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Bonstempsrouler's Profile

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Good Southern Cuisine

Monkeyerotica and you-all lookin for Southern Food. You gotta be more specific because there's lot of differnt areas each with their own type of food.. But Gumbo, Shirmp Creole and Grillades and Grits are South Louisiana foods and South Louisiana food is not considered part of Southern food.

Gumbo at Evening Star Cafe

Bonjour Toomuchmusic: Can't help you with the gumbo recipe from Evening Star Cafe, but if you know the name of the chef, contact Paul Prudhomme's place in NO. Chef Paul knows everyone and may be able to help you. Also his site has several good gumbo receipes you might wish to try. Just remember, everything is different in NO and cooking gumbo with makings from anywhere else will never taste the same. And although I don't know about the Evenning Star gumbo, he probably used local makings in his.

Evening Star Cafe
2000 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301


Bonjour you-all. Beignets are French that came along to NO, and there are many types. With all due respect, the best in the city are at Morning Call. And eat them naked (without suger)? Who dat?

Cajun / Creole food in DC?

Alkapal: I left NO a long time ago but she still holds a spell upon me. The food is the bond. With some effort, luck and maybe a little voudou, I cook the stuff with a resignation there is no other way to eat it. Nevertheless, I keep a sharp eye out looking for an easier way.
Corn breads and muffins aren't a staple of NO food. But then NO isn't really part of the South. What is used in the city is mostly yellow with little white but I found those guys to be transplanted from Virginia.
I don't post much. Much of the NO related posts are from travelers. They have no idea what it means to miss New Orleans.

Cajun / Creole food in DC?

alkapal sorry my post was unclear. The point I was making is that it is exceedingly difficult to replicate South Louisiana food outside of New Orleans (NO). My experience is that restaurant’s NO food up here is uneven. But that’s understandable. The makings aren’t available in the DC area and local substitutes can’t produce the requisite taste. Importation of the foods and the makings is the only viable alternative. However, it’s expensive. Restaurants are a low cost industry. They will try to cut corners to save money. For instance, they will use Cure 81 instead of Tasso and Kielbasa instead of Andouille. Remember, South Louisiana has acidic soil. This produces the sweetness of produce and other crops. The humidity causes a short shelf life so delivery distances are short. The flour is a finer grind than Northern flour so the roux is different and so are the red beans. Your Mama was right when she told you everything is different in New Orleans. C’est bon.

Cajun / Creole food in DC?

Bonjour Cgs32. For makings, there is no place up here to consistently find the goods. Restaurants are uneven because they must import which most don't. or won't . Acceptance depends upon your taste and cravings. I've tried Cure 81 but it ain't tasso. And tasso is just dry cured and seasoned and really nothing special till you don't have it. I have good taste memory. This causes me to import much to cook and chat with the head cook before I will eat there. Just introduce yourself, tell him how much you miss NO and ask him will you be happy eating at his place. You'll be surprised how many will say, "not tonight".

Biscuit help needed

Joyeux Noel
The biscuit will be a critical part of the meal just as the bread in a good sandwich is as important as the makings. You won't find good biscuits in stores. But it's Christma and you're in luck. Biscuits are really easy to make. A lagniappe: use butter in lieu of any other fat.

Head-On Shrimp in North Baltimore

Shrimp with heads can often be obtained from Asian markets. Heads are helpful for Seafood stock but they are essential for Shrimp Creole.

French Sauces

You may pick up any major tradtional cookbook and find the information. There are three "Mother Sauces" from which all others are made. You don't need a cooking class to learn them.

Strawberry Cheesecake

I 'm seeking the store that sells a strawberry cheesecake made with the top third a puree of strawberries well mixed with cream cheese, the remainder of the cake all cream cheese and topped with whole strawberries in a strawberry sauce.

The cream cheese was soft with a deep taste. It wasn't made with Philadelphia brand. It could have been French cream cheese, Neufchatel, Creole cream cheese or the cream cheese could have been made in the store.

Bread to make a muffuletta-where to find

Try Blooms, SuperFresh or Safeway. They have artisan french breads.

Making Roux

Louisana roux was traditionally made with lard. Today we know about low density lipids and peanut oil is next prefered because it's the closest taste to lard based roux. But any vegtable oil can be used. Don't use olive oil or butter. They will burn at the hight heat of our roux. Use an iron skillet with flared sides to make stirring easier and use a pan big enough so that roux is less than half filling. Use a wisk or hard wood spoon to stir. Today we use equal parts of fat and flour by volume. You can also use more flour than fat. In the old days measure was by weigh which would give a greater volume of flour than fat. Start your roux with heating the fat. Grap a cold beer, we used to drink Jax, crank up some zideco and dance with your favorite girl. By about the time you danced to a waltz and a two-step, your oil shouldl be smoking. Add the flour in thirds and stir to mix before adding more. It will bubble because of moisture and remember the flour up North is heavier than Southern flour so it will cook slower. Your flour may also lump up but that will smooth out when stirring. Dark roux is traditional for water based meats and ham as in gumbo, but taste is personal. So pick a taste (color) you like. Black is hard to make so don't try it until your an experience roux maker. Dark brown is certainly suitable for gumbo. Remember, Louisiana cooking is personal, not like tranditional French that is by the numbers. If your roux gets ahead of you, take it off the fire and stir until it's under control. Try for thirty minutes your first few times and then knock off five until you can produce one in fifteen. Most home stoves can't make roux faster than that because the fire isn't hot enough. If you get black specs in your roux, you've burned it. And the taste is bitter. Start over. C’est la vie!

Bons Temps Rouler

Oct 11, 2009
Bonstempsrouler in Features

Louisana Cooking

Five facts are critical to understanding South Louisiana food and pricing. First is the land is acidic which produces sweeter foods. Second the humidity causes local product to have short shelf life, which is the reason the product can’t be shipped very far, and must be sold quickly. Third, food is a commodity, and its pricing is a matter of economics. Fourth except in NO where food pricing is an art form. Fifth, Food and its costs of production have been exacerbated during the past 18 months due to misallocation of resources. This has given merchants an excuse to raise prices.

Creole coffee has two main ingredients, coffee beans and chicory. Chicory is usually less costly than coffee beans. This achieves a lower cost price for Creole coffee compared to brands without chicory. But list prices for Creole coffee are often at the higher end of coffee prices. That’s not economics.

Crawfish are either farm raised or wild. The two have different costs of production. Mudbugs don’t freeze well. They loose their sweetness and tend to become mushy. Farm raised can be put back into the bucket but wild caught must be sold quickly which depending upon quantity and location tends to push down prices.

So shoppers, know how to look for prices when making groceries. It ain’t easy. Some merchants are oblivious to competition. Reily is known as Hang ‘m High Reily. Don’t be like the crowds in the Vieux Carré, tourists just walking around looking at each other and not understanding what’s really going on.

Bon Temps Rouler

Louisana Cooking

MakingSense. I thank you kindly for the advice. I just learned "Reply." More than twenty others replied, and you appear to be right about the market up here.

I'm use to walking into a store and deciding what to make. I make almost everything and buy little prepared. Importing requires expending a great effort. For instance, Riely acquired American Coffee late last year, and in all these years, they still haven't learned how to run a web store and tend to be overpriced. They sell crawfish at $5 when one can get them in the city for 50 cents a pound or less. And my last two orders for City Roast when Riely owned American took almost two weeks to ship.

I'm not yet ready to give up.

Thanks again, and take care,

Bon Temps Rouler

Louisana Cooking

I'm a transplant from South Louisana living in Glen Burnie in north Anne Arundel Parish in the State of Maryland.

I'm adicted to the food, and must import the required special ingredients. The freight costs are often greater than the food cost, and the effort required to keep my cupboard stocked requires an enormous amount of time. I'd like to buy more locally.

Next to nothing has been found my area. Hot sauce was found, but not much else. No coffee or cayenne or even red beans. I assume areas closer to Washington D.C. , South Maryland or Northern Virginia might have some or all of the foods because I assume others from NO or South Louisana live in the area.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.