Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Nawlinz is coming to NY

I have been known to trash restaurants who cannot get New Orleans food right.

I have no choice but to do it myself.

Nawlinz@Durden is coming.

You can follow us on twitter @NawlinzatDurden

We are popping up at Durden on 2nd Avenue at 13th Street with food like
Da Muffaletta

We will also have Po Boys, Boo Fries, Nawlinz Poutine etc. 

If no one else will give me the food I crave, I guess I am going to have to do it myself. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dwayne Cassius "King" Pride Food Profile NCIS New Orleans

Dwayne Cassius "King" Pride Food Profile
My belief is that he got the nickname King from being the frequent finder of the baby in the King cake when he was a child. He thus became King of the Mari Gras amongst the kids.

Dwayne and Pride are Welsh or Scottish names he is likely descended from Emanuel Pride who at age 18 landed in Mobile Alabama in 1851. His descendants comprise the Prides of New Orleans.

Being as he and his father share the name Cassius it is likely his Grandmother on his paternal side was French and likely his Mother French or Italian.

This would make him from an older Family and qualify for presence not only in the lower Garden District as a local, but prior to the incarceration of his Father he was likely part of the Society. That and the divorce, removed him from many of his friends, thus his new home and loner status.

The divorce frightened him into an even more strict health regime. He belongs to New Orleans Athletic Club. Even those who have stopped inviting him to parties will have a drink with him at the bar in the club. This connects him to the Mayor, Judges and others that could prove helpful. As a result of this regime and fear of aging, he has modified his diet. He would do this alone and never make a big deal out of it, or shame himself by ordering a salad when in a restaurant for a social occasion.

Therefore meals out would include BBQ Oysters, Stuffed Crab or Lacquered Quail. At Commander’s Palace he would still be given the family table upstairs in the corner by the window. Miss Lally would greet him personally. At Galatoire’s, Arnaud’s and and all the old line restaurants he would still be given the family waiter. A foodie such as he would likely ask for the Chef to send out whatever he thinks is best. He will know them by name. For instance at Commander’s he would ask them to bring him whatever Chef Tory thought best, after first a bowl of Turtle soup. Turtle Soup would be a must, whenever available.

At home however he is likely to breakfast on fruit and whole milk Greek yogurt when in a rush. He would buy most of his produce at Whole Foods despite the tab. Friends with trees would provide him with Kumquats and figs, coincidentally two of his favorite fruits. He would go to Zuppardo’s for more traditional foods. like Camellia Beans, Pickled Pork etc. He would always buy his Olive Salad at Central Grocery, but would not be above picking up a missed item at La Petit.

His coffee would be Community when serving others, it is a point of Pride. However when alone he would drink Venetian roast sans Chicory.

His pantry would always contain very good crackers, Dried Pasta, Capers, Olive Salad, Anchovies, Canned Tomatoes, dried and canned beans, Tuna in Olive Oil, Very good Olive Oil (no recognized ‘brand’), Clam Juice and Rice.

His refrigerator would always have Salad Greens, Fruit, Yogurt,Smoked Pork Products,Cheeses like Drunken Goat and Krauterschatz, eggs, green onions and Worcestershire. There would also be at least one green pepper, and some celery as he could be called upon to make a trinity at any time. There would likely be a collection of Asian sauces to spice up stir fried vegetables.

Fresh tomatoes would be on the counter along with Onions, Shallots and Garlic. There would often be an avocado and a banana as well.

His wine collection would be eclectic, with French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese wines, along with an occasional California of note.

When cooking breakfast for others he might gently scramble eggs and cheese (never American) they would be topped with diced scallions and served alongside a basket of cream biscuits and of course some fruit. It is not uncommon for the eggs to be served on a bed of fresh spinach or sliced Creole Tomatoes when in season. The warmth of the eggs lightly wilts the spinach.

When dining alone at lunch he might ask for a baked Mirliton with Boiled or Grilled Shrimp. Or even a large salad with dressing on the side. When with others all bets are off, but he would be likely to offer to share a po-boy, or just stop eating halfway through a calorie dense plate.

Dinner however would be based on what was eaten earlier in the day. Fruit and a salad would mean a delectable dinner. If the chef sends out Daube it would be consumed with gusto (Daube is December only) At Luke he would get the Rabbit Pate or Flamenkutchen to begin, and then a Seafood Platter. Boiled and chilled seafood would be his fallback, high protein, low calorie.

His favorite place to take guests would be The Galley in Metarie. He would likely suggest they share a stuffed artichoke and boiled shrimp. The Frog Legs and Softshell Crab would also be considered.

Mother’s on Poydras is mostly City Hall workers and tourists, if say Brody offered to pick up lunch from there he would ask for the baked ham Po Boy, no debris. He would eat half.

When he has a cold He would want Yakkimein (old Sober, Ghetto Pho) If it’s Thursday he would ask someone to go get it from Miss Linda. Any other day of the week he would settle for the Chinese Kitchen version. In both cases he would send a friend to pick it up as neither delivers. If he gets it from Chinese he would doctor it with hot sauce, and a little more Soy.

He prefers wine to beer, but will of course hang and be sociable with the beer class. When available, say at Cochon he might get a hard Cider. Cochon would be a likely
favorite as he has embraced low Country cuisine.

He drives to Lafayette upon occasion to pick up his sausage, bacon, ham, smoked duck (for gumbo) and smoked hog jowl.

His guilty pleasure would be a cheeseburger from La Petit, Chris being from Alabama, would of course prefer Port of Call. Spirited arguments would ensue about which is best. La Petit of course uses Gruyere and Mayo, so of course, Chris is wrong. In fact this relationship is a great place to introduce food debates. Banana Pudding (Alabama) vs. Blackbottom Banana Cream Pie with Bourbon Cream (New Orleans.)

When entertaining guests for home cooking he would likely stuff something, pork or fish. If they came over on a Sunday Red Gravy would not be uncommon. After a trip to Lafayette he might make a Smoked Duck Gumbo. Even though he has Creole roots, he would probably do the roux based and throw a bottle of rich red in the pot. The Creole, Okra Tomato style would more likely pair with shrimp. He is unlikely to do Filet Gumbo at home and instead let restaurants deal with the Filet.

To gross out a character like Brody he might make a Salad with thinly slice some pickled pork lips, which would be seared and used as a basis for the dressing. It would taste amazing but a Yankee is likely not to welcome pickled pork lips being served.
When cooking for his daughter he might make Salade aux lardons et oeufs durs, along with a simple pasta with garlic and oil with broccoli. They french and Italian might seem discordant but the pasta was her childhood favorite.

His daughter’s tastes would vary as he was clearly married to a Yankee. He would do anything to please her, but also her boyfriends.

He must have a reason for these bromances, where a bond is formed over a spice, or a pot of food.

I suspect a brother from another mother (affair on his Father’s part) probably a white throwback (throwback has two meanings). Likely a 10 year age between them with the brother younger.

He co-signed with his brother on a small piece of property in the Bywater that was turned into a tiny restaurant. After the death of his brother’s wife and the loss of his son in Afghanistan, baby brother bought an RV and went off to get away. The restaurant shuttered, but not sold.

Pride is desperate for the return of his brother and best friend. They are lightly in touch via e mail, but he lost his workout partner, his jogging partner, his cooking partner.
His desire for a bromance with his daughter’s boyfriends stems from his deeply missing his brother He does not discuss it with coworkers because it is painful, and those from his class do not discuss their pain.

However those moments with the boyfriends of his daughter give him some of what that relationship was.

His brother was the kitchen Maestro and Pride’s work in the kitchen is an attempt to re- create and connect. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dude Food Collard Greens for Dinner? With Butts?

With a slow cooker this is one of those amazing home made comfort foods that makes everyone feel good. Loaded with nutrition and fiber it is a simple supper that any dude can make.

Writing about New Orleans reminded me just how many home cooks make variations on greens and rice. With a crock pot, the long stewing that tenderizes the greens is no longer needed. Put it all together, put on the lid and walk away.

Made before work, you can come home, make a little rice and impress your significant other with real home cooking.

Chopped Collards (at least 5 cups per person)
Garlic (two cloves per serving)
Olive Oil
Water or stock

Put a tiny drizzle of oil in the bottom of the crock, set on high add the sliced garlic and the lid and go have breakfast. When you are finished the garlic will be fragrant and ready for the greens.

Pack the chopped greens in the pot and use 3/4 cup liquid per 5 cups of chopped greens. Turn to low, put on the lid and walk away.

Let's talk about adding meat.

I like to pack the pan with smoked turkey butts layered in with the collards. You can also used smoked turkey wings or ham hocks. The smoke adds a great deep flavor.

When you get home, taste, adjust for salt and serve with rice.

With some butts it is a complete meal. A soul satisfying meal.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dude Food: Simplify Valentine's Day

Whether your love is female or male they want to be indulged, just not too much.

If you decide to cook for your beloved achieving the perfect balance can be hard. Nonetheless, a quiet evening away from the bustle of a noisy restaurant can be far more romantic.

1. Set the Scene.

Linen Napkins
Dim Lights
Great wine (the champagne comes later)
Beautifully set table

1st course: Composed Salad

How beautiful is this, it sets the tone. Your partner will appreciate that you took the time to make such a wonderful healthy dish. The composition is the indulgence. And it's easy. 

In this one we have...

Raw Cucumber
Grilled zucchini (Quickly roasted in a hot oven works just as well)
Green Beans
Lettuce mix

The great thing about this is the beauty is in the composition so you can choose any vegetables you find. Simply blanch them until they are bright and colorful and then put into ice water to stop further cooking. 

The simple dressing: 

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups fresh dill
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper

Pulse in the food processor and drizzle just before serving. 

Now What? Dipping veg in boiling water is easy but a main can be more difficult....Nah!

12 hour Pork Shoulder

Rub, leave overnight put in oven and leave alone. It really is that simple. Start with 8 lbs of Shoulder or Boston Butt. 

1/8 cup cumin
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup white pepper
1/8 cup cumin
1/8 cup chili powder
1/8 cup or more cayenne (depends on how much spice you like)
1/8 cup salt

24 hours before roasting, rub the seasoning all over the pork, get under the fat and into every crevice. Cover and let is soak in for 24 hours. If you have a smoker you can of course smoke it. 

12 hours before serving put on a rack over a pan with a little water in the pan ( to give the fat a place to drip as it renders) and cover with foil. 

Turn the oven to 225 and walk away. Check after 10 hours and if soft and falling apart then remove, keep covered and let rest for at least an hour. 

While the pork is resting put two potatoes in the oven that have been scrubbed and wrapped in foil. They take about an hour and will be soft when poked with a fork. 

Make sure you have
Sour cream (no low fat crud)
Chives (chop with scissors)

You already had your vegetables and it is time to indulge. 

Split the potato with a knife and separate to put on the plate. Pull the pork apart, the seasoning gives it a lot of flavor, no sauce required. 

The final course is almost too easy. 

Buy a nice sparkling Cava, put in a glass with a scoop of raspberry or passion fruit sorbet on top. Serve with two beautiful chocolate truffles you got a a nice candy store (NO Russell Stover). 

You are now a Romantic Hero Dude. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A perfect New Year's for two Dude Food Duck

I must apologize for so neglecting this site.

I got involved with a restaurant and between desperately trying to help the restaurant and teaching classes my time was taken. Even sleep was neglected.

Duck is Dude Food.
Duck is possibly the BEST New Years choice you can make if doing a dinner for two. It is special, festive and rich.

It also takes a few hours to digest so eat the large meal early and have some special treats for the champagne. I don't advise midnight duck. 

New if you live in a big city with a Chinatown you can always buy one pre-cooked and reheat it, but you can be a culinary wizard and do it yourself quite easily. 

Use DUCK, not duckling. Duck is big and loaded with fat and richness. This recipe will work with goose, but not young duckling. 

1 cup dark soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple cider
1 cup whole star anise
1 ziplock bag

3 days before roasting mix the above together and put the marinade with the duck in a ziplock bag. Squish it around and remove the air so that it is submerged. 

About 12 hours before roasting remove from marinade, brush off excess and place on a rack to dry UNCOVERED in the refrigerator. 

It already looks good. 

I roast on an upright rack, but any rack will do. Put some water under the duck to catch the fat without smoking and place in a 250 oven for 3 to 5 hours pricking the skin periodically to allow the fat to drip. The time will depend on the size of your duck, if it is all at lean 3 hours, if hugely fatty 5. When fully roast heat oven to 550 for 5 minutes then turn off to rest. Skin will crisp nicely. 

Not the best photo but it was the best duck. 

See the head and all the bones and the fat on the surface of the water....yea. The fat. SAVE EVERYTHING. Carve off the meat and keep every bit of the rest. 

Now boil those bones with the liquid under the duck. Strain and allow the fat to solidify on the top. 

Skim it off and use for frying potatoes. 

Oh...and that broth....that wonderful broth...make a soup. Vegetables and duck broth with a few noodles and your life will never be the same.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Dude Food can be Southern Food: Grits


Seriously one of the best foods on earth. I and love them. They are a total Dude Food. If you can make good grits (or polenta) you can impress anyone...and well, isn't that why some of you are cooking? Breakfast with soft cooked eggs and grits will win the heart of your intended.

Unfortunately most corn these days is GMO, so it is important to choose organic grits. Boycott anything Monsanto touches and make the world a better place.

I generally don't like the quick cooking grits but go for the more coarse long cooking, however I tried Bob's Red Mill quick cook because they were the only organic type available at Fairway. They were good with just the right texture.

Shrimp and grits, gillades and grits, poached eggs and grits, cheese grits, jalepeno grits etc.

They are all good.

Yankees often love grits but have no idea how to make them, they then follow the package directions and get a lumpy mess.


The package tells you to start with boiling salted water.

Start with butter. For each cup of grits you use 1/4 lb. butter and melt it in the pan on a low heat.

Then stir the grits in.

Coating them with fat keeps them from sticking together when the liquid is added. Butter is flavor.

The package tells  you to cook in water...water? Try white wine, chicken stock, ham stock, vegetable stock, this is your chance to infuse flavor into your grits.
More flavor can come from herbs. I added a tablespoon of mixed Italian Seasoning. Trader Joe's 21 Salute is great as well.

For one cup grits add 3 cups liquid.

Stir, bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. For the quick cook you cover for about 5 minutes. But first check to make sure they are not too thick, if they are a touch more liquid will do.

See, they are already looking good.

Those are finished grits...unless you want to stir in a cup of cheese about now, or maybe just a touch of cream to make it all come together.

Did I say it was diet food?

A little beef and onion with just a touch of gravy with my grits. Looks good.

Now get out there and get yourself some good organic grits.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Dude Food: Jowlenese sauce for pasta

Jowlenese is a take on Bolognese, but made with fresh tomatoes from my terrace and a very quick summer sauce.

I have been enraptured by my pig jowl, but at the same time if you look far to the left of the photo I had some trimmings from steaks that I had prepared for class and I ground them up.

Other than vegetables that went into a big salad this was what I had in the house yesterday.

What could I make but a jowl sauce for pasta?

Jowl sauce for two
2 ounces ground beef
4 ounces ground jowl
1 ground onion
2 large and two small tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
Salt and Red pepper

I cut the jowl into cubes and put it in the food processor and ground it up with the onion. Some of the fat clung to the side, I scraped it out and used all the fat in a ceramic skillet and turned it on low to render the flavor.

When it was done I added the beef in small bits to the fat and onion mix.

The the garlic til it was fragrant and the smell was making me crazy.

I tossed in the chopped tomatoes.

They were still warm from the garden and quickly melted into the sauce, but if you have tomatoes less ripe, just mash them with a fork or a potato masher. The sauce cooks for about 10 minutes giving you time to boil water.

Add salt and pepper to taste and cook 4 to 5 ounces of pasta.

Add the pasta to the sauce to finish cooking and toss in a few handfuls of torn fresh basil.

Nothing more is needed your jowl will fully flavor the dish...and if you don't have jowl use bacon, however keep in mind that bacon will have less flavor so up it to about 6 ounces.

The finished sauce has just enough tomato but it is a jowl and beef sauce and those are the predominant flavors.