Zea’s Roasted Corn Grits
Miscellaneous Recipes

Zea’s Roasted Corn Grits

Zea’s Roasted Corn Grits Even people who like grits didn’t get excited about them until chefs starting playing around with them. One of the best versions of grits I ever had is corn-studded yellow grits they serve as a side dish at Zea. That’s a small chain of specialty restaurants run by New Orleans chefs Gary Darling, Greg Reggio, and Hans Limberg. Their grits are so good that they outsell French fries at Zea–probably the only non-breakfast restaurant in the world where this is true. Use the best quality grits…

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Alligator Creole-Italian
Miscellaneous Recipes

Alligator Creole-Italian

Alligator Creole-Italian Style This dish takes advantage of the resemblance alligator tail meat has–in texture, color, and weight–to baby white veal. The hardest part of this dish is finding the alligator. If you can’t, you can use veal, pork loin, or even chicken. Oddly enough, the best side dish for this is buttered stone-ground grits. 1 lb. alligator tail meat, sliced across the grain, 1/4 inch thick All-purpose flour 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. white pepper 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped…

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New Orleans-Style Hot Tamales
Miscellaneous Recipes

New Orleans-Style Hot Tamales

Hot tamales have been sold for decades on street corners all over New Orleans– usually late at night, from pushcarts, the backs of vans, or from small windows in nondescript buildings. The big names in the biz are Manuel’s and Fiesta. They have in common a style that is almost nothing like the tamales from Latin America. And they tend to be on the greasy side, but nobody seems to care.
Warning: These things take forever to make. But the process is calming, and fun to do with friends or kids.

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Tripe Emiliana alla Andrea
Miscellaneous Recipes

Tripe Emiliana alla Andrea

Tripe Emiliana alla Andrea Tripe definitely brings forth strong opinions from people. It is either loved or hated. In case you’ve never had the pleasure, tripe is the inner lining of the stomach of a cow. It’s snow white and looks something like a honeycomb. It is essential that it be washed very well and then boiled for a long time before any dish with it is begun. In the process, it shrinks rather drastically, yet remains very tender. Most Americans are familiar with the flavor of tripe, because for…

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Oyster Rockefeller Soufflee
Miscellaneous Recipes

Oyster Rockefeller Soufflee

Oyster Rockefeller Soufflee Chef Daniel Bonnot dreamed this up as a lunchtime dish at Louis XVI back in the late 1970s. The chef he hired to help cook it was none other than Susan Spicer, on her very first cheffing gig. It’s a great taste, and a little strange: the oysters are in the sauce that’s added at the table, rather than in the soufflee itself. Soufflees have a high failure rate for the first few times you make them, but they still come out tasting good, even if they…

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Chiles Rellenos
Miscellaneous Recipes

Chiles Rellenos

Chiles Rellenos Chiles rellenos (“stuffed peppers”) have always been a fixture on local Mexican menus, with a great deal of variation in quality from one version to the next. Now that fresh Anaheim or poblano chiles (both mild varieties) can be found in stores easily, we can make this with some authenticity. I find it makes a better side dish than a main course, and I think it works well without a sauce–although a Mexican red sauce or a cheese sauce would not be bad. 4 fresh Anaheim or poblano…

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Paneer Seenk Kebab @ Nirvana

500BestSquare The idea sounds strange: the house-made, fresh white cheese called paneer is cut into cubes and strung on a skewer, roasted in the super-hot tandoor oven, and served with a very spicy collection of condiments and herbs. Eat one cube, and you won’t be able to stop, despite the aggressive but pleasant burn from the pepper. It’s big enough to split as an appetizer, but you might not want to. Read entire article. More to come. . .

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Grilled Pizza

Grilled Pizza When we have a pizza party, we often make it an outdoor event and bake the pizzas on the open grill. This works better than you can possibly imagine. You don’t even have to put the top down on the grill, unless it’s a windy, cold day. Any pizza topping works, except one. Pepperoni needs heat from above. On a grill, the pepperoni sits there getting flaccid and unpleasant. Spinach and other vegetable pizzas are particularly good done on the grill. The best way to make pizza dough…

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Spoonbread

Spoonbread Spoonbread sounds rural and Southern. Which explains why only one New Orleans restaurant (Dante’s Kitchen) serves it. Spoonbread is to corn bread what bread pudding is to bread. It can be made sweet (for breakfast or a near-dessert) or savory (as a side dish). This one is in the latter category. The best way to bake this is in small baking dishes, about the size of custard cups. Individual gratin dishes also work well. 2 1/2 cups half-and-half 3 Tbs. butter 1 tsp. salt 1 cup yellow or white…

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Frog Legs Persille

RecipeSquare-150x150 Well-prepared frog legs are delicious, mild, and easy to love even the first time you try them. They don’t have a strong flavor, which is why a good recipe usually has some heavy seasoning artillery. In this recipe, fresh garlic and cayenne make big statements. The smaller the legs, the better. Don’t go looking for them, wait until they come to you. When you encounter small frog legs in the market, buy them and cook them that night. I like to marinate them in buttermilk, like fried chicken, before cooking.

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Cheese Soufflee

RecipeSquare-150x150 Few dishes have the elegance of a hot soufflee. The fluffy baked foam of egg and flavorings has the reputation of being very difficult to make, but really, only two parts of the preparation are unusual. First, you need straight-sided soufflee dishes, specifically made for that purpose, and useful for almost nothing else. (And hard to stack in your cupboard, to boot.) I recommend four-inch-diameter soufflee dishes. Second, you need to hang around keeping your eyes on the things as they bake. It’s not as all-consuming as making a roux, but nearly so.

While most cheese soufflees involve Cheddar cheese, I find the superb melting qualities of Fontina work better, balanced with the tanginess of Pecorino Romano.

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Creole Cream Cheese

RecipeSquare-150x150 Creole cream cheese was once a widely-eaten favorite, mostly at the breakfast table, either alone or with fresh fruit. It was available in every store, sometimes from several sources. Then it came close to disappearing completely. In the last few years, some small dairies on the North Shore. But you can make your own. It’s just clabber–the solid part of milk that has turned and separated. All you have to do is control the separation, and you’re there. Read entire article.

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Gorgonzola Polenta

RecipeSquare-150x150 It’s a side dish, and not just with Italian food. Polenta is the Italian answer to grits, made in every texture from runny to like a thick, wet cornbread. Although you can find polenta ready made, as well as cornmeal specifically made for polenta, regular yellow cornmeal works just fine. The first time I encountered this variation on polenta was at the extinct Restaurant Jonathan on Rampart Street, when Chef Tom Cowman was in the kitchen. Incorporating the famous blue cheese into the polenta is a great idea, making the bland polenta suddenly zingy and delicious. Recipe details. . .

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