Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Before I get started again . . .

I've been procrastinating starting my low-carb diet again. I've been on vacation in New Orleans for a week and JUST HAD TO eat (and drink) all of my favorite things - crawfish fettuccini, fried shrimp, daiquiris, beignets, more daiquiris. So I've officially started again today, but before I start posting low- carb recipes again, let me get all of the "forbidden stuff."

My favorite New Orleans restaurant is R&Os in Bucktown. It is definitely not a tourist stop. It is located on the other side of the levee that broke during Katrina, so the original restaurant still stands. Actually, the very original spot was next door, but they built a bigger location. My favorite was always the shrimp sandwich - their french bread is actually a more Greek style with sesame seeds, lightly toasted. They always have the most beautiful shrimp - which, at least years ago, they used to catch some themselves. I think now my favorite is the shrimp salad. My dad and I usually split a large one. They hand toss each salad - and I'm not just talking about the salad, I mean the dressing, too. There's no gallon jug of salad dressing sitting in the back - the mayo, vinegar and seasonings are all tossed in when the salad is ordered. There's at least a dozen shrimp in there! This pic is after we ate about 1/4 of the salad.

Next on the list is an old favorite that I don't indulge in every time I visit - beignets (ben-yays). They are french-style doughnuts topped with lots of powdered sugar. The most famous location for beignets are the original Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter. I didn't want to face the crowds and lack of parking during Mardi Gras with the girls, so we went out to their Metairie location. And can you believe my girls would not even touch these! Well, I wasn't going to force them to eat dough and sugar, so I just had them all myself!!

And the last (but certainly not least) of my indulgences is pralines. Pralines are creamy blobs of brown sugar and pecans. After sampling many over the years, we love Loretta's Pralines the best. They used to be available right in the French Market, but since the storm and the renovations, you have to go to Loretta's store on Frenchman and Rampart. I've made pralines that taste the same, but I can't get her creaminess. I brought a few back this time to give as gifts. Her store also serves hot lunch during the week, and has other homemade cookies, candies, ice cream and more. Miss Loretta was nice enough to come out and chat with us. She had met my mom about a year ago at the pharmacy and gave my mom her cell phone number so we could get pralines when I visited even if the store was closed. How nice was that? Only in New Orleans.


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