The ride home, I liked though. Everyone was full, happy, quiet. And it was getting dark as we drove through Honey Island Swamp. I always made sure to get a window seat on the way home so I could stare into the darkening swamp, hoping to catch sight of the Honey Island Swamp Monster. I imagined him a lumbering big-foot, peering through the palmetto leaves. Maybe parting the hanging Spanish moss with dirty, hairy hands to give me a wink because I spotted him.
The Honey Island Swamp Monster is often described as the most awful smelling thing you'd never want to meet. Many sources say he is a cross between an ape and alligator, product of native swamp life takin' a shine to chimps that escaped to the swamp after a circus train derailment. A shaggy thing with long, sharp teeth and alligator feet. Something that comes after bad little children. And after the ride I just had with my brothers, I sure kept my eyes peeled.
After moving west to Cajun country, I learned about another kind of swamp monster: le loup garou (loo-gah-ROO). Loup garou, or werewolf, stories came to Louisiana from our French and French Canadian settlers. In South Louisiana, le loup garou lives in the swamp. Half man. Half beast. All bad, bad news. Loup garou lurks in the swamp, emerging under a full moon to eat up all the naughty little kids. Cajun children can't catch a stinkin' break.
The Boy loves dogs. Once upon a time, he wanted to (as he would say) "dress into" Clifford for Halloween.
This year, a different kind of dog: Loup garou.
How 'bout a Halloween classic? Chili. He-Man Chili from Tony Chachere's Cajun Country Cookbook.
In addition to the usual ground beef...
Tony's He-Man Chili
adapted from Tony Chachere's Cajun Country Cookbook
1 lb hot sausage
1 lb lean ground beef
6 slices bacon (8 if used as a topping)
1 large onion, chopped
1 ball pepper, chopped
1 Louisiana hot pepper or jalapeno
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup red wine
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp celery seed
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes w/ juices
Tony's Creole seasoning, to taste
handful chopped green onion
handful chopped parsley
about 1/4 c chopped red onion
reserved bacon (from above)
Brown bacon slices in a large pot. Remove. When cool enough to handle, crumble. If using as a topping, cook about 8 slices and reserve 2.
Slice sausage into 1" pieces and fry in bacon fat until brown. Remove from pot and set aside with bacon. Pour off most of the fat and fry the ground beef. Drain most of the fat and set aside with the sausage and bacon.
Cook onion, bell pepper, and hot pepper in a small amount of the pan drippings until tender. Add the garlic and cook a few more minutes. Stir in the mustard, celery seeds, and chili powder. Simmer about 10 minutes.
Break up the tomatoes by hand and add to the pot, along with the Worcestershire and wine. Add the meats back to the pot and heat to boiling. Reduce heat, season to taste with Tony's. Simmer 1 1/2-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Just before serving toss in some green onion and/or parsley. Or top individual bowls with one or more: green onion, parsley, red onion, crumbled bacon tortilla chips, cheese.
Cookbook Sundays @ Mom's Sunday Cafe
Tailgating Game Week 10 @ Drick's Rambling Cafe
Tailgating Time @ Seaside Simplicity
Tuesdays at the Table @ All The Small Stuff
Tasty Tuesday @ Naptime Creations
Hearth and Soul vol 72 @ Mom's Sunday Cafe
Tuesdays Tasty Tidbits @ Permanent Posies
What's Cooking Thursdays @ Feeding Four
Turning the Table Thursday @ Around My Family Table
Simply Delish @ KB & Whitesnakes Home
Potluck Friday @ EKat's Kitchen
Friday Food @ Mom Trends