Sunday, September 22, 2013

Boudin Stuffed Chicken Bundles

Foil wrapped package of Cajun goodness.
I was trying to figure out something new to fixed today,  I was hungry and didn't want to go out.  I remembered I had four chicken thighs that were boned and skinned in my refrigerator. I also had a package of Boudin.   You all know how much I love Boudin.

This recipe is very easy, you will need some non-stick aluminum foil, at least I would recommend it.  You're gonna roll these and fold the ends.  You don't want your chicken to stick.


4 chicken thighs or breasts. (Skinned and boned)
1 link of boudin (6 oz)
2 tbs butter
Salt and pepper
Tony Chachere's. 


Pre-heat your oven to 350°, rinse off the four chicken thighs, or breasts, and lay them on a paper plate or cutting board.  Pound them out a little bit using a hammer or a rolling pin.  Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and Cajun Seasoning mix on both sides. Go easy on the salt and Tony's, there's already salt in the Boudin. 

Cut your Boudin link into four equal pieces and peel the casing off. Cut 4 small pads of butter and lay one on the inside of each piece of chicken meat. Place the Boudin section on top of the butter, next gather  the edges of your chicken and roll it up around the boudin.. 

Next, carefully wrap these little bundles in their own little piece of non-stick foil and fold over the ends. Pop them in the oven at 350° for 1 hour and 15 mins. Let them cool a bit before serving.  

I found Boudin at my local Kroger store. 


Friday, September 13, 2013

Fried Cornbread Cakes

Mmmm, don't these crispy critters look good!
I was sitting around thinking the other night how much I love cornbread. There's Cornbread, Sausage Cornbread, Mexican Cornbread, Cracklin Cornbread, Broccoli Cornbread, etc, etc.  I believe I have eaten cornbread just about every way they is.

I have given y'all some great cornbread recipes in the past, so I thought I'd experiment with some fried cornbread for this post.  I call them cakes because they're round and about an inch thick, they're about the size of a biscuit.  They are lovely, crispy on the outside.  I guess you could call them pones.  Not sure about cornbread etiquette.

I looked at some recipes and decided to make my own recipe up, starting with my cornbread recipe and then go from there.  I love using yellow cornmeal, you don't have to, but I think it tastes better.

I actually did not use my cast iron skillet for this, but next time I make them, I think I might.  You will need a portion scoop or what you might call an ice cream dipper, plus you'll need to get your hands greasy. Here we go…


2 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 tbs vegetable oil
1/4 tsp Tony Chachere's
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 - 1 cup Crisco Shortening


Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, add buttermilk, eggs, and oil and mix using a pastry blender.  I usually use a whisk for my cornbread but this is much more dense.  Spray your skillet with cooking spray, add 1/2 cup of Crisco Shortening, and bring up to MED/HI heat.  Test a small bit of the dough in the grease to see if it's hot enough.

Spray a little cooking spray on your hands and be ready to roll!  Using the ice cream dipper, scoop out a portion of the dough and roll it into a ball between your hands.  It should be slightly bigger than a golf ball.  Next, pat it out flat about the size of a Pringles can lid. Sorry these measurements aren't very precise.

Fried Cornbread Cakes getting all crispy
Ease these little guys into the hot oil/shortening one at a time until your skillet's full.  I say ease them because you dont want to break them or splatter yourself with the hot grease.  Let them go for a minute or two on each side, making sure they are brown and crispy on both sides.  They will double or triple in thickness.  This batch makes about 10 "pones",  my skillet held 5.

Fry them in 2 batches, letting them drain on a paper towel on a paper plate.  You will have to add the remaining 1/4 cup of shortening to the skillet to do the other batch.  Let it melt and get up to temp before resuming your frying.

All the recipes I looked at added sugar.  As you probably know, I am a child of the South, and eschew sweet cornbread, unless it is for a special dish or variety.  You can spread a little honey butter on these or some maple syrup, I suppose.  I think they're best dunked in a frosty glass of milk.

Give this recipe a try when you can, I think your family and tastebuds will thank you.  These would also be wonderful with collard greens, stewed cabbage, or brown beans.  A few slices of vine ripened tomato would also be in order.

Have Fun!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Acme Lowcountry Kitchen

Recently the wife and I went on vacation in the Charleston/Folly Beach area of South Carolina.  What a beautiful place to spend some time.  Last year after a trip to Charleston we decided we'd return this year for a longer stay, this year we made our accommodations in Folly Beach at a wonderful guest house.

Now, I had always heard of Isle of Palms and thought it sounded exotic, so we decided to visit while in the area.  Isle of palms is essentially on the other side of Charleston from Folly Beach.  You can see by the map the proximity.  Isle of Palms is very much the way I imagined it, actually it's nicer.  Beautiful beach, no clutter of McDonalds, WalMarts, or outlet malls like most vacation destinations.  We really relaxed and enjoyed ourselves.  When it came to food though, we really lucked up when we found Acme Lowcountry Kitchen.

Zoom in to see Folly Beach as opposed to Isle of Palms
When we had to wait for a table on a Sunday night I knew we were in the right place.  We sat out on the front porch until our name was called and we were then seated in a cozy little dining room.  We both love seafood, but my wife needed a break.  She ordered the Sweet Tea Brined Chicken.  Boy howdy was this ever good.  Two large chicken breasts that had been marinaded in sweet ice tea and then fried up nice and crispy.  One of the highlights of her selection was some of the most amazing barbecue sauce ever.  For me to say that, it really must be something.  Many of you know I have my own barbecue sauces I make and cherish, but Golly-Ned, this sauce was incredible and different from any I'd had.  

I had an amazing Seafood platter with Shrimp, Scallops, Flounder, and a Crab Cake.  This seafood was so fresh and tasty, but I have to tell you one of my favorite parts of the meal... the sides.  Usually most seafood joints just pile fries and hushpuppies on your plate, but Acme goes a step beyond and above with their sides.  Nothing short of amazing.

Field Peas and grits were the sides I chose.  I went with the unadorned creamy, buttery grits.  Oh, were they ever good.  The big surprise however were those field peas.  These peas flavor and consistency of somewhere between a balck-eyed pea, a brown bean, and a Carolina Boiled Peanut.  Man oh man, I loved these peas.

The Fried Platter on left and "The Wreck" on the right
The man responsible is Executive Chef Frank Kline. Frank Kline was born in Charleston and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in business.  Before college, and after, he worked in several local restaurant kitchens.  He then started working in the kitchen of the The Boathouse at Breach Inlet, where he moved from cook, to waiter, to manager.  He then was promoted to GM of The Boathouse. After leaving work there, he came to Acme where his friend Bobby Simmons got him a job bartending.  Shortly after, Bobby bought the business and Frank took over the kitchen and they went from a Tex Mex restaurant to Seafood.  Chef Kline has over 16 years experience in the culinary industry.  An award-winning chef, Frank’s focused style is toward the new Southern movement of creating immense flavor from fresh local ingredients.

If you dine here and have the seafood, just know they have dozens of combinations and varieties of seafood fixed in many different ways.  Other wonderful entrees, appetizers, and their amazing sides make this a wonderful dining experience.  Please don't forget the grits and the field peas, you'll thank me personally.  Be sure to visit Isle of Palms when in the area, and make a trip to Acme Lowcountry Kitchen, you'll be glad you did, and tell them RouxBDoo sent you.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tater Soup Like Mama Made It!

Hot and creamy Potato Soup
I have always loved Potato Soup.  It was one of my favorite things that my Mom used to make, and still makes.  My Mother, Madeline Ramona Harkleroad is 90 years young.  She stays very active, is a member of a show choir that performs about 30 shows a year, and has made some wonderful food in my life.

She grew up very poor but never went without good food.  My Grandmother and Grandfather worked hard to make sure their children had good food and clothes to keep them warm.  My mother grew up loving simple things like biscuits with tomato slices, beans, and whatever Granddaddy could grow in the garden or have from butchering one of their animals.

Whenever I was sick Mama used to make me potato soup.  It always seemed to make me feel better.  I make mine a bit more elaborate than she did but when I make it I am reminded of those bowls of wonderful comfort food.  This is not her recipe but mine.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  This would be too rich for Mom's taste, she prefers it simple with out a lot of spices.

1 really large baking potato (diced small)
1/2 onion (diced small)
1 stalk celery (diced small)
1 tbs garlic (minced fine)
1/2 stick butter
4 tbs flour
4 cups water
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp Tony Chachere's Seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tbs dried parsley

My Mom Madeline Harkleroad
In a med sized pot bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add diced potatoes, cook until tender. In a small stock pot, melt the butter on MED/HI, add onions and cook until softened, add celery, garlic, and all spices. Cook for a few mins, then add flour and incorporate to make a roux (stirring constantly).

When roux is a light tan color, add a cup of "tater water" from the potato pot and whisk into the roux.  Once this is smooth and the roux has blended, add 2 more cups of the tater water, 3 cups of milk, and the 1/2 cup of heavy cream.

Now you drain the potatoes and add them into the soup.  Stir well and turn down to cook on MED/LO for however long it takes to thicken, or however long you can wait to eat it.  Great with cornbread or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Thanks Mama for keeping all us kids fed and being a wonderful mother.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tasty Grilled Fish Tacos

Grilled Fish Tacos
I spent quite a bit of time in the Yucatan of Mexico when I worked for the cruise lines. Specifically Cozumel and Playa Del Carmen. The seafood in these places was amazing.  I feasted on fresh grilled fish, shrimp and two of my favorites, octopus and conch.  Somehow they were tender and very tasty, considering they can be tough if not prepared right.

One of my favorite places to eat was a restaurant in Playa Del Carmen called La Floresta.  I have posted about this restaurant before about their tacos with batter fried shrimp.  I have posted a picture below of the shrimp tacos. Click HERE to see that earlier post about La Floresta.

In my travels in that region I also loved the fish tacos. Usually it was a white, flaky, very mild tasting fish.  Grilled with some garlic and butter and served plain with a side of pico de gallo, and sometimes mayonnaise.  Boy Howdy were they good.

What I am posting today is not necessarily a recipe but a suggestion of how you can make some of the tasty fish tacos.  I am also giving you a tasty sauce to "kick it up a notch" as Emeril says.

The fish I use most is Swai, it is a Vietnamese catfish I find at my grocery store and at Walmart.  OK now before you turn your nose up at Swai know this, I am rather snobbish about fish.  I DO NOT like oily, fishy tasting fish.  These pretty filets come individually wrapped and frozen.  I have never gotten a bad piece of fish with this kind.

I thaw a couple of filets and cut them in half cross-way (easier to handle on the grill).  I rinse them off and pat them dry.   I sprinkle them with a bit of Tony Chachere's and some salt and pepper.  I use the salt sparingly since the Tony's has salt in it.   Remember some of the spices will fall off while cooking.   Next I brush each side with oil.  You can use olive oil but I prefer vegetable oil.  I get my outside grill nice and hot before I go out.  I also spray the grill with some cooking spray, this helps the fish to keep from sticking.

Shrimp Tacos from La Floresta
I cook these on MED heat and try not to turn them more than once.  I recommend a metal spatula rather tongs.  The fish will fall apart if not handled correctly.  Let them get done but not dry out and harden. You're not eating sushi but you're not eating fish jerky either.

A few minutes on the grill and you can check to see if they're done.  I use small flour tortillas, I like La Banderita brand, and usually add some pico de gallo or preferably tomatillo salsa.  I love tomatillo salsa but I don't make it.  I usually pick it up at my local Mexican restaurant who make it great. You can also use a little sour cream or crema fresca for your tacos.

You can use any fish you'd like but I prefer my Swai.  You can also use my "Crema-tillo" sauce on these. Here is the recipe for it.

Crematillo Sauce

12 oz Sour Cream
1 can Rotel Tomatoes (add the liquid too)
1 tbs Vinegar
1 tsp Tony Chachere's
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Black pepper (I like coarse ground)
1 tbs fresh Cilantro (minced)

Mix together and refrigerate for an hour or two

You can also serve this grilled fish as a great summertime entree on the grill, I love it and hope you do too.