Catfish Fingers- Po boys

I spent the Memorial long weekend eating my little behind off in New Orleans. This is still one of my favorite dining destinations in the US, and it never fails us. I've been once before Katrina, and twice after. The city is as alive as ever, sprawling with tourists, and we had a blast. To get in the spirit of 'the big easy', I made some fried catfish fingers and Po Boys last week. The Po Boys were almost as good as what we had over the weekend.
For those that have never had a Po Boy, it's simplicity at it's best...a french bread sandwich with some type of meat inside. I like it best stuffed with fried seafood. I "wiki'd" the term and found this:

"The traditional versions are served hot and include fried shrimp and oysters, catfish, crawfish, etc. You may be asked if you would like your po' boy "dressed". A "dressed" po' boy has lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise."

Instead of mayo, I made a remoulade sauce to go with the fried catfish fingers. I also used a store bought french bread, but the bread doesn't come close to that in NOLA. The crust of Louisiana French bread is very crispy, so much so that it is difficult to eat without leaving crumbs. But the interior is very light and airy. We ate our Po Boys at Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter. It's a touristy spot, but you'll find the locals there too. They put a twist on their Po Boy that includes a tabasco infused mayo dressing. We get the "Peacemaker", which is a combo of fried oysters and shrimp. I've never had so much fried food over the course of a few days:) I need some major detoxing this week! Only problem is that my bday is on Thursday, so that just means more celebrating...but, I'm not complaining.

If any of you plan to go to NOLA, feel free to contact me for additional restaurant recs.

See Recipe!


Red Velvet Cake

A while ago, I mentioned that I planned to experiment with red velvet cake. It's one of my favorite cakes as of late. I haven't figured out exactly why I like red velvet so much, but I think it's the sinful red color, mild chocolate flavor, and most importantly, the icing....combined, it's the perfection in a cake. Oh, and the brown sugar cream cheese icing in this recipe is the "icing on the cake".

So, I experimented by making different variations of the cake...one using just butter, one with a combo of oil/butter, and another with shortening. I thought the one with shortening had the best overall texture, so that's the recipe I'll provide. The best flavor was yielded by using all butter, but you are sacrificing some texture. The one with combo oil/butter was a little too fluffy for my taste. Whatever method you choose, as long as you make the cream cheese icing, you're set :) There are some who don't like the cream cheese flavor in icing, but I think it makes this cake.

After I narrowed down the best recipe, I made it for Neil's graduation. He recently got his MBA from GW in December, and got to walk this past weekend (May 15). He seemed to thoroughly enjoy the final graduation cake and all the cupcakes from my "experiments".


Belgian Waffles

When I was packing up to move to a new house a couple years ago, I came across a waffle iron. I had no idea I even had one, or how it got there. Apparently, it was one of the few items that came with Neil when we got married. He never even used it, and I have no idea why he bought it. Maybe he thought his "future wife" would one day make him waffles :) Well, of course I put it to use. Making waffles on a Sunday morning is so much fun. It takes me back my college days at VT, when my hall mates and I went to Sunday brunch at the dining hall. We always got made to order waffles, topped with tons of whipped cream and strawberries. How I miss those days!