Squeaky Peanut

"Dot takes on the Domestic Diva"

At Last! Flavor! May 16, 2010

Filed under: Recipe Review — squeakypeanut @ 9:23 PM
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Just when you despair of ever having a flavorful Martha meal again, BLAM-O!     

Meal No. 20:  Tomato, Sausage and Rice Soup; Fried Catfish Po’Boys; Coleslaw; Bananas with Caramel Sauce     

What, pray tell, is remotely SPRING like about this menu? I couldn’t even get a head of cabbage at the store; I had to buy a slaw mix. Carrying on…     


This recipe was like BANG, so spicy! And I think it was because of an omission in the recipe. GASP! The recipe calls for “one can of whole tomatoes, pureed.” What size, Martha? I got two 14 oz cans, just in case. By the time I added the chicken broth, vegetables, and rice, it looked like there was plenty of liquid with just the one can of tomatoes. When it was done simmering, however, it looked very rice-y, more like a stew or soupy rice, than the photo in the cookbook showed. The Martha version looked like a tomato soup with a few bits of things in it, which makes me think maybe I was supposed to have added 28 oz of pureed tomatoes.  No matter, because this had a very nice flavor, which would have been diluted with more tomato. I used chicken andouille sausage (from Trader Joe’s, although Amylu’s is better, if you can find it) and by the time I got to the bottom of my bowl, my nose was running and my forehead was glowing a bit (I live in the South now, so no more sweating as I am a LADY, y’all).     

The Husband liked the soup, but found the flavor kind of singular, as it was mostly just hot. He thought it kind of overwhelmed the meal. Maybe the tomato would have helped?     

The recipe made a ton o’ soup, even without the extra 14 oz, so we had it for lunch one day, then again with the meal, and there is still some left. Four servings, my ass!     



I have never deep-fried anything before. It just sounds so greasy and unappetizing and a waste of oil. I have read that if you do it right, at a hot enough temperature, then the food absorbs little oil. Hmm. When it came down to it, I just couldn’t do it. I ended up pan frying it, which might be just as bad, health-wise, but at least I didn’t waste three inches of oil.     

The recipe involved cutting the fish into chunks (which I didn’t do), salting, peppering, and cayenne peppering it, then dipping it into (butter)milk, and a mixture of corn meal and flour. Then it’s supposed to be served on a baguette, with lettuce, and schmear of sauce mixing equal parts whole grain mustard and mayonnaise.     

Lovely! And big! We shared one and have one left over.


We didn’t use baguettes–I made some grilled flat bread this weekend, and The Husband had made some fancy Julia Child sandwich bread, so we were breaded out. Since soup with meat is already heavy, we just made little catfish sliders using some of his sandwich bread. I was reluctant to try the sauce because– EW, mayonnaise– but it actually worked quite well. It was tasty!       



We’re not coleslaw fans. I just don’t see the allure, but at least this one didn’t have the murderous mayonnaise in it. The cabbage was mixed with some red onion, then tossed with sugar, apple cider vinegar, oil, Dijon mustard (again! with the Dijon mustard), and salt. I didn’t care for it on its own, as the apple taste was kind of predominate, but it worked really well with the spicy, spicy soup and the sammich. The Husband found it “palatable.”     

Could it be? Are we really going to like everything?!     


This was supposed to bring to mind Bananas Foster. Oh, wait. Was this supposed to be a Mardi Gras inspired meal? For Lent/Springtime?  Ha.     

Anyway, I love me some ‘nanas, and caramel sauce, so I was looking forward to this, even though I haven’t ever combined them. I can’t believe I didn’t have to add booze or ice cream to this recipe! Martha did note that an aged rum accompaniment would be appropriate. Unfortunately, we don’t have any of our favorite, Zaya.      

I toasted some pecans (love), and made a caramel sauce. I made half the recipe and it was way more than we needed for our dessert.     


The recipe, adapted from Dinner at Home: Dissolve 1/2 c sugar in 1/4 c water over med high heat, then boil until amber color, swirling from time to time. Then mix in 3/8 c heavy cream, remove from heat, and stir until smooth. Keep warm until ready.     

Then I just sliced up a banana, added some pecans and topped it with the caramel sauce. It was good, but then I remembered how much I had loved the French sea salt caramels I made last winter. I sprinkled some French sea salt into the sauce and HALLELUJAH! Damn, that was tasty!!!! Martha said to add a dollop of creme fraiche to the bowl but it didn’t need it.     

Lucky me, I have sauce left over. Hello, ice cream sundaes of my future!     


FINAL-FREAKING-LY!  After 21 meals, there has finally been a meal where we actually liked every damn thing I made. I feel triumphant and victorious. Can I quit now, while I am ahead?     

SOUP:  A-        


SLAW: B+     

DESSERT: A   (A+ with my modification for the sea salt addition)  

OVERALL, AS  A MEAL:           A   (!!!!)


2 Responses to “At Last! Flavor!”

  1. lsaspacey Says:

    About time, Martha!!!

  2. Kristin Says:

    Holy crap, just when I was beginning to think that Martha was the biggest fraud ever… I’m so glad that you guys finally got a good meal out of this little adventure!

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