With vacation season upon us I am missing Florida! Don’t get me wrong, I love my home state of Georgia, but the warmer weather has me longing for long walks on the white sandy beaches and fresh seafood. After a recent visit to the Gulf coast, I have had a craving for seafood gumbo. Fortunately, my freezer was stocked with most everything I needed. This gumbo is loaded with succulent shrimp, oysters, crab and crawfish. Crawfish are freshwater shellfish that are commonly raised in freshwater ponds. However, you will find them listed under seafood at most restaurants. If you don’t care for crawfish, you can replace them with additional oysters, crab, or shrimp if you prefer.
This gumbo has a kick to it; if you are sensitive to heat you may wish to adjust the seasonings to your taste. I like my gumbo slightly thick and usually have extra filé to have on hand, just in case I need it. It is best to add the seafood about 20 minutes before serving, as to avoid overcooking. Serve your gumbo over steamed rice with plenty of garlic bread.
- 1 c. vegetable oil
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. diced yellow onion
- 1 c. celery
- 1 c. diced green bell pepper
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 c. chopped green onions, divided
- 1½ gallons water
- ½ lb. fresh or frozen okra
- 1 (10-oz.) can Rotel
- ½ tbsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ c. Old Bay Seasoning
- Louisiana hot sauce, to taste
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp. Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic
- 2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
- 2 tbsp. dried basil
- 2 tbsp. dried thyme
- 2½ lb. peeled and deveined shrimp (70 to 90 ct.)
- 1 lb. crab meat
- 1 pint fresh oysters
- 2 to 3 oz. Pure Ground Gumbo File
- Make a roux in a large heavy pot over medium heat: Add oil to pot and heat over medium heat, add flour, it will sizzle when it's at the correct temperature. Use a whisk and stir constantly. Stir until it reaches the color of peanut butter. DO NOT BURN!!
- Add onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and ½ c. green onions. Cook until ingredients are cooked down.
- Add water, okra, Rotel, and seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer at least 1 hour. Add seafood and continue to cook on medium for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Taste for seasoning. Add file to thicken.
- Stir in remaining green onions and simmer a few more minutes. Serve over rice in bowls.
The easiest dessert you will ever make…the ice cream sandwich cake. You could literally make this cake with two ingredients but it’s much prettier when you top it with pretty and tasty toppings. I usually keep the toppings simple but you can add as much many as you like. You will not have to worry about the cake melting because it will not be around long enough to melt.
Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
- 2 - 12 count box ice cream sandwiches
- 2 (8-oz.) containers Cool Whip
- Toppings of your choice: examples: caramel; chocolate syrup; mini M&M's; chopped nuts; chopped candy bars; cherries
- Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with unwrapped ice cream sandwiches. Cut to fill in gaps.
- Cover with one container of Cool Whip.
- Top with another layer of unwrapped ice cream sandwiches. Cut to fill gaps.
- Top with second container of Cool Whip.
- Top with topping of your choice.
- Freeze until ready to serve. Let stand at room temperature about 10 minutes before serving.
I have a last-minute post for your Memorial Day barbecues! This is barbecue sauce that young and old will enjoy. It taste just enough like root beer that your guests will know something taste familiar, but they will not quite be able to put their finger on it. You will find the root beer concentrate near the extracts in your store.
Root Beer Barbecue Sauce
- 2 (12-oz.) cans root beer, (not diet)
- 1 c. bottled chili sauce
- ¼ tsp. root beer concentrate
- Hot pepper sauce, to taste
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- In a medium saucepan combine root beer and chili sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce heat.
- Cook over medium low heat and boil gently, uncovered, until mixture has reduced to 2 cups. Add hot sauce, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Remove from heat and cool. Serve with your favorite barbecued meat.
Being the planner that I am, my Memorial Day plans are well underway. We will kick off the summer grilling out with friends. Our menu includes hamburgers and hot dogs with all of the trimmings. I plan to have these fantastic Guy Fieri veggie burgers for those who don’t care for meat. The list of ingredients looks daunting, but aside from chopping and measuring, it’s a cinch. I like to have a selection of fresh toppings for my guest. Chipotle mayonnaise is always a hit at our cookouts. It is a delicious condiment for the veggie burgers or hamburgers and hot dogs.Being the planner that I am, my Memorial Day plans are well underway. We will kick off the summer grilling out with friends. Our menu includes hamburgers and hot dogs with all of the trimmings. I plan to have these fantastic Guy Fieri veggie burgers for those who don’t care for meat. The list of ingredients looks daunting, but aside from chopping and measuring, it is super easy. I like to have a selection of fresh toppings for my guest. Chipotle mayonnaise is always a hit at our cookouts. It is a delicious condiment for the veggie burgers or hamburgers and hot dogs.
- 2 oz. olive oil
- 3 tbsp. diced red onion
- 2 tbsp. diced black olives
- 2 tbsp. diced red bell peppers
- 1 tsp. diced jalapeno pepper
- 1½ tbsp. diced garlic
- 1 tbsp. diced artichoke
- 4 oz. black beans, drained
- 4 oz. chickpeas, drained
- 4 oz. white beans, drained
- 6 oz. rolled oats
- ½ tsp. Hungarian paprika
- ½ tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley leaves
- ½ tsp. red chili flakes
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. celery salt
- ¼ tsp. ground sage
- 2 tbsp. seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add 1-oz. olive oil and all raw vegetables except beans. Saute until translucent. Remove and cool.
- Add veggies to beans and mix thoroughly. Add all dry ingredients along with the egg. Thoroughly mix all ingredients and form into 4 patties, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In sauté pan add 1-oz. olive oil, and cook patties 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- 1 c. mayonnaise
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 1 tbsp. adobo sauce
- juice of half lime
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Pulse all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.
We were in Pensacola recently for a long weekend. It was fun and relaxing! We went to the Crawfish Festival, met up with some old friends, visited a favorite antique shop, went to a few of our favorite restaurants and drove by our old house. Most were unchanged, except for some major road work in front of the subdivision and some horrendous apparatus on the back of my house! Yes, my house! We put everything we had in that house, completely changing the floor plan, going out to the site every day, & picking out every single thing that went into it. Miranda Lambert even wrote a song about it! If you’ve built a house, I’m sure you know. It made me a little homesick. I can still call it home, right? After all, there’s a piece of my heart in every city that I have ever lived. We have been fortunate to live in some outstanding places, and I have wonderful memories of each and everyone, not to mention awesome friends.
Our trip would not have been complete without a visit to Joe Patti’s! We loaded up the cooler and have been able to indulge in some wonderful seafood since we returned to the farm. I have taken a very simple Shrimp and Grits recipe and changed it up by using smoked Gouda. This recipe is fast and simple enough for a weeknight dinner, but serve it to guests at your next dinner party and they will be asking for the recipe.
Leftover smoked Gouda grits make a special breakfast treat. I like to heat the grits in the microwave for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on high. Then stir in a small amount of water, the amount will depend on the amount of grits you have leftover. Warm another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes and top with a sprinkling of cooked and chopped bacon, chopped tomato, chopped scallion.
Smoky Gouda Grits and Shrimp
- 32 oz. chicken broth
- 1 c. uncooked quick-cooking grits (not instant)
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 c. (8-oz.) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 6 green onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Bring chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat; stir in grits. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in salt, pepper, butter, and shredded Gouda. Stir until the cheese melts. Set aside and keep warm.
- While the grits are cooking, start cooking the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp; remove bacon from pan.
- Cook shrimp in the same pan over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until almost pink, stirring occasionally. (I do this in batches)
- When all shrimp are to the almost pink stage, add all back to pan, if you have removed any to cook in batches. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, chopped parsley, green onions, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in bacon.
- Spoon grits onto individual serving plates or shallow bowls; top with the shrimp mixture. Serve immediately.