Home cook who appreciates great food, simplicity of ingridients. Originally from New Orleans, LA, most of my food loves come from creole cuisine, and Lousiana fare. I now live in Miami, and enjoy exploring the cuisine of latin america and carribeanne

  • Location: Hartford, CT
  • Favorite foods: Meat: Any type of white flaky fish (redfish, trout, grouper, sea bass, etc), Duck, Lamb, Pork, Oysters, other shellfish
  • Last bite on earth: Fried oyster po boy

The Food Lab: How to Make the Best Potato Hash

@Kenji - 2 questions - are you adding oil as needed as you go (ie: adding the poblanos post potatoes), and once everything is thrown back in the skillet - or better yet, before they are thrown back in - are you allowing the pan to cool down at all? Curious eggs burning in a hot pan.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

Smoked beef brisket from my smokey mountain.

AHT Giveaway: Case of Pat LaFrieda Burgers

Keep it simple - med rare - sesame seed bun - pickle, cheese, thin slice of onion - ketchup - mustard - light domestic beer so cold it's almost slush.
Warm sun - shady deck - WWOZ playing on the radio.

Bradley Smoker?

awesome - thanks for the advice. this helps a ton!

Rooster Cogburn's beloved "Corn Dodgers"

also - True Grit one of my favorite novels!

Rooster Cogburn's beloved "Corn Dodgers"

I love the Bittman recipe for cornbread. Use it all the time and it provides a great palate for variations. Must use a cast iron skillet though, or it's useless. I love adding some cheddar cheese and some fresh jalepeno to mine and crumble into chili!

Holiday Giveaway: The Amazing Thermapen Thermometer

Pork loin on my weber grill's rotisserie. Also backside of a 3 yr old!

The Pizza Lab: We Test The New and Improved KettlePizza Grill Insert

I am a total weber-head and have several of the attachments for their grills-rotisserie, cast iron insert, smoker(smokenator), and this oven attachment.
I bought one of these several months ago. Had some trouble initially with getting the tops brown without burning the bottom. Al was great and actually called me and walked me through some techniques to help it out. I think that if you can roll your dough out thinner, the process becomes a little faster. However, I would say many of my pizzas look like the ones that Kenji pictured, but in my opinion, even those had a better all around taste and texture to them than the oven itself. However, I haven't tried the cast iron skillet method and am going to very soon. I'm happy with the purchase, it's a fun outdoor alternative to doing this inside especially when the weather is so nice.

I am curious if something created like this for the green egg would produce a superior pizza. My thought is yes.

Where to eat in Fort Lauderdale?

I lived in Ft Lauderdale for 4 years. Worked in Miami. If you are looking for a great, local dive bar where you can throw back some oysters on the patio, try southport raw bar. Complete dive, but one of my favs when i lived there. also, try blue moon fish...excellent. check out the floridian for breakfast in lauderdale. its great, another good local joint.
In Miami there are tons of great restarurants, but if you want to try your hand at cuban, go to havana harrys in coral gables. you won't see a tourist in the place. you could also hit versailles in little havana, it's amazing and as authentic as it gets.

First Timer in New Orleans: Where to Eat?

Hit Franky and Johnnys uptown, and make sure to order stuffed artichoke. Total dive.

Also, my family's spot is Mandina's on canal street-been going there since the 40's.

You can't go wrong, but there's a couple to hit!

Best restaraunt you've ever been to?

Don't know about best, but favorite is Gallatoires in New Orleans.

Best book recommendation on curing meat (especially fish/salmon)

This is all awesome advice. So many books surprisingly on the subject. Hard to know what's the best not knowing much about the process. I made gravlax at home this week which is what got me interested in doing this more.

What to serve with duck breast?

I love root veggies with duck. Maybe some sweet potatoes roasted in duck fat with a little cinnimon and chili powder? Turnips thrown in as well?

Supper Club Ideas

Editmom - would love the recipe - please share.

Supper Club Ideas

Lamb would have been my go to, but was the feature last month, not at my house!

Butcher in CT/Hartford

Yep, I live around the corner from Halls. They are really good. I have also been to the Meat House on 44 as well. They seem to have a nice variety as well.

I was more curious to find out whether there was something a little more traditonal in the area. I will try Kanes.

Supper Club Demi-glace

Thats what I am thinking too. Tons of time, and I also read that most chefs do not make their own either. I make stock also, but this seems like purchase is the way to go.

Stuffed Artichoke Casserole

Sure, or shrimp - that would be awesome!

Stuffed Artichoke Casserole

Should come together well, and be pretty dense. It's should be a rich dish. You should be able to slice it like lasagna almost.

Best brand of Vanilla?

I also would cast my vote for Penzy's.

Stuffed Artichoke Casserole

The recipe doesn't say what size cans.....I am going to go with the more, the better. I want more artichoke than stuffing in the casserole. Also, it calls for 2 tbsp of cheese, but again, I am going to grate to taste...that sounds a little low.

Dish for a crowded holiday party

There is a great recipe in 'Cooking Up A Storm' the post-Katrina cookbook published around 2005, for a shrimp and crawfish fettucinni....would work for a crowd. I'll post the artichoke recipe if I can get it!

Dish for a crowded holiday party

CJ - Funny you suggest that, my mother told me she did that exact thing entertaining a week ago. Thats a good call.

What do you eat for dinner the night before Turkey Day?

usually dp pizza or grinders that night. always fun and easy.

Pulled pork in smoker/kettle grill

I think I ran into the plateau that you're referring to BJT. Seemed like the temp was stuck there for over an hour....I ended up taking it off because people started to show up and I was running out of time.

Take another look at the Smokenator. It was worth the investment. I think I paid $60 for it, and it really does do a good job. My second time using it, I had no problem keeping the temp between 230-250.. and I am sure I will get better at it as I use it more.

One last question - if the bark is a littel dry does that mean that the oven/smoker/kettle/whatever you're using was too hot? I will probably have to close all vents on my smoker to get the fire that low...or just use less fuel.

Bradley Smoker?

I've been contemplating the purchase of a weber smokey mountain, or a bradley smoker for quite some time now. My gut is telling me to move more towards the bradley based on some reviews and what I want to smoke (aside from meats, I'd like the flexibility to cold smoke salmon and cheese) which makes me lean towards the bradley. Anyone out there own one or the other? if so, what are your thoughts? my main concern with the bradley is the actual life of the unit. read some reviews stating that they had trouble lasting more than 18 months. what say you, serious eats community?!

Best Boston Eats

Taking my brother to Boston for his bachelors weekend. Would love some great recommendations on some not to miss eats. Not talking fancy, but just plain great places. Sandwiches, italian, burgers, asian, etc. I'm willing to eat our way through the city for 3 days.

Supper Club Ideas

June is my month to host Supper Club. It's finally warm in Connecticut, so I want to do something that we can prepare outdoors. I've got a very discerning palates I will be cooking for. I also have a member who does not eat pork (so that rules out smoking a pork shoulder, or fun things like that).

Any good grill ideas out there for a supper club?

Supper club emergency! Bitter Demi-glace!

I am making a juniper berry Demi glacé for supper club tonight to go with venison. I soaked the berries in brandy over night and burned the alcohol off in the sauce. Second third ingredients were honey and the veal demiglace. As I taste the sauce has a bitter aftertaste. I need to try and save this. Any suggestions on counteracting this bitter taste?? Help!!!

Supper Club Demi-glace

I've started a supper club with some friends, and my turn is up in two weeks. I already know what I want to serve. Venison tenderlion, with roasted sweet potatoes with juniper berry demi-glace. The recipe came from a cookbook I love from a restaurant, Gallatiores in New Orleans.

Here's my question - make the demi-glace, or purchase? The recipe seems simple enough, but takes things that might be hard to find in my area (I live in CT now). 10 lbs Veal marrow bones, etc. I found that Williams-Sonoma makes a nice veal demi-glace, but wanted someone to chime in and give me a littel direction.

Stuffed Artichoke Casserole

I recently posted that I was trying to get this recipe from my aunt, for a party I am throwing. Some of you expressed interest in it, so here it is. If you've ever been in New Orleans and had stuffed artichoke, this is for you!

4 cans artichoke hearts (in water)
4 cloves minced garlic
2 cups bread crumbs (combo reg/italian) - or make your own
Grated romano cheese
1 cup chopped fresh parsely
2 lemons, juiced, plus
1 cup olive oil

Drain the artichokes, and cut each in half or quarter. Combne all ingredients in large mixing bowl and empty into casserole dish. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes uncovered.

It's simple, but it's very good.

Dish for a crowded holiday party

My wife and I throw a holiday party every year. We usually have between 50-60 guests coming and going throughout the night. I make a main dish every year and it's always a hit. Most years I'll do a brisket or a pork loin that I serve with french rolls and mustard, etc. This year I want to do a little something different.

I am from New Orleans, but live in CT now, and would like to do something a little more representative of my hometown this year, in more of a casserole type dish. Something that I can leave under a hot plate, and will not scare guests (ie: not everyone eats oysters, etc). My aunt used to make this outrageous artichoke casserole, with the base of it being the stuffing for the artichokes.

Any thoughts or ideas are greatly appreciated!

Pulled pork in smoker/kettle grill

A few weeks ago, I posted that I had purchased the smokenator 1000 online to fit inside my Weber kettle grill. It works great, and allows for cooking at 230-240 for 6 hours without adding fuel.

However, Sat I attempted to smoke a pork butt and make pulled pork Carolina style. It was great don't get me wrong, but the consistency was not that of your typical NC pulled pork. Actually, it wasnt pulled pork at all. I had to cut and chop it up.

What am I doing wrong here? I would have though a peice of meat with that amount of connective tissue, being cooked at 240-275 for 6 hours would have easily fallen apart. It the dome too dry? Smoked too long? Internal temp after 6 hours was 162, and would have liked a little higher for pulled pork.

Next time should I smoke for a few hours and finish in the oven?

Anyone have any tips?

Smokenator 1000

Anybody used one of these? Picked it up on Amazon based on great user feedback. It's made to fit inside your weber 22 1/2 grill. Going to break it out tomorrow and throw a pork butt on. I have read it's a little tricky to operate, so any feedback anyone has is much appreciated!

Easter side dish and appetizer

I have been invited to dinner Sunday afternoon and have been asked to bring an appetizer and a side dish. The main course is lamb. I think there is already a vegetable and a potato dish being provided. Any thoughts of sides specifically that would pair excellent with lamb?

empanadas de carne

Going to make empanadas Friday night. Lots and lots of variations out there. I am going to make beef. Anyone have any recipes or websites they love for me to look over? Planning on making enough so I can snack on them all weekend!

Clarified Butter

For Valentines Day, I am going to make a recipe that calls for clarified butter. It's a process that I'll need to tackle ahead of time, but my question to throw out is, outside of raising the smoke point of the butter, does it actually change the flavor of the dish? Is it an uneccessary step?


Whole Turkey on the grill?

I have a turkey that I have defrosted in the fridge and am trying to decide what to do with it. I don't want to roast it in the oven, and was thinking the grill. Christmas eve I did a Boston Butt on indirect heat in a Weber charcoal grill, and was thinking I would try that. I am well aware these pieces of meat are worlds different which is why I'm throwing it out it a good idea, or too risky?

quick chicken ideas

I have marinated about 5 chicken breasts over the last 24 hours and now that it's time to eat them, I just don't feel like throwing it on the grill. I used stubbs (the best store bought, if you need a quick fix in my opinion), an entire lime, a beer, and kosher salt.

Anyone have some suggestions or ideas on something to do instead of grilling with those flavor combos?

Anniversary Dinner

Today is my anniversary, and I am cooking dinner for my wife and I, as I do every year.

I am thinking a penne with vodka sauce, etc, something simple ,yet elegant.

Any good ideas for menu items before I finalize my grocery list?

Keep in mind, I can't be stuck in the kitchen all night, it is my anniversary.


Bought a whole duck on Sunday and had it quartered at the what?

This will be my first attempt for duck at home, so I need to find a simple and delicious recipe that's a slam dunk! Keep in mind, I've had it quartered already, so no whole recipes!

Any thoughts?

mardi gras menu

Anyone making anything special tomorrow/tonight for Fat Tuesday? I am soaking my red beans tonight. I know I know, Mondays the day for red beans, but I REALLY wanted them tomorrow!

What do you have planned?

Flank Steak Ideas

I have a large flank steak defrosted in the fridge right now. I want to se it for dinner tonight, but before I marinate it and make fajitas (my go to recipe), thought I would throw it out there for any creative ideas, because I always get so many good ones from you guys. Thanks!

Stained Cookware

Anyone have a good method for getting the scorched marks off your pans? I got some nice Calphalon cookware when I got married, and my 12 inch skillet now needs some TLC to remove some scorch marks on the inside!

Where to Eat Near the Museum of Natural History

As the summer approaches, we're taking a trip around some of New York's most heavily visited destinations. Up next? The Museum of Natural History. If you're headed up for a planetarium show or a little dinosaur lookin', make sure you know where to eat after all that museum walking wears you out. (If you're touring the Upper West Side or wandering the western part of Central Park, this is a great resource for you, too.) More

Traditional Beef Pho

There are few things better for the soul or the body than a tangle of slick rice noodles in a rich, crystal clear, intensely beefy broth; the warm aroma of cinnamon, cloves, and star anise rising up in a cloud of steam. The intensely savory-salty hint of fish sauce balanced by a squeeze of lime juice and a handful of fresh herbs and chilies that you add to your bowl as you eat. Here's how to make it at home. More