February 2017

bowl of Mulligatawny soup

Mulligatawny Soup (A Decent Bowl)

     “So, where do you have to go to get a decent bowl of mulligatawny soup?”      How many times have I heard some needy and hungry soul utter those words? Actually . . . never – but that doesn’t mean it’s never been asked.      As a matter of fact, Arthur Robert Kenney-Herbert wrote about this problem back in 1885 in his book Culinary Jottings: A Treatise In Thirty Chapters On Reformed Cookery For Anglo-Indian Rites, Based Upon Modern English And Continental Principles With Thirty Menus in which he…

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Girl eating ice cream

Homemade Ice Cream (The Skinny On)

     Sign in a store window: “Money Can’t Buy Happiness, But It Can Buy Ice Cream.” Who can argue with that? It’s never a question of whether someone likes ice cream or not; the question always is, “What’s your favorite flavor?”      You can search in all of the shops, parlors, and emporiums for the perfect scoop, but a much better idea is to make it yourself. It’s really pretty simple; it doesn’t take a lot of time, and the homemade varieties really do taste better. All you need is…

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Macaroons

The Coconut Macaroon – A Paris Icon

     When I think of Paris there are several iconic things that come to mind: the Eiffel tower, the Moulin Rouge, the Seine, outdoor cafes, 2-hour lunches, and the macaroon. The Eiffel tower and the Moulin Rouge are a half a world away, too far for me when I need a Paris fix. The outdoor cafes and the 2-hour lunches aren’t a serious part of our culture so that leaves the macaroon.      The best tasting macaroons this side of the Atlantic are homemade, and they are so easy to…

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Preparing fish

White Fish With Crispy Caper Bread Crumbs

     I have mixed feelings about people in the kitchen when I am cooking. I think the proverb is true about too many cooks. It can lead to confusion and ultimate failure (spoiling the broth).      I’ve also found it to be distracting. My efforts at trying to cook a meal and carry on a conversation has resulted in burnt French bread, sauces ending up being too thick, and meat that was overdone.      But there are times when you will want extra people in your kitchen. It might be…

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Rustic sauteed mushrooms

Mushrooms (Julia’s ‘Shrooms)

     While searching for a side dish that contains sautéed mushrooms, I decided the place to start was  to see what Julia had to offer. Known and recognized everywhere, Julia Child was a culinary legend and a household name. Her persona was larger than life, and she had an infectious enthusiasm for both cooking and for having a good time. Few people have had as much influence in elevating fine dining in this country as she, and cooks worldwide owe Julia a large debt of gratitude for the work she had…

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Bread Pudding

New Orleans-style Sin Big Bread Pudding

     We had just finished eating a wonderful dinner at a restaurant in New Orleans called Stella’s. Our waiter appeared at our table and asked, “How about some dessert, folks?”      “What are our choices?” I asked.      “This evening we have Bananas Foster, pecan pie, bread pudding, and some pralines.”       “That would be fine,” I said. “We’d like one of each, and please bring two spoons.”      Dorothy immediately put the kibosh on this, so I asked her to choose one we could share.      “I’d love the bread pudding with some…

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Seared tuna

Fresh Tuna Pan-seared With Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce

     It wasn’t as if we didn’t have choices. We could choose if we wanted to buy our tuna in pouches or cans and packed in water or oil. We also had the choice of serving it in either a sandwich or a casserole. This was the extent of what I knew about tuna the first four decades of my life. Fresh tuna steaks? Whoever heard of such things?      Well, fresh tuna steaks have often been described as “the fillet mignon of the sea.” The meat’s texture is dense and firm,…

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Carmelized shrimp

Shrimp Caramelized With Chardonnay Sauce

     First of all, are prawns and shrimp one and the same? Although they have a similar appearance, they are not. We can talk about membership in different crustacean families, but the main difference is their habitat: “Shrimp come from both fresh and salt water and can live in both cold and warm waters; if they come from cold waters, then they will be smaller in size. There are more saltwater than freshwater species. Prawns come from fresh water, and are much larger and meatier, like a langoustine. Their meat…

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Turtle for soup

Turtle Soup (A Louisiana Delicacy)

      Seeking culinary adventures while vacationing in New Orleans, Dorothy and I thought what better way to begin than to dine at Commander’s Palace. We’d heard so much about the great food and impeccable service, and we were very excited about the evening’s possibilities.      As a first course we ordered turtle soup. It was suggested by our waiter that we might order a glass of sherry to drink with the soup, and we followed his advice.      The soup arrived at our table. It had a wonderful aroma and…

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Game hens

Cornish Game Hens Roasted (A Different Way To Serve Poultry)

     You’re scheduled to entertain guests you want to impress. You know they like chicken, and there are countless ways to serve it, but you want to serve something unique –perhaps a different bird that they won’t be expecting.      You look at your choices: pheasant, pigeon, squab, quail, or Cornish game hen. The cheapest and the easiest to find is a Cornish game hen, and it’s just the right size. Two guests can split one, or if they are really hungry, you can serve each guest a whole hen….

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