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Eat your Vegetables: Make a tasty bean salad for the holidays

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Let the colorful and tasty Bountiful Bean Salad be your healthful dish during the holidays.

This is a healthful and colorful salad to have in the refrigerator during the holidays. It’s a mix of garbanzo beans, black olives, nuts, green onions, roasted red peppers, garlic and parsley marinated in seasoned oil and vinegar. This can be eaten by itself or served over a small bed of chopped greens if you prefer.… Continue reading →

What a Crock!: Recipes handed down for generations change with times

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Use a slow cooker to prepare Eggplant Parmesan.

A new year is always time to re-evaluate or reinvent something. Why not start with recipes. Much like our clothes, if we haven’t used them in so many years, perhaps it’s time to toss them. However, you may want to rethink ways of cooking them. I am a cookbook hoarder. Several are from my mother and my… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Christmas crepes are not as complicated as you think

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Have Chicken and Spinach Crepes ready ahead of time when expecting company for the holidays.

With time this close to Christmas, get a meal or two in the freezer, especially if you’re having company over the holidays. A crepe entrée looks “gourmet,” but the filling can be anything you like or a combination of foods you have on hand. Crepes look a lot more complicated than they are. Crepes are simply thin… Continue reading →

Bites of History: Christmas sweets have a long history around the world

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles  --  The no-bake Nanaimo Bar is common on Canadian Christmas cookie platters and is inextricably tied to the City of Nanaimo.

Let’s all climb on board Santa’s sleigh and take a trip back in time to learn the origins of some of those sweets we love scarfing down this time of year. One of the oldest Christmas cakes is the much maligned, calorie-dense fruitcake, which fueled the Roman army, as well as the armies of Europe during… Continue reading →

At home in a revived historic hotel, modern Southern Oxlot 9 is making a case for road trip dining

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- Chef Jeffrey Hansell works in his open kitchen at Oxlot 9, a Covington restaurant for Southern cuisine.

The streets of Covington were predictably quiet as we approached the Southern Hotel on a recent weeknight. Less expected was the bustle we found inside the hotel. Small groups of people seemed to be on self-guided tours, inspecting art in the lodge-like lobby, roaming a courtyard the size of a pocket park… Continue reading →

‘Come as you are’ to try the Franklin’s chic, trendy cocktails

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA -- The  Franklin Restaurant is at the corner of Franklin Avenue and Dauphine Street in New Orleans.

When Franklin owners Jason Baas, Patrick Finney and Michael Wilkinson saw the potential to create a more upscale, ambiance-driven spot for food and drinks in Faubourg Marigny, they turned to the same design team, Bockman and Forbes, that created the Bouligny Tavern’s elegant and warm mid-century look Uptown. The result is a chic, international… Continue reading →

Digging In: At a Vietnamese deli, banh mi for bigger appetites

Advocate photo by Ian McNulty - Banh mi from Eat Well Food Mart in New Orleans.

CASUAL Banh Mi Po-Boy Eat Well Food Mart 2700 Canal St. (504) 821-7730 Banh mi come in as many varieties as the makers of these popular Vietnamese sandwiches can dream up. Generally, however, they come in only one size — the standard short pistolette, which will sometimes leave… Continue reading →

Ian McNulty: Revisiting renewed wine shop’s vintage

Photo provided by Martin Wine Cellar - A new and much larger Martin Wine Cellar opened Uptown on Friday, Dec. 12.

Almost a decade after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans should be running low on storm-related comeback stories. But finding a gleaming and new Martin Wine Cellar (3827 Baronne St., 800-298-4274; open again at its original Uptown address does seem to rewind the clock a bit. Of course, this combination wine retailer, deli and caterer… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: This is the season for mirlitons

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Serve a few Shrimp-Stuffed Mirlitons for dinner and freeze the rest for use later.

Ask about a chayote and few in Louisiana know what you’re talking about, but ask about a mirliton and you’re probably going to hear about a good recipe. The French refer to the fruit as christophene or christophine. The green, gourdlike fruit, with its many names, is about the size and shape of a pear;… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Give the gift of cookbooks

Photo provided  --  Book jacket of Southern Living's 'Christmas All Through the South.'

Don’t panic — yet — if you haven’t decided on gifts for everyone on your holiday gift list. If one (or more) of those names on that list belongs to an enthusiastic home cook or someone who likes to read cookbooks, you’re in luck. A wide variety of outstanding cookbooks and coffee table books featuring recipes are available this… Continue reading →

What a Crock!: Cut yourself some slack during holiday cooking

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Have slow-cooked Pork and Bean Stew ready when you come in from holiday shopping.

I understand the stress of holiday meal planning. From shopping for just the right gift to planning the big meal itself, it isn’t an easy time, even if it is joyful. Holiday dinners don’t cook themselves, as we know. Sometimes, the lead cook is so tired, she or he is hardly able to enjoy the festivities.… Continue reading →

‘Boilermaker Chili’ takes cook-off contest

Photo provided  --  Alexis Starr, environmental scientist with the Enforcement Division of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, shows off her Boilmaker Chili and her award for winning first place in the 2014 DEQ Chili Cook-off Contest.

Alexis Starr, an environmental scientist with the Enforcement Division of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, took first place in the recent DEQ Chili Cook-Off Contest with her “Boilermaker Chili.” “The secret to my success is Mom,” Starr said. “She sends me all sorts of fun ingredients and recipes. And my chili is still not even close… Continue reading →

Cozy bistro Rue 127 answers wintry cravings in original ways

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Built into a former shotgun house, Rue 127 is a small bistro with an intimate feel.

Nightfall arrives early, the Christmas lights are shining, the streetcars are decked in garlands and the sound of the miniature train whistle drifts out of City Park. These seasonal cues are enough to stir cravings for a cozy setting and hearty comfort food, no matter what the thermometer says in our inscrutably subtropical city. That’s… Continue reading →

Markets find shoppers bringing their appetites along with the gift lists

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty  Josh Floyd works the grill at the Bratz Yall stand, which serves at multiple outdoor markets and events around New Orleans.

Hester Rito doesn’t expect that many people will arrive at Saturday’s Freret Market with bacon-wrapped duck poppers specifically written on their holiday shopping lists. But she’s still pretty sure she’ll sell a bunch of them. “It’s the impulse buy,” said Rito, whose Slidell-based Any Occasion Catering is among a plethora of vendors slated to… Continue reading →

Ian McNulty: Concepts for dining expand with eateries

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Good Karma Cafe on Canal Street.

Lest we take the near constant flow of new restaurants in New Orleans for granted, the diversity of flavors they bring and the locations they find in the increasingly-crowded market are keeping things interesting. Consider three very recent additions: a vegan café inside a yoga studio built into a former library, a contemporary Chinese restaurant in… Continue reading →

At Joey K’s, Creole-Italian flavors both hearty and distinctive

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Shrimp Magazine from Joey K's Restaurant.

CASUAL Shrimp Magazine Joey K’s Restaurant & Bar 3001 Magazine St. (504) 891-0997 From well-tuned standards of New Orleans neighborhood restaurants, this Uptown café also branches out just a bit for dishes like its shrimp Magazine ($17.95). Fat shrimp, lots of chopped… Continue reading →

Just for a day, a New Orleans coffee taster comes out of retirement

Photo by George Gurtner -- Hastak was looking for a job, and he found a career as a coffee  taster.

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” -T. S. Eliot They’re tearing up the asphalt to lay new pipe where Gravier Street intersects with Picayune Place, which is little more than a service alley in the CBD. One of the workers reaches down and comes up… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Roasted veggies are a holiday hit

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  For a flavorful side dish, try Rosemary Roasted Vegetables  --  Brussels sprouts, green beans and green onions.

Baton Rouge has some mighty fine home cooks, and I’m always reminded of that when I share a meal with members of my dinner club. I recently was among the lucky guests at the home of Paul and Barbara Hoffman, who hosted a dinner that was top-notch from beginning to end. The menu was mainly made up… Continue reading →

Holiday Traditions: South Louisiana family pulls out all stops when holidays roll around

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Dr. David G. Fourrier's barbecued prime rib is ready when the ends are well done, rare in the center, and medium in between, providing a 'piece of meat for every taste.'

In fall, Louisiana roads lead to homes where family and friends gather in kitchens filled with aromas of caramelized onions, smoked meats and hints of rosemary and thyme. Holiday occasions often are filled with shared memories and shared recipes. Dr. David Gerard “Jerry” Fourrier and his wife, Nancy, entertain guests with distinctive south Louisiana meals. Many… Continue reading →

What a Crock!: Holidays great time to consider slow cookers

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS  --  Take time to relax and enjoy a cup of slow-cooked Hot Chocolate.

Whether you are relaxing at home after last week’s big meal or looking ahead to holiday shopping, time to put your feet up is definitely in order. Cooks take the brunt of holiday tiredness. Take time to heal before heading out into the busy days ahead. If you will be doing your shopping online, put on the… Continue reading →

Eat Your Vegetables: Potato salad’s secret is in the (cooked) sauce

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Eat Your Veg, Mrs. Dobbins' Potato Salad

Miss Dobbins’ Potato Salad was a big hit when Kitty Hessburg brought it as part of the lunch to an icon art workshop she was attending. When I called Hessburg to find out about the recipe and where it came from, she said it was included in her mother’s little cookbook. Her mother was the… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Pralines & Apples

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Have an abundance of pecans and apples? Make Praline Apple Pie.

I had pecans and apples, so I tested a recipe for Praline Apple Pie. After all, you can hardly go wrong with this combination. I’m not sure if I carefully measured the apples after I peeled and cut them, but my filling was a little skimpy. Generally, three medium apples will yield 2¾ cups of sliced apples.… Continue reading →

Men Can Cook: Competition benefits Young Leaders Academy

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Cooking competition judge Quintina Ricks walks with sample dishes of food as cooks, from left, Herbert Harry, Uland Price and Kevin Albert stand behind their dishes.

More than two dozen men — mostly amateur cooks — vied for prizes and bragging rights at the second annual Men are Cooking Night benefiting The Young Leaders Academy of Baton Rouge Inc. An eclectic mix of favorite dishes from shrimp and crawfish étouffée and boiled turkey necks to chicken fettuccine and a sausage-stuffed pork loin roast… Continue reading →

What’s Happening, Dec. 4, 2014

Home-cooked chili on Friday night and a pulled pork lunch on Saturday are among the food-related items that will be available at the Clinton United Methodist Church’s annual Christmas Bazaar this weekend. The doors will open at 5 p.m. Friday. In addition to the chili, homemade… Continue reading →

A traditional Middle Eastern approach to small plates is surprisingly attuned to modern dining trends at this Uptown newcomer

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- A collection of meze, including hummus, baba ghanoush, carrot tarator and kofta, sets the table for a shared meal, Turkish style.

Gather a few people to share and sample a progression of small plates and you have a modern portrait of casual dining. Assemble that scene around Turkish flavors, however, and you can see a very old and traditional view of social dining, one that’s on display at Mezze. Mezze is a Turkish restaurant specializing in an approach… Continue reading →

Bartenders team up to create treats for Tales of the Toddy

AP photo/Matthew Mead -- This Nov. 10, 2014, photo shows a roasted cider cocktail in Concord, N.H. If there is a chill in the air, consider starting with the roasted cider, a seasonal hot toddy that combines a classic mulled cider with the toasty flavor of hazelnuts. Or for a fresh take on tradition, try the ginger fashion, a zippy rendition of the reliable old fashioned.

Forty-eight New Orleans bartenders. Twenty-four cocktails. Eighteen restaurants. One night. On Dec. 18, New Orleanians are invited to the House of Blues to attend the ninth annual Tales of the Toddy, showcasing the talented folks working behind our city’s bars. And in the midst of a season full of holiday treats,… Continue reading →

Reveillon: A holiday dining tradition keeps evolving with seasonal flavors

Advocate staff photo by ANDREA MABRY -- The Reveillon table display provided by NOLA Restaurant included a red fish court bouillon at Christmas New Orleans Style, an event held by French Quarter Festivals and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation on Thursday, November 21, 2013.

For a tradition that reaches so far back into the Creole heritage of New Orleans, reveillon has proved remarkably amenable to change. Credit that to the gusto local chefs apply to the task of crafting special holiday menus, the Louisiana harvest at their disposal as cool weather settles in and even the changing nature of the modern New Orleans… Continue reading →