Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween Everyone!

This is just a post to remind everyone to make sure you got candy for the kiddies. Go out and find a haunted attraction to get a good scare this Halloween. Many haunted houses donate to a charity, our raised over $5,000.00 for Make A Wish over the past few years. Next week we start on our Cajun Thanksgiving! Until then, stay spooky!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are one of my absoloute favorite things in the world to eat, and make. I thought I'd give you an easy recipe. You can substitute Tony C's for the salt.

1. Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings.
2. Dry and place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet, coat the seeds and baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Sprinkle with salt, or season salt, and bake at 325º until toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes.
4. Enjoy! BTW, you could experiment with different flavors, garlic powder, dill, etc.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

NOLA Grocery again!

Here is Murray, the owner of NOLA Grocery back in their small but effective kitchen. He is working on an awesome beef debris Po-Boy for me. I met MrsFury and Henry (yes I'm not sure if I can use her real name or not) for lunch there on Thursday. The boudin was also incredible as usual. If you are in the area, go by there, we are still after Murray about doing gumbo. Hope he starts soon. Just thought I'd post the pics Beth made. (Ooops I used her name)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Halloween Food Special - "Boo - dan"

I love boudin (pronounced boo-dan), it is one of my favorite foods in the Cajun/Creole cuisine. I had some great boudin at NOLA Grocery, (previous post) and also had some at Leo's Cajun Corner in Galveston. I hope they are back up and running. Boudin is a sausage made with spiced pork, pork liver (just a wee bit), and rice. Stuffed into a natural casing and sometimes smoked, (my favorite) it is a staple in Cajun fare. I hope you get to try some soon. If you are in Lafayette Louisiana on October 25th you can attend the Boudin Cookoff. This sounds like awful fun. I hate I can't be there to declare the winner. They're all winners. Go to The Boudin Link for more info on BOUDIN. Here's a recipe. (Boudin pictured from LeBlanc's Cajun Boudin located in St. Amant, LA.)

Here is a link to a video of Dwayne and Shannon fron Bourques Boudin and Cajun Specialities making their world famous Boudin.

RouxBDoo returns to NOLA

Well friends, my triumphal return to the Crescent City was marked by a wonderful lunch with my pals Beth, Henry, and Kelly from the NOLA food forum. I finally got over to NOLA Grocery to have a wonderful roast beef debris Po-Boy and some tasty smoked Boudin. What looks like a tiny garage where someone has built a convenience store, actually contains a small kitchen that puts out some great food. It's impossible to try to calculate how those guys all maneuver in that kitchen.

We ordered and sat down at one of the two tables provided. Our "sammiches" were soon delivered and mine was great. The Boudin was smoked and spectacular. I love Boudin, as you guys might well know, and this was spiced just right and the smoky flavor was perfect. The owner came out bringing a pumpkin bundt cake with a butter cream icing. This was a nice complimentary dessert or "Lagniappe" as the owner called it. Lagniappe, loosely translated, is "a little something extra" and is a common local expression.

They just got a new snowball machine, and will be adding gumbo to their fall and winter menu. The owner told me it was just too hot to make it in the summer, back in that tiny kitchen. They have most kinds of Po-Boys, fried shrimp, oysters, andouille, etc. and several other great items on the menu. Local favorite like Zapps Chips, Hubig's Pies, and all type of soft drinks round out the inventory, along with the usual convenience store items. NOLA Grocery is handy and serves tasty food, so when in New Orleans be sure to pay them a visit. It's located on Andrew Higgins about a block and a half off of Convention Boulevard, right behind the restaurant Cochon.

New Orleans Restaurant Recommendations

OK friends, I have to admit there are a lot of places I haven't eaten in New Orleans, but I do have my favorites, and some are my least favorites. Rather than hurt someone's business because they might have had a bad day, I will restrict this post to those eateries I do really like, rather than those I don't.

For starters, I will give you my top three.

!. Galatoire's (French Quarter)
2. Commander's Palace (Garden District)
3. Cochon (Warehouse District)

Here are some of my other favorites to check out while in New Orleans or surrounding area. These are not in any sort of order.

Coop's Place (Decatur St.) Lil' Dizzy's (Esplanade) Grand Isle (Convention Blvd.) The Dry Dock (Algier's Point) Mother's (Poydras) The Old Coffee Pot (714 St. Peter St.) Creole Skillet (Julia St.) Brennan's (French Quarter) Don's Seafood (Metairie) Gumbo Shop (St. Peter's) Copelands (Various Locations) Café Du Monde (Various Locations) Central Grocery (Decatur) Bud's Broiler (Various Locations) NOLA Grocery (Andrew Higgins Dr.) Hana Sushi (Hampson) Desire Oyster Bar (in Royal Sonesta Hotel)

There are many more I have eaten there, like the pizza place on Decatur, the seafood place in Riverwalk, etc. Some of them had good food but I can't remember their names. I also spent many meals at the Cajun Cookin' store in Riverwalk, and had some of the best food ever in New Orleans. Unfortunately they are gone from that location. Their other location is in the Quarter, but they don't serve food. One place that I loved was the Diplomat on Tchopotulous, again it has now closed, I guess due to low tourist numbers.

I might also mention that Whole Foods Gourmet Stores have cooking stations, and it was there I had some of the best scallops I've ever eaten. The buffet at Harrah's is a great bargain, and the food is better than most buffets. You can find great food all over town, if you just look.

There are some other restaurants in New Orleans where I've eaten but some were disappointing, this is very rare though. Some other places are no longer open, as some of the previous ones I've listed. I hope you try some of these on your visit, and maybe try something new you can tell me about.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Robert Guthrie: New Orleans Artist

Although this blog is primarily about food from New Orleans and South Louisiana. I also like to feature people and items that are unique to the area. Here is a post about Robert Guthrie. Robert is a New Orleans artist with a fresh look at its historic architecture. In 1992 Robert was selected as the artist for the Official New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Poster.

He finds the fluid radiance of watercolor well suited to the charismatic wash of lines and light intrinsic to the French Quarter. His creations appear throughout New Orleans on canvases, posters, walls, banners, and murals. Click HERE to see his website and view all his wonderful paintings of the French Quarter and New Orleans.

I really appreciate Robert giving me permission to display a few of his pieces. The uppermost painting is of one of my favorite restaurants Galatoire's. If you love New Orleans, Robert's work will take you back there, right to the heart of the French Quarter! Be sure to go to this site and buy something original for your home, and if you own a restaurant you could feature these beautiful works in your dining area.



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Haunted New Orleans Restaurants

I found a really neat website of not only fine restaurants in New Orleans, but the ones that are haunted. I have the list here, but you need to go HERE to read the stories. This is the site for Haunted New Orleans Tours. Check the site out, or when in New Orleans you can take one of the great tours.

Here's the list...

1. Arnaud's Restaurant
The spirit of Germaine Cazenave is said to haunt the museum.

2. Brennan’s Restaurant
It is said to the be ghost of the late Chel Paul Blange, among others. The Red Room is an active spot.

3. Antoine's Restaurant
Make sure to tell the Ghost of Antoine hello.

4. La Louisiane Restaurant
Louis Bézaudun and his wife Ann's ghosts are said to be seen walking in and out of the building.

5. Muriel’s Restaurant
There are at least three known actual ghosts at Muriel’s, and maybe more.

6. Cafe Du Monde
Many of the locals swear of a ghost waiter that takes your order and dissapears.

7. Pat O'Brien's
The two most haunted areas of Pat's are the Piano Bar and the upstairs Ladies Room.

8. The Bombay Club Restaurant and Martini Bistro
The ghost of a Storyville Madame is sighted often.

9. Louis XVI Restaurant
Many of the ghost ofen are sighted in ghost photos taken at wedding receptions and around the Mardi Gras Season.

10. Court of Two Sisters
Many locals tell haunted Tales of the Two Sisters ghosts watching over them as they enjoy their wonderful meals.

Many other Haunted Restaurant in New Orleans have had reported ghostly encounters. Next time in New Orleans and you are thinking of having spirits while dining, you might better specify.