Crawfish Etouffee

1 c Butter; (2 sticks)
1 1/2 c Chopped onion
1 c Chopped green pepper
1 c Chopped celery
3 Garlic cloves; minced
1 ts Salt; or to taste
1 ts TABASCO pepper sauce
2 tb Crawfish fat; (see Note)
2 lb Shelled crawfish tails; (6-7 lbs in shell)
1/2 Lemon; juiced
1/2 c Chopped fresh parsley
1/2 c Chopped green onion; green part only
Cooked rice

In Dutch oven or large heavy pot, melt butter and cook onion, green pepper, celery and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add salt, TABASCO sauce and crawfish fat, and cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add crawfish tails, lemon juice and parsley. Cook another 10 to 15 minutes. Just before serving, add chopped green onion. For best flavor, prepare dish the day before. Remove from refrigerator an hour before serving, and reheat just until hot to avoid overcooking crawfish. Serve over steamed white rice.


Albondigas Estilo Mama - Meatballs Like Mama Makes

1/4 c Masa harina; mixed with 1/4 c Warm water
1 lb Ground beef
1 Garlic clove; minced
4 tb Lard or vegetable oil
3 Garlic cloves
1 tb Flour
2 qt Fresh homemade beef or chicken stock
1/4 c Chopped scallions; both the white and the green parts
1 lg Tomato; roasted, peeled, and chopped -; (If you are unable to find truly ripe tomatoes; add 4 tablespoons canned tomato sauce)
2 Anaheim or California long green chiles OR jalapenos; roasted, peeled, and chopped
3 tb Finely-chopped cilantro; leaves only
3 tb Chopped fresh mint; leaves only

Combine masa harina with warm water. Mix ground meat with prepared masa, salt, pepper, garlic. Make meatballs about 1-inch round, about the size of a walnut. Set aside. In medium saute pan heat 2 tablespoons lard or oil over medium heat. Add 1 whole garlic clove. Let cook for 20 seconds, press with back of a cooking spoon to release the flavor. Remove the garlic. Set aside. Brown the flour in the lard until dark golden color, about 1 minute. Heat stock in soup pot or large Dutch oven until warm and add flour mixture. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer stock for 5 minutes. Taste and correct seasoning. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil in large frying pan, add chopped scallion, tomato, chiles and the reserved 2 garlic cloves, minced, stir well to combine. Cook for 2 minutes and add to stock. Add cilantro and mint and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the meatballs to the stock and simmer over low fire for 15 minutes or until done. This recipe yields about 45 mall meatballs.


Arkansas Poke Greens

1 1/2 lb Fresh, young poke shoots
8 Slices bacon
6 Eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

Check poke shoots carefully; remove pulpy stems and discolored spots on leaves thoroughly; drain well.

Place poke shoots and water to cover in an 8-quart Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until poke is tender. Drain well and chop. Set aside.

Cook bacon in a medium skillet over low heat until crisp. Drain bacon; reserve 3 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon. Add chopped poke and bacon to bacon drippings; cook over medium heat 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in eggs; cook over medium heat, stiring often, until eggs are firm but still moist. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Apple and Cabbage Chicken

8 sl Bacon, cut in 1" pieces
1 c Chopped onions
1/2 c Celery, cut in 1/2" pieces
2 ea Tb butter or margarine 2 1/2 ea 3 lb chicken thighs
1/3 c Apple juice
1 1/2 t Caraway seed
1 t Salt
1/4 t Pepper
1 sm Head cabbage, cut in eight wedges
2 md Tart apples, cut into sixths

In dutch oven, cook bacon until softened. add onion and celery; continue to cook until vegetables are tender (2-3 minutes). Remove from pan; set aside. Add butter to pan, heat until sizzling. Place half of chicken in pan. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until chicken is lightly browned. Remove from pan, repeat with remaining chicken. Reduce heat to medium, return chicken and bacon to pan. Add remianing ingredients except cabbage and apples. Place cabbage on top to steam. Cover; continue cooking, basting occasionally, until chicken is fork tender and cabbage is crisply tender (15-20 minutes). Top with apples. Cover, continue cooking until apples are crisply tender (10-15 minutes).


Beef Braised in Beer

1/2 c Flour
2 ts Salt
1/4 ts Pepper
1 1/2 lb Beef chuck; cubed
3 tb Oil
2 c Onions; sliced
2 Cl Garlic; minced
1 Bay leaf
2 tb Tomato paste
2 tb Brown sugar
2 tb Chopped parsley
1 cn Beef broth
2 c Beer

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge meat in mixture. Heat oil in Dutch oven; brown meat. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer. Cover and bake in oven 2 hours.


Braggin' Rights Chicken Fried Steak

2 lb Roundsteak, sliced 1/2 inch thick and twice-tenderized by the butcher
2 c All-purpose flour
2 ts Baking powder
1 ts Baking soda
1 ts Fresh ground black pepper
3/4 ts Salt
1 1/2 c Buttermilk
1 lg Egg
1 tb Hot red pepper sauce
2 Garlic cloves, minced
Crisco for deep frying

Classic Cream Gravy
1/4 c Pan drippings
3 tb All-purpose flour
2 c Evaporated milk
1 c Unsalted beef stock
1/2 ts Fresh ground black pepper
Salt to taste

Mashed potatoes
Homemade buttermilk biscuits

Cut steak into 4 equal portions. Pound until each is about 1/4 inch thick. Place flour in a shallow bowl. In a second dish, stir together baking powder, soda, pepper and salt; mix in buttermilk, egg, pepper sauce and garlic. The mixture will be thin.

Dredge each steak first in flour, then in batter. Dunk steaks back into flour and dredge well, patting in the flour until the surface of the meat is dry.
Add enough shortening to a deep cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven to deep fry steaks in at least 4 inches of fat. Bring temperature of shortening to 325 degrees. Fry the steaks, pushing them under the fat or turning them as they bob to the surface, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Drain steaks on paper towels and transfer to a platter. Keep warm while preparing Classic Cream Gravy.

Divide steaks among 4 plates and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.

CLASSIC CREAM GRAVY: After cooking chicken-fried steak or similar dish, pour off the top fat through a strainer, leaving about 1/2 cup pan drippings in the bottom of the skillet. Return any browned cracklings from the strainer to the skillet before starting the gravy. Place skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring to avoid lumps. Add milk and stock. Simmer until liquid is thickened and the raw flour taste is gone, about 3 minutes. Stir the gravy up from the bottom frequently, scraping up any browned bits. Season with pepper and salt. Makes about 3 cups.

French-Fried Shrimp

2 lb Unpeeled medium-size fresh shrimp
1 c All-purpose flour
1 1/2 ts Baking powder
1/2 ts Salt
2/3 c Water
3 tb Lemon juice
1 tb Vegetable oil
1 lg Egg, lightly beaten
Vegetable oil

Peel shrimp, leaving tails intact; devein, if desired.

combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add water and next 3 ingredients; stir until smooth.

Pour oil to depth of 2 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 375 degrees. Dip shrimp into batter, and fry, a few at a time, until golden. Drain on paper towels.


All-American Beef Brisket

1 c Dry red wine or beef broth
1 Pack mushroom onion soup mix
2 1/2 lb Thin cut beef brisket trimmed of fat
12 sm (1 1/2 lb) well scrubbed red potaotes
9 md Carrots cut in 2" chunks

Heat oven to 350. Pour wine into 4-5 quart dutch oven. Stir in soup mix until blended. Add beef & turn to coat. Cover & bake 2 hours. Add potatoes & carrots. Cover & bake 1 hour longer or until meat & vegetables are tender. Remove meat to a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil & let stand 10 minutes. Cut in thin slices against the grain. Arrange on serving platter with vegetables. Spoon some gravy over meat. Serve with remaining gravy.

Front Porch Fried Catfish

10 1/2 c Cornbread mix
1 tb Garlic powder
2 tb Dried thyme
6 Whole catfish fillets, (3/4- to I-pound)
1 c Buttermilk
1 tb Salt
2 ts Black pepper, ground
2 ts Red pepper, ground
Peanut oil

Combine first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish. Dip fillets in buttermilk, allowing excess to drip off; sprinkle with salt and peppers, and dredge in cornbreadmixture.

Pour oil to depth of 4 inches into an electric fryer or Dutch oven; heat to 400F. Fry fillets, two at a time, 2 to 3 minutes or until they float; drain on paper towels. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings


Greek Style Scampi

1 ts Olive Oil
5 Cloves Garlic, Minced
56 oz Whole Tomatoes, Drain, Coarse Chop
1/2 c Chopped Fresh Parsley, Divided 1 1/4 lb Large Shrimp, Peel, Devein
4 oz Crumbled Lowfat Feta Cheese, (1 C)
2 tb Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 ts Fresh Ground Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 deg F.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over med heat. Add garlic; saute 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and 1/4 C parsley. Reduce heat; simmer 10 min. Add shrimp; cook 5 min. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9" baking dish; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400 deg F for 10 min. Sprinkle with 1/4 C parsley, lemon juice, and pepper.

Yield: 6 servings

Acorn Squash Puppies

1 (1-3/4 lb) acorn squash
2 c Self-rising cornmeal
1/4 c All-purpose flour
1 lg Egg; lightly beaten
1/2 c Milk
1/2 c Onion; finely chopped
Vegetable oil

Cut acorn squash in half crosswise; remove from seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a shallow baking dish or pan. Add water to baking dish to depth of 1/2 inch. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain. Scoop out pulp, discarding shells. Place pulp in container of an electric blender or food processor; process until smooth. Measure 1-1/4 cups squash puree; set aside. Reserve any additional puree for other uses. Combine cornmeal and flour in a bowl; make a well in center. Set aside. Combine squash puree, egg, milk, and onion. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a Dutch oven; heat to 360F. Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls into hot oil. Cook 2 minutes or until golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Yield: 2 dozen.

Balsamico Chicken with Olives

1/2 Recipe Fricasseed Chicken, frozen or fresh
3 tb Tomato paste
1/2 c Low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c Balsamic vinegar
3/4 c Pitted green olives; drained
1 tb Chopped fresh parsley

Defrost the fricasseed chicken, if frozen. Arrange the chicken pieces in an oven-proof casserole or Dutch oven. Combine the tomato paste, broth and vinegar in a small bowl, and add to the chicken. Add the olives, cover and place in the oven. Turn the oven on to 375 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the fricassee sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat, and cook until it is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, about 5-to-10 minutes. Uncover the casserole and strain the sauce over the chicken. Continue to bake, uncovered, another 5 minutes. To serve, arrange the chicken and sauce in a serving bowl or on a deep serving platter, and sprinkle with the parsley.


Braised Red Cabbage

1 sm Onion; chopped
1 Clove garlic; minced
1/2 ts Dried thyme; crumbled
1/4 ts Celery seeds
2 Bay leaves
1/2 ts Lemon rind; grated
1/2 ts Salt
1/4 ts Ground white pepper
2 tb Olive oil
1 1/2 qt Water
1 c Red wine vinegar
1/4 c Salt
8 c Red cabbage; thinly sliced
2 tb Red wine vinegar
1/4 c Chicken broth

Cook the first 8 ingredients in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the onion is tender. Combine the water, 1 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup salt in a large Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring constantly, 10 seconds and drain. Add the cabbage, 2 tablespoons vinegar and chicken broth to onion mixture and bring to a boil.

Cover and reduce heat, simmering 15 minutes or until cabbage is crisp tender. Remove and discard the bay leaves.