First, let’s thank Hilda and Julianna for co-hosting the fiesta last week. They did such an outstanding job. They were welcoming, gracious, kind, fun, funny, and most of all, they kept replenishing everybody’s Latin Lover as soon as the glass was emptied. That’s how perfect hosts should be like. Take note future co-hosts, they showed us the way. Boozing up your guests is key to a great party, LOL. So, bravo, Hilda and Julianna. Give them a big round of applause!
Now would be the perfect opportunity to introduce to you this week’s co-hosts, if I had asked for any early enough to give them time to prepare. I didn’t. And I’m even going away this weekend. In other words, you’re completely on your own, party animals! I think I’ve given everyone a copy of my house key, so gaining entrance to the party shouldn’t be a problem.
I did prepare a pot of étouffée for all of you. Ay-too-fay, yup, that’s it! The New Orleans staple, usually made with crawfish. In lieu of crawfish, you can use shrimps instead. Either way, it’s delicious and perfect for no-meat Friday if you’re observing Lent, or any day.
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 cups chicken or seafood stock
1/2 lb fresh shrimps
2 cups cooked rice
For the roux
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp flour
1. Combine seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Make the roux by heating 1 tbsp oil in a small sauce pan, on medium heat. Add flour and stir to form a paste. Keep stirring until mixture turns brown, slightly darker than peanut butter, and smells nutty, about 7-8 minutes. Be careful once you reach the 5-minute mark. Mixture will start turning brown rapidly then. Don’t burn the flour. Set aside.
3. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil on medium-high heat and add the onion, green pepper, and celery. Cook, scraping the bottom of the skillet often, until vegetables are browned and fully cooked, about 7-8 minutes. Add seasoning mix, stir and cook for another minute, then add tomatoes and thyme. Continue cooking until tomatoes are cooked.
4. Add the roux, scraping to get most of it. You can deglaze the sauce pan to get all of the roux.
5. Add stock and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook until sauce is thickened and bubbly.
6. Add the shrimps and continue cooking until shrimps are fully cooked, about 4-5 minutes.
7. Serve over rice. Garnish with chopped green onions or parsley.
Now comes the most exciting moment of all, FEATURES! (Saying this Oprah-style.) Thank you, Julianna and Hilda, for helping me make the selections.
The Triumph of Gluttony cake from Saucy@Saucy Gander. In Hilda’s words, “This cake is a masterpiece. It inspires conversations about history, art, and sin. If we can’t bring ourselves to repeat this production, we [can at least] try to duplicate some of the tasty elements in our baking.”
Unagi and Avocado Rolls with Carrot Sushi Rice from Kirsten@Farm Fresh Feasts. We are impressed by Kirsten’s talent in mixing flavors and fun in this creative, colorful, and nutritious sushi roll. Adding shredded carrots in the rice is a brilliant idea!
Mesquite flour sourdough bread w/figs and pecans from Gerard@Bread and Tortillas. Who is not at least slightly intrigued by mesquite flour and slightly obsessed with figs? This bread combines them in a unique way. Who wouldn’t want to try at least a slice of it?
Lemon Birthday Cake, filled with ice-cream and frosted with meringue, from Margherita@La Petite Casserole, was made in honor of her husband’s birthday. How thoughtful of you, Margherita, to share it with us, too, at Fiesta Friday. You know how everybody always wants to have a scoop of ice cream with their slice of cake? Well, there’s no need to be scooping ice cream with this cake. It gives you both cake and ice cream at every single slice. How clever!
Have fun y’all! I’ll be checking in every now and then via blog-o-vision. Dancing, by the way, is allowed and in fact encouraged. Just not break dancing! I’m not too fond of returning to a house full of broken furnitures. Oh, that’s not what break dancing means?
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