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The Very Rich Po Boy

Po Boy

Credit: Wally Gobetz https://goo.gl/sRXVBi

To do justice to a po’ boy, you begin with a crusty New Orleans baguette and a healthy disrespect for cutting down on fat. Then, you need to get some really good filling (roast beef, ham, chicken, or fried seafood), a generous dose of gravy, and you need to say po’ boy with a Louisiana drawl. Once you get that right, you are ready to have a truly mind-blowing gastronomic experience.

How Po’ Boys Started

In “New Orleans Food”, the New Orleans Official Guide gives its readers a glimpse of the colorful history of Po Boy sandwiches. [Read more…]

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Eggs Benedict: Breakfast Eggs with Charm

Eggs benedictIf you are tired of making scrambled eggs or fried eggs for breakfast, you might want to flex your culinary muscles a bit and try cooking Eggs Benedict. Although the dish sounds quite fancy, it is actually quite “doable” in any ordinary kitchen. You start by lightly toasting an English muffin, and then you top these with bacon and poached eggs. Just before the dish is served, the eggs get a generous dollop of Hollandaise sauce as their crowning glory. There you have a dish fit for royalty!

The History of Eggs Benedict

In “The History of Eggs Benedict, the magazine Kitchen Project – Food History gives several versions of how the dish may have started. One version says, “Eggs Benedict” – 1860s -Credit is given to Delmonico’s Restaurant, the very first restaurant or public dining room ever opened in the United States. In the 1860’s, a regular patron of the restaurant, Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, finding nothing to her liking and wanting something new to eat for lunch, discussed this with Delmonico’s Chef Charles Ranhofer (1836-1899). [Read more…]

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Dessert with Drama – The Amazing Crêpes Suzette

Crêpes Suzette

Credit: Or Hiltch https://goo.gl/r0XRBc

Crêpes Suzette is a dramatic dessert consisting of a thin pancake base generously drizzled with caramelized sugar, butter, orange juice, and orange zest. It is liberally topped with Curaçao liqueur or Grand Marnier and lit upon serving, so that the creation is set “aflame” or, as the French put it, “flambé.”

The First Crêpe Suzette

Legend has it that this dish was accidentally created by an assistant waiter named Henri Charpentier, who was preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII).   In his memoirs he says that the cordials on the table accidentally caught fire along with the dessert. Upon tasting the dessert, however, Henri decided it tasted delicious and he served it to the prince. The dessert would have been named Crêpes Princesse for the prince but, in a fit of chivalry, the prince asked that the name be changed to Crêpes Suzette in honor of a pretty guest in his party. [Read more…]

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Dry Aged Beef: The Magic of the Old Ways

Dry aged beef

Credit: InterContinental Hong Kong https://goo.gl/H2QaNL

Considering all the conveniences that this generation of foodies is enjoying, you may wonder how our predecessors survived the years without them. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” so they say.  References will tell you the ingenious ways our ancestors have dealt with the situation. Food Processing History shares …

“History of food processing is the history of transformation process of raw ingredients into food or food into other forms. Food processing dates back to the prehistoric age when crude processing including various types of cooking, such as roasting, smoking, steaming, fermenting, sun drying and preserving with salt were in practice. Food processing is probably one of the oldest avocations man has been involved with from time immemorial.”

Dry-aging is just using this antiquated method of preserving or curing meat. This traditional meat processing method was the mode until plastics and refrigeration came into the picture. Vacuum packaging improved the method of preserving the quality of meat, but it deprives the eaters that distinguishing dry aged complexity of flavor and rich quality – more robust and tender and with buttery succulence. [Read more…]

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Pizza: Finding Its Roots Then and Now

pizzaIf you are among those who think pizza has all the elements of a complete meal, you are a child of the 21st century. With the convenience that eating pizza offers and the limitless possibilities of toppings and flavors, it is not surprising that Italians lost it to the world, figuratively and literally. It has been embraced by all cultures all over the world; every place now has their own version of a delicious pizza.

Have you ever wondered about the humble beginnings of pizza? Maybe you’re not as eager in its history as in devouring slices upon slices of it, but make no mistake it is something that fascinates a lot of foodies and food historians. Since the publishing of the book Pizza: A Global History by Carol Helstosky, the grapevine has been all rife with how it hasn’t really started in Naples, Italy. [Read more…]

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The Not-so-modern Sandwich

Sandwich

Credit: James Yu http://goo.gl/JvQf9Z

The sandwich is so common it is natural for most people to think of it as a thoroughly modern convenience. Contrary to this perception, however, the sandwich has a long and interesting history.

The Sandwich in its Past Incarnations

Throughout history, versions of the sandwich have made their appearance on dining tables all over the world. The Jewish religious leader, Hillel the Elder (110 BCE, died 10 CE), is said to have placed lamb and herbs between two pieces of unleavened bread during Passover.

In the 17th century, beef that had hung from tavern rafters would be cut into thin slices and placed on buttered bread. Later, in the 18th century, European aristocracy began to serve sandwiches for late dinners when light fare was preferable. [Read more…]

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A Toast to Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington

Photo Credit: cyclonebill https://www.flickr.com/photos/cyclonebill/

Beef Wellington is a dish that can be served at the fanciest of dinners. The classic Beef Wellington is prepared by wrapping a steak with pate, followed by a paste made of mushrooms, shallots, herbs, and butter. Some cooks will then wrap everything in crepe before encasing the coated meat in puff pastry.

The Story Behind the Name

Legend has it that the dish is named for Arthur Wellesly, the 5th Duke of Wellington and hero of the Napoleonic Wars. It is said that the Duke loved beef, mushrooms, truffles, and pâté; and he like these wrapped in pastry. To please him, it is said his cooks came up with a dish incorporating all his favorites. However, there is a more pragmatic view of the name. Some say that the dish was named Beef Wellington because it bears a remarkable resemblance to a Wellington boot. [Read more…]

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