My pick this week for Wednesday with Donna Hay. I chose something tasty.


As usual it is super simple. Make rice {I used some left over}. Cook rice with some green onion, ginger, garlic chives, and chllies. Add shrimp. Or, in my case, CRAWFISH – it is the season after all!! And you have fried rice. The recipe is on page 148 of Donna’s modern classics BOOK 1
Visit with

    Gaye who also tried the rice.


On the last Tuesday of the month there is a rather eclectic collection of women who gather together to exchange books, eat, talk, gripe, laugh. We are NOT a book club. We don’t discuss books, we just share them if we enjoyed them. We are our own lending library.

Each of us brings a dish, mine is usually a dessert, and we spend an inordinate amount of time enjoying the selection of food and each other. Sometimes there is a theme – salad night – but usually not.

In July my long time friend and confidante, who hosts each month, presented us with….

    Marinated Crawfish

My friend does not cook. Her oven has been unplugged for several months and with both of her children either gone or partially gone she and D eat a lot of salads or microwaveable dinners. So this dish was perfect for her to bring.

    3 – 5 green onions, chopped
    1 small stalk celery, chopped
    1.2 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    1 lb crawfish tail meat
    1/2 jar capers
    1 bottle Wishbone Italian Dressing
    2 tbl butter

Sauté the tails in butter. Cool. Mix all ingredients together. Marinate for a few hours. (The long you marinate, the better it is.)

She served these with pita bread.


    ‘Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
    Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
    Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou

If you are from the DEEP SOUTH one of the ingredients you cook with is crawfish. Well, I do, anyway. Shrimp!! Catfish!! Crab!! Various other types of fish!! It is all plentiful and fresh.

I only make Gumbo or Jambalaya when it is cold outside. Both take a long time and heat up the kitchen. A Lot!! You can make it with chicken or with shrimp. Both are delicious.

We fry Catfish about every two months. Usually when it is nice outside since we fry it outside. But I did make some pan fried with cr…. (but that’s another show eh, post….)

Making other delicious southern Louisiana dishes with shrimp or crawfish can happen all year round. Like this one.

    Crawfish Pie

    1 medium Bell pepper, chopped
    1 large onion, chopped {I used leeks because that’s what I had}
    3 ribs celery, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/2 pound (1 stick) butter
    2 pounds peeled crawfish tails
    1/2 cup chopped green onions
    1/2 cup parsley, minced {I used about 2 Tbl dried, cause that’s ….}
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1 Tbl cornstarch
    Pie Dough for 2 crust pie

Saute bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic in butter until tender.
Add crawfish tails, green onions, parsley, salt, and pepper. Thicken if necessary with cornstarch and cook long enough to make a gravey.
Place pie dough in pie pan. Pour in filling and cover with second crust
Moisten crust edges and seal. Make 3 or 4 slits in top crust.
Bake 10 minutes at 450.
Reduce heat to 375 and bake about 35 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown

This is the first time I have made Crawfish Pie. And it won’t be the last. Everyone liked it. I liked it. I would, however, make one simple change. Up the seasoning. Maybe add a little Cayenne Pepper. But that’s all. Good Stuff!!!

This came from a magazine. I don’t know which, I don’t know when.

The culture of Louisiana is a very mixed culture. And the culture of South Louisiana (New Orleans, Lafayette, Opelousas) where Mardi Gras is the epitome of The Big Party is different from that of North Louisiana (Shreveport, Monroe) which is more industry oriented. In Central Louisiana, where I am, we get a mix of both worlds.

The cooking of the southern region is wide spread throughout the state and you can find most dishes all over. While I have a good basic Etouffee Recipe I turn to most of the time, I am always open to new ones. Like this one I found in the Jan/Feb issue of Food Network Magazine

    Shrimp and Chicken Etouffee

It just so happens I did not have any shrimp in the freezer (how did THAT happen??) so I used one pound of crawfish meat instead.

    * 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    * 1 pound andouille sausage, diced {Could use smoked sausage if cannot find andouille}
    * 3 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs {I used 1 lb. boneless,skinless thighs}
    * Kosher salt
    * 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    * 4 stalks celery, diced
    * 1 large onion, diced
    * 1 green bell pepper, chopped
    * 4 cloves garlic, minced
    * 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    * 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    * 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined {I used crawfish}
    * 2 tablespoons dry sherry
    * Freshly ground black pepper

You can find the full recipe HERE.

There is a difference between Andouille and regular smoked sausage. According to Chef John Folse,

    Andouille (pronounced “ahn-DOO-wee”) is the Cajun smoked sausage so famous nationally today. Made with pork butt, shank and a small amount of pork fat, this sausage is seasoned with salt, cracked black pepper and garlic. The andouille is then slowly smoked over pecan wood and sugar cane. True andouille is stuffed into the beef middle casing which makes the sausage approximately one and a half inches in diameter. When smoked, it becomes very dark to almost black in color. It is not uncommon for the Cajuns to smoke andouille for seven to eight hours at approximately 175 degrees.


See the difference. The andouille has large pieces of meat while the smoked is made from ground meats.

Smoked Sausage

You’ll get lots more flavor from the andouille, so if you don’t want it real spicy, cut down on the cayenne

How popular is Andouille in Louisiana?? There is an ANDOUILLE FESTIVAL. .

Serve the etouffee over long grain rice. Good Stuff!!

BRRRR!!! It. is. COLD. outside. Since it has only been in the twenties for the last few nights it has been the perfect time to enjoy some comfort foods to warm you up . In many regions of the U.S. comfort foods would include Mac and Cheese, Tomato Soup, Stew. In Louisiana comfort foods are a little different.

In Louisiana comfor foods include wonderful foods like Gumbo, Okra and Tomatoes, or

      Crawfish or Shrimp Bisque
    1 stick butter or margarine
    Green Onions
    2 lbs. crawfish tails
    2 cans whole corn (drained)
    2 cans cream of potato soup
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 pint half/half
    8 oz. cream cheese

Drain water off crawfish – heat with margarine. ( set aside)
Heat corn, soups, 1/2 and 1/2 and cream cheese in large pot till everything is creamy. ( heat on low or it will stick )
Add crawfish and onions.
If you want to spice this up, you can add about 1/4 tsp (or more….) cayenne

Thanks to my new friend, Joy, for this warming bisque.


      …their sails are in sight.”

    (SHRIMP BOATS (Paul Mason Howard / Paul Weston) (1951)

In Louisiana that means fresh shrimp in the summer months. Along the roads you will find individuals selling shrimp out of the backs of their trucks. Lugging huge freezers from the gulf to towns that are 2 to 5 hours away. And since they are regulated much better now the shrimp are usually fresh. If you are smart you load up during the summer so you can have ‘fresh’ shrimp all year.

Shrimp etouffe, shrimp creole, shrimp bisque, shrimp kababs… (I’m starting to sound like Bubba in “Forrest Gump“)seasonal-shrimp_small But there is a lot you can do with shrimp besides shrimp cockail.

    Shrimp Monica

      1 lb shrimp (or lump crabmeat or crawfish or oysters, drained and quartered)
      1 stick butter, melted
      1 pint half and half
      1 good sized bunch green onions chopped, including tops
      3 – 10 cloves garlic (I usually use 5 good sized cloves)
      Creole season to taste (Zatarains, Tony’s, etc.)
      1 lb cooked fresh pasta (or bagged will do, but….)

    Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse, drain again.
    Melt butter in a large saucepan. DSC03985
    Add and saute onions and garlic.
    Add seafood and saute additional 2 minutes.
    Add half and half and then Creole seasoning to taste.
    Cook 5 – 10 minutes over medium heat until sauce thickens.
    Add pasta “(or serve over pasta)
    Toss and let sit over low heat for about 10 minutes.
    Serve immediately.

    with toasted ciabatta

    with toasted ciabatta

    The recipe is from Gumbo Pages.


A few years ago I had some friends visit from Missouri. I wanted to give them a real southern treat so I made one of my family’s favorite dishes=Crawfish Etouffee. Since there were 8 of us I made a double batch. Now, you have to understand I am a little biased about the food of my southern heritage. Since I love it I assume everybody will. That was my first mistake. Making a BIG batch was my second mistake. Their daughter looked at her plate, looked at her mom, looked at me and asked what it was. I replied, cheerfully, “Crawfish!crawfishYou eat these????,” she said. “We use them for bait.” My friend did make an effort to ‘enjoy’ the meal, her husband just ate rice and the two kids pushed it around their plate and waited for dessert. My family ate etouffee for a few days and weeks later from the amount I had frozen. Lesson Learned – stick to the basics when out of town friends come to visit – roast, chops, chicken!!!!!

For those of you from the south and those of you who are adventurous – here is the recipe.

Crawfish Etouffeeetouffe

    1 lb fresh crawfish tails, peeled
    1 stick butter
    2 medium onions, chopped fine
    1 bell pepper, chopped fine
    1 small pod garlic, chopped fine
    salt, cayenne to taste

Melt butter in the saucepan (cast iron skillet is the best), add onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute until tender. Add crawfish tails. Cook 15 minutes. Season with salt and cayenne to taste. Serve with rice.

That is the recipe as listed in that cookbook I mentioned earlier. (Recipe thanks to George Gauthier)

Now, we are not fond of bell pepper, so I leave it out. I never seem to get enough liquid in this recipe, so I add a little water as I go and thicken with a mix of flour and water. To be able to do this you have to have crawfish with some fat (where some of the flavor is) in the package. If you can only get the crawfish from China, it won’t be as good. Those ARE good for bait.

You can also use shrimp.

With a green salad, or now that Tomato season is here, a plate of fresh ‘maters with salt and pepper, it is a great meal. Y’all come back now!!!

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