OK guys,

With the warm weather here I thought it would be neat to take advantage of one of the new features of Cenlamar. In case you hadn’t noticed, you can now reply to individual comments on stories. Before you could only respond to the story itself. So let’s try something neat. Post your recipes or stories or sources for all those great things that make outdoor cooking great for you.

1. To post a new recipe or listing comment on this article itself by clicking “leave one” next to comments.

2. To comment on someone’s already posted info, reply to their comment (with the reply button at the bottom of the comment).

(hopefully this will work and we can keep it going)

Just a note, Food Network and the History Channel pay a lot of attention to Memphis Barbecue, and Kansas City, and the weird stringy no-flavor stuff people in the Carolinas call barbecue (basically just smoked pulled pork), and of course they talk about the dry rubs of Texas Brisket. But they tend to completely ignore the grand blending of cultures and styles that gives us the Louisiana Barbecue.

Our barbecue is usually slow cooked on low heat, with some sort of spicy rub or sweet sauce, and we have unique sides above the traditional potato salad and cole slaw we add in bakes beans, real garlic bread made from fresh french bread, and dirty rice — something that just does not exist elsewhere!
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By the way, Louisiana is also unique in the US in that food and cooking hold a place normally reserved for cars and sports in the rest of the US. For one thing men cook here. I know it sounds terribly outdated, but in most of the country cooking is still considered the work of women and many men simply do not or can not cook. Crazy I know.

Yet in Louisiana cooking is a rite of passage. It’s so integral to our culture that whereas in most of the country fathers teach their sons how to tune a carburator, in Louisiana they teach their sons (or daughters) how to make Gumbo, or chili, or whatever the family specialty is. Here you’re not a man until you can make a roux! 😉

At any rate, maybe we can share this bit of our cultural bliss with each other and the rest of the online world…here goes

14 thoughts

  1. OK so I’ll try first.

    Dirty Rice:

    I heart this stuff! Anyway here’s my recipe and yes I totally cheat by using the mix 😉

    2 Boxes of Zatarains Dirty Rice Mix
    2 Bell Peppers
    2 Onions
    2 Stalks Celery
    2 Spoonfuls Garlic

    A handful of Bay leaves (don’t be shy)
    Some Tony Chacherie’s
    A few splashes of Worcestershire Sauce
    And some Chicken Boullion (the powder is good enough)

    1 pound of Ground Beef (or Pork)
    1 Container of Chicken Livers (usually a pound)

    A little oil or butter

    Toss the mix into a pot with the amount of water it calls for on the box and boil it for 20 minutes or so. Put the bay leaves in with the mix so they can soften up.

    Brown the chicken livers and ground meat on fairly low heat until you can crumble up all the liver chunks. Season the meat with Tony’s and worcestershire.

    Chop up all the veggies, and cook them with the oil until the onions are mostly clear.

    Combine it all together into a single pot, add in the boullion, stir it so it’s mixed well then cook on med-low heat until all the water has cooked out of the rice.

    That’s all….feeds several people and costs about $6.

  2. Drew – this is an intriguing aspect of our culture. To give an example of what you’re talking about –

    My National Guard unit, a detachment of us, anyway, was mobilized and sent to Kosovo in July of 2003. One of the team leaders was from Ville Platte. One of the first things he did was buy a set of pots. We also scouted out local sources of chicken, vegetables and sausage. We made at least 4 gumbos and 1 sauce picante.

    It was so foreign for men to be cooking, culturally, that one of our interpreters, a recovering marine from The Bronx, had us take a picture of him stirring the pot, so that he could send to his mother, because he said that she “would not believe it”.

    1. Ville Plattians are excellent cooks. While most guys have trailers to haul boats, four wheelers or tractors, these guys will modify trailers to carry entire cooking set-ups. The last VP squirrel hunt I went on, they had a muti-gas burner stove set, cooking pig tongues in a roux. It looked scary, but tasted delicious over rice.

  3. As per your request (and I truly believe we should cook a few of these some time very soon…):

    _-Drunk Chicken-_

    1 fryer chicken
    1 Can beer
    1 Cap crab boil
    Hot sauce
    Lemon juice
    Worcestershire sauce
    Poultry seasoning

    Wash chicken (with vinegar). Pat dry and sprinkle/rub with poultry seasoning. Here, I usually use Montreal seasoning or something of the like.

    Here’s my favorite part: Drink 3/4 of the can of beer! Then, if possible, poke holes half-way up the can all around it. Pour remaining ingredients into a beer can. Set the chicken on the upright beer can and fold back wings behind shoulders.

    Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 1 ½ hours without opening the grill.

    Just an added pointer: When choosing your beer to cook with, be sure to use a lager or pilsner style of beer. Other beers are too thick and really won’t be able to penetrate/tenderize the meat of the chicken. Lagers and pilsners have the perfect consistency and acidity to really get the job done. Also, at Hokus Pokus, we have a few different “smoked” lagers (AKA Rauchbiers) that actually add a little to the smoke flavor. The only problem with choosing better beers for the cooking is that they usually come in a bottle, so you will not have a can to use. This problem is easily fixed in that you can buy one of these.

    1. Dale I am a big fan of using crab boil as an added seasoning. It’s a great way to up the flavor on things without adding too much sodium or fat. I use it when baking chicken breasts (if I’m feeling healthy). I just add a cap or to of Crab Boil concentrate to some milk or fruit juice or whatever and it gives the meat just a little extra punch.

      Also: there is NOTHING better than corn on the cob cooked in crab boil like you get at a crawfish or shrimp boil! Le Drool

  4. Great idea, Drew!

    I second Drew’s comment about men cooking in the South, and I’m hoping I can get J.D. to post his excellent wings recipe here for ya’ll, because he’s actually a WAY better cook than I am. But for now I feel it’s necessary to post my California-influenced Southern recipe, for etouffe made with tofu. I know this sounds weird and very non-Southern, but I promise it’s delicious.

    Sharon’s Tofu Etouffe (based off of an etouffe recipe in the St. Theodore Holy Family cookbook from Lake Charles):

    4 tbsp butter or margarine
    1 cup onions, chopped
    1/2 cup celery, chopped
    1 cup bell pepper, chopped
    4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1/4 cup water
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 can cream of shrimp soup
    1 package extra-firm tofu
    Green onions
    Tony Chachere’s
    Liquid crab boil

    To marinate tofu:
    chop tofu into desired size (If you’re making this for someone who isn’t big on tofu, chop it very small. It will basically melt into the dish. If you want to taste the tofu as a separate texture in the dish, chop slightly larger.) Place tofu in ziplock or tupperware with enough crab boil to cover. Sprinkle just a shake of Tony’s into the mixture and marinate for 24 hours.

    To cook the dish:
    Remove tofu from marinade and season with Tony’s. Set aside. Using a large (cast iron!) skillet, saute onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in butter until onions begin to become translucent. Add tofu and cook over medium-high heat until it reaches desired firmness. (This process can take a while. I like my tofu fairly tough, so I cook it for a long time, flipping it almost constantly so it doesn’t burn. Add in a little more butter if necessary as you cook it.) Stir in cream of mushroom and cream of shrimp soup and mix well. Cover pot and cook on low heat for approx. 25 minutes. Stir periodically, adding water a little at a time if needed. Sprinkle on green onions and serve over rice.

    Enjoy!

  5. Thanks Sharon, I’ll have to try it out.

    I feel that I must add to the gumbo. Some of you may be scandalized by this very concept, but here goes nothing: vegan barbeque!

    Barbeque veggies:

    6 portabello mushroom jumbo caps
    1 large eggplant
    1 large zucchini
    1 large squash
    2 packs extra firm tofu
    6 sweet potatoes
    whatever other veggies you want to throw down
    olive oil
    balsalmic vinegar
    fresh herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary)
    italian seasoning if no fresh herbs

    beer to drink while you cook

    1) Put the tofu on a cutting board and put another cutting board on top of it, with the Joy of Cooking on top of that. This will drain the excess moisture from the tofu and keep it from breaking up. Start drinking beer.

    2) Dice the fresh herbs and mix with the olive oil and vinegar. Cut veggies in large flat chunks for grilling. Put them in a pan with the marinade and let them chill for 15 minutes. They will soak up the oily herbal goodness.
    After the tofu has drained for about fifteen minutes, marinade that as well. Put the Joy of Cooking away; you don’t need that shit because you learned how to cook from your daddy when you was a kid.

    3) Get the grill going, medium heat.

    4) Drink more beer, share with your friends.

    5) Wrap the sweet potatoes foil and throw them on the grill.

    6) Drink another beer.

    7) Put marinated veggies on the grill. Flip them when they turn golden brown on the bottom. They are done when they are golden brown. The sweet potatoes are done when they are tender.

    8) Serve with beer or red wine. Salt and pepper to taste. Use Louisiana brand hot sauce for the tofu.

    You will find that not eating so much meat will help you to enjoy your beer buzz more. The fiber from your veggies will give you a much easier time in the morning as you stumble to the toilet…

    1. HAHA Good Post Michael!

      I’m a pretty ardent carnivore, but I actually had some friends who were vegan and tried something like this before. It works pretty well. The trick to me is to marinate the vegetables and get some good charring on them so the oil and sugars glaze up a bit. (and the beer helps)

  6. In Blogger’s new Template Designer there is no template which contains fluid width in for the text body. Does anybody know how to change to fluid width in the new templates? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated..

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