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Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner, New Orleans Style

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

(Photo)
Larry Eiker
The many different flavors in the cultures of Louisiana seem to just blend together into what is called "Cajun cooking". Cajun cooking with friendly people, warm weather, and lively music and dancing is just great for me.

Thanksgiving is coming before we know it and getting started now with new ideas will make your week of home town cooking never to be forgotten. During the next few articles I will give you some ideas that I have gathered in New Orleans.

To start with some ideas, we start with one fresh turkey, about eighteen pounds, ready to cook. At the same time we will be cooking oyster dressing and giblet mushroom gravy. Sweet potatoes with chopped pecans and cranberry relish and the giblet gravy receipts will come next week.

Oyster Dressing recipe is as follows:

1½ sticks of unsalted butter

4 cups diced onions

1½ cups diced celery

1½ cups diced green bell peppers

4 bay leaves

4½ dozen oysters, chopped (reserve liquor)

1½ teaspoons minced garlic

9 cups fresh bread crumbs

3 cups dry bread crumbs

1 ½ teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons Creole Seafood Seasoning

The Creole Seafood Seasoning is made of 1/3 cup salt, ¼ cup granulated or powdered garlic, ¼ cup freshly ground black pepper, 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons thyme, 2 tablespoons oregano, 1/3 cup paprika, 3 tablespoons granulated or powdered onion. When the various seasonings are combined you will have 2 cups. Put in the black pepper to your taste.

To make the oyster dressing melt the butter in a heavy skillet and sauté onions, celery, green bell pepper, and bay leaves until wilted. Add oysters and garlic and cook for 10 minutes.

Moisten the fresh bread crumbs with 4 cups oyster liquor. Add moisten bread crumbs and dry bread crumbs to the vegetable-oyster mixture and mix lightly. Add salt and seafood seasoning listed above and cook for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

To get back to the turkey, set aside neck and giblets and rub turkey inside and out with the meat seasoning listed below or just use seasoning of your choice.

Cajun turkey meat is very highly seasoned with a blend of 1 cup salt, ¾ cup granulated or powdered garlic, ¾ cup freshly ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste and ¼ cup paprika. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into a large glass jar. Seal tightly and the prepared three cups of seasoning will last indefinitely.

Now turn the turkey breast down and fill neck cavity loosely with stuffing. Pull neck skin over stuffing and secure to back of turkey with skewers. Turn turkey breast side up. Fold wing tips under, and fill cavity lightly with remaining stuffing. Tie legs together over cavity opening or, if your turkey has a metal clamp, return it to its original position, holding the legs in place. Put turkey on rack in open roasting pan, breast up, roast in the preheated oven for about 8 hours, or until juice that runs from the thigh when pierced deeply with a fork is clear.

The giblet mushroom gravy, sweet potatoes and cranberry relish for the turkey will be next week. Start planning now on who the 8 to 10 friends will be eating this meal with you.

Have a Happy

Larry Eiker is a Kennett resident who enjoys

traveling all over the world and experiencing great food, while bringing some of those ideas back home to the Bootheel to share with others.

Larry Eiker
Eiker's Burgoo of Food Ideas