Friday, November 28, 2008

Prawn Rockefeller Stuffed Mushrooms

I'm sorry for the delay in blogging recently! It's been a busy couple of months with harvesting the prawns. But, I'm back, and here's a fabulous recipe that Steve loves. Enjoy!

Lauren Farms Prawn Rockefeller Stuffed Mushrooms a' la Steve

Prepare and Roast:
24 large button mushrooms

Sauté in 1 T. Olive Oil
1 lb. prawns, peeled, cut into chunks. Salt and pepper to taste.

Combine; Add:
3 oz. cream cheese, softened

3 T. mayonnaise
1 T. milk
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
3 T. Parmesan, grated
1 t. dried tarragon or 2 teaspoons fresh, minced
1 t. fresh lemon juice
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. scallions, minced

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss Together; Top With:
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (I used a crusty sourdough roll and put in the food processor)
3 T. Olive oil
3 T. Parmesan, grated

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare mushrooms by first removing and discarding the stems. Arrange caps on a baking sheet, stemmed side up, sprinkle insides with salt, and roast 10 minutes. Flip caps over (draining liquid) and roast 5 minutes more. Remove mushrooms from oven; leave oven on.

Sauté prawns in 1 T. olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat just until pink, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and other seasoning if desired; set aside.

Combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, milk, spinach, 3 T, Parmesan, tarragon, lemon juice, Worcestershire, scallions and salt and pepper, cayenne pepper if desired, to taste.

Toss crumbs with 3 T. oil, 3 T. Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Stuff mushrooms, placing 2 or 3 shrimp pieces in each cap. Top with a generous teaspoon of cream cheese mixture, sprinkle with crumbs, then bake until heated through and topping is golden, about 8 minutes. Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Upcoming Lauren Farms Events..

Lauren Farms is taking our fresh, 2008 crop on the road! We will be on Jackson's WLBT at noon today preparing grilled freshwater prawns and showcasing both USFR prawns and catfish. Garden Mama, Nellie Neal, will be my sous chef!

We will also be selling prawns and catfish this Saturday's at the Jackson Farmers' Market. Nellie will be signing her new organic gardening book. Vendors will have the freshest in fall vegetables and fall garden plants together will other wonderful hand crafted items.

Watch today's noon show if you can. And certainly be at the Market on High Street this Saturday! It's such a fun time for the family - especially this time of year.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

1,600 Pounds of Prawns in 2 days!

I just wanted to thank all of you so much for your continued support of our Annual Pondbank Harvest. This year, we sold an unprecedented amount - 1,600 lbs. of Freshwater Prawns in only TWO SATURDAYS. Wow! That's a record. From around 6 am til 5 pm, Prawn lovers came out with their coolers ready to grab some fresh prawns for their grills. If you have any great recipes that you tried the prawns in, please share with me!

The Pond Bank Harvest is always an exciting time for me, because I get to see old friends and then meet new ones. It was unreal the amount of folks who came this year from miles and miles away. We had customers come from as far as Louisiana, Memphis and Hattiesburg who drove hours with their families to get some prawns and enjoy a beautiful drive.

If you'd like to get some prawns, please call! Currently, we are harvesting the rest of our ponds, de-heading them, size-grading them, and putting them in our blast freezer for our customers. Our 2008 crop is continuing to come in, and we'd love to sell you some!

Thanks again for your support as always,

PS: I have some pictures from the sale that I want to post - I will put those up in the next few days.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Prawn Quesadillas and Chipotle Sauce!

This is AMAZING! Who doesn't like quesadillas that ooze cheese and prawns?! My husband Steve apparently does - I could cook this every night, and it would be fine with him. This recipe is perfect for fall - especially tailgating! I love to cook this in my portable skillet - it takes minutes.

(If anyone tries these recipes, and has feedback, please feel free to leave it! I love to hear from ya'll!)

Freshwater Prawn Quesadillas & Chipotle Sauce

(To serve 2 people use about 1 lb. of prawns, 4 tortillas and prepare 1/3 of the filling.)

2 lbs. U. S. farm-raised freshwater prawns, peeled
3 cups (packed) pepper jack cheese, grated
1 ½ cups bacon, cooked and chopped roughly
3 cups spinach, washed, spun dry and shredded
12 (8 inch) flour tortillas
¼ cup vegetable oil as needed
Cilantro sprigs and lime wedges for garnish

Bring about 8 cups of water to a boil and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt according to taste. Add prawns and cook for about 3 minutes being very careful not to overcook. Drain and immediately immerse in ice water to stop cooking. Drain and chop chilled prawns into bite-sized pieces.

Combine prawns, pepper jack cheese, bacon and spinach. Divide the mixture evenly on the tortillas. Fold tortilla in half and press down to flatten. Over medium heat in a large skillet or on flat top (we use the electric skillet heated to about 250 which holds 4 tortillas at a time), heat 1 teaspoon or so of oil. Cook quesadillas on both sides until cheese melts and tortillas are golden brown, about 1 ½ - 2 minutes per side. Add oil as needed. Cut quesadillas in ½. Drizzle with chipotle sour cream. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve with lime wedges. 12 servings.

Chipotle Sauce

1 cup sour cream
¼ cup chipotle in adobo, pureed

Mix ingredients with about ¼ cup water. Pour into squirt bottle. Refrigerate.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pond Bank Harvest 2008

September means a lot of things...SEC football, back to school, our church's Parish Fair. But, most importantly, it's our Annual Pondbank Harvest! We just started doing this a few years ago, and it's become quite the Delta event. You can bring the whole family (put the kids in their mudboots!) and your cooler, and load up on fresh, straight-out-of-the-pond prawns for a great price.

We only do this for 2 weekends a year - this year it will be
SEPTEMBER 20TH AND 27TH from 10am-4pm. Large prawns are $7/lb., and jumbo prawns are $8/lb. Also, the best U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets you have ever tasted (Lauren Farms Catfish, of course!) will be available in 2 lb. packages for $11.50.

Let me give you a bit of advice - if you know that you want some prawns, and you will be heading out on one of those dates,
CALL ME AHEAD OF TIME AND BOOK YOUR PRAWNS! 662-390-3528. We ALWAYS sell out, and usually have to turn folks away (which is never fun) so stake your claim before you come. And if you are coming after 1 o'clock, call us on the way out so we'll know you still want your prawns.

Also, don't forget your coolers and ice!

There are plenty of fun things to do around the Delta if you are from out of town. Feel free to email me ( or call, and I'll be glad to give you any information you need for your Leland trip. I usually put signs up around our farm to lead you in from the highway. It's easy to get lost on the way to my house, but I try to make the directions as easy as possible.

More to come on the Harvest later, but I just wanted to get you all excited! Definitely put the event on your calendar - you'll get our tasty, fresh prawns for a steal of a deal.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mini Catfish Cakes

Another wonderful recipe to use U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish in - I recently cooked this on WABG's Delta Kitchen. It's perfect for football season! I can't believe it's already here..... Go Dawgs!!!

Mini Catfish Cakes Appetizer

1 pound U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets
11⁄4 cups Japanese breadcrumbs (panko) **
3 green onions, minced
2 large eggs, beaten
1⁄2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
Caper-Dill Sour Cream, fresh dill sprigs

1. Chop catfish into 1⁄4-inch pieces. Combine catfish, 3⁄4 cup breadcrumbs, and next 5 ingredients; gently stir until well blended. Shape mixture into 12 patties (about 1⁄4 cup each). Dredge patties in remaining 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs.

2. Cook patties, in batches, in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden; drain on paper towels. Garnish, if desired.

Yield: 6 appetizer servings

*11⁄4 cups fresh breadcrumbs may be substituted.

** At Lauren Farms we used store-brand unseasoned breadcrumbs in the mixture. We dredged the cakes in panko bread crumbs. The panko give a delightful, crisp coating. If you can’t find panko, don’t stress – these catfish mini cakes are truly delicious!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What a whirlwind!

Wow, have I been busy - but good busy! Between traveling to Shreveport, Jackson, Columbus, Baton Rouge, Memphis and Montgomery, and then also cooking on Greenville's WABG every Tuesday, I haven't had much time to update the blog! I've had an excellent time traveling to different stations to promote U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish. During the last month, I've cooked some great Catfish recipes and shared them with people all over the Southeast. I'm hoping to get some of the videos so I can post them on the blog to share with ya'll.

Now that National Catfish Month is coming to a close, it's time for me to focus my efforts on Lauren Farms' Annual Pondbank Harvest, which takes place in September. It's your only chance to get pounds and pounds of freshwater prawns fresh off the pondbank at a GREAT price! I'm going to post more specific information on the Harvest very soon, so please check back... it's such a fun event, and it's become very popular over the last couple of years. Lauren Farms is very lucky to have such loyal customers and supporters!

On to the good stuff! I'm posting the Catfish recipe that I cooked on WAKA in Montgomery, Alabama. The sandwiches were a hit with the news team and crew. The recipe is sooo easy - and everyone likes Catfish sandwiches, right?! The firecracker sauce is so tasty (and adding the avacado on the finished product makes it even better!)

Catfish Fillet Sandwiches With Red "Firecracker" Sauce

For the catfish:
4 4- to 5- ounce U.S. Farm-Raised catfish fillets, frozen
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil

For the Red Firecracker Sauce:
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving:
4 soft sandwich rolls
Lettuce leaves, alfalfa sprouts, or coleslaw
8 slices ripe avocado
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 thin slices red onion
4 teaspoons sour cream or plain yogurt

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. To prepare the catfish, place the frozen catfish fillets in a baking pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Sprinkle with oregano and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the fillets with olive oil. Bake about 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Cool. Cover and refrigerate while preparing the sauce. The catfish can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated.

3. To prepare the red firecracker sauce, place lime or lemon juice and mustard in a non-corrosive medium bowl. Using a wire whisk, mix until smooth. Whisk in chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Gradually whisk in olive oil until it forms a smooth, slightly thickened sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside. The sauce can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. (If the sauce separates, whisk until blended.)

4. Cut the cooked fillets in half and coat each piece with some of the sauce. Spread a little of the sauce on the bottom of each roll and cover them with lettuce leaves or sprouts or coleslaw. Place two pieces of the dressed fillets on top of the greens on each roll. Place avocado slices on top and season with salt and pepper. Place red onion slices on top of the avocado and add a small dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Top with other half of the roll. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.

The sandwich is delicious made with warm or hot catfish fillets.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bringing Catfish to WLBT!

On Monday, I will be in Jackson continuing the 2008 Catfish Media Tour for National Catfish Month. I will be on WLBT (Jackson's NBC affiliate) at Noon cooking Southern Crusted Cornmeal sure and tune in at lunch to get your stomach growling! This recipe is really tasty and VERY easy - the recipe is below.

Thanks so much for all of your support! Come back soon to see what town I will be cooking in next.

Southern Crusted Cornmeal Catfish (with Crunchy Corn Relish)

Crunchy Corn Relish:
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup water
4 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob
1/4 cup minced red pepper
1/4 cup minced green onion
2 tablespoons half-and-half
salt and pepper to taste
A dash of cayenne pepper – optional

Southern Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish:
4 2 to 3-ounce U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish fillets
1/4 cup buttermilk or plain, nonfat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup cornmeal seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter (option: use Canola oil if you worry about the butter burning – LFI)
1 tablespoon olive oil

To make Crunchy Corn Relish:
1. Melt butter in a large skillet.
2. Add water and corn; cover and simmer for 4 minutes.
3. Stir in red pepper and cook for 1 additional minute.
4. Add green onion, half-and-half, and salt and pepper to taste.

To make Southern Cornmeal Crusted Catfish:
1. Stir together buttermilk or yogurt and hot sauce; brush on catfish and allow to marinate for 10 minutes. (Option: dip fillets in mixture and shake off excess – LFI)
2. Press catfish fillets in seasoned cornmeal.
3. Melt butter and olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When skillet is hot, sauté catfish about 3 minutes on each side, turning only once, until golden and crisp.
(LFI: Preheat electric skillet to 400 degrees (or manufacturers recommendation). Add cooking oil and heat. Place presentation side of fillet (rounded side) in skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn and cook 3-4 minutes. Should be a beautiful golden brown.) Serve with relish. Makes 4 servings.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm Hitting the Road for U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish!

If you know me, or have seen me on TV, chances are you know that I'm big time supporter of U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish (partly due to the fact that my husband, Steve, has been in the fingerling business for a long while - but also because it's just GOOD!) I swear, I prepare as many catfish recipes as I do prawn recipes! It's a versatile fish, with a mild taste that compliments every dish - and it's sustainable and all natural! What could be better?!

The Catfish Institute is a wonderful organization that has enlisted me to spread the good word about U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish across the Southeast U.S., and I'm very excited! I will be traveling for the entire month of August to promote and prepare USFR Catfish on local TV stations. I'll be sure and let you know what cities I will be in so you can tune in, or tell family and friends that live in the area to watch! This Friday, August 1st, I will be in Shreveport, Louisiana, on KTAL at 5 pm.

And don't forget ....if you're ordering/buying Catfish at a grocery store or restaurant, please be sure and ask where it comes from. Stay away from those polluted imports, and make sure you are eating only U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

One of the best prawn dishes - hands down!

You haven't lived unless you try this dish. I promise it is wonderful and way too easy to prepare! It's so light and healthy, and all of the flavors taste amazing when mixed together. I promise you won't be disappointed - I know my family wasn't!

(PS: This recipe is a really good way to use all of those fresh herbs that you have growing like wildfire in your garden!)

Prawn Diavolo with Lemon Parmesan Pasta

1 lb. freshwater prawns, peeled
1 to 2 teaspoons salt (Kosher salt if you have it)

1 to 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1-2 tablespoons

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 (14 ½ oz.) can diced tomatoes

1 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)

4 cloves garlic, chopped

¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 1 tablespoon dried, crushed)

Toss the prawns in a medium bowl with salt and red pepper flakes. (Remember that prawns are freshwater and have very low sodium. Adjust salt to taste.) Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the prawns and sauté for several minutes, turn, and continue cooking until just cooked through. Transfer the prawns to a plate and set aside.

Add the onion to the same skillet and add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sauté until translucent or about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine (or chicken broth), garlic, parsley, basil, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce is reduced and thickened slightly or about 10 minutes. Return the prawns and any juice to the tomato mixture and toss. Cook for a minute so that the flavors blend. Add more salt to taste. Serve over plain pasta or lemon pasta.

Lemon Parmesan Pasta

1 lb. pasta (we used Dreamfield’s low-carb spaghetti)

2/3 cup olive oil

2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (or 2 to 3 tablespoons dried)

Cook the pasta in salted water until tender but still firm. Meanwhile, whisk the oil, cheese and lemon juice to blend.

Drain the pasta reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce. If it is needed, add a little of the reserved liquid. (We did not need any liquid with the low-carb pasta and sauce. Refrigerate the liquid and use it to add moisture when reheating leftovers.) Season with salt and pepper.

Cat Cora's Faux-Fried Catfish & The Colonel's Slaw

Steve and I prepared tried this catfish recipe with sage yesterday evening, and it was delicious, but the truth is... we just love lemon pepper! So, I tried it with lemon pepper on Delta Kitchen, and it was wonderfully tasty. Rachel Elvis of WABG also suggested trying 'Blackened Redfish Magic' ( but of course, you can use Old Bay Seasoning - it's the "old" standby).

The buttermilk bath was rich and thick and coated the fillets perfectly. The Colonel's Slaw calls for buttermilk, also. The Jackson Jr. League's Come On In has a recipe for watermelon sorbet using buttermilk that is delicious. And cornbread. Just trying to think of ways to use all that buttermilk!

Cat Cora's Faux-Fried Catfish

6 (2-3 oz.) U.S. farm-raised catfish fillets
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups corn flakes (we used 3 cups to coat the six fillets)
½ cup light buttermilk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) (we used ¼ teaspoon+)
1 teaspoon paprika
½ tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or ½ teaspoon powdered sage

(Lauren Farms variations: In place of sage, use lemon pepper and lemon zest or Blackened Redfish Magic or Old Bay or your favorite seasoning.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour 2 teaspoons of olive oil into a baking dish large enough to hold catfish fillets. With your fingers, lightly coat the entire dish with oil. Set the dish aside.

Rinse catfish in cold water and pat dry. In a wide bowl or plate, season the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge each fillet through the flour so it’s completely coated, tap the catfish against the side of the bowl to jar loose excess flour and set the piece aside. Discard the flour.

Crush corn flakes by placing them in a large resealable plastic bag (with as little air inside as possible) and crush the flakes with a rolling pin. Open the bag and pour the crushed flakes into a wide bowl or a plate.

In a large bowl (big enough to dredge catfish fillets) mix the buttermilk, mustard, spices and herbs. Give each floured fillet a good buttermilk bath, then roll it in the corn flake crumbs. Arrange catfish in the oiled baking dish and place in hot oven. Cook until crispy for about 15 minutes or until done. If desired, broil for a few minutes to brown the fillets.

The Colonel's Slaw

My little nephew, Jacob, always loved & requested the “Colonel’s” slaw when he visited! This is a very good replication of the famous recipe! The “little ones” love it as is. Add some chopped onion and chopped sweet pickles to please the “grown ups”.

1/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ cup milk
½ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice (the juice of 1 large lemon)
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
1 medium carrot, shredded

Optional: One package pre-shredded slaw mix, rinsed
Optional: chopped onion and chopped sweet pickle

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate about an hour or longer. Toss before serving.

Friday, July 4, 2008

We're Famous!

If you haven't picked up a copy of Martha Foose's new cookbook
Screen Doors and Sweet Tea, then you really are missing out on a treasure (she's the executive chef at the Viking Cooking School). Not only is there an abundance of tasty recipes (believe me, I've sampled them!), but there are beautiful photographs and nostalgic stories from around Mississippi on almost every page. It's one of those cook books that you really can read like a novel - my favorite part are the intros to the recipes that give a true taste of Southern life.

...And, not to brag, but if you turn to page 33, you'll see a great recipe for - yes, you guessed it - Lauren Farms 'Inland Prawn Toast'. We thank Martha for mentioning us and our product in her cookbook!

Be sure and pick up a copy of your own at your local bookstore!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Welcome to the Lauren Farms Blog!

We decided to jump on the 'blogging bandwagon'! This will be an excellent way to keep ya'll updated on what's going on with Lauren Farms - new recipes, where to find our products, etc. So, please come back often and see what's going on with us!

Be sure to catch me (Dolores!) on WABG's Delta Kitchen this Tuesday, July 1st. Grab some coffee and wake up to another great prawn recipe! This is what I'll be cooking...

Grilled Prawns & Romaine with Spicy Caesar Dressing

1 lb. U.S. Farm Raised Freshwater Prawns, shelled
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
¼ small red onion, coarsely chopped
6 cloves roasted garlic
3 anchovies or anchovy paste
1 chipotle in adobo sauce
2 dashes hot sauce
2-3 tablespoons honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup canola oil, with extra for brushing on the romaine
¼ cut Parmesan cheese
1 large head romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed, cut in half from tip to root

Place mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire, vinegar, onion, garlic, anchovies, chipotle, hot sauce, honey and salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and blend completely. Add the Parmesan and blend a few seconds longer. Adjust seasonings to taste. Refrigerate dressing reserving some for the marinade.

Lightly coat the prawns with reserved marinade. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Refrigerate. Prior to cooking, skewer prawns ( bamboo skewers will need to be soaked in water about 20 minutes).

Grill about 2 minutes per side. Do not overcook!

Brush romaine with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill cut side down and grill for 30-40 seconds or until slightly charred. Arrange lettuce and prawns on large platter. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and garnish with shaved Parmesan.