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Question about making a seafood stew with crawfish

While this post might not properly belong in the New Orleans forum, I am looking for advice from those well experienced cooking with crawfish, so I figured the New Orleans board was the best place to start.

Last night I made a Catalan seafood stew with lobster and clams, following a recipe that was published in the NYTimes (http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/10...) fairly close to the letter. It was great, even better a day later when I added some fresh shrimp to the leftovers. There's no question in my mind that crawfish would be a great addition, too. So for those of you experienced cooking with crawfish, what would you recommend I do? At one end of the spectrum, I could add whole, uncooked crawfish, which sounds great but would require diners to dig them out of the stew and eat them liked at a crawfish boil. (And which, of course, I can only do when they're in season.) At the opposite end, I could buy pre-cooked tails, which are pretty easy to find all year round, and just add them at the last minute. I also could see using crawfish as a substitute for the lobster in the recipe, boiling the bugs, pulling the meat out of the tail to add to the stew later, and then boiling the shells to make a stock for the soup. What do you think?

Sep 29, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Great meal at Jaiya (Thai; 3rd Ave. at 29th St. location) last night

Ok, so I've now been two more times, and I've loved it each time. And if you tell them that you want the spice level ramped up, they'll take you at your word.

Sep 29, 2014
Blumie in Manhattan

Resturants to avoid in the French Quarter?

In your first and only chowhound post you dig up an almost-five-year-old thread to trash a place? Care to tell us what you like?

Sep 25, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans
1

Farmers Market or take-out option prior to Statue of Liberty tour

It's a little inconvenient, but might be worth it:

From Times Square, take the N or R train downtown to 23rd St. When you come upstairs, you'll be at Eataly, which is a great place to get picnic fixins: great breads, cheese, produce, salumi, etc. (Eataty is a tourist attraction in its own right, though not sure your kids will agree, especially if you say no when the ask for gelato at 10am!)

When you're done, hop back on the N or R downtown to 14th St/Union Sq, where you can transfer to the 4 or 5 train to Bowling Green.

Of course, if you're going on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday, you can just take the N or R to 14th St/Union Square and go to the wonderful green market there, and then continue on the 5 train to Bowling Green.

I personally would find Eataly more manageable under the circumstances -- one stop shopping -- but either would work.

Sep 22, 2014
Blumie in Manhattan
1

TIBERIAS NY GREAT PIZZA

The all caps title has me highly skeptical.

Sep 20, 2014
Blumie in Manhattan

All-time best dessert?

I don't understand the concept of "saving room." I have a completely separate compartment for dessert. I can fill up on other stuff, and yet my dessert compartment remains empty and usable.

Restaurant or bar with a view?

"In order to see Manhattan you can't actually be on Manhattan."

That's kind of silly, no? Every restaurant I've ever been to in Manhattan -- at least those with windows -- has had a view of Manhattan.

Sep 18, 2014
Blumie in Manhattan

Staying 10/30 - 11/2

The first time I encountered Patrick Van Hoorebeek, one of NOLA's more highly regarded maitre d's, it was about 20 or so years ago when he answered the phone at the Bistro at Maison de Ville. Responding to my question about appropriate attire at this elegant and fairly high end restaurant, Patrick responded, "We're about the food, not about what you wear. You can come naked for all I care." (I chose not to take him up on that.)

Sep 18, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Marta - When in NYC, do as...

Are they supposed to be crisp?

Sep 16, 2014
Blumie in Manhattan

Marta - When in NYC, do as...

Reservations available on opentable. Just booked mine!

Sep 16, 2014
Blumie in Manhattan

Soft Shells

The season normally extends through September, no?

Sep 16, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Revisiting Dassara

You're right seb. I cut-and-paste the wrong description from the menu without even reading it. The correct menu description is "A brothless ramen tossed with pork, roasted garlic butter and lime. Garnished with a relish of our house made pickles and salted chilis, along with strips of ham, chunks of Cuban roast pork, cracklins and cilantro."

I almost didn't order it because of the "brothless" description, but I'm glad I did. As noted, I loved it (especially spiced up), and found that there was plenty of liquid in the bowl. Not sure why it's described as "brothless."

Sep 15, 2014
Blumie in Outer Boroughs

All-time best dessert?

Sometimes the least fancy is the best. I love, love, love the mint chip ice cream at Mistral, which tastes like mint grown in the garden, not artificial mint flavoring. I always order it with a side of chocolate sauce.

Sep 15, 2014
Blumie in Greater Boston Area

Essential NOLA for first time tourist

JazzyB might get put off if I don't point out that I'm not a local, but I have been to New Orleans over 50 times in the last 25 years, which should count for something.

First off, don't get a car. I generally do rent a car when I'm in town, but don't recommend doing so until you're more familiar with the city. It's easy to get around by taxi.

Here is one website's idea of the "essential" New Orleans restaurants:

http://nola.eater.com/archives/2014/0...

While anyone can find things with which to disagree when it comes to lists like this, what I like about this particular list is that it doesn't concentrate on the old school New Orleans haute Creole favorites like Commander's Palace and Galatoire's, but rather is in many ways a broader and more contemporary list. Plus, with a lunch reservation at Commander's, you already have the old school haute creole covered.

I would plan one meal (lunch or dinner) at Coop's Place, in the Quarter. It's a popular dive bar in the Quarter that does a very credible job with gumbo, red beans and rice (I really like their red beans and rice with sausage), and jambalaya. I think it must be in a lot of guidebooks now, as there often are lines of tourists, but I still think it's worth going to for this purpose.

Some on this board may disagree, but between Commander's and Coop's, you'll have covered a lot of bases in terms of traditional New Orleans cuisine and can focus more on the contemporary scene. (Doesn't of course mean you have to, but at least it's an option without feeling like you missed out on classic New Orleans food.

)

For a po' boy, it's hard to beat Domilise's and Parkway Tavern, both of which are on the list I linked above, but to be honest you can also do quite well at Johnny's, which is right in the Quarter. (I'd much rather go to Domilise's or Parkway than Johnny's, but if I'm in the Quarter, I'd go to Johnny's rather than travel to one of the others.)

Sep 15, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Suggestions for dinner 20-25 men near Quarter

I was thinking upstairs, too, but just to be clear, when you distinguish it from the "regular place," you simply mean the downstairs. (I just don't want anyone to be confused into thinking these are in any way two separate places. Clancy's is Clancy's, but they have a large, main dining room downstairs, a smaller dining room off the bar downstairs, and one large and one (or is it two?) small dining rooms upstairs. But it's all the same place!)

Sep 15, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

On the Bab, Old Street/Shoreditch, London

Thanks for the heads up on the place, limster. I was at the Hoxton Hotel this past weekend, and this place was perfect for a late lunch after the Turner exhibit at the Tate on Saturday. I loved the spicy fried chicken, and had I allowed myself I could have eaten a whole lot more. The bebimbab might not have been the best I've ever had (it didn't measure up, for example, to the okdol bibimbap from the Korean stall at the Super 88 Market in Allston, with which I suspect you're familiar), but still it was quite tasty.

Sep 15, 2014
Blumie in U.K./Ireland

Suggestions for dinner 20-25 men near Quarter

Brigtsen's is not a good choice for a group that large, particularly if you want to be a little boisterous. Clancy's would be awesome. Obviously not near the French Quarter but worth the trip.

Sep 14, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Scenic Drive from NYC to Boston..

Agree with RoyRon that driving up through Litchfield County, Connecticut and through the Berkshires is a great start, but skip the Mass Pike, which is the fastest but also the most boring of roads, and instead take Route 2 from the Berkshires east until you reach Boston.

Sep 12, 2014
Blumie in Southern New England

Creating my own Pub Crawl in NOLA, Help Please!

Another question: is the primary goal drinking, or seeing/experiencing? The Quarter almost certainly is the better option for the former, given the high concentration of drinking; while a stroll along Magazine St., heading uptown from the Lower Garden District, would be more interesting, IMHO, but would involve longer walks between drinks.

Sep 11, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Creating my own Pub Crawl in NOLA, Help Please!

Limited to those two neighborhoods?

Sep 10, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Casual Dinner with Business Associates (16 people)

I made no assumption. There may be women, some of whom may wear 4" heals. It may be a group of all women with 4" heels, for all I know. So I thought it might be useful to embellish your comment that "it's a bit of a trek" with the actual distance so the OP and his or her group can make their own determination about how desirable it is.

Sep 10, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Casual Dinner with Business Associates (16 people)

Not making a judgement, just providing the facts (although I'm not sure where the 4" heels came into play!).
In any event, given that the OP's dinner was last night or tonight, hopefully the plans already have been made.

Sep 10, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Is a visit to Commanders Palace a must?

;)

Sep 10, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Casual Dinner with Business Associates (16 people)

It's half a mile (maybe a few steps less since you can go out the back onto Common St.).

Sep 09, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Eataly - Rosticceria

Thanks for this report. Although I have not tried these sandwiches, and in fact have not eaten in any of the Eataly restaurants, I have become a big Eataly fan. When it first opened, I was turned off by the touristiness of Eataly, as well as what I thought were over-the-top prices. But upon closer examination I have found the quality of their products to be extraordinary and the prices to be in line with comparable high end places (and on par with Whole Foods, which I do not consider comparable). I now routinely buy my meat, cheese, seafood, bread and produce from them. And at my last dinner party, I bought one of their large containers of gelato, which was a huge hit.

Sep 09, 2014
Blumie in Manhattan

Casual Dinner with Business Associates (16 people)

Actually, the wine room at Emeril's might be large enough.

Sep 09, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Great meal at Jaiya (Thai; 3rd Ave. at 29th St. location) last night

A quick search revealed that perhaps many people wrote this place off years ago. I was only recently introduced to it, and had fine, if unremarkable, meals at each of their Gramercy and UES locations last Fall. But my wife and I returned for a quick bite last night and LOVED it. She had a green papaya salad. I asked the waiter to direct me to their spiciest curry, and he suggested the Panang, which I ordered with Pork and thoroughly enjoyed. I recognize that it's only an n of 1, but we'll certainly return.

Sep 09, 2014
Blumie in Manhattan

Recs near Hyatt Regency on Loyola?

The CBD is right out the door. The French Quarter also is less than a mile away, although Jackson Square is about 1.25 miles. But then again, one is also that much closer to the Garden District and Uptown!

As you note, it's a fine hotel and, while not right in the thick of things, a short cab ride away to most everything.

Sep 09, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Is a visit to Commanders Palace a must?

NAspy, my sincerest apologies if your assertion that "Bourbon Street, Galatoire's, Cafe du Monde and a cemetery tour ... makes NOLA NOLA!!!" made me believe that your view of New Orleans is extremely limited. I'm sure your knowledge of the city is much broader than that statement would suggest.

Sep 09, 2014
Blumie in New Orleans

Revisiting Dassara

I haven't been to Dassara since it was all the rage when it first opened. I went on a Tuesday last week and it was fairly empty; not sure if that's because it was Labor Dayish or because it's fallen out of favor. Nevertheless, I LOVED my meal there. I started with the duck buns, which were the special steam bun of the day, and then followed it up with the "Cubana Mazemen," which the menu describes as "a mostly brothless ramen in a butter enriched clam sauce with littleneck clams, parsley and Japanese milk bread croutons." I was a little concerned about the "mostly brothless" part of the description, but that proved not to be an issue at all. I ordered the ramen as spicy hot as the kitchen was willing to make it, and supplemented both the buns and the ramen with sriracha. Both were superb. The ramen, in particular, was incredibly rich both with flavor and spice. My wife just had the green papaya salad, and although I didn't try it, she was very pleased, as well. We're both looking forward to returning again.

Sep 08, 2014
Blumie in Outer Boroughs