starch, 2 tablespoon-1/4c sugar depending on bitterness of berries
We actually used less blackberries to cut down on the bitterness, and I used only 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Place berries, lemon juice and zest in a bowl. Sweeten with sugar. Add cornstarch and toss. Transfer to 8 in. baking dish. Cover with the crumble. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch berry drippings. Bake until berries bubble or just under one hour.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Yum!
The crawfish bisque and chocolate silk recipes came from the book: Cajun and Creole Cooking with Miss Edie and the Colonel and the crumble came from the book Dam Good Sweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth New Orleans Style

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