Easy Southern Gumbo

Submitted by Christi

One week to Mardi Gras! Can’t wait. We love gumbo around here, however on a weeknight, it is a bit much to get it all together. So, we take a shortcut!

Luzianne GumboWith a little help this gumbo in a box from Luzianne this can be a really tasty dinner! We start with some andouille sausage then follow the directions from there with a few minor changes.

When adding the mix, we omit the cayenne but add additional garlic powder, some Cajun seasoning (like Emeril’s Essense or Slap Yo Mama), and some hot sauce (I add Chrystals and then my husband adds additional Tabasco when just before he eats). We also cook it longer than it calls for by about 10 minutes so it gets a little thicker. About 5 minutes until it is done, we add Gulf Shrimp.

You can add other seafood like crab meat and crawfish at this point. Up here in our neck or the woods it is hard to find these kinds of products that are not from Asia. We occasionally special order these products but remember, don’t be bamboozled!

Anyway, we have tried different mixes and this tastes the closest to the way I make it homemade and it is quick and easy. Gotta love that!

Did you know that Luzianne also makes Blue Plate Mayonnaise?

blue plate mayonnaise

My friend Christy Keirn over at Miles to Go is from Mississippi and she swears Blue Plate Mayonnaise is her secret to making the best pimiento cheese. Check out her blog for her recipe.

Get in the Mardi Gras mood and make some of gumbo this week. With this easy shortcut, there is no excuse not to 😉

Laissez les bon temps rouler

Today’s Lagniappe:  Salade De Tomatoes Avec Sauce Re
If you’re going to get some Blue Plate mayonnaise, you may as well have another recipe to use it in. This is from the Luzianne website.

Makes approximately 1 ¼ cups

1 cup Blue Plate Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons minced celery
1 tablespoon mustard
2 tablespoons minced scallions
½ tablespoon dried tarragon leaves

In a small bowl stir all ingredients until smooth. Keep refrigerated. Serve over sliced tomato arranged on a bed of lettuce leaves.


Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Blessed with Grace’s Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Southern Mardi Gras Plans

Submitted by Christi


My neighbor and friend Darlene and I are planning a Mardi Gras party. We have formed our own Krewe. Since we are located in Arkansas we are the Royal Krewe of RazorBacchus. We are doing a toned-down version of the Cajun Courir where the revelers go from house to house begging for ingredients for the communal meal. We are just having everyone bring their favorite mardi gras dish and then we will secretly vote on the best. We have 3 different categories: Cajun, Creole and Southern.

I love planning parties and am really looking forward to this one. After the ice storm we need to celebrate! That is one thing I love about the South, our willingness to celebrate anything.

I’m reminded of a trip to New Orleans with my nephew’s lovely bride’s parents from New Jersey. After a couple of days in New Orleans they told us they now knew why the South lost the Civil War (also known as the War of Northern Aggression). It was because, from what they could see, we were too busy having a good time!

Celebrate today – after all, it is Friday-eve!

Today’s Lagniappe: Crab Balls
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen via Food Network
about 2 dozen
• Peanut oil, for frying
Tartar Sauce:
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1 white onion, chopped
• 1/2 cup dill pickle chips, chopped
• Fresh lemon juice
• Pinch House Seasoning, recipe follows
• Freshly ground black pepper
Crab Balls:
• 2 slices bread, crust removed and processed into crumbs
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
• 1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
• 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1 pound lump crab meat, picked free of any shells
In a heavy, deep pot, preheat peanut oil to 365 degrees F.
For the tartar sauce, combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend to achieve desired chunkiness, adjust seasoning and chill until ready to use.
For the crab balls: In a large bowl, moisten bread crumbs with heavy cream. Mix in remaining ingredients. Shape into balls about the size of a walnut. Fry in oil until brown, about 5 minutes per batch. Serve Crab Balls while hot, with tartar sauce. Balls can also be made ahead of time and reheated.
House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups