Easy Cook: Kung Po Inspired Tilapia

I sent my husband to the grocery store to purchase catfish. He brought home tilapia. It’s not the same fish; you can’t deep fry a delicate tilapia filet–it will fall apart. I remembered a recipe for a quick-to-prepare Chinese dish for “Kung Po Cod” in our local newspaper using cod fish and lots of peppers. Why not use the tilapia instead? The dish is fantastic; but about the only similarity with the real Kung Po dish is the peanuts. Continue reading

A Large Batch of Colorful Brined Freezer Coleslaw

If you live in the South, tradition says you must eat boiled cabbage and blackeye peas on New Year’s day for good luck and fortune. And the grocery stores are full of bins of large cabbages. Several days after New Years, one of the bins still had cabbages–they were on sale for $.25 a pound. Of course I purchased one. But rather than cooking more boiled cabbage, I’m making a brined coleslaw and freezing the left-overs.

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Traditional New Orleans Shrimp and Grits

I’m starting out the New Year with a very traditional New Orleans’ recipe for “Shrimp and Grits.” We ate this dish several years ago on Christmas morning at a little cafe in the business district of New Orleans. The grits were creamy and smooth; the shrimp seasoned just right; about the best I’ve eaten.  I’ll begin the New Year with one of my favorite recipes that I’ve learned to like since moving to Louisiana. Continue reading

Meyer Lemon & Rosemary Sorbet

This Christmas holiday I made Meyer Lemon and Rosemary Sorbet. Why make a sorbet in the middle of winter? Because this is when the Meyer lemons on the fruit tree in my backyard ripen. And a tart citrus sorbet is good any of time of the year. This icy sorbet is just the right ending to a rich meal, it cleans the palate. Since it is fat free it doesn’t fill you up. The sprig of rosemary and a bit of lime juice add another dimension to this sorbet. I think I have found just the right blend of sweetness and fruit flavors. Continue reading

Let’s Make Candy: Peanut Brittle

When we held the estate sale of our parent’s home, one item that we didn’t sell was my mother’s heavy marble slab that she used for making candy. She made the best Peanut Brittle every year at the Christmas holiday season. I kept the marble slab and recently located her Peanut Brittle recipe. Here’s my attempt to duplicate it.

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Potato Latkes with Zing for Chanukah

This year the Chanukah holiday — “Celebration of Lights” or “Feast of Rededication” — begins on December 13. I’m making Potato Latkes which are small fried potato pancakes traditionally served during this holiday. The holiday observance begins at sundown on the preceding evening; so I’ll serve my Potato Latkes at dinner tonight. My recipe is perhaps a bit unusual; I stumbled on an ingredient which adds “zing” to the pancakes quite by accident.

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Traditional Southern Fried Green Tomatoes

I’ve been told that it is it possible to grow tomatoes in the springtime in Louisiana and then to plant another crop in the fall. I love ripe tomatoes and two crops a year seems like a gardener’s dream. But being somewhat an unbeliever, I decided to prove this for myself in September by setting out a large number of tomatoes seedlings. The experiment turned out to be partially successful. Here is some of my autumn tomato crop. Continue reading

Candied Sweet Potatoes with a Fruited Twist

Sweet potatoes grow in Louisiana and autumn is harvest season for this agricultural crop. We are lucky to have the freshest and sweetest potatoes in grocery stores which were grown in the central part of the state. Here is a very easy recipe, “Candied Sweet Potatoes,” which makes a good way cook this healthy vegetable. The twist to the recipe is that the glaze is fruit and juice; which sweetens the potatoes but doesn’t add too much sugar. Continue reading