Category Archives: recipes

Hoppin’ in to 2011

The custom of eating Hoppin John on New Years Day requires a bit of foresight. I have found that if I don’t soak the black-eyed peas over night they are–how should I say this–less..digestible.

Anyway, I was curious where the name “Hoppin’ John” came from, and what sounds most plausible to me is that it sounds like the french pronunciation of “pois pigeon” or pigeon pea, which is what the french speaking natives of West Africa, who created this dish, would have called it. Cool, huh?

So, it’s tomorrow, and you’ve soaked your beans. Now what? …I like Emeril’s recipe.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large ham hock
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
  • Salt, black pepper, and cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 3 cups steamed white rice


Heat oil in a large soup pot, add the ham hock and sear on all sides for 4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic, cook for 4 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the peas are creamy and tender, stir occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock. Adjust seasonings, and garnish with green onions. Serve over rice.

I’m serving mine with some kale and cornbread.



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Holiday Sides

So, I’m starting to think about side dishes for the Christmas Eve dinner. I’m trying to find the perfect accompaniment to a beef tenderloin that my co-host is preparing. Potatoes and green beans are natural partners to beef. So, I’m looking for delicious, unique and yet not overly-complicated takes on these classic side dishes. I like the idea of using different varieties of potatoes, Perhaps this Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes and Sage? Or maybe this sinful Scalloped Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin with Fresh Herbs? Look at that, is that just like a big clump of butter in the corner?:

And maybe these sauteed green beans with hazelnut crumbs?

Add to that a crisp salad and some crusty dinner rolls. And I think we’re good. This Treviso, Walnut and Gruyere Salad certainly is festive.

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A Lighter Louisiana Thanksgiving

Not that I’m actually going to do this tomorrow, but I was curious if there were any alternatives to the stick-of-butter-per-recipe Southern Thanksgiving recipes I find. I found these recipes in Cooking Light:

Cajun Turkey With Dirty-Rice Stuffing (Dirty-Rice Stuffing), Maple Sweet PotatoesSauteed Green Beans and Onions With BaconJalapeno Corn Bread and Classic Sweet Potato Pie.

Maybe next year…

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Crescent City Farmer’s Market-Thxgiving Edition-2

Really Thanksgiving? You’re two days away already? It’s probably going to be a mob scene at the Farmer’s Market and the grocery store today. So, I’m going to make this snappy. I already posted about the Bread Stuffing with Crawfish, Bacon and Collard Greens. Speaking of snappy, I’m thinking about these snap beans:

Also, this sweet potato pie:

And check out these delicious seasonal specials Satsuma is cooking up for the Blue Plate Special: Curried Pumpkin Soup, Turkey Sandwich on Ciabatta, Kale and Chard Salad, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Quiche and Hot Apple Cider.

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Crescent City Farmer’s Market-Thxgiving Edition-1

Thanksgiving is creepy up rather quickly this year. I think I’m going to go to the Crescent City Farmer’s Market and procure some local goodness to try out as a possible Thanksgiving side dish. How about this Bread Stuffing with Crawfish, Bacon, and Collard Greens

And, as it turns out, my favorite neighborhood cafe, Satsuma, is doing the Green Plate Special. How fortuitous! So lunch will be one or more of these offerings: Lentil Stew, Roasted Beet Salad, Salmon Salad Sandwich, Gluten Free Pie, Quiche and Satsuma Limeade.


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Fall at the Farmer’s Market

What a gorgeous day to go to the Farmer’s Market! I was also looking at Louisiana Fall seasonal produce to get inspired for a recipe. How about these lamb chops with persimmon chutney?

  • 2 firm-ripe Fuyu persimmon (12 oz total), peeled with a knife, cored, seeded if necessary, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 small fresh jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (1-inch-thick) loin lamb chops
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
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    World’s Largest Mac & Cheese

    Yesterday it was the world’s largest king cake. Today, it is the world’s largest mac and cheese! It’s funny, in a cruel sort of way, what the universe sends one’s way when one is trying to reduce her body weight by 14%! That’s right folks, I will have to live vicariously through your tales of cake and mac and cheese.

    So, Vermont’s Cabot Creamery Cooperative has teamed up with Chef John Folse who is cooking this record breaking-ly large mac and cheese in a huge cast iron kettle that dates back to 1797. Umm, rad! The final dish will weigh 2100 pounds.–speaking of reducing one’s body weight by 14%. The dish is then being served in all-you-can-eat bowls for $5. And it all benefits the Magnolia School and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity.

    Today! From noon-2pm at Fulton Square.

    Oh, here’s the recipe for you to recreate at home:


    • 575 pounds cooked macaroni
    • 286 pounds mixed Cabot cheese
    • 56 pounds butter
    • 26 pounds flour
    • 1,100 pounds of milk
    • 61 pounds dry seasoning blend

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