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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mama Masha's kitchen - fun with andouille

For those of you, foodies, who don't know - andouille is a kind of spicy smoked sausage. It originated in France, was promptly adopted by the sausage lovers in Germany, and then brought over to Louisiana, where it fit right in with the Cajun cuisine.

Good andouille should be used sparingly, if you are not into spicy things, but it's definitely worth including on your shopping list - precisely because a little of it goes such a long way.

In addition to the more traditional uses, like jambalaya, paella, or black beans and rice, andouille can be used in less obvious ways. For example, if you like spaghetti with tomato sauce, consider finely chopping some andouille and adding it to the sauce as you warm it up. We've done this both with a store-bought sauce and with the home-made variety - and both gained a whole new dimension with that bit of spicy goodness in them.

Another recipe I really enjoyed making up was to core and cut two large bell peppers in half, lengthwise; pre-cook some orzo, and saute some finely chopped onions, andouille, and mushrooms. Put the bell peppers into a casserole dish, mix orzo, onions, andouille, and mushrooms and scoop them into the bell pepper halves. Shred some sharp cheddar on top of each, cover and bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake another 20 minutes.

The last but not the least (and probably my favorite) is sauteing andouille with onions and mushrooms, and adding it to mac n' cheese. It could be store-bought mac n' cheese, or home-made. I particularly recommend trying it with one of the incredible recipes from The Mac+Cheese Cookbook by Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade.

Happy cooking!

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