Aug 192012

Crawfish Beignets
Crawfish Etouffee
Dirty Rice and Hush Puppies
King Cake
Mardi Gras Madness Punch

Crawfish Beignets
Beignets are most notable the sweet doughnut, but this is a mouthwatering savory beignets, yum.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup water
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
hot sauce, to taste
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 pound cooked, shelled and chopped crayfish tails, or shrimp may be substituted

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoons mustard
2-4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced parsley
3 tablespoons minced cilantro
2 tablespoons minced red onion
cayenne pepper or hot sauce, to taste
vegetable oil for frying

In a bowl combine flour and baking soda.
Whisk in 1 cup water.
Stir in garlic, bell pepper, scallions, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, salt and the shrimp, stirring until well combined.
Cover bowl and let batter stand for 1 hour.
In a bowl stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, parsley, cilantro, jalapeno, and red onion.
Season with salt, cayenne and/or Tabasco.
Chill for service.
In a deep heavy pan or deep fryer heat 3 inches of oil to 325°F.
Drop spoonfuls of batter into oil and fry the beignets, turning them once, until golden.
Transfer the beignets to a paper towel-lined sheet pan to drain.
Season with salt.
Continue frying remaining batter in same manner.
Serve the beignets warm with the tartar sauce and lemon slices.

Crawfish Etouffee
Crayfish, mudbugs, crawdads — whatever their name, they are good! Crawfish are available from January through June, shrimp is an acceptable substitute.
serves 4-8

1 onion, chopped fine
1 green bell pepper, chopped fine
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 pound can whole tomatoes in puree, drained, reserving 2 tablespoons puree, and chopped fine
1/2 cup water
cayenne pepper to taste
1 pound bag frozen crawfish tail meat, thawed
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
cooked rice

In a heavy skillet cook onion and bell pepper in butter, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned.
Sprinkle flour over onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes and reserved puree, water, and cayenne and simmer, stirring, until thickened slightly, about 1 minute.
Stir in crawfish and heat mixture over moderate heat until just hot.
Etouffee may be prepared up to this point 2 days ahead, cooled completely, uncovered, and chilled, covered.
Reheat etouffee before proceeding.
Stir in scallions and salt to taste.
To serve, mound some rice in a plate, and ladle some of the etouffee on top.

Dirty Rice
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 large bell pepper
1 medium onion
5-6 cloves garlic
1 or 2 fresh, green cayenne peppers, optional
salt to taste
1 teaspoon red pepper or to taste
2 cans mushroom steak sauce (do not use soup)
3-4 cups cooked rice

Pan fry the ground meat well until all of the meat is well done.
Put bell pepper, onion and garlic into food processor and puree until smooth.
Add to the meat.
When the sizzling fades, add the mushroom steak sauce and a little water and allow the entire dressing mix to simmer for at least a half hour.
Stir in the rice.

Hush Puppies
makes 18

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon water

Combine the dry ingredients.
Add the eggs, onion, mil, and water.
Stir until well mixed.
Drop by teaspoon into hot oil.
Fry until golden brown.

King Cake
A Mardi Gras specialty is King Cake. It is a circular sweet roll-like cake with a hidden treasure, a tradition that originated during the medieval times. Originally a gold bean was baked inside but today, to avoid choking, a plastic baby is placed inside instead. This recipe uses a pecan half as the treasure.

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
4-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 cup lukewarm water
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped dried fruit
1 pecan half
egg wash: 1 egg, lightly whisked with 1 tablespoon milk
colored sugar, purple, green, and yellow*
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons water

Combine together flour, sugar, nutmeg, salt, yeast, and lemon zest.
In second bowl, combine the warm water and egg yolks.
Add to flour mixture.
Blend in the softened butter and chopped fruit.
Turn out onto a floured surface.
Knead the mixture about 10 minutes until smooth and satiny adding flour as needed.
Butter a mixing bowl and place the dough in it, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1-1/2 hours.
Punch down the dough and shape it into a log about 14 inches long.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; place the log on the parchment in a circle/wreath shape. Pinch the ends closed.
Press the pecan half gently into the ring so that it is completely hidden.
Drape the dough with a cloth and set it in a draft-free place to rise for about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Brush the surface with the egg wash.
Bake 30 minutes.
Slide the cake onto a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
Let cool.
Make icing by combining powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water to a pourable consistency.
Pour over allow to run down the sides.
Immediately sprinkle the colored sugars, form rows of purple, yellow, and green.
* You can purchase sugar in many colors or make your own sugar with a little paste food coloring.

Mardi Gras Madness Punch
Yields: 8-9 quarts

1 ice ring
40 ounce bottle grape juice
48 ounce can unsweetened pineapple juice
2-liter bottle lemon-lime soft drink
1 fifth vodka or more, to taste (or champagne)
2 oranges or lemons
2 limes

Place ice ring in bottom of punch bowl.
Add liquids in order given.
Float slices of oranges and limes on top.
Makes about 65 one-half cup servings.

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 August 19, 2012  Posted by at 7:45 pm Mardi Gras, Menus