Food I’ve Eaten with a New Foodie Friend

My blog posts have been lacking lately, but it’s not because I haven’t been eating fantastic food! A lot of it has been with my new foodie friend (continuing with the non-naming trend on this blog), who helps keep me sane, and introduces me to new flavors in the kitchen. We’ve done the from-scratch chicken and andouille Gumbo – his mama’s Louisiana recipe, chicken and tangy kale, fantastic wine with awesome labels, chicken cordon bleu, sushi that is almost too fancy to eat and a big fajita spread. There is also the three pepper salsa that he made for the superbowl, and the fig and brie en croute. My tummy has been supremely happy as of late. Since I keep forgetting to write about this fabulousness – here is a photo montage for you to drool over.

foodwjames

Honeymoon in New Orleans

We just had the most amazing wedding back home, and to celebrate, we traveled 9 hours to New Orleans. Being the food lover that I am, I was in heaven. Every day I made my hunny try something new, and surprisingly, we didn’t find anything he didn’t like. We agree that I’ve never led him astray when it comes to good food.

Day one was simple. We had been driving all day, so we ate in the hotel restaurant. My hunny had a fried shrimp po-boy, which we found to be much better when not fried (more on that later). Day two, once we were well rested was much better. It started with room service – surprisingly decently priced. Check out the cute little bottle of ketchup. I get a kick out of things like that. Later, we had muffalettas from Central Grocery. I’ve heard that it’s definitely a tourist place, but it doesn’t matter, they were still super good. For those of you that don’t know, muffalettas are sandwiches that are made on a round bun with layers of yummy meat and cheese. These also had a really tasty onion and pickled carrot mixture on them. We bought a jar of that. My hunny thought they were so good that we went back on day three for lunch.

Day four meant breakfast at Cafe Du Monde. Beignets and Cafe au Lait. Beignets are french doughnuts that are covered in powdered sugar. Cafe au Lait is french for latte. Yummy! I may or may not have bought a can of the coffee with chickory and a box of beignet mix. Did you know that Cafe du Monde has a gift shop? And the cafe is open 24 hours. Weird for a place that serves coffee and doughnuts.

Our last day there, we spent a lot of time wandering, and we took a cemetery tour. Our guide was funny and delightful, as well as being in New Orleans most of his life. I asked him for the best place in the French Quarter to get gumbo. He said the Gumbo Shop. Boy was he right. We got a small order of seafood gumbo, a boudin sausage, and then a shrimp po-boy. This po-boy was not fried. Instead the shrimp was tossed in a delightful and slightly spicy tomato sauce. And instead of the spectacular french bread being cut in half, this was actually bored out before it was filled. It made the outside crunchy, the inside soft and chewy, and allowed the shrimp to stay in the sandwich. De-lish!

Did I mention we got all this delicious-ness without leaving the French Quarter? Call us tourist-y, but it was totally worth it.

Chicken Gumbo from a crockpot

So I was lazing around the couch two days ago, and of course I had the Food Network on. And I was trying to figure out what exactly I was going to do with those chicken thighs I had just pulled out of the freezer. Well, Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller came on, and she was talking about using a slow cooker for her show. Then she added celery (got that…), green bell peppers (got those…), onion (definitely got that…), chicken (yep), and whole slew of spices to the crockpot. She said she was making Chicken Gumbo. Gumbo. Hmm…I wonder what that tastes like? Until last night, I’d never had gumbo.

So the only ingredients that I was missing were the andouille sausage, so I used smoke turkey sausage. And then I had to go get the chicken broth and tomato juice. So all in all, I spent like 3 bucks on this meal because everything was something I already had. How awesome is that??

Chicken Gumbo

This is the gumbo after it's cooked for six hours and is ready to eat.

The only other snag I ran into was I wasn’t entirely sure if my crock pot worked or not. For some reason, mine doesn’t have a light to tell me if it’s on or not? So after I had left for work, I asked my roomate to tell me if it was warm. It was. Probably a good thing because I don’t think it would have been as good if I was only letting it simmer in a pot for two hours after I got home. What was really nice is that I prepped all the ingredients the night before, put them in a bag and put them in the fridge, then just dumped the bag and the juices in the pot with the liquids, stirred it up and turned it on. After 6 hours it was ready to go.

I think I have some ideas for variations now that I know what the good stuff tastes like, but those are in the future.

Recipe to come…

Credit to Robin on my bibliography page.