Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cajun Shrimp Pilau (Pilaf) - Rice Cooker

A quick and easy main dish shrimp and browned rice dish, great for the rice cooker, Instant Pot, or on the stovetop.
A quick and easy main dish shrimp and browned rice dish, great for the rice cooker, Instant Pot, or on the stovetop.

Cajun Shrimp Pilaf

With rice a predominant menu feature in this part of The Deep South, rice cookers of some form are very common in the southern coastal states, or at least they were until these fancy electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot showed up, which is how I make this recipe these days.

A pilau, or pilaf, is very much like a jambalaya, except that the rice is first browned. To that seasonings, broth vegetables and a protein, in this case shrimp, are added.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Deep Fried Sweet Vidalia Onion Strips

Strips of sweet Vidalia onions, dredged in buttermilk and seasoned flour, and deep fried to a crispy crunch.

Deep Fried Sweet Vidalia Onion Strips

I know those skinny onion string haystacks are all the rage across the blogs these days, and I love those too. On a burger. Or on top of a salad. But when I want a side or a snack of onion rings, first I want the onions sweet - and that calls for a sweet Vidalia onion - but then, I want them nice and thick. And they must be crunchy. And, light. And not at all greasy. Hey, I have my standards, even with onion rings.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Seafood and Eggplant Dressing

Seafood and Eggplant Dressing, a breaded seafood dressing, sometimes referred to as a casserole, made with fresh shrimp, crabmeat and eggplant.
Seafood and Eggplant Dressing, a breaded seafood dressing, sometimes referred to as a casserole, made with fresh shrimp, crabmeat and eggplant.

Seafood and Eggplant Dressing

I was introduced to eggplant by my first mother-in-law. Eggplant was something that I do not ever recall my mother preparing, in any form, not one single time ... but my mother-in-law did cook it, and often. One of the ways she often made it, was in a wonderful seafood dressing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bite Size Bacon and Tomato Biscuit Cups with Basil

These little biscuit cup treats are filled with bacon, cheese, tomato and basil are like little mini-BLTs in a bite sized form, perfect for parties!
These little biscuit cup treats are filled with bacon, cheese, tomato and basil are like little mini-BLTs in a bite sized form, perfect for parties!

Bite Size Bacon and Tomato Biscuit Cups with Basil

I went to a party recently where one of the guests brought some little biscuit cups similar to this. Well, they were delicious! When I asked the person what was in them, she said they had bacon, tomatoes, Swiss cheese and mayonnaise. Well, of course, I came home set on recreating them!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mary's Basic Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Homey and healing chicken noodle soup, made with a homemade stock from a whole chicken and fresh veggies.
Homey and healing chicken noodle soup, made with a homemade stock from a whole chicken and fresh veggies.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I was feeling a bit under the weather this weekend so I decided to put on a pot of chicken noodle soup. Funny thing about this stuff... I can get a pot going, leave it warming on the stove along side a pot of cooked egg noodles, snatch a cup of it several times throughout the day and feel all better before nightfall. Often referred to as "Jewish Penicillin" for its known powers of healing, it really does work and that's not just an old wives tale either!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Weekend Cocktails - Pat O'Brien Hurricane Cocktail Copycat

A homemade copycat version of the famous Pat O Hurricane using two kinds of rum, grenadine, orange & fresh lime juice & a little simple syrup. Watch out - these sneak up on you!

Hurricane Cocktail

I can't even count the number of times that I have been to Pat O'Brien's in New Orleans, both as a tourist from Mississippi and as a resident of New Orleans, but one thing is for sure. It is a ritual for most everybody to have at least one Hurricane when you go there.  One is generally enough for me, because the fruity sweetness of this drink is very deceiving. Like drinking shots of tequila on a barstool and then suddenly standing up and thinking ya might have wanted to stop 2 or 3 shots back! Not that I would know anything about that...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

10+ Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob

Fresh, in season corn is so delicious, why not try it a variety of ways?

Fresh on the cob sweet corn is still tasting pretty good down south so I'm gonna get my fill while it's at its peak flavor, even though it's pretty much available year round these days. Me, I just love the stuff, any way that you make it. My preference though? Simple, and pure, boiled corn on the cob, done just right and only long enough to cook the kernels yet leave them crunchy, with a generous sprinkling of salt, and butter. Butter. Now that's where you can really mess around with some flavor combinations.


How to Make Flavored Compound Butter

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✍ COMPOUND BUTTER COMBOS

Compound butters. Or as Chef Anne Burrell - Executive Chef at New York's Centro Vinoteca, and sous chef to Mario Batali when battling in the Iron Chef Kitchen Stadium - would say, "butter with stuff."  I just love her ... don't you?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cajun Grilled Shrimp Skewers

<span style="font-family: "trebuchet ms" , sans-serif;"><i><span class="summary">Jumbo shrimp, tossed in an olive oil and lemon Cajun seasoned marinade, skewered with onion, bell pepper and tomato and grilled.</span></i></span>
Jumbo shrimp, tossed in an olive oil and lemon Cajun seasoned marinade, skewered with onion, bell pepper and tomato and grilled.

Cajun Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Wow. I still cannot believe that summer has practically got it's foot out the door and fall is literally just around the corner! The weather here was very mild there for a bit, but the past few days have proven that summer is definitely not gone just yet, not that we ever really put our grills away down here anyway.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Well, Slap Ya Mama! The Winner is....


Thanks to everybody who participated in the Slap Ya Mama giveaway!  It was fun to see what recipe that each of you would like to try and at some point in the future I'm gonna borrow your suggestions and try each one of those because, well frankly, they all sounded pretty darned good!

If you didn't win and you still want to try Slap Ya Mama seasonings go to their website and order some!  I really do think you'll love it - heck, y'all see how much I use it. There are some great ideas for gifts there too, so if you know somebody who loves Cajun cookin' a gift basket from there would make a terrific Christmas present.  Be sure to check them out. 

So, down to business ... the winner of the Slap Ya Mama gift basket is ....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How to Make Homemade Gravy and Some Tips for Perfect Gravy!

Chicken Gravy made with bacon drippings & homemade stock

How to Make Homemade Gravy

If you want to learn how to make homemade gravy, here's another for the "how-to" series of posts here. I know of lot of my regular readers are foodies and certainly know how to make gravy, but I hope that those in search of info will happen across this and find some help. We all had to learn somewhere! I recently made a casserole in need of chicken gravy and just today made roast beef po'boys and needed a beef gravy, so a "how-to" seemed fitting.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Old Fashioned Southern Bread Pudding

A southern bread pudding using leftover French bread, a can of fruit and finished with a drizzle of whiskey sauce.
A southern bread pudding using leftover French bread, a can of fruit and finished with a drizzle of whiskey sauce.

Old Fashioned Bread Pudding

Ah, old fashioned bread pudding. A dessert born out of economics and the need to use up stale bread, turned into a delectable, delicious plate of total comfort. You cannot consume a slice of this and help but feel like you just got a big ole hug. And I just so happened to have a half a loaf of French bread leftover from this weekend! Lucky me. Oh. My. Goodness. Y'all. This is soooooo good.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Caramelized Vidalia Onion Dip

Caramelizing the onions in this classic sour cream and onion dip really takes it up a notch.

Caramelized Vidalia Onion Dip

Okay. This is like the best onion dip you will ever put in your mouth. Seriously.

If you don't believe me, just make a single batch of it and see how fast you regret only making one.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mary’s Mint Infused Southern Sweet Iced Tea

Southern sweet iced tea, infused with fresh mint.

Mint Infused Southern Sweet Iced Tea

I cannot believe that Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, has just about arrived! Is it just me, or did it seem that the summer pretty much flew by this year?

This year was the first year that I grew mint in my garden and I have to say that I have really enjoyed it. Now, yes, I did heed the warnings about growing it in a container so that it would not grow wild and take over the garden, though I did also think what a fragrant ground cover that would be!

Friday, September 4, 2009

GIVEAWAY!! Well, Slap Ya Mama! - CLOSED


UPDATE:  THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED - GOOD LUCK!

Yep. You read that right! Finally, after all this time of y'all hearing me talk up the Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning I use so much, I'm here to tell ya, that those fine folks at Walker & Sons, right slap in the Heart of Cajun Country in Ville Platte, Louisiana, have kindly provided me with a fantastic gift basket so that you can give this seasoning that I love so much a try. Woohooo!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Spicy Crab Martini

West Indies Crab Salad with celery, infused with a spicy chili sauce, lemon and a citrus vodka, garnished with sliced and chopped avocado, for a great party appetizer for adults. Makes a great one-bite shooter too.

Spicy Crab Martini

These are amazingly fantastic as an appetizer for a dinner party and can also be done in small shot glasses as crab shooters, meant to be consumed in one bite. Super spicy, they actually do contain vodka, so make sure that all of your guests imbibe in alcoholic beverages first before serving them, or you can choose to go non-alcoholic. Add spears and chunks of avocado, toothpick speared olives, and insert a small cocktail spoon or fork before serving. Also excellent when made with boiled shrimp.

Avocado and West Indies Salad

West Indies Salad is a well loved Gulf Coast favorite, where crab is marinated in oil and vinegar, with minced onion, and covered with crushed ice.

Avocado and West Indies Salad

Whether served on a bed of mixed baby greens, in a tomato, spooned onto a cracker or like here, in an avocado, this is a pretty simple vinegar and oil dressed salad, likened to the popular sweet & sour cucumber salads so loved in the south, but made with crab instead.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pasta With Crab

A nice light pasta dish made with fresh crab, garden tomatoes, fresh basil, butter and olive oil. Great with other proteins or even all on its own too!
A nice light pasta dish made with fresh crab, garden tomatoes, fresh basil, butter and olive oil. Great with other proteins or even all on its own too!

Pasta With Crab

This is truly one of my most favorite pasta dishes, if not the most favorite. It is so fresh and light and for the pasta and seafood lover, so satisfying.

Many, many years ago, I once had a dish similar to this at Alberti's Italian Restaurant when it was in Biloxi - in the old Goofy Golf building with the landmark gorilla out front. The dish was so delicious that I set out to immediately recreate it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What People Were Hungry For in August


Ahhh... it might officially be summer still, but fall is in the air. At least it is food-wise, that is.

August was a popular month for folks wanting to put up tomatoes, eat peach ice cream, cook up some ribs, make watermelon rind pickles, and indulge in southern style potato salad for sure.

But... unseasonably cooler weather in this part of The South and other parts of our fine country, have had folks hankerin' for some comfort foods too. Bean dishes, soup, old fashioned chicken pot pie and even good ole chicken and dumplings were being sought after.

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