Well, this IS Louisiana, after all. No native would ever confess to not being able to cook a pot of red beans n rice! It’s one of the first things I learned to cook; and after years of trial and error, I finally made it my own. Nothing spells “comfort food” like this dish, especially on a chilly evening when all you wanna do is get warm and cozy. ☺
Our weather forecast calls for 80° temps over the weekend, but for now we are enduring one last “cold snap” of the season. So here it is: my recipe for one of Louisiana cuisine’s best contribution to the culinary world. Enjoy!
Wednesday night, and I need dinner in a snap. Luckily, there was a 2-second moment while getting ready for work this morning when I actually thought far enough ahead of me to take a pork tenderloin out of the freezer. What I would do with it to make a full meal I could figure out later!
Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite meats to work with b/c they are so easy to prepare and they cook fairly quickly. I usually rifle through my pantry and fridge to see what ingredients I have on hand to decide how to prepare it. And the fact that they come two to a pack when you buy them at the market makes it convenient because I always freeze the second one for later.
After surveying my options according to what ingredients I already had, I decided to stuff this tenderloin with pesto and feta cheese, with a little jalapeno to kick it up a bit. Served with rice pilaf and green beans, I got rave reviews from the judges panel (aka, my husband). ☺
It’s been such a beautiful weekend in Louisiana. Spring is in it’s prime with flowers abloom and bees abuzzin’. We spent Saturday at a local natural treasure: Hodges Gardens, which boasts over 700 acres of wild beauty.
In the 1950’s, oil and gas businessman A.J. Hodge, Sr designed the gardens then opened the grounds to the public in 1956.
For those of you who may not know, I co-own a small business with a very good friend of mine. It’s a home decor/gift shop that we began almost four years ago in my quaint home town of Alexandria. For a small town dominated by big-box stores, we have an amazingly loyal customer base. And for that, we wanted to say “Thank you.” So….we devised a plan for doing just that the only way we know how–with food.
Every spring, I look at my husband and declare my intention to plant a garden. My frustration at the poor quality of tomatoes in the grocery store always inspires me to grow my own. But life gets in the way, time flies by and suddenly it’s summer and there’s no garden.
Not this year. I got really motivated, designed a plan and have already started my seeds. I figure I’ll start off small just to get my feet wet. I want to be able to really focus my attention to this project and not get overwhelmed. I also know that once our Louisiana heat kicks in it will be a daily CHORE to water and weed and devote the necessary time to making sure all is well.
I got this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen newsletter and thought it looked tasty and sounded intriguing. You’ll understand when you see the ingredient list. It’s a slow cooker meal, so a great week-day dinner solution also.
I made a couple of changes to the original recipe to accommodate my needs, but I will note those below.
Happy St Paddy’s Day, Y’all!
I have a secret; well, a confession, really. I’m from Louisiana, 36 years old and have never made a roux. If you are at all familiar with Louisiana cuisine, this may surprise you. But the truth is, back in the day when I could’ve learned how to make a roux (because just about every dish my mother or grandmother made started with a roux) I just wasn’t interested. It looked too time-consuming and complicated. Now that I’m the cook, there are easier ways of doing it. Like that wonderful invention Savoie’s roux in a jar. Or what I’ll be using today: Louisiana Purchase gumbo mix. See, I like to cook; but I’m not a glutton for punishment. I like making things easy when it doesn’t affect the quality or taste. A little chicken, some smoked turkey (that truly tastes better than tasso!), add in some deer sausage, and voila! Ça c’est bon!
I made this cake for a family gathering in Ville Platte on Saturday. My husband’s sister from Dallas came home for the weekend, so all the brothers and sisters planned to get together for an outdoor fish fry. The weather is perfect right now for this kind of party–sunny, low humidity (which does not happen often in Louisiana), and about 70°. This is our spring, and we’ll be oh so lucky if it lasts into April.
The drive south was beautiful. I love Louisiana landscapes in all seasons, but Spring is my favorite. This is my home, and the sights and smells remind me so much of my childhood.
I love leftovers. Sometimes they make the best meals. And always they make dinner preparation easier.
Two nights ago we grilled a couple of large tuna steaks. They were so big that one divided between my husband and myself was perfectly sufficient for dinner. That meant that we had a whole, very large tuna steak left over.
What to do? What to do?
As you may well know if you’ve been reading this blog, I’m a Julia Child fan. Ever since I read her memoir “My Life in France” I’ve been so inspired to cook and to savor everything. French cooking has always seemed daunting to me, and none more so than the soufflé. Nevertheless, I bought her opus “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and am slowly making my way through it. I’ve been eyeing the pages on soufflés for several days now and finally decided today was the day!