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Claudia's Corn Soup
Written by Chuck

6 slices bacon 1 pound smoked sausage, diced ½ cup pickled pork or any ham seasoning 2 large white onions, finely chopped 3 stalks celery, finely chopped 1 large bell pepper, finely chopped 1 can Rotel tomatoes...

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, diced
  • ½ cup pickled pork or any ham seasoning
  • 2 large white onions, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes, Cajun style, if available (otherwise Italian style is fine)
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • 4 pods garlic, minced
  • 3 cans cream style yellow corn
  • 3 cans white whole kernel corn, undrained (frozen white shoe peg corn may be substituted)
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 tsp white Worcestershire sauce, if available
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound of small shrimp, cooked and peeled
  1. Place bacon into bottom of heavy duty soup pot and fry crispy, remove
  2. Into bacon drippings add sausage and pork, browning lightly
  3. Add the onions, celery, and bell pepper to meats and continue cooking until vegetables are well reduced
  4. Add tomatoes and continue cooking reducing most of the moisture, 10-12 minutes
  5. Add green onions and next 8 ingredients; cook at low heat for 1 ½ - 2 hours or more, stirring occasionally
  6. About 30 minutes before serving add the shrimp
  7. Use the crumbled bacon for garnish over individual servings

Serves 10-12

 

 
Manale's BBQ Shrimp
Written by Chuck

One of our favorite recipes to prepare for friends and family is the barbecued shrimp recipe obtained by my mother (over 40 years ago) from cousins who married into the Pascal Manale’s Restaurant family—the originators

of this delicious recipe. They have been operating in New Orleans since 1913 and are located on Napoleon Avenue. The first time I recall ordering this special dish was in their main dining room one Saturday evening. As the waiter assisted with our plastic bibs, our concerns over just how sloppy an experience we could expect were quickly dismissed as the inviting aromas emanated from that great Italian kitchen.

The dish was then and still known as Barbecued Shrimp. I’m not certain as to why the wordbarbecue is used because there is no grilling or basting of barbecue sauce involved. When you’ve reviewed the Manale’s Barbecued Shrimp recipe on the website, note the large quantity of butter, garlic and black pepper suggested; but don’t you back off.

Perhaps the only ingredient preventing this from being truly Italian, would include a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese over the shrimp. This however would not do well with the sweet juices from the orange and lemon slices. I would perhaps suggest that the shrimp dish takes on a more Caribbean flavor because of the fruit. So if you cared to experiment, you might try sprinkling a generous amount of jerk seasoning into the mix or in the interest of maintaining a truly Cajun theme, add your favorite Cajun spice but reduce the amount of black pepper. These variations are indeed in the spirit of what cooking is all about.

Feel free to visit You Tube for a very brief slide presentation called Cajun Barbecued Shrimp. As you’ll quickly realize this is not a complicated recipe; and as you receive the oohs and aahs over the fantastic flavor, you might choose to refuse sharing the recipe since involves so little preparation and we just don’t want your dinner guest know how easy this was.

I’d like to add just a couple of important notes—

Don’t be shy with the quantity of black pepper used; in fact, Mama used to say that when you think you’ve added too much black pepper, add more! The garlic may be whole pods, but I prefer cutting them in half to disburse a more intense garlic flavor.

Also, find a seafood market or grocer that carries unpeeled, heads-on, fresh jumbo shrimp. After rinsing and thoroughly draining, use the entire shrimp in the dish. The heads add a wonderfully distinct flavor that you will not achieve with previously frozen headless shrimp or even worse, peeled shrimp.

As you serve each guest be certain to use a large spoon or ladle to add a generous quantity of the yummy juices to each bowl. Watch your first-time guests quickly get into the routine of sucking the shrimp, peeling, dredging through the juice, devouring and then retrieving a nice piece of hot French bread to sop up more of the juice. Now, don’t invite your next-door cardiologist or nutritionist to these shrimp events—you’re liable to send them into cholesterol shock or even worse, a heart attack! Lastly, Manales always made available damp, hot face towels to each diner following the feast. Good luck and give me some feedback—or better yet, an invitation! I’ll be sure to wash my hands and bring my own bib.

 

 
Oysters Mosca
Written by Chuck

Johnny Adapted from dish made famous by Manale’s and Mosca’s restaurants- of New Orleans 4 dozen oysters and liquid 1 large onion, finely chopped ½ tsp thyme ¾ tsp oregano 3 toes garlic, minced 1 stick unsalted...

Adapted from dish made famous by Manale’s and Mosca’s restaurants- of New Orleans

  • 4 dozen oysters and liquid
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ¾ tsp oregano
  • 3 toes garlic, minced
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. In a large skillet sauté’ onion in butter and add seasonings for about 5 minutes
  2. Separate oysters from liquid, reserving liquid, and add oysters to skillet
  3. When edges curl, about 4-5 minutes, add strained oyster liquid
  4. Remove from heat and fold in bread crumbs
  5. Place entire contents into casserole or 9” round metal cake pan
  6. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over dish; contents will be very moist
  7. Bake uncovered in 350° oven for 15-18 minutes, until top is somewhat browned
  8. Remove and serve hot with garlic pasta (angel hair or linguine) prepared with butter, garlic, and parmesan cheese

Serves 4

Serve with favorite vegetable; broccoli works well

 

 

 
Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Written by Chuck

Missy Replicated from Houston’s Restaurant’s (Metairie, LA) popular appetizer 2 sticks butter 1 medium white onion, finely chopped 3 16-oz bags frozen chopped spinach, cooked, drained 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese 1...


Replicated from Houston’s Restaurant’s (Metairie, LA) popular appetizer

 

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 16-oz bags frozen chopped spinach, cooked, drained
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
  • 1 8-ounce carton sour cream
  • 3 cans artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, tough outer leaves removed, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 16 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  1. Into a Dutch oven, melt butter and sauté onions until wilted
  2. Add spinach and next 8 ingredients slowing, mixing as you add
  3. Pour entire ingredients into casserole and heat at 400° for 15 minutes
  4. Pour into 2 heated chafing dishes and serve with Tostitos chips or an assortment of your favorite crackers

For a large party of 30-40
At this large party, place chafing dishes in separate areas; crowd tends to gather around this delicious appetizer

 

 

 
Marcia Ball
Written by Trobaz
An energetic combination of blues and honky-tonk with a touch of boogie woogie best describes this Louisiana native who has been entertaining sold-out venues throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe for over three decades. Her versatile musical style is best described as a combination of Jerry Lee Lewis, Irma Thomas, Professor Longhair, and B.B. King. But Marcia is not an impersonator and her addition of the Cajun and Zydeco spice add just the right touch to her music genre.

Born in 1949 and growing up in Southwest Louisiana’s Vinton near the Texas border, Ball’s family included several female piano players. Her mother, grandmother and several aunts had all accomplished keyboard skills; and most family gatherings centered around the piano. She began piano lessons at age five playing music of her grandmother’s generation; and it wasn’t until she was 13 and heard the sounds of Irma Thomas, that Marcia had found her early niche.

In 1966 she entered L.S.U. and when not studying, she and her band played at many Baton Rouge nightclubs as a group known as Gum. Most of her music back then reflected the Irma Thomas influence and following graduation in 1970, she left Baton Rouge headed west for San Francisco. Marcia’s automobile broke down in Austin, Texas enroute and while she awaited its repair, visited several local clubs and decided to remain—never did get to San Francisco!

While in Austin, Ball added a blues sound to the local country music there and soon joined a band called Freda and the Firedogs. Marcia, of course, was Freda. She began writing her own music during this time and discovered the sound of New Orleans own Professor Longhair. His style and composition fit right in to what Marcia believed she wanted to play and when her group disbanded in 1974, she chose to continue on as a solo artist. In 1978 she signed with Capitol Records and debuted her first album, Circuit Queen. She continued writing and performing throughout the 80’s and 90’s and her popularity has continued to grow.

During an interview, Marcia described her family as supportive during her early years performing; but only to the extent that her music be considered a sideline. Getting a “real” job and settling down seemed to be the correct path. Eventually, her success and popularity grew and her family couldn’t help but recognize the acclaim the musical world had bestowed on this talented young woman.

Marcia now delights tens of thousands of fans at over 100 appearances a year. In just the next 8 months, she’ll perform in 10 different states and two European countries! She’s been featured on Austin City Limits, NPR Performances, and at the White House with B.B. King and Della Reese.

In 1990, Marcia was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame; and in 1998 she received the W.C. Handy Blues Award for Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year and was nominated as Best Blues Instrumentalist-Keyboards in 2000 and 2001. Her album Presumed Innocent was named Blues Album of the Year in 2002 and the follow-up, So Many Rivers won the 2004 Blues Music Award’sContemporary Blues Album of the Year. In three consecutive years beginning in 2005, Ball was honored as the Piano Player of the Year by the Blues Music Awards. And watch for one of her latest works, Peace, Love, & BBQ to follow with similar accolades.

I was very fortunate to hear Marcia perform last Mardi Gras down on a beach stage in South Florida and believe me when I say that her show is one you absolutely must experience. It’s impossible to remain seated during her New Orleans style R & B performance. Yet, unlike Jerry Lee Lewis, Marcia “rocks the house” while sitting comfortably as she creates rousing sounds from her “sizzling” keyboard. The backup band has been playing with her forever; even the newest members, for over 5 years. Their brassy splash is just the perfect compliment to Marcia’s New Orleans sound.

Marcia is featured in several interviews and various performances on You Tube. I recommend Party Time as a good example of what the excitement is all about! Obviously the best quality sounds are on any one of her several C.D.’s from your local music source. If you’d like to check out her upcoming schedule, log into her website at www.marciaball.com.

 
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