Garlicky Broccoli

While I like to think that I’m a decent home cook, there is no denying the fact that a majority of my home cooking recipes come from my family. Over and over again I will state how spoiled I am when it comes to food and with that spoiled-ness comes my access to amazing recipes.

One such dish is actually healthy. I used “actually” because I’m a huge fan of sodium and butter, which this dish ISN’T sopping in.

I was introduced to this dish by the other Sunday Night Dinner chef. This lady is amazing, brilliant, and a saint for putting up with Chef Daddio, and well, the offspring (me and The Sister).

Anyway, when there is a party of any kind and you are asked to volunteer a dish, this is my go-to. It’s not dessert or a dip… the most popular party dishes. I bring it knowing that it will be the one thing people feel ok eating because it’s broccoli. I mean, and who feels bad about eating super-food broccoli? So, when party guests throw one or two broccoli pieces on their plate they do it because they think it will counteract the two cupcakes they are also balancing on their plate.

Then they eat one.

For good, or for bad, their life is changed. This broccoli is the best thing that has ever happened to them. Far too often, party goer’s appetites are spoiled due to over-stuffing themselves with broccoli.

I may be over-hyping this stuff,  but no matter what, it’s cheap, easy, healthy, and delicious. Just try it.

Garlicky Broccoli

Garlicky Broccoli:


2 tsp red wine vinegar
1.5 tsp kosher salt
2 heads raw broccoli
1/2 c evoo
4 garlic cloves
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp Asian Sesame oil
Lrg pinch red pepper flakes

To make the deliciousness:

Mix vinegar and salt together. Toss with broccoli in a large bowl and let stand.

Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat. It’s ready when the oil sizzles when you throw a drop of water on it. Once it’s sizzling water, add the cumin and then garlic.

Remove the skillet from heat.

Add the sesame oil and the red pepper flakes.

Toss oil mixture over broccoli and toss until all broccoli is evenly coated with the mixture.

Let marinate for 1 hour and serve at room temp.


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Another Kind of Bar Hopping

I’m lucky to have my family for a many number of reasons, but most recently, we were able to celebrate Sunday Night Dinner in a unique way because of a family member’s need for some work R&D.

So, the mission:
Check out as many downtown oyster bars as possible before all are closed or we explode from oyster overload. Thankfully, no one exploded and we closed down the final oyster bar.

And so, based on our Sunday Night Dinner adventure, we were able to enjoy 6 oyster bars in 6 hours.
Let me repeat that.

We actually went to six oyster bars in six hours and ate oysters at all six of them.

I know that I’m pretty proud of our adventure. And so, just for a rundown of the Oyster fun, see my list and a briefing of what we discovered.

Bar 1
Red Fish Grill

I started at the popular and well known restaurant on Bourbon Street with bubbly. Why? Well, I mean, how else would you start your oyster adventure? Please.

Champagne RFG

I have always loved the decor at this particular Ralph Brennan Restaurant. I think it’s whimsical, interesting and captures the personality of the city slicker’s taste in local seafood. Some day I’ll do my best to recreate or acquire one of those oyster mirrors for my dream home, but until then, I’ll just admire them on the wall of Red Fish Grill.

We went with a straightforward dozen raw to start. Their P&J’s were fresh and salty and served with their horseradish and cocktail sauce. Very traditional and very tasty.

RFG Oysters

Because we were a little ambitious and a little crazy, we treated ourselves to the seafood charcuterie, a new offering that routinely changes. It was very fun to try the different offerings and I’ll go back to try out the seafood board again.

Salmon Pastrami + Snapper Ceviche +Pickled Shrimp + Salmon Ballentine + Redfish and Shrimp Sausage

Salmon Pastrami + Snapper Ceviche +Pickled Shrimp + Salmon Ballentine + Redfish and Shrimp Sausage

A fun side-note, they have a great oyster happy hour.

Bar 2
Desire Oyster Bar

Desire Sign

Since we were on Bourbon Street, we figured we should probably stop at a place that at least had “Oyster Bar” in the name. We decided to just pop in and out rather quickly just to get an idea.

We went with a 1/2 dozen raw and 1/2 dozen Oysters Desire ( the standard broiled oysters).

Talk about a milky oyster! That one on top was a monster. This picture doesn't give it justice.

Talk about a milky oyster! That one on top was a monster. This picture doesn’t give it justice.

broiled oysters with garlic butter, parmesan cheese, & creole seasoning. Kind of Meh.

broiled oysters with garlic butter, parmesan cheese, & creole seasoning. Kind of Meh.

We did not spend much time over at Desire. I did meander over to the oyster bar area and was intrigued to find that they have a produce display. I saw the produce, not the oysters. Cool “Oyster Bar” sign though.

Bar 3
Bourbon House

Ok, third oyster bar stop in about a block distance. I can’t lie, I was  beginning to be a little over oysters, but the Oyster bar tower was pretty freaking awesome. So we sat down at the bar. I especially loved the place mats that were provided that mapped out the Louisiana oyster harvest areas so you know where the oysters came from. Looking back, I kind of wish I would have taken a picture….

Bourbon House Tower

Since we had already started strong with the straight up raws, we decided to check out their Fruits de Mer. We went with the two person (there were four of us) and it was the perfect little sample for us. While the shrimp and oysters with caviar were great, the rest kind of left us wanting more. Don’t ask what the Seasonal Seafood Salad was. Even the staff couldn’t identify some of the ingredients.

Boiled Shrimp + Mussels + Oysters with Black adn Gold Caviar + Crab Claws + Seasonal Seafood Salad

Boiled Shrimp + Mussels + Oysters with Black and Gold Caviar + Crab Claws + Seasonal Seafood Salad

On Fridays, they have a Champagne and Oyster Happy Hour. Maybe once I’m over my oyster hangover I’ll want to check it out.

Bar 4
Grande Isle

There is no doubt that this oyster bar had the most well informed staff regarding where the oysters came from, how they were handled and willingness to discuss the many features of the local NOLA raw bar scene (shoutout to Frog).

Grande Isle Bar

The bartenders are actually also the shuckers, which was pretty cool. I was quickly (and easily) convinced to order a cocktail, which I happily obliged. I went with The Vine because it seemed light and had fresh watermelon, and reduced aged balsamic vinegar. It was a great cocktail and a welcomed refreshment.

Grande Isle Cocktail

We passed on the straight up raw oysters and decided to go with The Isle Sampler. A dozen of their broiled oyster offerings which included: The Fulton- White cheddar, carmelized onions, and bacon; The Grande- Tasso, jalapenos and havarti cheese; and The Fourchon- Olive oil, Parmesan, lemon and garlic.

Broiled Oyster Sampler: The Fulton, The Grande, and The Fourchon

Broiled Oyster Sampler: The Fulton, The Grande, and The Fourchon

Bar 5

We had our fair share of the local oysters by this time, so we decided to head over to what has been named as one of the top oyster bars in the country by  multiple organizations (and I won’t disagree). Ah Lüke, you’re a staple now; known for your insanely popular happy hour and your proprietor’s fancy hair.

Want to see what's available from the raw bar at Lüke? They don't hide it!

Want to see what’s available from the raw bar at Lüke? They don’t hide it!

Since we had already had one interesting Fruits de Mer (even though I recommend Lüke over Bourbon House) that day, and all our previous stops featured only local oysters, we decided to go a different route at Lüke. We ordered their specialty oysters and had fun pointing out the similarities and differences from our beloved local Gulf bivalves. This evening, they had three available, but was very excited to hear they are planning on expanding the list to almost a dozen in the near future. YES!

Blue Points + Wiannos + Hollywood

Blue Points + Wiannos + Hollywood

I would like to note, most from our party enjoyed the Hollywoods the most, but the Wiannos oysters were so full of intense saltwater I was extremely partial to them.

Make sure to check out that 50 c happy hour next time you’re in the area!

Bar 6

We made our way to our final destination full on oyster liquor and maybe a little oyster drunk. While Borgne does not boast a visible raw bar, their bar is very impressive. My favorite seats in Chef Brian Landry’s local seafood restaurant is one of the bar tables, and I won’t lie and tell you I don’t go often.

Oyster Columns

Oyster Columns

Because we were so oyster drunk, as previously stated, we went ahead and ordered another round of raw oysters. It was our last stop, how could we not?

Borgne Raw

These were a perfect ending to our raw oyster adventure… for the raws. We then ordered one of my favorite oyster dishes of all time (in exception to Chef Daddio’s oyster patties, but that’s for a different blog post on a different day).
Ladies and Gentleman, do not leave Borgne without ordering the Oyster Spaghetti.

This stuff is rich with a creamy and BUTTERY oyster broth and garlic and beautiful poached oysters. It’s good then and there, and as leftovers. So I’m telling you, don’t leave without it.

Borgne's Oyster Spaghetti (the mini version)

Borgne’s Oyster Spaghetti (the mini version)



So, we polished off our plates and wiped the oyster residue of the day off our chins. This, folks, was the end of the oyster extravaganza.  There were some marvelous highs and some disappointing lows (oh, did I not mention that our car was towed). And most importantly, I still love oysters at the end of it all! Now that the “R” months are upon us, go forth and get your oyster on!

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Creole Tomatoes with a Mint Dressing

There is no ingredient that is more prolific in New Orleans in the Summer than the beloved Creole Tomato. All locals wait in angst for the fruit (yes, I call it a fruit) to start hitting their favorite grocery’s shelves.

I love tomatoes all year round. I will eat them canned, jarred, non-local and any other which way. I ESPECIALLY love them when it’s summer time in New Orleans. During this time, I will purchase three more fresh, local/Creole tomatoes than I need so I can snack on one sliced with just a little fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.

If you follow my instagram, you can see that my go-to Creole Tomato dish is the Caprese. Fresh Mozzarella, home-grown basil and the Creole Tomato are made for each other. It’s easy, delicious, and everyone knows about it.

Right now, however, I’m sharing another easy, delicious, light tomato recipe that everyone will love just as much, if not more. I just happened to be having an over-abundance of my “Lime” mint growing so I was trying to figure out what to do with it.

Hmm what to do with so much lime mint?

Hmm what to do with so much lime mint?


Most of the ingredients in this dish are pretty basic ones you should have at home. Obviously, using fresh Creole tomatoes, fresh mint and a fresh lemon would make this dish the best it can possibly be, but not everyone can/wants to go that route, so you can make it with any tomato, dried mint and lemon juice if you so desire. I’ll tell ya though, it is better fresh (my way).

Creole Tomatoes with Mint Dressing


Creole Tomato Salad with Mint Dressing


2 Medium Creole Tomatoes
1/2 Medium Lemon
1.5 TBL Fresh chopped mint
1 TBL Red Wine Vinegar
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper Corns


Cut the tomatoes into wedges (about two small bites per wedge) and arrange close together. Evenly sprinkle crumbled Feta cheese over tomatoes. Add Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Using a spoon, generously drizzle mint vinaigrette over tomato salad. serve immediately.

To Make the Dressing:

Pour red wine vinegar into a non-reactive bowl. Squeeze all juice (make sure not to drop seeds) of half a lemon into bowl. Add fresh chopped mint and stir. SLOWLY add olive oil, whisking constantly, to the mix.






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A Few New Places to Check Out if you’re into Cocktails

Ask any local bartender and most will tell you New Orleans invented the cocktail. It is easy to see how this came about. With its unique blend of cultures that made it easy to combine many exotic flavors, a city with a renowned reputation to have fun, and the debilitating heat that requires everyone to stop to “hydrate,” it seems obvious the cocktail would be born in New Orleans.

Whether it is true or not, there is no doubt this city has been able to woo locals and tourists alike with the classic and unique concoctions bartenders serve night in and night out. If you’re asking for “the best cocktail” in the city, you can get a different answer from every local you ask. From Bourbon Street to Banks Street, or Freret to Prytania, you will find great sweet, sour, bitter and spicy alcoholic potions to kick off a memorable evening.

Below is a list of some of the newest bars that may be able to reinvigorate your new passion for flavorful libations. I recently tried them and recommend you do too!

Fulton Alley:
This bowling alley takes their cocktails seriously. Sit at the bar before strapping on your bowling shoes and take in the house-made bitters that are lined up before you. Their happy hour includes $6 classic cocktails like the “Old Fashioned” or you can try their own specialty cocktails like the “Red Eye to Manhattan” if you’re feeling adventurous.

Trèo is the new sister restaurant to a popular neighborhood Irish pub, Finn McCool’s. Located in the up-and-coming Tulane Avenue stretch, patrons can enjoy their cocktails while touring the art gallery on the second floor. Not in the mood for stairs? Find a seat next to the bar and nibble on delectable small plates while gazing up at the Superdome and NOLA street grid on the ceiling.

A nod to the Huey P. Long era of our state, this casual restaurant is getting a lot of attention for its bar. When wandering through the French Quarter, this place on Charters has friendly bartenders that are happy to talk about the city while crushing your ice by beating it on the bar in a cloth napkin. If it’s hot, their take on the Pimm’s cup is the way to go.

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New Mid-City Gem: Tréo

If you haven’t checked it out already, read about me and you will know I’m a fan of Mid-City. As a fan of the area, I wanted to brag about the latest exciting addition to the neighborhood.

Tréo is a new establishment from the husband and wife duo that made Finn McCool’s the favorite Irish Pub of not just Mid-City, but possibly the entire city. If you go over there expecting Finn’s, however, you will be surprised.

When you walk in, you are greeted with the bright and clean look of the place. You glance around the room and see the stark, black bartop, the kind of bizarre clock created from Kim Jung Un’s mug, and the cheery, attractive bartenders ready to introduce you to some cocktails.

Make sure to look up. Rarely is the ceiling a very cool thing to talk about, but this ceiling, had us talking for awhile. Can you see it? Can you? I want it!

Treo ceiling

We decided to sit at one of the tall boys near the entrance and perused through the drink menu.  I started with a Sunday Selat, a Cumin and Jalapeno infused Bourbon cocktail with a little bit of lime and Liqor 43. The Boy ordered himself The Green Parrot, a pretty little cocktail made with gin, Montanaro and Dolin Vermouths, a “lime cordial” and Tiki bitters.

My Sunday Selat was the kind of cocktail I dream about. If it was something I do, I would have ordered it three more times. It isn’t however, and I forced myself to order something new after I drank it up. The Boy’s cocktail was refreshing, however, I’m not a gin fan so I can’t elaborate much on it. He likes his gin, though, and according to him, it was great.


Treo Cocktails

The Sunday Selat and The Green Parrot Cocktails

If you head over for more than just the liquid libations, be sure to check out their small plates. You should. I can’t wait to go back to see what Chef Cullen can create again and again and again.

We started with chicken liver and foie gras with a cassis gele and toast points. They were wonderful. We really wanted the Scotch Eggs, but unfortunately they were out (boo). We then moved on to the stuffed piquillo peppers. I like stuffed peppers, but I have never really freaked out over them.

Treo stuffed peppers

Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Let’s just say, I’m going back just for this dish. It’s creamy, tangy, spicy all in one colorful tasty plate.

We were also lucky enough to order the special of the night which was a tasty hangar steak with a chimichurri sauce, roasted potatoes and wilted greens with tasty chunks of garlic…. oh man, I want it again.

Treo Hangar Steak

Hangar Steak Special- None for you!

I don’t usually do the dessert thing, but I was convinced when I saw “Hubig’s style” in the description of their blueberry pie. And you know what, I did the dessert thing that night, and I’m glad I did.

Treo Blueberry Pie

“Hubig Style” fried pie made with fresh blueberries with a house made crème anglaise

So, long blog story…long…

I really love Tréo and will go back again and again. Go for the cocktails, stay for the food, and make sure to check out the second floor art before you leave.

For more information on Tréo visit their website
but I suggest just heading on over there the next chance you get.


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It’s Time For NOLAFoodette

I’m going through the many, hundreds (thousands?) of photos of food that I have and I figured, well shoot, I have so much to talk about! I have food shots from home, food shots from family dinner, and food shots from restaurants all throughout the city.

Now, sitting at my desk, looking at my photos, I don’t want to post any of them. Every one has a story, but how do I frame it? Is it just about the taste? The preparation? Why am I so obsessed with food?

Well, it’s not about the food. It’s about sharing. It’s about people. It’s about having that moment when everyone is laughing/fighting/learning and then they all stop when the food hits the table and everyone takes in the sight, the smell and then finally, the taste of something special.

We all need food. Some love that we need it, some hate that we need it. We need it to live. I need it, but more so, I want it. I want the laughter, the fighting, the learning and the sharing that comes with it.

Posted in Not Family, Home Cooking or Restaurant Posts | 3 Comments