Flavors of The Big Easy for the 3rd Friday of Lent

Something interesting happened during the first lock-down in California. Unlike other lock-downs that have followed, during that first one Hubby worked from home and Kiddo was temporarily out of work. As you can imagine, the Event Industry came to an immediate girding halt.

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Cajun Kabobs and More

Hey there – how’s life? Time finally seems to be moving again – sort of and just a little too fast to suit me. I don’t mean life is returning to normal, because in California it is anything but. Yet time still flies. We’re now a whole three weeks beyond half way through the year, on the backside.

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Louisiana Shrimp Etouffée 2

While I’ve never been to Louisiana, I do love the food. Maybe it comes from my southern roots via Pops. Maybe it is that love of spice and flavor and anything down home. All I know is that while I’ve never been to Louisiana, I feel deeply connected to the Gulf region.

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Louisiana Shrimp Étouffée 1

It’s only fitting that a state that gave us National Treasures such as Jazz, Creole Cooking and America’s best Mardi Gras would have its own special day. Part of the Louisiana Purchase of land from France in 1803, Louisiana was the first of 15 states to be carved out of the region. The great state of Louisiana entered the union in 1812.

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Bayou Country is Calling Me

While I have wintered in the South Pacific and summered in the Pacific Northwest, I have never stepped foot in the state of Louisiana. That’s not a reflection on the great state of Louisiana, I’ve just never been there. Yet, for reasons I have never understood, every June I get a hankering way deep down inside my soul for bayou country. I hear Credence  Clearwater Revival playing in my head.

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Cajun Seafood Paella Risotto

I suppose you could argue that a Risotto cannot be a main dish. Risotto is a side dish, right? Well, yes and no. This Paella Risotto is so packed with things like pepper, tomatoes and corn. Better yet, there’s plenty of shrimp and bay scallops. This dish has got it all. Served with a crisp salad, you’ve got dinner. The best part about this particular “Paella” is that you don’t need a special pan or an open fire or anything beyond a pot and your stove top.

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Cajun Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese

It’s coming to an end – all this talk of Lenten Season. Three Sundays from today and we’ll be wearing our Easter Bonnets! (Oh how I miss those days when we really did prance about in our Sunday Best complete with a beautiful new hat. Hum, I wonder – is that why I am fond of wearing hats? A new hat and new shoes were a part of Easter when I was young).

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Spicy New Orleans Shrimp over Jasmine Rice

This year, for Mardi Gras, I thought it would be nice to give you some options for a sit down supper. If you have been following along, you already have my recipe for the traditional King’s Cake for dessert and a savory Shrimp and Crab Cheese Wheel to get things started. We’ve now reached into the suggestion box for the main event.

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Cajun Bay Scallops over Spicy Spanish Rice – A Worldly Dish

Hot, hot, hot! Feel it . . . hot, hot, hot. I don’t know which sizzles more, the bay scallops or the spicy rice. Put the two together and you’ve got one incredibly spicy dish. While so many dishes feature the Sea Scallops (those are the bigger scallops – 20 or so per pound), this recipe centers around the Bay Scallops (their smaller cousin – 70 or so per pound). Bay Scallops are naturally sweeter, which helps to offset the intense heat of this scorching hot dish.

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Cajun Sea Scallops over New Orleans Style Risotto

Years ago, Hubby and I loved to dine out at a place called the Voodoo Steakhouse at the Rio in Las Vegas. While off the strip, the Voodoo Steakhouse; located on the 50th floor had a spectacular view of the city lights. The upscale steakhouse with a New Orleans twist served up amazing dishes and signature drinks.

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