Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Louisiana Seadogs with Garlic Creole Mustard Dip

     This recipe is from a simpler time, when fishing villages were not over run with condominiums and the high cost of living that soon followed.  I used to spend a lot of time in small fishing village towns on the west coast of Florida.  Fishing villages in this region were always tight knit communities.  When the boats came into home port, the wild times at the local watering holes began!  Many fishermen seem to like to get their land legs back on the steady ground at a local bar.
     Fishing village food tends to be simple and hearty.  Seadogs originated in Louisiana fishing villages.  Seadogs are a hearty tasty snack that can feed a lot of people for a low price, so Seadogs are great happy hour food.  A Seadog is a flour and egg batter fritter made with finely minced shrimp, potato and vegetables.  The Seadog fritter batter is heavy and thick, but enough baking powder is added to make these hearty fritters a little bit lighter on the palate.
     When Seadogs are places in deep fat fryer, it becomes obvious why Seadogs got their name.  Seadogs float in the hot frying oil and they sputter around just like they are doing the "dog paddle" swim stroke in water.  Seadogs flip and turn themselves in the hot oil.  They even make barking sounds when moisture leaks into the hot oil.  Watching Seadogs fry is kind of like watching dogs play in water!
     Deep frying Seadog batter results in a large round ball shape.  Three tablespoons of Seadog batter will easily puff up to become a 3" round ball when deep fried.  When the bottom half of the ball cooks and loses moisture, the heavier top half of the Seadog obeys the law of gravity and the Seadog will turn itself over in the hot oil.  Seadogs will turn over several times on their own, as they deep fry.  This is not only cheap entertainment for a cook, this is old fashioned automated deep frying at its best!

     Garlic Creole Mustard Dip:
     This recipe yields about 1/2 cup.
     Step 1:  Place 1 tablespoon of garlic paste in a mixing bowl.
     Add 2 tablespoons of Louisiana Creole Mustard.
     Add 1/3 cup of mayonnaise.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Step 2:  Place the Garlic Creole Mustard Dip in a container.
     Chill for 30 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Louisiana Seadogs:
     This recipe yields about 4 or 5 Seadogs (3" diameter each)
     The old fashioned way of mincing all the ingredients with a chef knife is a good method, but this recipe is much easier to make with a food processor. 
     The potato can be raw or cooked.  Leftover peeled baked potato is good too. 
     Step 1:  Place these ingredients in a food processor:
     - 3/4 cup of peeled deveined shrimp.  (remove the tails)
     - 3/4 cup of coarsely chopped peeled russet potato.
     - 1 chopped green onion.
     - 2 tablespoons of minced onion.
     - 1 tablespoon of minced seeded green jalapeño pepper.
     - 1 tablespoon of minced green bell pepper.
     - 1 tablespoons of minced Italian Parsley.
     Step 2:  Pulse the food processor till the ingredients are minced.
     *The mixture should look like a heavy puree.
     Step 3:  Place the Seadog mixture in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 whisked large egg.
     Add 2 pinches of cayenne pepper.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.  (About 2 to 3 pinches.)
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     *The mixture should look loose and soupy at this time.
     Step 4:  Add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time, while stirring with a whisk, till the batter is a medium thick batter consistency.  (About 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of flour.)
     *The total amount of flour depends on how moist the vegetable and shrimp puree is.  The amount of flour must be judged by eye.  The fritter batter should be thick enough to temporarily hold its shape, when scooped up with a large serving spoon.
     Chill the Seadog fritter batter for 30 minutes, so the flavors meld.  Stir again before frying.
     Step 5:  Heat 6" of vegetable frying oil in a tall sided pot to 360ºF.
     Step 6:  Select a 1 1/2 ounce volume ice cream scoop.
     Scoop about 1 1/2 ounces of the batter and carefully lower the scoop onto the surface of the hot oil.  (Keep the scoop close to the oil to reduce splashing.)
     Squeeze the release lever on the scoop to plop the Seadog fritter portion into the hot oil.  
     Step 7:  Repeat Step 6, till there is no more room on the surface of the frying oil for more Seadogs.  (Keep in mind that the Seadogs will more than double in size, when they puff up!  If necessary, fry in batches.)
     Step 8:  Allow the Seadogs to fry on their own.  No turning is necessary, because the Seadogs will turnover on their own!
     Fry till the Seadogs are a light brown color and a few surface splits occur.  (The center temperature should be about 190ºF when they are fully cooked.)
     Step 9:  Use a fryer net to remove the Seadogs from the hot frying oil.
     Place the Seadogs on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan to drain off any excess oil.
     Keep the Seadogs warm on a stove top.
     Louisiana Seadogs with Garlic Creole Mustard Dip:
     This recipe yields 1 appetizer platter that can be shared by 2 to 3 guests.
     Place a bed of Italian Parsley sprigs on a serving platter.
     Place a large ramekin of the Garlic Creole Mustard Dip on the back half of the platter.
     Place 4 or 5 Seadogs (3" size) on the bed of Italian Parsley Sprigs.

     Light, fluffy, steaming hot Louisiana Seadogs!

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