Maurice, Louisiana, dubbed "Turducken Town" by National Geographic (November, 2005) is the culinary spiritual home of the Ugly Brothers. It is here in Vermillion Parish that Bud Ugly's Great-Great Grandfather, Maurice Villien, arrived from Savoy, France after the end of the War of Northern Aggression and homesteaded on the prarie between Lafayette and Abbeville. The village now bears his name and is home for about 500 of the best cooks in America. A few points of interest in modern Maurice are: Hebert's Specialty Meats, world famous for crawfish stuffed de-boned chickens and City Bar, which has for three generations carried on the tradition of serving the coldest beer in South-West Louisiana.
Though the Ugly Brothers reside in Sierra Madre, California, these bonds (and frequent road trips) have profoundly influenced these three charcuterie-ians.
Many people think of Blackened fish as a Cajun tradition. -WRONG- While it is in fact the recent invention of Cajun Chef Paul Prudomme, it is not a traditional Cajun dish. Many Cajuns resent the fact that when the Cajun food craze hit, Blackened Redfish is what most people came to think of as Cajun. So lets keep the record straight! It's really good, and a lot of Cajuns do like it (though they may not admit it), but it should never be mistaken as a traditional Cajun dish!
For that reason our Blackened Fish recipe does not appear on this page, but can be located on our Aquatic Recipes page.
The sauce recipe used by Jacques Cyr "Mr. Jack" Villien for his famous sheep roasts. This is an old fasioned, tart and pinkish colored sauce. It is not as tomato heavy as is the current style for BBQ sauce.
sauté an onion, 3 sticks of celery and a few cloves of garlic (all finely chopped), in a moderate amount of oil. When they are done, add a bottle of Kraft barbecue sauce, or ketchup. Add about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons, cider vinegar, red & black pepper to taste (adding more sugar if it is too sour). Simmer slowly about 1/2 hour.
Baste meat often with this sauce.
You will need a 40 quart (or larger) kettle and an outdoor hi-powered propane burner.
Purge the crawfish in a big tub by rinsing them a few times then, leave some water in the tub and pour a whole mess of salt in with them. Mix it up then let them stand in this for a while (depends on how hungry you are).
Mix spices, and seasoning in about 3-1/2 gallons water in the kettle flame up the burner and bring to a boil. Add potatos and onion and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes before adding the crawfish. Boil the crawfish for about 10 minutes then add corn and allow all to stand in the pot for about five minutes before draining. If your kettle is too small to handle all the crawfish at once you may want to add more seasoning.
Spread the table with lots of newspaper, pour out the crawfish, potatos & corn then dig in!
Proper Cajun ettiquette requires that all participants "pinch the tail and suck the head". Head sucking is a very integral part of the crawfish boiling ceremony, the head contains concentrated boiling juices and spices. Tear the tail from the main body of the crawfish, put the open ended torso of the crawfish in your mouth, bite down and suck hard. It may take some practice to avoid sucking down shell fragments but hey, ya gotta start somewhere!
The easiest way to remove the tail meat from the shell is to peel back the first couple of shell segments from the torso end then to give a sharp pinch to the tail end near the flipper. This will allow the tail meat to slide meatly out of the shell.
When finished roll up all the debris in the newspaper and throw it away someplace really far away.
Melt butter in a large pan.
Cook another 20-30 minutes.
Serve with rice.
NOTES : Let the good times roll, mes amies!
Shell & clean uncooked shrimp. Set aside a few for garnish; dice remaining shrimp. Cook diced & whole shrimp, celery & onion in butter until onion is tender but not browned. Remove whole shrimp and set aside again. Stir flour into vegetable mixture. Add chicken broth, half & half, nutmeg & salt. Cook until smooth and slightly thickened. Stir in sherry. Add more salt and nutmeg if desired. Garnish with remaining shrimp & serve.
Tasso is a Cajun smoked pork product. It made from strips of pork butt that have been intensely seasoned and heavily smoked. Because Tasso is so strong it used usually used to flavor jambalayas, gumbos & soups rather than being served on its own.
You want to smoke your Tasso at a low temperature with heavy smoke. Your finished Tasso should be FIRM so that it does not flake or fall apart, after all, you will be dicing it to add to your long simmering gumbos.
Coat heavily and refrigerate 2-4 days before smoking. Heavy smoke at 200-225 until internal temperature reaches 165.
Another excellent Tasso recipe can be found on The Gumbo Pages
Cut the pork loin into 3 or 4 managable pieces. Mix all spices well and remove 2 TBS of the spice cure mixture. Dissolve the mixture into 1/2 cup water and inject equal amounts into the pork lion pieces. Evenly rub the remaining cure mixture into the pork, place in plastic containers or baggies and refridgerate at 40°F for 10 days to two weeks.
At the end of the curing period rinse off the loins under cold water then allow to stand in cold water for at least a half hour. Remove from water, pat dry and allow to air further air dry.
Bring the temperature of your Big Green Egg or other smoker to about 190-200°F. Smoke the loins under heavy smoke for about 6 hours or until an internal temperature of 150°F is reached.
Cover the pig's ears with pieces of greased paper, securing them with paper clips. Place the pig in a pan in a hot Turbo Grill or oven heated to 480 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and roast until tender, allowing 30 minutes to the pound. In order to make the skin crusty (what the Acadians call "Quain") baste the pig every 15 minutes with oil or melted butter and dredge it with more flour. Remove the paper from the ears during the last 30 minutes of roasting.
When done, place the roasted pig on a large platter. Remove the wood from the mouth and replace it with a small red aple. Put the cranberries or raisins in the eye cavities and make a wreath of parsley around the neck.
Sounds pretty disgusting doesn't it? Well if ya haven't tried it, this is THE BEST way to do a turkey. Everyone the Ugly Brothers have fried a turkey for have been skeptical (to be polite) about the concept. Afterwards the verdict has been unanimous.... all have agreed that it is the BEST TURKEY they have ever tried.
Safety tips to remember:
About oil fires:
It is for this reason you must be sure your turkey has NO excess water or liquid in its surface or in the cavity and the flame on the turkey fryer should be TURNED OFF prior to immersing the bird. Water on or in the turkey can cause oil splatter which can ignite and scorch the poor sod lowering the turkey into the oil. Moisture in the skin of the turkey will create much the same sort of reaction, though on a smaller scale. When your turkey (remember, surface and cavity dried) is SLOWLY lowered into the HOT OIL, the moisture remaining in the skin will cause the oil to boil up about two inches higher. This is a normal reaction and poses no problems providing that the boiling pot is big enough to handle that expansion (the Ugly Brothers always allow a minimum of six inches for expansion), and that other safety precautions have been taken.
Here's the hardware you will need:
Now, Here's what you do:
When you are ready to begin, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and allow it to stand at room temperature for about an hour. Fill your boiler to the level mark you made yesterday and crank up the fire. While the oil is coming to temperature make sure the inside and outside of the turkey are DRY. Inject your marinate into the breast and legs of the bird then liberally coat with Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. Again, make sure the surface of you turkey is DRY.
Most people will immerse their turkey in the boiling oil when it reaches 350 F, The Ugly Brothers prefer to get the oil temperature to 375 F since it will cool down to 350 when the bird is lowered into the oil. Be sure to turn the burner OFF when lowering the turkey into the hot oil, a dangerous flare up can occur if the oil overflows. This is often a problem for those who don't take the time to, or don't properly determine the volume of oil required and over fill the pot.
The rule is to fry the bird at 350 F for 3-1/2 minutes per pound. A 13 pound turkey will cook in approximately 45 minutes. Enjoy the best turkey you've ever had, and hey, while you've got all that hot oil why not make some of the Ugly Brothers Hushpuppies? Bon apetite!
Additional information and injecting marinate recipes can be found at The Cajun Shoppe, Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Mix all ingredients with just enough milk to make a thick mixture. Wet hands & roll into 1 1/2 in. balls. Stuff with a shrimp or a some lump crab meat. Fry until brown, drain.
NOTE: If you're frying a turkey and you gots all this hot oil make a bunch of these 'puppies!
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