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This website is devoted entirely to the never ending search for better culinary experiences. The culinary world is vast, but the more you know, the better it gets. This website offers a listing of the best restaurants in the Greater New Orleans area, general culinary information, and New Orleans foodie news.

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Photos of plates from Baru.

Gautreau's is a must try classic that is winning national recognition.

Get ready for St. Patrick's Day. Recipes and events here.

Get ready for March Madness by enjoying the spring's seasonal ingredients.

Spotlight on Prytania.

The best butcher in the world is Dario Cecchini of Panzano, Italy.

Learn about the Edible Schoolyard, a program that New Orleans is proud to be a part of. Visit their booth at the Freret Market.

Whole Foods (on Magazine) has a great cheese on special for the St. Patrick's Day Season. It is a Dubliner with Irish Stout that has a beautiful bright green rind. It is on special for $19.99/lb bringing most of the pre-cut pieces to between $6 and $10.

See the 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards Semifinalists from New Orleans. Finalists announced March 23, 2009. For a full list of semifinalists visit jamesbeard.org.

The Celebrity Chef Tour, a benefit for the James Beard Foundation is coming to New Orleans March 5 to recognize Executive Chef Jacques Leonardi of Jacques-Imo's.

Photos from dinner at Upperline.

Il Posto Cafe is a must try.

A few local food links.

Photos from dinner at Rambla.

Beef Carpaccio recipes

James Beard Awards NOLA

Check out the Cresent City Farmer's Market for seasonal ingredients.

New Orleans Wine and Food Experience set for May 19-23, 2009.

Upcoming national culinary events

Cochon Ball: Where meat, art, and foosball come together. See the photos.

Cochon Butcher is open.

John Besh releases a line of vinaigrettes and sauces.

News from Where Yat Magazine

New Orleans chef, Mike Davis opens Terra in South Carolina. Read his chef bio and check out his menu that is the talk of town.

Entertaining this holiday season? Check out recipes for Brandy Apple Cider and Candied Citrus to add to your party.

New Orleans Magazine comes out with the Best of Dining 2008 issue

New Orleans Executive Chef Justin Devillier Wins Chef Tom Wolfe’s Local “Iron Chef” Competition

Photos from The Second Line for The March of Dimes Chef's Gala

What exactly is a Satsuma?

Upcoming Culinary Events

Mexican Culinary Information

Trying to make a reservation? Try Open Table

Looking for Foodie info? Try Chowhound.

 

Recipe of the Month:

Gyoza for the Birds

A personal take on the classic Japanese dumpling.

40 wonton wrappers

1/2 lb ground pork

3 carrots, shredded

dill

cilantro

2 lemons

2 limes

soy sauce

rice vinegar

olive oil

*The amounts are up to you. Feel free to change the ratios of the ingredients according to your taste.

Marinate carrot in dill, juice of 2 lemons, and 2 tbs. rice vinegar. Mix carrot mix, pork, chopped cilantro, 2 tbs. soy sauce, and juice of 2 limes. Lay gyoza wrappers out one at a time on a flat surface. Place around 1 tsp. of filling in center of wrapper. Brush all four edges with water. Fold wonton into a triangle. Push the prongs of a fork into the edges of the gyoza to seal. Heat olive oil in skillet. Cook gyoza 1 minute on only one side. Make sure they are not touching each other. After 1 minute the edges will slightly begin to curl. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover, reduce to low heat. Simmer until all water has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Mix soy sauce and rice vinegar and serve as a dipping sauce. See photos.

See more recipes.

 

Books to read right now:

Support your local bookstore.

Gumbo Tales: Finding my place at the New Orleans table by Sara Roahen

You are Where You Eat by Elsa Hahne

Bottega Favorita: A Southern Chef's Love Affair with Italian Service by Frank Stitt

Fat by Jennifer Mclagan

 

Drink of the Month:

Uptown Manhattan:

3/4 oz. sweet vermouth

2 1/2 oz. Makers Mark

dash Angostura Orange Bitters

3 cherries

Muddle 2 stemless cherries in the bottom of an old fashioned glass. Fill with ice. Add Makers Mark, sweet vermouth and dash bitters. Stir. Garnish with cherry.

 

New Orleans Magazine's Best of Dining 2008:

Chef of the Year: Sue Zemanick of Gautreau's

Best New Chef: Aaron Burgau of Patois

Best New Restaurant: MiLa

Restaurateur of the Year: Joel Dondis of Grand Isle, Joel's Catering, La Petit Grocery and Sucre

Maitre d'of the Year: Orestes Rodriguez of La Boca

Bartender of the Year: Alan Walter of Iris

Honor Roll: Tujague's

Best New Cafe: Il Posto Cafe

Best New Cookbook: Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook

Tamales

Tamales appeared more than 5,000 years ago as food for Aztec and Mayan warriors. Monks who accompanied the Spanish conquistadores in the 1550s reported that the Aztecs served them tamales made of beans, meats, and chiles. Other early fillings included turkey, fish, mushrooms, potatoes, and nuts. Banana and avocado leaves, as well as the now traditional cornhusks were used to wrap the filling. They are considered a holiday fare in the hispanic community, but recently tamales have found their place in the elite culinary community. Tamales are simply a cylindar of ground corn bound with lard, stuffed with sweet or savory filling, rolled in a corn husk or banana leaf and then steamed. Tamales are very versatile because you can fill them with almost anything and they even freeze well. Try one of the tamale recipes below.

Recipe for Basic Masa Harina Dough

Chipotle Beef Tamales

Goat Cheese Tamales with Olives

Green Chile and Cheese Tamales

Pork Tamales

 

Lime vs. Key Lime:

The Key Lime, also known as a Mexican Lime, is ranges in size between a ping-pong ball and a golf ball leaving it much smaller than the regular or Persian Lime. The peel and flesh of a Key Lime is greenish-yellow when ripe. It is said to be juicier and higher in acid than the Persian lime. The Key Lime has a very distinct flavor which makes it very useful in the culinary world.

Key Lime Pie Recipes

 

 

Cachaca:

It is the most popular distilled alcoholic beverage in Brazil. Cachaca is the main ingredient in the national drink of Brazil, the Caipirinha. It is distilled through the fermentation of sugar cane juice bringing its potency to between 38% and 48% by volume. It is akin to rum and has unaged (white) and aged (gold). The country of Brazil is consuming 1.5 billion liters annually which comes to about eight liters per head. The world outside of Brazil is only consuming 15 million liters annually. Want to learn more?

 

Caipirinha:

2 teaspoons fine sugar

4 Key Limes, halved (or 2 regular limes quartered)

3 oz Cachaca

Muddle the sugar and lime in an old-fashioned glass. Fill with ice and add Cachaca. Stir and enjoy.

The Caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil. Cachaca is derived from sugar cane and thus akin to rum.

Satsumas:

They are part of the mandarin orange family making them close kin to the tangerine and clementine, yet some culinary experts would argue that Satsumas deserve a category of their own. They were developed in the 16th century as a Japanese variety of the mandarin family, named for a former province. They were introduced to Florida in 1876. Although California is the leading producer of Satsumas in the country, Louisiana's coast takes a respectable second making them very prevalent within the New Orleans culinary scene. They are one of the sweetest citrus, and are very easy to separate making them delectable. Satsumas are in season between October and December bringing a wonderful touch of color to the holiday season. On average, they are right between the clementine and tangerine in size. Look for satsumas with firm, tight, peels. Heavier ones are usually more juicy. Satsumas must be clipped by hand therefore bright green twigs still attached indicates meticulous handling and freshness. Store at room temperature, refrigeration may prolong life, but can dry them out.

Try a candied fruit peel recipe and substitute satsumas.

Satsuma Cocktail: (serves 2)

Peel and section 1 satsuma orange, rinse in cold water and place in freezer for 30 minutes. Add 1/2 cup Grey Goose L'Orange, juice of 2 satsumas, and 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier to ice filled shaker. Shake and strain into two martini glasses. Add 4 frozen satsuma sections to each cocktail and enjoy.

Oven-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Satsuma Tapenade:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring 1/2 cup satsuma juice (about 2 satsumas) to a simmer over medium heat and cook until reduced by half (about 3 minutes). To create tapenade blend juice, 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, 1 tablespoon capers, 2 teaspoons satsuma zest, 2 minced garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a food processor.

Cochon Ball: A Pig Field Folly

New York artist Allison Meehan has teamed up with Prospect 1 to create quite the event. Chef Donald Link of Cochon will be cooking up whole pigs on site while 26 foosball players take the field. Meehan plans to use this time to converse with those in attendance about what food means to them. The event is taking place to honor St. Anthony's Day, the patron saint of pigs, sausage, bacon, and miracles.

January 17, 2009

The Brickyard, Bywater, 3000 block of Chartres St.

Foosball starts around 2pm

Food starts around 5pm

Admission is around $5

For more information contact alisounm@gmail.com.

 

Sazerac:

1 cube (1/2 teaspoon sugar)

4 dashes Peychaud Bitters

Splash water

2 ounces rye whiskey

Splash Herbsaint or Pernod

Lemon peel

Ice

Pack an old-fashioned glass with ice and set aside to chill. In another glass muddle sugar, bitters, and water. Add rye whiskey, fill with ice. Stir, do not shake. Discard ice from first glass and coat glass with Herbsaint or Pernod. Strain second glass into chilled glass. Add lemon peel and serve.

Learn about the history of the Sazerac.

National Upcoming Events

South Beach Wine and Food Festival Thursday February 19 to Sunday February 22, 2009

Scottsdale Culinary Festival Tuesday April 14 to Sunday April 19, 2009

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Thursday April 16 to Sunday April 19, 2009

Food and Wine Classic in Aspen Friday June 19 to Sunday June 21, 2009

James Beard Awarded NOLA 2009

 

5 Fifty 5's Executive Chef Mark Quitney was in Manhattan in December hosting a Cresent City Christmas dinner at the James Beard House. Pastry Chef Tariq Hanna of Sucre and Chef Justin Devillier of La Petit Grocery were honored to cook at the James Beard House on January 23, 2009.

 

2009 James Beard Foundation Awards Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists

Outstanding Restaurant: Brigtsen's

Rising Star Chef of the Year: Sue Zemanick, Gautreau's

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Beth Biundo, Lilette

Outstanding Wine Service: Emeril's

Outstanding Service: Brigtsen's, Emeril's

Best Chef: South:

Scott Boswell, Stella!

Aaron Burgau, Patois

John Harris, Lilette

David and Torre Solazzo, Ristorante Del Porto, Covington, Louisiana

 

New Orleans food links: Markets, Co-ops and more.

marketumbrella.org

The New Orleans Co-op

Second Harvest Food Bank

 

Spring Seasonal Ingredients:

Apricots

Artichokes

Asparagus

Broccoli

Butter Lettuce

Carrots

Chayote Squash

Chives

Collard Greens

English Peas

Fava Beans

Fennel

Fiddlehead Ferns

Green Beans

Green Garlic

Honeydew

Kohlrabi

Limes

Mango

Mint

Morel Mushrooms

Mustard Greens

New Potatoes

Oranges

Peas

Pineapple

Ramps

Rhubarb

Snow Pea

Sorrel

Spinach

Spring Baby Lettuce

Strawberries- Get ready for the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival April 3-5.

Sweet Corn

Sugar Snap Peas

Swiss Chard

Tarragon

Vidalia Onions

Watercress

White Asparagus