Sunday, December 18, 2011

'Lost Restaurants of New Orleans,' heathy ways to cook Cajun

New Orleans TV personality and author Peggy Scott Laborde and foodie Tom Fitzmorris performed exhaustive research for “Lost Restaurants of New Orleans and the recipes that made them famous,” a homage to those establishments lost to Hurricane Katrina, as well as before and after. Restaurants are listed in alphabetical order with photos, ads, menus and other memoriabilia, not to mention actual recipes.
            Retired nurse Dana Hotard of Opelousas was always searching for healthy ways to cook Cajun. After experimenting and collecting a variety of nutritious, low-calorie recipes, she published them into “AdJUSTed For You: Recipes to fit your lifestyle” and “AdJUST for You II.” Each cookbook is divided into party/appetizers, breads, desserts, main dishes and sides and all include information on calories, fat and fiber, plus some show ways to reduce all three.
            Here’s a great recipe from “AdJUSTed” for some holiday fun, only 51.3 calories per turnover:

Crawfish Turnovers
1 1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 pound crawfish tails
1 1/2 teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon red pepper
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped celery
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 (10-ounce) can low-salt, low-fat cream of mushroom soup
16 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed
Butter flavor non-stick cooking spray
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat large non-stick skillet, sprayed with butter-flavored spray over med-high heat until hot. Saute onions, bell pepper, celery, mushrooms, green onions and garlic until tender. Reduce heat to low. Stir in soup, crawfish, parsley, basil, oregano, red pepper and thyme. Simmer for 4-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Arrange 1 sheet of pastry on damp towel, keeping rest covered with damp towel. Lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. Layer with another sheet of phyllo and spray. Cut the stack crosswire into 4 strips with a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
Working with one strip at a time, keeping the remaining strips covered with damp towel, spoon approximately 2 teaspoons of crawfish mixture at the base of the strip. Fold the right bottom corner over to form a triangle and continue folding the triangle back and forth to the end of the strip Arrange the turnover seam side down on a baking sheet sprayed with PAM. Repeat the procedure with the remaining strips and crawfish mixture.
Spray the tops of the turnovers with PAM and bake 35 minutes or until golden brown, Serve warm.