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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


February 21, 2004 - Issue 107


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Mardi Gras Madness

It's that time again. Back home, folks are gearing up for Mardi Gras. But, here, in Minnesota, I'm just going to fix some of my favorite Cajun treats.


French Market Beignets

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sifted powdered sugar

Combine yeast and warm water in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

Combine yeast mixture, evaporated milk, and next 3 ingredients. Gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface; knead 5 or 6 times. Roll dough into a 15- x 12 1/2-inch rectangle; cut into 2 1/2-inch squares.

Pour oil to depth of 3 to 4 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 375°. Fry 3 or 4 beignets at a time, 1 minute on each side or until golden. Drain; sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Yield: Makes 2 1/2 dozen

Oyster Po'Boys


  • 1 (16-ounce) loaf French or Italian bread
  • 1 pint shucked oysters, drained
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup corn flour or all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Tartar sauce
  • Lettuce leaves or shredded lettuce


Preheat oven to 200°. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and put in the oven.

Split the bread lengthwise, and scoop out most of the fluffy center. Place the hollowed-out bread in the oven.

Pat the oysters dry. Put the all-purpose flour, mustard, and corn flour in separate shallow bowls or plates. Pour oil to a depth of about 1/2 inch in a deep skillet, sauté pan, or Dutch oven. Place over medium-high heat and bring the oil to 365°.

Using one hand to handle the food, dredge the oysters in the all-purpose flour, shaking off any extra. Then dip them in the mustard, and use a pastry brush to paint them evenly with a thin layer of mustard. Place the mustard-coated oysters in the corn flour, and dust them all over. As each oyster is coated, set it aside on a sheet of wax paper.

When the oil reaches 365°, add the oysters, using tongs, and fry until golden brown all over, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Do not crowd the skillet. As they are done, transfer the oysters to the wire rack to keep warm and drain.

Remove the bread from the oven and spread both sides thickly with tartar sauce. Then line them with lettuce.

When all the oysters have been fried, add them to the sandwiches and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Creole Jamalaya



  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 cups cubed cooked ham (1 pound)
  • 1 pound Cajun-flavored or smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 5 cups cooked rice
  • Garnishes: fresh parsley sprig, chopped fresh parsley


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; sauté until tender. Add ham, sausage, and next 4 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

Stir in rice, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes over low heat. Garnish, if desired.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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