Author: Dale Curry

Mellowing with Melon

On a hot summer day of my childhood, there was nothing like an ice-cold watermelon to pick up your spirits. If nothing else, it cooled you down a notch and entertained you long enough to make scary teeth out of…

Page Turners

My first invitation to lunch In New Orleans after moving here was to meet under the clock at D.H. Holmes and then it was on to Galatoire's. I'll never forget that meal - oysters Rockefeller and shrimp-and crab-stuffed eggplant. It…

Pick of the Crops

Late spring through early summer is farmers market paradise in south Louisiana. Creole tomatoes, Ponchatoula strawberries and north shore blueberries, along with local asparagus, herbs, peppers, new potatoes and so much more await us at markets throughout the metropolitan area.…

Oh Me Oh My

Just after our seafood industry was threatened by the openings of the Mississippi River spillway, we get the good news of a crawfish abundance and lower prices. That’s manna from heaven for the backyard cooks. Backyards are not the only…

Smokin’ Hot

Not long ago, good Southern barbecue was a rare find in New Orleans. A slice of meat drenched in barbecue sauce was about the closest you could get. Shortly before the turn of the 21st century, a few cooks with…

Potato Salad and Parades

I get more compliments for my potato salad than any other dish. It’s a deep South version, I must admit, but that’s not to say I don’t like the creamy New Orleans-style with fewer ingredients. The local spud recipe is…

A Winter Evening

My go-to dish for winter evenings is a pot roast, with all but the rice in one pot. At one time it could be consumed by my family, but as children went off to college, it began to cover two…

Food: Seasoned Greetings

Church services, drop-in parties and hearty gumbos are Christmas Eve traditions for many south Louisiana families. While our city’s French Creole settlers broke their fast after midnight Mass in a celebration known as Réveillon, schedules now adhere to earlier gatherings…

A Cajun Theme

Sometimes the dressings outweigh the turkey at my family’s Thanksgiving table. There are those, including me, who must have oyster dressing. A simple cornbread dressing pleases those who don’t like oysters, and you might as well count the must-have mirliton…

Beyond the Taco

Beloved Creole dishes fuel lifetimes in New Orleans with diehards sticking to red beans on Monday and gumbo on Friday. Nevertheless, population shifts find adventurous diners and cooks loving the influences of foreign cuisines. Not the least of these are…

Oodles of Noodle

If I have learned one thing about raising children, it is to feed them noodles. Really, any kind of pasta will do, but noodles are a favorite among kids, who like to slurp things. We Americans, of all ages, have…

Surviving the Hot Months

It’s a known fact that tourists avoid New Orleans in the heat of summer. And many who live here try to escape. Hard as I try, my trips lean toward early summer or fall, leaving me to survive the inferno…

A Summer Harvest

It probably feeds more mouths than any vegetable in the world, and we don’t even call it by it by its proper name. We eat it dozens of ways, and many animals, and even insects, devour it daily. It is…

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

  Ask Leah Chase what soul food is and she’ll say, “It’s food that soothes you when you eat it. It fills you up. It tastes good. Anybody in the South has been eating it all his life.” She should…

Drinking Smart

Usually, drinking adult beverages does not equate with being intellectual, unless one immerses the mind in the literary tradition of New Orleans’ French Quarter. It is in this neighborhood that Williams, Rice, Twain, Toole, Faulkner, Hemingway, Welty, Keyes, Cable, Millay,…

Off the Tray

Sometimes I think appetizers are the hardest recipes to come up with. We attach ourselves to a few winners, but soon enough they become overdone and boring. It took the seven-layer dip about 20 years to move off the popularity…

Fields of Red

One of those things I wanted to do and never got around to was writing to LSU food scientists asking them to stop making our Louisiana strawberries more like California’s. In other words, large and shippable. Maybe others complained because…

Wholly Good

  I never enjoyed a restaurant more than the former Genghis Khan on Tulane Avenue, where for a moderate price you could hear piano and violin accompanied opera while eating whole fish and kimchi, among other Korean dishes. The whole…

A Royal Dish

At my first Carnival parade party after moving to New Orleans, I enjoyed a well-seasoned meat and gravy dish served over grits. Upon saying goodbye to the hostess, I heard a guest say, “The grillades were delicious.” So I asked…

Chili Ways for Chilly Days

Although Texans live next door, we are miles apart when it comes to cooking. Two ingredients bring us together, however, and they are beans and peppers, usually prepared very differently except for one big dish - chili. With some cooks,…

Christmas Revival

Carols in the Quarter, bonfires on the levee and Celebration in the Oaks set the mood for a New Orleans Christmas along with great food traditions from the past. Predominantly Catholic residents of the 1800s fasted before midnight Mass on…

Thanksgiving Ambrosia

Growing up in Memphis, I always feasted on ambrosia at holiday time. The day before Thanksgiving or Christmas, my mother would crack fresh coconuts with a hammer out on the driveway and peel and chop the oranges. It took hours…

All Treat, No Trick

  They say the weather is beautiful everywhere in October. Because it is one of our most comfortable months, I try to stay at home and enjoy the snappy chill in the air and the first chance for hot soups.…

When Pho Meets Bahn

I once lunched with Anthony Bourdain at the now-closed Pho Tau Bay restaurant on the West Bank. We each had a beer and a bowl of pho and discussed his latest book and our trips to Vietnam. It was 20…

Freshly Picked

The only redeeming grace for August in New Orleans is that it falls at the peak of peak season for blue crabs, the dead-on center of the May to November season. We used to go out crabbing with the kids…

Summer Savories

A summer barbecue in New Orleans can make you feel like the main course. My idea is to cook something that goes on the grill for a matter of minutes, putting you back in the air-conditioning or pool as quickly…

Creole Tomatoes and Sweet Basil

If you like fresh fruits and vegetables, June is your month. You name it, it’s in season. At our house, we’ve gone to containers for both flowers and vegetables so, needless to say, our vegetable-growing days are waning. But, at…

O Canada

When Paul Prudhomme put Cajun cooking on the world-wide map, he told food writers beating down his door, “Go to the country.” Or, in other words, New Iberia, St. Martinville, Lafayette, his home-town of Opelousas and other southwest Louisiana towns…

Eggs Sardou for A Lenten Brunch

In keeping house for many years with my husband Doug, there are three things I never do - cut grass, wash cars and make Hollandaise sauce. As the woman of the house (and we all know a woman’s work is…