Sunday, May 31, 2009

Calling All Cooks

My buddy Flea put up a recipe for fried chicken the other day just like my long dead Granny used to do and has me hankering for some Southern style grub and I am talking South, as in Cajun style.
I love that kind of food and have been scouring the net for a true blue jambalaya recipe.

I do believe I found one but what I am really looking for now is what spices go into "Cajun Spice"

There seems to be some serious wannabes out there and I am looking for the real deal.
I want good recipes for Jambalaya, Blackened fish and Gumbo, anything Southern.
If ya have something, I am asking ya ta put it in the comments, I am serious, all comers and spread the word.
I want this post to break the record for comments by a wide margin so I can have my own little cook book for the good stuff.

Things like vanilla pudding with bananas and Vanilla Wafers that she used to make, even that nasty green jello with walnuts, bring it on!

I have also been looking for, for over three years now, the secret to my Grannies brown beans, she came out of Tennessee and I have come damn close, but no cigar.

The last time I found anyone who could duplicate that simple style of Southern cooking was when I went to my Grandfathers funeral in Carroll County, Tennessee, in 1999.
I found a little Mom and pop diner in the tiny town next to where my Grandfather lived and ordered Pork Chops and Lo and Behold, there were my Grannies beans.
I actually teared up and went and found that dear heart lady and gave her a hug, then I asked fer some more of those wonderful beans.

The poor dear thought I must have been starving for years because I am such a skinny bastard to begin with but she was awful proud that I ate so much.
Lovely lady.

I miss eating Southern food so bad it hurts.
So, if ya would, and I am looking at you, Larue,be so kind as to post as many links or recipes for some good old fashioned Granny food, I would be eternally grateful.
Deep fried is a beautiful thing and Corn Bread is my friend.
Let me warn ya, I ain't kidding when I say I have been looking for three years for my Grannies Bean recipe, I have had folks contact Southern food experts and authors, it has something to do with that little area of Tennessee. Some damn thing I am missing.
I finally figured out the texture, ya gotta boil the shit out of them in a sauce pan and stir the shit out them while yer at it. Oh, and Mexene chili powder is part of this mystery, I am still missing something.
Thanks fer stopping by and my belly thanks you in advance.

15 comments:

  1. Dood...I'm so there with you. I've been wanting to get some good real southern recipes for years. The Food Toobs (Food Network, Epicurious, etc) think my pantry is so big has its own zip code. They mention shit that I KNOW southern cooks don't use. It's all CIA shit.

    A shipmate of mine fixed his chicken and dirty rice during a campout years ago. Damn...can still taste it! He was from Marrero, LA. Cajun all the way!

    All I can do is northwest style.

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  2. I can only point you to the many recipes on this guy's blog, he was asking the same question.
    http://ask.metafilter.com/98272/Teach-me-how-to-bean-it-up
    I make bean soup but it's not what you're looking for, I bet.

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  3. I miss southern food too.... All we have down here is Mexican. I love it, but not EVERY FREAKIN' DAY.......

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  4. Warning: long comment post

    Sorry I don't have a recipe close to your Granny's beans, but I do have some other Southern recipes for you (and you can find a whole bunch more on my blog).

    Fried Catfish
    Enough catfish fillets for 3 or 4 medium pieces per person.
    1 cup Yellow Corn Meal (This should be enough to coat the catfish fillets)
    2 teaspoons Lawry's Seasoned Salt
    Crisco or your favorite vegetable cooking oil.
    (Enough to cover the catfish).

    The secret to fried catfish is cooking it at just the right temperature to seal in the moisture and flavor. When you first drop it into the grease you
    want to seal it and then cook it.

    Rinse the fillets thoroughly and then pat dry with a paper towel.

    Roll the catfish fillets in a mixture of corn meal and Lawry's
    Seasoned Salt. If you cannot find
    Lawry's Seasoned Salt, then your favorite seasoned salt will have to do. It's just that Lawry's Seasoned Salt is a southern favorite. A quick way to coat
    the fish in the corn meal and season mixture is to place it in a plastic bag and just shake it.

    Heat oil over medium heat (about 325 degrees). Fry until fish turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Dump onto paper towels and allow to drain.

    Pecan Pie
    1 cup Karo (pronounced KAY-roe) syrup (or other corn syrup) - light or dark, your preference
    3 eggs
    1 cup white sugar
    1 Tbsp. butter, melted
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 1/2 c. pecan halves
    1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked

    Mix syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla together. Stir in pecans. Pour into pie crust.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool before serving.

    Fried Green Tomatoes
    Green tomatoes, sliced
    Buttermilk
    Cornmeal
    Seasoned salt (optional)
    Oil, shortening, or bacon grease

    In a large skillet, heat oil/shortening/bacon grease (I use bacon grease - I'm a Southerner and it's basically the law that we must save all manner of bacon grease!) over medium heat.

    Wash and slice green tomatoes. I slice mine pretty thick, but it's your own personal preference how thick you want yours sliced.

    Pour some buttermilk in a bowl. Pour some cornmeal in another bowl. Sprinkle some seasoned salt into the cornmeal (to taste) and stir to mix. The seasoned salt is optional. You can also use your favorite cajun seasoning, Old Bay, Mrs. Dash, or whatever you like. I like mine a little on the spicy side.

    Dip tomato slices in buttermilk, then dredge in cornmeal.

    Fry in oil/shortening/bacon grease until golden brown on both sides. Try not to turn them over a lot or they will get soggy and fall apart. The best way is to cook on one side for 2-3 minutes, then flip them over.

    Watergate Salad (this is the nasty green jello stuff with nuts)
    1 pk (small) lime jello
    1 c Hot water
    1 8 oz. container of Cool Whip
    1 pk (8 oz.) cream cheese; softened
    1 can (small) crushed pineapple;
    drained
    1 c Pecan pieces

    Mix lime jello and hot water and set aside. Stir Cool Whip,cream cheese, pineapple and pecan pieces together. Add cool jello mixture. Stir together and refrigerate until firm.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Check out:
    http://www.zatarains.com/
    Don't turn your nose up at the
    packaged products - these are good - both on their own and as a base to tune up. Site also has a recipe section.
    You won't go wrong at the Tabasco site either.
    There are some good recipes at the sites of famous New Orleans restaurants also.
    My usual procedure with a printed recipe is to consider it a starting point - other than those for baked goods - I very seldom repeat a printed recipe unmodified.
    Good luck with your search!

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  6. Jeg43 nails a FINE product, that I've used a lot over the past few years for camping at fests.

    Zatarains. All their rices and beans and other products are top shelf tasting. A bit pricey, but to cut that down you'd have to shop and buy all the stuff and make it yerself . . . for bachelors, just buy the boxes, and follow directions.


    TennZenn makes a great point, that Southern food is different from Cajun. And well, I find southern food to be highly underseasoned for my personal tastes . . . it's simple, it's comfort food.

    For instance, the fried catfish he's talking about.

    I used to make that . . . but we'd put cajun spices in a batter, along with dark beer, and fry it. Topped with a nice lemon buerre blanc . . .

    Flour
    Cajun spices
    Buttermilk
    Dark Beer

    Follow his directions, pat dry, dredge, and deep fry till done. *G*

    This is a basic recipe from the internet. It's a GOOD one. I'd only add ground coriander to it. For bachelors, just buy your fav mix, and read the labels for the ingredients.

    CAJUN SPICE MIX
    ===============
    1/4 Cup of salt
    2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
    2 Tbsp. paprika
    1-1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
    1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
    1 Tbsp. freshly ground white pepper
    1 Tbsp. garlic powder
    2 tsp. dried basil
    1 tsp. chili powder
    1/4 tsp. dried thyme
    1/4 tsp. ground mustard
    1/8 tsp ground cloves

    Busted, anything recipe I'd post would require a full pantry and larder, and more time than you'll ever have to cook at home from scratch. Buy the boxes, by the mixes, buy the prepared spices, follow the directions, and have fun with it.

    And for god's sake, where ever it says to deep fry, if it don't involve a battter, bake it. Your heart, arteries, and doctor will thank you for it. *G*

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  7. Busted, sorry to say, I just never DID any true Southern Cooking . . . 'cept for shrimp, conch, crap fritters and such.

    But here are a few links to some of my food posts at Betsy's Relaxed Politics that might help broaden your culinary horizons and make what LOOKS complicated, MUCH much easier than ya ever thought it was:

    Stuff To Stuff, And How To Stuff It:

    http://www.relaxedpolitics.com/?p=6973

    Tools Or Toys?

    http://www.relaxedpolitics.com/?p=6601

    Of Puree's And Such

    http://www.relaxedpolitics.com/?p=6445

    What IS It? One Pot Surprises!

    http://www.relaxedpolitics.com/?p=6269

    And Italian Soup, And World's BEST Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe

    http://www.relaxedpolitics.com/?p=5867

    Southwest Buttermilk Cornbread (to die for)

    http://www.relaxedpolitics.com/?p=1364

    Larue's Chili Verde

    http://www.relaxedpolitics.com/?p=3149

    Mangiamo!!! *G*

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  8. Uh, that's sposed to be CRAB fritters, not crap. Although, if ya screw up the recipes for fritters, it IS crap, real, real fast . . lol

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  9. Boy howdy, now were talking.

    Tenn Zenn, yer a doll, that is what I am after and you will be seeing me all over yer place in a day or two!
    Thank you.

    jeg43?
    Oh yeah, I know about Zatarains!
    I have several boxes stashed away and I WANT MORE!

    That is as close to what I am asking for as you can get, except how to actually make it from scratch and THAT is what I am after!!

    Larue, God bless ya!
    THAT is what I am after and I ain't afraid to get out a measuring spoon dude! I knew ya wouldn't leave me hanging.
    Bacon grease is a staple around here, I do remember some things!

    I knew you wouldn't let me down and hell yes I use the packaged stuff but the "Cajun Spice" was always some kind of mystery.
    Yes, there is a huge difference between Southern and Cajun cooking, I WANT IT ALL!

    Thank you all for taking the time to help me out, like I said, I want my very own personal cook book, but I want the real deal.
    Ask yer Grannies and yer Aunts and Cousins, this is just for me, personally.

    Thanks again.

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  10. Holy Crap Larue!

    Why have you not published a cook book full of those recipes?!!
    Dude!

    I can see why you would snort in derision at my novice ass and I used to be a short order cook!!

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  11. One more thing before I fall down tonight,
    TennZen!
    I have run across your place a few times and absolutely loved it but it was generally when I had ten tabs open at the same time, surfing around.
    You are on my Blogroll as of now.
    Thanks fer stopping by and taking the time to leave me those recipe's! Be assured I will be a visiting ya in the near future again!

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  12. The two things I have to have for my cooking is "CUMIN" for the beans...and "FILE'" (which is made from the sassafras leaf) for the cajun dishes. Makes all the difference to me!

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  13. HJIm, yer spot on with the file . . .

    I think the Cajuns also use okra (I have) to thicken things.

    I like to brush okra with extra virgin olive oil, and roast it then puree it.

    Then, that's the product I use to thicken things . . . mixing roasted okra paste with roasted garlic and seasoning that any way ya want makes for a GREAT dipping sauce or a cracker/bread spread. Some balsamic vinegar and cajun spices would go nice in that mix. *G*

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  14. "Blackened fish" isn't actually a Cajun recipe, it is an attempt to replicate a Cajun recipe within a commercial environment. Take a fresh-caught fish, gut/skin/scale it, put some spices on it ( black pepper / red pepper / salt / garlic powder / onion powder ), toss it onto a griddle over an open fire, and turn it when it starts getting crispy on one side or another. That's the original recipe for "blackened fish" as eaten by fishermen out in the field back in the days before motorboats when paddling out into the swamp to a favorite fishing hole, then paddling back, was an all-day affair meaning you had to eat your fresh-caught fish out in the field for lunch via whatever means was available.

    - Badtux the Cajun Penguin

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  15. Larue, okra is typically used by Creoles, not Cajuns, to thicken things. As the term is used in South Louisiana, Creoles are French-speaking / Cajun-influenced black people. Cajuns typically use file' to thicken things. It's all good though.

    - Badtux the Cajun Penguin

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