&Follow SJoin OnSugar
big, easy bites

the gift of grits: creamy peppered mascarpone grits

Email |
|
By Jen White · July 30, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

So, a couple of years ago, on this very blog, I made a statement I'd like to retract: "I don't cook grits with milk or cream--I just don't see the need." You see, I was stuck then on the notion that grits cooked in chicken broth were the most flavorful and avoided scalding milk in my favorite pot, even though my friends were all telling me that cooking grits in milk was the way to go.  Eventually, I tasted several versions of grits that were so creamy and luxurious, I had to know how they were prepared, and the answer usually came back as "cooked in milk." So now, I'm a milk convert.  Whenever I happen to eat breakfast at a restaurant that serves watery, thin grits, I get cranky and insist that they should be doing the milk thing too.  And now I have an even richer, more wonderful addition to my favorite grits: mascarpone cheese.  We were introduced to mascarpone cheese grits at La Provence in late May, and they were a dreamy revelation of what grits could be. Mascarpone is a thick Italian cream cheese that's not as salty as our usual cream cheese--it's more like a consolidated version of ricotta.  In fact, it tastes a lot like unsalted butter to me, and it melts as easily into the hot grits as butter would.

continue reading...

gettin' fresh: new fresh market opens on st. charles

Email |
|
By Jen White · July 25, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

The new Fresh Market opens today, y'all! 9:00 a.m. Be there ready to fill a cart full of goodies because everything looks so bright and shiny and gorgeous.  It's in the beautiful old Bultman Funeral Home at the corner of Louisiana and St. Charles, which was most recently a short-lived Borders Bookstore. It may just be the most awesome place in town to make groceries, considering their offerings, their prices, and their not-too-far-uptown location.

continue reading...

not-your-mama's tuna salad bagel

Email |
|
By Jen White · July 21, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

A few weeks ago, our neighbor Andy gifted us a huge chunk of fresh tuna right off the boat after one of his deep-sea fishing trips.  I'm talking about 8 pounds worth. I don't remember what Paul and I had planned on eating that night, but whatever it was, it got DITCHED.  We set to work on the tuna right away, because when you have a nice piece of fish that fresh, there's only one thing to do.

Eat it raw.

continue reading...

Tagged with: seared, bagel, salad, sandwich, Tuna

love for Uncle Lionel

Email |
|
By Jen White · July 18, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Uncle Lionel graces the poster for Treme's bicentennial celebration.

10 days ago, New Orleans lost one of its best ambassadors: Uncle Lionel Batiste, longtime drummer of the Treme Brass Band and generally the sharpest-dressed gent in the city. It had been a while since we'd run into Uncle Lionel on Frenchmen Street or in the Quarter, but when we first moved here, Paul and I used to see him all the time.  We'd be in the Spotted Cat and he'd saunter in, dancing breezily with his cane, or we'd find him nodding his head at the Apple Barrel. Once on Paul's birthday, Uncle Lionel and Jack Fine were our tablemates for the evening, and Uncle Lionel led a rousing "Happy Birthday" for Paul while Jack played along (sitting at the table, of course).  Every time I got up from the table, Uncle Lionel watched my purse so I could dance unencumbered.  Once we even ran into him at the Ritz, drinking a High Life at Jeremy Davenport's show.  He could show up anywhere, and he leant a sense of playfulness anywhere he went.  I think that's why he's so beloved by people here and such an appropriate figure for things like the Treme poster: Uncle Lionel always had a good time, and it was a classy good time.

continue reading...

things i lurve*, July

Email |
|
By Jen White · July 4, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

*Love is too weak a word[.]

Woody Allen

1. Iced Chai with these Bigelow chai tea bags!

Iced chai is delicious! But it's an expensive habit. I've been making my own lately for less than .50 per cup. You just simmer a chai tea bag for a few minutes in a small pot of water and milk, add sugar to taste, set it in the freezer to cool while you read facebook or something, and after about 8 minutes, pour over ice.  Take that, summer doldrums.

continue reading...

when heaven happens: the commander's palace chef's table

Email |
|
By Jen White · July 2, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

This is Commander's Palace. If it looks like a fairytale building, that's because it is. It's a place where stories are told, surprises happen at any minute, and everyone works together to entertain you and take care of everything you could possibly want.  Prepare to be a princess, in other words.

Any time you eat at Commander's, it's special; from brunch on any Sunday to lunch on Thursday to dinner on Saturday night.  But the best times to eat there are on holidays, like Thanksgiving, or special occasions: the birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries that are the most important days in the story of your life.  I had a big ol' birthday this month; I turned 40.  All I wanted was to eat at the Chef's Table at Commander's, and Paul, my wonderful love, he made it happen.

continue reading...

of love and lunch: The Root Cafe, Little Rock

Email |
|
By Jen White · June 22, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

My birthday burger and salad with blueberries and honeydew.

Last week, Paul and I attended a wedding in Little Rock, Arkansas...and also got to hang out with some of our favorite people for my 40th birthday! We've actually enjoyed a whirlwind of weddings, birthdays, and friends since June started, and we've been eating some terrific food along the way.  We seem to visit Little Rock every two years or so, for a wedding or similar event, because Paul spent years living there and has a ton of friends who call it home.  Our friend Alan suggested lunch at The Root Cafe, and we couldn't have had a better meal.

continue reading...

the summeriest of snacks: fried whole okra with remoulade

Email |
|
By Jen White · June 13, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

The other day, in the midst of a marathon 4-day wedding weekend, Paul and I took some out-of-town friends to The Company Burger so they could revel in its deliciousness.  As always, the bacon-and-egg burgers and mayonnaise bar at Company didn't disappoint.  But we also got to try one of their vegetable specials, fried whole okra with a vinegar pepper sauce.  it was a revelation, and I haven't been able to get it off my okra-loving mind: lightly battered, crisp little bites of the summertime garden.  The spicy vinegar was great for dipping, but I wanted to try something a little more clingy on them, and I think this remoulade is a good match.  Remoulade (a zippy little mayonnaise-based sauce commonly served with shrimp in New Orleans) will perk up just about any vegetable, whether it's grilled, roasted, steamed, fried, or just plain raw.  

continue reading...

Tagged with: remoulade, Tempura, okra, fried, snack

what do you get the queen who has everything?

Email |
|
By Jen White · June 7, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

The good folks at Tabasco sent me this photo and I had to share it with y'all: it's a sterling silver Tabasco "coozie" they sent to Queen Elizabeth for her diamond jubilee. Apparently the Queen likes her spice!  Engraved on the coozie is the Queen's Royal Warrant, bestowed on the McIlhenney Company in 2009; the Royal Warrant marks excellence and fine quality to those companies who have provided goods to the Queen for at least 5 years.  

I have to say, I'm a bit jealous of this.  I love the silver cap! 

head north! Trey Yuen and La Provence

Email |
|
By Jen White · May 28, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Above: goats at La Provence in Lacombe

The first time Paul and I travelled to New Orleans together, for Mardi Gras 2005, I was a little confused about the geography of the city and the water surrounding it.  When we were driving into town, I thought the large body of water to our left was the Gulf of Mexico.  I did!  In fairness, we had been on the road for a long time, and it was very late at night...but honestly, that body of water, which is actually Lake Pontchartrain, is HUGE.  If you're new to New Orleans and you're not looking at the map for hours before you arrive, you too might confuse that lake with a gulf.  But on the other side of that lake, there are several towns worth checking out, with festivals and top-notch restaurants of their own.  The area is called The Northshore, and you have to cross the longest continuous over-water bridge in the world to get to it.  It takes about 30 minutes to get from one end of the bridge to the other; bridge-a-phobes might want to take the long way around.

continue reading...


archive

Grocery List

Tags

View my Tasty Kitchen Profile

View my recipes at tastykitchen.com to add to Pepperplate and other cooking apps!