Ragin’ Cajun

This week’s dinner theme with Lady Luck was cajun! She made this AMAZING red beans and rice. It was just the correct balance of spicy and savory. She simmered it all day and included hamhocks and andouille sausage. It was so good! I brought the side dishes this week. The combination of the three…delicious!

One of the two was fried okra. From what Lady Luck was saying, apparently I made a really good batter? I followed a recipe in a new cookbook (by the way, buying a new cookbook always makes me happy) that called for equal parts flour and cornmeal, and just a little bit of cayenne pepper. Then mix eggs and milk – two eggs to about a tablespoon of milk. Dip the sliced okra in the egg, then in the dry mixture, and then into the deep fryer it goes. Using okra that isn’t completely fresh makes it just a little bit sticky…and makes the batter stick better. By the way, I love the little fry daddy that I got for christmas!

Our drink of the evening was a Hurricane – New Orleans style. Talk about a tasty yet potent drink! This drink has six shots of liquor in it, and then is topped with pineapple and grapefruit juice and a splash of grenadine. It makes it super pretty too! The little bit of lime juice that came from the garnish gives it just a little tang and then a little kick going down. Let me just say, one is PLENTY for this drink! And it’s best enjoyed through a straw.

Last but not least…sweet potato pie for dessert! Lady Luck used white sweet potatoes instead of the orange ones, and this has all kinds of sweet stuff and nutmeg and such in it. Lady Luck even knows how to make a pie crust…from scratch…without a recipe. So jealous. Oh yeah, and then homemade whipped cream, which is ridiculously good in it’s own right. Sorry cool whip! You’ve been replaced.

 

To come next week? Sushi!

Good Food, Good Friends

One of my really good friends came over last night and the plan was to cook and drink some wine. Boy did we ever!

So here was the menu: Spaghetti with Glazed Onion and Gorgonzola, Greek Salad and then for dessert, Chocolate Banana Cream Pie. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine was!

Let me just say, my friend cuts onions with such a precision, I was jealous. Guess I’m not that patient. While she got those sauteing, I was working on the salad. The onions cook until they are caramelized, and then the garlic is added in, and then some balsamic and it’s mixed with 4 ounces of Gorgonzola and pasta. For the salad, I made my own vinaigrette with olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, and sugar. I read about a new trick that works really well – pour the dressing in the bowl first, then toss the goodies in it and it distributes more evenly! The salad had feta, Calamata olives and tomatoes on a bed of romaine, with just a splash of dried Italian seasoning and some extra rosemary.

So lets talk about dessert. Now my friend and I both have horribly amazing hankerings for sweets. So I had found a recipe way back when for a Chocolate Banana Cream Pie, that I had been dying to try. Here was my excuse. Well come to find out she’s an avid baker, and knows how to make a pie crust from scratch without looking at a recipe?? Again, I was jealous. This pie crust had a little extra sugar and some cocoa powder added in. We froze it for ten minutes, baked it with weights for 20 minutes, then without for another 10 minutes and let it cool. While she was making the crust, I was making the filling, which is just flour, milk and sugar, all stirred together until it boils, then reserve part of if and mix the other part with chocolate chips to make the chocolate cream part. Once the shell was baked and cooled, we pour in the vanilla cream, then top with sliced bananas, and then the chocolate cream, and then home made whip cream on top, and let it cool. Sara Lee ain’t got nothin’ on us! Given, by time we realized how long this pie was going to take, it was almost 10:30 at night by time we ate it. Oh well, definitely worth the wait 🙂

At the end of the night, we realized that we might just have to make this cooking extravaganza a weekly thing…because neither of us has time to cook this well on our own, and because it’s a great Friday night when you spend it with your best friends!

Jack Daniels Chocolate Pecan Pie

Dessert again!

Now, I’ve never made a pecan pie. Lemon Meringue, sure, but not Pecan. That was all mom’s job for Christmas. But this. This was an irresistible challenge from one of the Roomie’s cookbooks.

It’s super easy too. Pie crust, eggs, sugar, Jack Daniels, butter, pecans and chocolate.  The only thing that I even had to pick up was the pie crust!

Now, I know there are a lot of people who don’t like the taste of whiskey. No worries. All this tastes like is a tart pecan pie. There’s that little bit of “burn” that comes from the whiskey, but of course, you’re not going to get drunk off my pie.

Happy eating 🙂

When life gives you lemons, make pie

The pie after it's been fully assembled and baked for that yummy brown crispiness on top

Yet another family tradition that only started a few years ago is picking the scrumptious lemons off our family’s tree in the backyard and making lemon meringue pie. Oh and is it good. The lemons are so fresh that the pie is good and tangy. I’m sure it’s fun to watch me attempt to make meringue too…getting that white stuff to “stiff peaks” just sounds dirty. My grandpa likes it, and so do I, so it’s all good, and a special treat considering we only make it the one time a year. I have to say, lemon meringue pie is about the only kind that I’ll eat, next to key lime pie and chocolate mousse.

The recipe we used came off the side of the corn starch box, which came from Kroger – just to make sure we give credit where credit is due. I bet that it’s been the same recipe since the 50s, too. How awesome is that?