Saturday, January 19, 2019

Football Cuisine Battle Royale: Los Angeles Rams vs New Orleans Saints

It's the perfect storm this Sunday when the Los Angeles Rams battle the New Orleans Saints in the football playoffs for a berth at the Super Bowl.

Which local cuisine will be the winner? Recipes from Los Angeles will shake and rattle your taste buds like an 8 point earthquake. Or a category 5 hurricane of spicy Cajun Cuisine swamping your tongue. Well, it's time to take sides!

I went to high school in Louisiana so grew up with the New Orlean Saints football team on the tv.  I grew to love Cajun Cuisine as it became a part of my culinary DNA. My Mom, nephews Zakk and Matt, have made a slew of video recipes with this Cheap$kate Chef. Everything from Blackened Fish to Mom's Jambalaya, I even have a Red Beans and Rice recipe from good vegan friend Miss Patti.

After graduation, I knocked around a bit then heading to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the L.A. dream machine. First off Los Angeles is the Taco Capital of America. I've eaten my way from bustling Downtown LA to scenic Santa Monica bordering the Pacific Ocean. And I have the recipes to prove it!

 So my loyalty is divided, oh boy.

Will it be an LA Street Hot Dog or deep-fried cornmeal crusted Alligator that spikes your taste buds? Well read on and cast your vote for the winning recipes and local eateries -- and go Saints, I mean go Rams!! Oh forget it!


The playoff game starts early so might as well have a Los Angeles pastry from DK's Donuts in Santa Monica. Okay, New Orleans let's see you top a Rainbow Donut!


Just as colorful, plus topped with a baby Fève figurine, is a New Orleans King Cake...hmmm I might have to have a huddle to determine the winner of this dessert scrimmage.


For the opening coin toss, heads it's a Tommy Burger from Los Angeles, and tails it's a New Orleans Shrimp and Oyster Po'Boy.

Let's hit the neon-lit streets of Los Angeles for, some would argue, the best fast food burger in town (sorry In-n-Out,) a classic Tommy Burger. It's all about the chili and a fat tomato slice. And I chow it down at one of the most visited landmarks in town, Uban Light located at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA.) Check it out and give the video extra points!



The Big Easy is all about the food and my Po'Boy Sandwich Tasting Tour is so good that even fans in the nosebleed stadium seats will get up and cheer!



Saints Purple or Rams Gold, spicy boiled orange Crayfish, or green Avocado Toast? Can you tackle peeling a Crawfish? If you have ever looked at a pileup of boiled Crawfish and wonder how to get through them, just check out the next video and you'll learn how I peel and eat 'em.



Hup one, hup two, hike a peeled avocado onto warm toast for the tastiest two-point ingredient conversion of an appetizer. Avocado Toast is my fave sack, I mean snack. It's as easy to make as a ten-yard extra point field goal.



Should I call Mom during the Sunday game? I'm sure to get my rear chewed out - nothing comes between her and her favorite football team, the New Orleans Saints - don't even think about getting her off her easy chair once the game starts.

Best to just throw in the towel when it comes to Mom's Cajun cooking. She wrote the rule book and let's see if L.A. can come back once she unloads her recipe of Jambalaya.



Whew, that recipe should be penalized for deliciousness. Well, Los Angeles has a reverse flea flicker of a recipe called, Carnitas. Hours of braising reduce a pork shoulder to a tender and succulent Mexican-style taco filling. I even throw in the pigskin for extra flavor. Carnitas are what I order for late night noshing at a taco truck.



Boy, all this tasty cuisine has me thirsty, and not for Gatorade either! But I know how to fix that - with a frosty Daiquiri from a local Louisiana Drive-Thru Daiquiri shop and make mine a White Russian! If that sounds too good to be true just take a gander here.



My recipe for a LA Street Dog is a freeway pileup of flavors that make an end run around any hot dog out there.



In Louisiana, I shop at the Dollar Tree and back home in Los Angeles I shop at 99c only Store. If you are too busy to cook then hit those dollar stores during halftime for some cheap ready-to-eat treats, like these right here.


Liver Cheese from a Los Angeles 99c only Store


Cream Puffs from a Louisiana Dollar Tree

A Los Angeles fan favorite is a California Roll. Like a stadium wave, this California spin on Japanese sushi has traveled to grocery deli cases all around the country. And it uses cheap imitation crab, so you will save big bucks on usually expensive seafood - hey, now you can afford an extra keg for your tailgate party!



New Orleans is right on the Gulf Coast so they know how to spike a seafood dish, and my nephew Zakk has a Blackened Fish recipe that will move the chain poles 10 yards for a first down!



For my vegan visitors, it's Legume Touchdown time! You'll want to pass around Gas-X or turn the fan to high in the dugout. Mexican-style Pinto Beans are stuffed into every Los Angeles Burrito and believe me I've had my share and here is how I make them out here.



Miss Patti, my good friend from New Orleans, is vegan and knows her Red Beans and Rice. She even came out to Los Angeles one time to show me how Cajuns cook them.



Okay, let's call a truce, listen up here to the menu from Little Jewel, a replica of a New Orleans deli market located right on the edge of Downtown Los Angeles, in of all places, Chinatown. You see, we can all get along after all, at least until the kickoff time!



Monday, January 14, 2019

Deep Fried Frog Legs with the Swamp Chef

This outré entree is not for the faint of palateThe Swamp Chef's latest video recipe are Deep Fried Frog Legs with Remoulade Sauce.


The Louisiana recipe comes courtesy of my nephew, Cajun Chef Matt. When I visit Mom in Louisiana it's always fun to hang out with my family, where we always get busy in the kitchen.


I know you may not find Frog Legs in your local market or even to your taste, but you can substitute chicken or fish, and the creamy and spicy Remoulade Sauce is tasty on any salad, or as a dipping sauce, similar to Tarter Sauce, for your favorite fried fare.


Also, join the Swamp Chef in a bullfrog swamp hunt, but don't worry, it's all in good fun as no amphibians are harmed when the Swamp Chef goes hunting. -- the video hunting scene is more Muppets than Duck Dynasty.


So, my vegan viewers may want to bail after the Muppets-like opening scene, as real Frog Legs are on the menu! But be sure to return and watch the last minute of the recipe video to see a frog's revenge.


 While Deep Fried Frog Legs are not for everybody, it's worth a try, at least once, especially when there is a rich Cajun Remoulade Sauce to go with it.


Matt's version of a Cajun Remoulade Sauce is made with a base of mayo, and the addition of lemon juice, ketchup, mustard, horseradish, chopped green onion and capers. If you like Thousand Island Dressing then you will like a Remoulade Sauce. I easily find all the ingredients at my local Dollar Tree and 99c only Stores!





And surprisingly, Fried Frog Legs are mild in taste, having the texture of chicken with a slight fish flavor. To get a crunchy crust, Chef Matt soaked the frog legs in buttermilk then dusted the legs with flour, simply seasoned with salt and pepper.


If you have a fave fish fry coating or fried chicken batter, then use it.


So check out my latest recipe video, Fried Frog Legs with Remoulade Sauce, featuring the Swamp Chef and Chef Matt. It's all in tasty good fun.

Deep Fried Frog Leg & Remoulade Sauce - VIDEO

Play it here, video runs 9 minutes, 2 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

Ingredients for Frog Legs
  • 2 frog legs - okay to substitute chicken pieces or fave fish fillets.
  • 1/2 cup flour - I sometimes use half flour and half cornmeal.
  • 1 cup buttermilk - to soak and flavor frog legs. For Homemade Buttermilk, just use regular milk and add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice, then mix well.
  • Salt and pepper to taste - okay to use favorite seasoned salt or spice mix. I like a bit of garlic and onion powder, too.


Ingredients for Remoulade Sauce
  • 1/2cup mayo - light or regular mayonnaise.
  • 1/4 onion - finely chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped - a couple chopped green olives are a good substitute.
  • 2 green onions - finely chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon Creole Mustard - or any mustard. A good substitute is a whole grain mustard.
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish - okay to use less to suit your taste.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce - okay to use any fave hot sauce -- or just leave it out.
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • Lemon juice - half a lemon or about2  tablespoons of juice.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions
I really did not hunt and skin the Frog Legs in the video above, but got them at my local Louisiana grocery.


First, add buttermilk and Frog Legs to a bowl. Keep them in the refrigerator until ready for frying.


Chef Matt has a deep fryer, so he heated it up while making the Remoulade Sauce. Okay to use a regular frying pan with enough cooking vegetable oil to half-cover a Frog Leg, or about an inch deep of oil in a frying pan or pot.



.Click on any photo to see larger.

For Remoulade Sauce, mix the ingredients listed above in a bowl, including chopped onion, green onion and capers, plus ketchup, lemon juice, hot sauce, mayo, mustard, salt and pepper.

Keep Remoulade Sauce in the refrigerator until ready to serve.



Now time to fry the Frog Legs. Add flour, salt and pepper to a plate. Spread out seasoned flour and add soaking Frog Legs to plate of flour. You don't need to drain off all the buttermilk from frog legs as it will mix and make a thin batter for frying.


Cover Frog Legs with seasoned flour, on all sides. Pat and add more flour if necessary.


When cooking oil reaches 375 degrees in temperature add the flour-coated Frog Legs and deep fry them for about 4 to 5 minutes until cooked all the way through.


If you are using a frying pan heat vegetable oil over medium/high heat. Add about an inch deep of oil and heat. Cook Frog Legs about 4 minutes for each side, or until the flour crust is brown. Check doneness by slicing into thickest part of the cooked leg to check for firmness - it should be just like cooked chicken.


When Frog Legs are done cooking allow to cool for a minute or two as they will be very hot right out of oil.

Swamp Chef recommends dipping Frog Legs into Remoulade Sauce and enjoy!


Monday, January 7, 2019

Best Cheap$kate Food Finds of 2018

Deals Deals Deals - come and get 'em! 2018 was a great year for my budget food foraging finds, everything from a bar of Organic Dark Chocolate to Chicken Apple-Infused Sausage Links, all for a buck!

Well, if you are a frequent visitor, you've seen some of my tasty looking Deal of the Day video reviews featuring Dollar Tree and 99c Only Store groceries like the ones below (click on any name to see original review.)







I get comments all the time how awful dollar and 99 cent stores must be. I can't argue with that, there's an abundance of dross and Frankenstein food stuff -- hey, you get what you pay for. But I am a bottom feeder on a budget, with over a decade of food blogging experience picking out the best for less, so I know how to pick 'em! Just scroll on and check out my Best Cheap$kate Food Finds of 2018.

Let's start at the beginning, mealtime at an infant\s highchair!


Click on any photo to see larger. 






Back to cheap$kate basics.













Just add water and heat for the following Deals of the Day.




And don't forget the hot sauce or a spicy jalapeño.



Prefer organic? I got you covered!






And here's the best of the rest!
























After a long day of blogging this is what I crave, chocolate and beer.




And keep checking back for another year of scrumptious blog postings!

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