Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tangy Mango Salsa

While making Pico de Gallo recently, I did some experimentation using mango instead of tomato with some wonderful results. Check it out. 


1 1/2 - 2 cups mango (finely diced)
3/4 cup onion (finely diced)
4 green onions (thinly sliced)
1 large jalapeño (finely diced)
1 lime (juice)
1/4 cup cilantro (minced)
1/2 red or orange bell pepper (minced)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


Cut mango meat from around the pit with a paring knife, peel the chunks of mango, I actually left about a fourth of one mango unpeeled. Mix all other ingredients well and refrigerate to let the salsa "get happy". 

Serve with blue corn chips or with pork or chicken. You can also top a nice piece of fish with this wonderful salsa.

Monday, July 22, 2013


OK, I know this is waaaaayyy off topic, but if there's anything I love as much as Cajun food, that's Bigfoot.  Now there is a company marketing a Bigfoot call called SquatchIt!  Here's their introduction below.  Check them out on the Kickstarter Campaign.  Check out their page at "SquatchIt"

It's time to SquatchIt! This new novelty noisemaker is tons of BigFoot fun! It's LOUD and SCARY sounding and it's battery-free! SquatchIt is a next-generation noise maker that sounds like a Sasquatch scream. Imagine the look on your friends' faces on a camping trip when you sneak off and blow SquatchIt into the dark, spooky night! Are you tired of annoying politicians and their false promises? Go to the rally and SqautchIt! Are the kids acting up and not behaving? Just SquatchIt! Don't carry one of those air horns to the football game.. Just SquatchIt! Soon you will be able to get your very own SquatchIt and get in on the Big-Time BigFoot FUN! SUPPORT US ON KICKSTARTER! SUNDAY JULY 21, 2013 3:00PM CST- WEDNESDAY AUGUST 21, 2013 3:00 PM CST

Yellow Squash Relish

Here's another of one of my favorite things. I published the recipe 2 years ago in my "Pickle Silly" post. I had requests for it recently, so here is my Yellow Squash Relish recipe. 

Friends have been loading me up with produce this summer and I thought I'd make something different, why not relish. I had no idea how this would taste but I thought I'd give it a try. Keep in mind, in addition to the squash I also got zucchini, cucumbers, green peppers, onions, etc. so I would have a vast array of ingredients to choose from. Of course the only problem remaining would be the spices. 

Now I keep, on-hand, a fairly decent collection of spices, but I did not have turmeric, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and so-on. This was where it ran into a little money, also I needed jars, lids, and caps. I got all my spices for under $15 and they will do me for a while, (my mother had a container of garlic powder for around 17 years, she cooked very plain). Below is the recipe.

Yellow Squash Relish

4 cups squash and/or zucchini (diced)
1 cup onion (diced)
½ cup red bell pepper
1 cup white vinegar
1 ½ cup white sugar
1 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp hot pepper flakes
¼ cup kosher salt
1 cup water

Cut the yellow squash and zucchini, in quarters, lengthwise. Remove the seeds and dice them extremely small. I dice up 2 cups of squash and 2 cups of the zucchini. Dice one onion into small dice, it should be a cup, as well as a red or green bell pepper, use about half a cup. Red looks better.

Place in a large bowl and sprinkle ¼ cup salt and add 1 cup water. Stir well and let stand 1 hour in the refrigerator. Drain well and rinse with cold water twice. Transfer this into a couple of jars. Bring vinegar, sugar, and all remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Pour hot mixture over vegetables in the jars. Let cool then refrigerate, then use as needed. By the way, you can slice the squash and make these in a more traditional method. Enjoy the Summery treat. 

Easy Budget Gumbo

I wanted gumbo the other day, seafood gumbo, but I was really low on funds and couldn't see buying pounds of crabmeat, shrimp, oysters, etc.  So I bought some filets of Swai in the freezer section (individually wrapped), 2 small cans of crabmeat (under $2.00 each) and a lb of frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined.  Along with my love of andouille sausage in seafood gumbo (I know I am making enemies to you gumbo purists) I managed to stir up a great pot of gumbo for a fraction of the usual cost.  Give it a try, it's very tasty!


¾ cup vegetable oil
1 cup plain flour
1 large onion -- diced
3 stalks celery -- sliced thin
½ cups green pepper -- diced
4 cloves or 1 tbs garlic -- minced
3 whole bay leaves
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs salt
1 tbs filé powder
4 tbs worcestershire sauce
1 tbs tabasco sauce
8 - 10 cups water
1 lbs. Shrimp -- frozen small, cleaned, de-veined
2 cans crab meat 
4 8oz Swai (or catfish) filets
1 lb okra (frozen or fresh 1/2 in. slices)
*opt. 12 oz andouille sausage (sliced thin)


Place the catfish filets in a pot with 6 cups of water.  Turn the heat on MED and let them poach until the are done and will crumble.  Set aside and retain the broth.

In a 7 qt., cast iron Dutch Oven, or similar kettle, heat oil on MED, when hot, add flour and stir continuously until the roux reaches a dark brown color. Add diced onions and cook until onion is wilted, then add celery, green pepper, and garlic, and cook another 10 mins. Add herbs and spices, (except filé powder) stir constantly, cook 5 mins. 

Add 2 cups of the hot catfish broth, whisk in and blend well, cook for another 5 mins. Add remaining stock, 3 more cups of water, andouille sausage, crabmeat, crumbled catfish meat, and shrimp, then bring to a boil for 5 mins. Cook okra in a seperate skillet in 1/4 cup of oil for 20 mins. or until it softens and quits sliming, add it and the  filé powder to gumbo. Bring back down to MED/LO and cook 1 hour or more, stirring occasionally. Finish up by checking seasonings. Just let it simmer another half hour on MED/LO.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Quiche

Here's a great recipe I made just today, hence the name "Sunday Quiche".  It's perfect for a brunch or if you're having friends over for a light meal. Very tasty, and you can add bacon or ham to it if you'd like. I enjoyed it the way it was. I hope you do too!


5 eggs (beaten)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 green onions sliced thin
1 cup shredded Colby/Jack cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp Tony Chacere's 
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 frozen pie shell (thawed)


Preheat oven to 350°. Beat eggs and the milks together, add seasonings and herbs, beat well, then add onions and cheese. Blend well. Pour mixture into pie shell, distribute the shredded cheese evenly in the mixture with a fork. 

Bake for 45 mins in oven. Check after 45 mins and see if done. If a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into the quiche, it is done. Let rest on top of stove or on counter for 20-30 mins before serving.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Let's go to Mexico for some Pico

Ok here is one of my favorite things to make and eat... Pico de Gallo, or Salsa Fesca. Some regions refer to it as Salsa Mexicana because of the red tomatoes, white onion, and green chilies, resembling the colors of the Mexican flag. This recipe is authentic although not everyone includes garlic. Enjoy!

4 cups tomatoes (seeded, cored, and diced small)
2 cups onions (diced small)
1/2 cup jalapeño peppers (diced small) or 4 large jalapeños
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (minced)
3 tbs lime juice (or juice of 3 limes)
2 tsp salt (kosher or sea salt)
1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 tbs garlic (minced fine)


Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate before serving if you can. Use only the meaty wall of the tomato. Core all the seeds and pulpy insides and discard or use in a soup. You could also use cerrano peppers instead of jalapeños. You can also use mangos with or instead of tomatoes. According to food writer Sharon Tyler Herbst, Pico de Gallo ("rooster's beak") is named thus because originally people ate it by pinching pieces between the thumb and forefinger.This makes a huge bowl, enough for over a dozen people. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wild Rice Pilaf

I have always liked rice, especially wild rice with it's nutty flavor. I went to the local Earth Fare yesterday and bought some whole grain to add to my rice.  In the mix were...

Spelt Berries
Red Wheat Berries
Wild Rice (black, long, spikey looking)
Rye Berries
Extra Long Basmati Brown Rice

I mixed all these together in a big zip lock bag and cooked up a cup of it.  It makes about 2 1/2 cups cooked rice and boy is it good.  You can buy wild rice mixes which are good as well. I really like Royal Brand, I think they're the best.  Here's a great wild rice recipe...

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup wild rice mix
1 tbs coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 leaves dried sage
1 tbs minced garlic


Using a small ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid, bring the water to a boil on the stove, add coconut oil, and all the spices and herbs. After 5 mins. add rice and cover. Let cook 10 mins on MED/HI, then turn down just below MED and let cook another 20 mins. Halfway through, peek in and give a quick stir. Transfer pot into 325° oven for 20 - 25 mins. or until all liquid has been absorbed. Take out, fluff with a fork and replace lid, let steam for 15 mins. is best. *You can add minced pecans or walnuts right before putting it in the oven.Enjoy!RouxBDoo