Tag Archives: cajun

Welcome to the world of the Cigar Enthusiast and Gastronomist.

Toddy Hour was always a big thing for me growing up in Memphis and Milan.  My grandfather used to come in from work as a traveling shoe salesman and have his evening toddy while dinner was cooking. 

There a few things I enjoy in life, two of them are enjoying a fine cigar and being a Chef. The two really go together well as they create a certain level of Zen. The relaxation of the cigar coupled with creating recipes that incorporate experiences around the world. Call it bringing things home to roost.  

 The flavor profiles in the Premium Cigars bring to life or accompany the gourmand experiences involving some interesting food, wine and cocktail pairings. By the way, do not forget the hops as my first experience with a cigar involved the hops of the Budweiser! Yes, I might be a redneck, so be it. Ahum. That said, let us enjoy this journey together and this is the first issue for me and for the online zine. If any of you would to become a contributor, please feel free to contact me! The publication is online and will be available in print. A true gourmand and artist creates a world full of the regional gastronomy.   Jere “Ranger” Douglas

Toddy time was sacred in our household and revered.  Along with his bourbon and branch were various snacks and my taste buds developed along those lines.  Memphis cuisine was also developing with some firm roots in the South!  I loved it….

Indoor or outdoor, this was a time for the homemaker to show off her wares to all the neighbors.  No holding back on even the place settings for this seemingly casual daily event.

As I grew up, I began hanging out in the kitchen and learning the tools of the trade. The Lobster, Filet Mignon, Bone in Sirloins, Shrimp, BBQ of all sorts, Casseroles and Petit Fours.  And my Grandad, with his predominate Cigar.

Ukis Receipts

https://www.patreon.com/posts/pickled-shrimp-29255265

https://www.patreon.com/posts/beef-stock-29334177

https://www.patreon.com/posts/29244190 Mint Julip

https://www.patreon.com/posts/28575272 Gazpacho

https://www.patreon.com/posts/28518633 Kosher Deli Dill Pickles

https://www.patreon.com/posts/27254613  Curtido

https://www.patreon.com/posts/27082899 Remoulade

In November 1976, the first week, I called Marine Corps recruiter about wanting to enlist after I had been out partying for a long day. I made the appointment for 6 AM in the morning and promptly passed out.

At some ungodly hour of the morning (6:00 AM), there was a pounding on my front door, and I crawled out of bed and opened the door and there was a Marine in summer class C dress blues with spit shined shoes saying, “I am here to pick you up to take the test”. I had to shake my head and remember what I had done last night. “Looks like I need to get dressed and really quick, Sir!” He laughed.

Well, I ran to the shower and jumped in. I didn’t care the water was cold as I didn’t want to mess this up. When I got dressed two minutes later, we ran downstairs and into the van and it was off to Downtown Memphis for the ASVAB test. I took the test with hangover held high and after the free lunch, I fell asleep in the chair at the recruiting office. The Sgt. came back and woke me up to tell me the test results for back. He had this look on his face of concern and that made me concerned. Did I flunk the test? He fiddled with some papers and looked up at me and said, “Mr. Douglas, you have scored the highest I have ever seen on this test. You have a choice of anything you would like to go into in the Marine Corps.” I said, “Well, I have always wanted to be in the Marine Corps band and that’s what I would like to do.”

Back in the day, I was young!

What I learned from this period of my life is to be prepared to walk through the gates when they open up to me.  Test the waters and see if it is what I need or if it is a repeat of something I have already done. I do not like becoming stale in my approach to living and make each day an adventure

In 1976, I met someone as a young Marine fresh out of boot camp, another Marine that opened my spirit and soul to a world of compassion, self- discipline where Puritanical Ideas became obsolete and a spiritual awakening that was over whelming happened! The exploration of the pain/pleasure paradox is a continuous adventure.

As a cigar boy, good times, good drinks, good cigars and good food go together. A cigar man is the one that takes the time to enjoy a very full life and takes the time to enjoy a good cigar.  In a hectic world, it seems necessary to have that time to relax and enjoy camaraderie or solitude.

To lite up that roll of leaf is to say, “Screw the world, it’s MY time” and dare anyone to take that away. 

Living an Aficionado life is gorging on every aspect of living and challenging staid societal norms, perhaps rendering them asunder.

Gearing up in leather or denim is part of the process with the final putting on of the leather gloves to absorb that fantastic cigar smoke, is erotic and sensual.

Lighting the chosen stick means I am taking the time to enjoy and relax.  In todays world, that says something about the person.  Regional gastronomy also comes into play with the enjoyment of the stick.

The famous Casa Blanca cigar is a mellow handmade smoke that has been pleasing cigar enthusiasts for decades, thanks to its quality, consistency, and affordable price.

Hailing from Santiago, Dominican Republic, these mild-to-medium-bodied cigars will provide you with a refined consistency normally found on much more expensive smokes.

 The series has a silky Connecticut broadleaf/shade and has a smooth, creamy, nutty taste, while the maduro variety features a dark broadleaf wrapper that adds a little more of a spicy kick to the blend. 

The 60 ring Magnum was my first venture into the big ring cigars during a Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Iwakuni, Japan.  By the way, this cigar series pairs well with Ribeye Steaks and a robust Burgundy.  That was on the menu that night and a lot of Tequila!

Today, I follow in those traditions as a homemaker/houseboy and relish the time I spend in the scullery concocting charismatic culinary adventures. I commenced my migration to Cigars as a young Marine and I proudly carry that inheritance forward!

Take time for a Casa Blanca today!

As a cigar boy, good times, good drinks, good cigars and good food go together. A cigar man is the one that takes the time to enjoy a very full life and takes the time to enjoy a good cigar. In a hectic world, it seems necessary to have that time to relax and enjoy camaraderie or solitude. 

To lite up that roll of leaf is to say, “Screw the world, it’s MY time” and dare anyone to take that away. 

August newsletter

Greetings on this first full week in August! 

Today, I am putting together food for the rest of the week and I have decided on a Creole/Cajun influence with the seasoning of Louisiana. 

First off, I am making my Remoulade Sauce to keep in the fridge for salads and such.  I garnered this recipe from New Orleans a long time ago and have put my touches on it. Along with this, I will be making the Emeril Creole Seasoning. This is a catch all seasoning combination made of dry spices and can be kept in the spice cabinet.

  Please help keep this going! Donate here if you wish

Please help keep this going! Donate here if you wish

I will be making Ceviche as it another thing I can keep for a lunch salad or dinner appetizer. It’s also good for breakfast. I am waiting until next week to do my cold Smoked Salmon better known as Lox for bagels and such. The Creole flavors are a mix of many cultures, developed over the ages in New Orleans and the Bayous of Louisiana. 

Moving right along, my Pickled Squash is always a keeper.  It pairs well with pickled Onions and Tomatoes in a multiple course dinner.

Shrimp Creole is the citified dish for New Orleans! The flavors are fantastic and while it is considered more cultured than the Cajun Jambalaya, the flavors are close. I always thought that the only thing separating us from each other is some type of arrogance on both sides of the fence. Perhaps that is why I consider myself as a personal representative of when the Cajun met the Creole, they produced me! I will be using the Lobster and Shrimp Stock from here.

Please help keep this going! Donate here if you wish

The Piece De Resistance is a subtle Cioppino from the fantastic city of San Francisco! 

Have a great week! My work is cut out for me. Always check the sales at the local markets and purchase well. Be creative and enjoy life! 

Crawfish bisque

2 pounds fresh crawfish or 1 pound fresh and one bag frozen crawfish tails

Crab and Shrimp boil

2 bottles clam juice

1 stick butter

6 tablespoons flour for roux

Cajun Trinity finely minced (celery, onion and bell pepper)

1 medium can tomato puree (optional)

Water to fill stock pot for boiling crawfish

Fill stock pot with enough water to cover crawfish, shrimp and other shell fish and add bag of shrimp boil.  Additional Cayenne, Lemon and other herbs may be added to taste.  Bring to boil and drop the shellfish in, only blanching to a light doneness.  Remove from the stock and let cool before peeling or you might burn your fingers…LOL.

Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in other stock pot or dutch oven and have flour ready to add, 1 to 2 tablespoons at the time to make a golden brown roux.  Stir constantly over low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, judging with the eye as there is really no way to say how long it will take, even for the most experienced chef. 

Have the trinity ready to add, as I do this almost immediately as the roux begins to brown and continue stirring.  When this reaches a desired doneness to you personally ( I like it still crunchy myself) add the clam juice and 3 to 4 cups of the boiling broth to the pot, let simmer over low heat for an hour. 

I actually prefer a lighter roux as the spices I add later on bring out that great flavor sensation of the head and the sweet.  Have ready fresh Nutmeg, finely grated, Cayenne Pepper to taste, Ground Black Pepper to taste, Paprika (at least a quarter cup of this great spice) and add about 15 to 20 minutes before the addition of the peeled and deveined shellfish.  The shell fish are added during the last 5 minutes of preparation.  Yum Yum….!

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Kitchen Basics: How To Make Roux

A good roux is the foundation of many sauces and gravies.  Making it can be as simple as adding flour to the oil or meat breakfast drippings such as bacon or sausage, to an art form.

For me, I go the artsy fartsy route with fresh butter and charred flour.

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My Grandmothers WWII aluminum pot

For any good Creole or Cajun dish like this one has to make a good roux. The standard is one to one on the oil and the flour. I use everything from bacon grease, corn oil to butter and even use some of the fat from the roast in this one to give it an extra punch. To make the roux, I use a black cast iron skillet on medium to medium low heat. Heat the oil and for this one I used ¾ cup of oil to ¾ cup flour. The oil was a mix of bacon grease, beef fat and corn oil. Stir the mix frequently or use a whisk for about 30 minutes and don’t try to speed it up. It should be a medium to dark brown for that extra flavor.

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With a foundation such as this, the roux will be quite unique to you!  It takes time and patience to make a good roux.  Keep at it, constantly stirring and whisking for about 30 to 40 minutes.  When it turns the exact color you like, it’s ready!