March 26, 2015   

This is one of those weeks. And it's a New Orleans week. Last Thursday my friends Cody and Samantha Carroll, owners of the very popular Hot Tails restaurant in New Roads, opened up Sac-A-Lait in the warehouse district of New Orleans. They invited me in to sample Tuesday night; it's a very cool space, and features a great menu. My favorites were slate blackened Gulf fish -- redfish the night I was there -- and the alligator and mirliton starter. If you have a chance stop in and give it a taste.

Yesterday, I boarded a bus for a whirlwind tour of ten restaurants to taste THIRTEEN entries for medal in the Memorial Day Weekend New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. Kendall Gensler, founder and president of Culinary Concierge magazine, tackles the massive undertaking of scheduling and wrangling the tastings each year. It's a four-day, delicious, grueling schedule for her and Jamie Peckenpaugh, executive director of NOWFE. There are a few brave people who volunteer their time for all four days of the task; this is the sixth year I've participated, and I just can't imagine doing it four days in a row, although it is a lot of fun. Can I say schwag?

Today, I (and a boatload of other people) am having a media lunch with Emeril as part of the month-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of his flagship restaurant, Emeril's New Orleans. The celebration culminates with three special dinners next week - the 26th, 27th, and 28th. Emeril will be on hand each evening, and a few seats are still available as of press time, but they will go fast.

Friday I have lunch with a couple of friends at Mizado Cocina to discuss an upcoming culinary venture; Friday night, I'm judging the third annual Edible Book contest at the New Orleans Museum of Art. I'm told there are more entries than ever this year - thankfully, these are "Art" cakes and are judged on looks and innovation rather than taste. It's a fun, creative event.

Saturday, Liberty's Kitchen is throwing a preview party prior to the March 30 opening of their new venture, the Green Dot Café, at the Rosa F. Keller Library, and City Park is transformed into City Pork for the annual Hogs for the Cause pork competition.

It's a tough job, reader, but for you...

Sunday, I'm going to spend ALL DAY on the treadmill eating nothing but salad.

It's festival season - see our calendar 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, President

Our Kitchen & Culture, LLC

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Tip of the Week:

Crawfish Nutrition Info

Miss last week's recipes?

Stuffed Crawfish Bread (#1 last wk)

Salmon Croquettes

• Seafood Pasta Salad

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Emeril's Paella

Emeril's Paella

Louisiana's beloved Jambalaya is believed to have evolved from the Spanish rice dish Paella; this is Emeril's take on a seafood version of the dish. It was originally cooked outdoors over a wood fire; the characteristic smokey flavor is achieved in this recipe with smoked paprika, one of my pantry staples.

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Fried Crawfish Tails

Fried Crawfish Tails

These days you can find Louisiana crawfish tails in the freezer section of well-stocked grocery stores in many parts of the US, even if you don't have access to fresh crawfish. I like this preparation because it's versatile - great as a snack dipped in your favorite remoulade or tartar sauce, a filling for a po boy, a topping for a green salad, or even sprinkled over a plate of pasta that's been tossed with a cream sauce.

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Shrimp Shooters

Shrimp Shooters

I know parts of the country woke up this week to a dusting of snow, but it's been balmy here, leading to dreams of light, refreshing summer food. This simple preparation is another versatile dish- great appetizer, with a salad, or stuffed into an avocado.

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        To Add or Correct an Event email: Jim

Mar 21, 2015 to Mar 29, 2015

New Orleans: New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association Home Tours

Mar 25, 2015 to Mar 29, 2015

New Orleans: Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

Mar 26, 2015 to Mar 29, 2015

Chalmette: Louisiana Crawfish Festival

Kenner: Friends of Jefferson Public Library Book Sale

Mar 27, 2015 to Mar 29, 2015

Jackson: Model Railroaders Open House

Mar 27, 2015 to Mar 28, 2015

Hammond: Smokin' Blues & BBQ

Lake Charles: Southwest Louisiana Garden Conference & Expo

New Orleans: Hogs for the Cause

Mar 28, 2015

Abita Springs: Abita Springs Whole Town Garage Sale & Flea Market

Alexandria: Spring Herb Day and Arts & Crafts Festival

Belle Chasse: Plaquemines Parish Jambalaya Cook-Off

Lake Charles: Wild Beast Feast

Leeville: Leeville Arts & Heritage Festival

Lockport: Bateau de Bois Festival

New Iberia: Acadiana Dragon Boat Festival

Shreveport: Red River Revel Wine Event

Shreveport: ASEANA Spring Festival

Shreveport: Easter on the River

Mar 28, 2015 to Mar 29, 2015

Baton Rouge: Fest For All

New Orleans: New Orleans Food Festival

Mar 29, 2015

Eunice: World Championship Crawfish Etouffee Cookoff

Lake Charles: Palm Sunday Tour of Homes

New Iberia: Symphony Sunday in the Park

Plaquemine: Plaquemine Spring Festival

Apr 2, 2015 to Apr 5, 2015

Oak Grove: North Louisiana Sweet Potato Festival

Apr 3, 2015 to Apr 5, 2015

Patterson: Patterson Cypress Sawmill Festival

Apr 4, 2015

Cottonport: Cottonport Easter Festival

New Orleans: Cresent City Classic 10K


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