Directions on deep fried kudzu
Photo from The Times-Picayune on NOLA.com
Mardi Gras Doors
Last Updated February 11, 2012
This is a medium-hot vegetarian chili. If you prefer a three-alarm version, make it hotter by using hot ground chili or adding more medium chili. ~Martha Rose Schulman
Is there a better way to start a meal than with an abundant antipasti platter, artfully arranged with ruffles of prosciutto 1, briny olives 2, roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes and mushrooms and pepperoncini, chunks of Parmesan 3, fresh mozzarella 4, and whatever else catches the preparer's fancy? Antipasto, which means "before the meal," stretches back to medieval times in Italy, when diners used to mingle over finger foods, both sweet and savory, before sitting down to eat; early recipes included everything from sugared nuts to clotted cream to spiced ham. Over the centuries, antipasti became the domain of restaurants, which would set out dozens of stuffed, marinated, roasted, and grilled vegetables, meat, and fish. ~Saveur
"The aim is to excite rather than fill diners, who will then be inspired to choose yet more delicacies from the menu," writes Gillian Riley in The Oxford Companion to Italian Food (Oxford University Press, 2007). People rarely created such elaborate spreads at home, and when Italians emigrated to America, they would often set out a simple platter of store-bought ingredients to be shared as they eased into the meal.
Over the years, home cooks and chefs have gotten craftier with their antipasti, incorporating more color (fresh tomatoes 5; sauteed zucchini 6 or broccoli rabe 7) and a range of flavors and textures (nuts 8; different kinds of salami; fresh ricotta 9 for slathering over bread). But the spirit of the dish is as generous and convivial as ever. ~Saveur
Marcella, in her inimitable fashion, offers the home cook plenty of suggestions to create an authentic Bolognese sauce recipe, the kind my grandmother would approve of. First, the more marbled the meat, the sweeter the ragù. The most desirable cut of beef is the neck portion of the chuck. You may have to call up and order it from your butcher. It’s also important to salt the meat as soon as it hits the pan; it extracts the juices and flavors the sauce. Last, use a heavy pot that retains heat. (I use my Le Creuset 5-quart Dutch oven.) Avoid a cast-iron pot, as the acid can interact with the metal and turn the sauce an unpleasant blech color. ~David Leite
"According to German folklore, those who don't eat well on Christmas Eve will be haunted by demons throughout the night."
Frozen whole fruits are especially nice "icers"; they do the same chilling job that ice rings or ice cubes do, but are more colorful, do not dilute punch, and can be eaten later.Grapes, peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, apricots, lemons, cherries, and strawberries all freeze successfully. Of these, grapes and cherries stay close to the bottom of the punch bowl, while rest float on top. So always freeze one or two large bunches of grapes; then you can anchor smaller frozen fruit beneath them.Before freezing, wash and dry fruits. Arrange on foil, then freeze overnight or till frozen. At serving time, arrange in chilled punch bowl, and add punch. Remember--- don't use too much of the fruits or it may be difficult to ladle your punch.