Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Roasted Asparagus

'St. Patrick's Day' History

"St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, the saint's religious feast day and the anniversary of his death...," reads an article published by The article continues to explain, "The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast..." Read more...

In modern day society, many of the foodists continue to partake in cooking the traditional dishes such as cabbage, corned beef, and potatoes.  However, this day in age, cooks around the globe are presenting their dishes in more creative and profound ways. Us, we like to stick to the more traditional recipes, and bring out the flavors we already know and love.

Asparagus- People tend to have a love-hate relationship with asparagus. Either they love it or hate it. Me, it's both. If it isn't prepared to my liking, I just can't eat it. Well, here is my new, and thus far, favorite way to eat it!

Roasted Asparagus
(Sprinkled with Mr. Pete's Cajun Seasoning, Wrapped with Bacon, and Topped with Cheese)


1 bunch of asparagus
1 pack of bacon
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 drizzle of olive oil


Once your asparagus stems are rinsed, bend the bottoms individually until they each snap. This allows you to discard the tough portions of the stems from the bottoms. The flavorful upper stems are shown in bowl above. Drizzle the asparagus tops with cooking oil and give them a dash of salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat stems entirely with oil. Set aside.

Wrap 1 slice of bacon around several stalks of asparagus (4 or 5). Sprinkle 1 tsp of Mr. Pete's Cajun Seasoning over the top, and place in a coated baking dish with non-stick spray. Place in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes uncovered.

After 30 minutes of baking, remove dish from oven, turn bacon-wrapped asparagus over and season with remaining Mr. Pete's Cajun Seasoning. Return to the oven for another 25 minutes.

Once cooked, remove from oven and sprinkle cheese over the entire dish, allow to sit for a few minutes or until cheese begins to melt.

Serve on the side of your favorite dish with a spritz of lemon juice on top.

And now you have it! My favorite way to enjoy these tender stalks of delicious bacon-wrapped stalks! So, do you love it or hate it?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Southern Shrimp & Cheesy Grits

Honestly, we really do not make this dish often at home; only because several members of the family do not particularly care for the texture of grits. So, by the end of the night, we are having to look for something else to satisfy them. However, if you do like the texture and flavor of grits, you must try this recipe! I have also, on many of occasions, served the shrimp and sauce over pasta. Once you try this dish, you too will be thinking of many ways to also incorporate this sauce into different dishes!


1 lb. large shrimp, peeled with tail on and deveined
4 cups grits (Don't forget the ingredients required to prepare your grits)
1 cups stock or water (I use a seafood stock)
2 cups heavy cream
1 stick of butter or margarine
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup green onions, diced
salt to taste

Preparing the Grits:

Notice the creamy texture of the grits. This is prior to adding the cheese.

Begin by cooking the grits according to your package directions. I prefer to cook my grits on the stovetop, but microwaveable grits will do as well. Once you have prepared your grits, on a stovetop in a saucepan, add 1 cup of heavy cream to your grits. You can add more to get the right consistency. You are looking for a creamy texture (not dry or liquidy). Once you have obtained the right consistency, add the shredded cheddar cheese and mix well.

Sautéing the Shrimp:

It is important to note here that shrimp cook very fast. Overcooking the shrimp can hurt your entire dish. So check your heat and monitor your time during the cooking stage.

Once the shrimp have been peeled, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Mr. Pete's Cajun Seasoning to shrimp and mix to coat the shrimp well. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet on medium/high heat. Once butter is melted, lower your temp to medium and add your shrimp to the pan. Cook them on each side for 3 to 4 minutes, depending on the size of your shrimp. I used 16-20 count, and cooked them for 7 minutes (3 1/2 minutes on each side). Remove the shrimp from the pan, and set aside.
*** Do not remove the seasoning bits from the pan. We will use this in the next step.

Creating the Sauce:

Keeping the seasoning bits in the pan for added flavor, increase your heat back to medium/high. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of flour stirring well to create a roux for the sauce. Once your roux has achieved a light tan color, add your minced garlic and half of your green onions. Cook for 2 minutes to soften.

Next, add your seafood stock or water slowly whisking constantly. Once blended, add your heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of Mr. Pete's Cajun Seasoning. Cook for 2 minutes. The consistency should be that of a gravy. If it looks too thin, let it simmer another minute or so. If it looks too thick, add a bit more liquid (stock, water, or cream). Taste the sauce to assure you have reached your desired flavor. Add more seasoning or salt as needed.

Plating the Dish:

You will want to spoon a heaping amount of cheesy grits into a bowl. Add a half dozen or so shrimp on top of the grits. Drizzle the sauce on top of shrimp and garnish with your remaining green onions.

When enjoying your plate of Southern Shrimp & Cheesy Grits, make sure to get you a spoonful of the grits with a taste of the sauce. While pinching the tail, bite the shrimp and taste the grits and sauce for maximum flavor! Trust me, this dish will have your tastebuds flowing and craving more! You'll Get Hooked On It!!!

One of our facebook friends has recreated this spectacular dish, Here's what she had to say, "The Shrimp and Grits were amazing!!! It was a major hit in this house. This was a perfect dish, full of flavor and very simple to make. I don't think we would have found better eating out...HONEST! It is totally 100% AWESOME!! A keeper for sure! I will... LOVE this recipe forever!"

"I think I died and went to Heaven !!! Mr Pete, this is to die for! Seriously!!! OMG!!"

There you have it folks! Thank you Diane for your wonderful review and the beautiful photo!