Category Archives: Louisiana

River Shack NOLA

River Shack

The charming River Shack on River Road, along the Mississippi.

The levee is in the background.

This is Americana.

Fried Pickles

Fried Pickles

Dill pickle chips, dipped in seasoned buttermilk, dredged in a cornmeal and all-purpose flour mixture and deep-fried.

Great with tabasco mayonnaise dip.

Old School NOLA

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Original New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

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Pascal’s Manale serves Leidenheimer New Orleans style French Bread

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Those are some chubby Gulf oysters


District Donuts Sliders Brew

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Delish donuts, biscuits and kolache


Kolache, stuffed with spicy sausage-like filling


Cheeseburger Slider on Weiss Guys bun, baked by David Weiss!

And waffle fries

lem donut

Lemon Poppyseed Donut

maple sri donut

Maple Sriracha Donut

The coffee is great

Chocolate milk on tap!

Pineapple Dole Whip

– a Dole pineapple flavored soft serve ice cream

I love this place, lots of others do too!

Cochon Butcher NOLA

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Cochon Butcher handiwork


All American Hard Cider


Skinny Crisp Tasty Reuben

Vegetables for Breakfast!

Hollygrove Market carrots, beets and collard greens.

Left-overs from Sunday night’s dinner $$$

Rice for breakfast!

Collard greens sautéed with a bit of bacon and onion.

Watermelon today too, yummy believe it or not!

Mediterranean and Asia are meeting in the Deep South during a freeze!

Entergy sent me a text:

“2100 restoration workers assembling for winter storm response. Prepare for outages that could last 3 to 5 days.”

Banana Republic!

healthy hot breakfast

Cooking Matters + Habitat for Humanity NOLA

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First Saturday!

Sriracha is Everywhere

Sriracha is Everywhere

Sriracha, the spicy Vietnamese hot chili sauce, seems to be everywhere these days. Since the 1980’s it’s had a place alongside Tabasco, and other hot sauces, in Vietnamese restaurants, Pizza joints, noodle shops and private homes.



Now, it’s in the news. National media outlets picked up the story of Sriracha’s neighbors in Rosemead, California protesting the stinging smells of sauce making and received a temporary injunction against production of the successful sauce causing Sriracha hording nationwide. A Texas politico has proposed Tran move his business to tax-free tolerant Texas tout de suite. There is also a friendly public debate on YouTube, between Chef Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods and Chef David Chang, Owner of Momofuku Restaurant Group, over Sriracha’s superiority, or not, to competing chili sauces, including Crystal Hot Sauce.

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Though made in America, Sriracha, and its bouncy plastic bottle with a proud rooster and cheerful green cap is a favorite accompaniment for any cook or heat-loving eater who comes across it. Much like beloved American ketchup, it’s densely red, zesty, and has notes of sour, sweet and spice. The bright white lettering, in English, Vietnamese and Chinese characters makes us feel instantly exotic, while we are just grabbing a familiar condiment in its global guise.

Sriracha’s ingredients have a lot in common with traditional Louisiana hot sauces; chilies, in this case red jalapenos, and vinegar, with the addition of garlic – no water is added to Sriracha; which makes for its thicker and more fibrous consistency. Sriracha will form a kiss-like drop when squeezed onto a spoon full of noodles, or on top of Pho, the popularized Vietnamese soup.

Here in New Orleans, Sriracha is fairly universal and a cultural marker of the cosmopolitan nature of the city and the Vietnamese contribution to the food and restaurant scene. Vietnamese ingredients and dishes became popular following the fall of Vietnam and the influx of Vietnamese refugees into the United States. Huy Fong Foods, the maker of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, was opened by David Tran 1980 in Los Angeles after his arrival from his native Vietnam.

Sriracha was initially only for Vietnamese foods, like Pho, Banh Xeo; the Vietnamese savory crepe, or  fresh spring rolls; soft and cool with filling that peeks through translucent rice paper. Today, Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce can be spotted all over New Orleans and the Vietnamese connection with the city and the cuisine can’t be denied.

I was first introduced to Sriracha sauce in the early eighties while working at a resort in Tucson. The Banquet Chef was Vietnamese-Chinese with classical French training. He horded Sriracha and would apply it to each third of a chicken wing or drumette, all the while licking his slippery lips and fingers.

Sriracha is found is pizza places, like Pizza Delicious in the Bywater, the stand-up sauce doesn’t soak and turn your slice soggy and can be squeezed strategically onto a single bite. Domenica, doesn’t stock Sriracha, but the hostess sweetly said “y’all can bring your own sauce to the restaurant, that’d be o.k.”

District Donuts Slider Brew also makes a hot little Sriracha Mint Mayonnaise. One recent morning it was used as a dip for a spicy sausage filled Kolache, by an equally hot guy in a black and red checked hunter’s cap. District’s homemade Kolache are a riff on the stuffed pastry popularized in Texas by way of the Czech and Slovakian Republics.

The sweetest Sriracha taste of all was the Maple-Sriracha glazed donut at District Donut Slider Brew. The glossy delicate pink Sriracha sheen coats a soft yeast raised donut with the pull a-part quality of brioche. Another great local touch is the topping of candied fresh thyme leaves, very NOLA. The fallen bits of sugar sparkle on the donut and help quell the spicy smack of Sriracha.

sriracha donut

David Weiss says “People tend to accumulate hot sauce.” The Weiss Guys Bakery owner-baker and supplier of great buns and breads to Company Burger, District, and the Royal Orleans, has a bottle of Sriracha in his fridge, along with quite a few other brands of hot and chili sauces.

Sriracha is a go-to hot sauce, even in Louisiana, arguably the commercial hot sauce capital of the United States. In the U.S., as in Asia, we use multiple hot and chili sauces. Diners have their favorites, or use the sauces for different applications or in complementary combination to one another. Now, we couldn’t live without Sriracha, there is no substitute.

Home Cooking with Guo Qin in NOLA

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Yummy pork jiaozi and noodles with Louisiana shrimp and home-grown greens

Wood Fired Pizza Domenica, New Orleans

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Best Pizza in Nola!

Thanks Chef Besh.

Best part half price pizza and wine happy hour seven days a week.

Fresh Apple Cider Donuts Hillel’s Kitchen New Orleans

Apple Cider Doughnuts

These were warm and fresh this morning

Recipe and Baking courtesy of Jessica Brown, Hillel’s Kitchen, New Orleans

Apple Cider Donuts

1 cup sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 1/2 – 4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup boiled apple (or pear, that’s really nice too) cider (reduce 1 1/2 cups
cider to 1/3 cup, takes about 25 min, or you purchase boiled cider online)
1 tbsp vanilla

Cream butter and sugar til light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating
well after each one. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder,
baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Add buttermilk, boiled cider, and vanilla to butter, sugar, egg mixture. Add
flour mixture and combine gently just until fully moistened. Line a baking sheet
with wax paper or parchment. Sprinkle well with flour. Turn dough into sheet,
dust with more flour and gently press out to 3/4 inch thick. Cover with plastic
and put in freezer for 10 min. After 10 min use a 3 in donut cutter or biscuit
cutters to cut out donuts and holes. You can gather and re roll scraps, but you
may need to re freeze to firm up the dough. Place donuts on another flour
dusted, parchment lined baking sheet and place in freezer for an additional 5
min. Heat oil to 375 and fry donuts approx 1 min on each side. Drain on paper
towels, and roll in cinnamon sugar while still warm.

At the Hillel, since we are a kosher meat kitchen, I cannot use any dairy
products, so I substituted earth balance for the butter, and used 1/2 cup of soy
milk with 1 tsp of white vinegar in place of the buttermilk.

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