• Location: New Orleans, LA
  • Favorite foods: Chocolate, bacon, cheese, tomatoes, coffee

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Cook the Book: 'Bromberg Bros. Blue Ribbon Cookbook'

There isn't much in the way of late-night restaurants here in NOLA (that I've found anyway) - but Morning Call is a favorite early, late, or anytime inbetween.

Poll: What's Your Favorite Hummus Flavor?

The classic - maybe a little heavy on the lemon and garlic. As to tahini - I've been using Prince Tahini with good results. I've got some Achva to test next.

Cook the Book: 'My Bread'

Disaster - any of my (multiple) attempts at 'wild yeast' sourdough. Most of them were flat and tasteless (and this with a very active starter)

Therapeutic tedium... or hateful kitchen tasks I strangely enjoy

Washing dishes (inclusive of the pots and pans) and "deep" prep - chopping all the stuff to cook dinner.

Cook the Book: 'Gourmet Today'

Can't recall the first - but I do have memories of thumbing through my mother's Joy of Cooking years ago. I purchased an updated edition for myself a few years ago.

Cook the Book: 'Real Cajun'

Fried chicken and cream horns (main course and dessert, not served together) at my grandparents house...I miss those days

Colored Chocolate?

Food paste or you can use fat-soluble powdered color. Be careful with the powder though...stains worse than turmeric or beets.

Good Baguette Recipes

Check out - Anis Boubasa's baguettes (my spelling of his name may be incorrect). This is the guy who's baguettes were voted best in Paris (or a similar honor). Really good write up and recipe. I haven't tried it out though. Time/space issues.

Cook the Book: 'Urban Italian'

Two favorites - one is a local Creole/Cajun thing - spaghetti sauce with lots of hot sauce (Crystal is my favorite); the other is a dish some friends made and brought over - ravioli lasagna - frozen ravioli layered in place of noodles. I'd love to try this with fresh ravioli - mushroom, spinach and ricotta...

I'm so glad it's pizza I'm craving red sauce...

Grass Fed vs. Grain Fed Beef - Your Opinion

Grass-fed for me too. Taste is much better. I've used it in several applications and the lower fat thing hasn't been an issue.

Serious Efforts: Boring Bechamel

I sweat mirepoix (seasoned with salt and pepper) in butter over low - medium low heat, add flour and make a blond roux (cook for 3-5 minutes to get the raw taste out of the flour). I add milk (always whole, have tried skim and it never comes out quite right), a pinch of nutmeg, and a couple of bay leaves and simmer for 10-15 minutes (never boil). Then I strain the sauce twice, once to get rid of the mirepoix and big lumps (press on the solids to get out as much of the sauce as possible) and the second just to make sure it's smooth. I adjust seasoning at this point.

Cook the Book: The Essence of Chocolate

An entremet named "Tiffany" at Sucre here in New Orleans - two or three types of chocolate and raspberries - perfect balance of sweet, tart, and the merest hint of bitter.

Your favorite kitchen supply website: aka Kitchen Porn Site

Cook's Warehouse is as dangerous online as in person.

I've been shopping and for a while - much to the detriment of my bank account. is one that's getting my attention of late too.

Le Creuset: Is it worth it?

The Target brand is Tramontina...

I own and use a 7 qt Lodge Enameled dutch oven and love it. I've had mine for four or five years and with semi-regular use my only note is some mild discoloration on the interior enamel bottom. Hasn't affected food in the least. My only gripe is the very narrow handles on the side of the pot - they just don't allow for a good grip.

Six things you cannot live without in your kitchen?

1. Chef's knife, honed to razor sharpness
2. Cutting board
3. Spatula (preferably heat-resistant)
4. Salt (I've switched to sel gris and it's made a world of difference)
5. Shallots (for clarity now that I live in Louisiana, I mean the French shallot)
6. My enameled cast-iron dutch oven (I LOVE the Lodge Outlet store)

Kitchen Smells - Your Favourite and Least Favourite Ones?

Coffee, bacon, bread or cake baking, anything chocolate baking, onions and garlic, tomatoes cooking, chili...the like list goes on and on.

Dislikes - fish sauce (works wonders in food, but stinks to high heaven), cleaning out the science project bits in the back of the fridge, burnt popcorn

S.O.S. (...on a shingle): Way or No Way?

Tried the Stouffer's version that my dad loves...made me gag. I recently stumbled across another version that uses roast and other fresh ingredients. It'll make an appearance at some point soon.

Cook the Book: 'Baking Unplugged'

Tried baking a simple pound/tea cake in a round pan - rose beautifully, slightly pulled away from the edges, golden brown. Checked it with the tester...clean all over, middle included. Pulled it out of the oven and left it to cool for 10-15 minutes. Came back and the middle had sunk a little. Turned it out and had a handful of very hot batter from the supposedly cooked middle. Made a lovely tea ring after that.

Best Way to Keep a Stainless Steel Pan Stainless

I'll throw in my support for Bar Keeper's too...I use my saute pan almost daily and it still looks like it just came out of the box.

Cook the Book: 'The Great Wings Book'

Zapp's potato chips - either the Creole Tomato and Tabasco or the Sour Cream and Creole Onion...or better...both.

Ideas for Do-Ahead Chicken for 200?

I've done work for 150+ but not chicken. I would advise avoiding mixing the lemon juice and aluminum foil - aluminum and acids isn't a good mix - it can provide an off taste and some funky discoloration. I second the slicing into roulades or smaller pieces and reheating in sauce - works very well.


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