Hunting Season Recipes

Hunting Season Recipes By: Marcelle Bienvenu My duck-hunting friends are getting antsy for the season to arrive. They’ve been busy preparing for what I believe is one of men’s favorite times of the year. Shotguns have been cleaned and oiled, and probably a small fortune has been spent on shells. The duck blinds have been reworked and stand ready for that first cold front to blow in from the west. Decoys have been retrieved from storage to be marked or tagged. Now it’s just a matter of time before they can go forth to their camps, get up before dawn, […]

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Sweet Potatoes Four Ways

Sweet Potatoes Four Ways – Sweet Potato Recipes By Marcelle Bienvenu Sweet potatoes (also known as yams) have long been a part of Louisiana’s history and cuisine. It is believed that the sweet potatoes originated in the West Indies and Central America. According to history, when the French began settling in south Louisiana in 1687, they discovered the native Indians—Attakapas, Alabama, Choctaw and Opelousas tribes—growing and enjoying the tasty, nourishing sweet potatoes. It wasn’t long before the French and Spanish settlers soon made it one of their favorite food items. It’s no wonder that a variety of sweet potato dishes […]

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Blue Plate Special

Blue Plate Special By Marcelle Bienvenu Diners, corner cafes, and Mom and Pop neighborhood bars and restaurants that serve down-home meals, otherwise known as “blue plate specials” may not be as numerous as they used to be, but they are still around. Thank goodness! These institutions usually go the extra mile for their specials, giving large servings and using local ingredients. When I hear the term “blue plate specials” I conjure up such meals as meatloaf, mashed potatoes and peas, or smothered chicken with lots of gravy atop a mound of white rice, or better yet, stewed okra and tomatoes […]

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Ice Cream Dessert Recipes

Ice Cream Dessert Recipes By Marcelle Bienvenu A few years ago, a journalist asked me to list a few things I like about summertime in the South. I confess that the summer is my favorite season and I can never get enough of ice cold watermelon, snowballs in every flavor, boiled seafood (shrimp, crawfish, crabs) all washed down with cold beer, and wait there is more. Heading out early in the morning on Vermilion Bay to try to catch a few redfish or speckled trout is also on my list of summertime “to dos.” And I love late afternoon boat […]

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Lenten Fish Recipes

Lenten Fish Recipes By Marcelle Bienvenu Lent, the season of penance is upon us, and like other Christians I’ve been giving some thought to what I might do for this time of atonement. I certainly had enough fun during the Carnival season and in a way, I’m rather glad I can look forward to several weeks of peace and quiet, and perhaps some simple meals. But on Ash Wednesday, I noticed several restaurants and cafés touting seafood specials, Lenten buffets, and myriad meatless offerings. When I was growing up, we didn’t have extravagant seafood or other enjoyable meatless meals; rather […]

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Holiday Leftovers Recipes

Holiday Leftovers Recipes By Marcelle Bienvenu Now that the hectic Christmas/New Year holidays are behind us, we move into the Carnival season. Like we need to eat and drink more! I stashed in the freezer a couple of ham bones and turkey carcasses left over from the Christmas and New Year’s feasts and I’m putting aside an entire day to preparing red beans and rice, and turkey bone gumbo for parade-watching parties. It’s also time to put in my order for several King Cakes. Let the parties begin! Depending on my mood and time restrictions, I have two red bean […]

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Cold Weather, Good Food

Cold Weather, Good Food By Marcelle Bienvenu It took a while for cold weather to move through south Louisiana, but it Fall has arrived. When the first cold front blew through from the West, I headed to the nearest supermarket for a fresh, plump chicken and a pound of smoked sausage for my first gumbo of the season. It was simmering when my husband Rock arrived after work. He went straight to the stove, lifted the lid on the pot, and mumbled something about there’s probably not a chicken to be had south of Interstate-10. He turned to me and said […]

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Thanksgiving Turkey Alternatives

Thanksgiving Turkey Alternatives By Marcelle Bienvenu For many years our family’s Thanksgiving dinner was somewhat of a movable feast. The reason being is that the men in our family were such avid sportsmen that duck-hunting season ruled the day and time at which we sat down to give thanks. Many times we gathered on the Wednesday night before Turkey Day since Papa and my brothers headed out in the wee hours the next morning to get to the blinds before the sun came up. The feast sometimes was baked turkey with all the trimmings, but it was also at times a […]

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Hearty Soups

Hearty Soups By Marcelle Bienvenu When cooler weather arrives in south Louisiana, I can’t think of anything more inviting on a cold winter night than a hearty soup, gumbo or stew. When the wind is blowing out of the north and the dampness creeps into my bones, I instinctively pull out either Papa’s old soup pot or his favorite big black iron pot, and sometimes both. When the mood strikes and time is on my side, I may well have vegetable soup, some type of bean soup and my personal favorite, chicken and sausage gumbo, simmering for the better part of […]

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Summer Seafood

Summer Seafood By Marcelle Bienvenu   Summer is for seafood as far as I’m concerned. And what makes it better is catching it yourself. I’ve made several trips to Marsh Island, where Vermilion Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico, in the past few weeks and they have all been fruitful. My buddy Pat and I always leave just when the sun is peeking out of the eastern sky. The ritual is always the same—stop to get bait, ice, and a big, warm sausage biscuit at the convenience store before heading out to Cypremort Point to launch his Boston Whaler in which […]

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