Some NOLA Bites from a While Ago

I was looking though some old files on my computer today as part of a desperate attempt to recycle-bin some shiz and free up space on my hard drive, because I’m a cheap bastard and don’t want to get an external one. Unfortunately since 90% of that virtual eh-space is occupied by food photos and since I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to these, I’m faced with a difficult task. I just deleted Paint in order to hold on to photos of Flour from last year. And all those family trip photos, well they can go because they’re on facebook anyway…except for photos of nums eaten on those trips. My priorities are clearly in order. Anyway, I found some (relatively) old stuff which I will go ahead and upload in the next few days.

The first find was a folder titled “Liza Old” which contains a bunch of random stuff prepared by NOLA, who is in the States right now and whose cooking I haven’t had in a while and very much miss. I’ve written before about her Mexican dishes and about her Take-Over Tuesday night at the late Office. Her cooking never ceased to delight. If you need an event catered, DEFINITELY hit her up.

I FREAKIN’ love eggplants. Always have, always will. In every form. I was therefore pretty excited when she made these for me one night – grilled baby eggplant with the insides scooped out, mixed up with some spicy stuff, onions and garlic and stuffed back inside, topped off with a bit of cool, slightly citric basil chimichurri. They came out beautiful, conveniently bite-size and delicious.

This is a fried Merluza po’boy she prepared at another Office Takeover Tuesday which I tried a bit of at the end of the night and which was wonderful. The fish was flaky, the creamy white flesh incased in a perfectly golden and crispy fried batter. A bit of tomato and lettuce, on toasted french bread. Delicious.

This was originally supposed to be her famous Cajun rice. When the kitchen gave her sticky rice instead of what she needed to make the former, she did not fall into a deep, dark pit of culinary depression, but instead got creative and made breaded and fried rice-patties and topped them with a brightly colored spicy sauce and a bit of chopped green onion. I never got to try them but they looked great. Good save on this, gurl!

These are her Vietnamese pork po’boys, an ode to her hometown with a Vietnamese twang to it. The pork is prepared with honey and brown sugar and left to roast for hours. It is then pulled to very tender pieces, slapped between two slices of toasted French bread which has been smeared with her slightly citric Sriracha mayo and topped with shredded carrots, cucumber and a few sprigs of cilantro. This was my favorite dish of the night.

This is her spicy avocado tomatillo gazpacho. It’s as just as refreshing and yummy as it looks. Made with super-fresh ingredients, including Liza’s home-grown tomatillos from her chili garden. It made for a delightful lunch on a hot summer day.

This is her veggie chili fried rice. Black beans and rice mixed up with grilled rounds of zucchini, topped with toasted almond slivers and served with a few grilled logs of fresh green asparagus. Drizzled with a bright orange chili sauce.

Delicious and healthy, hearty black bean soup. Starchy creamy liquid and tender little bumps of black bean. Topped off with some chopped avocado and tomato for a little cool freshness.

Smoked baba ganoush dusted with paprika, fresh tabbouleh and home-made hummus served with pillow-fluffy, fresh-out-the-oven pita bread. She’s truly conquered the Middle East with this deliciously healthy spread.

This one is one of my all-time favorites. Fresh arugula salad with bits of crumbly blue cheese, caramelized walnuts and grilled peaches, drizzled with balsamic. I hadn’t found a decent salad in BA up to this point, so I ate the whole thing.

These photos will definitely not be deleted. After all, how much do I REALLY need Skype?

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