This article was originally printed on The Sunday Times of Malta here.

Between meals in New Orleans

I like to think of New Orleans fondly as New York’s younger, raunchier sister, who’s got more than a touch of a feisty European in her. I don’t know many places which are quite as musical. Day and night, in most random bars and even some cafes, musicians and singers are passionately belting out tunes.

Eating and drinking

New Orleans is a haven for seafood lovers, think of Po boys, so many different kinds of oysters, jambalaya and gumbo. It might not be worth going for the higher-end places, simply because the street food- style places offer delicious dishes. The fancier options might tend to lose their authenticity and layers of flavour. You must try the oysters raw or grilled, they’re usually comparatively affordable, rather large, and served on the half shell with an array of condiments (read: hot sauces).

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the obligatory tourist pic

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the experience was much aided by eating this on the edge of a canal on a beautiful day – seafood and veg fritto misto

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black Iberian pig (the juiciest meat I have ever had the opportunity to taste) and thinly sliced rack of lamb with mustard and julienne vegetables

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 wow – just wow

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Pesce San Pietro (John Dory) divine! Here.

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Now that’s a bouquet this girl would love to receive 🙂

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The markets

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Piazza San Marco – the historical Caffe Florian – with a Bellini (champagne and fresh peach puree) – top of the posh. Just wanted to get up and dance!

Venice <3

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Chowder is a seafood and/or vegetable thickened soup served with milk or cream. It is traditionally eaten, or even thickened with, saltine crackers but it can easily be made without.

This is how I made mine (quantities to serve 2 people)

– 400g chopped tomatoes with juices (approximately one can; I used cherry tomatoes)

– one onion, chopped finely

– 1 minced garlic clove

– a handful of mushrooms, chopped roughly (I used dried shiitake mushrooms which I soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes prior to adding to the recipe) – or other vegetables of choice

– mussels which have been debearded and scrubbed well – or shell removed (approx. 4-6 per person, depending on size)

– 1/2 cup white wine

– 1/2 cup chopped chorizo, chopped into 1/4 inch discs

– 1/2 cup single cream / heavy cream or make your own

– 1 cup stock

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 tablespoon green curry paste (mine was store-bought)

– 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

– chopped coriander (optional, because coriander is delicious with anything!)


– In a deep pan on medium heat add the olive oil and green curry paste, this will begin to dissolve. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the chopped onion and stir. Cook until onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Subsequently add the minced garlic and cook for a further minute.

– Add the chorizo slices and stir until these start to brown slightly. Add some wine if the mixture starts to dry up.

– Now add the tomatoes, wine, stock and apple cider vinegar and stir.

– If you are using any vegetables that take longer to cook, chop them into bite size chunks and add them now. Give them sufficient time to soften – adding more stock or a small amount of water if necessary.

– Add the mushrooms and mussels to the pot and stir carefully so as not to break up the mussels.

– Simmer for 5 minutes and add the cream. Stir gently until the cream is heated through (about 1 minute), check the seasoning and add salt or pepper if necessary.

-Serve hot with chopped coriander  and freshly ground pepper as garnish