Bizarre Foods Monday: Crawfish Beignets

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Ingredients

1 egg, beaten

1 lb cooked crawfish tail meat

4 green onions, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/3 cup flour

oil for frying

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 teaspoon horseradish (optional)

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the egg, crawfish, onions, butter, salt and cayenne. Stir in flour until blended.
  2. In an electric skillet or deep fryer, heat oil to 375°. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter, a few at a time, into hot oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish if desired and pepper sauce. Serve with beignets. Yield: about 2 dozen (3/4 cup sauce).

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Bizarre Foods Monday: Crawfish Beignets

Cheesy Rice Balls (Arancini)

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Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 med onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup ham, finely diced (about 3 oz)
  • 2 cups medium grain rice such as Jasmine rice (un-rinsed)
  • 1 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay
  • 5 cups hot reduced sodium chicken broth/stock
  • 1 tsp salt (we used sea salt)
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • ⅓ cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into 24 (1/2-inch) cubes
For Breading/ Frying:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, beaten with a fork
  • 1½ cups dry Italian Bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying (vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oil)
Instructions
  1. Using a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with tight fitting lid, over medium/high heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp butter. When hot, stir in diced onion and sautee until soft and golden (4-5 min). Add finely diced ham and cook another 2 min or until golden. Add rice and stir to coat with oil.
  2. Pour in 1 cup white wine and cook until mostly evaporated (2 min). Add 5 cups hot low sodium chicken broth and 1 tsp salt then cover and cook until liquid has been absorbed by the rice (about 15 min). Stir in the peas in, then cover with a tight fitting lid and finish cooking (2 min). Rice should be soft and the liquid mostly absorbed. Spread rice mixture onto a large rimmed baking dish to cool.
  3. Once rice is cooled, stir in ⅓ cup finely chopped parsley and 1 cup parmesan cheese. Form rice balls using a heaping ice cream scoop for each. Stuff each rice ball with a cube of mozzarella cheese and form a tight ball with the rice mixture to enclose the cheese.
  4. Set up 3 shallow bowls, the first one to have 1 cup flour, the second with 3 beaten eggs, the third with 1½ cups bread crumbs. Dredge each rice ball in flour, shaking off the excess, then dip one-by-one in the beaten egg allowing excess egg to drip back into the bowl. Finally, roll balls in breadcrumbs until evenly coated. It’s best to roll and bread all of the rice balls before beginning frying since the frying is quick.
  5. Add an inch of vegetable oil into a deep skillet or pot over medium heat (a pot is nice to reduce splatter). Once oil is hot, add the breaded rice balls in batches without crowding the pot and cook about 3 min total per batch, turning to get all sides golden brown. Transfer to paper towels and serve warm with marinara, or with ranch (as my son prefers), or sans the dip and just enjoy ’em!
Cheesy Rice Balls (Arancini)

Bizarre Foods Monday: Dandelion Fritters

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I expected these to be bitter and even plain bad, but they surprised me. They were kind of vegetal and tender. With dipping sauce, they could pass for zucchini or squash blossom. I didn’t have any milk, so I made up a Tempura batter (from a mix….gasp!).

you will need:

2-3 cups of dandelion flowers
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flower
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

1.  Collect your dandelions from a nice clean pasture (not one where your dog or boyfriend pee). Soak them in water for 15 minutes to wash and remove any bugs. Drain on rack or in strainer.
3. Mix up your batter including all the ingredients save the oil and the flowers.
4. Put your oil in pan and heat. You want about an inch of oil.
5. When the oil is hot dip the flowers into the batter.
6. Cook until golden brown. Let drain on paper towels or racks. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Bizarre Foods Monday: Dandelion Fritters

Bizarre Foods Monday: Rocky Mountain Oysters

These are SO much better than I imagined. My hubby kind of closed his eyes and shoved it in his mouth, but he ended up eating his fair share. These were served with horseradish dip, but I’d recommend something with a vinegar bite to balance the richness of the meat. Gravy was also very good.

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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Split the tough skin-like muscle that surrounds each “oyster” (use a sharp knife). You can also remove the skin easily if the meat is frozen and then peeled while thawing.
  2. Soak in a pan of salt water one hour; drain.
  3. Transfer to a large pot and add enough water to float the meat.
  4. Add the vinegar to the pot.
  5. Parboil, drain and rinse.
  6. Let cool and slice each oyster into 1/4 inch thick ovals.
  7. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of sliced oyster to taste.
  8. Combine flour, cornmeal and some garlic powder to taste.
  9. Roll each slice into flour mixture.
  10. Dip into milk.
  11. Roll again into flour mixture.
  12. Dip into wine.
  13. (repeat the procedure for a thicker crust).
  14. Fry in hot oil or fat seasoned with the bottled hot sauce to taste (be careful, it will sizzle when you add the hot sauce); fry until golden brown.
  15. Drain on paper towels.
  16. Serve with cocktail sauce if desired.
Bizarre Foods Monday: Rocky Mountain Oysters

Fish and Chips

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1 lb white, flaky fish (cod, haddock, tilapia)
5 potatoes, washed and scrubbed
1 cup full-flavored beer (such as Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA)
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp + 1 tsp kosher salt
4 cups warm water
vegetable oil

Make the soaking mixture for the cut potatoes by combining warm water and 2 tablespoons kosher salt in large bowl. Mix to dissolve salt. Set aside.

To prepare the potatoes, peel the sides of the potato with a vegetable peeler, leaving some skin at the top and bottom. Slice potatoes length-wise, in 1/2″ slices. Then, slice 1/4″ inch strips from those slices. A mandoline or french fry cutter is very handy here! Place cut potatoes in the bowl of salt water and soak for 15 minutes. Remove from water and place the potatoes on a clean kitchen towel to dry for a few minutes. Dry well to avoid splattering when frying.

Fill a dutch oven with vegetable oil, so that oil comes up a little less than halfway up the pot. Place over low heat and heat to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, prepare your beer batter by combining the beer, 1 cup of flour, and a teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Set aside. Place remainder of flour in a resealable bag and set aside with the beer batter.

Once oil is up to temperature, fry the potatoes in batches, taking care not to overcrowd. Fry until edges are starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel lined cookie sheet. Repeat process with remaining potatoes. Once all potatoes have been fried, bring the oil back up to 375 degrees, and refry them. The “twice-fry” is the key to a crispy french fry. Just another minute or two in the hot oil is all you need. Place them on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and keep warm in an oven while fish is frying.

To fry the fish, place filets in the bag of flour to lightly coat, then dip into beer batter, and add to the oil. Fry until golden brown, turning fish occasionally, about 6-9 minutes depending on the size of the filets. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel-lined plate for a minute before plating. Serve fried fish over a generous portion of french fries with wedges of lemon for garnish. Tartar sauce and malt vinegar on the side.

Fish and Chips

Homemade Corndogs

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These look a little rough, but they were tasty! You might try coating the hotdogs with cornstarch before battering to help the batter stay on during frying.

You need:

Hot dogs

Sticks (I used bamboo sticks)

A box of jiffy cornbread mix

1 egg

1 can creamed corn

Vegetable oil

Directions:

1. Put hot dogs on sticks and trim to fit in the pan you’re using to fry with.

2. Mix cornbread, egg and creamed corn until well combined.

3. Pour batter into a tall glass so you can dip the whole hotdog.

4. Fry until golden brown in vegetable oil. Serve hot with your favorite condiments.

Homemade Corndogs

Scotch Eggs

These were uh-mazing and neither of us like eggs. Instant happy tummy.

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5 eggs
1 lb pork sausage
2 shallots finely diced
1 carrot finely diced
1 stick of celery finely diced
Half a leek finely diced
1 teaspoon of sage, thyme and parsley chopped.
Beaten egg
Seasoned flour (1 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper)
Panko Breadcrumbs

1. Begin by dicing the vegetables finely. Sweat the vegetables in a pan until soft, and then season. Spread it out and allow to cool.

2. Place five eggs into boiling salted water for six minutes, 30 seconds Put the eggs in iced water for one minute to stop them cooking. De-shell the eggs.

3. Mix the cooled diced vegetables and the pork. Divide the mixture into five bundles. Wrap the mix around the eggs.

4. Coat the egg in the seasoned flour, and then the egg wash. Then roll the egg in the seasoned breadcrumbs.

5. Cook the Scotch Egg hot oil at 375 degrees F for two minutes until golden brown.

6. Then cook in a hot oven at 375 degrees F for six minutes.

7. Serve immediately.

Scotch Eggs