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!

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I got out of my comfort zone, slowed down and took some time in the kitchen. This one actually took me two days to put together. I prepped the gnocchi a couple nights ago, freezing it in preparation for tonight. Then tonight I actually put it all together.

So the first part of it, the gnocchi has to be boiled. What’s really cool is that you know it is done when it floats to the top! Then all the gnocchi has to be cooled before it can be put with the sauce. The next step is to brown the butter. This part is a little tricky. It has to bubble and bubble, and then it gets little brown bits on the bottom. At the same time, the massive amount of bubbles go down, and then it begins to foam. Throw the sage in and it’s like throwing a dead man’s toes into into a cauldron – it freaks out and gets some serious bubbling action going!

Half of the sauce and half of the gnocchi get put into a fry pan to saute. It gets a little brown, a little crispy, and smells really good. The sage gets crispy, and the gnocchi carmelized.

So I topped the final product with some parmesan cheese. When munching on it, it’s not too terribly bad. It’s just not something¬† that I would necessarily make a go to meal. The sage is crunchy, but kind of strong. The texture isn’t bad at all. There are always some things that don’t quite turn out as good as you hoped, and unfortunately this is one of them. But it’s all the better for experience!