Killing Our Guilt: Seafood Stock From Start To Finish

I have a soft spot in my heart for southern delicacies, and last weekend my brother Eric and I ventured into uncharted territory: étouffée and jambalaya. Eric is an enormously talented cook who just graduated from culinary school, so we weren’t going to do this meal half-assed. We started as authentically as possible: freshly made seafood stock.

And when I say fresh, I mean fresh.

Aha! I saw boxes of live crawfish all over the sidewalks in front of restaurants in Louisiana, but I didn’t realize I could find them in Asian seafood markets in south Seattle. Excellent. We grabbed a bag full of these bad boys (with our bare hands, which was quite the exhilarating experience), along with about a pound of jumbo whole shrimp and we were ready to begin.

Seafood stock is a bit time consuming, and I’ll be frank: it’s not pretty. If you are uncomfortable with shrimp brains all over your hands, and boiling little freaked out creatures a la Chef Louie in Les Poissons, this might not be the ideal activity for you. But hey! I’m squeamish and I did it, because I knew in the end it would be so worth it. Anything for the sake of my jambalaya.

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Big Eats in the Big Easy

Editor’s Note: Food writer and new-to-ES-blogger Emily Teachout checks in with a look at one of America’s craziest — and tastiest — food destinations.

In honor of my birthday, I decided to check a long-time goal off my bucket list and head down to New Orleans to experience Mardi Gras. Let’s be real, though; while beads and booze were on my radar, I was most excited for a no-holds-barred culinary tour of the Big Easy. I figured if I’ve lived this long, I might as well test the limits of what my body can handle in greasy, spicy, cholesterol-ridden creole specialties. New Orleans did not let me down, and surprisingly, neither did my arteries.

The first “morning” in the city, after waking up at 12:45pm in our cramped yet exorbitantly expensive hotel room, two of my friends and I dragged our hungover selves out of bed in search of a belated breakfast in the French Quarter. Our prayers were answered thanks to a little alley cafe called Green Goddess. We had to wait 45 minutes for our outdoor table, but since drinking in the streets is allowed (and seemingly encouraged) we downed some $7 beers to pass the time.

To start, we shared the truffled manchego cheese grits you see above. With that sheen of grease, you know heaven is inside. My friend literally licked the plate. No shame!

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