Side Dish: Food lover’s favorite companion and handy reference

“The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion, 2nd Edition” by Ron Herbst and Sharon Tyler Herbst Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., $29.99 854-page hardcover It seems fitting that I write about the latest — and “deluxe” — edition of Barron’s authoritative “The New Food Lover’s Companion” today. The reference volume, which first appeared in print … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Cookbook a family affair for Pépins

HHH “Kids Cook French Les Enfants Cuisinent à la Française” by Claudine Pépin Quarry Books, $21.99 96-page hardcover Croque-monsieur, ratatouille, crème brûlée, quiche, Salad Niçoise and crêpes — some of the dishes Americans think of when discussing French food plus many more are included in Claudine Pépin’s … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Bam! Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse celebrates big anniversary: 'It’s been a great 25 years'

Photo provided by Emeril's New Orleans  --  Emerils New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp has been a favorite at Emeril Lagasse's flagship restaurant since it opened 25 years ago.

I spent last week tasting lots of great food for good causes. As the saying goes, “It’s a tough job …” During the month of March, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse celebrated the 25th anniversary of his original restaurant, Emeril’s New Orleans, 800 Tchoupitoulas St., with special menus and events. He capped off the month with … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Essays trace history of Louisiana classics

HHH “Hungry for Louisiana: An Omnivore’s Journey” by Maggie Heyn Richardson LSU Press, $22.50 144-page hardcover Baton Rouge food writer Maggie Heyn Richardson focuses on eight of Louisiana’s iconic foods — crawfish, jambalaya, Creole cream cheese, snoballs, filé, blood (red) boudin, tamales and oysters … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Not quite ‘hands off,’ but still easy

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  Thick-Cut Pork Chops With Warm Apple-Cabbage Slaw, prepared and cooked on a sheet pan, goes together quickly.

HH “Sheet Pan Suppers: 120 Recipes for Simple, Surprising, Hands-Off Meals Straight From the Oven” by Molly Gilbert Workman Publishing, $15.95 296-page paperback When a cookbook author claims to have an easy preparation, easy cooking method that requires only one pan, I’m definitely interested. That’s what author and cooking instructor Molly … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Cobble together a sweet treat

Advocate file photo  --  Celebrate Valentine's Day or Presidents' Day with Easy Cherry Cobbler.

As a child, I rated February rather dull when it came to holidays and sweet treats. While this month now means plenty of king cakes and parades, when I was a youngster, my family’s Carnival season usually began and ended on Mardi Gras day. That left Valentine’s Day and George Washington’s birthday. Those minor observances did … Continue reading →

Side Dish: 'Heaven Help Us' cookbook helps others

Christmas Day seems like the perfect time to mention a cookbook dedicated to raising funds to help others, especially when it’s named “Heaven Help Us 2014.” The 246-page, spiral-bound cookbook was produced by St. Matthew the Apostle Knights of Columbus Council 13425 in River Ridge to raise funds to support the church parish, youth, religious and humanitarian … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Give the gift of cookbooks

Photo provided  --  Book jacket of Southern Living's 'Christmas All Through the South.'

Don’t panic — yet — if you haven’t decided on gifts for everyone on your holiday gift list. If one (or more) of those names on that list belongs to an enthusiastic home cook or someone who likes to read cookbooks, you’re in luck. A wide variety of outstanding cookbooks and coffee table books featuring recipes are available this … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Roasted veggies are a holiday hit

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  For a flavorful side dish, try Rosemary Roasted Vegetables  --  Brussels sprouts, green beans and green onions.

Baton Rouge has some mighty fine home cooks, and I’m always reminded of that when I share a meal with members of my dinner club. I recently was among the lucky guests at the home of Paul and Barbara Hoffman, who hosted a dinner that was top-notch from beginning to end. The menu was mainly made up … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Savor these cookbooks over holidays

Just in time for the fall holiday season come “Southern Holidays” by Debbie Moose and “Sweet Potatoes” by April McGregor, the latest additions to the University of North Carolina Press’ delightful “Savor the South” series of cookbooks that looks at the favorite foods and culinary traditions of the American South. Like the eight previous volumes in the planned 24-book … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Foolproof muffins are this easy

I can’t pass up a new cookbook by Jean Anderson. With her background in food chemistry, I know the book will include plenty of useful information and its recipes will always work. Her latest cookbook is no exception. Anderson has had lots of experience baking muffins, the subject of her latest book. She was only about 4 years old … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Cookbook has plenty to chew on

HHH “The Chew: A Year of Celebrations” edited by Ashley Archer and Jessica Dorfman Jones Kingswell, $19.99 255-page paperback Fans of the television lifestyle show “The Chew” will welcome the latest cookbook from its five hosts — Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. “The Chew: A Year of Celebrations” includes recipes from each host, along with … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Fig gelato a great treat for summer

Photo provided by LSU AgCenter -- This LSU Purple fig will be one of many figs offered to taste so you can compare differences between varieties for taste, sweetness, texture and color.

When in New Orleans a few weeks ago for a seminar, a friend and I stopped by Hotel Monteleone’s Criollo Restaurant shortly after it opened for its evening dinner service. Were we ever happy we did. It was the first time I’d been there as a customer since the restaurant and adjacent Carousel Bar & Lounge have … Continue reading →