• Favorite foods: Cajun, Cuban, Southern, Soul Food

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Weekend Book Giveaway: 'Roadfood'

My all time favorite has to be the Cajun Cafe on the Bayou in Pinellas Park, Florida, just outside of Tampa. A genuine taste of Cajun country here in Florida.

Dry Rub

McCormick Grill Mates makes a very good steak rub.

To use gumbo file or not?

If you first make a roux, you shouldn't need it. But if you don't, add it at the table, not on the stove.

Moving to Tampa, is there anything good to eat?

In nearby Pinellas Park, there is an authentic Cajun restaurant, Cajun Cafe on the Bayou, that serves wonderful gumbo (some of the best I ever tasted), jambalaya, dirty rice, Pouche's boudin, andouille, and around 75 different craft beers. If you like Cajun cooking, this is the place.

What is your favorite food spot in Tampa?

I love the Cajun Cafe on the Bayou. Technically, it's not in Tampa. It's in Pinellas Park. If you like Cajun food, you'll love this place. Absolutely authentic Cajun cuisine....the best gumbo ever, boudin, dirty rice, and about 100 craft beers. Don't miss it!

what are your motivations to head to the ethnic grocer?

I couldn't find any pork liver for my boudin sausage making project. I found it at a small Hispanic grocery.

pig roast?

I've only roasted a pig once. It was a small one, maybe 10 to 12 pounds. I won't do it again....too much waste. Next time I'll just roast a couple of Boston butts.

charcoal grill

Big Green Eggs are awesome. I've had one for over 20 years and use it regularly. However, they're very expensive. A good Weber is really hard to beat, especially with all the accessories available for it.

What about pancakes and fried chicken?

Well, in a lot of places they serve chicken and waffles, but I don't think the chicken is fried.

Home made sausages

Thanks, Everyone! I'm inspired!

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Praise the Lard Gift Box

Bacon from Masser's Farm Market near Paxinos, PA. Smoked over red birch and sassafras!

Seasoning cast iron pans

I always use bacon grease exclusively for seasoning. Crisco will harden after a while and become difficult to remove. Same with vegetable oil.

Stainless Steel skillet - cannot get clean!

Pitch it in the trash and go buy a cast iron skillet and learn how to use and maintain it. Then you can will it to your grandaughter in 50 years.

How to Make Your Pecan Pie More Exciting

I wonder if cane syrup-----which I dearly love-----would work as a substitute for Karo? Anybody tried it?

best way to cook beans from dry?

@derosa: I do the same way with excellent results

vegetable shortening vs. lard

I've used Crisco on the rare occasions that I was all out of bacon grease. It seemed to work OK as long as you don't go without using it for long periods of time. If it sits too long, several weeks for example, the Crisco tends to get very sticky. I'm at a loss as to why Lodge would recommend it. But then again, I'm not a fan of Lodge. I've always been able to find WagnerWare or Griswold cast iron at yard sales/flea markets. I much prefer a smooth cooking finish rather than a rough one.

Vegetarian cooking - do I need a cast iron skillet?

I'm a big fan of cast iron, too. However, I always season my skillets and Dutch ovens with bacon grease which makes them unsuitable for vegetarian or vegan cooking.


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