How to make Mexican rice

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK 

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Not long ago, I was watching that cute Mexican chef, Marcela Valladolid, on the Food Network. She made what she called Red Mexican Rice, “Arroz Rojo.”

I’ve always liked the rice at restaurants and so I figured I’d try it to make at home. This recipe is really easy and a great side dish to add to your repertoire. Thanks, Marcela.

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How to make garlic cheese grits like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK 

My mother, Betty, wasn’t the world’s greatest cook but she did a few things very well. One was garlic-cheese grits, which is a great side substitute for potatoes or rice or all by itself.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

My daughter, Margaret, once had the flu more than 10 hours away from home and only had the strength to make one thing to sustain her. You got it – these garlic-cheese grits. She forever sings their praises and asked me to make them for this blog.

Garlic-cheese grits is perfect for a couple of folks or for a buffet brunch/dinner for company. You also can make the dish ahead of time, then pop it into the oven for baking later.

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How to make a muffuletta like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK 

So, you’re saying, if I’m in New Orleans, what’s the point of making myself a muffuletta when I can just go down to Central Grocery in the Quarter and get the best?

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

True, but some of us don’t have that luxury. Kind of like when somebody asked the other day why I used “foreign” raised crawfish in crawfish pie. (Because I’m in extreme north Mississippi.)

The muffuletta came to New Orleans from Sicilian immigrant Salvatore Lupo, who reportedly watched lunchtime juggling of Sicilian immigrant farmers trying to eat bread, salami, cheeses and olive salad at mid-day. Soon after, he was offering the sandwich at Central Market.

This recipe is another from “Louisiana Kitchen & Culture” magazine and comes from Nor-Joe’s in Metairie. Now, I can make it myself.

So can you. Enjoy.

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How to make pot roast like a New Orleans native

Pot roast is equal to mac & cheese when it comes to comfort food. Summer or winter, a succulent hunk of beef with carrots, onions and potatoes is just a gift from the food gods.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Not only is it great for company, it’s a perfect weekend dish, which I prefer to braise in the oven over a couple of hours (which is why I make it on the weekends). Then, the leftovers are to-die-for, either reheated as the main dish or on an open-face sandwich with the gravy over the top.

Anyway you slice it, pot roast is delicious and hearty.

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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 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 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 hummus like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK  

HUMMUS 

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Don’t laugh if my food processor looks like it came from a “Golden Girls” episode. If you look closely while the girls are eating cheesecake in their kitchen, you’ll see this one’s twin on the counter near the sink. Mine is inherited from my mother, Betty. She never envisioned it would be used to make hummus, which I’m almost sure she never tasted.

Most of us have come to love this Mediterranean/Middle Eastern condiment, which is readily available already prepared. But I prefer to make it myself to add whatever flavors I’ve got a mood for – garlic or dried oregano or fresh parsley or whatever else suits you. I suspect pineapple might even be good in it. That’s a weird idea.

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How to make chicken salad like a New Orleans native

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

Chicken salad has got to be one of summer’s great treats because it’s so light, cool and tasty. It’s good year-round, too, but I get the yen for it especially when the weather heats up. Old-fashioned chicken salad recipes included bits of boiled eggs and pickle relish. Go ahead, if you like that.

I prefer the more “modern” version popular today, with a little twist – fresh dill, a little Dijon mustard and red grapes. Spoon it into a warmed half-pita and you’re in business!

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How to make chicken and dumplings like a New Orleans native

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK  

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

My grandmother, the beautiful and willful Rosalie Dial, made chicken and dumplings with her usual cooking-from-the-hip style. I laughed when I read her recipe that says, “Dump some boiling broth into a cup of flour and mix until stiff.” Not bad advice, after I’d tried it.

Most recipes I’ve checked recommend boiling a whole hen to start things off. I have other things to do, rather than take a hen apart after it’s falling to pieces, so I’m taking an easier route. This concoction is ridiculously easy and Food Network Alton Brown’s way of dropping the dumplings is foolproof. That works for me. Enjoy!

Header image via flickr user atxryan and used in accordance with a Creative Commons license.

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