The Coolest Ice Cream of the Summer

Sun Jewel Melon Ice Cream

Even at my age, summer in the South conjures up childhood memories of the many ways we fought to stay cool on those sticky hot, horrendously humid Louisiana days.  It amazes me today at the simplicity of those times and how we savored the most ordinary events in our life like hand-cranked ice cream. Back… 

Read More »

Crawfish Poblano Pool

Seafood-Stuffed Poblanos with Mango Salsa

Not only does southwest Louisiana share a border with Texas, but from time to time many of our recipes sneak across the border as we import a technique or two into our repertoire.  This Seafood-Stuffed Poblano Pepper is one of those. With the oil industry being the dominant employer in South … [Read More...]

Blackened wild Atchafalaya Basin catfish. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Blackened Catfish with Lemon Rosemary Sauce

Over the years, the culinary technique of blackening has become one of my favorite methods for cooking fish of any kind--especially catfish.  With the deep, dark flavor of pungent spices that seal in the moist flesh of wild-caught catfish, it's cloaked in a rich, lemony butter sauce that zings with … [Read More...]

Ripe juicy strawberries on a mound of pound cake is at the center of this classic dessert. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Strawberry Shortcake Jars

In the South, strawberry shortcake and the 4th of July just go hand-in-hand. There’s no better way to top off a backyard holiday barbecue than with fresh seasonal fruit topped with whipped cream. It is the simplest recipe that delivers crowd-pleasing results every time. But how can we improve … [Read More...]

Prepared in a rice cooker, this jambalaya is both easy and tasty. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Black-Eyed Pea Jambalaya

It’s no secret that Cajun cooks love their black iron skillets, Magnalite dutch ovens, and propane crawfish cookers.  Those are standard-issued items in any Acadiana family’s arsenal of kitchen equipment.  But, there’s one more that is essential: the electric rice cooker. In rural Cajun kitchens, … [Read More...]

Jumbo shrimp bathed in a buttery bath of herbs and spices.  The perfect appetizer skillet. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Cajun Shrimp Skillet

As the height of the Louisiana shrimp season approaches with the opening of inshore shrimping, I start my annual craving for all things shrimp.  Sometimes I feel like a character in the movie Forrest Gump as I reel off my list of favorites: shrimp gumbo, shrimp Creole, shrimp jambalaya, fried … [Read More...]

Snapper en Papillote

Creole Snapper En Papillote

What is it about cooking en papillote (in a paper bag) that seems so civilized and celebratory?  Cooking food in parchment paper wrapped tightly to hold in the steam and juices is a mainstream technique that is embraced by many culinary cultures.  The Italians have their al cartoccio, but the French … [Read More...]

Buttermilk, bacon and bourbon bring Southern flavor to this pâté. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Southern Chicken Liver Pâté with Muscadine Wine Pepper Jelly

There’s nothing more ooh-la-la French than a delicate spread of chicken liver pâté spooned generously on a crusty baguette. Especially in Paris, chefs take great pride in their pâtés and terrines featuring the finest ingredients all served extravagantly with grandiose fanfare. Oh, please! Come … [Read More...]

Sweet strawberries blend with Chambord liqueur in a down-home Southern favorite. (All ohotos credit: George Graham)

Strawberry Cobbler with Chambord Whipped Cream

Nothing beats fresh strawberries in season, and here in South Louisiana, we are blessed with an abundance of the crop. I like them chilled over a bowl of corn flakes, crowning a big ol’ biscuit topped with ice cream, or whole berries dipped in chocolate—there’s no end to the ways I enjoy … [Read More...]

Pork Belly tacos served up tangy and sweet glazed with root beer on a bed of creamy slaw. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Root Beer-Glazed Pork Belly Tacos

Pork belly is a workhorse ingredient in South Louisiana kitchens. Cured and smoked for bacon, brined and pickled for salt pork, or sliced and fried for grattons, the belly of the pig has always been a part of every Cajun cook’s repertoire. But while Acadiana cooks have relegated pork belly to a few … [Read More...]

Farm-fresh eggs and pond-raised crawfish combine with Louisiana rice in a farm-to-table dish. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Cajun Fried Rice with Crawfish and Green Onion Sausage

For me, the most cherished part of writing about the cooking of my Cajun and Creole culture is how families gather together with food being the focal point of a lively celebration. Boucheries in the fall, black-iron gumbos in the winter, springtime crawfish boils, and fish frys in the summer are all … [Read More...]

Bone-in ribeye steak cooked perfect medium rare.

Tomahawk Ribeye – A Manly Meal

Now and then I must seek out the thickest cut of beef I can find for a manly meal. It is a primal urge. Cooking steaks portioned in gargantuan slabs are not really about the quantity of the meat, but rather it is all about the quality of the outcome. Let me explain. Over the years of trial and … [Read More...]

Thick and spicy chowder with the flavor of a Louisiana crawfish boil.  (All ppbotos credit: George Graham)

Crawfish Boil Chowder

If you live in crawfish country, you know all about South Louisiana’s favorite springtime pastime – the backyard crawfish boil. Suckin’ heads and pinchin’ tails is always a tasty occasion, but what to do with all the leftover crawfish and vegetables? Chowder time! Making soup with Louisiana … [Read More...]

Stuffed Crabs Sauce

Stuffed Crabs with Absinthe Cream

With this stuffed crab dish, I like to think of old Polaroid photos of a time-gone-by spending lazy summers on the coast; we crabbed during the day, floundered at night, and slept to the gentle Gulf breeze blowing through the screened windows. Summer days spent crabbing at my family’s fishing … [Read More...]

Wrapped in bacon and glazed with sweet heat, this meat loaf spikes with flavor.  (All photos credit: George Graham)

Bacon-Wrapped Meat Loaf

As a kid growing up on Montgomery Street in Bogalusa, Louisiana, dinnertime was comforting. A home-cooked meal as we gathered around the family table was what we did every night. It was a simpler time.  No distractions.  No complications.  No worries. Over time, things change. These days, busy … [Read More...]

Simple Southern ingredients come together in a hearty soup. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Kale, Black-eyes and Pork Jowl Soup

Soulful simplicity. It doesn’t take much of a story line to sum up what this dish is all about. If stewing down a pot of black-eyes is just too basic, then infuse it with garden-fresh kale, the soul-food flavors of smoky pork jowl, and intense dark chicken stock – the essential ingredients for this … [Read More...]