June 18, 2020
A Kitchen in New Orleans That Feels Like Home
Article-Scott-Hocker-Cooking-Column-Taste

Three years, 26 columns, and precisely as many recipes.

That is the duration and sweep of “A Kitchen in New Orleans,” my column for TASTE. Japanese grilling; Sichuanese tofu with ginger and pickled chiles; Turkish egg salad; Indian chicken-fried steak; Syrian lamb-okra stew: Looking over the installments, I startled even myself by how wayward I am with my cooking influences and inspirations. That itinerancy sure seems fitting at this moment, though, when the only traveling so many of us have been doing is from our bedrooms to our refrigerators.

Quite a few of the column’s recipes remain fixtures in my kitchen. Staples, like freezing fried tofu and fermenting mustard greens, that have made life during the pandemic croon of life before the pandemic. There are endless tangles of pasta across my column: double-starched with beans; loaded with garlic and dried chiles; fried—that’s right, fried—like they do in Mexico City. The flavors of my adopted home of New Orleans are a constant presence. They are there in a Basque-ish take on the classic red beans of the Crescent City and in a cold buttermilk-cucumber soup to mollify summer’s swelter.

There are tales of devastation; tales of ebullience. Recipes are sometimes one-and-dones, and sometimes recipes wend their way into our kitchen repertoires. What we cook is a serpentine trail, the winding trace of the lives we have lived. Here are seven more columns to read from the past, photographed by my collaborator Denny Culbert. And stay tuned, the next one lands in July. Popcorn is on the mind. —Scott Hocker

[email_signup id="3"]
<div class="email-subscribe exp-subscribe subscribe"> <div class="alert alert-success exp-success ga-etembed-success" style="display:none;"> Great! You've signed up successfully! </div> <div class="alert alert-danger exp-error" style="display:none;"> We are experiencing an error, please try again. </div> <form name="subscribe" id="email-signup" class="email-signup-form" action="https://www.tastecooking.com/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php" method="POST" target="_top" data-event-assigned="false"> <fieldset class="form-group form-inline email-submit-group"> <label for="email-address" class="sr-only">Email Address</label> <input id="email-newsletter" type="email" placeholder="your@email.com" class="email-newsletter text email form-control" name="email" value=""> <button type="submit" value="Subscribe" name="subscribe" class="btn btn-primary email-submit-btn ga-etembed-success"> <i class="fa fa-envelope"></i> Subscribe </button> </fieldset> <small class="exp-small terms" style=""> By clicking Subscribe, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the Penguin Random House <a href="http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/privacy/" target="_blank">Privacy Policy</a> and <a href="http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/terms/" target="_blank">Terms of Use</a> and agree to receive news and updates from TASTE and Penguin Random House. </small> <fieldset class="field-group checkboxes" style="display:none"> <div class="checkbox"> <label> <input type="checkbox" name="programs[]" value="505,50501,1" class="exp-checkbox" checked="checked"> <span><strong>Tastebook General</strong></span> </label> </div> <div class="checkbox"> <label> <input type="checkbox" name="programs[]" value="505,50502,1" class="exp-checkbox" checked="checked"> <span><strong>Tastebook Promo</strong></span> </label> </div> </fieldset><!-- /.checkboxes --> <input type="hidden" name="data_acq_code" value="TASTE_POPUP_STATIC_ONGOING" /> <input type="hidden" name="data_programs" value="50501|505,50502|505" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" value="3" /> <input type="hidden" name="partner" value="" /> <input type="hidden" name="action" value="crown_email_signup_submit" /> <input type="hidden" name="ref_url" value="" /> </form> </div> <script> jQuery(document).ready(function () { var unassigned_forms; setInterval( function() { //Check for unassigned forms var forms = jQuery( '.email-signup-form' ); unassigned_forms = false; forms.each( function( index ) { if ( jQuery( this ).attr( 'data-event-assigned' ) === 'false' ) { unassigned_forms = true; } }); if ( unassigned_forms ) { forms.off( 'submit' ).on( 'submit', function ( e ) { forms.attr( 'data-event-assigned', 'true' ); e.preventDefault(); // Basic email validation var email = jQuery(e.target).find('.email-newsletter').val(), valid_email = false, groupEl = jQuery(e.target).closest('.email-subscribe'); if ( !!email && typeof(email) === "string" ) { var email_array = email.split('@'); if ( email_array.length === 2 ) { if ( email_array[1].split('.').length > 1 ) { valid_email = true; } } } if ( valid_email ) { jQuery('.alert-danger').hide(); // Show loading gif groupEl.find('.email-signup-form').hide(); groupEl.find('.email-submit-loading').show(); // Populate ref_url jQuery(this).find('input[name="ref_url"]').val(window.location.href); // Generate Payload var payload = jQuery(this).serializeArray(); jQuery.ajax({ url: jQuery(this).attr('action'), type: 'POST', data: payload, success: function (data) { // Hide loading spinner groupEl.find('.email-signup-form').show(); groupEl.find('.email-submit-loading').hide(); // Display success msg var target = jQuery(e.target); jQuery(e.target).hide(); jQuery(e.target).parent().find('.alert-success').show(); jQuery(e.target).parent().find('#downloadbtn').show(); }, fail: function (err) { // Hide loading spinner groupEl.find('.email-signup-form').show(); groupEl.find('.email-submit-loading').hide(); // Display failure msg var target = jQuery(e.target); jQuery(e.target).hide(); jQuery(e.target).parent().find('.alert-danger').show(); } }); } else { groupEl.find('.alert-danger').html('Please enter a valid email address.').show(); } }); forms.off( 'keypress' ).on( 'keypress', function ( e ) { if ( e.which === 13 ) { e.preventDefault(); jQuery( this ).submit(); } }); } }, 100); }); </script>
[email_signup id="3"]
<div class="email-subscribe exp-subscribe subscribe"> <div class="alert alert-success exp-success ga-etembed-success" style="display:none;"> Great! You've signed up successfully! </div> <div class="alert alert-danger exp-error" style="display:none;"> We are experiencing an error, please try again. </div> <form name="subscribe" id="email-signup" class="email-signup-form" action="https://www.tastecooking.com/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php" method="POST" target="_top" data-event-assigned="false"> <fieldset class="form-group form-inline email-submit-group"> <label for="email-address" class="sr-only">Email Address</label> <input id="email-newsletter" type="email" placeholder="your@email.com" class="email-newsletter text email form-control" name="email" value=""> <button type="submit" value="Subscribe" name="subscribe" class="btn btn-primary email-submit-btn ga-etembed-success"> <i class="fa fa-envelope"></i> Subscribe </button> </fieldset> <small class="exp-small terms" style=""> By clicking Subscribe, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the Penguin Random House <a href="http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/privacy/" target="_blank">Privacy Policy</a> and <a href="http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/terms/" target="_blank">Terms of Use</a> and agree to receive news and updates from TASTE and Penguin Random House. </small> <fieldset class="field-group checkboxes" style="display:none"> <div class="checkbox"> <label> <input type="checkbox" name="programs[]" value="505,50501,1" class="exp-checkbox" checked="checked"> <span><strong>Tastebook General</strong></span> </label> </div> <div class="checkbox"> <label> <input type="checkbox" name="programs[]" value="505,50502,1" class="exp-checkbox" checked="checked"> <span><strong>Tastebook Promo</strong></span> </label> </div> </fieldset><!-- /.checkboxes --> <input type="hidden" name="data_acq_code" value="TASTE_POPUP_STATIC_ONGOING" /> <input type="hidden" name="data_programs" value="50501|505,50502|505" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" value="3" /> <input type="hidden" name="partner" value="" /> <input type="hidden" name="action" value="crown_email_signup_submit" /> <input type="hidden" name="ref_url" value="" /> </form> </div> <script> jQuery(document).ready(function () { var unassigned_forms; setInterval( function() { //Check for unassigned forms var forms = jQuery( '.email-signup-form' ); unassigned_forms = false; forms.each( function( index ) { if ( jQuery( this ).attr( 'data-event-assigned' ) === 'false' ) { unassigned_forms = true; } }); if ( unassigned_forms ) { forms.off( 'submit' ).on( 'submit', function ( e ) { forms.attr( 'data-event-assigned', 'true' ); e.preventDefault(); // Basic email validation var email = jQuery(e.target).find('.email-newsletter').val(), valid_email = false, groupEl = jQuery(e.target).closest('.email-subscribe'); if ( !!email && typeof(email) === "string" ) { var email_array = email.split('@'); if ( email_array.length === 2 ) { if ( email_array[1].split('.').length > 1 ) { valid_email = true; } } } if ( valid_email ) { jQuery('.alert-danger').hide(); // Show loading gif groupEl.find('.email-signup-form').hide(); groupEl.find('.email-submit-loading').show(); // Populate ref_url jQuery(this).find('input[name="ref_url"]').val(window.location.href); // Generate Payload var payload = jQuery(this).serializeArray(); jQuery.ajax({ url: jQuery(this).attr('action'), type: 'POST', data: payload, success: function (data) { // Hide loading spinner groupEl.find('.email-signup-form').show(); groupEl.find('.email-submit-loading').hide(); // Display success msg var target = jQuery(e.target); jQuery(e.target).hide(); jQuery(e.target).parent().find('.alert-success').show(); jQuery(e.target).parent().find('#downloadbtn').show(); }, fail: function (err) { // Hide loading spinner groupEl.find('.email-signup-form').show(); groupEl.find('.email-submit-loading').hide(); // Display failure msg var target = jQuery(e.target); jQuery(e.target).hide(); jQuery(e.target).parent().find('.alert-danger').show(); } }); } else { groupEl.find('.alert-danger').html('Please enter a valid email address.').show(); } }); forms.off( 'keypress' ).on( 'keypress', function ( e ) { if ( e.which === 13 ) { e.preventDefault(); jQuery( this ).submit(); } }); } }, 100); }); </script>