Jun 302011

This wonderful dessert was created at Brennan’s, one of the many famous restaurants in the city. New Orleans was the major port for bananas shipped from South America. Owen Brennan challenged his chef, Paul Blange, to create a dish including banana.  The dish was named for a frequent customer and friend of Owen Brennan, Richard Foster. This dessert has become the most popular dish at Brennan’s.

4 tablespoons Butter, ½ stick

1 cup Light Brown Sugar

½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

¼ cup Banana Liqueur

4 Bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved

¼ cup Dark Rum

4 scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream

Combine butter, sugar and cinnamon in a skillet. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the Banana Liqueur, and then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, and then ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place 4 pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of ice cream and serve immediately.

Jun 272011

Before you know it, it will be crab season. As much as I like lump crabmeat, I think the best part of the crab is the claw. It has the most crab flavor out of any part of the body. So if the look is not the most important part of the dish, ie stuffed crabs, then use claw meat. This is a great cold appetizer to start a summer meal with.

1 pound Crab Claws peeled

½ cup extra virgin Olive Oil

1/3 cup water

¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar

1 tablespoon Lemon juice

¼ cup Garlic chopped

¼ cup Green Onions chopped

¼ cup fresh Parsley chopped

3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 tablespoon fresh Thyme chopped

1 tablespoon fresh Basil chopped

¼ teaspoon Salt

¼ teaspoon Black Pepper

1 ½ teaspoons Crystal Hot sauce

In a large mixing bowl, add olive oil, water, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, green onions, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce. With a wire whisk, mix all ingredients until they are well blended. Add herbs and remaining seasonings. Add crab claws and coat well with seasoning mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.


Jun 242011

Sorry I have not kept up my regular schedule with my recipes. I have been given 14 days to get a lot of stuff in to my publisher. The book is due 9/1. I will do my best to continue posting recipes twice a week. Thanks for the understanding.

Jun 212011

While working on my cookbook, I was looking for a recipe to honor my father. Unfortunately, he passed away when I was 11. So I turned to my older siblings to get their memories. This is one dish that got the most discussion. My father would cook on weekends. We had pancakes for breakfast and hamburgers for dinner on Saturdays. On Sundays, it was leftovers or he would BBQ. This easy dish was a BBQ staple. Try it at your next BBQ. Here’s to you, Dad.

Hurkey Lurky

8 ounces Elbow Macaroni cooked

2 tablespoons Fresh Garlic, through a garlic press

1/3 cup Olive Oil

Fresh Shredded Parmesan Cheese (Optional)

Fresh Parsley chopped (Optional)

Heat garlic in Olive oil for 3 minutes. Toss pasta with oil & garlic. Serve while hot. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley

Jun 162011
In France and everywhere else, a praline is a generic term for any candy made with nuts. In New Orleans, a praline is a candy made with Louisiana pecans and cream.  Throughout the French Quarter, pralines can be seen being made in open kitchens in some shops. There are the perfect souvenirs to bring home from New Orleans. The good thing is that they are easy to make at home. 
2/3 cup Sugar
2/3 cup light Brown Sugar
½ cup Evaporated Milk
3 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
½ stick (4 tablespoons) of Butter cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
1 cup chopped Pecan pieces
Add both sugars and milk in a saucepan over medium high heat. Heat and stir about 15 to 18 minutes, to a softball stage*. Cook 3-4 minutes longer. Take off heat. Add butter and vanilla. Let the butter melt then add pecans slowly and mix well. Spoon out on wax paper to cool.
* A softball stage is 235-240 degree. At this temperature, the sugar mixture dropped into cold water will form a soft, flexible ball. If you remove the ball from the water, it will flatten like a pancake after a few minutes in your hand.


Jun 132011

As crawfish season comes to an end, we had our last crawfish boil Saturday, it is time for one last crawfish recipe. This is a variation of one of my last post. This is not something you would find on a breakfast table. But it is great as a beginning dish for any meal.

Crawfish Beignets

6 ounces Crawfish tails cleaned
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning
¼ cup Green Bell Pepper finely chopped
¼ cup Green Onions finely chopped
1 tablespoon Garlic minced
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1½ cups Flour
½ cup Milk
Creole Seasoning
Heat deep fryer to 365 degrees. Mix the eggs in a large bowl until they are foamy. Add the crawfish to the eggs in the bowl. Sprinkle with Creole seasoning. Stir in the bell pepper, green onions, garlic, baking powder, flour, and milk with the egg mixture. This should be stirred to a thick consistency.
Drop 1 tablespoon of the mixture into fryer, one at a time, not crowding the oil. Let them fry for about 3 minutes, turning to ensure browning on both sides. Remove the beignets and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with Creole seasoning while hot.
Jun 092011

I had a wonderful dinner with my brother and his family while on vacation. I am amazed at the foods that my two nephews, Andrew and Evan, eat. My brother called to ask me if I had a recipe for Turtle Soup. He had been listening to Tom Fitzmorris on the radio. Tom’s radio program is all about food. Only in New Orleans will you find a 3 hour radio show, from 4-7pm, talking about food. On this particular show, he was talking about people using alligator meat in place of turtle meat in turtle soup. My brother called me asking if I had a turtle soup recipe (I had been listening to the show). He said that he had alligator meat in the freezer and the boys would eat the soup with alligator but not with turtle. I will copy the entire page from my upcoming cookbook to show that I made the same comment.

Turtle Soup

This wonderful soup is not offered in restaurants as much as it used to be. Turtle meat is not always available. Some people use alligator meat in place of the turtle. Turtle does not taste like chicken, which is not a good substitute. I think the most important part of this soup is the sherry. In New Orleans restaurants, a bottle of sherry is often brought to the table to enhance the dish.
1½ pound Turtle Meat
2 ¾ teaspoons Salt
¾ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
6 cups Water
1 stick Butter
½ cup Flour
11/2 cups Onions chopped
¼ cup Green bell Pepper chopped
¼ cup Celery chopped
2 Bay leaves
½ teaspoon Thyme dry
1½ tablespoons Garlic
1 cup Tomatoes chopped
½ cup Worcestershire Sauce
3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
½ cup Dry Sherry
¼ cup fresh Parsley chopped
½ cup Green onions chopped
Place the turtle meat in a large saucepan with 1 teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne and the water. Bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a platter. Cut the meat into ½ inch dice and reserve the liquid. In another large saucepan, combine the butter and flour over medium heat, stirring constantly for 6-8 minutes to make a dark roux. Add the onions, bell peppers and celery. Stir occasionally and cook 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are slightly tender. Add the bay leave, thyme and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the turtle meat. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Worcestershire sauce, the remaining salt and cayenne, the turtle stock, lemon juice, and sherry. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the parsley and the green onions and simmer for 45 minutes.


Jun 062011

Looking back at my New Orleans posts, I thought I would post a couple of recipes of the items I ate. The first one in Beignets. For those of you who have never been to New Orleans, and you really have not been to New Orleans if you have not eaten Beignets, Beignets are New Orleans version of a donut. These dough squares are fried until they puff, then you top them with powdered sugar. If you don’t want to make them by scratch, you can always get a box of Cafe du Monde Beignet mix. You can find them in some stores or you can order it on-line.


1½ cups Lukewarm Water
½ cup Granulated Sugar
1 envelope Active Dry Yeast
2 Eggs, slightly beaten
1-¼ teaspoons Salt
1 cup Evaporated Milk
7 cups Bread Flour
¼ cup shortening, soften
Peanut Oil for frying
Powdered Sugar
Mix water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix the egg mixture to the yeast mixture. Add 3 cups of the flour to the mixture and stir to combine. Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough in bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours. Preheat peanut oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F. Roll the dough out to about ¼ inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares. Deep-Fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color. When Beignets are done, quickly drain on paper towels, and then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.


Jun 032011

You may have thought that yesterday’s post would be my last from my trip to New Orleans. I had to include tonight’s dinner that I cooked after the 8 hour drive. While we were buying shrimp and crabmeat to restock the freezer, my wife bought 2 pounds of U-12 shrimp. These are the largest shrimp you can find. U-12 means that there are 12 or under shrimp per pound. With shrimp this size, I knew exactly how my wife wanted them cooked, BBQ Shrimp. In New Orleans, BBQ Shrimp are not shrimp that come from a grill with a tomato based sauce on top. They are shrimp cooked in butter and Olive oil with plenty of Italian type seasonings. This was one of the first recipes that I posted. The key to this dish is to have large head-on shrimp. You can do them without, but the flavor will not be the same.