Feb 262015

This post was originally scheduled for 2/16. I got ahead of myself and posted out of order.


Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday ( Mardi Gras). Most people think of Mari Gras as the whole parade season. It is actually one day, the rest of the season is known as Carnival. One of the most famous food traditions of the Carnival season is the Friday before Mardi Gras lunch at Galatoire’s. Since they do not take reservations for the downstairs dining room, a line forms for the most sought after tables in any restaurant. Line holders are even paid to hold a spot for diners, which has caused a few news stories on the event. Here is an appetizer that is excellent this time of the year.

1 tablespoon Salted Butter

1 cup Diced Onions

1/2 cup Diced Shallots

1/4 cup Finely Chopped Scallions (White and Green Parts)

36 large Gulf Oysters, shucked

3 tablespoons Chopped Garlic

1/4 cup White Wine

1 cup Heavy Cream

1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt and Freshly Ground White Pepper to taste

1 cup Seasoned Dried Bread Crumbs

1/2 cup Clarified Butter

Melt the salted butter in a medium sauté pan over high heat. Sauté the onions, shallots and scallions for 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add the oysters and sauté over high heat for 1 minute, or until the edges start to curl slightly. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more, Add the white wine, swirl the pan to deglaze, and allow the mixture to simmer for 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and simmer all ingredients for 4 to 6 minutes, until the cream is bubbling and the sauce begins to reduce. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and white pepper.

Preheat the broiled. Evenly divide the oysters and sauce among 6 individual casserole dishes. he oysters should not be fully submerged beneath the sauce. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, drizzle with clarified butter, and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden. Serve at once.


Now available on IBooks You Can’t Keep New Orleans Out Of The Cook.

Feb 232015

Here is a recipe from the best oyster supplier in New Orleans, P&J Oysters. Most restaurants will only use P&J Oysters for their dishes. Their cookbook, The P&J Oyster Cookbook, features recipes from many New Orleans restaurants as well as family recipes. Check it out.

24 shucked fresh Oysters, with bottom shells reserved

2 tablespoons dry White Wine

7 ounces very soft Brie Cheese

12 ounces Lump or Claw Crab Meat, divided

2 tablespoons chopped Chives or Parsley, for garnish

Strain the oyster juices (the liquor) into a container to remove grit and refrigerate or freeze for future use.

Scrub the oyster bottom shells clean under running water and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare a sufficient number of half-shell trays to hold 24 oyster bottom shells using oven-proof baking pans or rimmed baking sheets. Set aside.

In a medium-size bowl, mix he wine and cheese well with a fork.

Place one oyster on each of the bottom shells and position each shell on the trays. Top each oyster with 1/2 ounce crabmeat. Then top the crabmeat with the wine and cheese mixture, dividing it as evenly as possible. Press down on the toppings to compact and round them off.

Bake for 11 minutes, or until the edges of the oysters begin to curl. Carefully remove the oysters from the oven and sprinkle chive or parsley on each. Serve immediately.


Now available on IBooks You Can’t Keep New Orleans Out Of The Cook.

Feb 192015

As I am typing this on 2/15, we are getting ready for sleet and possible snow. So far we have dodged snow this winter. Here is a soup from the closed restaurant La Riviera. It is quick and easy to make. Just what one needs on a very cold day.

1 1/2 quarts Chicken or Beef Stock

2 Eggs

2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese

1 cup fresh Spinach (chopped and packed)

1 teaspoon Olive Oil or Butter

Salt and Pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese

Cooked Rice or Angel Hair Pasta

Bring broth to boil in a soup pot. In a small bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs, adding the Parmesan cheese to the eggs. Add spinach then oil to egg mixture and stir well. Add all to boiling broth, stirring slightly. Ready to serve with rice or angel hair pasta. Then top with Parmesan cheese.


Now available on IBooks You Can’t Keep New Orleans

Feb 162015


Here is he special Valentine’s dessert I cooked. It is a very simple but rich dessert. It went fast.

2 (5oz each) White Chocolate Bars or Chips

1/4 cup Butter

1/2 cup Sugar

1/8 teaspoon Salt

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract

1 cup Flour

1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder

For Glaze

1 ounce Semisweet Chocolate

1 teaspoon Shortening

Grease a 9-inch baking pan. In a sauce pan over low heat, melt butter and 1 bar white chocolate, stirring until well blended. In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt and eggs and beat at highest speed of mixer for about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add melted chocolate mixture and extracts. Sift together flour and baking powder, stir into chocolate mixture until just combined. Break up other bar and stir in.

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Melt glaze ingredients together and drizzle over cooled brownies.


Now available on IBooks, You Can’t Keep New Orleans Out Of The Cook.

Feb 122015

Here is a twist on that great Cajun sausage, Boudin. This recipe takes away the hardest part of Boudin away, stuffing it into sausage casings. You make the Boudin into patties.

3 ounces Tasso

3 ounces Bacon Fat

1 Onion

3 stalks Celery, finely chopped

2 Bell Pepper, finely chopped

2 fresh Chili Peppers, finely chopped

2 teaspoons dried Thyme

1 tablespoon Garlic, minced

2 cups Rice, cooked

1 cup Oyster Liquid

2 cups Veal or Beef Stock

Salt, White and Cayenne Pepper, to taste

1 bunch Green Onions, thinly sliced

1/2 bunch Parsley, finely chopped

4 dozen fresh Oysters

Bread crumb to thicken

Render Tasso in bacon fat. Add onions, celery and bell peppers and sauté until translucent. Add the chili peppers, thyme and garlic and sauté until garlic is blonde. Add rice and deglaze with oyster water. Add stock and seasonings. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Add green onions, parsley and oysters. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until rice is well cooked. Adjust seasonings- it should be spicy. Add bread crumbs ( approximately 3 ounces) to thicken. Let mixture cool and pass through a grinder using a small die. Form into cakes approximate 2 ounces each, similar to crab cakes. Lightly flour and sauté. Sever with your favorite sauce.


Now Available in IBooks You Can’t Keep New Orleans



Feb 092015

Here is a wonderful dish from Christian’s Restaurant.  With crawfish starting to be plentiful, this is a great time for this dish. It makes a great Valentine’s Day dish.

For the cream sauce

3 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

2 cups Shellfish Stock or Water

1/4 cup Brandy

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not from the green can)

1 1/2 cups Blonde Roux (3/4 cup Oil, 3/4 cup Flour)

For the Crawfish

2 tablespoons unsalted Butter

1/2 small Onion, chopped finely

1/4 Green Bell Pepper, chopped finely

1/2 stalk Celery, chopped Finely

3 cloves Garlic, minced

1/4 cup Flat-Leaf Parsley, finely chopped

1/4 cup Green Onion, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons fresh Thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon Dried)

1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper (to your taste)

Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

1 pound Crawfish Tails

Heat the cream with the stock or water, then add the cheese and brandy and bring to a boil. Stir in the roux and simmer for 15 minute; keep warm.

Heat the butter in a skillet, then add he finely chopped onions, garlic, ell pepper, and celery. Sauté for about 5 minutes until soft, translucent and fragrant. Add the crawfish, salt, thyme, red and black peppers. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes, then mix in the cream sauce.

Divide the crawfish mixture into four small gratin dishes, then top with more grated Parmesan Cheese. Place under the broiler for a minute or so until the top gets slightly browned and bubbly, and serve immediately.


Feb 052015

Here is an excellent dish if you are planning on spending Valentine’s Day at home. It is a classic pairing of beef and blue cheese is greatly enhanced by the addition of the sweetly caramelized onions.

4 tablespoons (1/2 tick) Salted Butter

4 Yellow Onions, julienned (about 4 cups)

1 teaspoon minced Garlic

Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

6 10 ounce center-cut Filets

1/4 cup Olive Oil

6 tablespoons crumbled Blue Cheese

Preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal grill.

Melt the butter in a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes, until the onions start to caramelize. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup water to moisten the onions and lift any sugars that are on the bottom of the pan. Reduce for 2 to 3 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper, toss, and set aside.

Preheat the broiler in the oven.

Brush the filets with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the filets on the preheated grill and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until the meat is medium rare. Remove from the grill to an ovenproof pan.

Evenly mound the caramelized onions atop the filets and place 1 tablespoon of crumbled blue cheese atop each mound. Heat the steaks under the preheated broiled for 2 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and melted. Serve at once.


Now available on IBools, You Can’t Keep New Orleans Out Of The Cook

Feb 022015

Here is a quick and simple dish. It is a great light dish when you want a great meal but don’t want to feel light you have eaten too much. After you have the shrimp, the rest of the recipe come together with ingredients common to most home kitchens.

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons Salted Butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup finely chopped Scallions (White and Green Parts)

2 cups sliced Button Mushrooms

4 dozen large (21-25 count) Shrimp, peeled

1 tablespoon minced Garlic

1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 1/2 cups dry White Wine

2 cups steamed White Rice

1/4 cup chopped Curly Parsley, for garnish

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the scallions and mushrooms and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the shrimp turn pink and begin to stick to the pan. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Cook the mixture for 5 to 7 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the remaining butter a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly until all of the butter is incorporated into the sauce.

Using a ramekin or small cup, mold 1/2-cup portions of rice onto each of 4 dinner plates. Equally distribute the shrimp and sauce around the rice and garnish with the parsley. Serve at once.


Now available on IBooks, You Can’t Keep New Orleans Out Of The Cook.