A hardwood fire is an essential part of the gumbo process

The pig tails were beautiful at Zuppardo’s Supermarket this morning. They were even more beautiful with the morning sun glinting off them as they went on the antique Weber smoker in our 9th Ward backyard.

We have a couple dozen gumbo recipes in our repertoire but most of them are day in day out versions with smoked chicken and link sausage we pick up from Terranova Superette or Quicky’s. And we keep a quart jar filled with handmade roux in the fridge so we can bang out a gumbo on a Tuesday night without breaking a sweat. Continue Reading

You’re a dyed in the wool old school cook who makes scratch stocks at least once a week. You would never consider using mere tap water for any of your gumbos, soups or stews but are you making master stock?

Once you do you will never use plain old stock again.

Our master stock turned two years old a couple days ago, and it’s richer and more nuanced than ever. Of course many households and restaurants in China hold master stocks that are over a hundred years old.

Master stock vs regular stock

A Recipe For Crawfish Étouffée With The Holy Trinity

The World Championship Crawfish Étouffée Cook-Off was started in 1986 in Eunice, the ‘Prairie Cajun Capitol of Louisiana’. That first year none other than Dewey Balfa provided entertainment to the 107 cooking teams, and hungry assembled Cajuns.

Then-mayor Curtis Joubert courted controversy by banning electric rice cookers stating: “…rice cookers are not Cajun, and only black pots are in.” Continue Reading

Etta Cox, Lilly Taylor, Nellie Sullivan. My Great Aunts and My Grandma

Nellie Sullivan grew big vegetable gardens in the Cumberland Highlands of Eastern Kentucky.

Green beans, sweet corn, Irish potatoes, cabbage, squash, tomatoes, sweet onions, and peppers were just some of the vegetables she grew from seed and put up in Mason jars to get her family through the long, cold winters of Appalachia. Continue Reading

9th Ward Daily Photo via rl reeves jr

“We were rooting around in the freezer awhile back trying to ward off starvation and seeing which frozen meat packets we’d spirited in from Acadiana still held promise.

We found a log of Andouille from St John The Baptist Parish, a few smoked chicken wings and a sandwich bag filled with Hatch chiles. The peppers mark the end of the case we bought in Texas in September and roasted before trundling them home to New Orleans.

Time to hit the test kitchen.” A Recipe For Smoked Chicken Jambalaya With Andouille Sausage And Roasted Hatch Chiles

Zephyr Wright’s Chili Con Queso Recipe

This November will mark four years since we threw our famous “Let Us Now Praise Texas Women” restaurant pop up. We celebrated the women folk of Lone Star by cooking recipes authored by Lisa Fain, Helen Corbitt, Sylvia Casares, Lady Bird Johnson, Mary Faulk Koock and LBJ’s cook Zephyr Wright. Continue Reading