Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I'll admit the title is not my best, but can't you just imagine me singing this in the kitchen while I work? "Oh OKRAhoma, where the okras get fried up in a pan..."

Lagniappe trivia: Okra is also called gumbo. This is where gumbo, the stew, gets its name. Try asking for that at the grocery store!

Andouille and Fried Okra

Ingredients: (okay get a pen, this is hard to remember)
1 lb andouille sausage
1 lb okra
1 Tbsp olive oil or crisco
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
3 tsp cajun seasoning (Slap Ya Momma HOT)

Cut the andouille into 1/4"-1/2" slices.
The okra gets cut into 1/2" pieces.

Add the oil or crisco in a large skillet and saute the sausage for about 7 minutes on medium-high heat.

Remove the sausage, but leave the grease. You could also dump out the fat and add another Tbsp or two of olive oil. Just remember that the grease makes it tastier. Saute the okra for another 5-6 minutes, stirring or flipping in the skillet as it cooks. If you do it like I do, the dog gets a taste.

Now sprinkle in the bread crumbs and seasoning.

Add back in the sausage and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Serve with a long grain rice and ice cold beer. I think I've got a new Monday night favorite. Look out red beans and rice!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

My Momma Says I'm Too Fancy

When I began telling my momma about this recipe I found, she immediately responded, "that sounds fancy." Translation: Too expensive!

I will admit it does look like a complicated and expensive recipe on the surface, but when you look a little closer you'll see just how easy it is. I thought this one was geared more towards the ladies, but my father and husband swear they loved it. I think their cleaned plates speak for themselves.

If you like a good salad/cold pasta dish in the summer that takes less than 30 minutes, give this one a whirl.

Lemon-Herb Shrimp Salad

Lemon-Herb Dressing
1/3 cup canola oil
3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 Tbsp honey mustard
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/3 tsp dried crushed red pepper
8 oz. medium shell pasta
1 lb. peeled medium shrimp
1 large nectarine, thin wedges
1 cup chopped seeded cucumber
fresh raspberries
arugula or other greens

Everything should be finished in the time it takes to cook and cool your pasta. You can even make ahead and throw in the fridge until you are ready to plate it up.

1) Boil water for the pasta while you fix the dressing. To make the dressing, I use my handy dandy Magic Bullet. It saves time, but you can also chop and whisk by hand. I honestly am wondering how I ever lived without this gadget! Take the mint off the stems and add to the Bullet. Give it about 3 pulses and measure out 3 Tbsp. Set aside. You could also eyeball this if you are confident in your skills. Repeat this process with the tarragon. Then zest your lemon.

Now dump it all back in the Bullet with honey mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, crushed red pepper, and canola oil.

Blend for about 3 pulses, and you're done!

2) Cook the pasta (package instructions) and drain. Run cold water over the pasta to stop it from cooking and drain again. Place pasta in a large bowl and toss with 1/2 cup of the lemon-herb dressing.
3) Stir in the shrimp, nectarine wedges, and cucumbers. Add more dressing if desired.

Serve with raspberries and arugala as garnish.

Healthy twist: Place the pasta salad on a bed of arugala or field greens instead of just garnishing with it.

I had some leftover dressing after this meal. Lucky me, because it is going to go great on a lunch time salad.

Need a new home made dressing? You can substitute chives or basil (or just about any herb) for the mint and tarragon.