I’m always amazed at how sharp and intuitive kids are these days. There’s no better place to see this play out than in a kitchen. Add to that observation a growing number of young people who are interesting in cooking, and you have a picture of what my kid’s cooking class was like this week. They made a fantastic one-skillet wonder of raw pasta, lots of cheeses, sausage and marinara sauce that magically all cooked together in no time! The big surprise was how tasty the actual pasta was! How can it not? The pasta is actually cooked in all of those tasty sausage juices, red sauce and garlic instead of being boiled separately in a pot of water. (Salt can only add so much flavor to pasta!) The kids in my cooking class told me they love pasta and wanted an easy way to cook it without a lot of pots and pans. This recipe was perfect for them, and I guarantee it’s going to be perfect for you and your family! Buon Appetito!
Everything I learned about the history of Cajun and Creole food, I learned from Paul Prudhomme, the Louisiana-born celebrity chef who popularized both types of Southern cuisine. I learned that Cajun food is the food of country folk who settled in the bayou lands of Southern Louisiana and kept largely to themselves. Creole food, on the other hand, is city food, specifically from New Orleans, and was greatly influenced by the many different cultures like French, Spanish, Italian, Haitian, French Canadian, Native American and African that helped to shape that city. My very favorite shrimp dish came from Prudhomme, and that made him, in my eyes, the King of Cajun cooking. This Spicy Cajun Shrimp is simply divine. I remember making it for my father, and his reaction was always the same. He would bow his head, clasp his hands in front of the bowl and just say, “Honey, this is liquid gold!” Don’t be put off by the amount of ingredients. I can only tell you that this dish is worth every bite. Perhaps the phrase that best describes Paul Prudhomme’s Spicy Cajun Shrimp has to be Ça c’est bon — That’s good! Enjoy a big bowl of Cajun comfort food this week!
From my Momma’s kitchen to yours this Mother’s Day, here’s a favorite D’Atri family recipe. Momma’s Eggplant Parmesan Casserole is the ultimate comfort food, and as all moms know, casseroles are a secret weapon in the kitchen! They can be made ahead and frozen until ready for use. They feed a hungry crowd and they always seem to taste better the next day. My Momma figured out years ago how to get the eggplant softened and yet still have the pan-grilled flavor. Her homemade marinara sauce only takes twenty minutes to make from start to finish. The combination of the two is a match made in heaven! I think these days we are having a lot of family meals together and this is a great dish that can be enjoyed piping hot right out of the oven! Surprise Mom this year with a casserole of comfort!
Watch my How to Video Here!
What exactly is corned beef? What makes it pink inside? Is it really that easy to prepare?
This year I decided to answer some questions about this most beloved tradition of St. Patty’s Day corned beef and cabbage. I’m also sharing a very simple the recipe that my family has enjoyed for decades.
So, what exactly is corned beef?
The term corned beef refers to beef that has been preserved through salt-curing in brine and then cooked until tender.
What makes it pink?
The pink color inside the corned beef comes from a pink curing mixture called Prague Powder No. 1 which is basically salt. It’s generally used in making cured meat products that require short cures like salami and corned beef. By the way, salt works as a preservative through a process whereby the water within a cell is drawn out through the cell walls.
What cuts of meat make a corned beef?
The brisket or beef round, generally. The most common cut is brisket, which is located in the front of the cow near its front legs.
What is the difference between the two cuts of brisket that we see in grocery stores?
A point cut brisket comes to a point at an end. This cut has more fat in it. The flat cut is more popular and is much leaner. Most pre-packaged corned beef kits that come with seasoning and vegetables are flat cut.
Is it easy to prepare?
Yes! It’s one of the easiest meals you can make!
Watch my how to video here!