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Sufferin’ Succotash!

 

Well, not quite.

It’s maque choux.

Maque choux is a traditional Southern Louisiana dish with bell peppers, jalapeno, and corn….it’s reminds me of succotash really.

I made this Cajun inspired meal for my family the other night because  I was in the mood for some heat but nothing too heavy or rich.  Coming off my vacation means going back to a strictly grain free (not just gluten free) diet…I have 31 days until my 10 year anniversary where I will be beachside for 6 glorious days-I gotta get the bod ready!

Most maque choux uses cream and butter to richen up the dish.  Regularly this sounds incredibly alluring (especially those that add bacon!) but since I was serving mine with a cod, a mild fish, I thought I’d stay with a lighter fare using olive oil and only a small dollop of greek yogurt and sans the bacon (seriously, that’s just WRONG, right?!)

I also whipped up some baked zucchini fritters (these are perfect this time of year, zucchini is amazing right now!) and served them with a quick remoulade to tone down the heat of the meal.

Play with this dish, add different veggie with what you have on hand, I think an okra would be delish even some of the zucchini tossed in!

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Cajun Cod & Maque Choux

Ingredients:

4 filets cod, patted dry
3 ears corn, kernels removed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1  sweet onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded/deveined and diced
1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 for maque choux, 1/4 for fish

2 Tbsp Garlic powder
1 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp Cayenne powder
2 Tbsp dry Mexican Oregano
1 Tbsp dry Thyme
1/2 Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp pepper
2 Tbsp greek yogurt (may sub 1/4 cup cream)

In large stockpot or dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup olive oil.  Add corn, red and green bell pepper, sweet onion and jalapeno.  Stir well.  Allow to saute for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile  mix all dry ingredients:  garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.  Add 1/4 spice mixture to maque choux mixture, continue to saute until tender, about 8 minutes.  Add Greek yogurt, stir.  Prepare to serve hot with fish.  Heat skillet on high and add remaining olive oil.  Sprinkle filets, all sides, with remaining spice mixture.  Fry filets for 3 minutes, then flip finishing cod, about 2 minutes.  Spoon Maque Choux on plate and place filet over, garnish with fresh chive.

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Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients:
4 zucchini
1 Tbsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup corn meal
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded parmesan

Preheat oven to 400.  With a colander over a large bowl, shred zucchini.  When all zucchini has been shredded, sprinkle with 1 Tbsp salt and mix well.  Allow zucchini to sit for atleast 10 minutes.  Press zucchini after 10 minutes, releasing excess juice (I squeezed out atleast 1 1/2 of zucchini juice!)  Place squeezed and drained zucchini in large mixing bowl along with remaining ingredients.  Mix well.  On silicone baking sheet or  parchment paper lined cookie sheet, add 2 Tbsp mounds of mixture.  Place in oven, bake for 10 minutes.  Flip and smoosh into flatter round fritter.  Continue to bake until golden brown, about 10-14 minutes.  Serve with a quick remoulade.

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Pasta, Pasta, Pasta!

I’ve arrived home safely from a great vacation out West where my boys experienced the beauty of the Grand Canyon, the deserts of Sedona, birthday excitement and much more!

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During my vacation I will indulge, and why shouldn’t I?!  One night, my mom invited me to prepare dinner.

We are an Irish/Italian family however, when I’m asked to put something together…the Italian in me ALWAYS  wins!

Then comes the dilemma, what do I make?!

I chose TWO dishes, each with their own flavor profile-its absolutely impossible to choose which one is best!  One is rich, smoky, and full of tomatoe-y goodness!  The other, light, lemony, and the perfect combination of textures!

Now, that the vacation is over, I’m back on track no more pasta, so I share this with you-you can indulge and let me know how you love it!

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Spaghetti all’ Amatriciana (inspired by Saveur Magazine)

Ingredients:

1 bag gluten free spaghetti (8-12 oz)
12 slices bacon, chopped
1 carrot, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, small chop
2 cans tomatoes, processed until smooth
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 cup Pecorino cheese
6-10 large capers

Bring salted water to a boil, add pasta.  Cook until desired doness.  Meanwhile in large skillet, add bacon.  Fry and remove from pan.  Pour excess fat off.  Add carrot, garlic and onion to skillet.  Saute until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add tomatoes, thyme, and rosemary.  Salt to taste (remember you’ll add bacon back in so not too much!)  Lower heat, allow to simmer 15 minutes.  Add bacon, stir well.  Simmer additional 10 minutes, remove herb sprigs.  Toss pasta into sauce.  Garnish with cheese and capers.

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Fusilli with Grilled Shrimp & Artichokes

Ingredients:

8 oz gluten free fusilli
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 package anchovy, 5-6 filets based on preference
4 sprigs fresh thyme
12 jumbo prawns
1 can whole artichokes, drained
1 small bundle purple kale
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
15 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, juice
1 cup choice cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts

Bring water to boil, add salt and pasta.  Cook until desired doness.  Meanwhile, in large skillet add olive oil, butter, and anchovy.  Allow anchovies to break down but not scorch with oil and buter.  Add fresh sprigs of thyme.  Heat grill.  Season prawns and artichokes, place on hot grill.  Cook until prawns are pink and artichokes have become golden brown on edges.

Add kale, garlic, and onion to oil and anchovy mixture.  Saute until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add pasta into sauce.  Toss.  Add cherry tomatoes, white wine, lemon juice.  Toss well.  Remove thyme.  Taste for additional salt and pepper.  Allow flavors to incorporate, about 5 minutes.  Add prawns and artichokes, toss well, garnish with cheese and pine nuts.