What a Crock!: Pork chop memories

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Black beans are an unexpected addition to slow-cooked Pork Chop Spaghetti.

Sometimes a scent or a random thought from childhood sparks new ideas. A package of uncooked pork chops in the freezer turned into a memory of a pork chop casserole topped with tomatoes and cooked rice, a recipe my mother cooked many times. Although I have not tasted that recipe in many years, it was amazing how … Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: New varieties of size, shape, color offered for artichokes

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND  --  Stuffed Artichokes are always a welcome treat in the spring.

If you like artichokes, you also like springtime because that’s when you start seeing big displays of fresh artichokes in stores, farmers markets and produce stands. You may notice some new varieties as far as size, shape and color this year. The artichoke we eat is actually the bud of a large plant in the thistle … Continue reading →

Feast of Unleavened Bread pushes Seder cooks’ creativity

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- A typical Passover Seder feast might include, from left, Asparagus Sauteed With Lemon and Shallots, Baked Bananas, Roasted Chicken with Matzo Balls and  Mississippi Praline Macaroons, always served with matzos, or  unleavened bread, the most  important Passover symbol.

At sundown on April 14, children in every Jewish community in the world will ask the question they have asked for 3,000 years. “Why is this night different from all other nights?” This question, and three other questions, are an integral part of the Seder, the meal opening the weeklong celebration of Passover, the Feast of … Continue reading →

What’s Happening for April 10, 2014

Monjunis Italian Cafe, 711 Jefferson Highway, will hold a wine dinner featuring the wine and cuisine of New Zealand at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 16. Cost of the four-course, five-wine dinner is $55 per person. Reservations are required; call (225) 231-1595. … Continue reading →

Cooking school/restaurant offers elegant instruction

Advocate photo by Elsa Hahne -- Langlois Culinary Crossroads chef Tess Connors lights caramel rum sauce as owner Amy Sins throws cinnamon into the flames from the sidelines. Greg and Cathy Heitman watch and record the scene on an iPad at Langlois Culinary Crossroads in New Orleans.

Clutching cocktails in plastic cups from Iggy’s Bar around the corner, Greg and Cathy Heitman climbed aboard stools at the gleaming stone counter at Langlois Culinary Crossroads for a dinner class. Owner Amy Cyrex Sins, a Gonzales native, evolved the elegant hybrid cooking school/restaurant at 1710 Pauger St., New Orleans, out … Continue reading →

Saving carrots from their usual sugary Easter fate

Associated Press photo by MATTHEW MEAD -- Lemony Carrot 'Fettuccine' With Toasted Walnuts takes advantage of the carrots' natural sweetness and texture.

Though carrots often make it into the Easter feast lineup, I’ve never understood why. Maybe it’s a nod to the Easter bunny. Typically, we glaze them and shovel on extra sugar. I think I’ve figured out a way here to redeem them. The trick is to take advantage of their length and texture. Long, … Continue reading →

Side Dish: Come hogs and high water

Advocate photo by Cheramie Sonnier  --  A fried red beans and rice ball topped with an aioli is among the entries in the new bean category at Hogs for the Cause. The snack was the idea of Jay Ducote and Aimee Tortorich, members of the Bacon Rouge team.

Torrential rainstorms Friday and very early Saturday had the 2014 Hogs for the Cause competitors scrambling to move their pits out of high water and hang on to flying tents. Overcast skies and cool temps greeted Saturday morning’s early arrivals, who slogged through mud to get to the 90 competitors’ food booths at “City Pork” in New … Continue reading →

Lakeshore High, Hammond Magnet top winners at ProStart event

Lakeshore High School in Mandeville and Hammond High Magnet School took the top spots at the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s 13th Annual Louisiana Seafood ProStart Student Invitational on March 25-26 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. The teams will represent Louisiana in the National ProStart Invitational in Minneapolis on May 3-5. The Invitational, which … Continue reading →

What’s Happening for April 3, 2014

Slow Food Baton Rouge will hold its fourth annual fundraiser, “Dinner in the Field,” on Sunday at Afton Villa Gardens, 9047 Highway 61, north of St. Francisville. The event, which celebrates local food traditions, farms, chefs, music and art, will begin at 3 p.m. with a … Continue reading →

Nicholls, Delgado reach deal on culinary program

Nicholls State University and Delgado Community College are working together to brand south Louisiana as a culinary education destination. At the inaugural Dinner of the Century fundraiser on March 23, officials from both institutions signed a memorandum of understanding making it easier for culinary students to cross-enroll at Nicholls and Delgado, as well as to transfer between … Continue reading →

Lafayette blog finalist in SAVEUR contest

Photo provided  --  George Graham writes food blog Acadiana Table.

George Graham’s passion for Louisiana’s food culture and his love for cooking has landed him in the finalist category of SAVEUR magazine’s culinary blog contest. The magazine announced on March 31 that the owner of the Lafayette-based Graham Group advertising agency is among six finalists in the category of Best Regional Cuisine Blog out of more than … Continue reading →

Healthy roasted bird helps to welcome spring

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Simple Roasted Chicken With Fresh Herb Sauce has fewer calories than a traditional spring feast centerpiece.

Our spring feasts — often centered around Passover and Easter — typically call for a center-of-the-plate star like brisket or lamb. While delicious, both can seriously ramp up the fat and calories in a meal. So how about roasted chicken instead? There’s no way to cook a chicken properly without the skin. Looks like … Continue reading →

Let’s cook Lenten meal

Advocate file photo -- For a Lenten meal, serve that oldie, but goodie, Classic Tuna-Noodle Casserole.

About 10 years ago, former food Editor Tommy Simmons began a basic cooking series called “Let’s Cook.” It offered a primer on various foods she thought everyone should know how to cook. One such topic was that oldie, but goodie, tuna casserole. Tuna casseroles aren’t complicated to make — “just dump, mix and bake” as Tommy … Continue reading →

Ruth’s Hummus now available at local grocers

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Kathy Broha makes and packages her Lebanese family's hummus recipe and sells it at local stores. A bowl of fresh hummus is ready for the Sunday family dinner which includes pita bread pieces for the hummus, fried kibbi, stuffed cabbage rolls, eggplant moussaka and pork loin.

Editor’s note: This is the first in an occasional series about the tenants of the LSU AgCenter Food Incubator. Hummus was always in the refrigerator at the Thomas home. Long before there were Lebanese restaurants in every Baton Rouge neighborhood serving the Middle Eastern food, the family spread mother Ruth Thomas’ hummus … Continue reading →

Classic Tuna-Noodle Casserole

Advocate file photo -- For a Lenten meal, serve that oldie, but goodie, Classic Tuna-Noodle Casserole.

Advocate-tested recipe Classic Tuna-Noodle Casserole Serves 6. Recipe is from “The American Century Cookbook” by Jean Anderson. Serves 6. 1(103/4-oz.) can condensed cream of celery or mushroom soup 1/2 cup milk 2 cups hot cooked medium egg noodles, drained 1 cup cooked green peas, drained 2 tbls. chopped, canned pimento, optional 2 (6-oz.) cans tuna, drained and flaked … Continue reading →

BR high school student takes first place at culinary event in Houston

A Baton Rouge high school culinary arts student took first place at the Art Institutes International-Houston Best Teen Chef Competition. Career Academy senior Nikenya Rochester defeated 10 opponents with her dishes of shrimp cocktail, rice pilaf, sautéed broccoli, and pan-seared chicken with a spicy Dijon cream sauce. She had been selected from 55 regional candidates to compete. … Continue reading →


Dana DeLatte, of Sharp Cook, has scheduled a cooking class, “Tamale Rolling Party” at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Community Bible Church, 8354 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge. Participants will learn how to make “authentic Cajun-style tamales,” along with fresh chunky salsa and a chocolate dessert tamale, she … Continue reading →

BR restaurant featured on Food Network show

Photo provided by Food Network -- Owner Barry Kalt, center, and son Andrew Kalt, left, have their eyes close just before 'Restaurant: Impossible

Titled “NY State of Mind,” the “Restaurant: Impossible” episode featuring a Baton Rouge eatery will air at 9 p.m. Wednesday on Food Network. Show host Robert Irvine and a film crew visited Mama Della’s N.Y. City Pizzeria, 8190 Jefferson Highway, in January. Irvine had two days to convince owner Barry Kalt that changes were necessary if the … Continue reading →

Buffalo chicken transformed

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Cream Buffalo Chicken and Peas is a dinner-in-a-pot that will be a big hit with the whole family.

Invented in Buffalo, N.Y., during the ’60s, Buffalo chicken wings have become a national favorite. Big surprise! If fat is where the flavor is, and if everyone’s a sucker for flavor, Buffalo chicken couldn’t lose. It starts with the fattiest part of the bird — the wings — which then are deep-fried, tossed into a vat … Continue reading →

Bites of History: Spinach far more versatile than just fuel for a cartoon sailor

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles  --  Spinach Salad With Crispy Hog Jowls is served at Elizabeth's Restaurant in New Orleans.

Is Popeye right? Will spinach make you “strong to the finish?” First — a little background. Spinach, a stalwart of Old World cooking, is a relatively new kid on the produce block, having only reached Europe in the Middle Ages. Spinacia oleracea originated in Persia, in what is now Iran, and strictly grew in that region … Continue reading →

What’s Happening for March 20, 2014

The Red Stick Farmers Market will kick off its new children’s program, Red Stick Sprouts, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at Fifth and Main streets in downtown Baton Rouge. Red Stick Sprouts aims to teach youth where their food comes from and healthy eating … Continue reading →

Spring Restaurant Guide

Includes 120 restaurant recommendations, organized geographically from the north shore to the West Bank, and a printable quick-pick guide. … Continue reading →


Food & Dining