Zea-Oysters; Beans-Catfish

Diary. Sunday, April 22, 2018. Here’s Zea’s weekly routine. Sundays at Zea means the restaurant’s excellent (for a chain) specials, dishes that have been lauded for me many times over the years. Too often, really, but that’s restates how good are these seasonal specials over the years. The first of these started out as a Lenten special. But it’s no more common during that time of the year than it is right now. Asian oysters, it’s called. Seems simple enough: fried oysters with an unusually coarse coating. They come out…

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Diary: FR 4/20/2028: Arnaud’s And Other Crowded Places.

Friday, April 20, 2018. The French Quarter Is Full. Every Friday, my thoughts turn to grand dinners, preferably at one of the grande dame restaurants in the French Quarter. Today I am thinking about indulging this hunger at Arnaud’s. As soon as the radio show ended for the week, I turned my steps toward the handsome restaurant and its bright walls of glittering beveled glass. There I learn that every seat in the entire restaurant is taken. I look around for a waiter or manager or some other familiar face,…

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April 24 In Eating
April

April 24 In Eating

AlmanacSquare This is National Prosciutto Day. Prosciutto is dry-cured ham. Dry-curing takes much longer, and creates a much more intense flavor, than the brine curing more commonly applied to hams. To make prosciutto, salt is applied to the outside of skinned pig legs, usually with the bones still inside, and hung up to dry for as much as a year. ¶ In the old days, that was done outdoors. Now prosciutto makers have big warehouses whose walls allow free movement of air from outside through the hanging hams. The word derives from a Latin word that means “all dried out,” which it is after all that time. ¶ The best prosciutto comes from Parma and San Daniele in Italy, but much prosciutto is made in this country. Its flavor is very intense; it should be sliced as thin as possible, and used sparingly. ¶ Classic uses of prosciutto include wrapping melon slices with it, stuffing it into veal and poultry concoctions, and standing alone as antipasto. Read entire article.

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Diary, 4|11, 12|2018: Brilliance At Borgne, And From The LPO

Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Dark And Unfamiliar. The, Brilliance In Food And Music! The drive home last night from the Best Chefs event was nostalgic and creepy at the same time. During the six years when most of my life was staged in or around the University of New Orleans, I knew all the buildings, restaurants (very few) and private neighborhoods. I have had very little occasion to return to those parts since I landed my first big job, well away from UNO. The whole area has become foreign territory…

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Diary: 4/8-9-&10/2018 A Weekend Of Substitution. Best Chefs.

Sunday, April 8-9, 2018. Demoted Singer. Chicken Pannee With Two Sauces. The Wagners–who usually lead the singing at St. Jane’s ten o’clock Mass, but were supposed to be absent today–left me to be the cantor. But they showed up, so I was just the usual singer in the loft. It’s just as well, since we have not run a rehearsal. But then I hear that the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra performs its performances with only two rehearsals. In the afternoon, Mary Leigh came in from Meridian. She didn’t take the train…

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Meat Pies
April 2018

Meat Pies

Spicy meat pies, as big as your hand and shaped like a half-moon,are a major specialty in the central Louisiana town of Natchitoches (pronounced “NAK-uh-tish”). That French colonial city boasts being even older than New Orleans. We get our share of meat pies at the Jazz Festival and the like, but the temptation to make them at home is strong. I must warn you that this is not easy. The filling is straightforward, but the dough is a little work (as is all pie dough). And then you have to deep-fry, never any fun. (They can also be baked, but they’re not quite the same that way.) Still, these things are so good that Learn to cook these things. . .

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Diary 4-4-2018-About Meridian

Thursday, April 5, 2018. A Mini-Vacation. A few weeks ago I mentioned to Mary Ann that I needed a short vacation. She immediately became an advocate for that idea, while not including herself in the break. Instead, her ideas were travelettes that would appeal to almost nobody but me. “You should take the train to Meridian for a day or two and have dinner with Mary Leigh while you’re there,” MA said. Mary Leigh is our daughter. Meridian is where ML she is engaged for her employer with a large…

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Seared Scallops with Artichokes

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RecipeSquare-150x150 This is a signature dish at the Pelican Club, where Chef Richard Hughes calls it by the misleading name “scallop-stuffed artichoke.” It’s sophisticated in both flavor and appearance. It’s best made with dry-pack (also known as “day-boat”) scallops, which have not been processed for long shelf life. (The ones in the supermarket probably are not this kind.) Careful: don’t overcook the scallops! Use high heat and get them out of the pan while they’re still bulging.

Click here for recipe details.

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Quiche Lorraine

RecipeSquare-150x150 Quiche–a very popular dish in the Lorraine region in Northeastern France–somehow acquired the reputation as something that real men don’t eat. After that untruth got out, quiche was relegated to salad restaurants and pastry shops. It’s making a mild comeback, now that eggs have been revealed as not the death-dealing element in your diet that the nutritionists had been telling us they were. The filling of this quiche is the classic (although in France they’d probably use bacon instead of ham). But the crust is decidedly offbeat. Read entire article.

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April 25 In Eating.
April

April 25 In Eating.

Felix Klein, the inventor of the Klein bottle, was born today in 1849. A Klein bottle has no inside or outside; the two merge into one continuous side. Problem: it requires four dimensions. If you find yourself drinking from a Klein bottle, you’ve had too much. (Or, really, nothing: a Klein bottle has no volume.) Read More. . .

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