Cajun in a cinch: Andouille, White Cheddar, and Green Onion Grits

I love grits and could eat them with any meal, but when I woke up yesterday morning, I knew instantly that we were having grits for breakfast. I had andouille in the fridge and sharp white cheddar already shredded. All I have left to do is cut an onion, mince a garlic clove, and cut a few green onion stalks.

What are grits? To say it simply, crushed corn. Grits are small broken grains of corn that are often mashed apart by stone mills.

Grits are a staple of Cajun cuisine and no self-respecting Southerner would sit at a breakfast table that did not include “Grits.”

You will need:

2 packs of Quaker Original Instant Grits

4 Ounces of Andouille sausage, diced

1 Garlic clove, minced

2 Ounces extra sharp aged white cheddar cheese, shredded

4 Green onions

¼ Cup onion, diced

½ Cup water

½ Cup cream

2 Tablespoons butter

Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and Andouille cook until the sausage is cooked through and onions begin to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.

Add the water, cream, salt, pepper, and bring to a boil. Gradually whisk in grits until smooth.

Add the cheese and the majority of the green onions stir until cheese has melted.

Serve immediately and garnish with green onion.

Note: This serves two

Tip: To make this recipe healthier I used Parkay Spray in place of butter. It has 0g Trans Fat, og Cholesterol, and 0 calories.

Fun Fact: World Grits Festival St. George, South Carolina

That’s right, grits are so loved by southerners that there is a festival in their honor and it is going on next month April 8, 9, & 10th http://www.worldgritsfestival.com/

Fun Fact: Grits also stand for Girls Raised In The South

New Discoveries: Panera Bread Greek Yogurt Vegetable Dill Dip

As my husband and I were in Sam’s Club picking, up a few things I head over to the cheese section to grab some feta, I notice a new item, Panera Bread Greek Yogurt Vegetable Dill Dip, and I could not help myself. I love vegetable dips and to top it off it is healthy because it is prepared with Greek yogurt.

I could not wait to get home to try this. My mouth starts to water as I think about the fresh sourdough French bread I have at home that will make a lovely companion to this amazing dip.

So we get home, get everything put away, pour a glass of wine, and I start slicing the French bread. The bread alone is delicious, but this dip made it even better. It is incredible I oohed and awed with every bite.

Cool as a Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Purposes & Tips:

Thirsty? Add a few slices to a glass of water

Before your flight place, cucumber slices in an empty water bottle. Once you are past the security gates, add water and you are good to go.

Tired puffy eyes? Place chilled slices over your eyelids.

Looking for a deep cleanse during a foot soak? Add cucumber slices, the acidity in them helps whisk away dirt and remove dead skin cells.

Craving pasta, but looking for a lighter substitute? Use a mandolin or vegetable peeler to make “noodles.”

Have an appetite for something light, cool, and refreshing? Enjoy a cool cucumber salad.

This amazing fruit has so many purposes.

What can get better than a simple, healthy, and refreshing salad? Cucumbers are mainly composed of water, making them the perfect summer thirst-quencher to accompany any meal. Most cucumber salads often call for you to salt and let the water drain, but cucumbers have a natural delicious juice, that is heightened just by

adding a pinch of salt.

Cucumber Ribbon Salad

1 English cucumber

Pinch of sea salt

2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 Teaspoons rice vinegar

2 Teaspoons splenda

1 Tablespoon fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried dill

2 Tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

1 Large zip lock bag

Directions

Slice the cucumber using a mandolin slicer or vegetable peeler into long thin ribbons and lightly salt.

In a medium bowl, mix the remaining ingredients.

Place the cucumber ribbons and dressing into a large plastic zip lock bag and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Pour into a serving bowl.

Holy Trinity

The cuisine of New Orleans is full of flavor, culture, and history. You know magic is happening when the scent of the aromatic vegetables of the holy trinity (bell pepper, onion, and celery) are being sautéed together. Characteristic seasonings include parsley, garlic, green onion, bay leaf, and cayenne pepper.

The holy trinity serves as the staple base seasoning mixture for most Cajun dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, and etouffee. Because the three ingredients are so common in the recipes of Cajun and Creole cuisines, it is viewed as one single ingredient. They provide the distinctive flavoring of specific dishes.

NOLA Crawfish Boil

To New Orleanians, “Mardi Gras” specifically refers to the Tuesday before lent, the highlight of the season. Pageants and Balls often close Mardi Gras season on Shrove Tuesday, the day before the start of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is mostly referred to by its French name, Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday.

Lent is a 40-day period of fasting and prayer between Mardi Gras and Easter. Catholics are to refrain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, all Fridays of Lent and Good Friday. This means refraining from eating beef, veal, pork, or poultry. Fish and shellfish is allowed.

With this being, the first Friday of Lent I give you a family tradition I grew up with, the crawfish boil, where tails are peeled and crawfish heads are sucked. It’s common to invite nearly every soul known, and the result is a party loaded with family and friends.

You will need

45 lbs live Crawfish

A bag a small new potatoes

1 large bag of frozen corn on the cob

4 to 6 large lemons halved

4 garlic heads

1 stick of butter

1  4.5 lb bag of Louisiana brand Crawfish Boil

Many rolls of paper towels

Newspaper

Directions

Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the seafood.

Add the entire bag of Louisiana crawfish boil and to bring to a rolling boil.

Add the lemons, potatoes, corn, garlic, stick of butter and the crawfish and return to a rolling boil for 5 minutes.

Turn off the fire and let everything soak for 30 minutes.

Remove all contents and place onto a large table covered in newspaper. Enjoy with your favorite beer.