Friday, July 23, 2010

First Installment of Your Place or Mine?...and a little lagniappe!

Welcome! I am so excited to submit my first installment of "Your Place or Mine"?. But before I get started I think it best to give you some background and a little lagniappe (french for "something extra") on my childhood and my experience with food. 

From since I can remember, my mother (a beautiful Portuguese women) took so much care, planning and love with her cooking. It goes without saying that my mother (Mary) is my hero! For a lot more reasons than her cooking but I would venture to say that cooking was her deepest passion. We were a middle class family that dealt with ups and downs in life like most but my mother could take a dozen eggs and turn it into a gourmet meal. These meals were prepared after her long day at work and presented to us like we were at a gourmet restaurant. So when my father was laid off from time to time we never felt the difference. Food was always provided and even on the smallest budget at times we had fresh wholesome food. My parents had a huge garden most of my life and when we didn't they would shop at a local farmers market. Mom would make homemade breads, cakes, pies, pastas all from boxes or machines here, except for a mixer! Even the pasta that she shaped with her hands was laid out to dry on cookie sheets or a wood rack that my father made for her. I can remember a day, I was probably around 12 years old when I discovered white Wonder Bread(a version of the Louisiana Bunny Bread). I had been playing with a friend in the neighborhood and she made me a bologna sandwich on this white bread and it was amazing! I had never had this bread before, my mom's bread didn't stick to the roof of my mouth. I came home and innocently told my mother about the bread and begged her to buy it for me. Of course she didn't comply and really? What was I thinking? I cannot honestly remember one single meal where my father did not say to everyone at the table...."You are the best cook in the world"! My mother would modestly tell us in detail how she prepared the meal as we basts in every bite. The traditions did not stop with my siblings and I, our children and their children have experienced the love too. There is not a grandchild or great grandchild that doesn't know their Nana's homemade french toast!  And I would be remiss if I fail to mention that all these meals were proudly "presented", not just served. We did not serve ourselves from the stove, the meals were transferred and arranged onto other dishes and garnished with a "sprig" of something from her garden. Mom is 85 years old and still loves her food........and oh, the food channel.......:) So going forward, just know that I proudly share my mother's passion but I am still working on living up to her reputation! 

This Friday evening JT and I made plans to stay home for dinner because we knew he would be tired from an early and long day of fishing in Lake Pontchartrain. So this morning in preparation for our usual tradition of seafood on Fridays I took out Redfish fillets from the freezer. And you know from my earlier post that I was dying to do something with those Creole tomatoes! This evening we had a few southern delights but JT and I will also enjoy an appetizer or two and some good wine. Here is a pic and the recipes of our special dishes....... 

Fried cucumber slices with ranch dressing
Grilled Redfish over yellow rice ( I used Mahatma brand and added small peas) 
Dressed Creole Tomato Salad

Fried Cucumber Slices
(Yes, I fried a perfectly healthy cucumber, but since it was an appetizer we went with it!)

Slice cucumber thicker than for a salad, lightly salt and place on paper towel for 20 mins. (This little trick will pull some of the moisture out and make them better to fry!)
Beat one egg
Zatarains Fish Fry (seasoned or unseasoned), I used unseasoned and added black pepper and light dash of creole seasoning 
Dip cucumber slices in egg, then coat with fry mixture
Fry in oil till lightly brown, lightly salt when hot and serve with your favorite ranch dressing. (Remoulade would be tasty too!)

Dressed Creole Tomato Salad
(Of course, I used our Creole's but you can use any seasonal tomato)
Tomatoes should always be room temp and never put in fridge!
Slice tomato on the thicker side
salt and pepper slices to desired taste
Sprinkle feta crumbles on top
Sprinkle fresh chopped basil on top
Add sliced olives(optional, I used kalamata but you can use your favorite) on top
Sprinkle with E.V.O.O (stole that from Rachel Ray....extra virgin olive oil) and balsamic vinegar

Use your favorite dishes, add a garnish and....... Enjoy!
P.S: Thank you Mom! I Love You!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

You already made my day by visiting my blog, now tell me what is on your mind.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...