Cast Away Meat Eaters Dip

This is another of my old Fish Camp/Deer Camp recipes and I made it yesterday for the Georgia game at Cast Away Cove. Lisa and I were working on the house while watching the game and we both found ourselves going back to the crockpot again and again for more of this delicious dip. It’s pretty meaty, cheesy and addicting, especially watching football on a fall day. Btw, you can replace the ground beef with sausage, venison, chicken or even turn it into a seafood dip with shrimp or Langostino lobster. Here’s my best stab at the amounts as I have never really officially measured anything and I always suggest making changes to the way you like it.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

Ingredients:

  • 1/2-1 pound of cooked ground beef/venison, cooked sausage or cooked chicken
  • 2- 8 ounce packages of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 can of Ro*Tel Dice tomatoes with lime juice and cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup of chopped andouille sausage (optional)
  • I like to throw in a little Old Bay for that southern flair
  • salt and pepper to taste

I just mix all of the ingredients listed above in a big mixing bowl and then put it all in my big blue baking dish. I cover and bake the dip for about 25 minutes covered and another 15 minutes uncovered. After I remove it from the oven I transfer it to the crockpot to keep it warm and ready to serve with my favorite, Tostito’s scoops. Enjoy!!

Cast Away Chicken Croissants

This is a recipe I picked up years ago and I still make it once every few weeks. I’m pretty sure this dish isn’t very health but it’s very delicious and somewhat easy to make. I like to serve it with quartered potatoes and a green vegetable. Here’s the ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of chicken tenders boiled
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup with herbs
  • 8 ounces of Velveeta cheese cubed
  • 1 can of original crescents
  • 1 full soup can of milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

I like to boil my potatoes and chicken in the same pot to save time.

Once the chicken is done I set it aside to cool and finish boiling the potatoes. When the chicken has cooled I break it into pieces and start my cheese sauce on very low heat so the sauce doesn’t burn when it thickens. Preheat your over to 375 degrees at this point.

Add a good pinch of chicken to each of the unrolled crescents and continue to stir the cheese sauce. You may need to adjust the added milk to get the perfect thickness for the cheese sauce. Place your chicken crescent rolls in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

I guess you can get the picture from here. Enjoy!!

Cast Away Sunday Morning Biscuits and Gravy

My first memory of gravy was when I was very small and my grandmother would make fried rabbit gravy that she made in an electric skillet. I used to watch her mix the flour with the used grease drippings and then add the milk. She would quarter potatoes and the gravy would be served on top of the potatoes to go with the rabbit. She also made the gravy in that electric skillet for biscuits and gravy in the morning. You may want to play with the ingredients just a bit but here is my best guess at the amount of everything. I just wing it and I don’t measure anything, I just know how much to use.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 (6 ounces) package maple flavored sausage (or any flavor sausage you prefer). Note: Use bulk sausage instead of sausage links.
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion (optional) (Lisa doesn’t like the onion) (Not Southern!)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown the Maple sausage in a non-stick skillet

Add the butter and onion once the sausage is broken down and browned

Add flour and Worcestershire sauce and stir thoroughly

Add milk slowly and continue to stir.

Once it begins to simmer it will thicken. Continue to simmer until desired thickness. If it gets to think I just add a little more milk.

Once desired thickness has been reached, remove heat and pour into a serving dish and pour over your biscuits.

Enjoy!!!

Aunt Susie’s Southern Baked Beans

This is a recipe I’ve been wanting to do for a while but didn’t get the pictures I needed till yesterday afternoon when we made the baked beans to go along with our smoked brisket and potato salad for ourselves and our house guests.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 large cans of pork and beans 53 ounce (we drain 1 can)
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1/2-1 cup of ketchup
  • 1/2 cup of chopped bell pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped Vidalia onion
  • salt to taste
  • course black pepper to taste
  1. Brown the hamburger meat, drain and set aside

Finely chop the onion

Prepare the bacon and set aside

place the 2 cans of pork and beans in a aluminum pan for baking.

Add the ground beef, onion, brown sugar and ketchup to the beans

When everything is mixed thoroughly, top with the stripes bacon and bake the mixture uncover at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Ready to serve.

Cast Away Southern Potato Salad

*All of these ingredients and the amounts are subject to your own taste so by all means make adjustments, additions or subtractions to make it to your own liking. This is just a basic potato salad recipe that I created while I lived in New Orleans. I needed a good side dish for fried fish.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pounds of medium red potatoes, boiled soft and peeled, cut into 1” cubes
  • 4 large hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 cup of chopped Vidalia onion
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 2TBS Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup of dill pickle salad cubes with 3 TBS of dill juice
  • salt to taste
  • course black pepper to taste
  • lemon pepper to taste
  • paprika for garnish


Directions:
1. Place potato pieces in a large pot of hot water andBring to a boil. Then simmer until potatoes are just tender. Drain in a colander and give them a quick rinse in cold water to stop the cooking. I included my 4 eggs for the last 15 minutes of boiling time on the potatoes. I let the eggs and potato’s cool for 10-15 minutes before peeling the potatoes and shelling the eggs.

2. I like to hand cut my potato’s into pieces and chop the egg as well while they are still warm. Some folks like to use a potato masher but I like my potato salad with chunks. After chopping the potato’s and eggs I add the chopped onion and I place them in a big glass mixing bowl and place them in the refrigerator for at least an hour to cool and solidify the potato pieces. *This helps hold the potato’s together when you fold in the rest of the ingredients.

3. Next I start adding the remaining ingredients starting with the Mayo and working my way down the list of remaining ingredients stirring after each addition. Season with salt, pepper and lemon pepper to taste. Garnish the top with paprika.

4. I like to cover the bowl with clear plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. As the mixture cools the ingredients tend to blend together and give it more taste.

Cast Away All In Crawfish Gumbo

A few months back I discovered a new resource for frozen peeled Louisiana crawfish tails so I’ve been stockpiling the deep freeze in the garage with bag after bag for cooking all kinds of delicious recipes with crawfish. Back when I lived south of New Orleans on the West Bank I immersed myself in the local culture and a local favorite comfort food of mine was gumbo. Everyone that was local had their own special style and gumbo recipes were passed down from generation to generation. I was fortunate enough to eat a few bowls of gumbo and taste a lot of different flavors while I was there. This gumbo recipe is one that I came up with after I discovered that making a roux wasn’t my thing so I was looking for the easy button. I started using a box of gumbo base instead of creating a roux on my own. I found that my gumbo was just as tasty with a good boxed base like “Zatarain’s Gumbo Base” or “Louisiana Fish Fry Products Gumbo Base”. Those are my two favorites. Gumbo is something that I like to serve as a appetizer if we are having a seafood dish for dinner or I like a hot bowl of gumbo if I’ve been fishing on a cold winter day and l’m looking for something to warm my core. Lisa and I can make a meal out of gumbo and sliced French bread.

Ingredients

******Here are a few different brands that really give my gumbo that Louisiana taste*******.

Thomas brand Ragin Cajun Andouille Sausage in either medium or hot flavored.

Riceland brand Louisiana crawfish tails

I like to add Gumbo File’ for flavor and thickening

One of my favorites for making my base

  • 2 boneless skinless breasts or 3-4 boneless skinless thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds) cooked and cut into small pieces
  • 16 ounces of peeled crawfish tails or peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 pack Cajun-style andouille sausage (680g; about 8 links), sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 package Zatarain’s Gumbo Base
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper  
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen sliced okra,
  • 1/2 teaspoon filé powder, plus more as needed for serving

Cooking Directions

Here is how easy it is to make my Louisiana Gumbo… Bring water, Gumbo Base and oil to boil in large saucepot on medium heat, stirring to dissolve any lumps. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in crawfish and/or shrimp, chicken, sausage, celery, bell pepper and onion; cover. Simmer additional 30 minutes or until desired thickness. Add File’ as needed for thickness.

Serving Suggestions

I’m pretty simple when it comes to a rice bed. Here’s my favorite rice for keeping it simple. You just add a bag to boiling water and wait about 10 minutes until the rice is done and ready to drain and serve.

I prefer sliced French bread and butter as something to go with the gumbo and often times the gumbo winds up on top of the bread. Enjoy!!

Cast Away French Bread Pudding with a Kentucky Bourbon Sauce

“This is a recipe that Lisa and I came up with after a recent visit to the Bourgeois Fishing Lodge in Louisiana. We came up with the idea after talking with one of the local cooks that prepared our food for us while we were staying at the lodge. She made a delicious French bread pudding with a bourbon sauce one night and while chatting with her, she gave us some good ideas for our own personal recipe”.  

 Prep Time  10 minutes

 Cook Time 50-55 minutes

 Soaking Time overnight if possible

 Total Time  1 hour

Bread Pudding Ingredients

  • 1 loaf French bread, broken into pieces (approximately 9 cups)
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 ripe bananas (optional)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons spoons ground cinnamon

Bourbon Sauce Ingredients

  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream or whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons bourbon or 2 teaspoons brandy extract

Bread and Egg Mixture Prep

  • Pinch bread into 2 inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl Pour milk over bread, stirring to allow bread to soak up the milk.  Make sure to have enough milk to just cover the bread, being careful not to add too much milk or it will be too soupy. Thinly slice 2 bananas and fold into bread mixture.
  • In a separate bowl whisk the eggs then slowly whisk in the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and melted butter.
  • When thoroughly blended, pour this mixture over the bread mixture and gently fold together.
  • Pour combined mixture in a metal 13×9 baking pan.
  • Cover and refrigerate 2 hours minimum but preferably overnight.

Baking Instructions

  1. Bake at 350F degrees for 50-55 minutes or until the liquid has set and the top and sides begin to brown.
  2. The outside should be a little crisp and the inside will be soft and delicious.
  3. I like to let it cool uncovered for a few minutes before serving.

Bourbon Sauce

  1. Over low heat, melt the ¼ cup of butter in a small saucepan.
  2. Whisk in 1/2 cup of brown sugar and whipping cream and continue stirring while you heat the mixture over low heat for 3 minutes.
  3. Whisk in 1/4 cup Bourbon and continue cooking over low heat for about 2 minutes. Serve immediately. The sauce should be thickened, but thin enough to pour over the bread pudding when serving.

Serve

  1. Serve warm, drizzled with the warm Bourbon Sauce.
  2. Jim also likes to add a scoop of French vanilla ice cream