Creole Crawfish Pasta

Last weekend we had friends over for crawfish on Saturday afternoon, we put the leftovers on ice in a cooler then I peeled them on Sunday morning. I would advise peeling them while you have everything out and “crawfishy,” recruit a peeling helper by simply offering them an additional beer and turning this music up, this usually does the trick. Put the crawfish tails in a ziplock in the fridge to be used for the best leftovers ever.  

 

Grant found a similar recipe in Square Table that he requested for our crawfish tails. I tweaked it to make Creole Crawfish Pasta. Normally I can’t let myself make creamy pastas but justified this one and it was worth it! The perfect Sunday supper.

Creole Crawfish Pasta

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 Onion, diced

1 Yellow Pepper, diced

3 cloves of Garlic, minced

4-6 Green onions, chopped 

Pint of cherry Tomatoes, quartered

2 Tbs. Butter

1 1/2 c heavy cream

1 tsp Paprika

1/2 tsp Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning

Crawfish Tails, approximately two cups after shells are removed.

Pasta of your choice (we used angel hair because it’s what we had in the pantry)

Directions:

Put water for pasta on to bring to boil. 

In a separate skillet melt butter and add onion and pepper. Sauté until softened, about 7 minutes.

Add in garlic, crawfish, and tomatoes, combine.

Add heavy cream next add Tony’s, paprika, and green onions.

Reduce sauce, while simmering and reducing, add pasta to boiling water and follow directions on box.

Once pasta is al dente plate and top with the crawfish sauce.

Add additional green onions for garnish.

Enjoy     

   
   

White Bean, Sausage and Greens Soup – Tuesday’s Table

This is a recipe that came to be based on items I had in our fridge and pantry two years ago. Since then as soon as fall weather is upon us it is the first thing that Grant requests for dinner. It is just about as easy as they come and is hearty enough that it is a full meal… but Grant usually makes his mom’s cornbread recipe to accompany the soup – lucky me (unlucky waistline). This meal is easy to throw together, inexpensive and gluten free as long as you pay attention to the sausage and turnip greens.

Sub in black eyed peas and we call this our “New Year’s Soup.” It covers all of the bases for luck, health and prosperity… in one easy pot. Check!

  

White Bean, Sausage and Greens Soup

Ingredients:  

1 pk Andouille/cajun sausage, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 cloves/teaspoons garlic, minced
2 cans white beans (any type, I prefer Navy Beans because of their small size)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can turnip greens
1 bunch kale in inch pieces
6 cups chicken broth (I used 4 stock, 2 water)
Several dashes of Hot Pepper Vinegar and freshly ground black pepper to season

Directions:

Brown chopped sausage (try to drain most of the grease), add onions and garlic  to sausage to soften for 5-7 min
Add chicken broth, beans (rinsed), tomatoes with juice
Add turnip greens (mostly drained)
Add kale, black pepper, pepper vinegar.
Stir, cover, simmer

Simmer for at least 30-45 minutes, but will taste even better the next day.

Serve with hot pepper vinegar. Cornbread would be a treat too.

** You can make many variations to this recipe based on your preferences and things that you have at home. Use only kale (add some salt to recipe); use only turnip greens, add some shredded chicken, etc. I have done all of these things and it turns out well every single time**

   

    
   

Enjoy!!

Linguine with Brie, Tomatoes and Basil

Growing up my parents made this special supper once a summer when tomatoes were at their peak. It was always a meal that all four of us looked forward to sharing!

There aren’t many ingredients but it’s important that you have good, summer tomatoes (heirlooms would be great too), a fresh piece of Brie and lots of basil.

The other crucial part is preparing the no-cook-sauce early in the day so it can properly marinate at room temperature.

Here is the tried and true recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook that our mom has used for decades. Please note our few changes.

Linguine with Brie, Tomatoes and Basil
Ingredients:

4 ripe, large summer tomatoes

1 pound Brie cheese, rind removed, torn (yes by hand) into small pieces

1 packed cup of fresh Basil

1-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 – 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. Olive Oil

2 1/2 tsp. salt (divided)

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, with more for garnish

One package of fresh (refrigerated), homemade or regular linguine – cooked according to package directions

Directions:

Combine tomatoes, Brie, 1/2 c. Olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, garlic and black pepper. Let sit for at least two to three hours, covered at room temperature to marinate.

Add remaining olive oil and salt to pasta water and prepare al dente according to package.

Drain pasta and immediately combine sauce with noodles. Top with fresh basil and ground black pepper. Serve quickly.

Enjoy!


 

  

All American Classic – Chopped Grilled Chicken Salad

This salad is such a good, All-American summer time classic. Yummy, basic, and so very easy. Plus it is sure to be a crowd pleaser for everyone  in your crew. It’s not like this is a ground breaking idea or real recipe, but I hope it can give you some inspiration for an easy, summer dinner leading into this holiday weekend! 

Chopped Grilled Chicken Salad

Chicken Breast with your favorite marinade, grilled. The longer it marinates the better it will be. Be sure your chicken is grilled low and slow (indirect heat is best), plus let it rest for 10 minutes once it comes off of the grill.

Cucumbers, chopped

Tomatoes, chopped

Grated sharp cheddar cheese

Pickled Red Onions – check out our recipe This is such an easy dish do this and they will keep all summer in your fridge! They really are great on everything.

“Homemade Ranch Dressing” – in quotes because I use the packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning but I combine 1/2 c. Fat Free Greek Yogurt, 1/2 c. Mayonnaise, 1 c. Milk and it seems to make the very best dressing! Tastes like such a splurge but is mostly healthy.

Chopped romaine and any other combination of greens that you have in your fridge. For this I used spinach and romaine and always add ANY fresh herbs into your greens and toss them together. Dill, parsley, basil, cilantro – it does not matter it will be delicious and add such an element of freshness to your salad.

Toss your greens lightly with ranch then assemble your salad. Add a touch of additional dressing to the grilled chicken, then top with freshly cracked black pepper and serve.

  

Cali-Style Chopped Salad with Shrimp and Creamy Cilantro, Avocado Dressing

This salad was dreamt up last night based on the things that I had in my fridge, freezer and pantry. Living in Nashville fresh seafood is tough so I am a firm believer in buying the best Gulf caught frozen shrimp to keep on hand.

This is one of the easiest salads ever! Presentation is key, but even if everything were tossed together it would still look and taste amazing. Most importantly you only need to make two of the components: the shrimp and the dressing

Cali-Style Chopped Salad with Shrimp and Creamy Cilantro Dressing:

Shrimp –

    

I used apprx. 3/4 of a pound for two of us 

1 tsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

Thaw and Pat Dry then toss with spices and oil

Heat, non-stick pan; add shrimp; cook about two minutes per side

Remeber, shrimp cook SO very quickly and the worst thing you can do is over cook them. My shrimp needed just less than two minutes on each side, flipping once. Watch them fairly closely and once they start to turn white/opaque on the first side flip them over.

These would also be great on a grill pan or on the grill.

Truly these guys can be marinated and cooked in 5 minutes!

Creamy Cilantro Avocado Dressing – 

   

Plain, Non Fat Greek Yogurt – one cup/little carton

2 Tbs. Canola Oil

1 tsp. White Wine Vinegar

Two handfuls of Cilantro (1/2 of a bunch)

Juice of one lime

1 clove of garlic (or 1 tsp of minced garlic)

1/4 of avocado (not pictured bc I used the only bit of a very ugly avocado that was still green — make use of what you can, folks!)

1 tsp. salt

2 little pinches of sugar

Throw everything in a mini food processor and then you’re done! 

Dressing will make enough for 6+ salads.. I have put mine in a small Tupperware container in my fridge and it will keep until the expiration of the yogurt you used… Be sure to check that before discarding.

Salad –  

  
 
Chopped Romaine Lettuce

One can of black beans, drained and rinsed

One can of shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed

Chopped tomatoes

Feta Cheese

For a chopped salad layer your romaine first then add your rows of corn and black beans, tomatoes, dressing, feta and shrimp!

This salad is one that any guy is happy to eat because there is enough to it i.e. it’s satisfying and the flavors are great! Guys don’t have to know the base of the creamy dressing is Greek yogurt.

Side note, I have left over corn, beans and dressing since I only made two salads last night so I’m already looking forward to putting them to use somehow this weekend.

Enjoy this salad AND the LONG weekend my friends!!!