Category: Food & Wine

Gumbo, the Classic New Orleans Dish, Is Dead. Long Live Gumbo.

Rich in flavor and history, the dish is no longer a fixture of local restaurants. Some chefs see that as a chance to reinvent it.

NEW ORLEANS — Decades ago, soon after moving to this city from India, Arvinder Vilkhu began telling his wife and children, “If we ever have a restaurant, we must have a curried gumbo.”

Mr. Vilkhu had tasted his first gumbo in 1984 during a job interview at a New Orleans hotel. “I was so much in love,” he said of the rich dish, something between a soup and a stew. He began developing his own distinctive version after immigrating here later that year.

But it wasn’t until 2017, when the family opened their Indian restaurant, Saffron Nola, on a restaurant-dense stretch of this city’s Uptown neighborhood, that he began serving his gumbo, bright with ginger, turmeric and cilantro. 

“New Orleans wasn’t ready for Indian gumbo,” said Mr. Vilkhu’s son, Ashwin, the restaurant’s general manager. “It is now.” This is an extraordinary time for the city’s signature dish. Gumbo, long a fixture in restaurants here, has disappeared from many menus as new chefs arrive with different cuisines and ideas, catering to a population remade by the transplants who settled in the city after Hurricane Katrina’s devastation in 2005.

But the chefs who have stuck by the dish are using the moment to stretch its boundaries by adding ingredients that defy tradition, bringing it fresh relevance. Many of the innovations reflect global influences on New Orleans cooking, particularly from South and Southeast Asia. This time of year, with the cooler weather and the start of the Mardi Gras season, may be the best time to sample them — and to appreciate gumbo’s long and continuing evolution.

Michael Gulotta, a New Orleans native, has resumed cooking the seasonal seafood gumbo he introduced as a lunch special last year at Maypop, his modern restaurant in the Warehouse district. It’s seasoned with lime leaf, fermented black beans and black cardamom, in homage to the Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants that have long flourished on the city’s outskirts.

“I served that gumbo all last winter,” Mr. Gulotta said. “People went crazy for it.”

Gumbo has existed in various forms across south Louisiana for centuries. It can contain any number of ingredients, depending on the chef and the season. But until recently it was rare to find gumbo that incorporated ingredients beyond a fixed list of proteins (fowl, sausage, local shellfish), aromatics (onion, bell pepper, celery — known locally as the holy trinity) and spices (cayenne, thyme, white pepper). Gumbo’s flavor is further influenced by roux, the blend of fat and flour used to thicken the broth. It’s a French technique adopted by Louisianians, who often cook the roux so long that it darkens and takes on bitter notes reminiscent of Mexican mole. Sliced okra and the sassafras powder known as filé, a Native American contribution to Louisiana cooking, are also used as gumbo thickeners, either in combination or in place of roux.
READ MORE: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/dining/gumbo-recipes-new-orleans.html

Healthy Eating Tips For The Holiday!!!

The holiday weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year are the worst time of the year for weight gain, and several factors are at play. Obviously, there are all the December holiday gatherings with their tempting holiday foods, but there is also a change in the weather that can signal our bodies to slow down and hibernate indoors if we are not careful, –causing us to be less active. So Spilldabeanz.com has gathered a few tips, courtesy of Nutrition Expert Eric Paul– to help YOU stay on track as best you can!!

8 Holiday Eating Survival Tips:

1. Don’t deprive yourself all day and eat one big meal

2. Drink lots of water with your meal, which will keep you full

3. Double up on the non starchy vegetables

4. Limit those decadent high fat and cholesterol favorites

5. Try splitting desserts with someone (i.e. 1/2 slice of pie)

6. Learn to just say no and take focus off food

7. Don’t go back for a second serving

8. Practice, practice, practice portion control

By Eric Paul, BDO Nutrition Expert

As a classically trained chef, Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer and soon to be Registered Dietitian, Eric Paul has acquired the necessary skills to help people prevent most health problems. For the last 5 years, he has used his expertise and passion to help thousands achieve optimal health by empowering them to make changes in their behavior, exercise and diet.  Eric Paul has been featured on ABC, WGN, Fox and ESPN giving audiences advice about nutrition, fitness, and other wellness topics. As one of America’s healthiest chefs, we welcome his contribution to our team.  For more information about Eric Paul, please visit www.thehealthologist.com.

Top Six Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

1. Don’t let winter slow you down. Get outside and get some exercise for at least 1/2 hour every day

2. When you face a tempting holiday meal, eat smaller portions and skip seconds

3. Save deserts for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and avoid them at regular meals in between

4. Between meals, snack on nuts, fruits and raw veggies instead of junk

5. Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary beverages

6. Get plenty of sleep

Good Luck to those that set out goals to become healthier!! Remember it’s a Lifestyle..not a Fad!! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

2012 Summer Issue Swagga Digital Magazine

Swagga Digital Magazine is a quarterly publication illuminating people of color, from different backgrounds in four (4) areas, including fashion, lifestyle, culture and music. We feel there is a need for our publication for people of color that focuses through photographic illustration on the other aspects of their lives. In addition, we try to promote books and reading, healthy eating, style, and community organizations making a difference in their respective niches, fashion, lifestyle, art and culture and media in written word designated to each subject matter. We also spotlight “On Our Radar” which is short stories inclusive of people, places and things that we feel people should be more knowledgeable of whom they are and why they are of importance.

Connect with us: www.swaggadigitalmagazine.com

Eat to Impress: How Carbs Became the New Bling

Oh, no he didn’t. Between bites of his olive-oil-drizzled focaccia, a lean, tall communications executive in slim jeans and a Savile Row blazer—let’s call him Jason—just ordered the cavatelli. For the table. At a dinner attended by attractive professionals at Maialino, Danny Meyer’s trattoria in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park, Jason stands out—not simply because he ordered carbs, but because he’s done so without hesitation or regret. And now he’s the only one eating. “It’s a celebration,” he says. “What’s the big deal?” Each time he lifts his cavatelli-capped fork, it’s as if he’s raising a middle finger to his body-fat-fixated dinnermates. “I didn’t think twice about ordering pasta,” the 40-year-old father of two says, later noting that he played two hours of tennis the next day. “I can drop five pounds in a week if I need to.”

Read More http://www.details.com/health-fitness/diet/201204/eat-carbs-diet#ixzz1s66exPgV