Sep 272012

This is the only soup that Commander’s Palace serves every day. It is one of the best, if not the best, Turtle Soup in New Orleans. It is the best I have ever had in a restaurant.

1 1/4 sticks unsalted Butter
3/4 cup all-purpose Flour
1/3 pound Turtle Meat, medium dice
1/3 pound Veal Stew Meat, medium dice
1/3 pound lean Beef, medium dice
1 cup each minced Celery, White Onion, Green Bell Pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced
3 Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 cup Tomato Puree
1 tablespoon Hot Sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 quarts Beef Stock
1 Lemon, juiced
4 Eggs, hard cooked and finely chopped
4 tablespoons Spinach, chopped
4 tablespoons Dry Sherry


Melt 1 stick of butter in a heavy saucepan. Add flour and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the roux is a light brown. Set aside. In a 10 quart saucepan, melt remaining butter and add turtle meat, veal and beef. Cook over high heat until meat is brown. Add celery, onions, garlic, bay leaves and oregano and cook until vegetables are transparent.
Add tomato puree, hot sauce, Worcestershire and black pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Add stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Add roux and cook over low heat, stirring until soup is smooth and thickened. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Add lemon, eggs, spinach and sherry. Remove from heat and serve. If desired, at the table add 1 teaspoon of sherry to each soup plate.


Sep 242012

Here is another recipe from Commander’s Palace. I am not sure who created this recipe, but it is one of the best in New Orleans. The best way to sample all of the day’s soups at Commander’s is to order the Soup 1-1-1. This is a small portion of all the soups they are serving that day. They include the Turtle Soup, the Gumbo of the day and Soup of the day.

6 tablespoon Flour

1/2 cup Shortening

6 cloves Garlic, chopped

1/2 cup diced Onion

1/4 cup chopped Bell Pepper

1/2 cup chopped Celery

2 pounds peeled raw Shrimp

1 (8 ounces) can Tomato Sauce

3 quarts Water

1 pounds Claw Crabmeat

1/4 bunch chopped Parsley

1/2 teaspoon Thyme

3 Bay Leaves

1 8 (ounce) package frozen Okra

1/2 pint Oysters with Juice

Salt and Pepper

Make a roux with the flour and shortening. Add garlic and cook until golden brown. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook until transparent. Add shrimp and tomato sauce, simmer 10 minutes, stir in water, and blend well. Add all other ingredients except okra and oysters. Cook 1 hour, add okra, and cook 20 minutes. Add oysters and cook 10 minutes longer. Serve in a soup bowl over steamed rice.



Sep 202012

I have been getting request for this recipe since I posted this picture on Facebook


So, as promised, here it is. My wife wanted to eat shrimp.  Knowing I did not want to fry them, her favorite preparation, she suggested Shrimp Stew. She enjoyed it and I thnik you will too.

3 lbs large (31-35) Shrimp peeled and deveined

Creole Seasoning to coat shrimp

1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter

1/2 cup Flour

1/2 cup Onions diced

1/4 cup Bell Pepper diced

1/4 cup Celery diced

2 tablespoons Garlic minced

4 cups Shrimp or Seafood Stock ( You can now find Seafood Stock at Walamrt)

2 teaspoons Parsley

2 Bay leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons Marjoram

1 1/2 teaspoons Thyme

1 teaspoon Paprika

1/2 teaspoon Creole Seasoning

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooked Rice

Coat shrimp with Creole Seasoning. Cover and keep in refrigerator.

Over medium heat, melt butter in a large cast iron pot or heavy bottomed 6 quart stock pot. Mix in the flour and make a dark roux.  When roux is done, add onions, bell pepper and celery. Cook for 1 minute. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Slowly add the stock mixing well. Add marjoram, thyme, bay leaves, paprika, parsley and creole seasoning; mix well. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes  while you cook the rice. Add shrimp 5 minutes before you are ready to serve. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over cooked rice.


Sep 172012

This recipe is the creation of the late Commander’s chef Jamie Shannon. Jamie had a tough act to follow when he took over Commander’s kitchen after the departure of Emeril. This was one of his first creations and it is still on the menu. Give it a try when looking for a spicy shrimp appetizer.

Tasso Shrimp Henican

Makes 8 servings


  • 24 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 ounce boneless tasso, julienned in 1-inch strips (see recipe note)
  • 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • Commander’s Seafood Seasoning, to taste (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup Crystal Hot Sauce Beurre Blanc (recipe follows)
  • 12 ounces Five-Pepper Jelly (recipe follows)
  • 12 pieces pickled okra, cut in half top to bottom


 Ingredients for Crystal Hot Sauce Beurre Blanc:
(makes 3/4 cup)

 .        1/3 cup Crystal Hot Sauce (another hot sauce can be substituted)

  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Kosher salt, to taste


Ingredients for Five-Pepper Jelly:
(makes 2 cups)

          1 1/2 cups light corn syrup

  • 1 1/4 cups cane vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 each large red, yellow, and green bell pepper, seeded and membranes trimmed, finely diced
  • 4 jalapeño peppers, finely diced


Ingredients for Creole Seafood Seasoning:
(makes 2 cups)

          1/3 cup salt

  • 1/4 cup granulated garlic
  • 1/4 cup freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup paprika
  • 3 tablespoons granulated onion



 Make a 1/4-inch deep incision down the back of each shrimp where it has been deveined, and place one tasso strip in each incision. Secure with a toothpick. Combine the all-purpose flour with Commander’s Seafood Seasoning, and lightly dust each piece of shrimp with the seasoned flour. Fry the shrimp in the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat for about 30 seconds on each side. Shrimp should be firm with a nice red-brown color. Remove shrimp and place on a paper towel for a few seconds to drain. Place shrimp in a bowl with Crystal Hot Sauce Beurre Blanc, toss to coat thoroughly, and remove the toothpicks. Place a portion of Five-Pepper Jelly on each of 8 appetizer plates, and arrange 3 shrimp on the plate alternating with 3 pieces of pickled okra.



Note: Sometimes tasso will have a lot of bone resulting in a poor yield of meat.


Instructions for Crystal Hot Sauce Beurre Blanc:

Place the hot sauce, shallots, garlic and cream in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, simmer until reduced by half, stirring frequently. Slowly whip the softened butter, a bit at a time, into the pot, being careful not to let the sauce break. (The cream acts as a stabilizer.) Strain the sauce while warm. Add salt.


Instructions for Five-Pepper Jelly:

Put corn syrup, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepot, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce by 2/3, until mixture is thickened. It will get even thicker as it cools, but the peppers will thin it again when they are added. This is a gastrique. Briefly place the peppers in a hot skillet and sauté until tender and their color is brightened, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, add the peppers to the gastrique.


Instructions for Creole Seafood Seasoning:

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar. Keeps indefinitely.



Sep 132012

I guess I will end my McKenzie’s nostalgic trifecta of recipes with my favorite, Buttermilk Drops. I can’t remember a time, other than my grammer school days, that I walked into a McKenzie’s and did not walk out with at least one Buttermilk Drop. I liked them better that the doughnuts because they were not as sweet. I know many people who know me would find that last statement hard to believe, but it is true. Too much sweetness is not a good thing. I find it hard to eat a Krispy Kreme doughnut because it is too sweet. But the Buttermilk Drops had just enough glaze to make it the perfect breakfast pastry.

Peanut or vegetable oil for deep frying

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

Cinnamon sugar or confectioners’ sugar

Vanilla Glaze:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 to 4 tablespoons milk or more if desired


Heat three inches of oil in a deep skillet or electric fryer to 350°. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and nutmeg in a large bowl to blend; make a well in the center. When the oil is hot, whisk the egg and buttermilk in a separate bowl; then pour into the well in the dry ingredients, stirring gently just until blended. Drop the batter by rounded teaspoons into the hot oil without crowding. Fry until golden brown on all sides (they should turn over by themselves as they cook), two to three minutes. Drain on paper towels; then drizzle the glaze over the hot doughnuts.


Sep 102012

I know we are 5 months away from Mardi Gras but since my last post, many have asked for this recipe. My first memory of King Cake is one from McKenzie’s. I have found many better than the plain ring decorated with colored sugar and two cherry halves. But this one will always be my first King Cake.

2 1/4 teaspoon yeast

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup milk

1 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

2 eggs

4 cup flour




1/2 king cake recipe1

6 oz cherry, apple or apricot pie filling

8 oz cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoon flour

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 dried bean

yellow, green purple sugars


Mix the yeast with the warm water. Stir 1 teaspoon of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the flour into the yeast and set aside. By the time you have measured the other ingredients, the yeast should start bubbling.

Bring the milk to a boil and stir in the butter and the sugar. Pour into a large bowl; the mixture should be lukewarm. Beat in the egg yolks, whole eggs and the yeast.

Beat in approximately 2 cups of flour, until the dough is fairly smooth, then gradually add enough additional flour to make a soft dough that you can form into a ball. Knead it, until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a bowl, turn the dough once or twice in it to grease it lightly all over, cover with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size – about 1 1/2 hours.

Pat dough down and cover the bowl with a damp towel, plastic film over that and refrigerate until the next day.  This recipe makes enough dough for two king cakes.

Remove dough with floured hands, while it’s firm and cold, shape into a long sausage shape.  Using a floured roller on a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 30X9 rectangle about as thick as pie crust.  Let the dough rest.

Drain extra juice from pie filling.  Mix the cream cheese with the sugar, flour, egg yolks and vanilla.  Spoon an inch wide strip of fruit filling the length of the dough, about 3 inches from the edge.  Spoon the cream cheese mixture alongside the fruit, about 3 inches from the other edge.  Brush both sides of dough with egg wash.  Insert the bean. *

Fold one edge of dough over the cream cheese and fruit, then the other edge over. Gently place one end of the filled roll onto a large greased cookie sheet. Ease the rest of the roll onto the pan, joining the ends to form a circle or oval. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Brush again with egg wash and cut deep vents into the cake. Sprinkle with colored sugars.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or cake is well risen and golden. Cool before icing with confectioner’s sugar mixed with enough water to make a spreadable paste and tinted purple, green and gold.


* If using a plastic baby instead of the bean, insert it into the bottom of the cake after it is baked.



Sep 062012

With hurricane Issac hitting New Orleans on the 7th anniversary of Katrina, I have been thinking alot about things I miss from New Orleans. This particular item, Turtles, disappeared long before Katrina. A popular item from McKenzie’s bakery, Turtles are the perfect New Orleans cookie. So, here is the recipe from my cookbook, You can’t keep New Orleans out of the cook.

This cookie originated at the now closed McKenzie’s Bakeries

of New Orleans. The main reason for the inclusion of this recipe is

my nickname. For some reason, I was given the nickname turtle by

some friends. They never explained the reason to me. My guess was

I ran like a turtle playing softball. Maybe one day, I will find out the

real reason.


1½ cups Flour sifted

¼ teaspoon Baking Soda

¼ teaspoon Salt

½ cup Butter

½ cup packed Brown Sugar

1 whole Egg

1 Egg separated

¼ teaspoon Vanilla

1/8 teaspoon Maple Flavor Extract

60 Pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Cream

the butter with the sugar until light and

fluffy. Beat in egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and maple flavoring. Set aside.

 Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients gradually to the creamed mixture

until you have smooth dough and then chill 2 hours. Shape the chilled

dough into ovals like a turtle’s body. Dip bottoms into egg white.

Press pecan halves into bottom to form a head and feet for the turtle.

Place on cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set. Allow to

cool before frosting them.


2 squares Unsweetened Chocolate

¼ cup Milk

1 tablespoon Butter

1 cup sifted Powdered Sugar

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the chocolate and

butter in the milk, and let stand until lukewarm. Mix in powdered

sugar until it reaches the consistency to spread. It should be thick

enough to “stand up” after being pushed through a decorating tube. If

not thick enough, let cool or stand to thicken. Decorate top of cookie

with Frosting from a pastry bag. It should look like a chocolate kiss

on top of the cookie.


Sep 032012

Today is Labor Day, the traditional last day of summer. The cooking method often associated with summer is grilling. So, here is a recipe to put the grill to use.

8 Wooden Skewers

1 lb large Shrimp

1 lb Chicken ( Tenderloin or boneless Breast)

1 lb Andouille sausages

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1/4 cup Butter

1 tablespoon Teriyaki sauce

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1/2 tablespoon Creole Seasoning

Soak wooden skewers in water for a few minutes. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving the tail on, if you like. Cut chicken and sausage into bite sized pieces and brown in olive oil. Thread shrimp,chicken and sausage onto skewers; about 3 pieces of each. Melt butter and mix in teriyaki, Tabasco and Creole seasoning. Brush butter mixture onto kabobs. Cook kabobs on grill just until shrimp turns pink. Remove from grill and brush with butter mixture again before serving.

Serve over Jambalaya.