June 11, 2015

Here in south Louisiana we caught a glimpse of spring then hit summer fast. No easing into it this year. I much prefer hot weather to cold weather (unless I'm on a ski trip) so I'm not complaining.

We're putting the finishing touches on our July/August issue and it's full of summer treats. LK&C editor-at-large Alex Hamman has nicknamed it the Pregnant Lady Issue, because there are features on pickles and ice cream. And a seafood boil. And icy treats as well - there's some rum slush in the freezer right now, and Hurricane, Pimms Cup, and Bananas Foster-inspired hucklebucks. In other words, a summer issue.

If you're not already a subscriber, get thee to the order form and sign up; you won't regret it. It also makes a fine gift; if there's a dad on your list who likes to cook, there's time to get a gift order in for Father's Day.

My basil plants are going nuts in this heat; I've been foisting it off on anyone willing to take it. LK&C contributor Wendy Waren took an armful and said she made a great pesto sauce using pistachios instead of the more-traditional pine nuts; I like to use toasted pecans in pesto.

I also like to muddle some (o.k. a lot of ) garlic and basil in a generous amount of olive oil and slice in some tomatoes. I salt that a bit and let it sit; the tomatoes throw off a good bit of liquid. I'll dice up some Italian or sourdough bread and add it in, then finish it with a handful of fresh mozzarella pearls. I have been known to turn it into an entrée with a pound of perfectly poached shrimp... who has additional suggestions for what to down with bountiful amounts of fresh basil? Email me your thoughts.

See our list of what's happening around Louisiana below. Whatever you do this weekend, enjoy this week's recipes, share them with family and friends, and, as always, let me know what's on your mind.

Susan Ford

Susan Ford, Publisher

Louisiana Kitchen & Culture


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PS- my great-niece Jenna, star of my holiday cookie feature last year, is gravely ill. She is on the waiting list for a new heart, and is having a second artificial heart attached this week. Good thoughts and prayers for her and her parents would be greatly appreciated. They're in PICU up in Jackson and have been there for more than a month. If you're on Facebook, look for the page Praying for Jenna and befriend it.

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Scott Varnedoe's Pickled Shrimp

Scott Varnedoe's Pickled Shrimp

Chef Scott Varnedoe created this recipe for us -- it first appeared in the July/August 2014 edition of the magazine. To me, it is perfect for summertime. Loaded with fresh vegetables and crisp, perfectly prepared shrimp, it keeps for several days refrigerated and is great as is, but works on a salad, cold cooked pasta, or even as the filling in a sandwich. It was a hit at my family reunion last summer, and is on the menu for this year.

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Slow Smoked Brisket with Homemade BBQ Sauce

Slow-Smoked Brisket with Homemade BBQ Sauce

Who doesn't like a smoked brisket?? This one is a project perfectly suited to a long, lazy day. You'll brine the brisket for at least 24 hours in advance, and it needs to be on the grill for 8 - 10 hours; you'll need to add charcoal every half hour or so, but otherwise it's hands-off. You can make the sauce in advance, even, so all you need to think of the day of the Big Smoke are some side dishes and lots of hungry guests. And beer.

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Corn Puffs

Corn Puffs

The Southern ports of Charleston, Savannah, Mobile, and New Orleans introduced American cooks to spices and ingredients from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and India; garam masala, used in this recipe, is a heady mix of cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, coriander, and a few other spices. If you're not familiar with it, you can find it on the spice rack of a well-stocked supermarket, and it will become a staple.

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        To Add or Correct an Event email: Jim

Jun 11, 2014 to Jun 14, 2015

New Orleans: Festigals

Jun 11, 2015 to Jun 13, 2015

Bunkie: Louisiana Corn Festival

Jun 11, 2015 to Jun 14, 2015

Houma: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey

Jun 12, 2015 to Jun 13, 2015

Lake Arthur: Lake Arthur Regatta

Jun 13, 2015

Delcambre: National Marina Day at the Delcambre Marina

Jun 13, 2015 to Jun 14, 2015

New Orleans: French Market Creole Tomato Festival

Jun 18, 2015 to Jun 21, 2015

New Orleans: New Orleans Tango Festival

Jun 19, 2015 to Jun 21, 2015

Des Allemands: Catfish Festival

Jun 20, 2015

Covington: The Magic of Memories Classy Car Show

Jun 20, 2015 to Jun 21, 2015

Toledo Bend: Toledo Bend Black Heritage Festival

View entire event list here (search by name, city)

Louisiana Recipes Newsletter Archive (search past newsletters)

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