Happy Cheese Day!!!!!
I cannot tell you how much I enjoy cheese. I really do think that it is one of my favoritest foods EVER!!! It has multiple personalities and textures and you can take it anywhere!!!!
Olive cream cheese schmeared on a toasted everything bagel! A piece of cheddar stuffed precariously on a stalk of celery. Asiago cheese mixed with the mozzarella on your pizza. Stuffed inside of a burger instead of on top. Pierogi Lasagna. You can even deep fry cheese in a Dutch oven! And my all time fav….homemade mac n cheese….I grew up with extra sharp white Vermont cheddar as the base to mac n cheese….I have made other combinations….but still nothing compares to Mom’s mac n cheese. (It was, and still is, Halloween tradition at my house.)
There are ENDLESS combinations….cold, hot, sweet, savory. There are even cheeses with fruit, nuts, and seeds right in them!!! One of the awesomest cheeses that I ever had was called Barely Buzzed @ American Cheese when they were still in West Sayville, NY. It was rubbed with lavender and coated in espresso. Erin sold these rolled oat baguettes too….I would melt the Barely Buzzed on a piece of that warm baguette…
OK….hungry now…time to go find a piece of cheese!
( There is always some form of cheese in my house on any given day ALWAYS!!!)
The Cajun Express Smoker by R & V Works is a bbq smoker that has a special enhanced sealed system that allows you to smoke foods at an astronomical rate. Imagine coming home from working an 8 hour day and throwing a rack of ribs into the Cajun Express Smoker. The ribs are done in about an hour. (Pre-heating takes about 10-15 mins.) That is enough time to decompress and relax after work and be ready to sit and enjoy a beautifully smoked meal with your family.
Perfect for limited time periods, like catering, vending and tailgating. Obviously, when catering you want to have all of your food done on time. You don’t want to start smoking food the night before and reheat it. When vending at a Farmer’s Market or festival, time is limited also. This smoker smokes your food in about half the time it would take a traditional smoker to smoke. Who wants to leave a smoker going in the parking lot during the game, because the food wasn’t done yet or the wood is still burning. The Cajun Express is perfect for setting up in the stadium parking lot. Gives you the freedom to use your grill other things while the smoker does it’s thing. The best of both worlds for the tailgating palette. The Cajun Express Smoker runs on propane. So no worries about still burning wood. Just shut off your LP tanks while you eat. The unit is cooled off and ready to pack up before you enter the field for the game!
Most smokers cook meat with very low temperatures and a lot of wood. It makes great food but can take very long periods of time. The Cajun Express Smoker is the fastest smoker in the bayou! Cook baby back ribs in only 35 to 40 minutes, or an entire brisket in two hours. Smoke a 15 lb. turkey in 1 hour. This amazing smoker works off of a patented smoking process that utilizes a pressure/vacuum regulator. This revolutionizes cooking times. There is a rubber seal on the latched door that provides an air tight cooking chamber. The only place for air to escape is through a 1″ pipe at the rear of the smoker. This 1″ pipe actually leads to a tank that you can fill with various liquids, and this creates a liquid pressure regulator. When you light the burner, it heats the air, and heated air expands. This causes pressure. The pressure then builds, eventually overcoming the resistance from the liquid in the tank, causing the liquid to “perk”. The result here is that the meat is compressed by pressure, then the perk causes a momentary vacuum, which uncompresses the meat, essentially, pulling the meat apart. The unit will perk about 20 times per minute. In the end, the meat you are cooking is being processed with pressure. Higher temps. are involved which results in shorter cooking periods. You still get great results of smokey, flavorful, yet moist and tender meat.
The liquid that you use in the tank will add flavor to your meats. If you add apple juice or bourbon, your meats will take on a hint of that flavoring along with the smoke from your wood chips.
We recommend using wood chip instead of chunks. The chunks can produce too strong of flavor. From past experience may I also suggest not using pellets or small wood chip/dust. These items actually ignite and can cause internal fire that may damage your heat seal. For standard cooking of say about 2 hours, you want to fill your wood chip tray about 1/2 full. You can also soak your chips if you like, say in bourbon, apple juice, or even wine.Therefore adding more flavor than just your smoke and liquid from your tank.
The Cajun Express Smoker now comes in 3 convenient sizes. The original that easily fits 4 racks of ribs, 2 trimmed 9 lb. briskets, 3-3lb chickens or 1-15 lb. turkey. There is also a 6 rib smoker and a 9 rib smoker. There is a perfect size for the backyard BBQ aficionado, one for a decent sized tailgate party, and even one for large catering jobs or food vending. Comes with castors for ease of mobility.
If you like smoked foods but don’t have the time for the low and slow process, consider a Cajun Express Smoker!
Chowder is a thick rich soup. Sometimes thickened by milk or cream or by crushed up crackers like “Oysterettes’. The name chowder is possibly derived from the French word “chaudiere” meaning stew pot or the type of pot that this concoction was cooked in. Nowadays you can cook chowder right on your stove top in a large soup pan. Better yet, how about right on the beach with your freshly caught clams or cold weather tailgating in the stadium parking lot using a traditional turkey fryer kit or stock pot and outdoor propane cooker?
Chowder, or chowda, in common New England terminology, usually contains potatoes and onions, sometimes celery and bacon or salt pork. The main ingredient is typically clams, fish or corn.
There have been many variations of clam chowda over the years. The main ingredients like the quahogs or chowder clams always the constant. Smaller clams are easier to eat raw on the half shell or steamed. The larger quahogs or chowder clams are chewy and tough. It is easier to chop them up and put them in soups or cakes.
New England Clam Chowda, probably the most well known, a creamy thick soup of clams, potatoes, onions, milk or cream, and sometimes celery, bacon, or salt pork. Almost always served with saltine type crackers or oyster crackers to crush up in the soup to make it even thicker.
There is a lesser known version of chowder that probably originated in coastal New England. This version is clear broth made of clam juice. The ingredients also include quahogs, potatoes, onions, bacon and sometimes celery. This version has spread from Rhode Island (a possible location of origin), all the way down the coastal eastern seaboard, with versions popping up in Delaware, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, regions where the hard shell bi-vavle is readily available. Though a spicy version is even found as far south as Florida.
Manhattan style Clam Chowder is the bane of New England apparently. “Manhattan” clam chowder was named due to New Englanders being offended by Rhode Island’s Portuguese immigrants inspired version of their traditional chowda. Portuguese cuisine had many traditional stews based with tomatoes. Instead of adding cream to the clear broth, they added tomatoes instead. Scornful New Englanders called this modified version “New York” clam chowder because, in their view, calling someone a New Yorker was, and probably still is, a major insult. Little did they know how popular the tomato based version would become. Long Island and Jersey chowders typically contain tomato. The people of Maine were so abhorred by this tomatoey version, that their legislature actually passed a bill in 1939, making tomatoes in clam chowder illegal.
Back to the clear broth, that goes by many names: Rhode Island Clam Chowder, Block Island, Delaware, Hatteras, Core Sound and Bogue Sound chowders. I came across a version through the NC Cooperative Extension that I elaborated upon.
If your clams are fresh caught, it is always a good idea to purge them first. This will help to cut down on sandy grit. Get some fresh clean Sound or Bay water and place preferably rinsed clams in the fresh water…24 hours is good. If you can purge them more than once all the better.
Clams and juice (the more the better) 1 qt or more. 30 chowders or more.
6 slices bacon
3 lbs. Potatoes
3 ribs celery
Pepper to taste
Shuck the clams and put the meat and juice in a bowl.
If you are dealing with very large chowders with large muscles or don’t have a clam knife, try freezing the clams. When ready to open clams, run warm water over the clam and take a paring knife and remove clam from shell. Place frozen clams and frozen juice in a bowl. When all clams are removed from shells place clams on chopping board and dice with a large knife or meat cleaver, put diced clams and juice back in a bowl and let thaw. This will allow the sand and grit to settle to the bottom of the bowl resulting in less grit in the chowder. Dice the potatoes, celery, onions, and bacon. In large stock pot or cast iron Dutch oven, place the clams, onions, bacon and celery and simmer until the onions are tender. Add in the clam juice being careful not to put in the contents that have settled in the bottom of the bowl. Add potatoes that have been peeled and diced. Add water until desired salty taste is achieved (about 3 cups). Then black pepper to desired taste.
Whatever your preference may be, get out there and dig some clams! Who wants Chowda??
I have an ongoing, almost personal, relationship with one of my suppliers, R & V Works. They are the manufacturer of The Cajun Fryer. I speak with the girls in the office almost daily. I know other sales people that distribute for the company. I speak with the owner, Robert Myers, on occasion and have even spoken with the the guys that build the outdoor propane deep fryers that I distribute for the company. It’s like one big happy family.
Robert’s company is based on old school, good old fashioned American know how, hard work, and customer service. They go out and show their product while tailgating at NASCAR races. They go to big outdoor stores and set up out front and deep fry fish for the patrons walking through the door. They strive to better their product constantly. Robert is always designing new items for sale, like The Smokin’ Cajun Grill & The Cajun Express Smoker.
This company will bend over backward to make sure the customer is happy. I recently had a customer that had an issue with a unit that just wasn’t quite right. Hey, it happens sometimes. One of the girls from the office was actually going camping in the general area that the original unit was sent. She brought a brand new unit with her, and had the gentleman meet her at her campsite, and they exchanged the original unit for a new unit. NOW, THAT’S CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!!
This is exactly the way I like to run my company and this is why I love working with these people. Life is too short to not be hands on, be nice to your customers and be grateful to them for giving you an order in the first place. If it wasn’t for the customer, you would not have a business. Word of mouth is a wonderful thing too. If your customer is satisfied, you may get an order from their friends or relatives. You may even get repeat customers. I actually have a few customers that I now converse with by email like, pen pals.
Enjoy life! Be happy! Leave your baggage home! Treat your customers with respect and honesty! Most of all…be nice. Nobody likes a Gloomy Gus. Hey, maybe your customer is just having a bad day. They may have had an attitude before they attempted calling you. Try to turn that frown upside down. It doesn’t always work, but I had an old boss, many years ago, that told me, the nastier a customer gets, the nicer you should be, without the sarcasm, please!!. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not. But, in the long run, they may actually remember that they were having a bad day, and you still treated them with respect. That means the world to some people. Do unto others…enough said!
Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama is the oldest annual Carnival celebration in America, having begun in 1703. That is 15 years before New Orleans was founded in 1718. From Mobile, being the first capital of French Louisiana in 1702, the festival began in North America as a French Catholic tradition.
Mardi Gras season or Carnival season which traditionally starts at Epiphany (Jan 6 or the Twelfth night) and comes to a raging head the day before Ash Wednesday, at midnight on Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday” or Shrove Tuesday. Many places don’t celebrate for months of carnival. Many start a week or two before, with most places celebrating 3-4 days before.
Mardi Gras is far from being a French or French American celebration. It is celebrated all over the world by my people of the Catholic/Christian faith. This tradition, also known as Shrovetide in the UK & Ireland, is for feasting and overindulgence, before the Lenten season, which begins Ash Wednesday. A time to eat rich, fatty foods and drink too excess before the fasting of Lent begins. In the Netherlands pre-Lenten celebration is Carnaval. Carnaval translated from Latin, or “Carne Vale”, means “Goodbye to the meat”.
Many Fat Tuesday foods in America, now associated with Mardi Gras, do come from Creole and Cajun ancestry. Both groups now having strong ties to Louisiana and the previously French occupied southern regions of the United States. Creole being of mixed ethnicity, with strong French and Spanish influence, Cajun being more largely tied to French speaking Acadians who came from the now Coastal Canadian Maritimes. One of the most popular American dishes served during Mardi Gras tends to be Jambalaya. This is a rice, vegetable and meat dish. Traditionally the ingredients for Jambalaya were gathered by people in in festive clothing and masks, from knocking on community doors. Whatever ingredients were acquired were brought together in a large cast iron pot and cooked until done. Later the whole community would come together and partake in the dish. Many other traditional Cajun and Creole dishes are also served, like gumbo, etouffee, and crawfish boils. But again, it is a time of indulgence. There are also plenty of fried foods cooked in outdoor propane deep fryers, turkey fryers and Cajun Fryers. Beer and other alcohols find their way into the mix.
Overindulgence, high cholesterol and hangovers abound! Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we fast!!! Happy Fat Tuesday all!
Free shipping is a loaded phrase. 9 times out of 10 shipping is never really free. The product has already been marked up to include an amount sufficient to cover the costs of shipping. Many people see the words free shipping and will look no further. Honestly if they did looked a bit further, they may actually pay shipping to a company and actually pay LESS than if they go with a company that claims free shipping.
When a company marks up a product to cover shipping fees it is technically a crap shoot. The company needs to more or less pick a price that will cover shipping all over. Shipping in the same town for instance will be exactly the same as say from Florida to Alaska. Convenient for the long distance customer, not fair to the in town customer, and a crap shoot for the business.
Shipping companies actually don’t work that way. Distance is a major factor when it comes to pricing of shipping, as well as weight, over all size, even odd shaped products come into play. I have customers that find great pricing on the deep fryers that I sell. But for them to expect that a 300 lb. outdoor propane deep fryer‘s great price includes shipping is just wrong. An item like this will ship freight. It does not go into a typical brown, yellow, or white truck that you see every day. It ships in a large cargo truck or even a tractor trailer. Diesel prices are quite high right now. There is usually a fuel surcharge on almost anything that gets shipped nowadays. Besides, a 300lb. grill or deep fryer that ships across one state compared to the shipping price of a unit that ships across 50 states is quite a major difference.
So anyway, keep this thought in mind when making a purchase on line. Just because someone says free shipping, it doesn’t mean that you are getting the best deal. Take a little more time and get the best deal, not just because it says it’s FREE>
Don’t have time to deep fry a turkey on Thanksgiving Day? Want to have deep fried turkey at a tailgate but don’t want to lug a deep fryer to the stadium? You can always get out your turkey fryer ahead of time, deep fry your bird, store it in the refrigerator, and then reheat the turkey when the time is right.
Reheating directions for deep fried turkey:
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator or cooler 3-4 hours before reheating to allow it to come to room temperature. This will decrease the amount of time it takes to reheat your bird. Place the turkey in preheated 250 degree F. oven or grill for 30 minutes for a 10-12 lb. turkey. (Time may vary depending on size of turkey)
For microwave re-heating:
Remove any foil from around the turkey. Place a damp cloth around the bird and heat for 10-15 minutes. If the turkey is already sliced, place in microwave safe dish and place loosely crumpled damp paper towels on top of the turkey. (Time may vary according to size of turkey and microwave wattage)
Of course reheating is never the same as right out of the fryer, but it’ll do in a pinch.