Down on the Bayou, Part Deux

Here's what I hope to be doing 30 years from now!!
So, we couldn't wait for Mardi Gras to come back around to do this menu again, but hopefully no one will mind too much!  We love everything to do with New Orleans, but the food is right up there near the top.  If you could get yourself down there next Tuesday, no doubt you might be able to uncover some Jambalaya that puts ours to shame, but if you're stuck here in Winston-Salem, I think our version might just make you feel like dancing!

Tuesday, September 27th:
Shake Your Money-Maker Chicken & Andouille Jambalaya
Central Grocery Muffaletta Sandwiches 
Crudite Plate with Zesty Dip
Vegetarian Option:  Black-Eyed Pea Jambalaya; Portobello & Roasted Red Pepper Muffaletta Sandwiches
Kids Meal:  Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole ($6)
Optional Extra:  Large Muffaletta Sandwich (so good for lunch the next day!)  $6
GYTTW:  Chicken & Smoked Gouda Penne Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Broccolini  $22 (Veg version with mushrooms & spinach)
Dessert:  Apple a Day Cider Pound Cake ($6)

If you've never had jambalaya, you are in for a treat!  It can take many different forms, but it's essentially a rice dish mixed with meats and veggies in cajun seasoning - so delicious!  Our version - the Shake Your Money-Maker - has lots of chicken and sausage - you'll be out of your chair dancing in no time!  The veggie Black Eyed Pea version is different, but, in my opinion, really delicious in its own right.  Jambalaya great hot or cold, and, of course, you can mix in lots of Tabasco if you like it spicy.  I would also recommend a cold beer, but if you're in the mood for a true Mardi Gras celebration, mix up a Hurricane and call in sick on Wednesday!

If you've even been to New Orleans, I hope you ate at least one Muffaletta sandwich.  Central Grocery muffalettas are pretty famous, and our homemade olive spread is a tribute to theirs.  Just thinking about it makes my mouth water - it's an enormous, round sandwich piled high with Italian meats and cheeses, and spread with muffaletta dressing - a combo of olives, pickled veggies, capers, and seasonings.  We're serving it as an appetizer so you can enjoy the flavors without the whole big-as-your-head sandwich, since it seems a little gluttonous to eat a whole muffaletta sandwich and jambalaya in one meal! 

Before you indulge in this Cajun feast, you can munch on some colorful raw veggies - peppers, snap peas, carrots, etc dipped in our homemade Zesty Dip.  I sometimes manage to start the kids munching on veggies half an hour or so before we eat - when they are really, really hungry - just to increase the odds of something healthy going in, and it usually works!

This week's Get You Through the Week Meal, the Chicken & Smoked Gouda Penne Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes & Broccolini, is a DOTP favorite!  We try not to do too many pasta dishes, since if you are anything like me, pasta is a dish that you actually can throw together at 5:30.  This dish, however, rises above its pasta brethren with sophisticated flavors and ingredients.  It's not too strong, so there is a good chance that kids will eat it happily for a family dinner, but you can just as easily serve it for company with a spinach salad and great bread for a fancy meal.  

This week's dessert is exactly what the doctor ordered - Apple a Day Cider Pound Cake!  I know you'll agree with me that something that has apples in it is pretty much just as healthy and nutritious as an apple itself.  This delicious pound cake is both moist & buttery with an apple cider glaze on top.  I think you'll like this for dessert, but it's also pretty darn good with coffee in the morning, so save a slice. 

That's what we've got this week, y'all.  Let's celebrate & have some fun, even if we're stumbling around the house chasing 3-year olds rather than stumbling around New Orleans trying to catch beads! 

Thanks & see you on the porch!


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