Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Orleans-Style Shrimp and Rice

New Orleans-Style Shrimp and Rice
Original recipe by Martha Stewart


8 tablespoons ( 1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 green bell peppers, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
1 can ( 28-ounce) crushed plum tomatoes
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth
2 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco, or to taste
1 pound large raw shrimp (21 to 30), peeled and deveined
2 cups cooked white rice, for serving


1.  Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add flour, and stir until light brown, 4 to 7 minutes. 

Add bell peppers, onion, and celery;  cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes.

 Add tomatoes, broth, parsley, spices, salt, and hot sauce.

2.  Bring to boil; reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are soft and mixture is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes, or if you want, simmer the sauce for longer.  I simmer the sauce for two hours. 

Stir in the shrimp and cook until pink and cooked through, about 4 to 7 minutes.  Do not over-cook the shrimp.  ALWAYS PUT THE RAW SHRIMP IN LAST, AFTER SIMMERING THE SAUCE.

3.  Springle shrimp with parsley, and serve over rice.

Serves 4

Sunday, July 22, 2012

New Orleans Baked French Toast

New Orleans Baked French Toast


1 loaf day-old French bread
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, slightly melted and cut into bits
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries


Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.  Cut bread diagonally in 1-inch slices.  Place in baking dish.

In a bowl, lightly beat eggs, milk and vanilla.  Pour over bread, turning slices to coat well.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter until crumbly and sprinkle over bread. 

Sprinkle blueberries over sugar mixture. 

Bake for 40  to 45 minutes or until brown.

Cut into squares.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Skillet Penne with Chicken and Broccoli

Skillet Penne with Chicken and Broccoli
by Cooks Country


1       pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and sliced thin
         salt and pepper
6       tablespoons olive oil
1       large onion, chopped fine
5       Tbsp. garlic, minced
1/4    tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2    tsp. dried oregano
1/2    cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups water
2       cups low-sodium chicken broth
8       ounces (2 1/2 cups) penne
8       ounces broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
2       ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup), plus extra for serving


1.  Pat sliced chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Add chicken in single layer and cook, without stirring, until beginning to brown, about 1 minute.

Stir chicken and continue to cook until nearly cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes; transfer to bowl and cover to keep warm.

2.  Add 2 tablespoons oil to now-empty skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in garlic, pepper flakes, and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in wine and simmer until nearly evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Stir in water, broth, and penne.  Increase heat to medium-high and cook at vigorous simmer, stirring often, until penne is nearly tender, about 12 minutes.

3.  Stir in broccoli and cook until penne and broccoli are tender and sauce has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. 

Stir in chicken, along with any accumulated juice, and cook until warmed through, about 3 to 5 minutes. 

Off heat, stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil and Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve, passing extra Parmesan separately.

Serves 4

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Best-Ever Summertime Pesto Pasta Salad

Best-Ever Summertime Pesto Pasta Salad


1 lb. dry penne pasta
2 cups frozen green peas

1/2 cup purchased refrigerated pesto
3 tablspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced lemon zest
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup pecans, crushed


Cook penne in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions; add peas during the last three minutes.  Transfer penne and peas to a  bowl of ice water; drain well.

Whisk together pesto, lemon juice, oil, zest, and garlic in a large bowl.

Stir in penne, peas, spinach, Parmesan, and pecans; season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate salad before serving

20 servings

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wanda's BLT Pasta Salad

Wanda's BLT Pasta Salad
Wanda's BLT Pasta Salad

20 servings


1 lb. dry cork-screw pasta
1 lb. thick-sliced bacon, diced

1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons minced shallots
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
4 cups halved grape tomatoes

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions.  Transfer pasta to a bowl of ice water; drain well.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate.  Reserve 3 Tbsp. drippings; SET ASIDE TO COOL.

Whisk together mayonnaise, reserved drippings, shallots, basil, vinegar, and sugar in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Stir in pasta, romaine, tomatoes, and bacon; toss to coat.  Season salad with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate salad before serving

Monday, July 2, 2012

Southern Coleslaw

Southern Coleslaw

You can buy a 14 ounce bag of "3 Color Deli Coleslaw". It easy and less messy than shredding the chopped green cabbage and carrots. I always serve this coleslaw with pulled pork, BBQ ribs, etc.


4 cups shredded or chopped green cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt


Step 1

In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage and carrots.

Step 2

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, and salt.  Pour over the cabbage and toss to combine.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

4 servings