This recipe is easy and delicious. Our friend Sunny made it for us as a gift. Three pounds of pork stew chunks that you brown and throw in the crock pot. Then add one big can of green enchiladas sauce, one big can of whole green chili’s, and one medium size jar of green salsa. Serve with rice, sour cream, tortilla chips and cheese.

On my way to the airport I decided to have some Cajun gumbo. And I had the best I have ever tasted. I asked the waiter why it was so good and he said, “Well we got people back in that kitchen who have been making it ever day for years.” I beg to differ. Cooking comes down to two things: quality of ingredients and the correct application of heat. I think they take their time making this gumbo. And they use fresh veggies and seafood. Well done (and that fried oyster po’ boy sandwich was also the best I have ever had).

I spent two days in Monroe and I asked a local where the place to eat was. He steered me to an amazing restaurant on the river called Warehouse No. 1. Props to exec chef Mac Casteel and head chef Jeff Fontana for an amazing crab and corn bisque. They spiced it just right so the crab flavor shines through. Four out of four ladles. I followed it up with an entree of amazing shrimp and grits. If you make the bisque at home you are going to want to use fish stock, milk, and heavy cream. Trader Joe’s sells some excellent canned crab in the refrigerator case.

In a hurry, I grabbed a seat at the bar at Hillstone in San Francisco by the cruise ship pier. Tiffany, a super friendly bartender, talked me into having the red beans and rice soup. “Really?” I said. “Trust me,” she said. It was a-maz-ing. Culinary manager Diana Lachica threw in some perfect slivers of smoky sausage. Four out of four ladles.

Back in 1990 a client took to me a Cajun restaurant called Ralph and Kacoos. I fell in love with the cuisine. I even took a workshop from famous Chef Joe at The NewOrleans School of Cooking. Glad to say Ralph and Kacoos still has it. I had both the Shrimp Stew and Crayfish Etoufee. The secret is the trinity — a combo of onions, peppers and celery–and the roux. Shout out to manager Justin. Four out of four ladles.

My daughter Karla saves bones and veggie scraps to make a weekly bone broth stock in the Crockpot. Her husband Jacob dubbed it garbage soup. I have a big pot cooking right now. Our dog loves a little with her kibble.

This is the best lamb stew I have ever had. Naturally they make it with Guinness. The Guinness Brewery is the number one tourist attraction in Dublin town. We visited in fall of 2017 and plan to return in April 2019. I have made it at home with lamb, beef, and turkey thigh meat.