Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Bacon Spaghetti

A quick spaghetti dish made with roasted fresh tomatoes and seasoning vegetables, mushrooms and bacon. Known by a few different names, including Okie Spaghetti and Cowboy Spaghetti, when beef is included.
A quick spaghetti dish made with roasted fresh tomatoes and seasoning vegetables, mushrooms and bacon. Known by a few different names, including Okie Spaghetti and Cowboy Spaghetti, when beef is also included.

Bacon Spaghetti

A few years back one of our readers, Brian, was looking specifically for a Bacon Spaghetti recipe. Although I make some variation of my semi-homemade version of spaghetti most often, and in the summer, you just cannot beat a homemade sauce from those fresh from the garden tomatoes, I do love mixing things up with spaghetti recipes too. I don't know why using bacon as the base meat never really occurred to me!

Sometime after that, I was browsing through the Notes archive on my Facebook page, and ran across a recipe called Okie Spaghetti shared by another reader Linda a few years before. I used her recipe as a base for this one, adding in my own spin, of course!


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Friday, August 9, 2019

Grilled New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp

The flavors of a New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp, made with brined and marinated, peeled and deveined grilled shrimp, making it much less messy to eat. Serve with plenty of French bread to sop up the sauce though!

Grilled New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp

Most of you know by now about New Orleans style BBQ shrimp and that it has nothing to do with anything remotely linked to smoke cooking or even barbecue sauce. It is thought that the recipe originated with Pascal's Manale Restaurant - a nearly 100 year old eatery located on Napoleon Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana. The name likely comes from the smokey flavor that the shrimp gets from the spicy, heavy on the butter, yummy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and the spicy, peppery seasonings.

There is no doubt that we love our shrimp in this country - we eat more than a billion pounds of shrimp alone every year! Unfortunately, 90% percentage of the shrimp we are consuming is imported - and frankly many of us who live outside of the coastal regions, don't even realize it.


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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Mexican Street Corn Salad

A corn salad made in the tradition of Mexican Street Corn on the Cob, with fresh cooked corn and dressed with a mayo and sour cream mixture of Cotija cheese, chili powder, cilantro, lime juice and zest. Toss in some crisp veggies, chill well and garnish with a little more cheese and cilantro.
A corn salad made in the tradition of Mexican Street Corn on the Cob, with fresh cooked corn and dressed with a mayo and sour cream mixture of Cotija cheese, chili powder, cilantro, lime juice and zest. Toss in some crisp veggies, chill well and garnish with a little more cheese and cilantro before serving.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

So, I finally got around to trying a Mexican Street Corn Salad y'all and wow, am I glad I did - it is delicious!

The Cajun's idea of a salad is pretty much a head of iceberg lettuce - that's it. When I make a side salad for a meal, I'll put in other things that are hit and miss as to whether he'll eat them. Sometimes he surprises me, but mostly he picks around things like onion, shredded carrots, cucumber, tomato, radishes, things like that.


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Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Peach Truck Cookbook Review

The Peach Truck Cookbook
It's peach season! Hurry up y'all because like Vidalia onions and Creole tomatoes, it'll be over before you know it too.

We have some decent peaches here in the southeast region of this fine country - a lot of Chilton County Alabama peaches make it down here to the coast, mostly at the farmer's market and roadside, and while occasionally you'll see some peaches from around the area featured, for the most part grocery market peaches down here are not anywhere near local.


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Monday, July 15, 2019

Creole-Style Pork Chop Jambalaya

raditional rice jambalaya, made Creole-style with the trinity, garlic and tomatoes, with seasoned pan-seared, bone-in pork chops nestled in.
Traditional rice jambalaya, made Creole-style with the trinity, garlic and tomatoes, with seasoned pan-seared, bone-in pork chops nestled in.

Creole-Style Pork Chop Jambalaya

Unlike Cajun-style pork jambalaya, which often contains a variety of pork - bacon, tasso, smoked sausage, pork loin - pork chop jambalaya is generally made with only chops. While any type of pork chop or even pork steak can be used, including boneless, I think bone-in chops provide much more flavor and that's what I recommend for this dish.

Even still, there are many ways to make pork chop jambalaya as there are cooks, and mine is just one of them!


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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Instant Pot Barbecue Drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks, cooked in an enhanced sauce in the Instant Pot or other electronic pressure cooker, then brushed with reserved sauce and passed under the broiler or over a hot grill to finish.
Chicken drumsticks, cooked in an enhanced sauce in the Instant Pot or other electronic pressure cooker, then brushed with reserved sauce and passed under the broiler or over a hot grill to finish.

Instant Pot Barbecue Drumsticks

Well, I tell you what... it's been a very hot summer. And it's nowhere near over.

The expression, it's not the heat, it's the humidity has seriously applied for me, because even when it's overcast and cloudy, that humidity just sucks the life out of me and I find it difficult to breathe outside. Five minutes outside right now translates to about an hour inside for recovery, so I have just not had that much of an appetite for standing over a stove to cook much this summer. I know a lot of you were waiting forever for summer, but others of you are in the same boat with me. So looking forward to fall.

So what does one make when it's too hot to cook?


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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Salsa Collection

A roundup of favorite salsas from fresh corn and black bean, restaurant style, watermelon and jalapeno, Mississippi style Texas caviar, black-eyed pea salsa and made from garden fresh veggies - there's one sure to please!

Salsa Collection

While they're certainly good all year round, one way to beat the heat for mealtime is a good salsa, whether served as a snack with chips, a meal for me, or used as a condiment with grilled foods. Here's some of my favorites. Be sure to check back as I'm sure I'll be adding to the collection over time!


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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Fiesta Confetti Corn

A mixture of fresh corn, cut from the cob, sauteed with Vidalia onion, sweet and hot peppers, and finished with southwestern seasonings.
A mixture of fresh corn, cut from the cob, sauteed with Vidalia onion, sweet and hot peppers, and finished with southwestern seasonings.

Fiesta Confetti Corn

You've probably seen this version of canned corn at the grocery market, though it has gone through several renames. Once referred to as Mexicorn, it then became Fiesta Corn and I think now, is mostly referred to as a Southwestern style corn.

It's basically just a mixture of corn with onions and peppers - both sweet and hot - finished with some southwestern seasonings. I use some version of this corn in quite a few recipes, but it's also good as a simple side dish, and even better when it's homemade. Here's how to make it.


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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Chicken Florentine with Mushrooms

Chicken breasts, pan seared or grilled, atop a bed of pasta with a mushroom and spinach in a cheesy Mornay cream sauce.
Chicken breasts, pan seared or grilled, atop a bed of pasta with a mushroom and spinach in a cheesy Mornay cream sauce.

Chicken Florentine

You've probably seen Chicken Florentine recipes before, though there sure seems to be a wide variation on how it's made. While chicken and spinach are typically involved, sometimes seafood or even eggs, in a version similar to eggs Benedict, are substituted.

Some serve the chicken in layers over a bed of spinach with a Mornay sauce poured over that, topped with cheese and baked. More often it's simply cooked in the skillet. Some add pasta or mashed potatoes and top it off with sliced, cooked chicken and spoon the sauce on top. Some include mushrooms and some are prepared with a tomato based sauce. Some are creamy, and some even shortcut the sauce with cream soup, typically cream of mushroom.


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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Cajun Salt and Pepper Shrimp with Andouille

Fresh, wild American shrimp, pan seared and simply seasoned with salt and pepper, tossed with Cajun andouille sausage and a simple, light sauce made with tomatoes, okra, fresh corn stripped from the cob, the trinity and some flavorful seasonings. Serve over hot, steamed rice.

Cajun Salt and Pepper Shrimp with Andouille

There are all kinds of "salt and pepper" shrimp out there and this is probably not like very many of them. That's because I kind of threw this together with what I had on hand and wasn't sure what to call it. I settled on the name Cajun salt and pepper shrimp because of the one pot preparation and the customary base seasonings.

Asian versions of salt and pepper shrimp, which this is not, prepare the shrimp unpeeled, tossed very lightly with cornstarch and then deep fried in the shell, with the intent of eating the shrimp and the shells. Though I did include that variation in the Cooks Notes at the bottom of the recipe, that just didn't appeal to me. I'm sure I'll get around to at least trying it at some point - I'm game for just about anything food-related, at least once! For this, I really just wanted to keep it peeled, to a simple pan sear, seasoned fairly generously with some sea salt and freshly cracked peppercorns and of course, a little Cajun seasoning, Old Bay, and a few other delicious add-ins!


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