If there’s one thing I like almost as much as good food, it’s a good book. I didn’t get much reading in the past few months, and the list I keep on my phone kept growing and growing. Finally, I decided to put a few books on hold at the library, and as luck would have it, I got all five at the same time! Three of them kept me engrossed enough that I’ve neglected chores around the house and emptied out the freezer come dinner time. The culprits for the big gap in posts on this blog are I Never Promised You A Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, and Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (more info below).
One of the books I just finished is a 2011 National Book Award winner titled Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. Set in rural Mississippi in the days just before and right after Hurricane Katrina, motherless teens deal with a drunk dad, poverty, hunger, uncertainty, birth, death, and the fury of the Hurricane. Yet, love and tenderness is evident through the book – between siblings, parent, pet, and friends – in unconventional ways. Each and every character – from the protagonist Esch to the dog China – is powerfully, yet beautifully described by Jesmyn Ward. The novel culminates in a chapter where the family is caught in the storm surge from the Hurricane, and it gave me the chills. I highly recommend reading this book.
Thoughts of Hurricane Katrina led to thoughts of spicy Cajun food. Since my husband has been making Sunday night dinners for the last few years, my request this week was for his spicy Cajun pasta. He has looked up recipes online, but this is his own version. (Adapted from http://www.kevinandamanda.com) Enjoy! It’s delicious!!
Spicy Cajun Pasta
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 1 extra large tomato
- 1 (12oz) packet Aidells Habenero & Green Chilli Chicken Sausage (OR) about 12-16 oz smoked sausage of choice (slice into rings) *
- 3 cups chicken broth / water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tbsp cajun seasoning
- salt to taste
- 16oz penne pasta (cooked, rinsed and drained)
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
- sliced green onions to garnish
1) Heat oil in a wide, heavy bottomed pan with lid.
2) Add minced garlic and saute till golden and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3) Add onions and saute till transparent.
4) Add tomato and saute for a few seconds. Cover lid and cook on medium -high till soft, and onion-tomato mixture blends together.
5) Add red pepper flakes and the sausage, cream & broth and bring to a boil.
6) Simmer 5 minutes till flavors meld. Add pasta and stir well. Season with salt to taste.
7) Heat thoroughly, and serve topped with some cheese and sliced green onion.
*NOTE : You may substitute the sausage with red, yellow, and green peppers to make a vegetarian version of the recipe.