Eggplant in Spicy Garlic Meat Sauce

This recipe pairs Japanese eggplant with ground pork and oriental spices to make an absolutely delicious “hot and spicy” eggplant dish. While looking through my recipe files for eggplant dishes, I found a strikingly large number of recipes which combined eggplant with pork and occasionally pasta. I’ve never thought of putting these ingredients together and decided to give the recipe a try. Well, we loved the oriental-style concoction and promptly ate it all.

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Vegetarian Zucchini, Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas

Mention “enchiladas” and I know that I will enjoy the dish. I found a recipe for a healthy vegetarian adaptation of traditional meat enchiladas which uses zucchini, black beans and cheese as the main ingredients. Corn tortillas add flavor, too, making this casserole quite delicious. The recipe lowers the fat content by using canned, drained black beans rather than refried beans and steamed corn tortillas rather than fried tortillas. The recipe also features zucchini and corn which add flavor, low calorie content and nutritional value. I’ve really learned to enjoy Mexican dishes as restaurants featuring Central American cuisine have become more prevalent in our region. Yum, this vegetarian recipe adaption of enchiladas is a keeper and is a good way to enjoy a “plant-based” meal.

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Shrimp Etouffee with Fried Green Tomatoes

You can’t get more southern than “Shrimp Etouffee with Fried Green Tomatoes.” I’m making this very traditional Creole/Cajun dish — “Shrimp Etouffee” — this week and I am serving it with “Fried Green Tomatoes” using the last of the tomatoes that I picked from my summer garden. Usually etouffee is made with crawfish when served in restaurants and found in cookbooks. However, peeled crawfish tails are priced out of my food budget this spring and summer. Shrimp makes a mighty tasty etouffee, too. And for a variation, I am making a “low-fat roux” or a “dry roux” to cut down on the butter/oil in this rich Louisiana dish.

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Crawfish or Chicken Tetrazzini — Your Choice

Peeled crawfish tails blend very nicely with pasta to create some mighty tasty entrees and pasta salads. Springtime is when crawfish are in season, so I thought I’d adapt one of my favorite pasta dishes, “Chicken Tetrazzini,” substituting crawfish tails. Tetrazzini is a chicken or seafood pasta dish with mushrooms in a rich cream and cheese sauce. It is one of the first casserole dishes which I learned to make and is still one of my favorites. The crawfish recipe is a slight adaption to enhance the dish. I included my original chicken tetrazzini recipe and also a crawfish variation. Both are delicious and fitting for a springtime dinner!

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Louisiana-Style Crispy Oven Fried Catfish

When people come to visit us here in Louisiana, they often ask where to go to eat authentic Louisiana seafood. We usually mention Middendorf’s Restaurant which is located about an hour away from here. The seafood restaurant is on the waters of Lake Pontchartrain, the north side, at Pass Manchac. The restaurant has been around since 1934 and is favorite of locals. Their best-known entree is crispy thin-cut fried catfish. I decided to see if I could replicate the dish retaining the flavor but “frying” the catfish in the oven to avoid all the effort involved in deep fat frying. Here’s the restaurant’s catfish. Mine looks a little different but tastes great.

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Easy Vegetarian Breakfast Quiche

Last summer, I posted a recipe for “Quick Breakfast Casserole.” I love the flavors of sausage, egg and cheese combined into a casserole, but wondered if I could adapt the recipe to make a vegetarian version. I tried substituting black beans and more vegetable seasonings in place of the sausage. My husband loved it stating, “this tastes like a quiche.” He’s partially correct. And so I have named my one-bowl vegetarian–not vegan–adaption, “Easy Vegetarian Breakfast Quiche.” Continue reading

Easy Cook: Shrimp Quesadillas

“Shrimp Quesadillas” is quickly becoming one of our favorite supper dishes. They also make a great appetizer for a party such as an upcoming Superbowl football game gathering.  If you haven’t tried to prepare these at home, then you are missing out on an easy-to-prepare Mexican entree. The recipe for shrimp quesadillas takes only a few ingredients. After they are made, pile on the toppings and serve!  Here’s what we did.

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Louisiana Crawfish Pie

Crawfish is a Louisiana novelty; in season in the spring. Traditionally, this fresh-water crustacean is boiled in a large pot with plenty of spices added. Then peel the tails, eat the meat and enjoy. There are other ways to prepare the crawfish meat; one of my favorites is crawfish pie–shown here in an individual phyllo shell.

Crawfish pie - 3 - IMG_3151

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