Many of my regular readers know I love food and to cook. I actually read cookbooks for entertainment. Whenever we have company, I always experiment on our guests (but always keeping the phone number of the local pizza delivery place at hand, just in case). I found a new recipe I want to try (next time we have guests since my kids wont eat anything). There is a Web site promoting a cook off called The Great American Seafood CookOff (I know, it sounds like my kind of thing, but the recipes are all from professional chefs, no random housewives).
My favorite recipe on the site is for Shrimp and Andouille Cassoulet. My parents used to love cassoulet, but I always thought it was too heavy with all that meat. Shrimp and andouille make a much lighter, healthier combination. The recipe is also much quicker than original cassoulet. Cassoulet is traditionally cooked for hours, this takes about an hour. The recipe was developed by chef Brian Landry from Louisiana. I am not surprised my favorite recipe is from a Louisiana chef. I’ve been to Louisiana (on business) and I didn’t have a bad meal. I remember planning a cocktail reception there and the hotel offered all kinds of unusual food. Since most of my events were in NY, Vegas or DC, I went crazy with all of the regional food options in New Orleans.
Speaking about fish, you should try to use domestic seafood (from the U.S.). Benjamin Franklin once said, “Guests are like fish, they both start to smell after 3 days.” Imagine if the fish has to travel internationally (just imagine the fish getting a passport). Domestic seafood is fresher than international seafood. Also, I am a big fan of buying domestically since the U.S. has strong safety regulations (but try finding toys manufactured in the U.S.). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a great Web site where visitors can find out which domestic seafood are sustainable. For example, shrimp from the South Atlantic are scarce but the population of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico are stable. This is important because overfishing is a huge problem.
So when you get a moment, check out http://www.greatamericanseafoodcookoff.com/. You can vote for your favorite recipe and maybe win a trip to New Orleans. Maybe you will even find something to make for dinner.