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Finger Food Friday: Satsuma Ceviche

One of the best ways for me to brighten up a dreary winter’s day is to grab hold of a juicy Louisiana satsuma, push my thumb through its forgiving skin, separate the skin from the flesh and plop the seedless segments into my mouth one by one. As I bite down on each section, my mouth swells with tangy sweetness and all is right with the world! At least for a little while! Citrus has that weird mood-enhancing effect on me. Even my kids recognize it! Whenever I’m grumpy, they tell me to go “cut a lime.” While that sounds [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Grilled Okra with Jalapeño-Tomato Ranch Dressing

  Okra is prized in New Orleans for its ability to flavor and thicken gumbos, soups and stews. Locally, we also highly regard this fuzzy vegetable for its many other adaptations. Okra that has been pickled in a spicy brine is a common snack food eaten straight from the jar. That same pickled okra makes frequent appearances at parties as the star of the “relish tray” and as the number one garnish for Bloody Marys. We frequently stew this popular pod too with the likes of Creole tomatoes, onions and garlic. Sometimes we embellish that dish [ ... ]

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Loaded baked potatoes go great with any type of grilled meat or seafood. But pairing the two on a plate can be a challenge, especially when you’re having to split your time between the kitchen and the deck or if you’re grilling away from home. A delicious alternative is to make this Loaded Baked Potato Salad. It has all the glorious flavors of perfectly baked and loaded potatoes in one easy to prepare and serve dish. Like most mayo-based salads, this one is very good served at room temperature or cold. Loaded Baked Potato Salad Recipe 3 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about [ ... ]

Muffuletta Pasta Salad

If you’re heading to a potluck this Fourth of July or at any time this summer, break away from boring with my Muffuletta Pasta Salad.  In this recipe, I’ve taken the full flavors of the iconic New Orleans muffuletta sandwich and tossed them with pasta.  Those include spicy cured meats, marinated olives and lightly pickled vegetables (both of which are represented in the one and only muffuletta condiment, Italian Olive Salad), smooth provolone cheese and even toasted sesame seeds–which mimic the bite and earthiness of the round Sicilian loaf on which the sandwich is traditionally served.  If you end up [ ... ]

Green Goddess Dressing

Before my kids were born, I prided myself on making salad dressings from scratch.  But having three kids in two and a half years left little time to prepare anything beyond three squares and two snacks a day.  Once my babies were old enough to appreciate salad dressing, it was all Hidden Valley Ranch. Twelve years and three blenders later, their palates have finally expanded and I’m back on the homemade dressings track!  These days, the one at the top of my list is Green Goddess.  There’s nothing better than pulling a couple of handfuls of fresh herbs from my [ ... ]
Category: Salad  2 Comments

Italian Olive Salad

I have never made olive salad from scratch, until today.  I’ve figured the jarred varieties made by a couple of New Orleans grocery stores would be better than anything I could ever pull together.  However, olive salad has always been one of those items on my make-it-from-scratch-at-least-once list.  So I did.  And like most of the things that get scratched off that list (no pun intended), I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.  The texture was the most notable difference.  The olives had more bounce.  The cauliflower more crunch. The overall freshness of the olive salad was a huge [ ... ]
Category: Poor Boys, Salad, Sauces  Tags:  11 Comments

Grilled Sweet Potatoes and Green Onions with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

I grew up eating sweet potatoes one way–candied. My mom prepared them every Thanksgiving and Christmas with brown sugar, cinnamon, a little Karo syrup and lots of butter and marshmallows. To this day, that’s still my favorite way to eat them. I’m sure it’s partly because that dish is tied to so many fond memories of my family gathered around the holiday table and partly because sweet potatoes baked with a heavy glaze of sugar and spice and everything nice are so doggone good! Over the years, I’ve discovered other delicious ways to prepare them–ways that [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Caesar Salad Pancetta Cups

I’ve got football fever bad and it’s not even August! I think it’s from the flood of news coverage following the NFL owners/players agreement. I’m just thrilled the season will start as scheduled. And by the sound of things, the Saints are building another winning team. Isn’t it exciting? And you know, the only thing better than watching football is throwing a football party. Which brings me to today’s finger food. I’m revisiting Caesar Salad Pancetta Cups–one of the dishes I hurriedly prepared for last season’s Super Bowl. Back in February, I [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

I have no intentions of preheating the oven or even lighting up the grill today.  It’s just too doggone hot to play with fire inside or out, if you know what I mean. So, I’m planning three no-cook meals beginning with fresh strawberries and a hard-boiled egg for breakfast and ending with Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus and a refreshing cocktail for dinner. Now I don’t know about you, but I was raised on only a handful of fresh vegetables and asparagus wasn’t one of them. No, the asparagus I was familiar with came from the grocery store shelves. I’m not [ ... ]

Basil Chicken Salad

I have another yummy basil recipe for you to try.  It’s Basil Chicken Salad.  Think big chunks of chicken coated in a creamy mixture of fresh basil, pungent garlic and sharp Parmesan.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  It’s a nice departure from the chicken salad we ate as kids.  There’s no celery, no fruit and absolutely no pickle relish.  Just a handful of bold ingredients that become more delicious over time. To take full advantage of these wonderful flavors as they develop, I’ve come up with a three-day plan for eating this chicken salad. On day one, after the salad has [ ... ]
Category: Chicken, Poor Boys, Salad  Tags:  One Comment