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Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

Jul 31, 2011

Jamby Queen Kills

Who died and made me the Jambalaya Queen? Seriously, I’d like to know.  I have never been to New Orleans, don’t particularly care for crawfish and for dang sure don’t want it in a pie—oh, and I’ve never eaten file` gumbo. (Side note: for some crazy reason I do know that file` is made from the ground leaves of the sassafras tree, but what’s a sassafras tree?) Just because I can sing the chorus to Jambalaya and the only other famous Cajun song there is (Diggy Liggy Lo) should not qualify me to make kick ass jambalaya…but for some reason, I do.
Browning the Andouille sausage
      The first time I made it I read through about five recipes, closed the books and just winged it. I'm happy to report it didn’t suck. 
     Over the years my jambalaya reputation has preceded me and I’m still not sure what my secret is. Twice, The Big Guy and I have won tailgate party competitions doing Cajun cuisine.  For his part, he put on a white chefs jacket and stood over a pot of boiling peanut oil and watched a bird turn black while swigging Crown and ginger. I did the other stuff…read: EVERYTHING!  Besides the jamby, we (read: I) cooked up some deep fried alligator tail (tastes like chicken), sweet potato biscuits and pecan praline cheesecake. If that wasn't enough to guarantee us a win, we stoned the judges and voting public with Swamp Water.  Looked like anti-freeze, tasted like…hmmm…anti-freeze. Yeah we killed em!  But that's another deposition, ummm, I mean story. 
Simmering the tomatos, bay leaves and seasonings
     Anyhow, so last Thanksgiving I  made a batchif you want to call it that, and it got totally out of control on me. By the time I had the whole thing put together it weighed about one hundred and forty pounds and filled up my big turkey roaster pan, which is about the size of a FEMA trailer and holds the equivalent of a 2.5 kids and a crack whore. 
     Fast forward:  The Big Guy wanted jambalaya on the 4th of July, which was when we  were having a BBQ for about 30 people.  I wasn’t sure I could make that small of a batch, but decided to write down the recipe as I was making it.  And yesssss, it killed!  Somebody must have died and made me Jamby Queen.   
The rice & shrimp join the party
 Go the the "Sides" tab at the top of this page to view my Killer Jambalaya

Jul 20, 2011

The Fountain of Youth Blows

Old Ponce, Big & I
The Fountain of Youth is a Rip-off!!!  Gasp! Yes, you heard me right.
     The Big Guy and I were in St. Augustine, FL recently so duh, we went to the Fountain of Youth. You know the one; the one that Ponce de Leon went in search of in 1513.  Well people, he never found it because HAH! it’s not in Florida! Everyone knows that right? Here’s a News Flash for ya: Florida is full of Old People who look old so obviously there is no fountain of youth there. Old Ponce diddy Leon himself missed it by miles because the real Fountain of Youth is in Bimini,  which The Big Guy and I did not know until after we coughed up ten bucks apiece.  It was only after Andrew Jackson was safely tucked away in a cash drawer that we were informed that this wasn’t the actual Fountain of Youth, and that they (the Park peoples people) didn’t even know where the real one was. WHAT? They took our money as our new frown lines were forming. 
     We were there so we figured we may as well drink the water that was trickling from the faux fountain. The pipsqueak park attendant lied and told us that it was from the same aquifer as the original fountain of youth…blah, blah, blah. I’m no aquifer genius but I know that Bimini and St. A do not even share a border, much less an aquifer. Who did she think I was? Regardless, I went ahead and drank the stinky, rotten egg-tasting water and hoped for the best. Big followed suit because in the dim light of the diorama he thought it was maybe working on me.  (Authors note: It wasn’t’…skip the fountain and head straight for the botox.)
Cheers! Here's to Youth!
     St Augustine is the oldest city in the U.S. and is quite beautiful.  Restaurants are abundant and the shopping is unique and trendy for such an old city.  The Columbia Restaurant, serving Spanish food with a Cuban flair is not to be missed. I’m still kicking myself in the butt for not ordering the “1905 Salad”, but there were some blue crab cakes with a passion fruit aioli and a mahi-mahi Cubana sandwhich, that was calling my name.
   Server Making 1905 Salad Columbia Restaurant St. Armand's CircleServer Making 1905 Salad Columbia Restaurant St. Armand's CircleNot only was the food great, but the sangria was the 2nd best I’ve ever had in my entire life! (Authors note again: By Florida standards I'm basically pretty young, so that may not be sayin much).
    Well, crap I’ve gotten off track…back to the Fountain of Youth.  I say skip the tourist trap, take your ten bucks, add about fifty more to it and then go on down the road to the Alligator Farm where you can zipline over the gators.  Now, that you can be guaran-damn-teed will take a few years off ya!

Here is a picture of the 1905 Salad, which they make tableside and which sadly I didn't order.  It's now on my "To Do Before I Die" list, so some day before I get too old to chew my own food, I'll be going back to St. A to have one.  (Click on the link below this picture for the recipe.) 
Columbia Restaurant's classic 1905 Salad has been a favorite for generations of diners.

Click on this link for the recipe for the Columbia's 1905 Salad.

Jul 14, 2011

When The Dust Settled

I’ll admit it...this is a shameless and blatant attempt to sell a book. Not just any book, my book, a book that has taken me ten years to write. 

I'm the one on the right, the one with the bad haircut.
My sister is the cute, sad looking one with good hair.
     I first began writing this in 2001, shortly after my mom died. Sierra was in college and The Big Guy was traveling a lot, either hauling Savannah to rodeos or trucking, while I was left at home holding down the fort and running the business. It was during all those long, lonely nights sitting at home alone that I began this story.  
     I never intended to publish it; it was merely a therapeutic way for me to cope with my mother’s death and to examine what my future would look like without her in it. I soon learned that I had really lost both of my parents on that horrible day in June. My father could barely go on living without my mother in his life. I mean who was going to make the coffee and dump the ashtrays?  I ended up grieving for him as much as I did for her, which pretty much made me an unbearable, miserable mess to live with. Of course I didn’t realize that at the time. I thought that I was just having a really hard time coping with Mom’s death. Well, you'll just have to read the book to get the rest of the story.
That's me opening the first box.
It's an emotional moment...
I'm not sure if I am going to cry or throw-up
     Anyway, the book is out and for about the same price as a fairly decent bottle of wine, or a paltry $17.94 (that price includes shipping) you can own a copy of this book. Order it through the website at, e-mail me at tamaralittrell or contact me through the "Comment" section of this Blog, and I will send you a copy. (By the way, ALL copies are signed by yours truly.) Also, I am donating $1 from the sale of each book to the Kelly Schreibeis Memorial Foundation, which you know is a cause that is near and dear to my heart.   
     If you are downtown Sheridan you can pick one up at Sheridan Stationary or Barbwire Living, and then on Saturday, August 6th, Sheridan Stationary will be hosting a book signing for me. If you are in the area stop by and say hey.
     If you have already ordered one I want to say THANK YOU, I truly appreciate it...more than you can possibly ever know.  
Yep, that's the first copy!

Jul 2, 2011

Nacho Masterpiece

I'll admit that I am a fairly competent cook and that I've been known to create a few recipes that are definate keepers, some could even be considered a work of genius. Ok, I'm done bragging. This creation walked that fine line between delectable and disaster. 
      It seemed like a pretty good idea at the time…I was calling it Stuffed Nachos.  Think about it.  Stuff a chip with melty cheese and then top it off with an amazing fresh, fruity salsa. Brilliant, I know!  In theroy.
     This is when I will admit that I have been known to beat a pretty good idea to death. I mean, Leonardo da Vinci knew the exact moment when the Mona Lisa became a masterpiece, which was right before he gave her eyebrows. Michelangelo knew that his statue of David was finished before he got around to putting clothes on him.  My point is this: some people know when they have created a masterpiece and when it's time to quit. I am not one of those people.
     But back to the nachos...I had some wonton wrappers that needed to be used up so I grated up some sharp cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses, mixed in a generous amount of diced green chilies, a little cumin, and some chili powder. 
Then I filled the wonton wrappers up all pretty and sent them to the hot tub, where they fried up all crispy and had that dab of cheesey heaven that was just begging for it. Because I also had a pineapple that needed to be used up I made a pineapple salsa and served it with them. 
     I gotta admit they were dang good! Crispy on the outside, tasty cheese melting on the inside and then that cool, fresh fruit salsa on top. Ahhh, (sigh) I could almost see them in a picture in a cookbook. My life long taste tester, who by the way is under paid and over fed, gave them The Big Guy Stamp of Approval on the first bite. I’ll also admit I should have stopped right there and called it a day, happy with my little piece de resistance. But no.
     This is the part where I beat that good idea to death. I thought if they were that goodhot out of the grease with all that melty cheese inside, just think how good they would be if I popped them in the oven and topped them with even more cheese and then served them like real know, with some beans, jalapenos, and diced tomatoes. I would calld call them “Loaded Stuffed Nachos,” when Bon Appeitit called me for the recipe.  Mmmm, just sounds good, huh? Well this is where it got ugly. 
      Those poofy, crispy, triangles fell like a soufflĂ© and the cheese that I had topped them with pretty much turned to grease, turning them into a soggy, limp mess.  Sorry, but I can’t share that picture with you because I was busy trying to put out the grease fire that the paper towels had ignited and honetsly, it just didn't seem like a very good photo op at the time.(Authors note: fire on a boat is a BIG no-no.)
     So go ahead and make the nachos and the salsa, because they were delizioso, but trust me when I tell you that it's not necessary to dress em up any fancier. There was probably a pretty good reason why David isn't wearing clothes.