I think it's fascinating to look at the history of a family by the food that they eat. I find all food fascinating (that's why I'm fat), but especially in a time-line sort of way.
I grew up with regular old Southern food. If Paula Deen has cooked it on her show, then I've eaten it at my grandmother or mother's table. Our food was good, no doubt, but not very spicy. My great-grandparents grew one jalapeno every year, planted strategically far from the regular garden, and we were warned. "Those are hot!!" My great-uncle ate an entire jalapeno once at Thanksgiving. We were sure he was in some sort of drunken stupor and didn't know what he was doing.
And, as always, in a family, things slowly changed. My mother got remarried to someone who had recently lived in south Mississippi, home of all things hot sauce. Someone introduced me to eating fried chicken with Texas Pete (a combination straight from heaven). And, I married someone that thinks Mexican food is the holy grail.
So, I learned to spice it up. And, to like it. And, that's how we came about andouille.
My mother first introduced me to this dish last summer. I love eggplant, and this may be my favorite way to eat it. My husband does not love eggplant, but he really loves this dish. So, if you are an eggplant lover or not, you need to try this dish. It's really good. And it's very simple, perfect for a weeknight meal.
Eggplant and Andouille
1 T olive oil
1 large eggplant, peeled and diced--on sale--$1
1 onion, diced--approx $0.30
2 celery stalks, diced--approx $0.25
1/2 bell pepper, diced--on sale $0.99/lb--$0.50
1 cup diced tomato--on sale $1.99/lb--$1
1/2 pound andouille, diced--$1.75
Hot rice, for serving--$0.30
Saute onion, andouille, celery, and bell pepper in olive oil until vegetables are soft and andouille has rendered some of its fat. Season liberally with cajun seasoning (usually around 1-2 teaspoons). Add eggplant and tomato, with enough water to have a stewy consistency (around 1 cup). Cover, turn heat to low, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until eggplant is cooked through. Serve over cooked rice.
As always, check out $5dinners.com for more meal time inspiration!