I’ll jump on any excuse to make up a recipe.
So when one of my professors at Northwestern required a “handout” for a presentation I was doing about New Orleans, my mind jumped to the finest of all handouts: free food. I don’t think anyone will disagree with me on this one.
So I did a little research on the culinary traditions of the Big Easy, what I think must be the most singular foodstyle in the country. Gumbo, jambalaya, beignets, etoufee, pralines. Even the names sound foreign. Well, I guess they are. The food of New Orleans is a hectic blend of Spanish, French, Italian, Caribbean and even African influences. But it’s touched just as much by the American South and the history and ingredients the region offers. Continue reading
“Steak dinner” doesn’t begin to say enough. There are endless variations on it, each one as classic as the next.
And the steak itself is open to interpretation. Between the cut, the marinade, the cooking method, the sauces and/or crusts, two steaks could become different animals all together. There’s no formula, no universal constant. The measure of a steak dinner comes from the people eating it.
So a match of steak dinners is anyone’s game, but we here at the Spinning Plate thought our favorite steak could stand up to the toughest challenger: my father. Several years ago he and his friend Larry inaugurated Chuck Wagon dinner—a Friday or Saturday night devoted to steak dinners and male bonding. Initially my mother called the ritual Boy’s Date Night, but my father rechristened it Chuck Wagon to reflect the cowboy spirit. Over the years, Chuck Wagon has expanded to welcome countless guests. It now holds a hallowed position in our socializing, serving as a rite of passage for our circle of friends. Continue reading