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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Back to the Bayou

Pascal's Manale on Urbanspoon
So I just returned from another trip to the Big Easy. Now I know why they call it that, it's because you can get big easy. This was my third trip down there in the last eleven months. This time I was down there for some fishing shows that we are filming as well as some meetings I had with a few of the tourism boards in the area. I was able to get out of down town and really experience some of the most amazing food I have ever had in my life. The place that I was most surprised by was Cafe Reconcile. It's a restaurant run by troubled youths. The food was unbelievable. I had a roast beef po boy with debris. I wish I had one right now. It was one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. The Cafe is supported by many local high end restaurants like Ruth's Chris and Chef John Besh.

   One of my favorite foods in the world is Barbecued Shrimp and I was on a quest to find the best. I think I found it at a little place outside of town in what they call Uptown. It's called Pascal's Manale and it is now one of my favorite places in the world. Next year will be their 100 year anniversary. If you go there you have to start in the bar. The bartenders name is Bruce and in order to make the experience completely awesome you must have him make you a Sazerak. The Sazerak is known as the very fist cocktail ever created and it is still one of my favorites. If you hate the taste of black licorice maybe it's not for you but I dig it. After a drink in the bar they took me into one of the dinning rooms, sat me down and placed a bib around my neck. Normaly I refuse the bib but I had a feeling this was going to be needed, oh was it ever? The owner Bob  and Bartender Bruce made my visit very special. Bruce suggested the spinnach and he was right it was amazing. Anytime someone gets that excited about spinache you know it going to be awesome. Back to the reason I came, the barbecued shrimp. I knew I was in for a treat when I found out that this place invented the dish. I am not kidding one bit when I say it was the best thing I have ever eaten in my life hands down no doubt. OMG!!! I told the owner Bob that I will never visit New Orleans without making a stop at Pascal's Manale. Louisiana has become one of my favorite places on eath. They  have been through a lot in the last few year and could really use the support of our tourism dollars. If you have never been you have got to plan a trip. It's very reasonable and the people are the friendliest folks I have ever come accross. Thanks - Shannon

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Recipe for the Bread

Here's the site that has the recipe for the bread I made a few days ago...

There are a couple pages before it that give you some background, if you're interested. Enjoy! -- Drew

Friday, January 6, 2012


So if you've read this blog before, you probably know I have (had?) a phobia about making my own dough. Who knows why? Probably my dad's fault. Anyway, I have overcome much of that by perfecting my pizza dough (cooked in the Egg of course).

I hadn't thought much about making my own bread until I saw my friend Julia's post on Facebook about making her own artisan bread.  (she has her own blog now, check it out!) It looked so damn good that it got my juices flowing and my courage back up to make my own bread. I've tackled the pizza dough, so how hard could it be?!

I ordered a great book (recommended by Julia) on Amazon and went at it. The key to this method is creating a "wet" dough, so you can take it out of the fridge whenever you want and bake some fresh bread. Very little active work and very easy. The first loaf came out and looked good, so I cut into it right away. BIG mistake. As noted in the book, and ignored by me, you really need to let it cool completely (~2 hours) before cutting it. That's the hard part! Not cutting right into it and slathering on the butter!

I no longer have a fear of dough. It's a good day. -- Drew
My first loaf, ready to get happy!

My first loaf, after

My 2nd (larger) loaf. Delicious!!!!