How to make fish tacos like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Happy National Catfish Month! In honor of the beloved mudcat, I made fish tacos – a really fresh, tasty treat.

My son inspired the dish by taking me to a restaurant the other day where we both had some. That’s when I realized the best way to season fish is a spicy rub, not marinade. So, here, I’ve given that a whirl. It hits all the right notes, and if you want to go spicier, have at it!

My daughter-in-law made a nice veggie dish to complement the tacos – chopped zucchini, squash, garlic, black beans, cumin and a store-bought Mexican sauce cooked in an iron skillet.

This fish taco recipe does not disappoint. It’s also a fun entree for a crowd. Give it a try.

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How to make meatloaf like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook


I love meatloaf. I didn’t realize for many years that it should be more than shaping a pound of ground meat into a loaf and cooking it for an hour with a little bacon and catsup on top.

Praise the cooking gods that I know better now.

This easy recipe makes two large or four small loaves. It’s great for company and, especially, for leftovers to reheat or make meatloaf sandwiches, a family favorite.

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How to cook cornbread like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Good “table” cornbread has eluded me, until now.

Sorry, Mama – your recipe works great for Thanksgiving dressing, but I’ve always wanted something lighter so I took the easy way out and used a boxed mix. Frankly, that was cheating and it had the no-no sugar in it.

Thanks to cooking guru, Alton Brown, I’ve found what I’ve been seeking. Also, I substituted buttermilk for regular milk. Use what you’ve got.

Sorry anti-glutenites, this one is not for you. But for everybody else, it’s easy and it’s delicious. I’m so glad to bring it to you.

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How to make baked rosemary chicken like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

I like to spend a lazy weekend cooking up a few things I can have for dinner during the week without having to rush home and start from scratch.

This is one of those recipes – chicken baked in the oven with fresh tomatoes and herbs out of the garden or farmers’ market. It’s also easy to make for company and won’t keep you in the kitchen very long. I’ve dubbed this dish “Chicken Margaret” after my daughter AKA New in NOLA Margaret.

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How to make dill pickles like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Summertime is about fresh vegetables, especially from the garden or farmers’ market.

My daughter loves dill pickles and I love growing cucumbers in my little garden. But for at least a couple of seasons, I couldn’t find a recipe with the right sour/garlic/dill balance that kept the cucumbers crisp. Finally, success!

It’s easy and fun. You also can pickle other veggies like carrots, green tomatoes, green onions, green beans, okra and asparagus. That’s certainly not the only list, so use your imagination. My experience, though, calls for a little extra par-boiling for tough veggies, like green beans and especially the okra to soften up the tough exteriors.

I highly recommend prepping in your kitchen, but taking the pickle process outside onto your patio or porch. Several years ago, I acquired a really neat one-burner, gas stove at the usual big-box store in the camping section. This burner is perfect for boiling up the pickle juice outside, otherwise your house will smell like pickles for a very long time – maybe years. No kidding.

Usually, I double the pickle-juice recipe and then store what’s left over in the fridge until I need to heat it up again or add to another batch.

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How to make a grilled green tomato BLT like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK  

If you’ve never tried green tomatoes, it’s time. Including them in a BLT is delicious.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Of course, fried green tomatoes are iconic Southern food and we’ll go into those another week, but I like to grill them for side dishes and especially for these sandwiches. I think  you’ll agree.

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How to make pain perdu like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

“Pain Perdu” means “lost bread,” which in this case is from a loaf of French bread. (Typing a pronunciation is a little difficult to spell out other than “pan” has a short “a” like in “bran” but you come off the “n” pretty quickly. Perdu – first syllable is like the first in berry, and second syllable is the strong emphasis, “dew.” I’m sure that explains it.)

My son loves this French toast, so I nearly always make it when he visits. It’s crunchy on the outside and soft, custardy inside. Top with a little butter and powered sugar and add some fresh sliced strawberries – ooh, la la!

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How to make spicy chicken like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK   

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

How to make spicy chicken Rosalie like a New Orleans native

I watched Food Network chef Melissa D’Arabian cook some Spanish style one-pot dish recently and decided to give it a try from memory. That’s dangerous, I know. While I wound up adding a few more veggies and wine, it turned out pretty much like hers but with a little more flavors.It reminds me of a chicken “cousin” to the jambalaya my grandmother, the willful and beautiful Rosalie Dial, used to make for me, so I’m naming it after her.

I think you’ll like it for a Sunday afternoon dinner or a rainy NOLA day when it’s just better to stay inside and read a good book.

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How to make tuna-bean salad like a New Orleans native

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

I have no idea where tuna-bean salad came from originally, but my half-French grandmother, the willful and beautiful Rosalie Dial, made it first in my experience.

It’s another summertime favorite because you can use it to stuff gorgeous, ripe red tomatoes or atop crispy cucumbers or just on crackers. It is yummy.

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