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What a Crock: Slow-cooked Cornish hens perfect for small groups

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS  --  Not expecting a crowd for Thanksgiving? Serve Apple-Pecan Cornish Hens.

Perhaps you stock up on Cornish hens when they go on sale. I do, and it has saved me many times over when I needed a dinner idea. Thanksgiving is no exception. In many households, including ours at times, a turkey is simply too much for a small gathering. Cornish hens are exceptionally easy, but especially… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: The day after Thanksgiving is a pretty big deal too

Advocate file photo  --  A New Orleans favorite, Turkey Poulet, uses leftover Thanksgiving  turkey and ham, plus bacon. A cheesy sauce and onions go atop the meat.

As you sit there savoring the slices of tender, juicy turkey on Thanksgiving Day, is there an idea in your mind how good some of that will be on a sandwich on Friday? Most of us look forward to Thanksgiving leftovers, so much so that if you are lucky enough to be invited to someone’s home… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Books, hotline for bakers say holidays

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  Enjoy a serving of warm Pear-Cranberry-Pecan Crumble on a cold day.

HHH “Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats” by Joy Wilson Clarkson Potter/Publishers, $30; 272-page hardcover The holiday baking season is definitely upon us. My first sign is always the avalanche of cookbooks about baking that begin landing on… Continue reading →

What's Happening, Nov. 27 2014

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS  --  Not expecting a crowd for Thanksgiving? Serve Apple-Pecan Cornish Hens.

Galatoire’s Restaurant, 209 Royal St., New Orleans, plans to ring in the new year with a five-course Nicholas Feuillatte Champagne dinner. Located on Galatoire’s second floor with a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street, the New Year’s Eve Champagne dinner will be $175 per person, exclusive of… Continue reading →

What's Left?

Photo provided by Half Baked Harvest  --  For a tasty sandwich using Thanksgiviing leftovers, make Mashed Potato Waffle, Crispy Turkey, Smashed Avocado, Cranberry and Brie Melts.

The best part of Thanksgiving dinner may be dishes created with the leftovers. At least, that’s what the bloggers with the step-by-step cooking app SideChef say. They’ve come up with some inventive ideas to turn their day-old leftovers into tasty sandwiches. A suggestion from Half Baked Harvest combines cranberry and turkey… Continue reading →

Check out these ideas for offbeat, inexpensive dining near the holiday shopping hubs this weekend

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA --  Oak Oven in Harahan is a modern Italian restaurant built inside a former fast food franchise.

Black Friday is not for the meek. There are doors to be busted, bargains to be bagged, traffic to maneuver and lists to complete. Savvy shoppers know they must keep up their strength, and that means taking a break for lunch. Don’t assume, however, that you have to settle for food court… Continue reading →

Cozy retreats take the chill out of winter days

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- The Columns Hotel bar's Flaming Coffee.

Winter is tricky in New Orleans. Visitors wrongly assume that it never gets cold in the Big Easy. How many of us have had to endure “you don’t know cold” lectures? And while it’s true that we may see T-shirt weather one day, it can drop to a temperature that has you grabbing the parka… Continue reading →

Craving a Hubig’s Pie? These alternatives might interest you

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - A blackberry and cream cheese pocket pie from Butcher.

These are hard times for fans of Hubig’s Pies. The beloved but beleaguered local brand has been out of business since a fire destroyed its facility in July 2012, and any prospects of rebuilding have been stuck at an impasse for many months now (see more in this week’s What’s Cooking column). And… Continue reading →

Hubig Pie Co. manager on possible reopening: ‘I have no good news to report’

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Racks of Hubig's Pies, still bare.

For a perishable product that’s been out of circulation for more than two years, reminders of Hubig’s Pies have a way of turning up around town. Racks where the fruit-filled fried pies were once stocked in corner stores sometimes still bear the brand name, as if just waiting for fresh product to return. Some vehicles retired… Continue reading →

Ian McNulty’s Digging In: Here’s a safe bet for a great po-boy at New Orleans Fair Grounds

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty -  A corned beef po-boy at the Fair Grounds Race Course.

CASUAL Corned Beef Po-Boy Fair Grounds Race Course 1751 Gentilly Blvd. (504) 944-5515 Served at concession stands around the Fair Grounds, this sandwich ($9.75) may subtly bring to mind the holidays for some, since a Thanksgiving visit to the track is a… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: How do you like your apples?

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Enjoy the new crop of apples by using the simple recipe for Baked Apple Halves.

The new crop of apples is arriving at stores, so this is a good time to enjoy the best of the season. After you have enjoyed eating a few apples out of hand, then try baking some for dessert. I tried two recipes. For the Baked Apple Halves recipe, the apples are cut in half and cored,… Continue reading →

Holiday dish with room for dessert

Photo provided by Wyman's of Maine  --  Wild Blueberry, Butter Squash and Quinoa Salad offers a healthful option for a holiday side dish.

Looking for ideas for your Thanksgiving menu? Here are three ideas — Garlic Rosemary Turkey for a flavorful main dish; a quinoa salad featuring blueberries and butternut squash as a side, and for dessert, the ultimate seasonal treat, sweet potato pie flavored with bourbon. The turkey is flavored with only five simple ingredients, but the garlic, herbs… Continue reading →

What a Crock!: Slow cookers can help ease space constraints

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --  Use a slow cooker to make Squash Stuffing Casserole to free oven space on Thanksgiving.

It’s the annual dance-around-the-oven-space ritual. Kitchens are roomier than ever these days, and builders have learned a thing or two from the input of cooks about holiday cooking needs. That doesn’t necessarily hold true if you, like us, have what some workers at home improvement stores have referred to as one of those “old-fashioned” houses. Lovingly… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Ina Garten gets ahead of cooking

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  For a special dinner, serve Asparagus & Prosciutto Bundles. The recipe is in Ina Garten's 'Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.'

Hint to holiday shoppers: Fans of Ina Garten and her Barefoot Contessa cookbooks are surely hoping to receive a copy of Garten’s “Make It Ahead” book for Christmas or Hanukkah. They definitely won’t be disappointed with the gift. Garten, author of eight bestselling cookbooks, tackles stress-free entertaining by preparing dishes ahead of time. Some of her latest… Continue reading →

Eat Your Vegetables: Opt for fresh greens this year

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Opt for fresh green beans for Thanksgiving and serve Green Beans With Almonds and Bacon.

Forget the creamy green bean casserole this year and opt for fresh green beans topped with sliced almonds. This is a good holiday dish because you can prepare the beans the day before and heat them in the oven when ready to serve. This is an old recipe that resurfaced recently. I think the original used a… Continue reading →

Victory is sweet (and savory); area cooks shine in Thanksgiving recipe contest

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND  --  For an easy holiday appetizer, serve Cranberry Pear Relish with crackers and cream cheese.

If the winning dishes in The Advocate’s Thanksgiving Recipe Contest sponsored by Calandro’s Supermarket are any indication, Thanksgiving Day menus in south Louisiana reflect both the area’s culinary heritage and the cooks’ creativity. It wasn’t easy selecting the contest’s winners, the judges said as they tasted, critiqued and lobbied for their favorites among the dozen finalists in… Continue reading →

Explore delicious options as chefs get creative at annual Po-Boy Festival

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - One of Parkway Bakery's fesival offerings is the

The food lineup for Sunday’s Oak Street Po-Boy Festival has answers for just about any po-boy craving imaginable. At the same time, however, it may pose its own question: Just how far can you take a po-boy and still call it a po-boy? At 50-plus stands arrayed along the Oak Street commercial corridor and adjacent… Continue reading →

Restored and updated Fountain Lounge offers modern flair

Photo provided by Roosevelt Hotel -- Bone marrow with lobster in the Fountain Lounge.

The Roosevelt Hotel is a regular spot for locals to enjoy a drink, but, until recently, that meant drinking at the Sazerac Bar, one of the city’s iconic standards. Now, there is another setting that also provides the kind of elegant imbibing locals expect from one of our favorite hotels: the Fountain… Continue reading →

New Orleans eateries play key role in ambitious South Market District development

Rendering provided by Domain Cos. - The Paramount, the first phase of the South Market District development, shown here as designers envision the finished project.

As the South Market District continues to take shape in the CBD, word has trickled out about restaurants planned for the multi-block residential and retail development one announcement at a time, including a Vietnamese eatery, a small plates lounge, a quick-serve pizzeria and a bakery and cafe from John Besh’s restaurant group. Behind… Continue reading →

Ian McNulty’s Digging In: How you can find fancy braised lamb shank or casual meatloaf po-boy in New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - Brasied lamb shank at Rue 127.

UPSCALE Braised Lamb Shank Rue 127 127 N. Carrollton Ave., (504) 483-1571; Arriving on a neatly frenched bone, this lamb shank ($26) is regal in appearance but delivers rustic, hearty satisfaction. The bone surrenders its meat as irregular slivers and chunks, all… Continue reading →

Ian McNulty’s What Cooking: Check out these new restaurants scheduled to open in New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by Ian McNulty - St. James Cheese Co. plans to open a downtown shop early in 2015.

The South Market District will bring a lot to the table for CBD dining, but there are plenty of other restaurants preparing to open downtown, beginning this week and continuing in the months ahead. First up is Trenasse (444 St. Charles Ave., 504-680-7000;, a restaurant based on Gulf Coast seafood and south… Continue reading →

Turning turkey into a healthy salad

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- It is easy to turn leftover Thanksgiving turkey into a dinner-worthy salad that will have everyone craving more greens.

When I was a child, my grandmother used to roast up two enormous turkeys at the holidays. And, of course, that was on top of all the usual gravies and sauces, sides and pies. For days after, the entire family would eat Grandma’s famous “blue plate special,” which was our euphemism for leftovers. Fast-forward to today, and… Continue reading →

Saints dinners set the table for team unity

It has all the makings of a classic guys’ night out — the tight-knit group of colleagues who faithfully set aside time during a high-pressure work week to share a meal and relax together off the clock. And so what if their gatherings tend to turn heads and ignite a giddy buzz across the evening’s dining… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Sweet potato pies are the taste of the South

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Try this lower-fat version of Sweet Potato Pie. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream.

Sweet potato pies have graced Southern holiday tables for years, but many of our Northern friends have never heard of them. We’re blessed with some of the sweetest and best sweet potatoes grown right here in Louisiana. According to information on the LSU AgCenter’s website, this year’s crop is predicted to be excellent as far as… Continue reading →

What a Crock!: Good food and good friends make good memories

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Try Slow-Cooked Spoon Bread, Julie Kay's version of an old friend's recipe.

It was 40 years ago when we moved to Baton Rouge as a young couple just starting out. It wasn’t long before we realized how important food was to the culture here. We connected with other young couples who also hailed from parts near and far, and we began a monthly dinner group. The memories flooded… Continue reading →

Bites of History: The origin of bourbon’s name remains a mystery

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles  --  Bourbon-Glazed Ham

Break out the bourbon! The holidays are near, and a respectable portion of imbibing Southerners look forward to bourbon’s smoky, oaky wallop in their cold-season cocktails. Cooks, too, know bourbon adds depth to savory winter dishes as well as to decadently elegant baked goods. A lthough the distinctive taste and aroma of bourbon are… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Main course is only half of the meal

Looking for new, impressive side dishes to serve with your holiday meals or maybe a quick side dish for a weeknight supper? Award-winning cookbook author and cooking teacher Rick Rodgers’ latest cookbook might have just what you want. “The Big Book of Sides: More than 450 Recipes for the Best Vegetables, Grains, Salads, Breads, Sauces, and More”… Continue reading →

The next course at Arnaud’s? A new one.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--The sister and brother team of Katy and Archie Casbarian run Arnaud's Restaurant together and are beginning to put their own stamp on the menu.

The black drum Mitchell was arrayed at a jaunty angle, its bright, light-tasting sauce was a reduction of bouillabaisse broth and it rested over a cool, crunchy tangle of mirliton slaw. It was nothing revolutionary, but it did feel contemporary and since it was served at Arnaud’s Restaurant, the dish was definitely a signal.… Continue reading →

Drink in the classic Old-Fashioned in historic surroundings at CellarDoor

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- CellarDoor main room on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014.

With its flickering sign and discreet side entrance, it’s easy to miss CellarDoor. This newcomer to the CBD occupies a sparsely inhabited block of Lafayette Street. But it’s precisely this half-hidden, slightly secretive quality that makes the bar so enticing. In fact, the three-story brick building, christened the Swoop-Duggins house, has… Continue reading →

New Orleans drinks expert Jeff “Beachbum” Berry rekindles retro style in new Latitude 29 restaurant

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Jeff

Just about every aspect of Latitude 29 is meant to evoke the exotic. Yet at the same time, this new tiki restaurant and bar, which is slated to open today (Nov. 12), is mining a richly nostalgic seam of American pop culture, one that’s now seeing a resurgence and that may have particular resonance for New… Continue reading →