Aug 292013

8 years ago today, many New Orleanians lives were changed. Hurricane Katrina hit. Many restaurants closed their doors for good. One area that never recovered was West End Park. Here was a collection of seafood restaurants on or around Lake Pontchartrain. The best of the remaining few before Katrina was Bruning’s. Katrina was not the first to do damage to this West End jewel. Hurricane Georges, in 1998, caused the restaurant to move to a building in front of the original one. But Katrina was too much. I remember many of great meals at Bruning’s and the other good restaurants on West End Park. Here is a dish that was Burning’s specialty, Whole Stuffed Flounder


1/2 stick Butter

1/4 cup Flour

3 Green Onions, chopped

3 cups Shrimp Stock, or Seafood Stock

1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 lb Claw Crabmeat, picked thru for shells

1/4 teaspooon Salt

Pinch Cayenne

4 large whole Flounders

1 tablespoon Salt-Free Creole Seasoning

1 teaspoon Salt

1 cup Flour

2 Eggs

1 cup Milk

1/2 cup Clarified Butter

1 Lemon, sliced

Chopped Fresh Parsley

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Make the stuffing first. Melt the butter and stir in the folur to make a blond roux. Stir in the green onions and cook until limp. Whisk in the shrimp stock and Worcestershire and bring to a boil, then add the crabmeat, salt, and cayenne. Gently toss the crabmeat in the suace to avoid breaking the limps.

Wash the flounders and pat dry. Mix the Creole Seasoning and salt into the flour and coat outside of the flounders with it. Mix the eggs and milk together in a wide bowl and pass the flounder thru it, then dredge in the seasoned flour again.

Heat the clarified butter in a skillet and saute the fish, 1 at a time, about 4 minutes on each side, turning once. Remove and keep warm.

Cut a slit from head to toe across the top of the flounders. Divide the stuffing among the fish, spooning inside the slit and piling it on top. Place the flounders in a baking pan and put in the oven for 6 minutes.

Place the flounders on hot plates. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh chopped parsley.


Aug 262013

Galatoire’s is my favorite French Quarter restaurant, located on Bourbon St. During peak restaurant hours, especially lunch on Friday, there will be a line waiting for a table. Galatoire’s is not a restaurant to be missed.

Absolute simplicity is common in Galatoire’s kitchen. So much of the restaurant’s magic, particularly with regard to seafood, stems from the superior quality of the raw ingredients. This simplicity means the dishes are easy for the home cook to prepare. The tricky part is that there is simply nowhere to hide a flaw in dishes as transparent as this one. Purchase only the very freshest fish available from a reputable fishmonger or catch it and cook it yourself.

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crabmeatsalt and freshly ground black pepper to taste six 8-ounce lemon fish (Cobia) fillets, about ½ inch thick, or another firm, flaky white fish, such as red or black drum
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 recipe meunière butter
  • 3 lemons, cut into wedges

Preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal grill.
In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the crabmeat and season with salt and pepper. Stir very gently and sauté for 4 minutes, or until heated through. Set aside while grilling the fish.

Brush the fish fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the fish for 3 minutes on each side, taking care not to overcook. Remove from the grill.

Immediately place the lemon fish fillets in the centers of 6 dinner plates. If the crabmeat has become cold, flash-heat it over high heat and equally divide it atop the 6 fish fillets.

Drizzle meunière butter atop each dish and garnish with lemon wedges.

Serve at once.

Serves 6

Note: If you are using an alternate type of fish you may have to adjust the cooking time.


Aug 222013

OK, I know what you are thinking. What does Dom DeLuise have to do with New Orleans style cooking? In 1998, Dom was the guest chef for the Chef’s Charity for St. Michael’s Special School. This is a favorite recipe of his.  He demonstrated it for the event. He has authored three cookbooks, which were best-sellers.

4 Eggs, beaten

½ cup Bread crumbs

½ cup Grated Cheese

5 tablespoons chopped Parsley

4 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Onion, chopped

1 clove Garlic, minced

1 8oz can Tomato Sauce

½ cup Water

1 cup Peas (frozen, fresh, or canned)

1 cup Rice (cooked in 2 cups of Chicken Broth)


Combine the eggs, bread crumbs, cheese and parsley in a bowl. Pour oil into a deep saucepan, and sauté the chopped onion and garlic. Add the tomato sauce, water and peas. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.

While the above is getting hot, form dumplings out of the egg mixture by using a soup spoon. Carefully place the croquettes in the sauce one by one. Wet spoon in hot sauce before forming next croquette. Do not stir! Do not touch! Croquettes take time to set! Cover and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes. Serve over cooked rice.


Aug 192013

Here is another recipe from Chef Warren Leruth’s mother, Estelle.  Occassionally, these brownies would appear on the cookie tray that was passed around with your dessert course.  With all of the brownie mixes on the market, this is an easy from scratch recipe.

3 squares Bitter Chocolate (3 squares)

1/2 stick Butter

2 Eggs

1 1/2 cups Sugar

1 cup Cake Flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon LeRuth’s Vanilla Bean Marinade (sub Pure Vanilla extract)

1 cup Pecan Pieces

Place chocolate and butter to melt in a double boiler. Mix eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla for 5 minutes. Add chocolate and butter. Add 1 cup flour, baking powder and last, pecans. Pour into a 9×9 inch pan (greased)bake at350 for 25 minutes.


Aug 152013

Brennan’s has been closed since June 27th. Since then, there have been lawsuits filed by family members trying to gain control of the restaurant. Currently, Ralph Brennan and partners own the building. With no end in sight, I will share with you one of their most popular Breakfast appetizers, Southern Baked Apple with Double Cream.

8 large Red Apples, washed and cored

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons Sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons Cinnamon plus extra for dusting

3/4 cup Water

2 cups Heavy Cream

1 tablespoon Vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Stand the apples upright in a shallow baking pan. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the apples, then pour 3/4 cup water into the bottom of the pan. Bake the apples in the hot oven for 50 minutes to an hour until tender.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream, vanilla, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Transfer the apples to heated bowls and pour 1/4 cup of the cream over each. Dust with cinnamon, then serve.


Aug 122013

My wife and I are  currently celebrating our birthday week. She was born August 6th and I on August 13th. A celebration dinner in New Orleans would include soft shell crabs. We are currently at a peak of quality of Soft Shell Crabs. Most recipes for soft shells are fried crabs. Here is a different approach. Sautéing is also known as pan frying. However, using Clarified Butter to cook the crabs add a different flavor to the finished product

12 large Soft Shell Crabs

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

2 cups Clarified Butter (see Below)

1 recipe Meuniere Butter (See Below)

1/2 cup chopped Curly Parsley, for garnish

4 Lemons cut into wedges, for garnish

Clean the crabs by paring off the eyes and trimming the tails with kitchen shears. Gently pull back the shells from the pointed ends and then remove the gills underneath on both sides. Lay the shells back flat.

Dredge the cleaned crabs in the flour and shake off the excess. The flour will stick to the soft shells. Add the clarified butter to a large sauté pan over high heat. Sauté the crabs for 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Arrange 2 crabs each on 6 dinner plates and drizzle with warm menuiere butter. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges. Serve at Once.

Clarified Butter

1 pound Salted Butter

In a Saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Remove the pan from heat and let the butter stand briefly. Skim the milk solids off the top and discard. Strain the butter to remove the remaining sediment. Reserve in a warm place until ready to use, or refrigerate for later use. This will keep sealed and refrigerated for up to two weeks

Meuniere Butter

1 pound salted Butter

1 tabkespoon fresh Lemon Juice

1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, whisking constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes., until the sediment in the butter turns dark brown, almost(but not quite) to the point of burning, and the liquid is a deep golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat and continue to whisk slowly, adding the lemon juice and the vinegar to the browned butter. The sauce will froth until the acids have evaporated. When the frothing subsides, the sauce is complete.


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Aug 082013

I was looking for a different way to cook chicken and thought of this dish. It is simple to make and very flavorable. While Mosca’s is well known for their Oyster’s Mosca, this is one of their most popular dish.  The recipe is for one serving of the dish at the restaurant, which is enough for 2 or 3. I used boneless skinless thighs for my dish.



3 pounds Chicken cut into 8 pieces

3/4 cup Olive Oil

1 tablespoon Salt

1 tablespoon Freshly ground Black Pepper

6-10 cloves unpeeled Garlic, pounded

1 tablespoon dried Rosemary

1 tablespoon dried Oregano

1/2 cup dry White Wine

Place chicken pieces in a large skillet pan. Pour the Olive oil all over the chicken, making certain the pieces are well coated. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, making sure the seasonings are evenly spread. Turn the burner on medium high. Brown the chicken on all sides, turning as needed. This should take about 25 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary and oregano, making certain to distribute them evenly on the chicken. Remove the skillet from the stove. Pour the white wine over the chicken. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer uncovered until the wine is reduced by half, 10-15 minutes.


Aug 052013

Today is National Oyster Day. The quality of Oysters in the hot summer months are not the best. This is the time of year that the oysters reproduce. So, I don’t understand why Oyster day is celebrated in August. Here is a recipe from one of New Orleans most popular oyster restaurants, Casamento’s. Casamento’s even closes for the summer months when the oysters are not at their peek. Here is their Oyster Soup.

3 1/2 cups Water

2 dozen freshly shucked Oysters, drained

1/2 cup Celery, chopped

1/2 cup Green Onions, chopped

1/2 cup Onions, chopped

1/4 cup unsalted Butter

1/2 teaspoon Garlic, finely chopped

1/8 teaspoon Thyme, dried

1/8 teaspoon Red Pepper, ground

1 Bay Leaf

3/4 cup Heavy Cream

2 cups Whole Milk

1/2 cup all-purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt

1/4 teaspoon ground White Pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the oysters and cook for 3 minutes. Remove oysters with a slotted spoon and reserve 3 cups of the liquid. Set both aside.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook celery, green onions, and onions in 1 tablespoon of butter, stirring constantly until tender. Stir in 2 1/2 cups of the reserved liquid, garlic, thyme, red pepper, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Stir in the cream, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and return to a simmer.

Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring until smooth. Cook one minute, stirring constantly, then cook for about 3 minutes until smooth(the mixture will be very thick).

Gradually add the flour mixture to the saucepan, stirring with a wire whisk until blended. Add oysters,  salt, and white pepper. Cook until thoroughly heated. Removed from the heat, discard bay leaf and serve immediately.


Aug 012013

One of my favorite dishes to cook is Jambalaya. There are so many variations that I could probably live on Jambalaya. Last week was the finals of Hell’s Kitchen. I enjoy watching the young chefs learn their craft, although the way Gordon Ramsey treats them is uncalled for. One of the dishes that usually gets screwed up is the risotto. To me, the most important part of making risotto is the hot stock. You don’t want it boiling but it must be hot to properly cook the rice. So, here is my take on risotto.

1 tablespoon Yellow Onion; finely chopped

1 tablespoon Green Onion; finely chopped

2 tablespoons Celery; finely chopped

5 tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon Garlic; finely chopped

2 cups raw Arborio rice

1/3 cup dry White Wine

1 1/2 cups Crawfish or Shrimp; coarsely chopped

4 cups basic stock made from shrimp and/or crawfish heads and shells (2 lb. in 3 quarts of water)

Creole Shake to taste

In a heavy bottom casserole, saute chopped onion and celery in oil.

When translucent, add the garlic and saute until it colors lightly.

Add rice and stir until it is well coated. Saute lightly 30-60 seconds and then add wine and stir. Add chopped crawfish and stir 1 minute.

Bring heat to medium-high and begin adding the hot stock 1/2 cup at a time; stir constantly. When the rice absorbs the liquid, add another 1/2 cup broth and continue to stir. Use a wooden or plastic spoon and stir continuously, paying particular attention to the entire bottom of the surface to prevent sticking.

Continue to add broth until rice dries out. Be careful not to drown the rice. If the heat is too low or too high, regulate it. Cooking time should be about 30 minutes. Occasionally, taste the rice; it should be tender and al dente (firm to the bite). When cooked, the rice should be bound together, neither dry nor runny. Finally, taste rice and season with Creole Shake.

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