Sixth Rule of Cooking Club

When doubling Cajun recipes, don’t double the cayenne.

The On On Gourmet Hash House Harriers met again Saturday night, this time at the home of Giacomo “Hercules” Mandriano, where we were joined by Giacomo’s brother, Washington DC refugee Giuseppe “Pastoso” Mandriano, hiding from the wrath of the Blizzard of 2016. I usually know what people’s names mean, but Pastoso was new to me so I looked it up. It means “mellow” in Italian. What an odd name. Anyway, here we are, posing for an Ellen DeGeneres-style group selfie:

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L to R: Magret de Canard, Ditalini deMenthe, Anitra Spezzatino, Manzo Spezzatino, Crouton deMenthe, Giuseppe “Pastoso” Mandriano, Giacomo “Hercules” Mandriano

Our theme was Cajun, specifically the cooking of the late chef Paul Prudhomme. Magret de Canard made shrimp, the Spezzatinos a cucumber salad and a jambalaya, the deMenthes pecan praline candies for dessert. The brothers Mandriano helped with the prep, while I chopped peppers, celery, and onions; as we have done before, everyone participated in the cooking.

A few photos (sorry, I forgot to take one of the shrimp, which we gobbled up as an appetizer).

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Ditalini’s pecan praline candies

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Chaos in the kitchen, pt I

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Anitra’s jambalaya

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Crouton chops!

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Chaos in the kitchen, pt II

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Dinner a la Paul Prudhomme


It was a fabulous dinner, and spicy too (see Rule #6). We marveled over Giacomo’s kitchen and utensil collection, the biggest and best we’ve encountered to date, and we collectively thank him for his hospitality.

The next meeting of the On On Gourmet Hash House Harriers will be in March. Our theme will be outdoor barbecue and grilling, using recipes from Bobby Flay. Ditalini and I are hosting, which is only right, since it is I, Crouton deMenthe, who invented the Fortress of Smoke™.

© 2016, Crouton deMenthe. All rights reserved.


About Crouton deMenthe  Amateur cook and barbecue fanatic.


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