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Was Beyoncé Super?


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#41 Jonathan

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:52 PM

If you don't like soul, you could always substitute sole (the fish, not the shoe part).

 

J



#42 dldelancey

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 05:12 PM

I love gumbo, at least the versions of it that I've had here in Minnesota. The one item that you mentioned that I've never tried is crawfish. Well, not directly or whole -- I once had some crawdaddy casserole in De Soto, WI, but it was more casserole than crawdad, just bits and flakes of meat among other ingredients, sort of a local river-rat-chef's version of crab cakes.

 

If you do find the time, and have the interest, yes, I would very much enjoy hearing more on authentic ethnic dishes from your area. Whenever I get the chance to travel, I love tasting the local fare, especially if I'm armed with some good advice on what to look for.

 

J

 

Gumbo is definitely a staple in southeast Louisiana, served over rice, of course.  There's some debate over what makes the best gumbo, but it's pretty much just a matter of preference.  Some prefer seafood which would typically include, at minimum, crab and shrimp, but often includes fish and oysters, as well.  Where seafood gumbo is concerned, pretty much whatever you have on hand gets thrown in, and usually the oyster and crab shells go in, too.  Some prefer sausage gumbo, understanding that it could be andouille, boudin, smoked, polish, deer or any other number of types of sausage or... all of the above.  Sausage gumbo often includes chicken, too.  Another big gumbo debate is whether or not it ought to include okra.  I prefer it with, some prefer it without.  Then there's file.  (I don't know how to properly mark up that word so that there's the little accent mark over the e in file.)  It's an herb made from sassafras leaves, and it provides a very distinct flavor.  I prefer my gumbo without file.  In any case, the roux is the key to good gumbo.

 

Eating crawfish is definitely an experience, one that I, as a non-native Louisianan, do not fully appreciate.  Timing is everything.  Crawfish is good eatin' right now because it's in season.  I know a lot of people come to town and wonder why they can't get good crawfish, but that's usually because it's the wrong season.  Late "winter" through mid spring is when you want it.  An acceptable crawfish boil will include sausage, corn on the cob, mushrooms, whole new potatoes, and whole heads of garlic.  Some people, if they're being fancy, also add celery and assorted peppers.  Oh, and there's lemons but you don't eat those.  :-)  Eating a crawfish is just like you've heard, as in "suck the head and pinch the tail."  Rip it's head off, suck the juice and brains and other assorted gunk out of the skull and discard.  Loosen the first "rib" of the tail a bit, pinch thumb and finger at the base of the tail, and pull the meat out of the shell with your teeth.  If you've been practicing that since age 18 months, you're pretty dang good at it.  The rest of us.... get frustrated and decide it's more work and mess than it's worth and move on to the other stuff.  My favorite is the sausage and garlic, just cause I like sausage, and because the garlic squeezed onto fresh French bread is to die for.  Don't plan on kissing anyone later, though.

 

There's a couple of ways to eat crab here.  The usual way, and the softshell way.  When the crab have recently molted, their immature shells are soft enough to eat.  These are lightly breaded and deep fried and you eat the whole dang thing.  I admit it is delicious, but something about eating things with that many legs still attached is just not palatable for me.

 

I'm not an oyster lover, so I can't say much about that except that I do love them chargrilled in the shell and the best are from Drago's.

 

Some of my favorite restaurants and why:

 

Three Muses on Frenchman Street in the Quarter.  Frenchman is just a really cool area, first off.  It's hard to get a table here and the table's are small.  You order at the bar and the food is brought to you. It's all small tasting plates, the idea being that you order lots of things to get a good taste of it all and share with whomever you're with.  I always order the scallops because they're grilled just right and the sweet potato thing they're served over is yummy.  I almost always order this crazy little dish that they call pizza, but it's not like any pizza you get at Domino's.  It has duck and spinach on flatbread and even though it's not on the menu you can order a fried duck egg on the top.

 

Angeli's on Decatur, also in the Quarter.  Spicy Italian food.  'Nuff said.  I love the pasta salad, but if you don't like cold salads they'll warm it for you.

 

Drago's - see above reference to chargrilled oysters.  It's located in the Hilton at the end of Canal Street.  Take a ferry ride to the West Bank afterward.

 

Que Rico in Slidell which is 30ish miles outside of the city.  Fabulous authentic Cuban food, but go early because when they run out of what they've cooked for the day, they close up. 

 

Mona's uptown on St. Charles for Lebanese.  Stuffed grape leaves are my favorite dish there.

 

I'm running out of time and steam now!  There's so many good restaurants here it's hard to decide what to list.  As a general rule, I tell most people to avoid the restaurants that have long lines of tourists waiting to get in.  Go to the places that it seems the locals are gravitating towards.  Also, you can spend a lot of money on upscale dining at places like Tommy's and Emeril's and Commander's Palace, and you will get excellent food and service.  However, you can get just as good of food, perhaps even better, on a budget.  Service, meh, well that is sometimes hit or miss, but hey, that's part of the of experience, right?


"Sleep more than you eat. Eat more than you scratch." - Bucky B. Katt

#43 Brant Gaede

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 05:43 PM

I can't tell from the above whether Gumbo is from the lazy for the insane or from the insane for the lazy.

 

--Brant

so I put 'em both in the pot!


Rational Individualist, Rational self-interest, Individual Rights--limited government libertarian heavily influenced by Objectivism


#44 dldelancey

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:40 AM

I can't tell from the above whether Gumbo is from the lazy for the insane or from the insane for the lazy.

 

--Brant

so I put 'em both in the pot!

 

Ha!  I guess I've been living here and eating gumbo long enough that it doesn't strike me as odd anymore.  Like the po-boy sandwich, gumbo, I think, was born of the necessity to make use of every scrap of food that comes into the home.  Probably lots of stews, soups, and casseroles from many cultures originate thus.


"Sleep more than you eat. Eat more than you scratch." - Bucky B. Katt

#45 Jonathan

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 01:57 PM

Thanks, Deanna, for the tips! I've copied your post and pasted it into my travel "keepers" folder for future reference. Much appreciated!

 

J



#46 daunce lynam

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:51 PM

I am slavering. As a guilty descendant of the displacers of the Cajuns I salute the cuisine they helped create out of injustice.






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