The Vegetarian Epicure: Baked Beans à la Charente

This week I’m travelling back in time to a recipe from the 1980’s. While searching through cookbooks on my bookshelves, I rediscovered one that I purchased during those years. I’m a collector and never throw anything away — this cookbook is a good one. Glancing through the pages, I saw marks by the recipes that I had made; most had “excellent” by them and many had memories associated with them. And this cookbook has a story of it’s own. I decided to try to make a one of the recipes — “Baked Beans à la Charente”, a vegetarian bean casserole topped with fresh tomato and eggplant slices. A little cognac in the beans gave some zing. Yum. Continue reading

Aunt Fanny’s Summer Squash Casserole

This week I have my favorite recipe for yellow summer squash. This squash is plentiful in stores in the summertime, why not eat it more often?  I can pinpoint “Aunt Fanny’s Summer Squash Casserole” as the turning point in “how I learned to like to eat squash.” I never liked “squash”, but this casserole changed my mind. Aunt Fanny's Yellow Squash Casserole - IMG_0660

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Ruth’s Chris Special Sweet Potato Casserole

Are you looking for a sweet potato recipe for Thanksgiving? I recommend Ruth’s Chris Special Sweet Potato Casserole. It is a traditional Louisiana recipe with a praline topping and a filling made with fresh baked sweet potatoes. The rich, creamy filling includes a special ingredient. It is served in Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurants around the world.Ruths Chris Special Sweet Potato Casserole - 4 - IMG_6222

The recipe is from Ruth Fertel. She is the original owner of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, an upscale restaurant in New Orleans which is now a world-wide chain. That is an interesting story itself. Continue reading

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Project

This fall I feel like I’m on the television show “Chopped”. I am participating in CSA through my employer. On Monday I get a box of fresh produce from a local farmer to bring home and cook. Get ready, open basket, wait for the buzzer to go off and I’ve got a week to cook the box of food. It’s a fun challenge! And generous helping of fresh vegetables for our family.

Week One CSA - 2 - IMG_6986_1

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Twice-Baked Sweet Potato Surprise

twice baked sweet potatoes with marshmallows - 1 -IMG_0822_1
I bought a sack of Louisiana-grown sweet potatoes a couple of weeks ago, and now need to find many ways to cook them. Fortunately, sweet potatoes are versatile, lending their use to a wide variety of recipes from desserts to side dishes and even biscuits (the subject of a future post). They are relatively bland and can be combined with many seasonings–I even found a recipe for curried shrimp-sweet potato soup which sounded interesting.

My favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes is simply to bake them. It’s easy, fool-proof and tasty. Given the wide range of flavors that go along with sweet potatoes, I also like to stuff the baked sweet potatoes with an assortment of ingredients. The possibilities are endless.

 

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