Gumbo is one of dishes that helped make the Creole-Cajun cuisine of Louisiana so famous. We live across the border in Texas and can't get enough of this traditional Cajun version featuring okra, shrimp, spicy seasonings and the holy trinity of onions, green peppers and celery. This recipe calls for seafood, but you could also use chicken, duck or sausage. —Ruth Aubey, San Antonio, Texas
I used to work at a restaurant that served a variation of chicken with penne pasta. I didn't know how easy it would be to make until I gave it a shot at home - now it's always a requested meal around my house. —Rusty Koll, Elmwood, Illinois
I have lived in this close-knit community all my life and enjoy cooking Cajun dishes, especially those with seafood. Along with a green salad and garlic bread, this dish is great for family gatherings. The recipe can easily be doubled to serve a larger group, and if you’d like it less spicy, remove the seeds from the jalapeno before chopping it. —Carolyn Lejeune, Welsh, Louisiana
I found this super-quick shrimp recipe in a magazine years ago and have changed it to suit my taste. To speed things along, I cook the rice in the microwave, using chicken broth instead of water. I’ve only had compliments whenever I’ve served it. –Jean Gauthier, Rives Junction, Michigan
For a sweet and spicy meal, I serve shrimp and vegetables in a honey, lemon juice, pepper sauce alongside dressed-up grits. It's my fresh spin on the Southern classic. —Judith King, Madisonville, Tennessee
While living in Canada, I sampled this colorful dish at a neighbor's. The following Christmas, I served it instead of my traditional turkey, and I received numerous compliments on it. I frequently substitute shrimp or sausage for the chicken...or add all three.
-Bonnie Brann, Pasco, Washington
With its flavorful marinade, Julee Wallberg’s flank steak makes a succulent meal. “I received this recipe from a friend, and it’s been a family favorite ever since.”—Julee Wallberg, Salt Lake City, Utah