Dec 262013

Now that Christmas is over, thoughts turn to New Years. Here is a spiced up recipe for a New Years Day traditional dish. Black-eyed Peas are supposed to bring you good luck in the coming year.

1 lb. Black-eyed Peas

10-12 cups Water

2 tbsp. Vegetable Oil

1 large Onion, chopped

1 Bell Pepper,  chopped

2 tsp. Cajun Seasoning

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

1 lb. Andouille

1/2 cup Parsley

2 Bay Leaves

Ham bone or Ham hock

 Heat oil in large pot on medium-high heat. Add onions and bell pepper. Sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes.
Slice the sausage into 1/2-inch pieces and brown in a heavy skillet. Add sausage to the beans. Add the hambone, peas, and seasonings. Add enough water to cover peas and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook one hour or until the peas are creamy and tender. Add additional water if necessary during cooking.Enjoy!!!

Dec 232013

Here is another great recipe from Frank Davis.

2 sticks sweet cream Butter

1/2 cup extra virgin Olive Oil

1/2 cup finely chopped Green Onions

1/2 cup finely minced Parsley

4 Tbsp. minced Garlic

1 Tbsp. dried sweet Basil

1 tablespoon whole Cloves

1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

4 tsp. Kosher Salt

1 tsp. Lemon Juice

1 tablespoon McCormick’s Barbecue Spice

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

2 Bay Leaves

3 Tbsp. restaurant ground Black Pepper

1 can of warm Beer

5 lbs. fresh jumbo Shrimp in the shell

Hot French bread for sopping




First, drop the butter and the olive oil into a 6-quart heavy Dutch oven and melt them together over medium-high heat. Then toss in the green onions, parsley, and garlic and gently sauté them for about 5 minutes until they soften. Then add in the remainder of the seasonings (basil, cloves, cayenne, salt, lemon juice, barbecue spice, Worcestershire, bay leaves, and black pepper) and stir everything into the vegetable oil-butter base really well. Now cook the mixture for another 6 minutes (you should over-season slightly because the shrimp will absorb a lot of seasonings). At this point, take the sauce off the burner and allow it to cool slightly. Then pour in the beer and stir it into the mix until the foam disappears. Now put the pot back onto the fire over high heat. When it comes to a boil, drop in the shrimp and stir them around thoroughly. Cook them for about 5 minutes or until they turn completely pink. All that’s left is to cover the Dutch oven and remove from the heat. Set it aside to “cure” for about 5 minutes more. Then stir the mixture so that the shrimp soak up the sauce. Once you see a slight air space appear along the back of the shrimp, they’re ready to eat and they’ll peel exceptionally easy. They’re best dished out into deep soup bowls and served with a large chunk of hot French bread.


Enjoy and Merry Christmas!!!


Dec 192013

One more recipe from the late Frank Davis. His recipe collection has been donated to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. The world will never see another man like Frank.

2 links Cajun Smoked Sausage, half diced, half disked

½ lb. fresh Mushrooms, quartered

1 small can Contadina Tomato Paste

1 cup prepared chopped Seasoning Vegetables

1 large can Tomato Sauce

2 Tbsp. minced Garlic

3 tomato-paste cans of Chicken Broth

2 Bay Leaves

1 tsp. sweet Basil

2 tsp. Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning

3 lbs. butterflied, deveined Shrimp

4 Tbsps. extra virgin Olive Oil

2 lbs. Penne (cooked al dente)

1 cup Parmesan Cheese for topping

1 large loaf Garlic Bread


First off, take a heavy-bottomed, 5-quart, Dutch oven and place it on the stovetop over high heat.

When a drop of water dropped into the pot sizzles, it’s time to place the smoked sausage into the pot, lower the heat to medium, and briskly stir the sausage over itself continuously until it renders out most of it’s drippings and begins to turn a toasty brown.
At that exact time, add the mushrooms to the pot and stir them ‘round and around until they pick up most of the sausage drippings and they, themselves, begin to toast (all this should take about 10 minutes or so).

When the mixture is fully seared, remove it all from the Dutch oven and set it aside momentarily on a platter.

Now increase the heat under the pot once more.

Then spoon in the tomato paste and stir it continuously until the paste is piping hot.

At that point, drop into the pot the mirapoix (that’s the pre-chopped onion, celery, bell pepper, parsley, and green onion mix that you buy in the produce section of the supermarket) and stir it completely into the tomato paste until it is fully incorporated.

At that point, pour in the tomato sauce, the minced garlic, and the 3 paste cans full of chicken broth.

Then drop in the seared sausage and mushrooms, the bay leaves, the basil, and the seafood seasoning and stir, stir, and stir some more!

When the tomato sauce is silky smooth and totally combined with the ingredients, lower the heat under the pot to low, place the lid on tightly, and set the sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Then when you’re just about ready to eat, heat up a 12-inch, non-stick skillet, pour in the olive oil, drop in the shrimp, and quickly sear them until they just turn pink and their edges begin to take on a touch of bronze.

Stop cooking them at this point!  They’re done!  To cook them any longer in the skillet will make them rubbery!

All you do now is take the cover off the Dutch oven, add in the shrimp and their olive-oil pan drippings, stir everything completely once more, and let the pot sit—covered again!—with the fire off for about 10 minutes so that the residual heat from the tomato sauce tempers the shrimp and marries their flavors into the rest of the dish.

Then when you’re ready to eat, spoon out a liberal serving of egg noodles into a bowl, ladle on a generous scoop or two of the sausage-mushroom-shrimp sauce, sprinkle on a flurry of grated Parmesan cheese, and finish the dish off with a man-size chunk of hot garlic bread!


Dec 162013

Here is another recipe from Frank Davis. It is a great dish for the holidays. Oyster dressing is a great addition to any Christmas menu.

1 stick unsalted Butter

1 whole Egg (lightly beaten)

1/2 cup finely chopped Smoked Sausage

2 cups finely chopped Onions

2/3 cup finely chopped Celery

1/2 cup finely chopped Bell Pepper

6 cloves minced Garlic

1/2 cup thinly sliced Green Onion Tops

1/4 cup finely chopped Parsley

4 cups fresh Bread Chunks

1 cup Buttered Cracker Crumbs

6 dozen chopped Oysters, plus liquid

1 tsp. Frank Davis Poultry Seasoning 

 1 tsp. Basil

1 tsp. Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning

1 tsp. Black Pepper

1 1/2 tsp. Salt

1 cup Turkey Pan Drippings

In a large black cast iron Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the smoked sausage, onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and green onion tops until all of them are tender. The one thing you want to remember is to keep the butter hot, but don’t let it burn (and don’t let the garlic burn either or it will turn bitter). I also suggest that you keep stirring the mixture to cook it uniformly.


Next, stir in the parsley. Then gradually stir in the chopped oysters, the oyster liquor, and the turkey pan drippings. Notice I said to “gradually stir in”. The reason for this is that you do not want to reduce the heat–lowering the cooking temperature will cause excessive water to be released from the oysters and you’ll have to add too much bread to the finished dish.

Now cook the oysters gently over medium high heat for about 4 minutes, stirring all the while. And when all the ingredients are well mixed, drop in the poultry seasoning, basil, thyme, seafood seasoning, black pepper, and salt. About the salt–taste your raw oysters to see if they are naturally salty before adding the prescribed amount. You may have to reduce additional salt if nature has provided her own.

At this point, cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes to allow time for the flavors to marry. This is one of the secrets to making a really good oyster dressing. Don’t rush or skip this step!

After the simmering process is done, remove the pot from the fire and begin adding the bread chunks a few at a time. Note that you do not have to add all four cups. If you want your dressing moist, stop adding bread when you get to the texture you desire. If you want a drier stuffing, add all four cups, even a little more if your taste and needs dictate. Now taste the dressing again and make your final seasoning adjustments. The objective is to get the bread to absorb all the pan liquor, thereby binding everything together.

When, in your estimation, the dressing is ready (it shouldn’t be soupy, but it shouldn’t be dry either), allow it to cool slightly. Then rapidly stir in the raw egg to tie everything together and cover it for a few minutes to let it “set up”. This is where the richness comes in – it’s how the final blending brings out full flavor. Oh, and if by chance you’ve miscalculated and made the mixture a bit too dry, just pour in a little extra turkey drippings.

The only thing left to do is to transfer the dressing right from the Dutch oven to a buttered casserole dish, generously sprinkle the top with the buttered cracker crumbs, drizzle on a little extra melted butter, and bake it for about 25 minutes uncovered in a 375 degree oven.


Chef’s Hints

For the best tasting oyster dressing you can get, either shuck your own oysters or have someone shuck them for you. That way, you get them unwashed and the oysters and their liquor retain all of the natural salt. Of course, prepackaged washing oysters will do if fresh-shucked are not available.

Fresh bread chunks are better than dried crumbs in your oyster dressing because they tend to cook up fluffy rather than pasty. So to make fresh bread chunks, just take fresh sliced bread or French bread and pull apart small bite-side pieces.

To make your buttered cracker crumb topping, simply drop regular saltine crackers into the processor and, while the blades are spinning, pour in a couple of tablespoons of melted butter.



Dec 122013

For some reason, this recipe did not post. So here it is again.

2 Tablespoons olive Oil

1 pound Gumbo Crabs

1 Onion, chopped

1 Celery Stalk, chopped

3 Garlic Cloves

1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream

1 fresh Thyme Sprig

1 whole Bay Leaf

1 cup raw Rice

1 tablespoon Tomato Paste

2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter

4 ears Fresh Corn

1 pound Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, picked clean of shells

Kosheror Sea Salt to taste

Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

Tabasco Sauce to taste

With a serrated knife, remove the corn kernels from the cob and set aside.

Place the corn cobs in a pot of water, to cover. Over medium heat, bring the corn stock to a simmer. When the stock has simmered for 1 hour, remove the cobs from the stock and discard them. Reserve the stock.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the crabs to the oil and sauté them for another 10 minutes. Then add the onion, garlic and celery and sweat them together for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomato patse at this point and sauté for 2 minutes more.

Add the stock and bring it to a boil. Add the rice, bay leaf, thyme, and heavy cream. Allow the mixture to simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the soup in the blender and strain with a fine-mesh sieve. Sate the corn and crab meat in the butter until hot and add it to the soup.

Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco.

Serves 10-12


Dec 122013

This week, New Orleans lost an icon. Frank Davis was a fixture on WWL TV for over 30 years. He started out doing the Fish and Game report. He had also demonstrated over 3000 recipes on television. He will always be remembered for being Naturally N’awlins.

4 lbs. medium-size fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped 1/4 cup Canola oil 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 2 cups onion, finely chopped 1 cup celery, finely chopped 3/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced 1 large green pepper, chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced 3 fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and small diced 1 can Rotel tomatoes with chilies, undrained, chopped, (10-1/2 oz) 1 can tomato sauce, (8 oz) 1 can tomato paste, (12 oz) 3 tomato paste cans of water (or chicken stock when it’s not Lent) ½ cup sherry wine 3 tsp. Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1/2 tsp. black pepper 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes 3 bay leaves 2 sprigs of fresh thyme 2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice + zest of one lemon 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce Dash Frank Davis Cayenne/Garlic Hot Sauce 2 Tbsp. sweet cream butter 1/3 cup parsley, chopped 6 cups hot boiled long-grain rice


First, using a flexible wire whisk, combine the canola oil and the flour in a heavy 5-quart Dutch oven and cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking continually, until it transforms into a golden colored roux.

Figure that this should take you about 15 to 20 minutes.

Next, drop into the pot the onion, celery, green onions, green pepper, and garlic. Then blend this into the roux and cook everything together, stirring often, for about 15 minutes or until the seasoning vegetables are fully wilted and tender.

Then stir in the all of the tomatoes-the fresh diced, the tomato sauce, the tomato paste, and the Rotels-as well as the water and the sherry wine.

When everything is fully blended, begin adding and whisking into the mixture the seafood seasoning, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, thyme, lemon juice, lemon zest, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.

Now bring the contents of the Dutch oven to a full boil and stir everything around briskly.

Then immediately cover the pot and reduce the heat to nothing harsher than a gentle simmer. At this point, you allow the “Creole” to simmer for a full 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Finally, when you’re ready to eat, gently stir in shrimp (along with the 2 tablespoons of butter, and simmer everything once more for about 10 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and tender. All that’s left is to whisk in the minced parsley and serve the Creole over a big bowl of hot, steaming rice alongside a glass of chilled white wine.


Chef’s Notes:


If you want to extract a number of other recipes from this “base recipe,” you merely follow the directions to the letter until you arrive at the signature ingredient-in this case it’s shrimp, but it can also be crawfish, crabmeat, calamari, lobster meat, etc. Of course, outside of the Lenten season you can also re-fashion this base recipe into Chicken Creole, Pork Creole, Sausage Creole. . .it’s limited only by your imagination.


Dec 052013

Winter has arrived in Arkansas. We are bracing for an ice storm. Hopefully, it will not be as bad as forecasted. Here is the most popular soup from the closed Brennan’s restaurant. I could sure use a bowl of it right now.

2 cups (about 48) shucked Oysters

3 quarts cold Water

3/4 cup (1&1/2 sticks) Butter

1 cup Celery, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons Garlic, finely chopped

1 cup Scallions, finely chopped

4 Bay Leaves

1 tablespoon Thyme Leaves

1 cup all-purpose Flour

1 1/2 tablespoons Worcertershire Sauce

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon White Pepper

1/2 cup Fresh Parsley, finely chopped

In a large saucepan, combine the oysters and 3 quarts cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer about 5 minutes; skim any residue from the surface. Strain the oysters, reserving the stock. Dice the oysters and set aside. Melt the butter in a large pot and sauté the celery and garlic over medium heat about 5 minutes until tender. Add the scallions, bay leaves, and thyme, then stir in the flour. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly. Using a whisk, blend in the oyster stock, then add the Worcestershire, salt, and pepper. Cook the soup over medium heat about 20 minutes until thickened, then add the parsley and oysters. Simmer until the oysters are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving.


Dec 022013

This recipe is the dish that LeRuth’s served at the Chef’s Charity For Children 1989. Larry & Lee Leruth had bought the restaurant from their father in 1982. No one would have thought that the restaurant would close a few years later. This recipe, minus the spices (oregano, basil, and thyme), can also be used as a stuffing for whole artichoke.

1 pound ground Veal or Beef

1 can (12-14oz) Artichoke Hearts (quartered)

2 cup Bread Crumbs

2 cups grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese

6 cloves Garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon each of Black, Red, White Pepper

3/4 cup chopped Parsley

2 teaspoons Oregano

1/4 teaspoon Basil

Pinch of Thyme Leaves (Optional)

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1 stick Melted Butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Saute meat in non-stickpan, drain off fat, crumble into bowl and set aside to cool.

In a separate bowl combine all other ingredients except meat, artichokes, oil and butter.

Then add meat and mix again.

Slowly pour oil and butte over mixture to dampen, tossing as you pour.

Place artichoke quarters, evenly spaced, on the bottom of a well oiled casserole (10×11). Cover with mixture and bake in oven for 30-35 minutes.

Serves 8 as an appetizer.