Gift Fish

While Peggy and I were busily repairing my ole recliner Sunday morning, (another story) I couldn't help but think that it would have been a great day to go fishing.  Warm outside, a 'cold front" was approaching, and the barometer was falling, which always gets the fishies excited.  They sense the weather change and stock up on whatever they can find to eat before the bad weather gets there.  If ya lucky, its your bait.
  While screwing my broken recliner back together, the phone rang and it was my buddy "Smokin' Sam" wondering if I wanted a dozen fresh caught "sac au lait".  Well, being me, I said, "SURE!", and it wasn't long before a bucket full of still-wiggling fish showed up!  While Peggy put the upholstery back together on my usta be recliner, now big comfy chair, I scaled the fish and removed the fins.  Cajuns call these delicious lil pan fish "sac au lait", which translates to "bag of milk".  It refers to their flakey snow white flesh.  You may know them as white perch, or crappie. 
The next day I took 4 of them and lightly dusted them with my own special Cajun seasoning.
Then I added some lemon juice, a few dashes of Crystal Hot Sauce, a little ketchup, and a handful of green onion.

They were then tightly covered with aluminum foil and put in a 350F oven for 30 minutes.  When ya remove the foil be careful not to get steamed.  There will be some natural fish broth in the pan, and its great to spoon on top of the fish.

This is a wonderful fish cooked with no oil in its natural juices.  Paired with some steamed veggies and a tossed salad with the dressing being the vinegar from the sliced pepperoncini.  It's hard to believe something so very tasty could be so healthy at the same time.


Cappy! Why Are Ya Always Cooking So Much BBQ?

Surely you kindred spirits get this question from folks that don't understand us "pit heads".:grilling_smilie:  "Cappy, it's just the two of you, wtf ya cookin' so much chicken for???" Folks just don't get it.  "Why do a whole 12 lb. pork butt, or a big ol' brisket for just yall?"  Well, I guess the answer is...'cause it's fun!!!!:yahoo:We did like 8 lbs. of chicken thighs.

How do ya justify something like this?? Well, my answer is: I have learned over the years to be the 'master of leftover BBQ'.  I mean, let's face it; I aint got a restaurant or BBQ stand, as an outlet for all the food we cook. It's seldom that I can scare up enough folks to account for a pit full of so much meat, but I love doing it, so I have created a number of dishes that uses the leftovers. I figure that supports my logic for filling the pit, smoking up the neighborhood, and having a ball doing it. The weird thing is; most of the folks doing the questioning about it, do it with one of my ribs in their hand.:ROTF
Anyway, I digress. What do yall do with your leftover BBQ? How do you justify your pit passion??
Here is one of my favorite leftover chicken dishes: chicken and black-eyed peas.

Good cooks don't hafta measure most of the time. I like to think I might be one of them, so what I did was place a few pieces of leftover chicken in the bottom of our large cast-iron pot. I coulda used a smaller pot, but, but I had recently used and cleaned this pot, and had set it on the stove to dry, where it sat lookin' all seductive and handy. LOL...I tole ya I LOVE to cook, and from earlier posts,  you know I love my black-iron pots, like any good Cajun does. This particular pot has been in my family for over a hundred years and been to more gatherings and get togethers than even I would ever know about. So, I invited this beloved ol' "gal" to this "party" by whacking up an onion, a piece of Cajun sausage, and a spoonful of my own Cappy's Cajun spice, a pound of dried black-eyed peas, covered it with water and set it to simmering. A trick my Mama taught me is: when cooking dried beans, ya only add the water a lil at a time, as  needed.   So, that's what I'm doing. It's a great way to spend a Sunday, watching movies with a pot of beans simmering on the stove. It's also a great way to continue enjoying the 'fruits' of my rusty ole BBQ pit that I had fun with the other day.  :icon_biggrin:

Some people might also say that I'm easily amused, but I would say I just appreciate the little things in life. I take joy (Cajun joie de vivre) enjoying the "simple life". (...And I hope dat answers the question.)


Cappy's Cajun Smoked, Hot Chicken Thighs

Funny how things change.  Thanks to the Buffalo Hot Wing craze ya can't get chicken wings for less than $2.50 a lb these days, while we often find leg quarters on sale for 50 cents a lb.  Well it didn't take this ole cost-conscious country boy long to load up on 10 lb sacks of leg quarters and cut them up and start making 'hot legs" or 'hot thighs" instead of hot wings.  I mean shucks, they got more meat on them anyways.

I put my chicken marinating in a mixture of:

12oz. of beer
1/4 to 1/2 cup of my own Cappy's Cajun Seasoning to taste; approx.( I shake & don't measure.)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons Crystal Hot Sauce, to taste
1 tablespoon Liquid Crab Boil
1 tablespoon Worchester sauce

The chicken soaks in the spicy marinade, then when we put the chicken on the pit. We pour the marinade in a small saucepan, add a stick of butter and reduce it by like 1/3.  Simmering the sauce kills any raw chicken germs as well as "marries" all the flavors and thickens the sauce.  We use it to "mop" onto the chicken as it cooks, to flavor and help keep it moist.

On accounta it was sleeting and freezing rain,

 I hadda fire up the charcoal chimney inside the pit to protect it from drippage.

Once the carcoal was lit,

 I put the chicken on the pit and the marinade in a small saucepan with a stick of butter, to reduce on a low heat..

Now we cookin':439: 
So now, on accounta it being an "icicley" kinda rainy day, I occasionally take a sip from the jug of "antifreeze" that lives on the windowsill of the shed.

After an hour I gave the chicken a mop.

When I  say "mop",  you can tell I  aint jokin':drool: 

After a couple hours it's mostly done so I turned it overNot for even cooking, but so I  could mop the other side.th_wsmsmile0ly.gif

After 2 and a half hours of moppin',moppin',moppin',floppin', moppin', I called them "did".

Job completed, I retreated back into the warm house with my "hot thighs" and sausage, and enjoyed the rest of the freezing cold, cloudy drizzly, icy icicles from inside, looking out the window, while all snuggled in my recliner enjoying the rewards of my fun, "miserable" Winter Day. Hope yall enjoying your winter wherever yall are at. 
   Well, it appears that since the last photo won't load on here for some reason, I'll give you the option to see it on the little video we made along with taking the photos you see here. To see the video, click on the link and as usual, it will take you to our "Cappyandpegody's channel" over there on youtube.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRMYM4Rdi_0&list=UUe6CkaSkPG0EXROyp-xQkjw&feature=c4-overview


Send off BBQ for Mr. Ed and Jean Our Dear Friends

Peg and I began preparing our send off BBQ for our friends Mr. Ed and Jean, because their wonderful visit was coming to an end.  We thawed some spareribs and removed the membrane from them.

We seasoned them up Friday night and took out a couple bags of redfish fillets our neighbors, Jude and Sonia had contributed to the party.  We called it a night, and considered it a good start. 
7 A.M. and we were up and at it, drinking coffee and plotting the BBQ:drool:439:
By 8 A.M. I had the pit all cleaned out and ashes of BBQs past disposed of.

8:15  I lit the charcoal chimney, jumped in the Jeep and made a beer run. By 8:45 the ribs were rubbed down with my sweet, spicy "Cappy's Cajun Butt Rub".th_wsmsmile0ly.gif

At 9 A.M. on the dot, the ribs hit the pit and my Blues-picking buddy, "The irascible Mr. Ed" started warming up with some Clapton chords.
10 in the morning and the backyard fire pit is lit.  Those of you who know our yard will note the lack of bananas I whacked them all down to the ground with Mr. Ed's help.  The ones still standing are actually in the neighbors yard.  I plan to ask them if they want me to whack them too, while the cane knife is sharp and I still feel like whacking.

After an hour and a half or so, I started to feel like I aughta be BBQín' or something, so I rolled the ribs over and mopped them with a mop sauce of butter, beer and left over rub.

At noon I took the ribs up and added some fresh charcoal to the pit.  When I put them back, I stacked them on the warm side of the pit and put a pan of beans on, and some smoked sausage to heat up.  You can see that at this point the ribs are pretty well done. 

At 12:30 I pulled the ribs out to let them rest in a dishpan and replaced them with redfish fillets on the "half-shell". This is a trick for holding the fillet's meat together.  When ya fillet the fish leave skin and scales on the fillet.  This helps it hold together and retain the fish broth.  They come out juicy smokeylicous.:yahoo:

We separated the ribs and slathered them in Peg's sweet spicy chunky BBQ sauce and stored them in the oven while putting the finishing touches on the rest of the stuff.  It wasn't long before a hush fell over the crowd as they wrapped their lips around our feast.

I even remembered to fix yall a plate.  Smoked sausage in sweet and sour glaze, the ribs, macaroni salad, corn and the redfish.
As I  write this, it's late, the company is gone, and I cant help being thankful for this wonderful day!  Good friends, good food and like the Cajuns say "bon ton".  Filled with homespun music and laughter it was truly a blessing.  I am very glad I got to share it with yall and hope your day was Blest as well.  


This years anual Batch of boudin

This year for our annual "Boudin Making Day" with the usual crowd of ol' boys, I was unable to attend. A stomach virus kept me "commode bound" while all my buddies spent the day drinking and having a ball at our good friend, Sam's outdoor kitchen and smoke shack. I sweet-talked my friend, "Mr. Ed" into taking a few pictures, but he aint the "foodie" that I am, but Bless his heart he did his best under the inebriating circumstances.

25 lbs. of pork, 8 lbs. of liver, my Cajun seasoning to taste, 6 bell peppers and a qt. bag of chopped green onion tops, plus a qt. bag of chopped parsley. Stir till cooked.

Ya place the meat mixture in a pan to cool and while it's cooling.......

You fry up a batch of "cracklins".  Cracklins are cubes of fresh skin on belly bacon meat.  They are fried in their own lard till they float, taken out of the oil, cooled, then twice fried a few seconds to blister the skin.These hard cooking, hard drinking country boys dove into them after the first fryin' on accounta they couldn't wait.:drool
This is a wonderful ole Cajun gentleman known as "Bebe" pronounced "Baybay". Mr. Ed kept saying "Baybay" with a deep Maurice Chevalier accent.

Here Bebe and Ed are showing off their wonderful fried "bacony" cracklins.  Think they been drinkin'???cheers.gif

Our buddy Steve enjoying his!

Now, about the boudin:

Once the meat cools, ya gotta mix in cooked rice. I figure one cup of rice for 1 lb. of meat, but the guys just cooked a 20 lb. sack, figuring close enough. 

Once you get everything mixed together well, you push it down into the sausage stuffer, while one of your buddies handles the end where the mixture comes out into the pork casing. There's a knack for getting this done right, but with a roomful of Cajuns who've been doin' this for years, they got it down to a science. The end result is this pile of boudin, which was twisted into links and weighed in at a lil over 80 lbs. Half of it went into the smoker, and the rest was left cooked, but unsmoked.  We feel certain that the finished product could compete with the best in any contest. It was amazin'. Of course how how could it not be; it was my recipe and seasoning.:439::icon_razz:I am told that shortly before taking this picture is when they decided to sample the quart of "shine" somebody brought. That makes it the last picture they remembered to take. I was kinda comforted by the fact that they forgot to watch the rice real close and quit taking pictures, cuz it makes me feel like they coulda used my help, so I was not forgot.  By noon I was ready to face the world and try to go on over to see how things were going, but these early rizin' country boys were already finished and when I stepped out the door to go meet 'em in my Jeep, they were pullin' in the driveway. Oh well, at least they showed up with my yearly supply of this wonderful Cajun tradition.