Mom’s Biscuits with Tasso Gravy

I’ve been working tons of hours lately and my Mom has been sending my wife and I some home cooked meals, which is greatly appreciated! Last night was Beef Stew, and tonight was Meatloaf with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and scratch biscuits; all perfect as usual. I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture of everything, but I did get one of her scratch biscuits topped with some leftover Tasso gravy from the other night. Biscuits & Gravy on a whole new plane, I am so stuffed. No restaurant can touch your soul like Mom’s home cooking. Thanks for the wonderful eats Mom! :-)

Shrimp Stuffed Crepes with Tasso Cream Sauce

Here is the finished product from the last couple recipes that I posted today. Although I didn’t use them in this recipe, mushrooms would go wonderfully sauteed with the shrimp. The Recipe:

Shrimp Stuffed Crepes with Tasso Cream Sauce

For the filling:

2 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Green Onions, finely sliced
1 lb Medium Shrimp
Kosher Salt and Cayenne, to taste
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
1/8 Cup Crema Mexicana Agria, or Creme Fraiche
4 Savory Crepes
Tasso Cream Sauce

Heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat, add the garlic and green onions and cook for 1 minute. Add the shrimp, season with salt and cayenne and saute until just cooked through, spritz with the lemon juice. Stir in the crema, and divide the filling between four savory crepes. Top with a generous portion of Tasso Cream Sauce and garnish with green onions.

Serves 2.

Tasso Cream Sauce Recipe

Here is a simple Cream Sauce made with one of my favorite ingredients, Tasso.

Tasso Cream Sauce Recipe

2 Tbsp Usalted Butter
1/2 Cup Tasso, Finely Diced
2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Cups Half & Half
Kosher Salt, to taste
2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Hot Sauce (I use Crystal)
1 Dash Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Cup Mexican Crema Agria, or Creme Fraiche

Add the butter and Tasso to a small saucepan. Saute until lightly browned, incorporate the flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add the cold half & half, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes. Season with the salt and add the lemon juice and the sauces. Just before serving whisk in the crema and warm through.

Savory Crepe Recipe

Here is a basic recipe for Savory Crepes, wonderful for making Seafood stuffed Crepes, or any savory filling you can come up with. The recipe:

Savory Crepe Recipe

2 Whole Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Milk
1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 Pinch Cayenne
2 Tbsp Melted Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Green Onions, finely sliced
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, finely chopped

Combine the eggs, milk, salt, cayenne, butter, and flour in a bowl. Mix thouroughly with a hand held immersion blender until all lumps are gone. Stir in the green onions and parsley. Cover and place in the refrigerator for one hour to let some of the bubbles subside to prevent tearing.

To cook:

Heat a Crepe pan or a medium sized saute pan over medium heat until good and hot. Spray with pan coating and ladle in about 2 oz of the Crepe batter, working quickly to swirl the batter around the bottom and partially up the sides of the pan. When the edges start to brown, carefully work a rubber spatula underneath and flip the crepe. Cook on this side for about 30 seconds, remove to parchment to cool.

Makes 8 Crepes.

Later tonight:

Shrimp Stuffed Savory Crepes with Tasso Cream Sauce.

Beignet Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

If you haven’t been to New Orleans you’ve probably never eaten a Beignet, but you’ve probably had something similar. Cafe au Lait and Beignets, is New Orleans for Coffee & Donuts. If you are unfamiliar, Beignet (ben-YAY) is French for Fritter, in New Orleans they’re square and topped with a firestorm of powdered sugar and usually served with a steaming cup of Cafe au Lait. Cafe au Lait is equal parts piping hot milk and good, strong Cafe Noir with Chicory (New Orleans Coffee will be another post).
The most famous place in New Orleans for Beignets and Cafe au Lait is Cafe Du Monde on Decatur on the riverside of Jackson Square, which is legendary, you have to go once. The Beignets and Cafe au Lait are great, but I’m not into tourist traps; even when I’m a tourist. Most locals that I’ve talked with prefer Morning Call Coffee Stand which is no longer in the quarter, but has two locations in Metarie.

Cafe du Monde sells a Beignet batter mix that is widely available, but I made mine from scratch. What else did you expect? :)

Here is the recipe:

From Nola Cuisine

New Orleans Style Beignet Recipe

1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast
3/4 Cup Water (110 degrees F)
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Beaten Egg
1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk
3 1/2 – 3 3/4 Cups A.P. Flour
1/8 Cup Shortening
Vegetable Oil for Frying
Powdered Sugar in a shaker or sifter

Combine the Yeast, Water, and Sugar in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (You could also make this in a food processor, or the old fashioned way, by hand). Let this sit until frothy, about 5 minutes, then add the Salt, Egg, and Evaporated Milk. Mix on low speed, then add half of the flour until it starts to come together, then add the shortening. When the shortening is incorporated start adding the remaining flour, a little at a time until most of it is incorporated. At this time I always turn the dough onto a floured bench to finish by hand, just like when I make bread; it’s a touch thing. Knead the dough adding just enough flour as necessary to make a non-sticky, smooth dough. Place the dough into a large oiled bowl, loosely cover and let rise (I made mine last night and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator).
After the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and turn it onto a floured surface and roll out into a rectangle that is about 1/2″ thick. With a very sharp knife working at a diagonal to the rectangle, cut into 2″ wide strips. Now cut into diamond shapes by making diagonal cuts in the opposite direction. Place the Beignets on a floured baking sheet to let rise about 40 minutes in a warm place (I place them in a barely warm oven).
When the Beignets have risen, heat 2-3 inches of vegetable oil in a large saucepan to 350-360 degrees. Place 2-3 Beignets into the hot oil at a time, being careful not to smash or deflate them. When they are golden brown, flip them over until golden brown on the other side (They go pretty quickly so start checking them right after they go into the oil). Remove to paper towel lined plates to drain. Serve hot topped with plenty of powdered sugar (because the dough doesn’t contain much sugar, you will want a lot!). Best served with Cafe au Lait. Enjoy!

Makes about 2 dozen.

Related posts:

Calas Recipe

Check out my Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes

From Nola Cuisine

Bananas Foster Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

This classic New Orleans dessert is another creation of the late dutch Chef Paul Blangé of the early days of Brennan’s, and is now known worldwide. Created in 1951, Bananas Foster is named for Richard Foster, owner of the Foster Awning Company, chairman of the crime commision to clean up the French Quarter, and at the time, frequent customer of Brennan’s.
Bananas Foster is simple, elegant, and sinful all at the same time, and one of my absolute favorite desserts. I’ve adapted my recipe from the Brennan’s version with a few changes.
I took the seemingly strange addition of toasted sesame oil from the recipe for Bananas Bliss from Paul Prudhomme’s book, Louisiana Tastes. Once you taste the nutty depth of flavor that it adds to the dish, you will never go back.

Bananas Foster Recipe

1/4 Stick Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/8 Cup Banana Liquer
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 pinch Nutmeg
1 small pinch of salt
1 very small dash Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Banana
1/8 Cup Myers Dark Rum
1 Scoop Vanilla Ice Cream

Add the butter, brown sugar, and banana liquer to a saute pan. Cook until the sugar dissolves, then add the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and sesame oil. Add the banana and cook, basting often until the banana is soft. Add the rum, stir through and carefully ignite to burn off the alcohol:

The Bananas Foster Flambe

Continue to baste the banana slices until the flames subside. Serve over the ice cream on a chilled plate.

Makes 1 serving.

Other Chef Paul Blangé Creations:

Chicken Pontalba Recipe

Oysters On the Half Shell

I had some wonderful Oysters for lunch today, the best way; on the half shell.

A lot of people have a hard time shucking oysters, so I made this short quicktime video on How To Shuck An Oyster. I hope it comes in handy for you!

**Be careful, notice in the video how I use an old kitchen towel over the oyster to protect my hand in case I slip with the knife. I shucked my hand a few times when I was learning, it’s not a pretty cut, what with all the bacteria from the oyster shells hanging out on the knife. Also, make sure you have a good sturdy Oyster Knife, like the one seen in the video. I bought mine at a restaurant supply store for about $8.
*Don’t rush, in my humble opinion the mark of a good oyster shucker is one that serves you oysters that are intact (not butchered), and without grit and particles of shell. I just give my knife a quick wipe, before running it under the oyster. Keep as much of the liquor in the shell as possible. A great place for excellent clean Oysters in New Orleans is Casamento’s Restaurant on Magazine Street.

These are east coast oysters. I have nowhere to get Louisiana Oysters around here, so I use the freshest available. I have to say they were very similar, plump, and juicy. If I could get Louisiana Oysters though, believe me I would.

The Oysters bars in New Orleans have saltine crackers available, and a condiment tray for you to make your own sauce which usually contain ketchup, hot sauce, horseradish, and worcestershire.

I enjoy my Oysters with just a spritz of lemon and a little hot sauce, right off the shell, and a good cold beer. Serve on crushed ice.

Related Posts:

Oysters Bienville Recipe
Shrimp Remoulade Recipe
R.I.P. Joseph Casamento, Jr.

Speaking of sea critters, check out my brothers coral reef blog Think Reef!