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Fresh produce

Farmers Markets, Fresh produce, Fruit, Hungry for Louisiana, Local, Louisiana, Peaches, Uncategorized

Peach sorbet in a pinch

July 27, 2017

This year’s Louisiana peach crop is less robust than usual due to a mild winter across the south, but there’s still time to buy fresh peaches here in Baton Rouge. Waterproof-based Plantation Pecan Company had plenty last Saturday at the downtown Red Stick Farmers Market, but you need to arrive early. I picked up a half-bushel and have been sinking my teeth into a peach a day ever since. They’ve been really delicious and scream summer.

My favorite application for fresh peaches is peach ice cream, and I love to make it in when I have an abundance. But in years like this, I settle for peach sorbet, which requires fewer peaches and can be made with minimal effort.

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Appetizers, Crab, Crawfish, Fresh produce, Hungry for Louisiana, LSU, Shrimp

Eat the heat with these gameday poppers

October 19, 2016

Baton Rouge hasn’t had the easiest 2016. The Alton Sterling shooting, followed by the shooting of three law enforcement officers, followed by an epic flood. The somber mood has made us cleave to what really matters – friends and family. Weekends have many of us huddled up watching football (another letdown lately if you’re an LSU fan) stuffing our faces with gameday eats. That part isn’t so bad.

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Cucumbers, Farmers Markets, Fresh produce, Hungry for Louisiana, Squash

Get Pickled! Quick refrigerator pickles for the cucumber bounty

June 24, 2016

If you have an abundance of summer produce, but the thought of traditional canning sounds daunting, this recipe is the answer. Quick pickles are an easy and flavorful use of a variety of seasonal vegetables, but they work especially well with items that are in full swing right now: cucumbers, squash and zucchini. Throw in sliced onion and peeled garlic cloves for extra flavor and hot peppers for added punch.

The method couldn’t be easier. You’re simply creating a straightforward brine with vinegar, water, sugar and salt on the stovetop, turning off the heat and adding thinly sliced vegetables. Transfer everything into an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of hours and you’ve got an incredible bread-and-butter pickle that will enhance a range of dishes.

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Asian, Fresh produce, Hungry for Louisiana, Salads

Cool and tangy Thai larb a perfect springtime salad

April 20, 2016

The local butter lettuce in my fridge was calling out for larb, the simple, adaptable Thai salad generally made from minced pork or chicken cooked in broth with the addition of fish sauce, lime juice and other spices. Served at room temperature and tucked in lettuce or cabbage, larb (or more properly, larp or lahp) is sublimely citrusy, gently spicy and full of pleasing crunch.

It’s also really easy to make. Here’s how:

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Farmers Markets, Fresh produce, Hungry for Louisiana, Vegetables

Local Produce: Playing around with the deep South’s spring bounty

April 8, 2016

I know you’ve heard this before, but the nice thing about buying local it that takes minimal effort to make fresh ingredients taste great. That’s exactly the kind of stripped-down cooking I’m about these days as I  try to simply keep my head above water (like everybody).

Last Saturday, (our three kids shockingly free from morning activities) John and I snuck out and dropped by our local Red Stick Farmers Market in downtown Baton Rouge to do some shopping. We were having friends over that night, and I wanted to put together an easy appetizer and a tray of roasted vegetables.

This time of year in south Louisiana, we start to hit that fun period at the market where we can find both cooler temperature crops, like carrots, Brussels sprouts, beets and asparagus, as well as warmer crops like peppers and cucumbers. Gotta love a year round growing season! I bought a big variety of veggies, along with honey from two vendors for morning smoothies, and herbed goat cheese and a whole wheat half baguette for a quick hors d’oeuvre that evening.

The veggies were, as usual, gorgeous and inspiring! I know, food nerd. But still….

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