Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Mardi Gras. y'all!

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.


NancyJones said...

you put two babies in your cake? You really want to luck up and get some king cakes next year huh? hehehe Looks mighty good. ENJOY!

Gloria L. said...

It must have tasted yummy!

Trish said...

Thats a cool way to do the sugar. Probably cheaper too! Awesome!!!