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Stuffed Peppers

People always joke that when you visit New Orleans your vegetable intake will be limited to the curly parsley decorating your plate or the pickled okra bobbing about in your Bloody Mary. Depending on how you choose to spend your time here, that could very well be true. But as the locals can tell you, there are plenty of beautiful, fresh vegetables to be had in these parts all year long. That’s one of the many fringe benefits of living in a subtropical environment. And because we have a great variety of veggies with extended growing seasons, [ ... ]

South Louisiana Baked Beans

Sorry for being so last minute with my Fourth of July potluck contribution, but the hubby and I took the kids down to Destin for a spur-of-the-moment beach trip and we returned home with only enough time to ready the house for my in-laws who are spending the weekend with us. So while I assume most of you have already planned out and prepared your Independence Day menu, I’m sharing this recipe with you anyway. If it doesn’t make today’s buffet table, then by all means keep this recipe in mind for your next party or grill [ ... ]

Grilled Flat Iron Steaks with Chimichurri

My secret to simple, summertime meals (and sensational cocktails) is an herb garden. I plant one every year with vibrant flavors I love and use often—basil (Genovese), rosemary, lemon-thyme, parsley and cilantro. I also throw in one or two herbs I’m not that familiar with. Last year, it was lemon balm. This year it’s dark opal basil. Almost everyday during the summer months, I turn to my little garden for inspiration. I use the majority of my fresh herbs to make punchy salsas, pestos and sauces. These are great on grilled meats and [ ... ]

Baked Rigatoni

This is the time of year when my household shifts into high gear and my calendar overflows with sports and related activities and end-of-the-year school commitments. And with the majority of those obligations taking place between five and eight, getting a proper meal on the table can be a challenge. So what I typically do during these hectic months is make one or two “Big Easy” meals early in the week and serve the leftovers again later in the week. Red Beans and Rice certainly fits within my Big Easy plan. So too does this Baked Rigatoni. I know many [ ... ]

Standing Rib Roast

As I’ve mentioned in posts past, our Christmas dinners are basically encore presentations of Thanksgiving where turkey takes center stage, a sweet and savory glazed ham fills the supporting role and the always reliable cast and crew of traditional trimmings and seasonal sweets backs up the meal. But for some, including many of my friends, nothing says “special holiday dinner” more than a show-stopping cut of beef like a rack of prime rib. I’ve prepared many a prime rib roast (also known as a standing rib roast) in my day. Next to boiled crawfish, it is the [ ... ]

Finger Food Friday: Roast Beef and Swiss Sliders

Growing up, one of my favorite poor boys was a four napkin roast beef and Swiss dressed. Four napkins, because that’s what it took to wipe the gravy trails from my forearms. Dressed, because in my world a poor boy is not a poor boy without a generous slather of mayo and layers of crisp shredded iceberg lettuce and thinly sliced tomatoes and dill pickles I’m not a hundred percent sure when and where the Swiss cheese came into play, as the roast beef-Swiss combo is not a New Orleans standard. But I think Papa, my [ ... ]

Grilled Skillet Steak

We just returned from our annual Destin trip. We’re so thankful our kids have Fall Break, because otherwise we would not have been able to fit that vacation in this year. And this momma needs her beach time and everything that accompanies it–sun-soaked, lazy days, powdery sand, emerald green waters, fresh Gulf seafood (lots and lots of fresh seafood), cold craft beer, the occasional rum-spiked something or other and a happy hubby and children. In case you’re wondering, September is an awesome time to visit the Florida Gulf Coast. Yes, there are the occasional hurricanes to [ ... ]
Category: Beef, Main Dishes  Tags:  Leave a Comment

Creole Onion Soup

Whenever I mention Creole Onion Soup in circles outside of New Orleans, I’m often asked how it differs from French Onion Soup. Well, like many New Orleans recipes, that depends on whose Creole Onion Soup you’re eating.  If you’re savoring a bowl prepared by an old-school Creole or anyone carrying those traditions forward, the soup will likely contain some form of dairy and may even be puréed to a thick, velvety consistency.  Several references to this style of onion soup can be found in various New Orleans cookbooks. The earliest references I discovered were in my mother-in-law’s 1901 edition of [ ... ]

Vegetable Soup

I make Vegetable Soup three to four times a year on average. When I cook it, the soup fills my home with fond memories and the comforting aromas of my grandparents’ Franklin Avenue kitchen, which was around the corner from my childhood home. My grandfather, Papa, was the family vegetable soup steward. He’d make a huge pot to share with those of us who lived close by. After a half-day of slicing, dicing and simmering, Papa would ladle loving portions into a handful of the empty, glass Sanka Instant Coffee jars that lined their kitchen counters and deliver a couple [ ... ]
Category: Beef, Soups, Vegetables  Tags: ,  2 Comments

Who Dat Chili

Growing up, chili was never important to me and I don’t recall it ever being the center of attention with any of my family members or friends. I guess that’s because in New Orleans we’d all rather fill a pot with the likes of gumbo, beans or smothered something or other. Over the past few years, however, I’ve had this weird fixation with chili. My preoccupation stems from this fun-filled chili cook-off my girlfriend used to hold at her annual Super Bowl party. All her guests knew I loved to cook and they constantly bugged me [ ... ]
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