Speaking of killing things, we than drove by the westwego fish market, a series of stalls wherein people who aren’t to lazy to get a boat and a trap go catch fish, crab, crawfish (mudbugs, as we affectionately call them down here, ya’ll), shrimp etc, buy from people who do go catch these things.
We bought live crawfish, live crabs, well behaved dead shrimp, and had us a crawfish boil. Once we had the seafood we only need boil seasoning, little red ‘taters and some corn on the cob, and a few lemons.
Now the crabs were exactly what we’d wanted them to be, fat and feisty, claws waving around, one got out at the stall and tried to escape. If this were a disney movie we would have all become fast friends and Mr. Crab would live a happy life singing song- but this is our movie and Mr. Crab joined the rest of his friends on the plate.
The mudbugs were also a lively crew, so on the way home we can hear both the crabs and mudbugs trying to escape from their paper sacks-o-doom.
One actually made some progress:
But he didn’t get the hole big enough.
Into the pool guys. Jim and I picked up this fryer/boiler at the thrift store, We have fried a turkey and now had a boil!
I leave you with this, the finished product. Nom nom!
I love meringues. Some egg white, sugar, touch of salt, and a sprinkle of fairy dust. How else does one explain what happens when I whip those ingredients together and come out with a crispy outside, soft inside, pillow of yumminess. Okay, it could be explained with chemistry, but I’ll stick with fairy dust and magic!
Meringue is a terrific cookbook full of great ideas. I made the vacherin, and I liked that she gave a lemon curd recipe that used all the yolks from the egg whites that made the meringue.
This was delicious, but I would prefer blackberries or blueberries with the lemon, the strawberries were a little sweet and not as complimentary.
The Cherries Jubilee pavlova was a huge hit
But the favorite had to be the Nocciola Baci… delicious and Wow! Two of my favorite things, meringues and nutella!
Recipe adapted from Meringue by Linda Jackson
1 1/2 cups (about 6.75 oz) blanched, chopped hazelnuts
2 large egg whites, room temperature *
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablesp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
1/2 tablesp sifted powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 200 degrees
In a food processor pulse hazelnuts until finely ground, set aside
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar, increasing speed to medium high until soft peaks form. Add sat then gradually add the superfine sugar followed by the powdered sugar, about a tablesp at a time, beating high until peaks are stiff and glossy. Add hazelnuts and mix just until incorporated.
Wiht a rubber spatula, divide the meringue mixture roughly in half in the mixing bowl. use half of the mixture to make plain cookies by dropping well sounded teaspoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Add the cocoa powder to the remaining meringue mixture and beat just until combined. Drop by tsp onto another parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 90 min. Remove from the oven immediately so that the cookies will remain a little bit chewy in the center. Cool completely before removing from baking sheets.
Chocolate hazelnut filling
In a small bowl mix the nutella and powdered sugar until incorporated.
Gently spread about 1/2 tsp filling on to the bottom (flat side) of one cocoa cookie, then place the flat side of the plain cookie on top. Gently press together** Repeat. Eat right away or store in airtight containter with wax paper separating the layers of cookies.
*It’s easier to separate the eggs when cold, then let come to room temp lightly covered with plastic wrap
** Gently! Otherwise cookies look like HULK SMASH!
This is a super simple supper that is sure to get raves from the family.
Start with green beans adapted from the fabulous “Dollars to Donuts,” by Dawn Welch (and while your there check out the incredible oven fried chicken, it is so good!)
1 lb green beans, trim off ends and cut in the middle
4 slices bacon
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper
Get a skillet and cut up 4 slices of bacon into 1/2 inch pcs and brown over med high heat. Add onion and garlic and turn to med, cook until onion starts to soften and get translucent. Add beans, salt, pepper, and a cup of water (beans should be 1/2 submerged, so adjust as needed), bring to a boil. Cover Loosely, turn down to med-low and cook until spoon tender, 30 min (I like letting them go a little longer but taste and take them off when you like the texture)
Cut up a cauliflower, put in microwave safe container with a tablespoon or so of water, cover, cook on high 12-15 min. Mash with butter or butter like stuff (I like shed spread) and add salt and pepper.
Tilapia with Garlic Butter (from about recipes)
In saucepan, combine butter, garlic, pepper, salt, dillweed, and paprika. Heat over low heat until butter is melted and starts simmering. Remove from heat. Brush a little of the butter mixture in the bottom of a shallow baking dish (line baking dish with foil, if desired) then place tilapia fillets on the buttered area. Brush top of each tilapia fillet with the seasoned butter mixture. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes, until tilapia flakes easily with a fork.
EAT! haha, did I really need to say that?
When we were in Katrina, I was introduced to fried spinach, courtesy of Firebird Grill. Fried spinach is a wonderful side, and my sons, who won't touch spinach in any other form, happily munch a pile of fried spinach.
Fried spinach with fried carrots and fried butternut squash:
combine veggies as above, or toss a bit of flour on some squash and eat it alone:
Let's talk equipment and technique:
Frying is basically putting food in hot oil. The thinner you can get the food sliced the faster and crispier the food will fry. I had a very expensive french stainless steel mandolin, but preferred my plain old v-slicer.
Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin
From Diana Rattray,
Your Guide to Southern U.S. Cuisine.
Pork tenderloin is coated with a mixture of chopped pecans, bread crumbs, and seasonings.
1 to 1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
1 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes*
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules or base**
With a sharp knife cut tenderloins into 1/4-inch slices. With a meat mallet gently pound each slice to about 1/8-inch thickness. In a shallow bowl or on waxed paper, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. In a shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk the eggs and water. In another shallow bowl or on waxed paper, combine bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley.
Dip the tenderloin pieces into flour mixture, then into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumb and pecan mixture, coating well.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook tenderloin pieces, 1/3 or 1/2 at a time, until lightly browned on both sides and cooked through. Add more oil as necessary.
Place browned tenderloin on a warm platter or tray and keep warm while cooking remaining pieces.
Add the 3/4 cup water and chicken bouillon granules to the drippings in the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring to loosen browned bits; continue to boil for 1 minute. Pour over pork.
* I don't have dried parsley, so I used a tablespoon Italian seasoning
**I used a packet of herb-ox chicken