Archive for » January, 2011 «

Red Beans and Rice

I’m probably one of only a few home cooks who has ever reduced a recipe for Red Beans and Rice to writing.  Most recipes like these are created and passed on stove-side by moms, dads, grandparents and other relatives.  And while the general ingredients and instructions are neatly tucked away in their memory banks, the specifics rarely make it to paper.  That’s typical of many family recipes.  But as I’ve said before, it’s important to get these culinary treasures down on paper so your kids and grandkids can at least have a roadmap to follow when they’re ready to start [ ... ]

Sausage and Spinach Soup

It’s just my luck that I want to talk soup when, for the first time in over two months, the mercury’s rising close to 64 degrees.  But I’m dishing out this recipe anyway, because we all know winter’s far from over.  And if you’re like me, you’ll jump at the chance to prepare an easy and comforting pot of soup regardless of the temperature.  Besides being easy, this soup is also satisfying, hearty and healthy.  Its brothy base is enriched with plenty of turkey Italian sausage, spinach and tomatoes.  A dusting of Parmesan cheese at the end brings all of [ ... ]
Category: Main Dishes, Soups  Tags:  3 Comments

Baked Mashed Potatoes

Do you know what I love more than mashed potatoes?  Baked Mashed Potatoes!  That’s not our family’s official name for them.  Come to think of it, we don’t have an official name.  We simply call it “mom’s mashed potatoes.”  Our entire clan knows what that refers to:  creamed potatoes spiked with tiny bits of chopped onions, blanketed with lots of cheddar cheese and baked until irresistibly gooey.  What sets this recipe apart from the rest is the fresh, chopped yellow onions we fold into the potatoes.  The subtle crunch and burst of pungent flavor really makes this family favorite stand [ ... ]
Category: Side Dishes, Vegetables  Tags:  4 Comments

Spinach, Crabmeat and Brie Soup

Just the other day, I was flipping through an old cookbook when out fell a recipe from the food section of the Times-Picayune, New Orleans’ daily newspaper.  The clipping, which obviously had a few years on it, was a recipe for Crabmeat & Brie Soup from The Dakota, a suburban New Orleans restaurant.  I had a vague recollection of that recipe and a similar one involving brie from Flagons A Wine & Bar Bistro.  (Flagons was another great New Orleans restaurant that closed many years ago.)  I remember wanting to borrow a couple of ideas from these two recipes to [ ... ]

Broiled Steelhead Trout With Horseradish Sauce

Are you familiar with steelhead trout?  I stumbled upon it by mistake and what a wonderful mistake it was.  Several months ago, I ran into BJ’s Wholesale Club (one of our local warehouse chains) to pick up a few things.  In my haste, I grabbed what I thought was salmon.  It wasn’t until I got home that I realized I had three pounds of steelhead trout on my hands.  Steelhead trout?  Now what? I ran a quick search on Google and found that steelhead trout is the seagoing cousin of rainbow trout.  But unlike its landlocked, freshwater relative, these babies migrate [ ... ]

King Cake

Today is January 6, 2011.  The Twelfth Night.  The Feast of the Epiphany.  Little Christmas.  King’s Day.  It commemorates the Three Wise Men’s visit to the Baby Jesus on the twelfth night following his birth.  In New Orleans, today marks the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of the carnival season.  This is also the City’s first official day for King Cake sales. King Cakes, which were originally prepared to honor the Magi’s journey, are circular or oval shaped pastries braided with cinnamon-sugar and topped with white fondant icing and tons of purple, green and gold sugar (carnival colors [ ... ]

Smothered Cabbage with Italian Sausage and Feta

Smothered cabbage is a common New Orleans side dish.  We were all force-fed some version of it when we were little.   And while most of my friends gagged at the mere thought of it, I was one of those weird kids who loved it.  Cabbage, especially when pan-fried by my mom or cooked down with pickle meat by my great-grandmother, ranked high on my list of favorite veggies.  So in honor of my childhood and with ritualistic promises of health and wealth, I’m ushering in 2011 with an unusual twist on Grandma Kirn’s homey, belly-warming meal.  It’s not fancy [ ... ]