Mar 312014

Today is the start of Baseball season. I always start the season hoping for the Cincinnati Reds to win the World Series. Traditionally, my wife and I eat the top ballpark meal, Hot Dogs. An old commericial from Cheverolet sung, Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, & Cheverolet. So he is John Folse’s version of an American calssic.


5 each Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced thin

1/4 pound Butter

1 tbsp Lemon juice

1 tbsp Vanilla

1/2 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup Sugar

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1/4 tsp Salt

1 tsp Cornstarch

2 tbsps Flour

To prepare filling, melt butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add apple slices, lemon juice and vanilla and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. In a bowl, mix sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch and gently stir mixture into apples. Continue to cook until apples are soft but not mushy, approximately 5 minutes.


1 1/2 cups all purpose Flour

1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp Sugar

1 1/4 tsps Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 cup unsalted Butter, chilled

1 cup Half and Half

3/4 tsp Vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Using 2 knives or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and vanilla and quickly blend together with a spatula. To assemble the pie, drop heaping tablespoons of biscuit mixture on top of apples, covering most of the center of the mixture. Sprinkle top with remaining sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until top is golden. Remove pie from oven and let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.


Mar 272014
A few days ago, it was National Losbter Newberg day. The dish was invented by Ben Wenberg, a sea captain in the fruit trade. He demonstrated the dish at Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City to the manager, Charles Delmonico, in 1876. After refinements by the chef, the creation was added to the restaurant’s menu Lobster à la Wenberg and it soon became very popular. An argument between Wenberg and Charles Delmonico caused the dish to be removed from the menu. To satisfy patrons’ continued requests for it, the name was changed to Lobster à la Newberg or Lobster Newberg. Of course, Lobster is not found in Gulf Waters. I have switched the Lobster with Louisiana Crawfish.1 pound Crawfish Tails

1 dash Nutmeg

1/4 cup Butter

1 pint Half & Half

2 1/2 tablespoons Flour

2  Egg Yolks, slighten beaten

3/4 teaspoon Salt

2 tablespoons Sherry

Cayenne Pepper to taste

Melt butter then stir in flour & seasonings. Add half & half gradually then cook until thick & smooth. Stir constantly.
Stir a little of hot mixture into egg yolks. Add yolks to remaining sauce, stirring constantly. Add crawfish & heat thoroughly.
Remove from heat & stir in sherry. Serve immediately over hot biscuits or toast points.




Mar 242014

I just finished a vacation. One of the best dinners I ate was at Jake’s Restaurant on the West Bank. I had the stuffed catfish. Here is a recipe of that delicious dish.

4 Catfish, cleaned and skinned

1 lb Crabmeat

1 pt Oysters

½ lb Salad Shrimp

1 bag Italian Breadcrumbs (seasoned)

1 Lemon

1 bunch Springing Onions (if spring onions are not available, use chopped Red Onions)

1 clove Garlic

1 cup White Wine

First, you need to steam and chop the oysters. Then, mix the oysters, crabmeat, and the shrimp with a combination of chopped onion, breadcrumb, juice from lemon, and garlic in bowl. This mixture is then stuffed into the cavity of the catfish. Sprinkle a pinch of zest from the lemons onto the prepared fish. Next, add ¼ cup white wine to the stuffed fish, and wrap it in aluminum foil. Once the fish is wrapped, you can grill it on a low heat or even bake it at around 325°F. This should be done for around half an hour. In order to check when the catfish is cooked, you need to use a fork to poke it and find out whether the meat is soft enough. With the quantity of ingredients used in this recipe, you should be able to serve around 4 people. It takes around 30 minutes to prepare this dish and around 30 minutes or more to cook it properly.


Mar 202014

Yesterday was St. Joseph’s Day. This day in New Orleans, large altars are set up to

commemorate the saint and the relief St. Joseph provided during a famine in  Sicily.

2 1/2 cups Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

2 sticks (1 cup) Butter, softened

3/4 cup Sugar

3 Eggs, separated

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

3/4 cup Sesame Seeds, spread on a large plate

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together flour and baking powder in small bowl; set aside. Beat butter and sugar in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture; beat until well blended.

2. Beat egg whites in small dish with fork; set aside. Spread sesame seeds on plate; set aside. Pinch off walnut-size piece of dough; shape into ball using palm of hands. Dip in egg whites; roll in sesame seeds. Place on greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake until firm, about 12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.


Mar 172014

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Now I know that Irish Beef Stew is not a Creole or Cajun dish, but the Irish community are well represented in New Orleans. Saturday, I marched in the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day parade. I have been doing this for 12 years with my brothers. Centola is not of Irish origins. However, my father’s mother was a Murphy. So, we celebrate her heritage every year. Here is a typical Irish dish, Irish Beef Stew.

2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil

1 pound lean Beef Stew Meat

2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

1 small Onion, chopped

2 cups sliced fresh Mushrooms

6 cloves Garlic, minced

1 (6 ounce) can Tomato Paste

2 cups Beef Broth

1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Irish Stout Beer

4 cups sliced Carrot

2 large Potatoes, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon Cornstarch

1 tablespoon Cold Water

1/4 cup chopped fresh Parsley

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Coat beef cubes with flour, shaking off the excess. Fry beef cubes until browned on all sides. Remove from the pot. Add the onion, mushrooms, and garlic to the pot, and cook stirring constantly until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Return beef to the pot, and stir in tomato paste, beef broth, and beer. Add potatoes and carrots, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour. Mix together the cornstarch and cold water. Stir into the stew, and simmer until thickened. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.



Mar 122014

The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival is a month away, April 11-13. Now entering their 43rd year, the Strawberry Festival is not to be missed. Since Louisiana Strawberries are in season, here is a wonderful recipe from Arnaud’s.

1 cup ruby port

1 cup red burgundy-style wine

½ orange, sliced

1 lime, sliced

1 cinnamon stick

½ cup granulated sugar

3 cups vanilla ice cream

3 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Lightly sweetened whipped cream

Six whole, perfect strawberries with their stems

Sprigs of mint

In a medium saucepan, combine the port and wine and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and then add the orange and lime slices, the spices and sugar. Return to a boil, then remove from the heat and cool for at least 30 minutes. Strain the sauce, cover and refrigerate until serving (the sauce will keep for up to two weeks).

To serve, place on scoop of ice cream in each 6 champagne glasses. Cover the ice cream with sliced strawberries and drizzle generously with the port sauce. Add a dollop of whipped cream, a whole strawberry and a sprig of fresh min for show. Serve at once.


Mar 102014

Bread Pudding is one of my favorite desserts. No 2 versions are alike. Here is the recipe for Galatoire’s Bread Pudding. It is topped with sliced bananas and praline liqueur.

1 large Eggs

1 1/3 cups granulated Sugar

1 quart whole Milk

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

Twenty four 4-inch slices of French bread (baguette)

1 pound Salted Butter

1 pound Light Brown Sugar

4 Bananas

½ cup Praline Liqueur

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon and whisk until well blended. In a nonstick oversized muffin pan (for 2), place 2 slices of the bread into the bottom of each muffin cup. Pour the egg and milk mixture into each muffin cup. Allow the bread to absorb the mixture and repeat the process until the bread is saturated and the muffin cup is full (it might take 3 or 4 fillings to totally saturate the bread and fill the cup). Bake the pudding mixture for 35 minutes, or until the pudding has turned golden and set in the pan.

While the pudding is in the oven, melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the light brown sugar and whisk over the heat until smooth. Slice the bananas, stir them into the sauce, and add the praline liqueur. Reduce the heat to low to keep the sauce warm.

When the pudding is baked, remove from the oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes to cool. Invert the muffin pan to remove the puddings and expose the custard. Place each on the center of a plate and ladle the sauce onto the pudding. Serve immediately.

Serves 12


Mar 062014

Here is Mosca’s version of BBQ Shrimp. The best way to enjoy Mosca’s is to go with a group of 4. Order the Oysters Mosca, Shrimp Mosca and Chicken a la Grande. This will be more than enough to eat and you will get to sample their 3 best dishes. This wonderful feast is not to be missed.

2 lbs. large, headless Fresh Shrimp

¾ cup Olive Oil

1 tablespoon Salt

1 tablespoon freshly ground Black Pepper

1 tablespoon dried Oregano

1 tablespoon dried Rosemary

3 dried Bay Leaves

6-10 cloves unpeeled Garlic, pounded

½ cup Dry White Wine


Place all ingredients except wine into a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat for fifteen to twenty minutes or until the shrimp are pink and the liquid produced by the shrimp has almost completely disappeared, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat, remove from stove, and add the wine. Return to stove and cook at a low simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about five to seven minutes.

Serves 2 to 4



Mar 032014

Chef Paul Blange at Brennan’s restaurant created this dish in the

early 1950’s. It is named for the Baroness Pontalba, who had built

the two buildings that flank Jackson Square. The buildings house the

oldest continually rented apartments in the United States. This dish is

Creole cooking at its fi nest.

Olive Oil

8 6-ounce Chicken Breast boneless skinless

Creole Seasoning

½ cup Butter

4 tablespoons Garlic minced

2 cups Onion chopped

2 cups Green Onions chopped

1½ cups Ham diced

2 cups Mushrooms sliced

1½ cups Potatoes diced and deep-fried about 2 minutes

3 tablespoons Fresh Parsley chopped

¾ cup White Wine

3 cups Bernaise Sauce (See Blog Post Dated 7/28/11)

Preheat over to 175 degrees. In a large skillet, pour enough olive

oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Season the chicken with Creole

seasoning. Sauté chicken over medium heat until done, about 4-5

minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and keep warm in oven.

In a sauté pan, melt butter and sauté the garlic, onions, green onions,

ham, and mushrooms until the mushrooms are brown. Add the wine

and reduce by 1/3. Add fried potatoes and parsley and cook 2 minutes.

Put 1/8 of the potato mixture in the center of a plate. Place the chicken

breast on top. Top with a generous amount of Bernaise sauce.