Andouille Sausage and Roasted Poblano Peppers

“Sweetness. Saltiness. Sourness. Bitterness. Every delicious bite you’ve ever tasted has been a result of these four tastes coming together on your taste buds. We taste them as individual notes, and in concert.”

The Flavor Bible

Poblano Andouille

This particular meal is a symphony. Not only in flavors, but in textures and all other senses. I’ve started to think about how food is always improved by creating a better balance of tastes and textures. What’s better than a salty, crunchy tortilla chip? A salty, crunchy tortilla chip with a glob of cool, smooth, slightly spicy guacamole.

The Flavor Bible offers the following formula:


Taste being those four feelings experienced by the taste buds. Mouthfeel being the texture experienced by the rest of the mouth. Aroma being what the nose perceives. And X-Factor being everything else you experience from the dish (visual, mental, emotional, spiritual).

But back to the almost-musical andouille and roasted poblano recipe I found at Bitchin Camero

The plate is covered with cold, crunchy lettuce and bitter cilantro. It’s drizzled with olive oil. On top of that is a smoky roasted poblano pepper (soft, slightly spicy, but also a little bitter). Then we put a layer of soft brown rice mixed with salsa (spicy). On top of that is a warm medley of andouille sausage (salty, meaty and spicy), corn (sweet), onions (sweet) and salsa (spicy). Then we put chunks of quesadilla cheese (warm, creamy) and sour cream (cold, creamy). We took a bite, and instantly remembered what we forgot: a good squeeze of fresh lime (sour).

Every bite of this dish has the four tastes and a varied mouthfeel. You can hear the lettuce crunch in your mouth. You see several colors on the plate. You sniffle a little from the piquancy. And the kitchen smells great for hours.

I had leftovers probably four times during the week, and each time my tastebuds were equally happy. Make your tastebuds happy too. Make this dish.

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Gumbo Pot

This is the meal inspired by a sausage and a song. When the campus meat market started offering andouille sausage, I knew we had to make gumbo. Then our friend Kat discovered a song listed under the genre “gumbo funk,” and we had a soundtrack.

We cooked up a big ol’ pot of gumbo for Michael’s parents when we went to visit, and maybe Michael’s mom just loves us, but she couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. I can’t say I’ve had a ton of gumbo in my day, but this was the best one I’ve tasted. The vegetables maintained their form and taste, instead of becoming a pot of mush. The chicken, sausage and shrimp each brought their own flavors too.

The best canned tomatoes available.  Don't even try to argue otherwise.
According to Michael, the best canned tomatoes available. Don't even try to argue otherwise.

This Food Network recipe just called for chicken and andouille, but I felt like there should be some seafood. You can do scallops too. The only other change we made to the recipe was adding a combination of Cajun spices to the flour in which we dredged the chicken. In addition to salt and pepper, I added paprika, chili powder, celery salt and oregano. If you have a packaged blend, that works too.

Gumbo Dish

Change whatever you want in the recipe, but make sure you have some gumbo funk on the playlist.

Britt and Kat Gumbo

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Get your sexy on with Nutella

There’s something seductive about the chocolate hazelnut spread, Nutella. Just say it, Nutellaaaaahhhhh. It’s no wonder the LA Times focused on the stuff for its Valentine’s edition food section.

Photo by Jordan Smith

Luckily I’d gotten my Nutella fix before seeing the Times’ centerpiece on Wednesday. Who knows how long ago (we’re talking 2 years probably), I saw Giada de Laurentiis envelop Nutella in wonton squares and then fry them golden brown. She called them chocolate-hazelnut ravioli, but she would, of course.

For no good reason, it took me until this Monday to make these luscious little pockets of chocolate. They are indeed as amazing as you’d want deep fried Nutella to be.

Photo by Jordan Smith

If you’re not good at making desserts — or even if you are — and you want to make an impression on Feb. 14 — or any day — this recipe is as easy as your Valentine will be after trying one.

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Pork Preview

Pork Preview

I’m documenting the final days of these pigs as part of a photo project for my capstone. I know that sounds disgusting, but I

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am trying to be an informed carnivore, and that means gaining an understanding of how the animals we eat are raised, kept, slaughtered, and then butchered. I always think its funny when people who eat meat still get squeamish when confronted with the idea that it was a living being with a tail and tongue (which is delicious, by the way, tongue tacos, omg so good).

This photo was taken during a class taught at MU. These students will examine the skinned bodies of the slaughtered pigs next week. I will be at the slaughtering tomorrow morning with my camera, 8am sharp.

I will probably just write about the experience, as I’m not quite sure what to expect of myself. I pass out at the sight of my own blood, but not others’, so I should be ok in that sense, but emotionally, it should be a trip, to say the least. I will refrain from posting grotesque and gruesome photos of the process on this blog. This is not the place for that kind of discussion, and I feel the meaning and context would be lost. Also, just to clarify, I am not doing this to expose some great cruelty, I feel these animals have been treated quite well, considering the circumstances.

pork preview 2