2 April 2009

Joans Southern Culinary Tour with Low Country Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce and Smothered Corn and red Velvet Cake

Low Country Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce and Smothered Corn

Joan of Foodalogue, has been helping to promote hunger awareness through her event, A Culinary Tour Around the World. Joan has been travelling virtually wherever her imagination has taken her since the beginning of the year. With the help of many friends throughout the blogosphere she has travelled to Norway, Poland, Germany, France, Portugal ,Romania, Ethiopia, Russia, India, Mongolia, Philippines , Peru and now her last stop the Deep Southern United States.

It has been an amazing journey and I would like to thank Joan for undertaking and organizing this incredible journey with a tireless effort to raise awareness for world hunger in conjunction with BloggerAid-Changing the Face of Famine and the World Food Programme . The members of BloggerAid are collaborating to publish a cookbook where 100% of the proceeds target children and education through the United Nations program School Meals. The deadline for submissions is now complete so look for the sale of the cookbook in November.

Joan's journey has now reached an end and if you haven't already, why not revisit Joan on her site and follow her culinary tour as she travelled around the world!!!!! As a group we met her in any one of her stops and presented our own interpretation of the cuisine and the culture from that country. Joan enabled us to undertake this fascinating journey and it was a true learning experience. We made some new friends along the way and discovered some of the worlds most fascinating and diverse cuisines. Who wouldn't enjoy taking a journey around the world even if it was from the comfort of our favourite armchairs and sampling some of the best foods the locals have to offer??

This week Joan travels to the southern USA...y'all....

Southern cooking is a unique blend of European, African and Native American foods and cooking techniques. From the Cajun and Creole flavors of New Orleans to the down home tastes of soul food to the unique blend of rice and seafood that makes Low Country cooking so delicious, you won’t find better food anywhere on earth.

As Chef Paul Prodhomme says, "In The South... "It's All About Taste!" When the taste changes with every bite and the last bite tastes as good as the first, that's Cajun."
For my stay in the South I chose to take a 5-day culinary vacation with Culintour to the "Jazz Capital of the World"..New Orleans!! I stepped back in time to enjoy the culture, history and cuisine of this romantic city. We visited majestic landmarks, dined on savory Cajun and Creole cuisine, and listened to soulful music.

We also spent one morning giving back to the children of New Orleans by participating in a special service project supported by the Collette Foundation. The “Collette Foundation” is a 5-year, $2-million dollar investment focused on improving the quality of life of children in our partner communities worldwide. This employee-run, global initiative connects Collette employees, its partners, travelers and communities worldwide toward a common good. The foundation will touch twenty countries, including the United States, Peru, Mexico, Kenya, South Africa, China, Cambodia, Australia, Italy and Ireland.
In New Orleans, the Collette Foundation is active in supporting the regions Backpack Program. Collette Employees are also active with the Second Harvest network in their respective regions Second Harvest Food Bank Backpack Program. The nation's largest charitable hunger relief organization, America's Second Harvest provides America with over 2 billion pounds of food annually. Through its Backpack Program, America's Second Harvest meets the needs of hungry children when other resources, such as free school meals, are not available.

We rolled up our sleeves at the New Orleans School of Cooking where we created our own bread pudding, Cajun boils and learned how to cook New Orleans style with a group of wonderful people.
We enjoyed a leisurely walking tour of New Orleans’ famous French Quarter where we saw the majestic St. Louis Cathedral, one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. We continued on to the bustling French Marketplace where we explored Pirates Alley, the Cabildo, the Presbytere and the Pontalba. Then it was off to the Toulouse Street Wharf where we climbed aboard the famous Steamboat Natchez, dubbed Natchez IX and operated by the New Orleans Steamboat Company, for a scenic river cruise from the heart of the French Quarter.

We then enjoyed an elegant lunch at the Court of Two Sisters restaurant, where rich history blends soulfully with jazz music. The delicious food is only enhanced by the music provided by a strolling Jazz trio. We also had the opportunity to learn how to peel a local favorite, crawfish!

To celebrate our last culinary stop with Joan we decided to have a Southern Feast starting with my Low Country Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce and Corne Maque Choux. Visit the round-up at Foodalogue to see what everyone else came up with for our farewell feast.

I also served up a traditional Red Velvet Cake (the recipe can be found below). Red Velvet Cake is a favorite in the South. The cake is actually a creation from the Waldorf-Astoria. The hotel cake features garden beets for the color, but Southerners sometimes use food coloring to achieve that classic red colour. In some cases, Red Velvet cake is used as the groom’s cake at weddings, birthdays, holidays and at special pot luck dinners (which are a specialty of the South to show off their Southern hospitality they are so famous for). Traditionally, the cake is decorated with flowers like mums. A small clear glass holder is put in the center of the cake to hold flowers, and then flower tops are placed around the plate. Not only does it taste fabulous, it also makes a spectacular show piece. This cake does take some time and effort to make, but it’s well worth it. It’s a real show shopper in all ways!!! What a way to end Joan's Culinary Journey. Thank you Joan!!!

**Lowcountry Crab Cakes**

1 lb Lump Atlantic Blue Crab meat (picked fresh)
2 tablespoons sweet onion, minced
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Dash salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Large eggs, lightly beaten
1 -1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 stick unsalted butter
Tartar or Remoulade Sauce (recipe follows)
Lemon Wedges

Lightly toss lump crab meat, onion, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard, pepper, salt, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, eggs and ½ cup bread crumbs. Form to make eight (8) crab cakes. Heat the unsalted butter at medium heat in a large iron skillet. Roll crab cakes in remaining bread crumbs. Place in heated butter and cook until golden brown, turning once to cook the other side. Careful not to burn!
Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve with tartar or remoulade sauce and a lemon wedge.

**Remoulade Sauce**
This is a quick and easy version of a New Orleans favorite.

1 pint mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Creole mustard
2 tablespoons grated onion
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine
dash Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Mix all ingredients well.

Makes 2-1/4 cups sauce.

**Corn Maque Coux (Smothered Corn)**

A spicy Cajun dish of smothered corn and seasonings (pronounced mock shoo)
12 ears fresh corn
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 medium-sized green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup milk

Scrape off corn kernels into a bowl; scrape milk and remaining pulp from cob with a knife. Combine oil and butter in a large skillet; heat until butter melts. Add the corn, onion, and bell pepper and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper, hot sauce and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes, or until the corn is tender. Lower the heat if the mixture begins to stick. Add the milk, stir, and remove from heat.

**Red Velvet Cake**

2 ½ cups plain flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon cocoa baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1- ½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
2 eggs (medium or large)
1 bottle red food coloring (1 oz size)

Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda and cocoa powder into a big bowl that you’ll use to mix the cake. Using a hand or table mixer, put in the milk. Mix. Add oil and mix. Add vinegar, vanilla and almond flavoring. Mix. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl. Add and mix. Add the food coloring. Mix until the batter is even in color.

Grease and flour 3 cake pans – size 8 inches. Evenly pour the batter into the three pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the center tests done with a toothpick. Let the cake cool and then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

½ cup margarine (softened)
8 oz. cream cheese
½ teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 box of confectioners sugar (1 pound)
1 cup pecans (may also want some extras to sprinkle on top)

Beat the margarine and cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl until light and creamy. Add vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat well. Hand stir in pecans. Spread cream cheese icing between layers of the Red Velvet cake, up the sides and on top. If you have lots of pecans, then sprinkle some pieces on top.The pecans are especially good toasted a bit in the oven for this recipe.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. Oh Val please tell me there's some of those crab cakes and smothered corn for my lunch right now. That looks wonderful!

  2. I love crab cakes and actually had them yesterda--have to admit that I bought them from the Italian market here in our neighborhood though! They prepare the crab mixture fresh every day and simply form it into patties and you bring them home to fry/bake.
    Yours sound delicious -- I love Southern food; it's one of my favorite cuisines.

  3. Wonderful Southern food! These crab cakes look very tempting!



  4. That must have been such a great trip. Can't wait to visit that place. My husband will start to work there in June so I'll have to go visit him.

  5. i have heard enough about southern food to know that it is something i would love to try one day in its home environment - lovely job with the crab cakes, the best way to eat them, i believe, after having tried whole crab recently!

  6. I am dying for some good food right about now and all I am doing is torturing myself! This looks delish!

  7. Should I get my Southern accent ready? Love the crabcakes Val...and not as hard to prepare as I initially thought.

  8. thats a plateful of southern goodness!!

  9. Val, Thanks for your kind words and support throughout the trip. The crab cakes look delicious and your narrative reminded me of my road trip to New Orleans on our family vacation last year.

  10. Hi Val! I love red velvet cake. Thanks for the recipe :)

  11. Simply out of this world. Thank you for introducing me to this most interesting cuisine!!!

  12. I miss Southern food SO MUCH! Thatboy picked up barbeque earlier this week and we've been eating it all week!

  13. I love Southern food---so much that sometimes I think I must have been a Southern Belle in a former life ;)

    The recipes you've shared here are fabulous, Val, a real treasure trove of delicious taste!

  14. What a delicious menu Val!!! I didn't know about Crab cakes but they surely could be one of my favourite dishes... MMmmmm I should try to cook them! A fantastic entry for Joan's Travel's Itinerary :D

  15. A swing down south is always welcome. I hope I'm greeted with delish crab cakes like these.

  16. i'm sure it's no surprise to you that this is my favorite type of cuisine. i think we're all a little partial to the foods we grew up on. great post, val!

  17. Love crab cakes. How do you produce all these great posts day after day?

  18. Oh I LOVE Southern cooking!! There is a joyousness and a lack of pretention about the food that's so appealing. These look fantastic!

  19. You are right about Southern food, it is all about the taste. You have challenged me to take the time to create recipes for all those favorites that are cooked from memory. One of our family favorites is Country Fried Steak, the ultimate in comfort food! Now you need to plan a trip to Georgia, preferably during the summer when the gardens are full of those wonderful home grown tomatoes!


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