Calas Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

At the turn of the last century, the “Calas Woman” was still a fixture in the French Quarter marketplace in the early morning, crying Belle Cala! Tout Chaud! and carrying a covered basket or bowl on her head filled with the Rice fritters to sell to the Creole cooks who would serve them with coffee or Cafe au Lait. The name is said to be derived from an African word for rice.

The Calas women are long gone, and for the most part, so are Calas (KAH-luhs). These lovely rice fritters have taken a back seat to Beignets over the years, but they’re second to none in flavor and texture in my kitchen. The slight tang of the souring step in this recipe, the nutmeg, and light as a cloud texture, will make you wish you had made more of these, so you may want to double this recipe.

This is a terrific way to utilize leftover white rice, and taste something that is part of the history of New Orleans cuisine. Hey, if you have a quart container of rice leftover from the chinese you had for dinner last night?? Make Calas for breakfast! Here is the recipe:

Calas Recipe – Creole Rice Fritters

1/2 Cup warm water
1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1 pkg Active Dry Yeast
3/4 Cup Cooked White Rice
2 Large Eggs, beaten slightly
3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 pinch Kosher salt
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/8 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
Peanut Oil for frying
Powdered Sugar for a heavy dusting

The day before you want to make your Calas, combine the water and sugar in a small bowl. Add the yeast and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir well. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight. This step will really give your Calas a distinctive flavor; think sourdough.

The next day, stir the rice mixture and kind of mash the rice against the side of the bowl with a wooden spoon. Don’t go too crazy though, I like to have a bit of that rice texture in the finished product.

Add the remaining ingredients to the rice mixture, mix well with a wooden spoon. The mixture should be a fairly loose batter, a little thicker than pancake batter. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. This step will make your Calas as light as air when fried!

Heat 3 inches of peanut oil in a large saucepan to 365 degrees. Drop spoonfuls of the Calas batter into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, turning once. Serve with lots and lots of powdered sugar, like Beignets, or drizzle with Cane Syrup. Recipe makes about 6 good sized Calas.

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Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes!

Okra & Tomatoes Recipe

From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

Creole stewed Okra and Tomatoes are simple, but sooo delicious. Okra & Tomatoes are one of those romances written in the stars, like Oysters & Artichokes. Two creatures from different worlds, that were meant to be together!
To make this dish truly shine as it should, use the smallest okra and the most insanely ripe tomatoes you can find. You can make this dish vegetarian, if you’re into that sort of thing, or you can make it like I do, with some smoky pork flavor. I add a little homemade Tasso to mine, but some good quality ham or bacon would substitute nicely. Here is the recipe:

Creole Okra & Tomatoes Recipe

3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, lard or bacon drippings
1/4 Cup Tasso, finely chopped
1 Cup Spanish Onion, chopped
2 Tbsp Garlic, minced
4 Tbsp Hot peppers, minced
3 Cups Fresh Okra, washed trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 Cups Insanely ripe Tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
2 tsp Fresh Basil, chopped
2 tsp Green Onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne, and Crystal Hot Sauce to taste

Melt the butter and saute the Tasso in a stainless steel pot until lightly browned. Add the onions, garlic and peppers, and season with a little Kosher salt. Sweat until the onions are translucent. Add the Okra, season again with a little salt, and cook until the Okra ceases to rope, which means that you don’t see threads when you stir the pot.
Add the Tomatoes and Thyme, plus a little more Kosher salt to make the tomatoes break down.
When the tomatoes break down and reduce slightly add the basil, Green Onions, and salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Serve as a side or over rice.

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes, which links every recipe featured on this site!