Dec 2, 2013

Ugly {and Cajun Smothered Potatoes}

Down here we don't say something is rude or impolite.

We say that it's ugly.

A mother might tell her child:
"stop being ugly"     "don't be ugly"    "that's ugly"    "you were ugly to your brother"

We might say:
"you don't have to act ugly"   "he acted ugly to his mamma"   "let me stop being so ugly"

Cajun Smothered Potatoes

They say beauty is only skin deep.  Under that skin, some people have black, ugly little hearts.

This past summer I was snooping around through my blog traffic sources.  For kicks.  And boy did I get a kick.  An ugly kick.

One of my blog pictures was re-pinned to a Pinterest board.  A board titled along the lines of misunderstanding the idea behind Pinterest.  (I'm trying not to be ugly.  Specifics withheld)

An ugly comment was included.  Based on a few of this person's comments, it's safe to say that she may be scatologically fixated.

My picture and the blog post are from 2008.  Long before Pinterest.  It is also not something I ever pinned.  It has been shared & pinned often.  By other people.

Because they liked what they saw.

So why did this bother me so much?  Sure.  It hurt my feelings.  It was embarrassing.  But there's more to it than that.

The fact that this dish, Cajun Rice & Gravy, was added to someone's pinboard of fails...along with the comment "hot diarrhea vat" cuts at my culture.

People outside of Louisiana think that our (Louisianians) favorite dishes are gumbos and etouffees. Jambalayas and courtbouillons.  Because these things are romantic and exotic sounding.  Mysterious.  Enchanting.

It is certainly true that we love these things and cook them in our homes.  Yet if you were to ask a Cajun which dish he/she would most want to eat, it's very likely to be a simple rice and gravy.

No.  It isn't beautiful.   It isn't meant to be stunning restaurant food stacked high and (up)tight.  It's a dish that can be prepared economically.  It can feed many for not a lot.  It's real food that feeds hard-working people.  It's a dish that, while ugly, reminds everyone of their mammas and maw-maws.

I'd argue that some of the ugliest, messiest foods are the best.

Case in point: drippy roast beef po boys.

Another case in point: Cajun Smothered Potatoes
Cajun Smothered Potatoes

These potatoes are cooked down with smoked sausage (in my case, andouille) and onion, creating a flavorful sauce.  The potatoes drink up the "sauce" as they cook.  Leaving you with soft, almost mashed potatoes studded with savory bits of smoked sausage and onion.

It isn't pretty.
In fact, it's pretty damned ugly.
But it's also pretty damned good.

Cajun Smothered Potatoes | Ms. enPlace

So pin this to your ugly Pinterest board.
I have a feeling people will know what's what.

Another version of Smothered Potatoes

Print It!

Cajun Smothered Potatoes

2 Tbsp bacon drippings
½ lb Andouille cut into half moons
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 Irish potatoes, cut into 1 “ cubes
1/2-3/4  tsp salt, or to taste
½ tsp black pepper
about ½ cup water

Heat bacon drippings in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the Andouille and onions.  After about 5-7 minutes when the onions have softened and start to brown, stir in the garlic, potatoes, salt, and pepper.   Sauté for about 7-8 minutes.  Add ½ cup water and cover.  Lower to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add more water during cooking if potatoes start to stick.

linking with:
Memories by the Mile
Feeding BigThe 21st Century Housewife Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Full Time MamaMiz Helen’s Country Cottage
 photo SimpleSupperTuesday_zps93ff0e49.jpg
My Turn for usfinal smallerversion3 zpsf46d0aef


  1. Amen sister! There is no reason to be ugly at all. My Mother always said if you can't say anything nice, say nothing at all! Good food taste good, it doesn't always win a beauty contest. Your potatoes look and sound delicious! Can't wait to try them.

  2. I love these potatoes they are a meal in themselves.

  3. Hello! I am stopping by from In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. I had to check out this recipe because I love the spiciness and down-homeness--which will definitely satisfy my hungry crowd. Thanks for sharing!--Deb (

  4. Some folks are just "plain ugly" This is a soulful and comforting way to enjoy potatoes.


  5. I must agree with Velva - some people are just "plain ugly".
    I I don't like something I can say it politely and I actually don't have to say it at all!

  6. reason to be ugly! (love that saying)
    I love ALL regional cooking, so I'm glad that didn't stop you from carrying on with what you do best! The potatoes look great!

  7. Oh, Michelle, I'm so sorry that you've had such and ugly experience. Unfortunately, the internet doesn't always bring out the best in everyone, and there are just some downright nasty people out there.

    Your potatoes sound amazing and they look fantastic too - certainly don't deserve being labelled ugly. I'm going to try these next time we have Sunday night roast chicken.

  8. Yep, there are some crazy, hateful people out there. Cowards, who post ugly things behind the safety of the internet. Thank God for people like you....kinda helps balance it out (thank you!).

    Your potatoes, by the way, are a plate of gorgeous, golden, sausage-y goodness. :)

    Love, Joy

  9. Michelle,
    I've missed you. Sorry it's been crazy in my life. Sorry I missed your party. I will be there next week. I pinned these potatoes, they sound delicious.
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

  10. Yum, yum, yummy! If some consider those ugly, that's fine, I'll take their portion!
    Thanks for sharing at the Blog Hop Blitz!

  11. I just love your smothered potatoes Michelle, they look delicious! Hope you have a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  12. These look SO good, and the perfect side dish for almost any meal!
    Thanks so much for sharing with us at DDT!

  13. I am so sorry that there are people working hard at being ugly. This sound delicious to me.

  14. Anonymous12/12/2013

    Hurt people hurt others. I have always tried to remember that when someone has thrown nasty behavior and language my way. The potatoes look delicious to me. I am going to give them a try when I see my son in Atlanta next week. I am also signing up for you blog ASAP.

  15. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Have a great weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  16. Anonymous3/19/2014

    Hi, I read your story and I agree with you. Also I love smothered potatoes and they look good to me, that is why I pinned then. I grew up on them and the only two exceptions is that they were done without meat and bell peppers were added. I as o don't think rice and gravy looks ugly. It looks good to me and maybe the person that was being ugly don't know that you can add as little or as much gravy as you want. So if she thought it was wet, all she has to do is add just a little to get the taste of the gravy and rice. A lot of people can't make good gravy, so maybe that was her problem as well. Than j s for sharing your recipes. When I was growing up, the use to say the same thing about being/acting ugly (smile). Just remember, everybody did like Jesus...


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