Tag Archives: nola cuisine

Basil Mayonnaise Recipe

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This recipe is in anticipation of the tomato sandwiches I’ll be having now that my larger tomatoes are finally starting to ripen. The summer Tomato Sandwiches are some of the best sandwiches of the whole year…stay tuned for some recipes.

This is a simple recipe that makes quite a bit of mayonnaise, excellent for using in a Potato or Pasta Salad to replace the store-bought stuff. I like to use quite a bit of fresh basil and a touch of fresh garlic to give the old taste buds a good Summery poke in the chops. This is a great way to utilize some of that basil from the garden to help keep it from going to seed! If making this for Potato or Pasta Salad make the whole recipe, if making to dress sandwiches cut the recipe in half.

Basil Mayonnaise Recipe

1 & 1/2 Cups, Packed Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Large Egg
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp Kosher Salt
A few turns of black pepper
1/8th teaspoon White Pepper
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 Cup Canola Oil or other neutral oil

In a blender or food processor combine the basil, egg, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt & peppers. Blend until the mixture is very green and the basil is very well pureed. Combine the two oils, then with the motor running on low, very slowly drizzle in the oil mixture (if you add it too quickly the sauce will break), continue this until all of the oil is incorporated. Taste for seasoning.

Store in an airtight container, it will keep for up to one week but is best if used in a few days.

Makes about 1 & 1/2 Cups.

Be sure to check out my ever-growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which is a collection of all of the recipes featured here on Nola Cuisine!

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Parkway Bakery & Tavern Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the first meal I go to off of the plane when I get to New Orleans is a sloppy Roast Beef Po Boy, it simply says “home” to me. I just recently saw a facebook southern foodie friend go into Parasol’s for a Roast Beef and received a comment along the lines of “why did you go to the gulf coast for Roast beef?”

The answer, dear reader, is that it is the quintessential Po Boy and sandwich of New Orleans. It’s a neighborhood specialty that folks grew up on, sitting in a dark tavern or pub with the odor of stale beer omnipresent, music moaning from a tinny jukebox or half assed speaker system. To be honest, and probably no secret to anyone with eyes, the place is probably not that clean. The conversation in the room could come from anyone… bums, judges, good time charlies, tourists, lawyers, construction workers or a group of high school kids in for a bite after school.

A neighborhood restaurant.

Everyone’s welcome and everyone is there.

Maybe the reason I make that meal my first one is to step into some real local color.

Then again, maybe it’s just the sandwich.

When done right it’s loaded with fall apart Roast Beef, waves of gravy made ever more creamy by generous slatherings of Mayonnaise, the first bite makes the French Bread and the sandwich collapse, leaving you elbow deep in gravy with fringes of shredded lettuce and pieces of tomato and pickle hanging from your wrist.

Don’t worry, nobody’s looking…or I should say, nobody’s judging. It’s all part of the experience. Enjoy. Relax.

It seems these days there are two camps of Roast Beef Po Boy enthusiasts as these neighborhood joints are a dying breed. Parasol’s and Parkway. I’ll take them both, each a little different, each on the high side of what I think of as a Roast Beef Po Boy. Good bread, good gravy, fall apart meat, and good local color as company.

This is my humble nod to the Parkway Bakery & Tavern Roast Beef Po Boy, I’ve gathered a few secrets from this article:

In Judy’s Kitchen Parkway Roast Beef Po Boy

Parkway Bakery & Tavern
538 Hagan Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119

I put my own spin on this recipe for those who aren’t close enough to grab one when the urge strikes. Be advised this is not highfalutin food. Don’t be shocked to see things like Kitchen Bouquet and Cream of Mushroom Soup, these are neighborhood recipes made by regular folks. Don’t judge as they don’t judge when you’re sliding off of the table from the gravy and blue plate mayo.

If you’ve had the pleasure of having a good Roast Beef Po Boy in New Orleans and are from elsewhere, this is the recipe for you. This along with my Parasol’s Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe are damned authentic and will scratch that itch for you….provided you can find the right bread.

A note on New Orleans French Bread:

This detail is of utmost importance, as the cooking of the beef, maybe even more so. The bread must be a bit larger than a traditional baguette with a crisp crust, and an almost cotton candy interior. Very hard to find outside of New Orleans, but in Michigan I have found a very sufficient substitute at Fresh Thyme markets. The French Bread there is almost a perfect substitute in my humble opinion, even though they’re a bit highfalutin, organic this and that.

Parkway Po Boy Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

For the roast:
3 1/2 to 4 lb. Beef Chuck Roast

Penzey’s Mural of Flavor Seasoning (not authentic but I like the dimension of flavor it adds)
Kosher Salt
Coarse Black Pepper

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Sear the Roast liberally with all of the seasonings. If seasoning the night before omit the salt until just before searing.

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Medium Spanish Onion, rough chopped
1 Carrot, rough chopped
1 Celery Rib, rough chopped
3 toes Garlic, chopped
2 Bay leaves
1 bunch Fresh Thyme
12 oz. Beef Stock or canned low sodium Beef Broth
1 – 10.5 oz. can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Tbsp Kitchen Bouquet

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a very hot dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. Sear the seasoned Roast until very brown on all sides. Remove the roast to a plate, reduce the heat to medium, add the onions, carrot, celery, garlic, fresh thyme and bay leaves.

Deglaze the pan using the vegetables, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove all of the brown bits, the flavor.

Add the beef Stock, mushroom soup and kitchen bouquet. Bring to a boil, then add the roast back to the pan, ladle some of the liquid and vegetables over the roast, place the lid on and place into the preheated oven for 3 – 3 1/2 hours.

When the roast is fall apart tender, remove from the liquid and refrigerate until easy to slice, about one hour.

In the meantime, strain the gravy, pressing some of the vegatbles through the holes of the strainer. Strain the fat from the top. Return the gravy to the pot and keep on a low flame, I like to add a tsp of garlic powder, reduce until gravy consistency, season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.

When the roast is quite cool, “slice” but it will be more like making it fall apart. Slice the meat with a very sharp knife across the grain. Add the meat back to the gravy and heat through, check the seasoning again, keep warm on a very low flame.

For the Po Boy:

1 Loaf New Orleans Style French Bread (Crispy Crust, soft center)
2 Cups Shredded Lettuce
2 Beefsteak Tomatoes, sliced
2 Dill Pickles, sliced
Good quality Mayonaise, Blue Plate if you can get it or Hellman’s
Roast Beef with Gravy (see above)

Cut the bread in half lengthwise and toast.

Slather mayonnaise on both sides of the toasted French Bread, put a generous helping of the Roast Beef mixture on the bottom half of the bun, followed by the tomatoes, then pickles, then the shredded lettuce. Put the lid on then slice in half. Serve with a cold beverage and a very large stack of napkins.

Serves 3 to 4 depending on how generous you are with the meat.

Other sandwich recipes on Nola Cuisine:

Parasol’s Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

Roast Beef Po Boy with Debris Gravy

Central Grocery Style Muffuletta Recipe

Muffuletta Bread Recipe

Muffuletta Olive Salad Recipe

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Coming soon…Parkway Bakery Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

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20170702_181937-01

I’m coming out of hiding to post a Parkway Bakery Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe in the very near future! Stay tuned for another very authentic neighborhood Po Boy Recipe!

Parasol’s Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

Roast Beef Po Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe

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Daube Creole Recipe

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From Daube Creole

Daube was introduced to New Orleans by the French Creoles who brought the preparation from their native France, where there are many regional versions of the dish. The Creoles went a step further and created Daube Glace which is a jellied dish served cold for breakfast or brunch.

What makes this dish unique from an ordinary Pot Roast is the larding of the roast with seasoned salt pork which flavors the meat from the inside while it cooks. Be sure and do this the night before cooking!

I use a split pig’s foot in the preparation of Daube Creole for the gelatin and richness that it adds to the sauce, also important for making Daube Glace.

From Daube Creole

Larded Beef Roast Recipe

5 lb Beef Roast, preferably from the Round
1/4 lb Salt pork fat, cut into thin strips (1/2″ X 3″)
1 Tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, finely chopped
3 Fresh Bay Leaves, very finely chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tbsp Spanish Onion, minced
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
2 Tbsp Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Freshly Grated Black Pepper

Make 1 inch long incisions about 3 inches deep all over the roast. Toss the salt pork strips with the remaining ingredients.

From Daube Creole

Fill each incision with some of the seasoned salt pork mixture. Refrigerate overnight.

From Daube Creole

Daube Creole Recipe

3 Tbsp Lard or Bacon drippings
1 5 lb Larded Beef Round (recipe above)
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
All Purpose Flour for dusting
1 Large Spanish Onion, chopped
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 Cup Dry Sherry
2 Quarts Beef Stock
5 Carrots, cut into 1/2″ dice
2 Turnips, cut into 1/2″ dice
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Pork Foot, split
3 Bay Leaves
1 Bunch Fresh Thyme, tied

Season the larded roast very liberally with salt and black pepper and dust lightly all over with the flour. Heat the lard in a large Dutch Oven on high heat. When very hot, sear the larded roast on all sides until very brown. Remove the roast to a plate.

From Daube Creole

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, stirring well, making sure to get all of the brownings from the bottom of the pot. When the onion is nicely browned add the tomato paste. Cook for several minutes, browning the paste slightly. Add the sherry and bring to a boil over high heat to cook off the alcohol.

Add the stock, carrots, turnips, garlic, split pig’s foot, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, then return the roast to the pot, turn the heat down to a simmer.

From Daube Creole

Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

When the roast is tender remove to a cutting board. Turn up the heat and reduce the sauce by half. Remove the pig’s foot, bay leaves, and thyme. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Add the chopped parsley.

Slice the roast in thin slices and cover generously with the sauce. Serve over Creole Boiled Rice or cooked pasta.

Serves 6-8.

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A Trio of Texas Barbecue at American Gourmand

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On my recent buisiness trip to Fort Worth Texas I had the pleasure of visiting three wonderful examples of Texas Barbecue all featured at my newest website American Gourmand!

Angelo’s Barbecue – Fort Worth Texas (read full post)

At Angelo’s the Brisket is the most meltingly tender I have eaten to date:

From Angelo's Bbq – Fort Worth, Texas
From Angelo's Bbq – Fort Worth, Texas

Railhead Barbecue – Fort Worth Texas (Read full post)

At Railhead the brisket sandwich is also delicious, with equally incredible Pork Ribs, no sauce required!

From May 13, 2012
From May 13, 2012

Lastly I had the pleasure of visiting Chef Tim Love’s love letter to wood & smoke”

Woodshed Smokehouse – Fort Worth, Texas (read full post)

From Woodshed – Fort Worth, Texas
From Woodshed – Fort Worth, Texas

I will definitely be planning many return visits to Texas! I’m planning on Austin with a side trip to Lockhart in the near future!

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which provides links to all of the recipes featured at Nola Cuisine! Also be sure to check out the sister site to this one American Gourmand!

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The Louisiana Seafood Bible – Oysters

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I’m proud to say that my photo made it on the cover of the new book The Louisiana Seafood Bible: Oysters
! I’m thrilled to be associated with such an informative book, the kind of cookbook I like, not just recipes, but loads of information as well.

From Louisiana Seafood Bible – Oysters

The photo is from my post Drago’s Style Charbroiled Oysters Recipe. The art director of Pelican Publishing in Gretna saw my photo online and contacted me about possibly using it on the cover of an upcoming cookbook about Oysters. Being a Bona Fide Louisiana cookbook Junkie, I knew immediately that it was for the upcoming Oyster volume of The Louisiana Seafood Bible series by Jerald & Glenda Horst, because I already own the other three volumes. 🙂

The Louisiana Seafood Bible: Shrimp
The Louisiana Seafood Bible: Crabs
The Louisiana Seafood Bible: Crawfish

This is a great book, packed with information about the Louisiana Oyster, starting with the long history of the Louisiana Oyster industry, then continuing with every step of oyster production, from harvesting, to processing, to how to recognize quality.

The second half of the book is loaded with recipes from Louisiana home cooks as well from Chefs and restaurateurs, including the recipe for Drago’s Charbroiled Oysters. I haven’t had a chance to try out any of the recipes as of yet, but the ones that I’m looking forward to trying are Baked Oysters Bay Batiste which contains Mexican Chorizo and mushrooms, P&J’s Oyster Rockefeller Soup, Oyster Fricassee, Smoked Pork and Oyster Jambalaya, and Oyster Tasso Pasta. I will keep you posted on how they turn out!

This book is not just another addition to my extensive collection of Louisiana cookbooks, but the one that I’m the most proud of! Maybe one day I will have my own cookbook that will share the shelf with this one.

Here are some of my Oyster Recipes featured on this site:

Angels on Horseback Recipe
Chargrilled Oysters with Artichoke Garlic Cream Sauce
Drago’s Style Charbroiled Oysters recipe
Oysters Bienville
Oyster Dressing
Oyster Omelette
Oysters Roffignac

By the way check out this Bibliography of Louisiana Cookbooks that I put together! Let me know if any of your favorites are missing!

From Louisiana Seafood Bible – Oysters

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which provides links to all of the recipes featured at Nola Cuisine!

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Stanley Restaurant

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From

After visiting the second annual New Orleans Oyster Festival and a long afternoon of driving around New Orleans searching for an open sign in a restaurant, Seth McMillan and I became gradually less picky about where we were going to eat. Boucherie…closed, Dante’s…closed, the list went on and on. We ended up at the most unlikely place of all, the area we never dreamed we would kick back to dine… in Jackson Square. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Quarter. I love a lot of restaurants in the Quarter, but we left the Quarter in a car and ended up back with our tails between our legs…in Jackson Square.

We had walked past Stanley Restaurant earlier in the morning and Seth had mentioned that some of the staff at Bourbon House where he works told him he had to check out the Corned Beef at Stanley, so we said what the hell. The restaurant has a great reputation, owned and operated by Chef Scott Boswell of Stella! fame. Stanley being the more casual of the two, comfort food with a twist, all day breakfast & brunch, Po Boys, Burgers, sandwiches, and a hell of a good corner for people watching! We sat down, ordered a couple of Abita Ambers (following through with the theme of the day) and watched and laughed at the human statue, breaking character more often than not for smoke breaks.

In character:

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

Smoke break:

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

We decided to order a variety and split the whole works. Sampler platters like the Po Boy sliders at Stanley are a good way to get an idea of what a restaurant is all about.

Seth McMillan at Stanley:

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

Stanley has a lot of great sounding egg dishes on the menu, I chose the Breux Bridge Benedict, as I have a hard time not ordering anything on a menu that contains Boudin. The Breux Bridge Benedict did not disappoint! Toasted Leidenheimer French Bread, Charlie T’s Boudin, American cheese, a perfectly poached egg, finished with a well made hollandaise. A picture is worth a thousand words right.

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

This photo for me, is the stuff dreams are made of. It makes me hungry for this dish every time I look at it.

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

The Reuben was very good as well. A mix of Boar’s Head Brand Corned Beef and Pastrami with Swiss and Provolone Cheeses, Sauerkraut, and Russian Dressing on Toasted Rye. Very, very good!

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

The Po Boy Sliders was a sampling of the Oyster, Korean Beef, and the Club Stanley. The Oyster was very good served dressed with coleslaw and remoulade. The Club Stanley while good doesn’t really stand out in my memory. The standout and most inventive was easily the Korean Beef. A Korean Barbeque take on the classic Roast Beef Po Boy. Tenderloin, Korean Barbecue Sauce, topped with Kimchee. So delicious, I will definitely go back, if for this alone.

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

Our server tempted us with the all housemade ice creams, Bananas Foster flavor definitely caught both of our ears. It was the whole dish rolled into an ice cream, absolutely excellent.

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

I will definitely stop back into Stanley on my next trip down to New Orleans, maybe for that Korean Beef Po Boy, maybe for a late night breakfast, hell maybe for an ice cream, or maybe, just maybe, because I can appreciate the references to A Streetcar Named Desire!

Stanley has a lot to offer, and like I said the people watching and view can’t be beat!

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which provides links to all of the recipes featured at Nola Cuisine!

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New Orleans Oyster Festival 2011

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From New Oyster Festival 2011

I meet many wonderful people through this blog, most of which I never get to meet in person. I met Seth McMillan, this way and later through Facebook, so when I knew I was coming down to New Orleans for a visit I sent him a message saying we should try to get together, he suggested we go check out the Second Annual New Orleans Oyster Festival that was happening on the same dates of my trip, great call!

We met up at about 8:30 a.m. on the Sunday morning, both a little rough around the edges from the night before. I followed Seth’s lead by grabbing a Gatorade from the Walgreens across from Jax Brewery where the festival was being held. Another great call…electrolytes. I like this guy already!

Seth is a Sous Chef at Bourbon House Seafood Restaurant and an all around great guy. He does the seafood ordering for the restaurant, so he shared a lot of interesting information about ordering Seafood in New Orleans, and about all of the vendors and purveyors that he deals with in the day to day. We shared restaurant stories, talked food and eventually ended up at the Bourbon House bar for eye openers until the festival opened up (by the way, the frozen Bourbon Milk Punch at Bourbon House is a hell of a way to start the morning, loved it!)

After some good conversation at the bar with the bartender, who colorfully relayed a story of his early morning run in with a very hungover guest of the hotel, which had my sides splitting, we headed over to the festival with a nice lady that was at the bar when we arrived, who needed someone to walk over with. After making sure the bartender got our descriptions she said:

“I should be crazy walking away with two strange guys in the city, but at least there are like a million people around!”

To which I jokingly replied:

“That’s what alleys are for.”

But alas, we arrived safe and sound after a few hundred abduction jokes and said goodbye to the nice lady whose husband was working at the festival. We then did a flyby of all of the tents to see what they were offering.

From July 21, 2011

Here is a listing of the restaurants that were there and what they were serving.

After the flyby we stopped at the Drago’s tent. It was a windy day, with a little bit of welcomed rain that kept the temperature, still hot, but almost livable. The wind carried huge gusts of aroma from Drago’s famous Charbroiled Oysters deep into the Quarter. Later in the day we were on Chartres and were caught in a smell storm of charcoal, oysters and cheese sauce flare up, that made my mouth water. Here are some of the grill men working the Oysters.

From July 23, 2011

Drago’s Restaurant owner Tommy Cvitanovich was on hand and let me get a few pictures of Drago’s Char-Broiling Fire Engine, complete with flat screen TV’s, tappers of Abita Amber, and a Jagermeister dispenser.

From July 21, 2011

Tommy dispensing the Jager!

From July 21, 2011

Drago’s Char-Broiled Oysters are in my humble opinion, one of the best damned ways to eat a Louisiana Oyster! I even created my own recipe to try to duplicate them at home. In fact, I proudly announce that my photo from the same shoot from that post is being used on the cover of The Louisiana Seafood Bible: Oysters!

From Louisiana Seafood Bible – Oysters

Here is the recipe:

Drago’s Style Char-Broiled Oysters Recipe

From November 21, 2011

Here is the real deal from the festival!

From July 21, 2011

After visiting the Drago’s tent we decided it was time for an ice cold Abita Amber:

From July 21, 2011

While hanging around the beer tent Seth ran into, and introduced me to Sal Sunseri of P&J Oyster Company, which is absolutely legendary in New Orleans, and unfortunately, is still reeling from the effects of the BP Oil spill damage to the Louisiana Oyster beds. In fact, the Oyster Festival was started last year to educate the country about the benefits and importance of the Louisiana Gulf Oyster, as well as to showcase the restaurants and the dishes that they create from them. P&J also has a wonderful cookbook:

The P&J Oyster Cookbook

Sal Sunseri and Seth McMillan:

From July 21, 2011

While hanging near the Abita Beer tent we stopped and checked out James Andrews Band, I absolutely love this photo that I caught of the incredible trumpeter James Andrews at work!

From July 21, 2011

I also have to say, as incredible of a food experience that I always have in New Orleans, I also always have an equally incredible music experience! Hopping clubs on Frenchman Street at all hours, the Monday night Super Jam at Maison! Street Musicians galore! Rebirth Brass Band at Maple Leaf Bar on Tuesdays. More on the music in a later post, on to more food!

Fried Oyster Po Boy with Smoked Tomato Relish from John Besh’s restaurant Luke:

From July 21, 2011

i

These are Oysters from the largest Oyster Contest, they are easily bigger than my opened hand.

From July 21, 2011

Oyster Rockefeller Bouhe from Royal House, Seth said that this was his “guilty pleasure” of the day!

From July 21, 2011

The last stop was Bourbon House‘s tent, because Seth works there I got a behind the scenes view of the cooks making what was one of my favorite things to eat at the festival, Barbecue Shrimp, for the Barbecue Shrimp Po Boy. The second photo being one of my favorites from my whole trip! I love food photography, maybe because it’s hard to go wrong! If the food looks appetizing it is an amazing photo opp!

From July 21, 2011
From July 21, 2011

The finished product Barbecue Shrimp Po Boy from Bourbon House!

From July 21, 2011

The other offering from Bourbon House, Seth’s choice, and a good choice, Mcilhenny Oysters! He gave me a sample of an Oyster before he dug in, absolutely delicious, perfectly fried and the sauce was a perfect compliment! This is also one of my favorite pics from my visit!

From July 21, 2011

These festivals are such an incredible way for visitors and locals alike to sample the wares of a lot of different great restaurants in one spot, not to mention listen to some great live music!

After we were done with the Festival, Seth and I continued to hang out and decided to jump in my rental car and go find an awesome restaurant to check out, the city was our Oyster, pun intended, but as we found out, Sunday afternoon is no time to dine in New Orleans.

Boucherie…closed, Dante’s…closed, this little place right there I heard about has great…DAMN…closed! Look at this a Tapas bar off of St. Charles, the door’s open! Finally! Let’s go check it out! How ya doin?

“Good, but we don’t open until 5 o’clock. Sorry.”

DAMN IT!!!! Ahh, excuse me…Do you have a bathroom? Great, thanks.

The afternoon was a relentless barrage of closed signs and shuttered doors, we had nothing to do but laugh by the end of it. It was either laugh or cry.

We ended up at the mostly unlikely place for two educated diners to be eating in New Orleans. Jackson Square??? How the hell did we end up back here? Next stop:

Stanley!

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which provides links to all of the recipes featured at Nola Cuisine!

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Homemade Rendered Lard

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From Homemade Rendered Lard

Lard…the four letter word. Like one of my other favorite four letter words, if used in moderation, it can add emphasis and an added oomph…and let’s face it, sometimes, just sometimes, there is no other word that can be used that will properly express your feelings as well as that four letter word.

Lard makes things taste good. I’m going to repeat that, because it bears repeating. Lard makes things taste good! That is all I’m really concerned about here on Nola Cuisine, making things taste good, and making people happy with food, and by people, I mostly mean me and my family. I share my thoughts and hope you enjoy them too.

Lard makes things taste good, when things taste good, they make me feel good, when I feel good, it lowers my stress level, and believe me, the stress is going to kill me far before the lard does.

I use lard in moderation mind you, I’m not condoning cooking every meal in lard, but when you’re making that Sunday supper of Fried Chicken…nothing is going to make that crust crispier or more flavorful than lard (unless maybe you add some bacon fat as well.) If you only make Pies once or twice a year and you KNOW that Leaf lard makes THE BEST pie crust, why not use it? How much is each guest going to have? One Piece? Two? If this were a pie eating contest you should be concerned. It’s not. Use what yields the best results.

When talking about lard, I’m talking about homemade rendered lard. I don’t like the stuff they sell in the grocery store, which is a mixture of lard and hydrogenated lard. It tastes funny in my humble opinion, it has a chemical like aftertaste. I’m not a chemist or a scientist, I don’t know what the hell they do to hydrogenate fats or oils (by the way I don’t want to know, for the comments section…kinda kidding). I do believe however that the processed foods are the foods that are killing us, or better said that we’re killing ourselves with. I’m not a crazy organic guy, but lets be honest, we’re killing ourselves with all of this mass produced crap. We really are, I’m no exception.

Make your own lard. Use it for special occasions, or for your favorite dishes where it applies. Use it in moderation and ENJOY it! Don’t stress about it! Enjoy life! Our culture has us stressed about everything under the sun, we’re afraid of our own shadows for God’s sake…it’s ridiculous. The dinner table is really our only place to relax (when we can even make it there), so when you sit down at the dinner table, relax! Free your mind and indulge in GOOD cooking and good company!

Here’s how to make homemade lard, the same application applies for duck fat…another post. (Stepping off of my soapbox)

How to make homemade Rendered Lard

2 lbs. Clean Fresh Pork Fat cut into 1/2″ cubes (I usually use back fat because I can find it locally. Leaf Fat is the best and is preferred for baking purposes)
1/2 Cup water

Some important notes:

*Use only CLEAN, FRESH fat. If the fat has an off flavor, your lard will have an off flavor. The fresher the better! I get my pork fat from a polish butcher here in Michigan where I live, who, by the way, also has a ton of house made rendered lard for sale! The polish word is “Smalec.”

*Cut the fat into equal sized pieces, this helps to prevent some pieces from geting too brown before others, which will give the lard an off flavor.

*Remove all lean meat from the fat before rendering.

*1/4 cup of water is added to the pot for each pound of pork fat. This keeps the fat from burning or browning in the pot, before the fat starts rendering. The water will evaporate away.

The Process:

Add the fat and water to a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven:

From July 18, 2011

Cook the fat and water at medium-high heat until you start to see the fat really start to liquify in the pot, turn the heat to low. Cook slowly for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Your lard is ready when the remnants in the pot, now called cracklings are golden brown.

From July 18, 2011

Strain the cracklings in a fine mesh strainer, obviously reserving your beautiful golden homemade lard.

From July 18, 2011

Drain the cracklings on paper towels season them with salt and snack on them, or use them to make Crackling Corn Bread!

From July 18, 2011

Place into a clean, dry container, I use a French Market Coffee can, and store in the refrigerator for at least six months. Use to make Fried Chicken that looks like this and tastes even better!

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe

From July 18, 2011

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which provides links to all of the recipes featured at Nola Cuisine!

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Radosta’s Famous Po-Boys

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After my visit to the Abita Brewery, and my 23.83 mile jaunt across Lake Pontchartrain from Abita Springs, I decided to keep with my ritual on every trip to New Orleans and go straight for a Roast Beef Po-Boy! I’ve heard good things about Radosta’s in old Metarie, so that is where I headed.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

Radosta’s Restaurant & Deli
249 Aris Avenue Metairie, LA 70005-3424
1 (504) 831-1537

Tucked away on a neighborhood street, it took a little looking to find. Although it was slow when I came in, I got the feeling right away that this is the kind of joint that locals in the neighborhood pay a strong allegiance to. The folks that own and run it, are just as nice as can be.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys


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I ordered at the deli counter, the gentleman behind the counter took my order, and when I asked about a drink he said, “Just help yourself to anything you like from the coolers, just like you’re at home. You can pay on the way out.” I liked that.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

I grabbed an ice cold Abita Jockamo IPA, because hell, why break the theme of the day. I had a seat to wait for my order and snap a few shots of the interior.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

I love neighborhood places like this, and it always makes me jealous that I don’t have one like it. A father and son grabbing a Po boy and a soda, presumably after school, another family relaxing and talking after a late lunch. The counterman casually checking the score on the TV as he prepares my sandwich. No stress, no mess. Business as usual.

My food arrived a few minutes later, a dressed Roast Beef Po-Boy, and a cup of Gumbo. I started with the Gumbo, and I have to tell you, I was floored, just delicious. Nothing crazy, or new, just a well made, well seasoned File Gumbo. I loved it. Honestly, I don’t usually order a Gumbo at restaurants, because quite frankly, I like my own. But I was glad I did on this occasion, it really hit the spot.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys
From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

On to the main attraction, the Roast Beef Po-Boy. Very good, wonderful beef, tender with good flavor! Good buttered and toasted French Bread. Dressed. Generally I like my Roast Beef Po Boys a little more sloppy, lots of gravy and mayo. This one was more about the beef itself which was very good and a very generous portion!

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

After stuffing myself I went to the counter to pay, had some nice conversation with the delightful gal tending the register, I presume one of the owners, and went on my way, fat and happy!

Related Posts:

Parasol’s Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe
Parasol’s Bar & Restaurant
Domilise’s Po Boy & Bar
Roast Beef Po Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe
Mother’s Restaurant

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which provides links to all of the recipes featured at Nola Cuisine!

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