Tag Archives: Cajun

Buttermilk Chicken, Polenta Crumbed Okra with House Made Tartare Sauce

Photo by Jun Pang

Photo by Jun Pang

I have talked about “Dude Food” several times, I just have a huge fascination with it.  To me, it’s about comfort.  I love cooking and eating food that’s tasty, easy to eat and easy to recognize.

More and more people are looking for food that is “easy”.  I feel that these days, no one seems to have the patience or time for “uppity” type food in stiff restaurants.  People are looking for a place that’s comfortable, light, fun and accessible to most people.  Atmosphere plays a huge role, served by people who are knowledgeable but approachable, relaxed and easy going.  The food has got to be easy but packed full of flavour.  People have got to know it because they don’t have the patience of a long winded explanation of what they’re about to eat, they just need to be enticed quickly by recognizing it quickly on the menu or by orders being walked to tables by waiters.  Fancy food is out people, mark my words and it is also why I believe food trucks in Australia much like the food trucks in America will do so well, why you say, well for many different reasons.  The trucks are so accessible to many people, they’re cheap, fresh and they produce really tasty meals and these days, what else does one need?

There are many recipes here, from the spice mix, the okra, the chicken and tartare sauce.  Try them separately in other dishes, for example, try the spice mix with fish or baked potatoes or even on rice, paella style.  With the buttermilk chicken, try it with thin strips of beef or even fish using the same methods, it works out really well.

Buttermilk Chicken, Polenta Crumbed Okra with House Made Tartare Sauce

Serves 8

For the Cajun Mix

¼ Cup Salt

2 Tbspn Ceyenne Pepper

2 Tbspn paprika

1 Tbspn Onion Powder

1 tbspn Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Tbspn Freshly Ground White Pepper

1 Tbspn Garlic Powder

2 Tsp Dried Basil

1 Tsp Chilli Powder

¼ Tspn Dried Thyme

¼ Tspn Ground Mustard

1/8 Tspn Ground Cloves

For the Buttermilk Chicken

1kg chicken Wings

500ml Buttermilk

250gr Plain Flour

2litres Vegetable Oil

 

For the Okra

1kg Okra

200gr Plain Flour

6 Eggs

200mls Milk

200gr Plain Flour

200gr Polenta

2 litres Vegetable Oil – for frying

For the Tartare Sauce

2 Eggs

1Tspn Dijon Mustard

¼ Cup White Vinegar

600ml Vegetable Oil

1 Lemon – juiced

1tblsp Worcestershire Sauce

100gr Cornichuns – finely chopped

80gr Capers – finely chopped

I Brown Onion – roasted in skins until soft then peeled, finely chopped

5 Cloves garlic – roasted in alfoil until slightly brown and soft, finely chopped

1 Bunch Parsley – finely chopped

Method:

For the Cajun Mix

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly

For the Buttermilk Chicken

  1. Mix 2/3 of the Cajun spice mix together with the buttermilk
  2. Place the chicken wings into the buttermilk mixture and marinate for at least 30 minutes, over night is better
  3. Once marinated, strain excess buttermilk and dust with flour
  4. Heat the oil to 180 degrees Celsius using a thermometer
  5. Deep fry the wings until golden brown and cooked through, test by cutting one open
  6. Once cooked, toss in a bowl seasoning with remaining Cajun mix

For the Okra

  1. Whisk the egg and milk to together
  2. Create a crumbing station by placing the egg and milk in one bowl – whisked together, flour in another then polenta in a another bowl.
  3. First, place the okra in the flour, roll around until well covered, dust excess
  4. Then place flour dusted okra into the egg and milk mixture, making sure it is well covered, shake off excess
  5. Finally, roll the okra in the polenta until well covered
  6. Using a thermometer, heat up the oil to 180 degrees Celsius in a large, deep sided pot
  7. Fry the okra until golden brown, strain using a slotted spoon and place onto kitchen paper to absorb excess oil

For the Tartare

  1. Place the eggs, mustard and vinegar in a food processor and turn on high for one minute
  2. Add about ¼ cup of the vegetable oil in the food processor and process on high for about 30 seconds until it is emulsified into the egg mixture
  3. Slowly “stream” the rest of the oil into the egg mixture until all the oil is emulsified into the egg
  4. It should now form a thick mayonnaise, if not add extra oil.  Thickness will depend on size of eggs etc
  5. Add the lemon juice and Worcestishire until completely mixed
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients whilst still on high
Photo by Jun Pang

Photo by Jun Pang


Cajun Spice Mix

American food!!  I can’t stop thinking about it having just come back from the U.S.  I love this lavish, comfort food.  The thought of American diners just gets the mouth watering.  Southern fried chicken, hot dogs, fries with melted cheese, clam chowders and you can’t forget hamburgers.  When I was in Washington I had some of the finest Buffalo Wings in a little typical American diner which was almost 60 years old.  I swear I could have just sat there and ate those little morsels all night and don’t get me started on the pork ribs, bloody amazing!

The one thing I will definately go back to the U.S. for would be some Southern food, to taste things like gumbo, jambalaya and generally Creole food.  I love the spices, the intense, bold, huge flavours that this type of food has.  There’s very little refinement in the food, just huge flavours which are so indulgent that you can’t help but come back for more.  This is type of food and cooking is one I so enjoy cooking and eating.  It’s honest cooking, with so much history behind it.  Cooking is changing so much these days and I think sometimes it is very important to just enjoy the simple things, there are so many benefits from doing so, for one it’s easy to understand, easy to cook and damn easy to eat!  No use of gels and foams here!

This recipe is great for BBQ’s or as Americans would call it – “cook outs”.  Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl and rub it into ribs, meats for grilling or even fish.  Great for things like gumbo as the spice mix as well as for a spice mix for Southern fried chicken.  Mix this spice mix with flour then you marinate your chicken in butter milk over night, douse it in egg wash then into the Cajun spice mix, shallow fried in vegetable oil and serve collard greens and grits.  Man oh man what a meal!

Start with this recipe, I will blog about all the other dishes I have mentioned at a later time to see if a Filipino-Australian can cook American food!

Cajun Spice Mix

¼ cup salt

2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp. paprika

1 Tbsp. onion powder

1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. freshly ground white pepper

1 Tbsp garlic powder

2 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. chilli powder

¼ tsp. dried thyme

¼ tsp ground mustard

1/8 tsp ground cloves

 Method

Place all ingredients in a container and mix well.