December 7, 2011 _
Holiday parties are in full swing—I think I have 9 invitations in the next week alone—and temperatures here in South Louisiana are ranging wildly between the low 30s and the low 80s, sometimes multiple times in one week.
Jyl and I have been trading off working off each other's dining table for the past two months, and this week she's been "it". Her lunch solution has been "fake pho"—pho base buillion cubes make a stock, and she throws everything but the kitchen sink in there. Delicious, and healthy.
Multiple massive sporting events on both the college and professional level are coming to New Orleans over the next 18 months. Jyl wrote them up, including a summary of the economic impact to the city, in the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau's newsletter.
Several new restaurants either have just or are about to open around the state. Jyl and I pulled together photography and copy for a news item for the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, sampling lots of great food in the process. We'll drag recipes out of the chefs to share with you later this month.
Enjoy this week's recipes, and let us know what's on your mind.
P.S. Many of you have been reading my newsletter for quite some time. I'd love to hear from you over the holidays.
James Beard Award Nominations:
The James Beard Foundation is now accepting nominations for chefs and restaurants in various categories, including Best Chef in various regions, Rising Star Chef, Outstanding Pastry Chef, Outstanding Restaurant, Outstanding Service, Best New Restaurant, and Outstanding Restaurateur. I think we need to cast our votes for our Louisiana chefs and restaurants.
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Email Susan Ford for a rate card
I cook only in cast iron. I used to keep a small non-stick pan around for omelets and such then Susan creeped me out with talk of non-stick coatings as carcinogens that will flake off into food and cause all manner of internal wreckage. Fearing a Teflon-coated brain tumor I disposed of the pan and now rely on an assortment of iron pots and pans for everything. Though well-seasoned cast iron is naturally non-stick, I still like to help things along with a spritz of non-stick cooking spray (Susan bemoans the horrors of that as well) but I like to live dangerously.
Jyl's reminiscence is here, along with several recipes perfect for cast iron.
Celebrate the Food
Culture of the South.
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum current list of events.
Poppy's weekly radio show on public radio: Listen to archived interviews here.
Gulf Shrimp and Grits
Chef Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery has the iconic Louisiana dish of Shrimp and Grits in one variation or another on his menu almost all the time. My friend Julie Bain, the Health Director for Ladies Home Journal, sampled the dish at several menus around New Orleans when she last visited, and declared these the best she'd tasted.
Bronzed Amberjack with Crawfish Vinaigrette
Chef Jude Tauzin of Village Café in Lafayette created this recipe. The fish is seasoned, seared off in a hot cast iron pan, and finished in the oven. Crawfish tails are heated through in butter, then seasoned with Creole spices, Creole mustard, and rice wine vinegar—serve over a bed of lettuce. Gourmet flavors and presentation on the table in less than 20 minutes. Divine!
From the bar of Ford and Benson, this refreshing cocktail is perfect for any holiday gathering. Leave the vodka out for an outstanding non-alcoholic version.
Calendar of Events
Published by Kitchen and Culture Co., Louisiana Kitchen magazine will launch in 2012. Our editorial mission is to provide a unique guide to authentic Louisiana cultural and culinary traditions—and of course, the recipes you'll need to create authentic Louisiana cuisine. Your friends and family will love you.
Dec 8, 2011 to Dec 9, 2011
Dec 9, 2011
Christmas Parade, Pineville
Carols & Cocoa; Ruston
Holiday Laser Light Show; Shreveport
Dec 10, 2011
Holiday Light Safari; Alexandria
Dec 10-13, 2011
Multiple Christmas Parades; Full Listing Here
Dec 10, 2011
Sounds of the Season; West Monroe
There's lots more going on; 50+ Events Listed Here
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