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Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

New Orleans Definitions: What is What?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When in New Orleans (NOLA) you hear "their language" of the food world. So let us take a look at the NOLA definitions of their "house made" meats and what their top end prices at their local specialty shops.

ANDOUILLE - Cajun specialty. French in origin is a fully cooked seasoned coarse grained pork sausage, seasoned with cayenne, black pepper, white pepper, chili powder, hot sauce plus garlic. It also has peppers, green onions, and wine in other methods of preparing. Costs: $6.00 to $7.50 / pound. You can find this specialty if you look for it each time you happen in our big store and get lucky. La Place, LA is where you get the best.

BOUDIN (BOO dahn)- Cajun specialty. Fully cooked pork, pork liver, plus rice sausage, seasoned with jalapeno, poblano pepper, parsley, salt, pepper and other spices.. Green onions, crawfish, alligator, seafood, shrimp and smoked pork are used also. It is widely available by the link or pound from the butcher shops. Boudin is usually made daily as it doesn't keep well for very long, even when frozen. It is usually served with side dishes such as rice dressing, maque choux or bread. Costs: $3.50-6.50 / pound. The big store sausage is of a quality that does not meet my taste or standards. When locally made in NO, the Boudin sausage served early in the morning for breakfast will always be remembered. I love Boudin with or without side dishes. It is a great breakfast sausage. The specialty is also made in balls. The new West End store carries Boudin.

TASSO - Cajun specialty. Brine cure (for at least a week) the smoked pork shoulder butt (7 to 8 pounds), is rubbed with chili powder, paprika plus cayenne. Others use salt, garlic and red pepper as a spice rub. The classic Tasso Ham Recipe used 3/4 cup curing salt, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, cayenne pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Got the idea yet that they make it differently in various LA cities. Smoke with hickory or oak until internal temperatures reaches 150 degrees F. Used in seasoning meat for gumbos, gravy, jambalaya, grits, and other Cajun dishes. $7.50 / pound. $7.50 / pound. It is very hard or impossible to find outside NO.

HOG'S HEAD CHEESE- Cooked and or potted jelly meat from the pig's head, seasoned with Creole mustard, hot sauce, parsley, and onions. $10.00 / pound. It is served as hot appetizer with crackers. One good thing is that the brains, eyes or ears are not used in the cheese, mostly scraps and feet. Also called "souce" which is pickled with vinegar. This preserved meat product came from Europe. The new West End store carries hot and mild souce.

KURABUTA BACON - Lightly smoked, cured bacon from Kurobuta pig (Equals black pig in Japanese plus term for a breed of the famous Berkshire pig), known for its superb meat marbling. (Note: It is real close to looking like it is freshly cut beef in color.) $16.00 / pound. That is, if you can find the bacon and if you find the bacon, afford buying a pound. Beautiful in color which makes you want to taste the meat until the price is announced.

LARDO, $15.00 / pound. It is cured strips of fat back taken from the neck of a pig or close by. Why the price? In the world of "Chef cooking", the use of Italian charcuterie or the really best, Lardo du Colonnata which is made in Italy and cured for months in the local marble mined there in Italy produces. The use of salt, spices and seasoning produces this one of a kind seasoning. The Italians have put the seal on this product as a original Italian product. So if you want to put your nose up in the air, use Tuscany lardo and pay the price.

COUNTRY TERINE - Potted cooked plus seasoned port plus pork liver, fresh parsley plus chopped pistachios, wrapped in house made salt and sugar cured bacon. $12.00 / pound.

NOW FOR SOME HOUSE CURED SALAMI MADE IN NOLA:

CHORIZO - Spanish, dry cured pork sausage, seasoned with cayenne, paprika, chili powder and garlic. $28.00 /pound. The big store carries this sausage that is not cured at a much cheaper price.

SPICY FENNEL - Dry cured pork sausage, seasoned with fennel seeds, chili flakes, black and white pepper. $28.00 pound. I have found this item much cheaper in Kansas City than in NO.

Now let us take some Andouille Sausage and Potatoes. You can find these items in Kennett and save the trip and have the dream at home.

3 tablespoons bacon drippings or olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

1 cup finely chopped parsley

1 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 to 2 pounds Andouille or other heavily smoked sausage

Louisiana hot sauce or ground cayenne pepper to taste

Salt to taste

6 medium-sized potatoes, thinly sliced

Heat the bacon drippings in a large, heavy saucepan over medium high heat, and sauté' the onions bell pepper, and parsley, stirring occasionally until the onions are clear. Add the wine, garlic, soy sauce, and Andouille, and mix well. Add the salt and hot sauce and stir. Add the potatoes, stir, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

Justin Wilson used this one as his homegrown Louisiana cooking. I also found sautern wine he uses is a little high in price so use a dry white wine in cooking but Cream of Sherry Wine can be used and is much cheaper, about fifty per cent less. One problem, no grocery store, wine store, bar, booze hall carries Sherry Wine in Kennett. Taylor's Cream of Sherry Wine cost $4.99 per bottle.

It seems that I write to much about New Orleans, so for a while I will move one down the table to other dishes. So I leave NOLA to return to Kennett and eat some cat fish

Have a Happy

Larry Eiker
Eiker's Burgoo of Food Ideas