Southern Stylings

Crawfish Boil & Crawfish Monica

February 10, 2016

Alfredo Nogueira can’t remember the first time he ate crawfish. “But I’m sure I was really little,” says the chef, who grew up just outside of Orleans Parish, in Louisiana. Relocated to Chicago where he serves Cajun & Creole food (and what is probably the city’s best cup of chicory coffee) at Analogue restaurant, Nogueira is telling crawfish tales: The story of how he got his start cooking the creatures, for example. As a young teen busing tables at huge-volume seafood restaurant, being cool was of interest; being brawny, even more so. “And there was no one brawnier or cooler than the guy who was in charge of the crawfish boils,” Alfredo laughs. “I said to myself, that’s what I want to do.” Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Shaker Lemon Pie

February 3, 2016

Except for the no-sex and separation-from-the-world rules (pretty hard to overlook), I admire most everything I’ve read about Shakers. Progressive thinkers who supported full equality of the sexes and races, Shakers embraced technological advancements, were amazing architects and craftspeople and made a not for the faint-of-heart lemon pie. Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Key Lime Pie

January 25, 2016

The story of Key lime pie is delightfully odd, including Cuban sponge “hookers”, mystery aunts, canned milk and curing. The classic filling: sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks & lime juice, has been around since the mid 1800s.

Key limes, those leathery little yellow-green golf balls otherwise known as Citrus aurantifolia, once thrived in the Keys as a commercial crop. That was before the local lime growers figured out they could make more money running tourist fishing boats, and sold off their groves. Key lime trees still grow in Key West backyards, but the big groves are in Mexico Continue Reading…

Vintage Sandwich Board

’50s Frosted Sandwich Loaf

January 23, 2016

Earning of pride-of-place on many a ’40s and ’50s shower table, the frosted sandwich loaf was a tower of cream-cheese slathered creativity.  Vegetable, meat, fish, cheese, fruit-and-nut fillings, and flavored butters were spread over breads, stacked and sliced in patterns (gangplank, ribbon, checkerboard) and then covered in whipped cream cheese that could be “delicately tinted with a few drops of vegetable coloring.” Continue Reading…