Our New Orleans Experience

Last week Scott and I spent five days in one of our favorite cities, New Orleans.  We went with two of our closest friends, Sarah and Matthew.  It was their first time to the Crescent City, but Scott and I have had the pleasure of visiting many times.  It was a treat to spend time with them, enjoying all the wonderful food and drink that New Orleans has to offer.

And eat and drink we did!  Scott and I were so excited to introduce some of our favorite places to Sarah and Matthew.  Of course, we hit up Café du Monde for beignets and café au lait.  We also visited The Napoleon House for a muffaletta sandwich and a Pimm’s Cup, The Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel for, what else, a Sazerac, and we ate fresh oysters shucked by Thomas at Pascale’s Manale.

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Ricotta Gnocchi

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I have been so behind on posts lately!  Ack!  I’m sorry.  Hopefully, this super simple recipe for ricotta gnocchi will make up for my absence.  I made this not long ago and served it with roasted broccoli and it was delicious.  It had the flavor of ricotta cheese and maintained its pillowy texture – not heavy at all.

Most gnocchi is made with potatoes, but frankly, the prep for potato gnocchi was way too time consuming for that particular night.  Ricotta it was!

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All that is required for this recipe is one bowl and a large floured surface – and some patience.  Because the dough itself is a bit soft, you’ll need to flour your hands well and make sure the surface is floured, in order to roll the dough into ropes.  Be patient and don’t worry about the way they look.  They’ll taste amazing.

As for the ricotta – go for whole milk ricotta when choosing at the store.  It’ll be thicker and have more flavor.  If you find that there is a lot of liquid in the container when you open it, dump the whole lot into a fine mesh strainer and let it drain.  The less liquid, the easier it’ll come together.

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Too Busy To Cook??

Yes…it’s true.  The past two weeks have been two of the busiest weeks so far this year.  School is really throwing down and it seems like just when I have it all under control, my classes knock me down again.  Oh, and I should mention our furnace died earlier this week and it’s winter in the midwest.  Stressed!  Fear not, though, as a new furnace is being installed at this very moment!

My sincere apologies to all of you dear and devoted readers.  You are out there, right?

I have only made a few things worth sharing in the last two weeks – ramen and some lovely snacks I brought to an Oscar party.

The ramen:

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Now, this dish was no easy feat.  Just ask David Chang, as it was his recipe I followed.  I’m absolutely loving my Momofuku Cookbook and I’ve been trying to make at least one thing from it every week.  The ramen broth was quite an ordeal.  I had to order five pounds of pork bones from the butcher and then wait.  And wait.  After about five days, I got the call that they were ready.  I had all the other necessary ingredients: kombu, dried shiitake mushrooms, scallions, chicken legs, smoky bacon, onion, and carrots.  I couldn’t wait.  Into the oven went the pork bones!

Before:

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After:

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Just let me tell you, after all was said and done, after all the roasting, simmering, and waiting – the flavor of the broth was divine.  I wish I could hug David Chang and thank him for bringing something so amazing into my life.

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