A Bit Of Luck

 

IMG_6052I always say I like to be inspired by the food around me and today was certainly no exception for my demo this morning with the mobile farmers market. Due to some technical difficulties I could not make my original idea of sweet potato and onion cakes with sage and top it with pickled kale. Instead I made a kale slaw with a great selection of zucchini, squash, purple turnips, and green onion. I made a simple, spicy rice wine vinaigrette to base the shredded mixture. Nothing is better than the surprise that crosses someone’s face from eating something healthy and delicious. Thank you to the wonderful staff of the LSU Health Clinic in Mid-City and everyone from the area who came by this morning. As always, please share your thoughts and like this post if you enjoy what you try.

Ingredients:
1 cup of shredded zucchini
1/2 cup of shredded squash
1 cup of thinly sliced kale ( cut in ribbons)
1/2 cup of minced purple turnips (2-3 bulbs)
1/2 cup of green onion
1 tsp sage
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Vinagerette ingredients:
1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, add vinegar and sugar and mix with a whisk or fork until sugar is completely dissolved.

2. Whisk in olive oil and salt and pepper until well incorporated. (1-2 minutes)

3. Rinse the kale well and stack 3 to 5 similar-sized leaves and slice into thin ribbons before adding to the bowl with the vinaigrette

4. Using a potato peeler, remove the outside skin from the turnips.

5. Using a cheese grater, grate the turnips, zucchini and squash and put the veggies into the bowl.

6. Chop green onion and then mince it into small bits before adding it to the bowl.

7. Add seasonings and mix together thoroughly with either tongs, a spoon or by gloved hand.

8. Enjoy

Note: This can be served with the protein of your choice. I would pair it with stewed or grilled chicken, baked or seared fish or hearty pork chops.

A Bit Of Cajun

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My appreciation for the delicious finds in Cajun country runs deep. One of my favorite places to stop when driving through Lafayette is a place in Scott Louisiana appropriately named “The Best Stop”. They have items such as cream cheese and jalapeño stuffed chicken breast wrapped in bacon, stuffed pork chops, but most importantly fresh boudin. They not only serve hot boudin and other meats to accommodate travelers, but also offer frozen packages and shipping if you’d like to give it a try. Since I stock up on my way through, I had to incorporate their boudin into one of my dishes. This seared black drum with boudin dressing and spicy kale is certainly a winner. See the ingredients and directions below and be sure to share your thoughts and like the post.

Serving size: 2

Ingredients:
1 link of boudin
1/2 cup cooked white or brown rice
1/2 cup of diced onion
1/4 cup of diced green onion
1/4 cup of diced bell pepper
2 fillets of black drum (or white fish of your choice)
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp olive oil

 

Kale ingredients:
2 cups of raw kale
1/2 cup of diced onion
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp rice wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Put kale and all of its ingredients in a small pot with 1/2 cup of water over medium heat.
  2. Put olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium high heat.
  3. Season frozen or fresh fish with half of the seasonings. If frozen run the packaged fish under warm water or sit in warm water for 5 minutes so that it is easy to separate the pieces.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add the fish, seasoned side down in the skillet. Season other side and flip after 3 minutes.
  5. Once there is good color on both sides, add a splash of water, top the pan and reduce the heat to low.
  6. In a smaller skillet over medium heat, add both types of onion and bell pepper. Add a splash of water to prevent sticking. Stir and let cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Remove boudin from casing and add it to the pan. ( If purchased frozen, defrost one link in warm water before starting the fish and push semi frozen boudin from the casing). Cook for 3-5 minutes, slightly browning boudin.
  8. Add fully cooked rice and mix thoroughly. Season with a pinch of salt and coarse black pepper.
  9. Plate boudin dressing first, then fish on top and place the greens on the side.
  10. Enjoy!

A Bit Of Warmth

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Ok, I know I said the boudin dressing and black drum recipe would be next, but with this wave of cold, my sausage and kale lentil soup is bound to meet the need for something warm, comforting and delicious! As my friends and family are well aware, I am a huge fan of the Red Stick Farmers Market which is  my main source of fresh, local and seasonal produce. This morning I picked up some sausage from the Cutrer’s and kale from a Ponchatoula farmer to go with some hearty lentils and the special ingredient, dried shitake mushrooms that I previously purchased from the farmers market.  The shitakes make a rich broth which paired with the sausage, adds incredible flavor to this soup. This dish doesn’t take long to make; however I am certainly a fan of cleaning as I go because you will need a couple of pots and bowls for this one. Below are the ingredients and directions to make this dish. This makes 8-10 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb of lentils
  • 1 lb (16 oz) of Cutrer’s original sausage (or your favorite)
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup of chopped yellow or white onion
  • 1 cup of dried shitake mushrooms
  • 4 cups of chopped fresh kale
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. coarse black pepper

Directions:

  1. If using whole kale leaves from the farmers market, rinse kale and place in a bowl of water, or fill one side of a cleaned sink with water and let the leaves soak to remove any excess dirt.
  2. Add  dried shiitake mushrooms to 6 cups of water in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, turn off heat and top it. Let it sit for 15 minutes. This will make the stock for the soup.
  3.  Rinse lentils in a bowl and cover in water. Let them sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4.  Dice onion and add them to a large pot over medium high heat. Add a splash of water to prevent sticking and let cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Strain lentils and add them to the pot to lightly toast with the onions. It’s ok if there is a little water from the straining process.
  6. Pull mushrooms with a straining spoon from stock and dice on a cutting board.
  7. Add liquid and diced mushrooms to the large pot of lentils and onion and bring to a boil.
  8. Slice sausage in half longwise, then dice into thin chunks.
  9.  Open and add the can of low sodium chicken stock to pot, 2 additional cups of water and all of the seasonings. Bring to a boil.
  10.   Once it begins to boil, top the pot and reduce to medium heat.
  11.   Let it cook for 5-7 minutes.
  12. Rinse kale and chop into inch thick ribbons. Add to the pot and reduce it to low-medium heat and cook for 10 minutes.
  13. Turn off heat and enjoy!

Note: This is great by itself or with homemade grilled cheese or a ham and cheese sandwich.

Also, if you find you like more broth for your soup, you can always add additional water or chicken stock, to stretch the dish out.

Please let me know what you think!

A Bit Of Inspiration

 

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I am a huge fan of spice and flavor and this dish surprised even me with the punch it packed. This is a spicy pork taco with pickled onion and radishes, topped with marinated arugula. The myriad of flavors that this dish created. I was awed at the infusion of flavors and the nice crunch of the veggies and the nice kick. This one is certainly a keeper and one for the books. Next on the list is the seared black drum with boudin dressing and kale recipe! See the ingredients and directions below. As before, please share and like this recipe if you try it and like it.

These ingredients will make 6 tacos. You can always add in more veggies and use less pork for 8 tacos.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of small soft tortillas
  • 1 4 oz can of green chilies
  • 2 tsp of diced chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 1 lb of pork shoulder
  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • ½ cup thinly diced onion
  • 4-5 small radishes
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp coarse black pepper
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 1 cup of fresh sliced arugula
  • 1 cup of diced tomato
  • ½ cup sour cream

Pickling ingredients:

  • ½ cup of sliced onion
  • ½ cup of thinly sliced radishes (with a mandolin)
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp coarse black pepper
  • ½ tsp diced hot peppers
  • ½ tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Add vinegar and brown sugar to a mixing bowl. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add chopped hot peppers garlic powder, salt and pepper from the pickling list. Reserve 1/4th of a cup of the pickling liquid in a smaller bowl.
  2. Cut 1 small onion in half and thinly slice one half of the onion; slice radishes on the thinnest setting on a mandolin and place in pickling liquid. (*If you do not have a mandolin, you can try a potato peeler to make thin slices*) Top with foil and place in fridge.
  3. Take pork shoulder from bone by cutting around the bone if it is not boneless. Pound and tenderize meat until it is 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch thick by placing the meat between parchment paper and hitting the top of the paper-covered meat with a flat pot if you do not have a tenderizer at home. You want the pork thinner to help it cook faster and not be tough. Slice pork into thin, short strips.
  4. Add 1 tsp olive oil to a pan over medium high heat and add onions once hot. Let onions lightly brown for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add pork to the hot skillet with the onions and season with the salt, black and cayenne pepper, onion and garlic powder from the main ingredient list. Let sit for 2 minutes before flipping.
  6. Open can of green chilies and add the entire can to the pan. Add chopped chipotles and stir. Let cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add water, stir, lower the heat and top the pot. Let cook for another 5-7 minutes and turn off heat.
  8. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to the vinegar and whisk thoroughly. Add 1/8 tsp salt and pepper. Slice arugula, add to mixture and toss lightly before setting aside
  9. Slice a medium tomato in half and dice it
  10. Rub a light coat of water on each side of a tortilla and warm them one at a time in a shallow pan over medium heat for 30 seconds on each side.
  11. Add a thin layer of pork, tomato, the pickled radishes and onion mixture and the marinated arugula to the middle of the taco shell. Add a tsp of sour cream and swipe along the tortilla as glue to hold it together.

Enjoy!