Archive for » November, 2011 «

Finger Food Friday: Leftovers

Hey guys. As most of you know, I’m hanging with the family this week. And because I’m not in my own kitchen and my mom’s fridge is full of leftovers (we’ve moved on from my sister’s), I won’t be cooking today. That means no finger food on this Friday. Well at least nothing from scratch. At some point today, I’ll probably transform what’s left of the holiday bird into “all-white” finger sandwiches for the kids (white turkey meat on white bread with mayonnaise) or maybe a Thanksgiving poor boy (New Orleans French bread piled high [ ... ]

Happy Thanksgiving!

Right now I’m sitting at my sister’s kitchen table contemplating the day with a hot cup of joe (Community Dark Roast if you’re curious) and watching a beautiful fall sun rise over Mandeville, the northshore suburb where my sister lives. I love spending Thanksgiving in New Orleans surrounded by family and today I’ll get to catch up with many relatives I haven’t seen in years. My Uncle Barry is hosting dinner, which is no small feat. He’ll be setting the table (actually tables) for four generations that will be eating, drinking, laughing and giving thanks together. [ ... ]

Brownie Trifle

A trifle is an attention-grabbing dessert typically made with sponge cake soaked in booze and topped with clearly defined layers of fruit, custard and cream.  It’s prepared in a large glass dish or trifle bowl so everyone can ooh and aah over its colorful configuration and is traditionally served at Christmastime.  The trifle overlaps both a “fool” and a Russian Cake (also known as a Russian Trifle or Creole Trifle) in terms of ingredients and preparation.  And I would think it is related in some way, shape or form to tiramisu and our beloved banana pudding. My Brownie Trifle is a variation [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Shrimp Mold

Have you had your fill of seafood yet?  I hope not because today I’ve got another one for you.  My Shrimp Mold.  Well, it’s not actually my Shrimp Mold.  I didn’t create it but I have tweaked it.  This is one of those delicious finger foods that’s been around for decades, although you may be more familiar with the pink version which is basically the same thing made with tomato soup instead of cream of mushroom.  I’ve had both but prefer those made this way.  The other ones are too tangy for me. Preferences aside, this is yet another [ ... ]

Oyster Dressing

During this time of year, Louisiana Gulf oysters are at their peak with a balanced flavor of salty-sweet and a silky texture with a meaty bite.  Their subtle goodness adapts well to all kinds of preparations and ingredients, which is why they’re figured into so many New Orleans holiday menus.  My relatives celebrate the season with oysters eaten raw, Rockefellered, fried and even chargrilled.  But the dish that reigns supreme has and always will be Oyster Dressing. I’m the fourth or fifth generation to be making this wonderful dressing which comes together with only a handful of ingredients that enhance, and [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Blackened Shrimp with Craisins Salsa

During hurricane season, our house becomes a place of refuge for all of our family members under mandatory evacuation.  It’s throughout these nerve-racking times that I’m truly grateful we live outside of New Orleans and are able to provide anyone willing to make the drive this far east with a safe haven.  Pre-Katrina, those evacuations meant nothing more than a spontaneous party with our extended family.  Post-Katrina, we hesitate using the term “Hurricane Party,” but we do continue to appreciate the fact that those tense weather events bring us all together.  And regardless of the severity of the storm or [ ... ]

Zydeco Sweet Potato Crab Chowder

When you grow up in New Orleans, a city surrounded by and practically floating on water, you cut your teeth on fresh seafood.  I’m talking succulent shrimp, briny oysters, meaty blue crabs and subtle, sweet crawfish (not to mention a huge variety of fish, turtle, alligator and frog legs).  And when your dad’s a shrimper, like mine was, at a very young age you become intimately acquainted with the vast waterways that house those creatures … whether you like it or not! I actually liked the whole boating, shrimping thing.  During the summer months, I’d occasionally join my dad on a [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Chicken Rochambeau

I just received my copy of Lost Restaurants of New Orleans, and the recipes that made them famous, by Peggy Scott Laborde and Tom Fitzmorris.  Let me say, I’m having a hard time putting it down!  The pictures, the recipes and the historical overviews … it’s an amazing collection of 40 years of dishing and dining in our great City.  I’m only 21 turns into it and I’ve already been struck by nostalgia thanks to the pages recalling The Andrew Jackson. Back in the day (per the book that was 1963-82, although my sister seems to think it was open longer [ ... ]

Creole Daube

In New Orleans, there’s pot roast and then there’s Creole Daube.  Creole Daube, or daube (pronounced “dohb”) for short, is what you get when you blend a French braising technique with an Italian (“red”) gravy and a roux–the typical melding of flavors, cultures and cuisines that takes place in most New Orleans family kitchens on a daily basis.  Together, these three things magically transform an inexpensive cut of beef such as a rump, a shoulder or a chuck roast into deeply flavored and tender comfort food.  In our family, daube was usually a Sunday supper meal served over pasta or [ ... ]