Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 21, 1999

DEBORAH CORRAO / L’Observateur / August 21, 1999

Gay Duhon of Paulina learned to cook at her mother’s side growing up in Garyville. Since that time her interest in cooking has developed into apassion.

Duhon, 38, says while other people read novels she reads cookbooks.

She already knew how to cook when she met and married her husband Doug, but he shares her interest in the kitchen.

As a child she learned how to cook the basics from her mother, like beans, spaghetti and vegetables. Now she pores through magazines and cookbooksfor new recipes.

Duhon has parlayed her flare for food to appearances on public television cooking shows at WYES-12 in New Orleans as well as an appearance on a cooking show with renowned Chef John Folse on the public television station in Baton Rouge.

“It was so exciting cooking with John Folse,” she says. “He made me feelreally comfortable.”She prepared her Shrimp and Crabmeat Potato Casserole for Folse. Andwhat did the chef thinK? “He loved it,” she says.

Duhon has made three appearances on WYES during their pledge drives, preparing seafood, pasta and a casserole. Her recipes appear in cookbookspublished as a fund-raiser for the station.

When she’s not in the kitchen, Duhon holds a full-time job as a teacher’s aide at Riverside Academy where her 15-year-old son attends school.

She and her husband Doug, along with her mother, Penny Vicknair, and a friend took first place in the Seafood Challenge at the Riverside Academy Spring Fest this year.

In her spare time Duhon says she loves to fish with her husband, walk and shop.

The Duhons have been collecting recipes and hope to compile a cookbook of their own someday.

Here are several of Duhon’s favorite recipes:

Shrimp and Crabmeat Potato Casserole 3-5 lbs. peeled and cubed potatoes1-2 lbs. shrimp and crabmeat1 package Velveeta Cheese 1 stick margarine 1 small onion, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped 1/2 cup chopped shallots 3/4 cup parsley 1 or 2 tbsp. liquid crab boilsalt and black pepper or Tony’s seasonings small carton sour cream

Boil potatoes in water with salt and about 2 tsp. liquid crab boil. Cubepotatoes and set aside. Melt margarine and saute vegetables until tender. Add shrimp and cook until pink. Add crabmeat, salt and pepper and about 1or 2 tbsp. liquid crab boil. Add all of this to potatoes and mix well. AddVelveeta that has been cubed and stir until cheese is melted over low heat. Add sour cream and mix well. Place in large casserole dish and topwith cheddar cheese. Bake in 375 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes.This mixture may be stuffed into bell peppers or large baked potato shells.

Nacho Chicken Casserole 1/2 stick margarine 1 chopped onion 1 chopped bell pepper 1 lb. boneless chicken breast sliced in strips8 oz. mushroom slices1 lb. Velveeta cut in small pieces1 can chopped Rotel tomatoes, drained 1 small can sliced black olives 1 tomato chopped in small pieces 1/2 cup green onions 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 1 bag nacho chips

Melt margarine and add onions, mushrooms, bell pepper and chicken. Sauteabout 15 minutes. Add Rotel tomatoes and Velveeta and stir well. Cookuntil cheese melts. Place nacho chips in a 9×13 dish and pour chickenmixture over the chips. Top with black olives and green onions, tomatoesand mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or untilcheese melts.

Chicken-Shrimp Tetrazzini 3 or 4 boneless chicken breasts 1/2 lb. shrimp or 14 1/2 oz. can of shrimp6 oz. vermicelli1/2 cup onion 1 tsp. minced garlic1/2 cup green pepper 1 cup celery 1/4 cup margarine 1 tsp. parsley1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 tsp. lemon juicesalt and pepper to taste (may use Tony’s) 1 cup grated Parmesan and Romano cheese 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese 1 small can sliced mushrooms

Melt margarine. Add shrimp, chicken ( cut into bite-sized pieces), onions,peppers, celery and garlic. Saute about 15 minutes. Add lemon juice,mushroom soup, Worcestershire and sliced mushrooms. Continue tosimmer over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and addParmesan and Romano cheese. Stir well. Add vermicelli that has beencooked according to package instructions. Pour into greased 2 1/2 quartcasserole dish. Top with mozzarella cheese. Best to let sit for one hourbefore baking. Bake in 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

Ice Cream Sandwich Surprise 12 ice cream sandwiches 12 oz. Cool WhipStrawberry syrup Chocolate syrup Cherries and pecans

Unwrap 6 ice cream sandwiches and arrange closely on tray to form bottom layer of cake. Top with half of Cool Whip and drizzle syrups overCool Whip. Unwrap the rest of the ice cream sandwiches and form nextlayer. Top with Cool Whip and drizzle more of the syrup over this layer. Decorate top with cherries and pecans. Immediately place in freezer untilready to serve.

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