The Fabulous Foodie

The Fabulous Foodie, hosted by Chef Aimee, is an online account of one amateur chef's kitchen successes and mishaps, recipe and product roadtests, and food experiences. Chef Aimee's philosophy is that Food Is Love, and her blog contains reflections on the connection between fabulous food, a happy marriage and solid-gold friendships.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Lighten Your Recipe, Lighten Your Wallet: Hurricane Relief

So the "other" Chef Amy over at BeautyJoyFood had a great idea for food bloggers to come together to help out the Hurricane Katrina Relief effort. Being a rather new member of this food blog community, I decided to do my part here on The Fabulous Foodie. We were asked to share a thought or memory of New Orleans, and then a recipe inspired by the region; and to post a banner link to the American Red Cross so that our blog visitors could make a donation. I don't get a lot of traffic (so far!) on this site according to my stat counter, but hey -- you 30 unique visitors out there -- please give, folks… these people really need help.

I have only been to New Orlean's once, for Jazz Fest in 2003. In what other city can you feel perfectly in place wearing a feather boa on a regular Thursday night? And in fact, in what other city would you feel perfectly OUT of place if you didn't have one?? I bought a purple boa to wear about town in the French Quarter, and I loved that thing. A feather of it got lodged in my suitcase zipper on the way home, and has stubbornly stayed there all these years. Now, it's how I tell my navy blue "pullie bag" from everyone else's on the baggage carousel.

New Orleans was also the backdrop for one of the worst sunburns I ever had. Sitting at Jazz Fest, in a wide open field, I essentially roasted like a damn chicken… and let me tell you, the skin was extra crispy. For any other redhead reading, I'm sure I just caused a knowing and sympathetic cringe… SPF 50 and a floppy straw hat has NOTHING on that New Orleans sun, people!

So -- onward…

Besides the music -- which I thoroughly enjoyed despite my sunburn -- the best part of Jazz Fest in New Orleans was the food. Every day, there'd be hoards of people sprinkling file powder (ground sassafras) on their gumbo… looking for their favorite jumbalaya vendor… standing in huge lines for a paper tray of boiled crawfish. And then there was my favorite: Crawfish Monica. I don't know who Monica is, or who Monica was… but it doesn't matter... Judging from this tasty dish, Monica's my kind of girl.

Upon research, I found that Monica's original recipe (or at least Emeril's adaption of it) calls for an amount of heavy cream and butter that would make even a skinny girl think the dryer shrunk her jeans… seeing that this is the week of healthy food, I tried to lighten up my recipe at least a little bit.

And speaking of lightening up, why don't you lighten up your wallet a little and click on the Red Cross banner to help out our New Orleans friends?!

Here's the recipe.

Chef Aimee's Lighten Up! Crawfish Monica
1 pound rotini pasta
1T butter
Butter-flavored cooking spray
3/4 cup onions
1 cup chopped plum tomatoes (seeded)
1 pound crawfish meat (chopped)
1/4 t each of: salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried thyme
1/2 t paprika
1/8 t cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can evaporated skim milk
2 ounces Grated Parmesan
1/4 cup chopped scallions

Cook pasta in salted water, drain and toss with 1T of butter.

Place a large non-stick skillet coated with butter flavored cooking spray over medium heat. Saute onions and tomatoes for 2 minutes. Add crawfish meat and saute for 2 minutes. Add spices and garlic.

Add the evaporated milk and cook 6 minutes to blend flavors. Lower heat and stir in parmesan until melted. Sauce should be thick and creamy. If sauce is too thick, thin with a bit of regular skim milk, whisking to incorporate.

Toss pasta in sauce and top with scallions.


At 11:24 AM, Blogger ChrisWoznitza said...

Hi I´m Chris. Greatings from Germany Bottrop !!

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Earl said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Chef Aimee said...

Hi Chris. No idea what your blog say, but thanks for stopping by.

Earl... don't spam my blog! Take whatever money you make selling those things and donate it to the Red Cross. Grrr....

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Thanks so much for participating, Aimee. I just love your witty writing, you are totally right about both the feather boa AND the sunburn, LOL. The sun all along the Gulf Coast is VERY strong.


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