Showing posts with label New Orleans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Orleans. Show all posts

Sunday, February 8, 2015

New Orleans Bloody Mary

Tomato juice spiked with hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and lime juice, not to mention vodka, the traditional cocktail gets a twist in this New Orleans Bloody Mary, the addition of pickled okra.

Food Lust People Love: Tomato juice spiked with Worcestershire, hot sauce, lime juice and vodka, the cocktail gets a twist in this New Orleans Bloody Mary: pickled okra!

A couple of summers ago, my friends and I organized a long weekend trip to New Orleans, to celebrate all of our fiftieth birthdays that year. We booked a great apartment just off Bourbon Street with enough beds for the 10 of us, where we could park the cars nearby and not need to use them again till Sunday for the road trip back to Houston. There was going to be some drinking.

And because this is the digital era, I created a group Pinterest board where we could all pin favorite restaurants, places to shop, what we wanted most to see and do. Planning the trip, the anticipation of excursions and meals and time with dear friends, was a big part of the fun.

Over the years, I’ve been to New Orleans many times since I have family there, but this was the first time it would be just a group of girlfriends with no ties and no firm plans, except to eat and drink and enjoy.

That great weekend immediately came to mind when I received an email offering me a copy of author Steven Well Hicks’ updated 2015 edition of 25 Definitive New Orleans Restaurants (And a Dozen Damn Good Places to Drink.) for review. (<affiliate link) This is the sort of book I could plan whole vacations around, never mind the occasional long weekend! 

Not your typical restaurant review book, Hicks has consciously limited himself to just 25, to make sure that justice is done to each restaurant, both in telling its history and sharing what makes it special. It’s a great read, even if you don’t have a trip planned to New Orleans any time in the future. But if you are going, or if you have good memories of a trip already taken, you are really going to love this book.

The New Orleans Bloody Mary
On Saturday morning we had split into smaller groups of three or four to wander the French Quarter and do a little shopping. We had been walking for a while when we happened upon a small shop selling witchcraft and voodoo supplies. New Orleans is like that. We went in but the whole thing gave me the heebie-jeebies so I left my friends there and moseyed on down the block window shopping until I came to a corner bar. 

Doors and windows were wide open, dark green shutters folded back, a ball game was on the television and the friendly bartender called out a welcome. I helped myself to a comfortable bar stool and ordered a Bloody Mary. Because Bloody Marys are totally allowed in the morning, on weekends or holidays. This was all three.

Now there are lots of recipes for Bloody Marys and I’ve been drinking Bloody Marys for a lot of years. But the icy red libation, spiked with hot sauce, lime and Worcestershire sauce, that was pushed across the bar to me – in a plastic cup, of course – had one element I’d never seen before in a Bloody Mary. Pickled okra! “Oh!” I exclaimed in delight and surprise. “I love pickled okra!” And that doll of a bartender filled another glass with more okra and passed that over too.

2-3 pickled okra (plus more for munching) Talk o’ Texas is my favorite brand.
Wedge of lime
1 1/2 shots vodka
Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins is the best.)
Hot sauce (We like the Louisiana Habanero Hot Sauce. It is SPICY.)
Tomato juice

Tuck one long pickled okra on the side of your glass as you fill it with ice cubes.

Add in your vodka, then a generous amount of Worcestershire (at least a couple of teaspoons) and a more moderate few shakes of the hot sauce.

Squeeze in the lime juice and drop the lime wedge in.

Top up with tomato juice and give the whole thing a good stir.

Food Lust People Love: Tomato juice spiked with Worcestershire, hot sauce, lime juice and vodka, the cocktail gets a twist in this New Orleans Bloody Mary: pickled okra!

Add a couple more pickled okra for garnish.

Food Lust People Love: Tomato juice spiked with Worcestershire, hot sauce, lime juice and vodka, the cocktail gets a twist in this New Orleans Bloody Mary: pickled okra!


A little more about the author and book from the official blurb
“After 40 years of searching for what makes the restaurants and saloons of New Orleans unique, novelist Steven Wells Hicks has come up with some answers – 37 of them to be precise. In his sixth guidebook on the subject, 25 Definitive New Orleans Restaurants (& A Dozen Damned Good Places to Drink), Hicks has distilled several hundred reviews into a manageable cluster of establishments that he believes will point city visitors toward ‘the real deal.’ “

Hicks’ bio describes him as a curmudgeon but I thought he was delightful and honest, an entertaining storyteller. Whether you are planning a trip to New Orleans or just love a good foodie story, you’ll enjoy this book.

Pin this New Orleans Bloody Mary! 

Food Lust People Love: Tomato juice spiked with Worcestershire, hot sauce, lime juice and vodka, the cocktail gets a twist in this New Orleans Bloody Mary: pickled okra!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Louisiana Roasted Barbecue Shrimp

In New Orleans, this dish is simply known as barbecued shrimp despite its method of cooking, which doesn’t get anywhere near hot coals or even an electric grill. I’ve added “Roasted” so you know that the oven is where the action takes place. 

I came to barbecued shrimp late in life. It wasn’t something either of my Cajun grandmothers made, at least, I don’t recall ever eating it at their houses. Fresh gulf shrimp in their hands became an étouffée or were boiled whole in spicy seasoned water along with baby new potatoes and corn on the cob. Even my mother, born and raised in New Iberia, Louisiana, is more likely to bread and deep-fry shrimp or, if company is coming, cook them in a cheesy rich Newburg sauce. Now we are going back a few years but it was my cousin, Misty, who first introduced us, me and the barbecued shrimp. It was love at first bite.

We were visiting Misty one summer at her lovely home in New Orleans and she baked the shrimp with a full cup of butter and a package of wonderful seasonings from the folks at Bolner’s Spices. You know I had to go buy a packet or two right after that. But, living as we do overseas, remembering to buy enough spice packets to keep us going from year to year often just didn't happen. It was time to figure out how to do it on my own, from ingredients I could get. This week’s Sunday Supper theme of Fat Sunday - sharing decadent or Mardi Gras inspired recipes – was just the motivation I needed. I am calling this homemade version of roasted barbecue shrimp a great success based on my husband’s comment after the meal, “We could have this again, and often.” Why, yes. Yes, we could!

Ingredients (to feed two greedy people on shrimp and bread or four normal people, if you include side dishes like potatoes and salad)
1 lb 10 oz or 750g fresh shrimp or prawns (without heads, shells still on)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic
Olive oil
1 lemon
1 small purple onion
1/2 cup or 115g unsalted butter
1/4 cup or 60ml Worcestershire sauce
To serve: Chopped green onions for garnish and French bread for sopping up the sauce. Sides of boiled baby new potatoes and salad – optional

Use a mortar and pestle to grind together into a thick paste the paprika, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, the leaves off of your sprigs of rosemary and thyme and the cloves of garlic.

Add in a couple of glugs (perhaps two tablespoons) of olive oil and stir until loosened.

Spoon the spice paste into a medium-sized bowl with your shrimp. Using a microplane or a fine grater, zest the yellow peel off of your lemon.

Give everything a thorough stir to make sure that the spices and zest are well mixed with the shrimp. Set aside.

Finely mince your purple onion. Put the minced onion and the butter into a large ovenproof pan on the stovetop. Gently melt the butter and sauté the onions over a medium heat.

When the onions are translucent, turn the fire off and remove the pan from the stove. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and allow the mixture to cool.

When the pan is cool enough not to cook your seasoned shrimp on contact, pour them in and mix thoroughly. Set aside to marinate further.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  When the oven is hot, give the shrimp another good stir and pop them into the oven, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until they have turned pink and are cooked through. Squeeze on some of the lemon juice from your zested lemon.

Sprinkle with a little chopped green onion, if desired. Serve barbecued shrimp with sliced French bread to dip in the pan juices because, honestly, that’s the best part! This is a meal you will eat with your hands. It's gonna get messy but it's gonna be good!


Whether you celebrate Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, the final day of indulgence before the start of Lent, or just love decadent dishes, desserts and cocktails, you are going to love our round up today, hosted by the talented Leslie of La Cocina de Leslie. I know I want to try everything on the list!

Cocktails & Other Beverages:
Main Dishes:
Side Dishes: