Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Garontee it's gonna taste good!

New Orleans recently wrapped up it's 5th annual Great American Seafood Cook Off.

As one of the nation’s most prestigious culinary events, the Great American Seafood Cook-Off seeks out top-level chefs from across the country to compete and prepare seafood dishes using sustainable and domestic seafood, showcasing the best culinary products from their state.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued a challenge to the governors of all 50 states to send their most prized chef to compete in the cook-off.

They're also having a contest for us less than savy super chefs. You visit the website and vote for your favorite recipe using domestic, sustainable seafood and enter to win a "Trip to New Orleans" prize package including two Southwest Airline roundtrip tickets, hotel accommodations, dining experiences and more.

The top 5 finalists are from Colorado, Maryland, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. You'd think that being from MS, that's the chef I'd vote for, regardless of the dish, but it didn't quite work out that way.

I'm not particularly fond of fish. Now I enjoy a good Mahi Mahi every now and then, but my seafood preferences lean more toward crab and shrimp. But it's not because his recipe is a fish dish that I didn't vote for the MS chef. It's because the likelyhood of me (or any average cook) being able to pull it off in the standard home kitchen was slim to none!

My pick was the Shrimp and Andouille Cassoulet by Louisiana chef Brian Landry. He's kind of cute too! But of course that had no influence on my decision whatsoever. No ma'am. Not only does his dish look absolutely DELISH.. the recipe is something I could actually follow and possibly pull off! The only thing I'd change is using a veggie sausage substitute. Oh and probably half the amount of creole seasoning. I'm such a sissy when it comes to spicy foods.

The more I look at the picture and recipe the more I'm thinking I may actually try it. Although I normally buy my shrimp pre-cooked and bagged at the grocery store, I pass half a dozen fresh seafood places around town on a regular basis so I might have to support the local fishermen and pick me up a few pounds of fresh smelly raw shrimp and actually follow the directions on a recipe for once.

Click on over to and check out the 5 finalist recipes and vote for your chance to win the "Trip to New Orleans" prize package!

Sponsored by Lousiana Seafood

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