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View Full Version : Weather looms - Cajun alternative


aks801
03-14-2018, 02:58 PM
With my brother in law and his wife coming in town this coming weekend, the plan has been to smoke a brisket, ribs, sausage... the works.

But the forecast is for Friday to be stormy, Sunday to be rainy, and Saturday (the cook day) to have scattered t-storms. I have a canopy I can set up, but it just makes the whole thing kind of a hassle.

So.

I want these folks to eat real good at our house. My back-up idea is to make chicken and sausage gumbo. I have it really dialed in, comes out great. What I would like to do is kick things up a notch and fry some shrimp and hush puppies to add to the festivities. I haven't fried shrimp in years, and have never done hush puppies.

I have done some research and have picked out a recipe for each, but I'm wondering if any of you'ns have a really good go-to recipe/method for fried shrimp or hush puppies. I want to make this feast ridiculously good.

Any ideas/help I'd really appreciate!

Faissez les bon temps rouler!

Titch
03-14-2018, 03:54 PM
Hit up Cowgirl for the recipes, I bet she is obliging.
Not saying that others cant help either, lots of talent on this forum

LloydQ
03-14-2018, 04:17 PM
As far as the shrimp, the Tony C., Cajun Injector, or Louisiana brand shrimp fry mixes will get the job done. My wife says the Tony C's is too spicy so I usually use the Cajun Injector.
For the puppies, if you get a bag of Martha White Hot Rize white cornbread mix and follow that recipe, you will be in the ballpark. For a homemade mix, use 1 cup plain white corn meal, 1/2 cup plain flour and 1 TBS baking powder will get your basic mix. I add finely chopped onions and green peppers, salt and red pepper flakes. Mix in 4 or 5 eggs and enough milk to get your batter a bit thicker than pancake batter. Add tablespoon sized dollops to 375 degree oil. If they break apart, add dry mix. If thwy get dry before they get to color, add milk. My Mama always said if you get your mix right, they will turn over by themself!
One added note, catfish is a wonderful side dish with gumbo!

Nuco59
03-14-2018, 05:06 PM
IMO- it's almost too warm to fire up gumbo...I said "almost". My dad is a hush puppy king- he's done them for years- he measures nothing. I measure everything and they are not even close to being as good. I think I'd make cornbread in a CI skillet and maybe fry fish instead hush puppies.

Let us know how it goes.

aks801
03-15-2018, 09:23 AM
Y'all recommended fried fish: just not into it, but thanks.

Nuco59: I get the "almost" too warm thing, but dang we haven't had gumbo in a long time so this may be the time! Friday evening is my go/no go time to decide on whether I do bbq or Cajunpalooza, so we'll just see.

THoey1963
03-15-2018, 09:45 AM
I'd put up the canopy and do the BBQ myself. That WSM ain't gonna care for a little warm rain...

KevinJ
03-15-2018, 11:18 AM
Y'all recommended fried fish: just not into it, but thanks.Blackend fish toped with crawfish or shrimp étouffée, stewed tomatoes and okra (can also add corn), red beans and rice with andouille, one of my favorites is boudin, love that stuff.

cowgirl
03-15-2018, 12:53 PM
Blackend fish toped with crawfish or shrimp étouffée, stewed tomatoes and okra (can also add corn), red beans and rice with andouille, one of my favorites is boudin, love that stuff.

My absolute favorite. Blackened fish topped with crawfish etouffee. :cool::-D

chingador
03-15-2018, 02:11 PM
Make it easy on yourself. The hushpuppies a HEB with corn and onions in them are awesome. Trust me on that one. For fried shrimp, my mom's cracker crumb crust is awesome.

Take a box of saltines (4 sleeves) and pulse in a food processor until they are about the consistency of course bread crumbs. Season shrimp with salt and black pepper. I always find that simple seasoning works best because you don't want to overpower the great flavor of shrimp. Dredge in flour, then dunk into a milk egg wash (1 egg per 1 cup of milk, I do four of each in a large bowl), then into the cracker crumbs to finish the breading. Deep fry until golden brown.

since you have the grease hot, go to an asian grocer and get a bunch of frozen lumpia and throw them in the grease. Or drive down to Kemah and get a half sack of oysters and an oyster knife and go to town. Nothing like fresh shucked oysters.

aks801
03-15-2018, 02:22 PM
My absolute favorite. Blackened fish topped with crawfish etouffee. :cool::-D

No doubt about it, that is an awesome dish.

aks801
03-15-2018, 02:24 PM
... For fried shrimp, my mom's cracker crumb crust is awesome.

Take a box of saltines (4 sleeves) and pulse in a food processor until they are about the consistency of course bread crumbs. Season shrimp with salt and black pepper. I always find that simple seasoning works best because you don't want to overpower the great flavor of shrimp. Dredge in flour, then dunk into a milk egg wash (1 egg per 1 cup of milk, I do four of each in a large bowl), then into the cracker crumbs to finish the breading. Deep fry until golden brown....

I may go that route for the schlemps, thanks boss!

jdefran
03-15-2018, 02:40 PM
If I were visiting someone in Texas I'd want BBQ.

chingador
03-15-2018, 03:37 PM
visiting Texas and visiting Houston are two different things. Some very good Q in Houston, but WAY more going on food wise than that. Top notch ethnic food in Houston. Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Persian, Indian, Lebanese, El Salvadorian, Mexican, South American, African, and then some. Beyond that we have a huge Louisiana expat community, and with Houston pretty much being a gulf coast city, seafood is a big deal as well. Crawfish season is in full swing too. But yes, 1 meal of BBQ is always a good idea.

chingador
03-15-2018, 03:38 PM
I may go that route for the schlemps, thanks boss!

seriously, go for it. It is very good.

aks801
03-16-2018, 06:49 PM
Chingadoor is spot on: the food scene in Houston is very very diverse, and there are many delicious choices.

The weather will probably cooperate, but I left it up to my guests and asked them to make the call. Cajunpalooza it will be! I'll post up some pics.

Thanks everyone.

ChEgrad
03-17-2018, 12:01 AM
Good fried shrimp are easy. Season some self-rising flour. I use Tony Chacheres. Dip shrimp in cold water, then flour. Shake off excess flour. Quick dip back in water and then into the flour. I use a mesh strainer for the dipping. You don't want the flour to wash off on the second dip. Rub shrimp around in the flour with your fingers to make some flaky bits on them. Fry at 350-375 for a few minutes until color is right. Don't over fry. Test the first batch to see if seasoning is correct. Adjust if necessary. I promise the double water dip works awesome.

chingador
03-18-2018, 04:22 PM
Updates?

aks801
03-20-2018, 11:20 AM
Updates?

So, things got interesting.

First the gumbo: wasn't real happy with it. I think I just got the ratios out of whack. Delicious still, but not how I am used to making it.

Instead of hush puppies, I made a copycat version of Copeland's Bayou Broccoli Balls. Started as a disaster, but I made a quick mod and they turned out fantastic.

Now to the shrimp: I was going to do that saltine crust thing but couldn't get the processor to pulse down the crackers. So I scrambled, and used a combination of two different methods. After prepping the shrimp, I sprinkled them with salt, black pepper, and some Tony's. Not too much though. Then in a separate bowl I whisked one egg, poured in 2 cups whole milk, added 1 tablespoon yellow mustard and stirred it up then poured it over the shrimp. Let them sit for 30 minutes in fridge. For the dry ingredients, I combined self-rising flour and fine cornmeal in a 2-1 ratio (flour to cornmeal). Take shrimp, toss 6 into the dry stuff, get them coated pretty good, fry for about 2 minutes.

They were probably the best fried shrimp I have eaten anywhere!!! Light crust, not overpowering flavor profile, tender (have to be careful not to overcook), just fantastic. Had bowls of remoulade, tartar sauce and cocktail sauce for folks to use. It was just so darn good!

chingador
03-20-2018, 11:31 AM
it is hard to beat good fried shrimp. My mom is known to crush the crackers with a roller inside a ziplock bag.