Sweet potatoes with andouille sausage

April 11, 2011 § 16 Comments

Of all the vices out there, jealousy is one that I’m actually not particularly prone toward.  I go in much more for some of the other ones (none of the interesting ones, I’m afraid, mostly just doubt.  If I were to choose which vice I would rather have be my predisposition, I think I would choose sloth.  I don’t know why.  It’s an odd thing to think about anyway, so I’m going to stop now.)

However, all bets are off when we come to the realm of food.  At times, I can be rather a slave to food jealousy.  I’m that girl at a restaurant several tables over, craning my neck and trying to figure out what you’re having and wishing that I had ordered it (“I’ll have what she’s having”…)  If we go out for ice cream, I take forever to decide which flavor to get, and then as soon as I have my little cup I’m immediately jealously eyeing everyone else’s luscious looking heaping cones of, I don’t even know what that is, butter brickle? Oreo? Purple razzle-dazzle chunky lola choco-madness?  It doesn’t matter.  I’m just jealous of it.

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Cajun Shrimp

March 26, 2011 § 13 Comments

photo credit: Sarah Shatz

You absolutely must try this recipe!  Seriously, you must.  In fact, you should make it tonight.  It’s one of my favorites.  I don’t make it that often – it’s a little decadent, that is, the quantity of butter is not exactly tiny (though, when it comes down to it, it’s probably still lighter than a cream sauce) – but whenever  I do make it, I’m delighted afresh by how scrumptious it is!  It has all the makings of a perfect weeknight supper, or an impressive meal for a date.  It’s easy, fast, and tastes far more delicious than anything this simple has any right to.

Plus, if you make it with shrimp with their shells still on, which you definitely should because it will give you both little shrimpies that are more tender and succulent and a more flavorful sauce, then you will get to have the fabulously messy tactile experience of peeling saucy shrimp (saucy in both senses of the word), and of licking every last drop of sauce off of your fingers as you eat them.  Then, you must follow this by dunking sturdy pieces of warm, crusty French bread into the sauce and mopping up every bit.

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Shrimp and avocado tacos

August 22, 2010 § 4 Comments

Even though I generally think of myself as falling into that category of “people who like to cook“, sometimes I kind of wonder.  Right now, for example, I feel more like resting on the laurels of “one who has cooked well and enjoyed it at times” rather than wanting to actually cook up anything notable.  Also, lately, every time I’ve noticed I’m hungry, I look up and discover I’m either in an airplane, visiting someone, driving the hour and a half commute to my summer worksite, too grouchy to be trusted with a knife, or too hot to consider eating anything other than flavored dry ice.  Not exactly a recipe for being inspired to cook.  And I find it so much more of a schlog to cook when I’m not inspired (gee whiz, there’s a surprise).

Mostly I’ve simply been adding salt and pepper to everything that crosses my path and putting it on the grill.  And, while fulfilling the role of “home cooked food that nourishes and does not offend the palate”, it’s not particularly interesting.  Someone get this girl a tantalizing recipe, stat!

Thankfully, inspiration fell out of my freezer (literally) in the unlikely form of a bag of  frozen shrimp and some corn tortillas.  Shrimp tacos!  Now that’s something worth hauling the frying pan out over.  Especially shell-on shrimp.  I know, I know, shell-on shrimp seem like way more of an effort and are way messier than already peeled shrimp.  But, you see, they cook up infinitely much better.  Peeled shrimp almost always wind up over-spiced and over-cooked to a rubbery texture.  The shell protects this from happening, keeping moisture against the delicate meat to keep it tender and lightly flavored.  Plus, it’s really kind of wonderful and fun to get your fingers goopy and sticky, peeling shrimp to put into your taco.  So, why not just go for it?!

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