One of America’s Favorites – Pig Pickin’

July 17, 2017 at 4:53 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A pig pickin’ (also known as rolling a pig, pig pull, pig roast or, among the Cajun, “cochon de lait”) is a type of party or gathering held primarily in the American South which involves the barbecuing of a whole hog (the castrated male pig or barrow, bred for consumption at about 12 weeks old). Females, or gilts, are used as well. Boars (full-grown intact males) and sows generally are too large.

Many Southern families have a pig roast for Thanksgiving or Christmas, graduations, weddings, or summer gatherings. Some communities hold cook-offs during festivals, where cooks compete against one another for prize money.

 

A pig, often around 80–120 pounds dressed weight, is split in half and spread onto a large charcoal or propane grill. Some practitioners use a separate stove filled with hardwood to produce coals which are then transferred under the charcoal grill by shovel; others use charcoal with chunks of either blackjack oak, hickory wood or some other hardwood added for flavor. The style of these grills are as varied as the methods of producing them, some being homemade while others are custom-made.

There is a long-running debate among barbecue enthusiasts over the merits of different fuels. Propane is said to maintain a consistent temperature, whereas charcoal or charwood are often touted as producing better-tasting meat.

The cooking process is communal and usually directed by an authority figure; the host is helped by friends or family. It usually takes four to eight hours to cook the pig completely; the pig is often started “meat-side” down, and then is flipped one time once the hog has stopped dripping rendered fat. Some practitioners clean ashes from the skin with paper towels or a small whisk broom before flipping the hog to help produce high quality cracklings from the skin.

Often the hog is basted while cooking, though the method and sauce used differs according to region. For instance, a typical South Carolina Piedmont-area baste would be a mustard based sauce, an Eastern North Carolina baste is usually a very light vinegar based sauce with red pepper flakes, and Western North Carolina barbecue uses sauce with a ketchup base similar to traditional barbecue sauce.

When the cooking is complete, the meat should ideally be tender to the point of falling off of the bone. The meat is then either chopped or pulled into traditional Carolina-style pork barbecue, or it is picked off the hog itself by the guests. It is from the latter that the gathering gains its name. The barbecue is sometimes eaten with hushpuppies (fried cornmeal, occasionally flavored with onions), coleslaw, baked beans or sometimes Brunswick stew. In South Carolina, it is common to serve pilaf or hash as a side dish. Hash is a blend of leftover pork mixed with barbecue sauce and usually served over rice.

Sweet tea, beer, and soft drinks are often served.

 

The pig pickin’ is a significant part of the culture of the South; the necessary work and time needed to cook the hog makes it ideal for church gatherings (“dinner on the grounds”) or family reunions, and they can be held virtually year-round thanks to the region’s mild winters. Pig pickin’s are popular amongst the most devoted tailgaters at college football games across the South. The pig pickin’ has been long associated with politics; many local political parties and politicians still use the pig pickin’ to attract people to meetings and campaign rallies.[citation needed] In 1983, Rufus Edmisten, running for Governor of North Carolina at the time, was overheard saying “I’ve eaten enough barbecue. I am not going to eat any more. I’m taking my stand and that is it.”

Culturally and culinarily different from traditional Deep South pig pickin’ events, pig roasts are a common occurrence in Cuba, as well as the non-mainland American state of Hawaii, with roasts being done in the traditions of those places.

 

 

Some of my favorite Sides and Seasonings -Zatarain’s!

May 29, 2017 at 12:35 PM | Posted in Zatarain's | Leave a comment
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Below is just a sample of the delicious recipes you can find at the Zatarain’s website (https://www.mccormick.com/zatarains). Check it out today!

 

 

BANANAS FOSTER RICE PUDDING
Turn ordinary rice pudding into a classic New Orleans favorite dessert, Bananas Foster Rice Pudding. Mix 1 package of Zatarain’s Rice Pudding, milk, butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and, of course, 2 ripe bananas…….

 

Dirty Rice Burritos
Craving a Mexican dish? Try this dirty rice, egg and chorizo burrito recipe for any time of day – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just open a box of Zatarain’s Dirty Rice Mix, and add sausage and eggs, and whisk in Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning for added New Orleans flavor………

 

Creole Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Need an easy veggie soup recipe? Add the bold flavor of Zatarain’s® Yellow Rice and Creole Seasoning into the pot and use any fresh or frozen vegetables you have on hand to prepare this quick and easy soup……..

 

Find these incredible recipes and more all at the Zatrain’s website.
https://www.mccormick.com/zatarains

Cajun Shrimp Guacamole

March 18, 2014 at 8:13 AM | Posted in seafood, shrimp | Leave a comment
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Came across on several sites, and it was one of those that looked and sounded too good not to pass along. I’ll be making a version of it sometime soon!

 
Cajun Shrimp Guacamole

 

A guacamole with the flavors of New Orleans. Fresh shrimp, Creole seasoning and red peppers for a bite!
Yield: serves 4

 
Ingredients

3 tsp Creole seasoning, plus a pinch more
1/2 lb small shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3 Hass avocados
1 Lime, juiced
sea salt and pepper to taste

 
Instructions

Sprinkle the Creole seasoning over the cleaned shrimp. Add 1 tbsp of butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add the shrimp and saute for a few minutes on each side until pink. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the bell pepper, onion, avocado, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mash together with a fork. Fold in the Creole shrimp right before serving and sprinkle with another pinch of Creole seasoning.

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