Taste of New Orleans on the road

Awesome campground on a river near Nephi, Utah

I’ve never been to Yellowstone!  … until this year!  The hubby and I are on the road, Airstream  in tow, headed to one of America’s gorgeous playgrounds. Since it’s a bit of a drive from L.A., I decided to prep a few dishes and pop in the freezer before hitting the road. Last night we pulled into Ponderosa Uinta campground just outside of Nephi, Utah, and since I had pre-made the gumbo, dinner was super easy. Another benefit of freezing food ahead of time is it helps keep your RV refrigerator/freezer or ice chest cold.

Simple Chicken, Sausage & Shrimp Gumbo

Chicken, Sausage and Shrimp Gumbo
(adapted from myrecipes.com)

6 ounces andouille sausage, chopped
6 ounces shelled shrimp
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 ounces all-purpose flour
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped bell pepper (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 tablespoon salt-free cajun / creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken stock
1 14.5-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed
1 cup frozen cut okra
Red rooster or Red Dot hot sauce
3 cups bagged precooked brown rice

Does it get any better?

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; sauce for 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove sausage from pan using a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Melt butter in drippings in pan. Add oil to pan; swirl. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Stir flour into butter mixture; cook 3 minutes or until flour mixture starts to brown, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add chicken; sauce 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; sauté for 6 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add stock and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil. Return sausage to pan; stir in okra. Taste for seasoning, add add Red Rooster or Red Dot hot sauce as desired. Reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice.

Simple tomato salad, caprese style

We went to extreme measures this year to grow heirloom tomatoes at our house, and for the first time ever, we were successful!  Check out this super-easy salad idea.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

3-4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced in wedges
fresh mozzarella cheese (large balls sliced, or small balls cut in half)
fresh basil
the best olive oil you can get your hands on
ditto for balsamic vinegar

Gently stir tomatoes and mozzarella cheese together. Top with olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, torn basil leaves and freshly ground pepper and coarse salt.

Fine Dining in the Woods