We've never been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras but we sure enjoyed our share of parades while living in Mobile [home of the original mardi gras, you know...] so we still fondly celebrate by eating good cajun food and king cake... so today we'll be eating Shrimp Creole and homemade King Cake so I thought I'd share my 'recipe' for king cake - lol. you'll soon see why I laugh...
But first a couple of tips on good creole sauce - I learned during my cooking class in New Orleans earlier in the year that the roux should be a nice peanut butter color [the lighter the roux, the thicker the sauce; I'd never realized that before...but if I think about sawmill gravy it does make sense.] Adding a little white wine with the water gives just a little more cajun depth to it... and you need to allow plenty of time for simmering for a nice thick sauce [in the class he actually put it in the oven and saved stirring so often...] This recipe makes a lot of sauce so we just put in enough shrimp for the two of us and then froze the rest of it for another time [too delish and time-consuming to let it go to waste. We'll add more shrimp after it's re-heated.]
Now, on to my King Cake - I've bought them from LOTS of places through the years and have always been just a little disappointed. So this year I thought I'd just make my own.
I started with a couple of cups of biscquik, added a teaspoon of yeast [I buy it in a jar and keep it in the freezer] dissolved in warm water, and added milk to make a stiff dough.
Then I pressed it out onto a foil -lined jelly roll pan and covered it with soft butter and a cinnamon and sugar mixture.
I rolled it up like a cinnamon roll log,
oops, I almost forgot my baby king... I went with the larger one [less chance of choking on it that way] and tucked it into the roll.
Then I transferred it to a round pan lined with foil and buttered well - forming it into a circle.
I let it sit on the counter and 'rise' a bit while the oven pre-heated- this dough doesn't actually rise a lot, but the yeast gives it added flavor.
Then I baked it in a 350* oven for about 45 minutes [I covered the outer edges so the inside could continue cooking.]
After it cooled I made a little confectioner sugar frosting, divided and colored it in my all-time favorite colors and partied it up a bit, and of course, I added colored sugars to give it a little glittery finish.
I picked up the party shrimp at Goodwill during the weekend [for a dollar; it's a pin] and gave it a good washing before using it for decoration -BTW - I looked for colored sugars at the store and couldn't find any - so I made my own = simply put a few drops of food coloring in a small ziplock [snack] bag, sealed, and mixed it well. You can see it above in the bowl and below in some nifty shakers we picked up at an estate sale a couple of years back -
There you have it - what a recipe - lol. I love having time at home to cook a bit.
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