Shrimp and Okra

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Shrimp and okra is a Southern Classic and a childhood favorite! With the random cold front, I was in the mood for something comforting. Though it’s early yet for farm fresh okra, I grabbed a pound of frozen okra from the produce stand to complement the Anna Marie Seafood shrimp I had from my local farmers market. My rule of thumb is pretty much a pound of each main ingredient: okra, shrimp and sausage. You can play with fresh stewed tomatoes from the market or use these quick tips for a quicker dish. This takes 30-45 minutes to make depending on the cook time or your okra, as some can be more slimy than others. Check out these tips below and enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp

1 lb sausage

1 lb chopped okra (16oz)

1 14oz can stewed or diced tomato

1 14oz can tomato sauce

3 tbsp. fresh or dried Italian seasoning (thyme, rosemary, parsley, oregano blends)

1 tsp. cayenne 

2 cups chopped onion

6 cloves garlic

4 cups water 

Directions:

  1. Add chopped onion to a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped okra and 2 cups of water. Cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Slice sausage. Peel and mince or press garlic cloves and add garlic and sausage to the pot.
  3. Add seasoning, remaining water, tomatoes and sauce. Cook for 12-15 minutes.
  4. Add shrimp and additional water if needed. Let cook for another 5-7 minutes. 
  5. Serve over rice or stand alone.
  6. Enjoy.

A Bit Of Tacos

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Fish tacos are a wonderfully easy dish that can be made many ways which is perfect to try and try again as a go-to option during the Lent season. These tacos featured white fish from the farmers market, fresh spicy guacamole, pico de gallo and picked veggies. I don’t have to guess whether they were good since my dinner companions were done before I had finished fixing all of the plates. 🙂 I decided to pair it with naked margarita since when I drink them in a restaurant, I tend to swell like a balloon. I juiced the last of the my Louisiana citrus added a splash of tequila and some agave nectar. This is a delicious and simple recipe that I learned from my twin who has a gift with cocktails. Below are the ingredients and directions for the tacos. Enjoy!

Pickled veggies Ingredients:
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber
1 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion

Guacamole ingredients:
2 avocados
3 large cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tbsp diced jalapeño fresh

Pico de gallo ingredients:
3 small tomatoes (1 to 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper

Remaining Ingredients:
Flour tortillas
1- 1 1/2 lb. fresh white fish of choice such as catfish, tilapia or trout (3-4 fillets)
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:
1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix sugar and vinegar until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Peel skin from cucumber and the first layer off the carrot with a potato peeler. Begin to cut strips from the carrot and cucumber with the potato peeler until you have the measurements from above.
3. Season with remaining ingredients. Mix with a fork and set aside covered in foil.
4. Slice the tomatoes in half. Placing the tomato seeded-side down, cut the tomato halve into four strips then dice them by cutting into small squares. Repeat with all tomato halves.
5. Cut a small onion in half and cut into strips, like the tomato, before finely dicing it. Mince cilantro finely before adding all three ingredients to a small bowl.
6. Season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside covered in foil.
7. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Season fish with half of the seasonings, reserving the other half for the other side. Once the oil is hot, add in fish and season the other side. Let cook for 3 minutes.
8. Add tortillas to a baking sheet and then the oven at 350 degrees to warm them. ( no need to preheat as that will dry out the tortillas). You can always brush each with water to soften tortillas that were refrigerated.
9. Peel garlic cloves and cut off ends. Mince thoroughly unless you have a pestle and mortar. If so, you can just grind the garlic into a paste before adding the avocado lime and seasoning and working it through.
10. Over a medium bowl, cut avocados in half and remove the pits. Using a spoon, scoop the avocado from each halve into the bowl.
11.  Flip fish and reduce the heat.
12. Roll a lime to release the juices before cutting it in half and squeezing one half over the avocado and garlic mixture. Mash thoroughly with a fork before adding remaining seasonings.
13. Turn off fish and oven and remove tortillas. Build tacos as you prefer and enjoy.