PaPa Ray’s and Uncle Howard’s
World Famous Crawfish Maque Choux
Serves 10-12 People (Sometimes)
1⁄4 Cup of Vegetable Oil or Olive Oil
9 Cans of Whole Kernel Corn - drained
3 Cans of Cream Style Corn
2 Large Yellow Onions - chopped
2 Bell Peppers (green, red, orange or yellow) Adds Color - chopped
6 Cloves of Garlic, minced
2 lbs. Of Crawfish Tails (Cajun Country Raised)
2 lbs. Of Smoked Tasso
1 Quart of Heavy Whipping Cream
Place a large pot (we like cast iron) on the stove and set the burner to high. Once hot, add oil and Whole Kernel Corn. Stir frequently to prevent corn from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Not too hard...you don’t want to bruise the corn. Water will emit from the corn but will eventually cook out as steam. Once this has occurred, the corn will begin to “fry” in the pot. Keep stirring. You will start to notice the sugar cooking out of the corn and sticking to the bottom of the pot and the tip of your spoon. Don’t freak out. You don’t have to worry about “scraping” the “cddrude”. It will become part of the dish later. When the corn takes on a “golden” color, add onions, bell pepper, garlic and tasso. Keep fire on high and keep stirring. When onion and bell pepper soften, add Cream Style Corn and Heavy Whipping Cream. Bring to a rolling boil and then lower the fire to a bubbling simmer. This is where the “cddrude” will become a vital part of the dish as it breaks downs in the hot liquid. Leave the lid off the pot...the whipping cream will steam out and thicken. Stir occasionally. Season to taste at this point. We like Bad Byron’s Butt Rub. Less salt, more herbs! Once the cream has thickened to a “pretty tic” consistency, add the Crawfish tails, stir in and cover. Turn off the burner and let sit. And that’s it! You have just been entrusted with the “World Famous...Papa Ray & Uncle Howard’s Maque Choux” Recipe. The only obligation you have now is to pass this secret onto whom ever asks for it. And don’t forget...Cooking Cajun Style is easy: Treat the Dish like a lady...take your time, be gentle, give it due attention, and love it passionately and it will always turn out Great!
Grilled Shrimp Madagascar
Shrimp are great on the grill. Having the right marinade makes all the difference. This recipe boasts bright flavors and aromas that accentuate the inherent flavor of the shrimp.
Shrimp Madagascar can be served as an appetizer, or entrée. The dish matches perfectly Toasted Cumin Butter. The combination won this Examiner a medal at a regional culinary classic competition several years ago.
The flavor profile of this marinade, and the grilling technique make this dish a classic. Grilling is recommended over a charcoal fire. The charcoal adds a bit of smoke flavor which further enhances the flavor characteristics.
Overcooking shrimp is the primary mistake made by cooks and chefs alike. While the shrimp used here are very large, butterflying them keeps cooking time to a minimum. The count of shrimp to be used should not be smaller than 15 to the pound.
Cooking should be done over high heat, similar to grilling a steak. Cook time should not exceed 2 minutes per side for the largest of shrimp. One to one and a half minutes is optimum. Shrimp have two doneness indicators, which are their color and shape. When they are pink and curled, they are done.
Fresh breadcrumbs are also called for here. Fresh breadcrumbs are quite simply small pieces of fresh bread. A crust French loaf is the bread of choice here. The food processor can be used to chop the bread into pieces the size of a pea or smaller. Do not over process the bread.
Toasted Cumin Butter