Hominy was one of the very rare items my dad prepared for the family pantry — he'd much rather spend time tending the kitchen garden than preparing his harvest. But each year, he spent several days shucking dried corn, cleaning it, taking it through the nixtamalization process, and canning it. We ate it all winter; I didn't realize it wasn't a common side dish in most American households until I was grown. So when Chef Tenney Flynn started musing about writing a feature for me on the history of corn, and hominy, in southern cooking, I was all for it. His feature story appears in the January/February 2017 issue, on sale now; in a break with tradition, we've posted the story here on our website.
I love the beautiful turquoise waters and white sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, but the Pacific Ocean has it beat hands down on majesty in my mind. There’s something about those enormous breakers rolling in after traveling thousands of miles that just gets me.
Fortunately, I have family and friends living all along the west coast, from Vancouver, BC down to Los Angeles, so I get to visit it often.
Each year, I go back through our website data and compile top viewed lists -- the most popular recipes of the year. Top ten in the case of seafood, because we all like seafood! Here they are, for 2016; click the title to jump to the recipe:
I was shocked and saddened to hear of Chef Paul Prudhomme's sudden passing yesterday. I first met the great chef at a Fancy Food show in 2003. I had the opportunity to work with him and Chef John Folse on a photo shoot, and on two different cooking demonstration stages. The first one was outdoors, it was 95 degrees, and an audience of well over 100 people sat at rapt attention in the blazing sun. It was inspiring. He will be missed.
Louisiana Kitchen & Culture staff writer wrote the following Louisiana Icon feature for the May/June 2013 edition of the magazine; it was photographed by David Gallent. Click on through to read the story.
This year, we grew Tabasco and jalapeño peppers, with great success. You can only eat so many of them; what to do with the rest? I set aside a few to dry for seeds for next year, of course, but I still had loads of peppers. So- I decided to make a batch of pepper jelly with the Tabaso peppers, and pepper vinegar with the jalapeños. We Southerners love to add a splash of hot vinegar to greens, blackeyes, etc. and *I* like to use pepper jelly in vinaigrettes, particularly for salads with fruit in them, and to glaze pork and chicken on the grill.
There are so many festivals over the next few weekends it's hard to choose where to go. LK&C culinary media director David Gallent will be representing us over at Roug et Blanc in Lake Charles next weekend, and you'll find me hanging out around the cooking demonstration stage or the VIP section of the beer garden at the Louisiana Seafood Festival.
Introducing an Old Friend to South Louisiana Cuisine and Culture
I had an old friend in town with his wife earlier this week, someone I did business with for many years. We enjoyed meals out in San Francisco, Portland, and New York during our business travels -- Hugh subscribed to Louisiana Kitchen & Culture earlier this year and was inspired to visit. He enjoys music as much as he enjoys food, so it's a perfect match.
I was delighted to introduce him to a few New Orleans restaurants early in the week. They headed over to Breaux Bridge yesterday and had dinner last night with LK&C subscriber Debbie Gautier (featured in the Cajun Country Cooking feature in the current issue of the magazine) she provided an itemized list of what they must see and do while they're there. Hugh's wife is Canadian, and so is particularly interested in learning more about the Acadiana settlers.
After Breaux Bridge they'll swing through Lafayette, pick up Highway 90 and spend some time in Houma and Thibodaux, before heading back to Portland. I know they'll be back to visit, and tell their friends about our state's unique culinary culture and heritage, and hospitality.
I find myself in the Great State of Texas this week, having a fun Girlfriend's Weekend in the middle of the week, which makes it even better. I flew into Houston on Tuesday -- in advance of the trip I called up LK&C subscriber Danny Trace, the executive chef at Brennan's of Houston, and asked him to see if his fish supplier could drop off ten pounds of Gulf shrimp for me to pick up to boil for my friends. (I travel with seafood, or smoked meat.)
He did arrange for the shrimp, but oh so much more. I stopped by the restaurant right in the middle of lunch service Tuesday, and Chef Trace filled my car up with shrimp and okra gumbo, all the ingredients for shrimp and grits including quarts full of goat cheese grits, seafood boil vegetables, a quart of remoulade for my boiled shrimp, freshly baked French bread, and of course ten pounds of shrimp. So all I had to do Tuesday night to put a fantastic dinner on the table was boil up some shrimp, heat what needed to be heated, and cook a pot of rice. Delicious, and all our thanks and compliments to the chef.
We are putting the finishing touches on our recipe list for our holiday issue and my mouth is watering. I've got nieces and nephews bringing great nieces and nephews over to help decorate gingerbread men this weekend. There was so much fudge in my kitchen a couple of weeks ago we couldn't give it all away -- so much, in fact, we finally gave up eating it. There are still a few bites left.