If you’ve never had (or heard of) Shrimp and Grits, it’s one you’ve gotta try!
Carrie says she loves to pair this roast with a side of Greens with Onion and Bacon and Creamed Cauliflower (both also in her book and pictured below) for a complete meal.
My husband’s family is from New Orleans so they get all the credit for introducing me to the unique and flavorful cuisine of The Big Easy. From jambalaya to crawfish etouffee to seafood gumbo…many new dishes have been added to my list of “favorites” since my first visit to New Orleans almost 15 years ago. And even though beignets are basically deep-fried white flour treats, they certainly make my list of favorites as well. :) Today I want to share a family recipe that came from my husband’s Aunt Vicki. It was introduced to us as a “seafood gumbo,” but what I’ve learned over the years is that this dish can easily be an “anything gumbo” instead. What that means is don’t go out and buy a bunch of new ingredients to make gumbo…instead try to use some of what you already have on hand. If you don’t have shrimp and crab well then throw in some leftover Thanksgiving turkey (if you still have some in the freezer like us). And if you don’t like bell peppers then just add more celery instead. My favorite dishes are the ones that are flexible so use this recipe as a guide and don’t be afraid to get creative. As long as you start with the suggested roux (butter and whole-wheat flour) it’s pretty hard to mess up.
Whether fall is officially here or not I think anytime is a good time for some hearty, tasty soup! And this soup is so darn easy that my 6-year-old practically made it by herself (with close supervision of course). All I had to do was chop an onion and garlic…oh and buy the ingredients and help her read the recipe, but she pretty much did the rest. So the point is if a child can make this soup then so can you. :) And the best way to get your own child to possibly eat this pea green soup is to get them involved in making it with you. I suppose topping the soup off with chopped hot dogs or bacon might help lure them in as well. My other daughter, who is the pickier one, didn’t dig right into this soup like I had hoped. But as soon as she saw the bacon (which is her fav!) floating in there she ate a decent sized portion of the soup, which made me happy. So without further ado here it is!
This is one of those wonderful dishes where you can switch things up depending on what ingredients you have on hand. For example, you can use any type of sausage or bacon, but I still think the dish would be tasty even if you left the meat out all together. If you don’t have any shrimp you could throw in some other type of seafood instead. If you don’t like oysters (I fall in this department!) then not to worry. This is the type of dish where you can be creative and make substitutions as you see fit…and best of all enjoy the end result (and don’t forget to freeze the leftovers!). When I recently made this dish I did not use sausage (we used bacon instead) and I did not add any of the extra black pepper or hot sauce. There is already a little red pepper in the Creole seasoning so that was the only source of heat in our dish. And to my surprise both of my girls ate (small amounts) of it when it was served. Point being – at least they didn’t hate it! When I first added the spices I took a bite and immediately thought it would be too spicy for them, but after the rice and liquids got cooking it really made the dish more palatable for those younger taste buds. So give it shot with your children before offering up a separate kid meal!
All I have to say about this sandwich is OMG! It is so incredibly good that my husband and I almost could not believe it. I was momentarily in shock that my kids didn’t like it, but then I said oh well – more for us! It certainly would be more convenient if they liked it too, but this is one of those things that we like so much that it’s worth it to make something different for them (like a plain grilled cheese). Don’t let us stop you from trying it on your kids though! You can also eat this pimento cheese cold on plain bread, which is still good too. But once we discovered the cooked version (which is like a grilled cheese sandwich with a kick) we were hooked! Just imagine the soft pimento cream cheese mixture melted between two pieces of crispy bread that are grilled to perfection. Need I say more?