Jan 312013

I just received my copy of the Food Network Magazine today. It is the cheese issue with a picture of Bacon Mac & Cheese on the cover. This reminded me of a cajun twist that I do on this dish. It is a Cajun Mac and Cheese with Tasso. This is a perfect comfort food that is welcome on a cool winter’s night.

1 pound cooked Macaroni
1 stick Butter
1 pound Smoked Pork Tasso, diced
1/4 cup Flour
1 pint Heavy Cream
1 cup Milk
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 cup Gruyere, grated
2 cups sharp Cheddar, grated
2 cups mild Cheddar, grated and divided
1 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg
2 large roasted Red Peppers, diced
2 teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning Blend

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a heavy-bottomed large saucepan, over medium-high heat, melt the stick of butter and add the diced tasso. Cook the tasso until the edges are crispy and it has browned slightly. Add the flour and cook for a minute or two, until the flour has fully incorporated and darkened a bit.

Add the cream and stir constantly, until very thick. Add the milk, whisk over high heat until thickened, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and add half of the grated Gruyere. Stir until incorporated then add the other half of the Gruyere, and continue with the sharp cheddar, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously. Then add half of the grated mild cheddar, reserving the last cup for the topping. Once all the cheese is incorporated, add the mustard, nutmeg, and diced roasted peppers.

Combine the cheese sauce with the cooked macaroni. Place in a 9 x 13 baking pan and top with reserved cheese, sprinkle with Creole Seasoning Blend and red pepper flakes and bake at 400 degrees until the top is browned and bubbly, approximately 20 minutes.


Jan 282013

To me , the ultimate chocolate was the Blackout Cake from the closed McKenzie’ bakeries. It was all the chocolate you would want and them some. McKenzie’s closed in 2000. An attempt was made to reopen it but that failed. Fortunately, some of their recipes can be found on the internet. Since we are in the middle of Carnival season, here is another down home New Orleans dish.


1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tblsp boiling water
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup milk
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and lightly flour two 8 inch round cake pans.
Place cocoa in bowl and whisk in boiling water to form a paste. Combine chocolate and milk in saucepan over medium heat. Stir till chocolate melts. Whisk a little of the hot chocolate milk into the cocoa paste. Whisk the cocoa mix into the milk mixture. Return pan to medium heat for one minute and stir. Set aside till tepid
In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, and the vanilla. Slowly stir in the chocolate mix. Stir together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Using spatula, fold the flour mix into the chocolate till just mixed. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites till soft peaks form. Using spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake until test clean.- about 45 minutes. Cool in pans on rack for 15 minutes. Gently remove and cool cakes.

1 tblsp plus 1 3/4 tsp cocoa
2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup + 3 1/2 tsp sugar
1 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tblsp cornstarch( dissolved in 1 tblsp cold water)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tblsp unsalted butter
Combine cocoa and boiling water in a small saucepan over low heat . Stir in the sugar and chocolate. Add the dissolved cornstarch paste and salt, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and butter. Transfer to a bowl, refrigerate till cool.

12 oz semi sweet chocolate bits
12 tblsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup hot water
1 tblsp light corn starch
1 tbslp vanilla extract
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over hot, not simmering , water. Stir till smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, one tbslp at a time. Return to heat if necessary to melt butter. Whisk in the hot water all at once and whisk till smooth. Whisk in corn syrup and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for up to 15 minutes.
Use a sharp knife to slice each cake into two layers( 4 total) Put filling between 3 layers. Save 1 for crumbs. Quickly apply frosting. Refrigerate cake for 10 minutes. Apply remaining frosting and then cover completely with cake crumbs. Store cool- serve within 24 hours.


Jan 242013

This weekend is the frist full weekend of parades in the city of New Orleans. When I think of food at a parade, I think of Corn Dogs and Sausage on a stick. I found this recipe in Emeril’s Every Day’s a Party cookbook. For this Corn Dog, he replaces the hot dog with a piece of  Andouille Sausage. It is a great twist on a parade staple.

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Creole Seasoning, plus some for garnish
  • 8 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds andouille sausage, cut into eight 3-inch-long pieces
  • 16 bamboo skewers, cut into 6-inch lengths
  • Yellow mustard for dipping


In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Add the baking powder, cornmeal, 1 cup of the flour, and the sugar. Whisk until smooth. Season with the salt and hot sauce.
In a small shallow bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup flour and the Creole seasoning.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large, deep, heavy pot or an electric deep-fryer to 360°F.
Thread a sausage link onto each skewer, leaving 3 inches of the skewer bare at the bottom. Dredge the sausages in the flour mixture, tapping off any excess, then dip in the batter, coating evenly.
Carefully lay 2 to 3 corn dogs at a time (do not crowd them) in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 8 minutes, gently rolling them with tongs to brown evenly. Remove from the oil and let drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with Creole seasoning.
Serve the corn dogs with the mustard.


Jan 212013

This dish I created as a Friday Lunch special at Cannon’s restaurant.

We were looking for something that was not as heavy as the Catfish

Etienne. I had seen other restaurants topping their fish with Crawfish

Etouffee. So, I thought I would try fried catfish topped with Shrimp

Creole. The dish was a success. It became so popular that we continued

it as an all day Friday special.

4 5-7 ounce Catfish Fillets

Egg Wash ( See my Oyster Brochette post)

Seafood Breading (See my Oyster Brochette post)

Shrimp Creole (See My Shrimp Creole post)

Fresh Parsley chopped

Heat deep fryer to 375 degrees. Dip catfish in egg wash, shaking

off excess. Dredge the catfish in the seafood breading, shaking off the

excess. Fry for 3-5 minutes or until the fish float to the surface of the

fryer. Top with hot Shrimp Creole and garnish with parley.


Jan 172013

I was looking for ideas for my blog post. Since I was listening to the radio, I figured I would ask Jeff Allen what his favorite New Orleans dishes are. Jeff is the 11-3 DJ on KKPT The Point 94.1 in Little Rock. I have been fortunate to answer Jeff’s School of Rock Questions a few times. He also has a program on Saturday nights, Live Saturday Night from 10pm to Midnight. This show is completely live recorded songs. It is amazing the songs he finds. If you get a chance, you can listen online at www.point941.com Jeff told me that he lived in New Orleans for a while and has cooked a few recipes from my cookbook. Most of the dishes Jeff suggested I have already posted, but Crawfish Boulettes I have not. You usually find a Crawfish Boulette as either an appetizer or in place of stuffed Crawfish Heads in Crawfish Bisque. A Boulette is translated from the French language as Small Ball. A Creawfish Boulette is basically Crwafish stuffing rolled in a ball and deep fried. Live Crawfish have already started to show up in Arkansas. Looks like a great crawfish season.

2 pounds Louisiann Crawfish tails, chopped

1/2 cup Green Onions, chopped

1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped

1 stalk Celery, chopped

1 tablespoon Butter

1/2 teaspoon Cayenne

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) Butter, softened

1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning

1 1/4 cup Italian style Bread Crumbs

Canola Oil for Frying

In a small saute pan, saute green onions, bell pepper and celery in 1 tablespoon butter until tender. Let cool. In a large bowl, combine the crawfish, green onions, belle pepper, celery, cayenne, 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs and the softened butter and mix well. Season with Creole Seasoning and stir to mix well. Shape into 1 1/2 – 2 inch balls and roll lightly in bread crumbs. Heat oil to 360 degrees and fry balls until golden brown. Remove balls from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve hot. Use Remoulade sauce as a dip.



Jan 142013

Barbeque Shrimp is a dish found in many restaurants in New Orleans and every version is a little different form the other. Here is the recipe from LeRuth’s restaurant. If you have ever eaten at LeRuth’s, you may not remember it on the menu. This dish was never served to paying customers. It was an employee meal that was served every day at 4:00pm. The difference with the recipe is the inclusion of Crab Boil and Liquid Smoke.

1 cup Corn Oil

1/2 pound Butter

1 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder

1/4 teaspoon Basil

1/4 teaspoon Coarse Black Pepper

1/2 teaspoon Oregano

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 tablespoon Onion Powder

1/4 cup Zatarain Crab Boil

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco

1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke

2 lbs large raw Shrimp, heads on if possible

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small pan, melt butter and simmer all ingredients, with the exception of the shrimp, for five minutes. Place shrimp in an uncovered baking dish; cover with sauce and bake twenty minutes, stirring occassionally. Serve immediately. Serves four or two hungry New Orleanians.


Jan 102013

My sister-in-law Edna recently sent me a copy of one of my mother’s recipes. What was so special about it was that it is in my mon’s handwriting. I only hav about a dozen of her recipes that are handwritten. So I thought I would share this one with you.

For the Sauce

1 stick Butter

1 cup Green Onions chopped

2 jumbo Onions chopped

1 cup chopped Celery

2 cups chopped Bell Pepper

1/2 cup chopped Parsley

5 toes Garlic chopped fine

2 tablespoons Italian dry Seasoning

5 Bay Leaves

Saute all ingredients 15 minutes in iron pot, then add one 2 1/2 can imported whole Italian tomatoes,let cook, slowly for 1 hour. Then add 3 cans imported tom paste 6oz, 3 cans tomato sauce 8oz, then 3 cups water. Salt and Pepper.  Let simmer another 2 1/2 hours then add the meatballs and simmer of 1/2 hour to 45 minutes on low heat.


3 pounds ground meat

1 cup green Onions chopped

1 large Onion chopped

2 cups Celery

1/2 cup chopped Parsley

1 cup Bell Peppers chopped

5 toes Garlic minced

6 Eggs

1 cup Breadcrumbs

Salt & Pepper

Mix all and make into balls. Saute in one cup Olive Oil until browned.


Jan 072013

This is the third different King Cake recipe that I have posted on my blog. Yesterday, 1/6/13 was the first day of Carnival. I wanted to surprise my wife with a King Cake for breakfast. Of course, King Cakes are only available in Arkansas around Mardi Gras Day. By making one from scratch, I would not had been able to surprise her. So, I thought I would use some ready made products to make this quick King Cake. It was a hit. She really loved it.

Pillsbury Crescent Seamless Dough Sheet  can

1 container Vanilla Icing

1 8oz Cream Cheese Spread

Cinnamon Sugar ( 1/4 cup Sugar and 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon)

Purple, Green and Gold Colored Sugars

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the dough sheets and cut them in half. Spread Cream Cheese over each half. Sprinkle each half with a generous amount of Cinnamon Sugar. Roll each half sheet by the widest part, sprinkling the cinnamon sugar as you go. Place the crease where the dough ends on the bottom os a foil lined sheet pan. Connect the two rolled sections together to make a continuous cake. Bake the dough for 17-20 minutes.

Allow the cake to cool for 25 minutes. Spread the icing on the cake. Sprinkle the color sugars over the glaze alternating the colors.





Jan 032013

A common appetizer on New Orleans restaurants are Oysters 2-2-2. This is a sampling of three different baked oysters. The first is Oysters Rockefeller. The second is usually a house creation. The third is almost always Oysters Bienville. This dish has been clained to have been created by both Arnaud’s and Antione’s. The dish is named for Sieur de Bienville, Jean Baptiste le Moyne, founder of the city of New Orleans.

24 Oysters in shells

Coarse Rock Salt

1/2 cup finely chopped Green Onions

1 clove Garlic, minced

3 tablespoons Butter  

1/3 cup all-purpose Flour

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon ground White Pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground Red Pepper

1 cup Chicken Broth or Stock

1/2 cup Heavy Cream

3 beaten Egg Yolks

1/2 pound cooked, shelled Shrimp, chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Mushrooms

2 tablespoons dry White Wine

1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

2 tablespoons Bread Crumbs

1/8 teaspoon Paprika

 Open oysters in shells. With a knife, remove oysters from shells and drain well. Wash shells. Place each oyster in the deep half of each shell. Arrange on a bed of coarse rock salt in shallow pans. (Or, steady shells on pan lined with crumpled foil.) In a saucepan cook green onions and garlic in butter or margarine about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour, salt, white pepper, and red pepper. Add chicken broth and cream, stirring until well blended. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat. Gradually stir about half of mixture into beaten yolks. Return mixture to saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Stir in shrimp, mushrooms, and wine. Heat through. Remove from heat. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the shrimp mixture over each oyster. Combine Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and paprika. Sprinkle over oysters. Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden on top and oysters curl. Makes 4 servings.