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How Frog Legs Came To Be Synonymous With French Cuisine

Here in the states, frog legs are typically associated with Cajun cuisine, but traditionally, the frog legs we know today originate from the Acadian motherland of France. Archaeological evidence suggests earlier iterations in Southeast Asia, Europe, and even South America, but further information is scarce.

Known in France as Cuisses de Grenouille, frog legs were consumed in response to a 12th Century Catholic Church ban on meat. Apparently, monks enjoyed a king’s diet. Noticing an increase in XXL robe requests, the church authorities decided to prohibit meat consumption for a period of days each year. This imposed “meat-tox” fueled the monk’s resourcefulness and in response, they cleverly had frog legs designated as fish. Consequently, religiously devout locals hopped on the bandwagon, and the rest is fishtory. 

Cuisses de Grenouille is a French national delicacy. To give an example of its popularity, around 80 million frogs are eaten each year. That’s a mind-numbing 160 million frog legs. The most surprising part of this fact is that due to a ban on frog hunting in France, each leg is imported. Let that staggering statistic hop around your mind for a bit.

Like most dishes, frog legs can be prepared in various ways. In France, they’re most commonly cooked using butter, garlic and parsley sauce accompanied by salad or steamed rice. Á la Parisienne, or Paris-style, is another approach that is more akin to chicken wings and involves breading and frying the legs. Lastly, the à la Poulette (white sauce with egg yolk) style is slightly more complicated with its use of a white wine and mushroom sauce reduction.  

Back stateside, New York City is experiencing a froggy resurgence thanks to freshly opened  restaurant Brasserie Saint Marc. Head Chef Frederick Piccarello (former Executive Chef of Le Barricou bistro in Williamsburg) along with owner and Swedish actor Karin Agstam are bringing an amphibious flare to 136 2nd Ave with Cuisse de Grenouille à la Provençal.

In French cuisine, à la Provençal refers to dishes prepared in the style of Provence, France, a southeastern region that borders Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. Provençal ingredients generally include garlic, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, and olive oil. Chef Piccarello’s Cuisse de Grenouille a la Provençal is sautéed in garlic and parsley butter and served with roasted tomatoes and Yukon gold potatoes. It keeps with tradition while paired with an American twist.

Owner Karin Agstam’s attraction to French cuisine comes from her time spent in Paris studying art at Sorbonne University at the receptive age of 18. Experiencing Parisian brasseries with their classic menu offerings made a lasting impression. It’s this experience that she hopes to share with Brasserie Saint Marc, a passion project four years in the making. If you have a predilection for French cuisine with an American edge, look no further than Brasserie Saint Marc — but don’t forget the longstanding connection of French cuisine and frog legs.

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This Cajun Empanada Recipe Proves Homemade Is Better

Since the beginning of time, Spanish empanadas have been synonymous with Latin cuisine. These small, stuffed meat pastries are perfect for snacking, and best of all, this timeless cajun empanada recipe can be modified to fit your culinary preferences.

Continuing with more recipes from the Tabasutra cooking seriesthe Tabañero Hot Sauce X FOODBEAST cookbook – we instituted the help of well-known foodie Instagrammer and blogger, Kylie Mazon.

With more than 57K followers on her Cooking With Cocktail Rings Instagram page, Kylie brought a Cajun flare to her empanada recipe, and it looks and tastes amazing.  

empanada recipe

These buttery, crumbly little meat pies are filled with Cajun-seasoned crawfish, diced pancetta, green bell peppers, and, of course, Tabañero Hot Sauce. Still, it wouldn’t be Tabasutra without an exotic bottle grip, and Kylie’s grip may be the most majestic of all.  

The Reverse Unicorn requires precision, class, and finesse, and should really only appear in mythology. However, Kylie showed us that unicorns definitely still exist.

While the Reverse Unicorn Tabasutra bottle grip may be difficult to master, Kylie’s Cajun empanada recipe is super simple and will come in handy during your next soiree. Here’s the recipe, enjoy!    

Ingredients:

For the filling

½ lb diced pancetta

1 c diced yellow onion

½ c diced green bell pepper

½ cup diced celery

½ tsp paprika

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp dried thyme

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

¾ lb frozen cooked crawfish bodies, thawed and chopped

1 tbsp Tabañero hot sauce

2 tbsp heavy cream

For the dough

3 c all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1½ tsp kosher salt

½ c unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces

For assembly

1 egg, beaten

Hot sauce, as needed, for dipping

Step 1

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the pancetta and cook until the fat has rendered and the pancetta turns golden brown. Remove the pancetta to a bowl, leaving as much fat in the pan as possible and return to heat. Add the onion, pepper and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the paprika, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, and flour, cooking for an additional 30 seconds.

Step 2

Add the crawfish and cooked pancetta, stirring to combine. Let cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally then stir in hot sauce and cream.

Step 3

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter using your hands so the mixture is crumbly. Add just enough cold water until the dough comes together – about 1 cup.

Step 4

Divide dough into 2-inch balls and roll out each piece into a 4 ½-inch circle. Lay on a lightly-floured baking sheet.

Step 5

Heat oven to 375º. Working one at a time, moisten the outer edge of round dough with water, then put about 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle. Wrap the dough around the filling to form an empanada, pressing the edges together. Fold the edges back and finish by pinching little pleats.

Step 6

Place empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with egg. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Photos by Peter Pham


Created in partnership with Tabañero Hot Sauce

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Fast Food News What's New

Hardee’s New Cajun Chicken Fillet Biscuit Is Gunning For Chick-fil-A’s Iconic Spicy Biscuit

It’s been more than a year now since Chick-fil-A got rid of their beloved Spicy Chicken Biscuit. Avid fans, however, could actually get their hands on one if they were lucky enough to live near one of the few locations that still made them.

With the spicy chicken biscuit void in the fast food world, Hardee’s is attempting make a claim for the throne with their new Cajun Chicken Fillet Biscuit. Brand Eating reports this new menu addition will be a spicier version of their existing chicken biscuit that’s served on their breakfast menu. It’s essentially a crispy chicken fillet tossed in Cajun spices and thrown into a “Made from Scratch” biscuit.

Spicy chicken biscuits are few and far between in the fast food world, and one of the most delicious ones in recent memory was hands down Chick-fil-A’s. We haven’t had a chance to try Hardee’s variation yet, but rest assured, they have some pretty spicy shoes to fill if they want to claim that breakfast sandwich title.

While Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s made some major improvements in their biscuit recipe a few years back, they’re not quite there yet when it comes to bridging the gap between buttery dough and juicy white meat. Still, maybe this new item will prove us wrong and capture our hearts like a stubborn Pokemon nestled in a tuft of tall grass.

Hardee’s Cajun Chicken Fillet Biscuit is only available for a limited time at participating locations. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find them at their sister brand Carl’s Jr.

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Cravings Packaged Food Restaurants What's New

Of Course A Korean BBQ Joint Would Make Great Jerky

GEN-Jerky-01

A few weeks ago, we wrote that popular Korean BBQ chain Gen offered a delivery service where you could get your frozen meat delivered anywhere. We had no idea, despite many visits to the Korean BBQ house, that they actually made beef jerky.

A feature of Gen Delivers is that you can order bags of beef jerky online. Kind of an add-on to your frozen meat order, or simply if you’re in the mood for jerky and nothing else. The flavors are : Spicy, Hawaiian, and Cajun.

GEN-Jerky-02

They weren’t bad, and in fact, a pleasant surprise.

We passed the bags around the office to see what fellow Foodbeasts thought of the product. Here’s what the few that weren’t taking an afternoon nap had to say:

Molly

Initial thought: the bag should come with a plastic zipper so it’s resealable. The Hawaiian’s good.

Reach

What jerky company is making jerky with legit cuts and KBBQ-level marinades?

Rudy

I feel like jerky is either the really soft delicious kind or the super hard gas-station kind and this somehow sits in the middle.

Each bag is about $6, which you can order from Gen’s online delivery store.

 

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Fast Food

Popeyes Is Releasing New Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp

Popeyes-Hushpuppy-Butterfly-Shrimp

It looks like Popeyes is currently promoting an upcoming menu item that combines two of our guilty pleasures: fried shrimp and hushpuppies. The fast food chain is known for its Louisiana-style offerings which include fried chicken, fried seafood, sandwiches and side dishes.

According to GrubGrade, the restaurant is releasing an amalgam of hush puppies and butterfly shrimp. They’re calling it Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp. A hushpuppy is a savory dish made from cornmeal batter. The cornmeal is mixed with egg and seasonings, formed into a ball and then deep fried.

We’re assuming the butterfly shrimp batter will be made with the same hushpuppy cornmeal.

Expect to see the new menu item sometime in the near future. An order of the Hushpuppy Butterfly Shrimp dish will cost about $4.99.

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#foodbeast

Deep-Fried Cajun Firecracker Sticks

Cajun-Firecraker

Recipe HellthyJunkFood

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Cravings

This Burger Has an Entire Cajun Meal in a Single Bite

Bayou-Burger-Cover

Burger 21 is a fast-casual burger restaurant scattered throughout the Midwest and East Coast. The chain specializes in crafted burgers and milkshakes. The newest addition to their menu is a burger that incorporates the best parts of a Louisiana meal into its entirety. Yessir, a Bayou Burger.

The Bayou Burger features a patty combining homemade andouille sausage and ground turkey. Andouille sausage is a type of smoked French sausage that consists of onions, peppers, wine and pork. The burger is topped with seasoned blackened shrimp and a spicy cajun coleslaw. It’s also dressed with remoulade and Sriracha.

The chain has been around since 2010, with it’s first location in Florida. Since, they’ve opened a handful of restaurants throughout the US. Kind of makes us wish there was one a little closer to home. Though if we’re going to the East Coast, might as well give authentic Cajun food a go too.

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Fast Food

Spice up Thanksgiving With Popeyes Cajun Style Turkey

popeyes_cajun_turkey

Grandma’s dry turkey with cold canned cranberry sauce or Popeyes Cajun Style Turkey with warm fluffy biscuits? Yeah, we thought so.

Thanksgiving is a few short weeks away but in case you still don’t have your dinner plans nailed down Popeyes is here to help. The New Orleans based fast food chain is selling Cajun Style Turkeys to help alleviate those Thanksgiving jitters.

The 9-13lb turkeys are marinated in a Louisiana seasoning blend then flash-fried to guarantee a crispy skin. All you have to do is follow the easy heat and serve directions to finish up the bird. Regardless if you’re serving dinner for 2 or 12 this turkey is sure to spice up your Thanksgiving holiday.

The Cajun Style Turkeys are available for $39.99  through December at select Popeyes locations.

H/T + PicThx Brand Eating