Jun 282012

It must be all this heat that has me thinking of cold desserts. Lemon is my favorite cold flavor. Gelato comes from the Italian word gelare, meaning “to freeze.” Angelo Brocato’s, in New Orleans has been serving Italian desserts from his Ice Cream parlor since 1905. Angelo came from Palermo, Italy with many Sicilians to begin their new live in the New Orleans area. The third generation of the Brocato family still makes things the same way Angelo did.  


1 cup Whole Milk
1 cup Sugar
5 Egg Yolks
2 tablespoons grated Lemon Zest
2 cups Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Lemon Juice

Combine the milk, sugar, and lemon zest in a saucepan.
Bring the mixture just to a simmer over medium heat.
Remove from the heat.
Cover the saucepan and allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes.
Pour the mixture through a strainer into a large measuring cup.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and heavy cream.
Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg and cream mixture.
Return the mixture to the saucepan.
Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
Stir in the vanilla extract.
Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold, 4-5 hours.
Stir the lemon juice into the gelato mixture.
Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Jun 252012

Here in Searcy Arkansas, the temperature is 105 degrees. It is so hot that the only things you want to eat are cold items. So, here is a dish that will refresh you. Right now, watermelons are in season. So what a perfect way to beat the heat than with a Watermelon Sorbet.

4 cups Watermelon, seeded and cubed

1/2 cup cold Water

1/3 cup Sugar

1 tablespoon fresh Lemon Juice

2 Egg Whites

Place watermelon in blender or food processor and puree until smooth. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and boil until the sugar is absorbed completely, to make a simple syrup. Sugar may be adjusted according to the sweetness of the watermelon. Combine all ingredients, except egg whites, and churn in the bowl of an ice cream freezer for 20 or 25 minutes until frozen. Whip the egg whites into stiff meringue peaks. When the ice is done, fold carefully into the ice mixture. Pack into a covered container and place in the freezer to harden completely.


Jun 212012

Sweet Potato and Pecan pies are the two most popular pies in the south. People only wanting one piece of pie have a hard time chosing between the two. So, why not combine the two? That way, the decision between the two pies would not have to be made. He is the best recipe I have found for this dish.

1 Prepared Sweet Pie Crust
1 pound Sweet Potatoes, baked until fork tender, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup Pure Cane Syrup
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg
5 Extra Large Eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups Pecan pieces
1/4 cup Light Corn Syrup
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
pinch Salt

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine sweet potatoes, cane syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, 1 egg, and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Spoon sweet potato mixture into the unbaked pastry shell. Spread smooth.  Sprinkle pecan pieces onto the filling.  Beat 4 eggs in a large bowl. Add 1-teaspoon vanilla, corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar, and salt.  Pour egg mixture over pecans.  Bake 1 hour, or until pastry edges are golden brown, and filling is set.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before serving.
Jun 182012

Although the first day of summer is 3 days away (June 21), the temperature is already consistently reaching 90.  In the 1970’s and early 80’s, Lemon Ice could be found on most Italian restaurant’s menus. Lemon Ice is a perfect dessert after a large plate of pasta. It is refreshing and light on the stomach. A great ending to any meal.

1 cup fresh Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon grated Lemon Zest

1 1/4 cups Sugar

1 1/4 cups cold Water

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and boil until the sugar is absorbed completely, to make a simple syrup. Place the lemon juice, zest, and simple syrup in the bowl of an ice cream freezer and churn for 20 to 25 minutes or until frozen. Pack into covered container and place in the freezer to harden completely.



Jun 142012

This was the signature dessert of the now closed Caribbean Room of the Pontchartrain Hotel. As the name suggest, this dessert was meant to be shared by two people. It was a widely copied dish. When Copeland’s put this on their menu as the Mile and a Half High Pie, the Caribbean Room took offense. I believe a lawsuit was involved. Copeland’s later changed the name to Levee Top Pie.

1 1/2 cups sifted Flour

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 cup Solid Shortening

4 to 5 tablespoons Cold Water

1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream

1 pint Chocolate Ice Cream

8 Egg Whites

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

1/2 cup Sugar

To make crust: Sift together flour and salt. Cut in shortening until pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over the flour mixture and gently toss with fork. Repeat until all is moistened. Form a ball with fingers and roll out to 1/8 inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Fit loosely into a 9-inch pie pan, pricking well. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 450 degrees. Cool.

Layer ice cream in pie shell. Beat egg whites with vanilla and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff and glossy and sugar is dissolved. Speard meringue over ice cream to edges of pastry. Broil 30 seconds to 1 minute to brown meringue. Freeze at least several hours. Drizzle chocolate sauce over each serving. Serves 8 to 12.

Chocolate Sauce

2 squares Sweet Chocolate

2 squares Bitter Chocolate

1 cup Heavy Cream

1/2 cup Sugar

Cook all ingredients in a double boiler until thick, using only have of the cream to start with. Add the balance of cream to achieve pouring consistency.

Jun 112012

Your first thought when you see Stuffed Shrimp, is how do they get the stuffing into the shrimp? Well, you don’t. The stuffing is actually wrapped around the shrimp then fried. I remember the first time I made this dish. My grandmother was coming over for dinner and I wanted to do something special ( I was still in my teens).  While the flavor was great, the stuffing did not fully stick to the shrimp. I did not allow the stuffing to cool enough. So remember that key, let the stuffing cool.

3 pounds (about 36) fresh jumbo Shrimp, peeled with tail on

2 cups Flour

Egg Wash (See any previous post that have fried seafood)

Seafood Breading ( See any previous post that have fried seafood)

Crabmeat Stuffing

1 stick Margarine

4 sprigs Fresh Parsley, finely chopped

1 Celery Rib, finely chopped

1 medium Onion, finely chopped

1 clove Garlic, finely chopped

1 lb Claw Crabmeat, picked through for shells

1 loaf French Bread

2 Eggs

Creole Seasoning to taste

Melt margarine in skillet with seasonings (parsley, celery and onion) and sauté 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until garlic is golden brown. Add crabmeat and sauté an additional 5 minutes. While the crabmeat sautées, moisten bread ( it should be wet but not soggy) in a bowl then chop it. Add eggs and mix. Add crabmeat mixture to bread and eggs. Season with Creole Seasoning. Place in a baking pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Then place it in the refrigerator and cool to about 45 degrees. Sprinkle shrimp with Creole Seasoning. For each shrimp, place 1 tablespoon of stuffing in the palm of your hand, spread ebenly to 1/8 inch thick. Place shrimp in stuffing, roll, and pat well. Roll shrimp in flour, then egg wash, then seafood breading. Fry in deep fryer at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until golden brown.


Jun 072012

This egg dish was created at Antoine’s restaurant in the French

Quarter. It was named for Victorien Sardou, a famous French

dramatist of the 19th century, who was a guest in New Orleans when

the dish was invented. Like most dishes, other restaurants copied it.

Most brunch menus contain this dish.

Hollandaise Sauce (See Previous Post)

8 Poached Eggs

6 tablespoons Butter divided

2 tablespoons Flour

½ cup Milk

½ cup Heavy Cream

1½ pounds Fresh Spinach finely chopped

Creole Seasoning Blend to taste


8 large Fresh Artichoke Bottoms



In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter.

Stir in the flour and mix well. Cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk

and cream slowly and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat

to a simmer and cook until the sauce coats the back of a wooden

spoon, about 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and season with the

Creole seasoning. Continue to simmer for 1 minute. Remove from

heat and keep warm. In another sauté pan over medium heat, melt the

remaining butter. Add the artichoke bottoms to the pan and sauté for 2

minutes. Season the artichokes with Creole seasoning. Cover the pan

with a lid and remove from the heat.

To Assemble

Place 2 artichoke bottoms on a warm serving plate. Spoon the

creamed spinach in the center of each artichoke bottom. Place a

poached egg on top of each artichoke bottom. Top with Hollandaise

sauce and serve immediately.


Jun 042012

The Natchitoches meat pie is Louisiana’s answer to the Central

American Empanadas. Natchitoches is located in the North Central

part of Louisiana. It was made famous in the movie Steel Magnolias.

But I think that the meat pie is their real claim to fame. A soft flaky

dough filled with seasoned meat, deep fried to perfection. I can taste

one right now.

1 pound Ground Beef

1/2 pound Ground Pork

1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil

1 tablespoon Flour

½ cup Onion minced

¼ cup Celery minced

¼ cup Green Bell Pepper

1 clove Garlic minced

1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning Blend

1 15oz package refrigerated Pie Dough at room temperature

Preheat deep fryer to 375 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over

medium low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until it is a nutty brown

color, 2-3 minutes. Stir in vegetables and cook until soft and onions

are transparent, about 5 minutes. Add meats and brown until no longer

pink, about 10 minutes. Stir in the Creole seasoning and drain the fat.

Cool to room temperature. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the

dough to a thickness of ¼ inch. Use a 5-inch cookie cutter to cut

circles in the dough. Place a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture

and put it in the center of the dough round. Fold the dough over and

seal the edges using a fork. You may need to reroll the dough scraps to

make 15 meat pies. Deep fry pies in small batches until golden brown,

about 3-4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve while hot.