This week’s Ms. Bear’s Kitchen coincided with our church’s night to cook for the homeless, so it worked out that I only had to think of one thing to make! I was telling Melissa that I need to branch out more and try some new recipes, but Melissa told me that part of this column should focus on not just the food, but the memories that go along with it. So, we started talking about our favorite trips and the food that goes along with them, and we both thought of New Orleans at the same time!!! We had such wonderful trips to the Big Easy and always enjoyed the food immensely. I made a weird concoction this week, but we all agreed that it was really good. I hope you enjoy it! I also have included my mother’s fruit salad recipe, which really hit the spot after the spicy red beans and rice burritos — we joked that this is a fusion meal, between the Cajun and the Mexican parts of the meal! Fusion cuisine is all the rage now, you know!
Red beans and rice cheesy burritos (weird, but true!)….be sure to crank up the Cajun or Zydeco music as you make this. We were all toe tapping as we cooked. I got so into it that I didn’t realize Janelle had helped Melissa with her bath and washed my swimsuit while I was cooking!!!! Here’s what you need to make this delicious dish…
*1 box Zatarains Red Beans and Rice
*1 can chili starter tomato sauce
*1 can chili ready tomatoes
*1 can corn
*1 package shredded cheddar cheese
*1 package Southwestern chicken pieces or smoked sausage
*1 green pepper
Chop the onion and green pepper and let it simmer with the tomato sauce and drained tomatoes. Add corn too if you want. Cook the red beans and rice according to directions. When it’s done, add beans and rice to a tortilla, add the tomato/veggie mix, top with cheese and either sausage or chicken — or both! Roll up the tortillas and put them in an ovenproof dish. Cover with some of the tomato/veggie mix and top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and hot. These were even better the second day!
Elenore Erlandson’s Pudding/Fruit Salad — so easy and so refreshing after a spicy meal!
*1 box of Jello instant vanilla pudding (size depends on how much fruit you put in)
*1 can pineapple tidbits
*1 can sliced peaches
*2 cans Mandarin oranges
*Other fruit that you might like….grapes, strawberries, cherries, etc.
Drain and mix the fruits together. Save the juice from the Mandarin oranges! Add the dry pudding mix to the Mandarin orange juice in a covered Tupperware. Shake until thoroughly mixed. Pour over the fruit mixture and stir. Then chill until it’s cool and serve. It’s really good! For a low-calorie fruit salad, you can leave off the pudding, but you should at least try it once the way my mother used to make it!!!! Everything is better the way your mom used to make it!
If you want the full Cajun experience, you will want to eat this on a Monday because that is the official day to eat red beans and rice down in N’Orleans! And, go to Pandora and search for Zydeco music, turn it up and as the French say… “Bon Appetite!!!”