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Review: From Mexican standards to unique twists, Cabo’s Grill serves it up right

Advocate photo by GEORGE MORRIS -- The brisket tacos at Cabo's were acceptable, but nothing special.

We’re not snobs about chain restaurants, because they wouldn’t become chains unless people liked the original restaurant’s fare. But we still like a stand-alone restaurant that adds its own flair to familiar dishes. So it is with Cabo’s Grill in Zachary. Not everything we tried there was a home run — the baseball analogy is appropriate because… Continue reading →

Perfect grilling weather is straight ahead!

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Goat Cheese-Stuffed Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Memorial Day is behind us, so that means there’s nothing but summer — and perfect grilling weather — straight ahead. Try a finger-friendly dish of grilled onions and peppers, grilled sweet potatoes stuffed with creamy goat cheese, smoky chicken bathed in Alabama white sauce (proof that good things actually do come from Alabama), kick up… Continue reading →

What a Crock!: Veggie variety, liquid level affect cook time

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  Apple Acorn Chicken

Last month, I spoke at a healthy eating/heart health trends luncheon meeting with cardiac nurse Christa Wilborn. Wilborn prepared boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the oven, and I lamented how many slow-cooked dishes involving boneless, skinless chicken seemed drier than their bone-in counterparts. While that is often true, it doesn’t mean they can’t be successfully… Continue reading →

Looks like a banana, but eats like a potato! It’s a plantain

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Tostones Eggs Benedict With Cilantro Sauce

My 16-month-old daughter has started identifying her favorite fruit, joyfully crying “ba-TA-ta!” as soon as she spies the cheery yellow fruit in our produce basket. She repeats its name in the hopes that I’ll work my mummy magic on the banana, snap the peel open and reveal that sweet, creamy goodness within. And… Continue reading →

Asparagus, pork gussied up with a lemon-truffle sauce

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Grilled Pork Chops and Asaparagus With Lemon-Truffle Vinaigrette

One of my favorite summer meals is asparagus and pork chops cooked to perfection on the grill. It’s a fast and effortless meal that is perfect for summer weeknights. Often I’m happy with nothing more than some salt and pepper; these ingredients are so good in their own right — especially when grilled… Continue reading →

Memories of Ebarb: Member of Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb writes cookbook to keep traditions alive

Sun Herald photo by Tim Isbell -- Dorsey Ebarb Bronson talks about her book, 'Louisiana Cooking by Native American Choctaw-Apache.' The book includes recipes and childhood memories.

Dorsey Ebarb Bronson, of Mobile, Alabama, hopes the best way to a lawmaker’s heart is through his stomach. She’s a member of the Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb, on the Louisiana side of the Sabine River near the border with Texas. The tribe is recognized by the state but not by the federal government. Bronson compiled… Continue reading →

I Eat La.: The fine art of layering and balance: Sweet and Smokey Glazed Shrimp and Creamy Risotto

Advocate photo by Teresa B. Day -- Sweet and Smoky Glazed Shrimp over Creamy Risotto

That perfect balance of smoky and sweet is divine, but a little tricky to achieve. First, be careful to add a smoky flavor that is mild and understated. Then, let the sweet aspect enhance the way the smoke warms the flavor of your dish. Last, mix in a little vinegar to make it all come together… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Tails of summer: Great recipes just in time for crawfish season

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Crawfish Chajitas

Summer is crawfish season, and we’re able to get tails at a reasonable price, so let’s make a pot of Crawfish Étouffée, or a tasty Crawfish Spread, or maybe Crawfish Chajitas. This classic étouffée recipe is easy enough for a novice cook. Take the time to have all the ingredients chopped and measured before you start; after that,… Continue reading →

First Farm to School conference set May 27

The state’s first Farm to School conference will be May 27 at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge. Hosted by the LSU AgCenter and Pennington and funded through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School grant, the conference is free to anyone interested in Louisiana students learning about local food and farms,… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Discovering delectable ‘shrimping opportunities’

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Shrimp Scampi on Noodles

I’ve bought some beautiful heads-on, wild-caught, fresh Louisiana fresh shrimp lately. I don’t mind peeling large shrimp (if it’s only a few pounds). I cooked these scampi-style and served them two nights in a row. I first served the shrimp on boiled noodles, then on a baguette for an appetizer and on grits. The grits recipe… Continue reading →

The Ice Creamiest: Need a new favorite ice cream? It’s pretty cool making your own

Photo by Cynthia Nobles -- Bananas Foster Sundae

Kleinpeter’s ice cream? Gone. Blue Bell? Bit the dust, at least temporarily. K&B’s paper gallons are relegated to history, as are those blue-and-red cartons of Brown’s Velvet Creole Cream Cheese. Now might be a good time to consider making your own. There are basically two types of ice cream… Continue reading →

Tips for cooking pasta al dente

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Fusilli With Italian Sausage, Peas and Creamy Tomato Sauce

What’s the one ingredient you should always have in your cupboard? Dried pasta, of course. It’s the base of a zillion easy-to-make weeknight meals and the friendly playmate of 2 zillion ingredients, including leftovers. Pasta comes in all sizes and shapes, all of them designed with a purpose. Pastas in long strands — including spaghetti and… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge art, martini event to benefit orchestra

Grab your glasses. It’s time to judge some martinis. The Baton Rouge Symphony League will hold ART-ini 2015 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at the Renaissance Baton Rouge, 7000 Bluebonnet Blvd. The art auction and martini competition benefits the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. Guests will be able to bid on art,… Continue reading →

L’Auberge, Sullivan’s host Patron dinners

L’Auberge Casino Hotel’s 18 Steak and Sullivan’s Steakhouse will host Patron Tequila dinners. At 18 Steak, 777 L’Auberge Ave., Baton Rouge, the four-course mixology dinner will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 20. Hors d’oeuvres will be Maine lobster spring rolls with cilantro, house pickles and hydroponic bib lettuce. The first course… Continue reading →

Louisiana Culinary Institute offering leisure classes

The Louisiana Culinary Institute, 10550 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge, will offer a variety of upcoming leisure classes: Sauces to go with Everything, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m Saturday. Learn to produce the five mother sauces — tomato, hollandaise, veloute, béchamel and Espagnole. The class also will cover stock and broth production, food pairings… Continue reading →

Review: Baton Rouge's Souga Pizza a small, cozy, work-in-progress restaurant; here's what's to like, dislike

Advocate photo by Tim Arnold --  Served in a large bowl, this Gorgonzola cream dish was velvety and cheesy and tossed with sautéed mushrooms, roasted red peppers and fresh spinach over fettuccine and then hit with shredded Parmesan.

Souga Pizza Factory, housed in the old Oscar’s pizza place on Perkins Road, kept many of Oscar’s menu items, even “The Oscar” calzone. The new owners, however, are adding their own touches and it definitely has a lot of potential. Start your meal with the meatballs ($7). Made with beef, well seasoned, then topped with lots of… Continue reading →

Gourmet Galley: Smoked Gouda and English Muffin Strata, casseroles perfect for breakfast

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Smoked Gouda and English Muffin Strata

I’ve had several requests for more make-ahead breakfast casseroles. With graduation and overnight guests visiting, these are nice to have in the refrigerator, ready to pop into the oven. This one is different because of the English muffins, and I think you will like that hint of smokiness from the Gouda cheese. This particular recipe bakes… Continue reading →

What A Crock!: Slow-cooker snacks can save mom on any day

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  Curry Kix Mix, for 'What A Crock.'

Homemade snacks are just as popular with those on the go as they can be with young moms, something I’ve thought back on as we approach another Mother’s Day. I often see young mothers digging through their purses or a tote in search of something to sooth a troubled youngster, something I can remember myself doing in years… Continue reading →

I Eat La.: Eating local, eating well is easy in Louisiana

Photo by Teresa Day -- Green Beans With Glazed Pecans

Hello faithful Advocate food readers! I’m excited to be joining you on this journey of home-cooked meals and interesting stories told around tables throughout south Louisiana. I’ve been writing about food in and around Baton Rouge for more than a decade. I grew up in Natchitoches and Winnfield, but have called Baton Rouge home for more… Continue reading →

Mobile Farmers Market adds stop at ExxonMobil YMCA

The Red Stick Mobile Farmers Market is adding a stop in north Baton Rouge. The market will be at the ExxonMobil YMCA, 7717 Howell Blvd., from 3 p.m to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through July. A variety of seasonal produce will be available, including tomatoes, squash, cabbage, leafy greens, strawberries and blueberries. The market will also include… Continue reading →

Review: Why Newk’s in Baton Rouge should be on your list of new places to try

Advocate photo by GEORGE MORRIS -- Newk's Mediterranean pizza toppings include grilled chicken breast slices, sliced Roma tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, feta and mozzarella cheese and diced red onions.

A chain restaurant that specializes in sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza sets my expectation level at “meh.” Newk’s Eatery, however, turns it up a few notches, to “hmm.” The Mississippi-based chain spread mostly throughout the Southeast recently arrived in Baton Rouge’s Towne Center (another is planned near LSU) and proves the adage that if you limit yourself… Continue reading →

Maidens meal: Bridesmaids’ luncheon includes history lesson

Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles  --  Well-Dressed Crab Meat

My niece Claire is getting married soon, and, to honor her attendants, I recently hosted a girls-only luncheon at my home in Baton Rouge. While the hors d’oeuvres were making their way around the room, I started mixing a Champagne cocktail for the only unmarried attendant. A petite thing, she was wearing the high, spiky heels… Continue reading →

Dine Out helps support HIV/AIDs service groups

Grab a bite out and support HIV/AIDS service organizations. Dine Out for Life will be held Thursday, April 30, in 60 cities across North America — including Baton Rouge and New Orleans — and raises an estimated $4 million annually. Last year, Dining Out for Life organizations assisted more than 350,000 clients, delivered more than… Continue reading →

10 fresh ideas for turning toast into something exciting

Associated Press photo by Matthew Mead -- Tarragon Beet Toast

We’re not entirely sure what the difference is between a classic open-faced sandwich and the suddenly hip world of toast with toppings. Then again, maybe it doesn’t much matter. A thick slab of lightly toasted good quality bread topped with delicious ingredients is an almost unbeatable comfort food no matter what you call it. Maybe it’s… Continue reading →