Memorial Day marked the unofficial beginning of summer and Iâ€™m looking forward to some lazy, hazy days filled with relaxation—swimming, fishing, grilling and lots of reading.
Without a doubt food is very important during carefree summer days. Order your boiled crawfish NOW because they will soon be out of season. Cover your picnic table with old newspapers on which to put the spicy freshwater crustaceans, chill down some soft drinks and beer (Abita beer if you can get it), and chill out. You might want to have on hand some of Louisianaâ€™s favorite dipping sauces, like cocktail sauce, tartar sauce and remoulade sauce. We have theses and MORE from which to choose.
Another idea for summer enjoyment is fried turkey. The big bird is not only just for Thanksgiving and Christmas, itâ€™s also great for any kind of warm weather gathering. My brother-in-law, Al Landry, prides himself on his fried turkeys and this is how he does it. BUT, I suggest you try any of our Cajun Injector seasoning mixes. I love the roasted garlic flavor! Oh, and donâ€™t do this in you kitchen â€“ this is for the backyard or the patio. You will need one of those butane burners with a large pot like the one you use for boiling seafood. Since there is a possibility of hot oil splatters, you might want to put old newspapers under the butane burner to catch the hot oil.
The days are longer and warmer—ideal for any kind of outdoor gathering. My usual choice for such an event is a seafood party, which can include boiled crawfish, crabs and shrimp all cooked with small red potatoes, corn-on-the-cob (and anything else you might want to add to the pot). And speaking of pots, we have that as well as all the seasoning mixes youâ€™ll need in which to boil your seafood.
Spread the outdoor tables with old newspapers, whip up some dipping sauce, put on some music (try our Rockinâ€™ Zydeco Party CD to get you in the mood), and lay out the seafood. The aroma of all that cooking will certainly tickle the noses and taste buds. Oh, and donâ€™t forget Louisiana brewed Abita beer (Abita Amber is my choice) or their delicious root beer. The kiddies will enjoy a root beer float â€“ put a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream in a tall glass and fill it up with root beer. Make yourself one as well for a refreshing beverage.
When and if (fat chance) you tire of boiled seafood, you can always have a fish and/or shrimp fry. Hey, if you want oysters, add those to your fried seafood menu as well.
Again, youâ€™ll need a dipping sauce. I tried Cochonâ€™s Abita Beer Whole Grain mustard recently and what a fabulous flavor. Mix it with your favorite mayonnaise and pop it up with a little hot sauce (again your choice) and a squeeze of lemon juice, and youâ€™ll experience real Louisiana flavors—ideal for boiled or fried seafood as well as cruditÃ©s (thatâ€™s a fancy word for fresh vegetable sticks). Hey, I even spread that stuff on a hamburger!
And another idea for a late afternoon or early evening meal is a leisurely outdoor picnic. Our stuffed breads are absolutely perfect for this—heat them up, put them on a tray and ta-da, you have an easy, quick repast. Toss up a big garden-fresh salad and dress it with La Martinque True French Vinaigrette to serve with the stuffed breads. Or, make this wonderful marinated vegetable salad, which can be made ahead of time and stored in the â€˜fridge until you are ready to serve.
April, May and June in Louisiana is the season for toe-tapping, lip-licking and general good times. The New Orleans Jazz , the Festival Internationale, and the French Quarter Festival have come and gone but there are more festivals scheduled during late spring and early summer.
The Creole Tomato Festival, the Cajun Music Festival. the Blueberry Festival and the Corn Festival are on my list to attend. Where else can you get not only good food, but also great music?
My mouth is watering for the first of the Creole tomatoes that are beginning to hit the markets. In my book, nothing is better than thick slices of those delicious local tomatoes dusted with salt and freshly ground black pepper on toasted French bread slathered with mayonnaise. Yum! Of course, another favorite is a salad of the tomatoes, snipped fresh basil leaves, slices of mozzarella all drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or, maybe you would also enjoy a chilled soup of garden fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, parsley and/or cilantro. I canâ€™t get enough of the stuff.