Creole Sautéed Summer Squash and Zucchini

Sweet Daddy D's Creole Sautéed Summer Squash and Zucchini
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Combine sliced summer squash and zucchini with red onions, creole seasoning and herbs, then saute over high heat to bring out the natural sweetness of the veggies. Slip in a little bacon...almost too good for a side dish!
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  1. Peel and slice squash and zucchini into medallions; Slice red onion into half moons; Slice lemons, discard ends; Chop garlic
  2. Place all of the above into a large bowl.
  3. Add herb and spice blend and a few dashed of olive oil.
  4. Mix well and set aside for about 20 minutes.
  5. Chop bacon into 1 inch pieces.
  6. Cook bacon in a large saute pan over high heat.
  7. Remove bacon from the pan and set aside on paper towels to drain but leave the bacon grease in the pan.
  8. Add the vegetables to the bacon grease.
  9. Shake pan and stir occasionally.
  10. Allow the vegetables to start to brown slightly on the edges before you shake or stir.
  11. Maintain a high heat as you saute, don't allow them to burn but you do want to encourage some caramelization to occur and cook down slightly.
  12. After about 20 minutes, remove from heat and return the crisp bacon pieces to the vegetables.
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Smothered Cabbage

Sweet Daddy D's Smothered Cabbage
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Smothered Cabbage is first rate comfort food and often overlooked. Smother it slowly in in its own juices, flavored with creole seasoning and a few herbs and spices and some delicious pork fat. The natural sweetness is drawn out and renders a warming and satisfying creole treat. It's too good for just New Years Day!
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  1. Sprinkle the pork chops with kosher salt and pepper and creole seasoning and set aside.
  2. Remove the outer leaves and cut out the hard stem of the cabbage. Slice cabbage in half, then slice each half across in 4 to 6 pieces.
  3. Slice onion into thick rings and then cut the rings in half; rough chop the garlic
  4. Heat bacon grease in a Dutch oven over medium high heat.
  5. Brown the pork chops on both sides in the bacon grease. When browned, remove the pork chops from the pan and set aside.
  6. Add the onions and sauté until starting to soften and brown on the edges.
  7. Add the garlic and stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add in the cabbage a handful at a time. Stir well and allow to cook down a little before you add more. You may have to let it cook down a bit before you add all of the cabbage.
  9. Add the herbs and spices, sugar and the bay leaves. Mix well.
  10. Add back the pork chops. Lower the heat to medium low and cover the pot. Check in about 10 to 15 minutes and stir. The cabbage should be giving off some water so add chicken stock only if needed.
  11. Add no more than a 1/4 cup of chicken stock and only if needed, there may adequate liquid rendered from the cabbage and no need to add any additional, mix well. If you add a little too much stock, just let it cook a little off.
  12. Allow the cabbage to simmer uncovered for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  13. Cover and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes until the cabbage is completely cooked down. Then remove the cover, increase the heat and allow some browning and some of the excess liquid to cook off. Then its done!
Recipe Notes

If pork chops are not available, other cuts of pork can be used as the seasoning meat like smoked ham hocks. Try to use something with a little fat.

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Cajun Crawfish Étouffée

Sweet Daddy D's Cajun Crawfish Étouffée
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Crawfish Etouffee is a simple yet tasty and homey plate of crawfish tails smothered in rich gravy, served over rice. Its a staple in South Louisiana in both Cajun and Creole cuisines. Sprinkle some chopped green onions on top and serve with a green salad and some fresh, crunchy french bread.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
6-8people 20minutes 60minutes
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  1. If you have frozen tails, thaw them out, then place them in a bowl and set aside. Gather the veggies and dice them up, place in a bowl for later. Separate about 1/4 of the chopped green onions sprinkle on top of the servings of Étouffée. Mix the herbs and spices in a small bowl and the creole seasoning in a separate small bowl and set them aside. Get the flour and oil ready for the roux and set the butter aside to soften.
  2. You'll need two cast iron (or other heavy) stock pots ready. One to make the roux and saute the vegetables and a second stock pot for the seafood stock. In that stock pot put about 3/4 of the seafood stock (3 cups), set it over very low heat and covered.
  3. To make the roux, heat the oil over medium high heat in a cast iron dutch oven until shimmering. Add the flour to the hot oil and whisk or stir constantly to make a medium dark roux-like light milk chocolate.
  4. Add the onions, celery, green peppers and about 1/2 of the green onions to the roux and saute over medium high heat until smooth and moist-about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir frequently, scrapping up any bits of goodness that stick to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add the garlic and saute until aromatic-about 1 to 2 minutes, then add about 2/3 of the herb and spice mix and both bay leaves and mix it all up.
  6. Meanwhile, increase the heat under the 3 cups of seafood stock and bring it to a rolling boil. To make the gravy, mix the roux mixture into the boiling stock one spoonful at a time using a slotted spoon. Make sure each spoonful is fully dissolved and return the stock to a full boil between each spoonful.
  7. When you have the gravy going, set the roux pot aside but don't rinse or wash it out yet, you need all that goodness for later. The gravy will begin to thicken; you can add more stock later if it gets too thick, but wait until after you mix it with the tails. Cover the stock pot and reduce the heat to very low-simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, stir frequently so it does not stick.
  8. While the gravy is simmering, turn the heat to medium high under the original stock pot where you made the roux and add 4 tablespoons of butter. As the butter melts scrape up any bits of goodness that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. When the butter is foaming add the crawfish tails, about 1/2 to 2/3 of the reserved green onions and all the creole seasoning. Mix well until all the crawfish tails are coated with butter. Saute this for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly; you'll see some liquid developing from the butter and the crawfish fat.
  9. Ladle the gravy into the crawfish tails and mix well. This is when the crawfish tails will be smothered in the rich gravy and all the flavors come together. The liquid from sauteing the tails in the butter will thin out the gravy some but if you think it needs to be thinner, add some of the reserved stock. When its all mixed together, taste for spice and add more if needed. When this comes to a boil lower the heat, cover and let it simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. If you think it needs to be thicker, simmer without the cover for a while.
  10. When almost done, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pot. Don't stir it in, but shake the pan back and forth as the butter melts and mixes with the gravy. This adds a little creaminess.
  11. Remove the bay leaves and serve over rice with a sprinkle of chopped green onions on top.
  12. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

If you aren't lucky enough to have some fresh crawfish available, you can find frozen tails in a lot of better supermarkets or seafood markets. They generally come in 1 pound packages. I highly recommend that you use Louisiana crawfish, but read the labels-often times what you find is crawfish from China. To me, its the fat in the Louisiana crawfish that makes them sweet. The Chinese crawfish taste bitter to me and not sweet like the ones from the Bayou State. If you have to use Chinese or anything except Louisiana, rinse them well prior to using, let them drain, then pat them dry with paper towels.  You can also buy Louisiana crawfish on line at sites like Cajun Grocer or Tony's Seafood.

If you can't find commercial seafood stock in the grocery, you can substitute chicken stock.

Etouffee is also very good made with with shrimp or chicken.

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