Can’t believe the week is over! And guess what: today was my first free (and I mean totally free) saturday in a while! I usually either work or take a driving class or both! But this morning, the only thing I had to worry about was staying cosy and warm in my bed, while the sun was shining through our bedroom window! It felt wonderful to just be home…
I woke up starving and knew exactly what I wanted for breakfast. Luckily the Husband went along and didn’t request pancakes….
Sautéed Pears Hot Cereal:
Peal 2 pears, cut in half, core and cut into 1/6 inch slices. In a little iron skillet, heat a tbsp of butter, add the pears. Then add 1 tbsp of sugar and continue sautéing until soft and caramelized.
Serve on top of 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill 10 grain hot cereal cooked in skim milk and sweetened with Agave syrup. Top with a few dark chocolate chips.
It was the best hot cereal I made…. ever!
Most of my afternoon was devoted to preparing tonight’s diner. I still managed to squeeze in a stretching class at my gym. My back especially needed it after last night’s Body Pump! After the class, I ran to 3 different stores to get all the ingredients for my Seafood Gumbo! The hardest to find was the okra, since it is considered an “exotic” product here.
Sorry the photo is so bad. Too much light… but you get the idea….
I used the recipe from a cookbook that was given to me by a lovely lady named Jane during my last trip to Dallas: “The Court of two sisters’ cookbook” (from the famous restaurant in the French Quarter). I think I might even have eaten there during my summer rotation at Tulane University in 2004!
- 1.5 cups canola oil
- 1.5 cups flour
- 1.5 cups celery, diced
- 1.5 cups green bell pepper, diced
- 1.5 cups onion, diced
- 3 cups okra, sliced
- 3 tomatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cups parsley
- 6 scallions, diced
- 3 pounds shrimps, peeled (the recipe also calls for oysters and crabs, but oysters were out of the question since my last all you can eat oyster dinner and I didn’t want to splurge on blue crab)
- about 12-14 cups water
- 3 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 3 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 big cloves of garlic
In a large stock pot, make a dark roux from the flour and oil (takes about 20-25 min). Add seasonings and vegetables (except scallions) and cook until okra looks less stringy. Then add water and simmer until the gumbo thickens. The scallions and shrimp were added towards the end. Simmer some more and the serve over white rice.
So good! This recipe is definitely a keeper!
I served this dinner with some Jalapeno corn bread:
Again, not the best picture, but it gives you an idea of the light texture! There is something about corn bread that immediately takes me away from this busy urban life and brings back sweet memories of southern summers….
Dessert was a new creation: Honey Pistachio Panna Cotta with Strawberries. I really love Panna Cottas, because they are so easy to make, so versatile yet they always please everyone around the table. Today, I decided to get creative and came up with that recipe:
- 600 mL low fat half and half
- 35 g brown sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, cut lenghtwise or one tsp vanilla extract
- 100 mL greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp Raw Honey
- 20g raw pistachi paste (about 1 Tbsp)
- Heat the half and half and sugar in a saucepan. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream and add the bean pod. Cover, and let infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bean then rewarm the mixture before continuing.)
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
- Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
- In a separate bowl mix the yogurt, honey and pistachio paste.
- Pour the Panna Cotta mixture over the yogurt and mix well.
- Let stand for 30min to cool down.
- Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into indicidual cups, then chill them until firm (about 3 hours)
- Top with diced strawberries.
Again, sorry tonight’s pictures are so bad. Must have been all that wine my sis kept pouring in my cup. But I suppose bad pictures are better than none (considering I almost forgot taking them!). The food was excellent though… And that’s all what really matters.
Stay tuned: more cajun food tomorrow!
Have a great night!