Archive | 10:26 pm

More Cajun Goodness from Bourque’s

24 Nov

cheesy-bread

Just look at this bread, people. Do I really need to say any more?

Another part of our amazing holiday shipment from Bourque’s Specialties of Port Barre, LA was their absolutely incredible Jalapeno Cheese Sausage Bread. Oh my gosh, where do we begin to dare explain the wonders of this one of a kind belly bomb? The closest thing I can compare it to would be the Ugly Biscuits we once woofed down with glee at Fairhope, Alabama’s Biscuit King.

Yes, imagine (if you will) a larger, spicier version of the Ugly Biscuit and you’re getting close. I really hate to use the word ugly because in our eyes this bread is a “thang of beee-yooo-teee.” It’s made with smoked sausage, jalapeno peppers, Rotel tomotoes, eggs, cheese, and bread dough … but its sum is far greater than its individual parts. It’s a zesty Cajun treat — one bite and it will set you FREE! Tip: Have an ice cold beverage lurking nearby.

breadinside

Here’s an inside peek at the bread — MMMMM! 

adolph-bourque

An old photo of Adolph Bourque (AKA “The Boss”) who started it all  

The following detail was lifted off the Bourque’s web-based emporium …  

This family owned and operated business began in the home of Adolph and Yvonne Bourque, selling a variety of home grown vegetables and other staples.  Going through five stores and fifty-six  years of hard work and dedication, the business has grown to a 20,000 square foot supermarket, located in Port Barre, Louisiana near the birthplace of Bayou Teche.  

The business also includes a full service washerteria, loan company, real estate, rental properties, etc.  Bourque’s Supermarket offers a complete line of Cajun specialty meats, homemade sausage, boudin, cracklin, homemade beef jerky, fresh produce, deli/bakery, and other great products to cook those old-fashioned Cajun recipes.  

We also make our own seasoning, fish fry, roux, chile, seafood gumbo, and homemade dressing mix.  We ship anything, anywhere. Bourque’s Supermarket is currently being operated by children and grand children of Adolph and Yvonne Bourque.

corn-crab

As you can see, Adolph’s image adorns most of the product packaging at Bourque’s. What a great way for folks to remember and pay their respects to the Bayou genius who founded the company more than a half century ago. We recently sampled their Crab and Corn Bisque for the first time — and it will not be the last. It’s super creamy and accented with just the right blend of spice.

1962

This is a vintage image of Adolph & his empire (Circa 1962)

I have learned not to add any salt, pepper, hot sauce, or other spice blends to any of the Bourque’s culinary creations. The Bourque boys like it good and spicy and that is more than A-O-K with yours truly. This is good soup, y’all — and I’ll also tell you what it is not. It’s NOT loaded with any artificial ingredients or preservatives. And meaty crabs gave their lives. They didn’t just crawl through the pot.

Come and get it, chere — it’s the REAL DEAL!!!

Figs in Brandy for Thanksgiving

24 Nov

figs_in_brandy_300

FIGS IN BRANDY

My radio air name was once The Rockin’ Fig (no lie), so I know a little something about these sweet little rascals. Yes, I love me some good old fresh figs. Our friends the Lehman’s in Mississippi had fig trees in their yard, but that source is out of reach now that we are in sunny FL. Never fear, my figgy friends … I will find some before you know it. Can’t wait to give this one a try!
MAKES 4 PINTS

Preserving figs in citric acid and brandy helps prevent the growth of microorganisms in the fruit, and boiling the mixture in canning jars produces an airtight seal. If you have leftover fig syrup when you are finished canning, strain and refrigerate it to drizzle over ice cream or to stir into iced tea.

2 lbs. dried figs (preferably calimyrna),
   soaked in water and refrigerated overnight
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups brandy
1 tsp. citric acid

1. Drain the figs, then transfer to a 4-quart saucepan and cover with 6 cups water. Bring water to a boil over a high heat and cook for 15 minutes. Add the sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine, and return to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup brandy. Bring mixture back to a boil, then remove it from the heat and set aside.

2. Place four 1-pint canning jars along with their bands and lids in a 6-quart pot of boiling water and leave for 30 seconds. With tongs, transfer the jars, bands, and lids to a kitchen towel on the counter. Let air-dry. When the jars are dry, add 1/4 tsp. citric acid to each. Using a slotted spoon, remove the figs from the saucepan and pack them into the jars. Then pour the brandy syrup over the figs, leaving 1″ of space below the rims of the jars. (Pour in more brandy if the syrup does not reach the top of the figs.) Wipe the rims of the jars with a hot damp towel. Cover and seal each jar with a lid and screw the bands on tightly.

3. Place the jars in a large pot fitted with a rack; pour in enough water to cover the jars by at least 3″. Bring to a boil over high heat; boil for 20 minutes. (When using this recipe at altitudes of 1,001 to 6,000 feet, add 20 more minutes of processing time; above 6,000 feet, add another 5 minutes.) Turn off the heat; let sit for 5 minutes. Transfer jars to a kitchen towel and let cool for 6 hours. Check the seals and store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Refrigerate after opening.

http://www.calfreshfigs.com/ for more information

Learning to Love Jicama

24 Nov

jicama

The Jicama root is gaining popularity thanks to chefs like TV’s Bobby Flay. If you’re interested in learning more, here is some basic info on the plant …  

Jicama is a crispy, sweet, edible root that resembles a turnip in physical appearance, although the plants are not related. Jicama has been cultivated in South America for centuries, and the vegetable is quite popular in Mexican cuisine. Jicama has a unique flavor that lends itself well to salads, salsas, and vegetable platters. The roots can sometimes grow to be quite large, although when they exceed the size of two fists, they begin to convert the sugars that give jicama its sweet flavor into starches, making the root somewhat woody to the taste.

Jicama is actually a legume, and it grows on vines that may reach 20 feet (six meters) in length. The vines tend to hug the ground, terminating in tubers that may grow up to 50 pounds (22 kilograms) in size, although the majority of jicama roots sent to market are approximately three to four pounds (1.3-2 kilograms) in weight. Before eating, the coarse brown outer layer of the jicama should be peeled to reveal the white inside.

When choosing jicama at the store, look for medium sized, firm tubers with dry roots. Do not purchase jicama that has wet or soft spots, which may indicate rot, and don’t be drawn to overlarge examples of the tuber, because they may not be as flavorful. Jicama will keep under refrigeration for up to two weeks.

Jicama is excellent raw and is sometimes eaten plain. It can also be used as a substitute for water chestnut in Chinese dishes, in which case it should be thrown in right before serving. Jicama also appears in stews, juiced drinks, stuffings, and a variety of other recipes. In addition to having a unique flavor and texture, jicama takes flavor well, making it well suited to culinary experimentation. Jicama is a great source of vitamin c and is fat free—making it a superb on-the-go snack.

Jicama grows best in warm, dry climates. It can be planted and grown year round, although tubers form better during the winter time. Jicama plants sprouted in the late spring tend to produce extremely robust tubers by the winter, while jicama planted in the summer produces the most flavorful tubers, although they are typically somewhat smaller. Jicama prefers full sun and moderate rainfall, and it is subject to frost damage, making it a poor choice for northern climates. In addition, jicama produces a natural insecticide in the above ground vine, meaning that the plant protects itself from harmful pests.

Jicama Salad

  • 1 large jicama
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 red pepper, cut into very thin matchstick slices
  • 1/2 cup radishes, shredded
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into very thin matchstick slices
  • juice from three limes
  • 1 Tbsp. lime zest
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. ancho chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely minced
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Use a vegetable peeler or a paring knife to peel the jicama. Shred finely using a box grater or the shredding blade of a food processor. Place shredded jicama, carrots, red pepper, radishes, and cucumber in a large salad bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lime zest, rice vinegar, ancho chili powder, honey and canola oil. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the jicama salad. All the flavors to marinate for about 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Serves 6.