Growing up in rural Mississippi, pho wasn't a meal that we had easy access to. Our little town had a few local diners, one Chinese buffet, one Mexican restaurant, and a small handful of fast food chains. I was actually oblivious to the delightfulness of pho until my 20's, when I moved to Jackson, MS. My first experience with homemade pho came only a few summers ago, while visiting my California gal pals in the Bay area. It was a great weekend packed with lots of outdoor adventures and lots of good food!
I recently had a run in with a mean little case of the winter crud. It kicked me out of commission for a bit, but I let my body fight the bug battle while I drifted in and out of snoozeland. During this wild rollercoaster ride between feverish sleep and reality, I dreamed of eating wonderful soup made with rich shiitake mushrooms in a velvety bisque of caramelized onions. So naturally, when I regained enough strength to get back into my kitchen, I made a big batch of bisque!
January 10th is a day that will make me smile for years to come! Last year on this day, my now fiancé and I were gallivanting around New Orleans. He had never visited this favorite city of mine, so I had a grand time showing him the sites and visiting with dear friends. On the last day of the trip, before heading to the airport, we took one last stroll around the French Quarter. As we passed through Jackson Square, where street musicians filled our ears with jazz and the sweet smell of beignets lingered in the air, my darlin' popped the question! It was the perfect day and we celebrated the memory this past weekend with a big ol' pot of etouffée! Cajun etouffée is usually made with just crawfish, but you will find the dish with shrimp being the star of the show as well. Since we were celebrating, I decided to make it with both!