Archive for the Recipe Category

Recipe: Fried Chicken

Posted in Eat, Entrees, Recipe with tags , on 15 March, 2010 by la fille

For those of you who’ve never tried it, making fried chicken is pretty darned messy (trans. a whole lotta fun). I got this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but halved it across the board since there was no way BFF and I could eat two full fried chickens before we started having nightmares about Colonel Sanders coming to bludgeon us to death with a giant drumstick. What follows is the half-portion recipe, but it’s easily doubled if you want two birds worth of fried goodness.

The only qualm I had with the crispy, greasy deliciousness that resulted is that it was a tad salty. I may or may not have left it in the brine for more than the recommended amount of time, though (hint: I DID), so I am possibly to blame. Otherwise, it was fantastic. Golden and crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Yes, yes. Also, I heartily recommend listening to Johnny Cash and drinking a Louisville Cooler while fixin’ it.

Fried Chicken

via Smitten Kitchen, adapted from several sources, but mostly Cook’s Illustrated


One whole chicken, cut up

2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 medium garlic head, mashed but not peeled
1/8 cup sugar
1 tablespoons paprika

1 large egg
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk

Flour for coating


1. Mix brine ingredients in a large bowl. Place the chicken pieces in brining solution and refrigerate for two to three hours. Remove and place on rack to air-dry.

2. Mix batter ingredients and place in a large bowl. Place coating in large pan to coat chicken.

3. Coat chicken with flour, then place in batter. Drain excess batter off chicken and place in flour again and cover. Use tongs for transfers.

4. To fry, heat peanut oil to 375 degrees in a cast-iron skillet. Do not fill the pot more than half full with oil. Place five to six pieces of chicken, skin side down first, in the skillet and cook, covered for seven minutes. Turn chicken and cook, uncovered, for another seven minutes. Allow the oil to return to 375 degrees F before frying the next batch.

5. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan, keeping warm in the oven until ready to serve.

So Long and Thanks for All the Beads (In Which the Audience Gets a Recipe as a Reward for Listening to lafille Complain)

Posted in Eat, Recipe with tags , on 24 February, 2010 by la fille

Hey! It’s Lent! Finally!

And I’m okay with that.

This Carnival season has plum tuckered me out, not because I partied my booty off (the booty is still intact), but because my house has been full of guests for over a week. I’m not a complete hermit, but I’m also not nearly as social as Roommate, and having three of his friends eating, sleeping, and constructing costumes in various locations throughout the house has at times been an exercise in patience.

While in an ideal world I’d live alone and never have guests stay more than a night or two, I was incredibly lucky that Roommate’s friends were wonderful people who exhibited a fair amount of conscientiousness and we all had a pretty darn good time under the circumstances.

The last of them left this morning, and a few nights ago I cooked a final supper for everyone, which turned out great. We decided to cook at the last minute, so I pulled out one of my go-to recipes for occasions such as this, roasted chicken thighs with Dijon mustard and mango chutney. It’s a Sarah Moulton dish I got via The Splendid Table, and has proved invaluable, as it’s a great basic recipe for oven-fried chicken that can be tweaked depending on what you have on the shelves. Basically, as long as you have something creamy (mayonnaise, sour cream, etc), some seasonings (mustard, lime, and mango in this case, but it could be almost anything), and bread crumbs, you’re good to go.

(Also, I totally just put a deposit down on an apartment of my own, to ensure that the only half-asleep underwear-clad person I’ll run into in the kitchen in the middle of the night will be in the mirror. I am not cut out for roommate life, I tell you what.)

Mustard-Chutney Roasted Chicken Thighs

This dish multiplies super easily, so it’s great when cooking for a group. I served it with some sauteed spinach and some brown rice.

Also, chicken thighs are the best part of a chicken, so even though this recipe actually does call for them, I use ’em most of the time, and so should you if you know what’s good.

serves 4


3-4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/3 c. Major Grey’s mango chutney

3 tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

4 large bone-in chicken thighs, with skin (but I shouldn’t have to tell you that)

1 1/2 c. bread crumbs

Another tbsp. olive oil for greasing the pan


1. Preheat oven to 375° F and lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Combine chutney, mustard, mayo, and lime juice in a bowl and toss the thighs in to coat completely.

2. Combine crumbs and oil on a plate; add the thighs one at a time and coat them. Arrange on the baking sheet NOT TOUCHING EACH OTHER.

3. Bake 35-40 minutes, until cooked through and the crumbs are golden brown. Eat ’em up!

Donald Link’s Super Bowl Gumbo Recipe

Posted in Eat, Recipe with tags , on 4 February, 2010 by la fille

via NPR


by Donald Link

Serves 12 to 16


At least 6 cold beers for the chef

4 pounds medium (16-20 count) head-on shrimp

6 blue crabs


Seafood stock

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, smashed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons paprika

1 (4-in.) rosemary sprig, or 2 tbsp dried

13 bay leaves

9 quarts water

1 large onion

2 medium green bell peppers

3 celery stalks

2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped

3 cups vegetable oil

4 cups all-purpose flour

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons salt

2 1/2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons file powder

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Several dashes of hot sauce

2 pints shucked oysters, liquor strained and reserved

1 pound crab claw meat, carefully picked over for shells


Peel the shrimp and set the shells and heads aside for stock. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add crabs and a generous amount of salt. Cover the pot, and boil for 5 to 7 minutes. Drain immediately and set the crabs aside to cool. (If you were going to cook them, it would be 10-15 minutes, but you want to leave their flavor in the crab for gumbo, and cook them just until you can take them apart.)

To make the seafood stock, put the chopped onion and celery and smashed garlic cloves in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. Peel the front flaps and tops off of the crabs and place in a large bowl with the shrimp heads and shells. Use your fingers to scoop out the orange back fat from the middle of the crab and set aside in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the reserved shrimp shells and heads and the crab shells. Cook, stirring until the shells turn pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the coarsely chopped vegetables, paprika, rosemary, bay leaves and 9 quarts of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour; strain.

For the gumbo vegetables, dice the onion, bell peppers and celery. Set aside with the jalapenos to add to the roux.

To make the roux, heat 3 cups vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, whisk in the flour and reduce heat to medium. Cook, whisking constantly and slowly until the roux has thickened and is the color of a dark copper penny, 45 minutes to an hour. You’ll want to reduce the heat gradually as you go. When the roux first begins to take on color, for instance, reduce the heat to medium.

Continue in this fashion, gradually lowering the heat as the color of the roux deepens. By the end of the cooking, when the roux is appropriately dark, the heat should be on low. It’s essential to whisk constantly as it cooks (but not so vigorously that you splatter the roux and burn yourself!), because even if a small bit of flour sticks to the pot, it will become spotty, scorch quickly, and burn the entire roux.

Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, jalapenos and the reserved crab back fat, and stir until they are well-coated. Stir in garlic, salt, paprika, file powder, chili powder, black pepper, cayenne, white pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, thyme and hot sauce, and continue to cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add two-thirds of the strained stock and the oyster liquor, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pot to ensure nothing clumps and burns, until the mixture returns to a simmer.

Start skimming the oil from the top of the gumbo almost instantly (by the end of the cooking process, the gumbo will have released almost all of the oil form the roux). Continue to simmer and skim for about 1 hour. Taste the stock. If it still has a strong roux flavor, gradually add the remaining one-third stock (if it doesn’t, freeze the remaining stock for another use) until the flavor tastes more like stock than roux.

When the flavor has developed and the stock is clearer (with fewer dots of oil), add the oysters and crab meat. Bring the gumbo back to a simmer, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Skim once more, add the shrimp, and simmer for 1 more hour.

Adapted from Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana, by Donald Link (Clarkson Potter, 2009).

Recipe: Spaghetti Carbonara

Posted in Eat, Entrees, Recipe with tags , on 8 January, 2010 by la fille

It’s cold right now in New Orleans.

After a couple weeks of fruitlessly trying to get my bedroom warm enough to where I don’t wake up with a frozen nose at 3am, I’ve finally decided it just ain’t gonna happen. I live in a raised shotgun and, although the house has central heat, my room is in the back, has a 12-foot ceiling, and is drafty as hell so it will take a lot more effort than I’m willing to make to warm it up. The front room, however, remains nice and toasty so I’ve migrated to the couch for the remainder of the winter.

In an effort to warm up, I’ve also turned to some tried-and-true comfort foods, including chili, mac and cheese, and pho tai. The first two I made at home, but the craving for pho was strong enough to lure me out of the house and across the river, despite the chill. Oh, Pho Tau Bay, how I love you.

Another dish I tend to crave when it’s cold out is spaghetti carbonara, although I’m not sure why. Maybe I subconsciously know all those fattening ingredients will provide the additional layer of blubber needed for me to make it through the winter.

I know lots of people in the U.S. make carbonara with cream, that just seems to cross the line of decency, you know? Bacon, egg, cheese, oil, and cream? No way, Jose Giuseppe. Italian style for me.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

serves 2-3


1 lb spaghetti

1/3 lb bacon, pancetta, or comparable salty pork product, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 egg yolks, beaten

1/2 c. grated Parmesan

salt and lotsa freshly-ground black pepper


1. Begin cooking the bacon in a large skillet. Once the fat starts to render, throw in the onion, season with black pepper, and cook until bacon is done and onions have softened. Set aside.

2. Cook the spaghetti (make sure you salt the water) al dente and drain.

3. Heat the bacon and onions back up and add spaghetti. Once all that junk is nice and mixed, pour the egg yolks over it and toss to coat the pasta (be sure to do so vigorously to avoid having scrambled egg in your pasta). Then add the Parmesan, black pepper and toss it some more! If you think it’s too dry, you can always add a little olive oil or some of the water you cooked the pasta in.

4. Serve and devour, preferably while wearing a Snuggie, buried under a mountain of blankets, sitting in front of a fireplace. Maybe with a cat curled up against you.

Recipe: Mango Yellow Curry

Posted in Eat, Entrees, Photos, Recipe with tags , , , on 29 December, 2009 by la fille

I spent some time waiting tables at a Thai restaurant when I was an undergrad, and while I absolutely despise waiting tables, I did get some positive things out of the experience. Primarily among those things was an unmitigated and abiding love of Thai food. I’m on a quest to find good Thai food here in New Orleans (episodes recounted here and here), and have yet to find a place that satisfies, so I’ve taken to cooking a lot more of it than I used to (here, for example).

All Thai-style curries rock balls, but yellow curry is by far the yummiest. It’s sweeter than green and red due to inclusion of cinnamon and cardamom, which I think provides a perfect balance with the spice. Of course, one varies ingredients depending on the curry, and here’s a list of stuff that’s awesome in yellow curry:









Yellow bell pepper


Sweet potato

Last night, I made a big batch to take to work for my lunches this week, and I included potatoes, carrots, onion, and mango.

I make a lot of yellow curry, not just because it is my favorite, but because New Orleans is the first place I’ve ever been able to find yellow curry paste in a grocery store and I am so excited about it. They carry it at Hong Kong market on the Westbank, which, if you haven’t been, IS THE BEST PLACE EVER. This is the shit you want to get:

Mae Ploy makes a great curry paste–if you aren’t making it from scratch, go with that brand. They do most kinds: yellow, green, red, massamun, panang, etc.

Although the traditional Thai accompaniment is jasmine rice, last night I used brown rice instead and was very pleased with my decision. I will probably be doing that from now on.

Ok, ok, on to the recipe.

Yellow Curry

Serves 4


2 c. brown rice

1/4 c. yellow curry paste


2-3 tbsp. fish sauce

1/3 c. sugar (Usually you’d use brown sugar, but I was out. You probably need less if you’re using brown sugar.)

1/2 c. water

Veggies, meat, fruit, cut into chunks or slices. For example, I used:

2 mangos

1/2 a large potato

1 medium sweet onion

2 medium carrots

Red pepper flakes or Sriracha if you want more spice


1. Cook rice according to instructions on bag. Brown rice takes longer to cook than jasmine rice, to plan accordingly. It usually works that you can start your rice cooking and by the time it’s ready, the curry will be also.

2. Combine curry paste and coconut milk in a wok or giant skillet on medium-high, and stir until the paste is blended in. Bring to a simmer, stir in sugar, fish sauce, and red pepper if you’re adding it. This would also be the time you add a protein if you’re using one, like chicken, and cook that.

3. Add ingredients based on time they take to cook. So in go the potatoes, carrots, and onions first. Simmer, stirring often, until they soften (15 minutes or so).

4. Toss in the mango and any other quick-cooking stuff and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve over rice!

Also, go to Hong Kong Market!

925 Behrman Highway
Gretna, LA 70056-4569
(504) 394-7075

Making Spirits Bright: Tales of the Toddy

Posted in Cocktails, Eat, Imbibe, Recipe, Tastings with tags , , , , , , , , on 11 December, 2009 by la fille

Last night I was lucky enough to attend Tales of the Toddy at the W on Poydras Street, and darned if the event didn’t warm my cockles just a little.

For y’all who don’t know, Tales of the Toddy (put on by Tales of the Cocktail and the New Orleans Culinary and Cocktail Preservation Society) was a giant cocktail party designed to ring in the holiday season and give local bartenders a venue to show off their winter-suitable creations. Proceeds also went to benefit the New Orleans Musician’s Assistance Foundation, which is, of course, a good thing.

Here are the bartenders who were there:

Arnaud’s French 75 • Chris Hannah

Carousel Bar • Marvin Allen

Coquette • Cole Newton

Crescent City School of Bartending •  Stahili Glover

Cure • Rhiannon Enlil

Cure • Neal Bodenheimer

Domenica • Michael Glassberg

Dos Jefes • Talia Neal

Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse • Tiffany Soles

Ritz Carlton • Daniel Victory

Whiskey Blue • Lisa Nahay

Pernod Ricard USA • Chris Patino

Iris Restaurant • Sharon Floyd

And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails author • Wayne Curtis

And the chefs:

a Mano • Chefs Joshua Smith and Adolfo Garcia

Arnaud’s • Chef Tommy Di Giovanni

Boucherie • Chef Nathanial Zimet

Creole Creamery • Chef Bryan Gilmore

Cure • Chef Jason McCullar

Jackson Restaurant • Chef John Bolderson

La Cote Brassierie • Chef Chuck Subra

Pelican Club • Chef Richard Hughes

Squeal Barbeque • Brendan, Patrick and Eugene “Gene” Young

Tomatillo’s • Alaina Stokke

ZOE • Chef Chris Brown

Royal House Oyster Bar

Now,  I will admit that I didn’t take notes last night, so unfortunately I won’t be able to provide detailed descriptions of most of the drinks. I was on a lady-date with my friend Tattoo, whom I hadn’t seen in a while, and figured quality time trumped bloggy time. We did have a blast, if that makes up for my lack of studiousness.

Most of the cocktail sponsors were blatantly obvious– there were a LOT of drinks made with Absolut vodka, Hendrick’s gin, and Sazerac rye. Now, I don’t consider myself a vodka fan (although I will admit to a Salty Dog or two if I’m at a dive bar and the weather is warm) but both of my favorite cocktails last night turned out to be vodka-based.

The big surprise of the evening was The Stubborn Mule by Marvin Allen of the Carousel Bar consisting of Absolut vanilla, Absolut 100, Fentiman’s ginger beer, and lime. Now this sounds pretty tasty and refreshing, so Tattoo and I bellied up and got one, but when he handed us our cups, the drinks were warm. We looked at each other, first with surprise, then with incredulity, because the prospect of warm vodka appealed to neither of us. Never ones to back down from a cocktail, though, we took our first hesitant sips, and lo, it was good. Mostly lime at the front, with some mild ginger coming out. After eating taking a bite of spicy food, however, the vanilla really shone through, and we each contemplated getting another round.

We couldn’t do that, though– there was too much else to drink! Warm cocktails with tea and Nocello (Lisa Nahay of Whiskey Blue‘s Mad Hatter’s Toddy), cold ones with rye, pear liqueur, Averna, and celery bitters (Neal Bodenheimer of Cure’s Axis of Everything), and punches with gin and absinthe (Rhiannon Enlil of Cure).

Stahili Glover’s Grey Pear proved to be the hands-down favorite of several people I spoke with, and I am inclined to agree. It straddled the line between refreshing and comforting, so it’d be just as good on a hot afternoon in July as it was on a cold December evening. Fruity and unctuous, but not cloying, I’m still fantasizing about it this morning.

Mr. Glover is from the Crescent City School of Bartending and was gracious enough to share his recipe, which you’ll find at the bottom of the post.

Of course, if the planners of the event had only provided booze, they would have ended up with a lot of sloppy people in sparkly clothes on their hands, so they rounded up representatives of some of the city’s best restaurants to provide some sustenance. Duck empanadas from Jason McCullar at Cure and some truly delish pulled pork and corn grits from Squeal Barbeque stood out in particular as good comfort food on a chilly night. Tattoo and I finished things off with pear sorbet and ginger ice cream from Chef Bryan Gilmore of Creole Creamery.

After having our fill of goodies, we found ourselves considerably jollier than when we arrived, and capped off the night with a walk through the winter wonderland that is Fulton Street in December.

Not enough alcohol had been imbibed that we tried to catch the fake snow on our tongues, but I’ll admit the thought did cross my mind. (photo via)

Grey Pear

by Stahili Glover


1 oz. Grey Goose La Poire vodka

1 tsp. honey

2 dashes vanilla extract

3 oz. peach nectar

pear slice for garnish


1. Mix vodka and honey in a mixing glass with one pear slice, add 2 dashes vanilla extract, a little ice, and shake for 30 seconds.

2. Pour into a large rocks or collins glass, top with 3 oz. peach nectar, and garnish with a pear slice.

Beautiful and delicious!

Recipe: Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Posted in Eat, Recipe, Sweets with tags on 27 November, 2009 by la fille

Mamàn is the pecan pie maven in the family, so with her out of the state for Thanksgiving, the dessert responsibility fell to Pops. He’s not much into baking, but he sure does LOVE to make ice cream. No matter what flavor he makes, it’s always astoundingly good, and this is the absolute best vanilla bean ice cream I’ve ever tasted. Thick and rich, almost marshmallow-y, and delicious over the fresh mango cobbler we made.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

makes about one quart


7 large egg yolks

3/4 c. sugar

dash salt

1 vanilla bean (a great quality bean is the secret to a superlative ice cream)

2 c. half and half

1 1/2 c. heavy cream


1. Whisk egg yolks with sugar and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Combine beans, seeds, half and half, and heavy cream in a large saucepan and bring just to a simmer.

2. Gradually whisk hot cream into the egg yolk mixture. Return it all to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon (don’t let it boil).

3. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.