The Walkers and Crawfish: A Long Line of Tradition

The Walkers and Crawfish: A Long Line of Tradition

Native Americans were catching and eating crawfish for years before the Acadians arrived, although some legends tell of the northeastern lobster following the Acadians to Louisiana and shrinking in size over the long journey.  The Acadians took quite well to the local crawfish, and they became a major part of the Cajun culture.

Crawfish-or mudbugs, as they are called since the popular species in Louisiana burrow into the wet ground of the freshwater bayous-can be boiled whole with spices and vegetables. The tender meat can be featured in a variety of Cajun cuisine from étouffée to meat pies. Every spring when crawfish are in season Louisiana families, like the Walkers, spend their afternoons gathered around picnic tables picking crawfish. They spread old newspaper across long tables where they dump a giant pot of steaming crawfish along with boiled potatoes, garlic cloves, corn on the cob, whole mushrooms, and onions.

Some of the Walkers’ fondest memories involve farming crawfish themselves. One of TW’s clients has a crawfish pond. When TW’s brother, Bob was coming to Ville Platte for Easter with his family, TW asked his client if the kids could come by and pick up some crawfish with the hand nets. “Mais, cher, don’t worry about that,” TW’s client said, using the Cajun term of endearment. “I’ll tell my guy not to make his run on Saturday morning, and y’all can just go pick up all the traps.”

TW couldn’t believe this generous offer. He loaded up the whole family, and they headed to the ponds. “Jack and Joe were just waist-high then,” recalls TW. “We pulled them behind us in a boat and waded through the water without hip boots on, even Mama Jen. I think we came up with over 250 pounds of crawfish.” A good rule of thumb is three pounds of crawfish per person, which means the Walkers hit the mother load. “We got to be crawfish farmers for the day,” Jack remembers fondly.

TW’s client invited them back year after year. As Jack and Joe got older, they wore snake-proof boots and started pulling the boats through the muddy water for the younger kids to ride. “It’s always a good weekend,” says TW. “It brought all the family together.” The Walkers took all those crawfish back to the Bayou Chicot house and cooked them in the backyard under twinkle lights TW strung from the trees. “We ate for two hours, Cajun French music blaring in the background,” says Bob. “Living in Mississippi, I wanted my kids to experience the way I grew up.”

Today when the Walkers eat crawfish, they all remember those Easter weekends. They pop off the heads and suck the juices, peel off the shell and pop the meat in their mouths.

The Slap Ya Mama seasoning tingles their lips just perfectly, and they’re taken right back to those Easter weekends way back when.

 

Healthy Cajun Food? You’d be Surprised

Healthy Cajun Food? You’d be Surprised

It might sound like an oxymoron to say “Healthy Cajun Food.” Here in the south, we get picked on just a little bit about how we eat. Sure, we love hearty meals and huge portions. Here at Slap Ya Mama, we know that sometimes cajun and creole food can also be nourishing even as delicious and rich as it is. Surprisingly, there are many healthy ingredients and spices that are staples for almost all Cajun and Creole dishes!

Onions

Onions have been proven to fight diseases such as heart disease and cancer with their anti-inflammatory properties. Not only do they fight disease, they also have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that prevent colds and infections.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are great antioxidants and are filled with Vitamins A and C that also neutralize free radicals in the bloodstream. The Vitamin A in tomatoes will improve your vision and keep your hair strong and shiny! They also can help keep your hair and skin healthy as well as your teeth, skin, and bones!

Peppers

All peppers are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, but these properties are most prevalent in red peppers! These vitamins prevent cell damage and disease that are related to aging. They also support your immune system to ward away certain illnesses and sicknesses.

Common Seasoning

Garlic powder has Vitamin B-6 while paprika contains a large amount of Vitamin A. Onion powder also provides a small amount of Vitamin C. Most spices, especially white pepper and paprika provide magnesium and iron as well.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and reload your plate. Make sure you top your dinner with Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning because it contains lots of Vitamins to make your body healthy and strong!

 

Host The Best Summer Cookout With Slap Ya Mama

Host The Best Summer Cookout With Slap Ya Mama

Summer is here and you know what that means: time to have some friends over for an awesome cookout! You already know that Slap Ya Mama seasonings and sauces help make spice up anything you throw on the grill, so here are some other tips to help make your party the hottest in your neighborhood!

1.  Want to keep the bugs away while you eat? If you throw some sage or juniper onto your warm grill or firepit, it can go a long way towards repelling those pesky mosquitos!

2. Clean your grill grate…with an onion! You can use a halved onion to scrub the gunk out of your grill, and it’ll leave you with a great scent while you cook the food, as opposed to the smell of cleaning chemicals. Also, it’s cheaper and greener!

3. Everyone prefers having their meat cooked a certain way (rare, medium, well done, etc.) and it can be real hard to get someone else to do it just right. So let your guests help by doing it themselves! It turns a chore into an activity and gets people talking. Plus, if you are inviting new people it can be a great icebreaker!

4. Need more greens in your diet? Just about EVERY vegetable grills great with Slap Ya Mama! Having a nice savory taste to broccoli, zucchini, or peppers can help even the most stubborn eater.

5. Be creative! Not every cookout needs to be the typical burgers and hot dogs, you can substitute with different meats! Lamb, chicken, venison, fish, all of these grill great and are healthy! Your guests will remember your cookout, and be more likely to come to your next one, especially when you open their eyes to something new!

Enjoy your summer, and as always, and whenever you think of spicing things up, you should think of Slap Ya Mama!

Slap Ya Mama’s Low Sodium Seasoning Blend

Slap Ya Mama’s Low Sodium Seasoning Blend

There’s a reason why Slap Ya Mama’s Low Sodium blend is so popular! 75 million Americans have hypertension or high blood pressure. That’s a whopping 29 percent! Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke and only 48 percent of people with those that suffer have it under control. Many health specialists believe that the reason why hypertension is such a problem in the US is based on our diet.

Over the past century, salt has been the subject of intense scientific research related to blood pressure elevation and cardiovascular-related deaths. The way your blood pressure is raised is much more complicated than you may think. Here is how high levels of sodium affects your body. Salt works on your kidneys to make your body retain more water, and this extra water raises your blood pressure which puts a strain on your kidneys, arteries, heart, and even your brain.

Kidneys

High blood pressure causes extra strain and damages your kidneys and puts you at risk for kidney disease. This reduces their ability to filter out unwanted and toxic waste products. If left untreated, this can lead to kidney failure.

Arteries

The extra blood pressure caused by eating too much salt puts extra strain on the insides of your arteries. When this happens, the organs of the body that were receiving the blood from the arteries become starved of the oxygen and the nutrients they need. This can also turn fatal if untreated.

Heart

Raised blood pressure caused by eating too much salt may damage the arteries leading to the heart. The heart will not work as well because it will not receive enough oxygen and nutrients. This is what leads to a heart attack.

Here in Louisiana, we love our sodium. Many of our favorite dishes are flavorful because of the spices alone. Here at Slap Ya Mama, we pride ourselves on offering our signature Cajun Seasoning in a low sodium option. Now, you can enjoy the spicy and delicious flavor of Slap Ya Mama without the health risks!

 

How Gulf Shrimp Became The King of Shrimp

How Gulf Shrimp Became The King of Shrimp

It’s easy to find popcorn shrimp, in fact, we are a popcorn shrimp nation. We are enthralled by endless shrimp platters and all-you-can-eat seafood buffets and love overstuffed po’boys, steaming bowls of scampi, takeout containers dripping with kung pao, and one of Louisiana’s favorite: Cajun seasoned shrimp. However, for those of us, that know shrimp know that popcorn shrimp is a fraud.

Increasingly, cooks are always wondering if we are eating the right shrimp. Like much of the food we eat, shrimp comes with issues: sustainability, eating locally and guarding against disease. In a chef’s world, the wonder what tastes the best. Almost 90 percent of the American shrimp supply is imported mostly from India, Thailand, and Indonesia. However, it has been a tough couple of years for imported shrimp due to an incurable bacterial disease that has devastated many shrimp farms.

Luckily in New Orleans and other shrimping capitals of the South, shrimp is still in good supply. When chefs look at the type of shrimp that they will be using, it all depends on the dish and region. South Carolinians insist on white shrimp whereas some people grew up on the wild taste of brown shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico. Pink shrimp have their fanbase as well as the Royal Reds.

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Louisiana residents formed the White Boot Brigade, named after the shrimper’s rubber footwear and began a nationwide campaign to introduce it to chefs across the country. Gulf shrimp has become a huge success and is used in a variety of dishes. Now, people all over the US enjoy the delicious and unique taste of gulf shrimp, and here at Slap Ya Mama, we love to upgrade dishes with our delicious seasonings.

Dinner should never be boring in your household. With the help of Slap Ya Mama seasonings, your dishes will have that unique cajun taste that you love! No matter what type of shrimp you decided to cook, we hope that you enjoy this delicious shrimp recipe and share it with your loved ones.

Cajun Shrimp Casserole

Cajun Shrimp Casserole

 

Here in Louisiana, we love seafood and one of our favorite seafood staples is shrimp. Just like out of a scene from Forrest Gump, we like our shrimp fried, boiled, barbecued, and any way in between. However, sometimes life gets so busy that cooking an elaborate meal becomes difficult. Casseroles are a great way to make a large amount of food, with minimal cleanup and of course: a delicious taste.

Here at Slap Ya Mama, our seasonings can add the flavor you desire to any dish. This hearty Cajun dinner recipe is filled with shrimp, cheese, rice and its cajun flair with okra, bell peppers and Slap Ya Mama seasoning.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds peeled, large fresh shrimp
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen sliced okra
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of shrimp soup
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Cajun Seasoning (for those who like it hot, try our HOT Cajun Seasoning)
  • 3 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garnishes: quartered lemon slices, fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

How to Make It

  1. Peel shrimp; devein, if desired.
  2. Melt 1/4 cup butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; sauté 7 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in okra, lemon juice, and salt; sauté 5 minutes. Add shrimp, and cook 3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Stir in soup and next 4 ingredients until blended. Pour into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is lightly browned. Garnish, if desired.
  4. (10-ounce) package frozen onions and peppers may be substituted for fresh onion and bell peppers.
  5. (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup may be substituted for cream of shrimp soup.

We love to hear feedback on our recipes here at Slap Ya Mama! If you try this delicious casserole and it was a hit with you and your loved ones, let us know in the comments. Happy Cooking!