Dec 312015

Black-eyed peas are another traditional dish that is served on New Years. It represents luck. Here is my twist on Black-eyed peas.

6 slices Bacon

1 cup Onion, chopped

1/2 cup Green Bell Pepper, chopped

1/4 cup Celery, chopped

1 teaspoon Garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups Ham, diced

1/2 pound Andouille, sliced

3 cups Chicken Stock or Broth

2 cans Black-eyed Peas, undrained

2 cups uncooked Rice

1/4 cup  Green Onions, sliced

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon Creole Seasoning

1 Bay Leaf

Cut the bacon into the bottom of a Dutch oven and saute until slightly browned. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery; saute for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the ham and sausage and cook another 3 minutes. Add the broth and black-eyed peas; bring to a boil. Stir in the rice and green onions. Season with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Add the bay leaf and return to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to sit covered for another 10 minutes before serving. Fluff with a fork.


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Dec 282015
One of the traditional dishes cooked for New Year’s day is cabbage. It is said that if you eat cabbage on New Year’s day, you will have money for the coming year. So here is a Creole twist on Cabbage.
5 cups Cabbage, chopped
1 large Onion, chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 (1 lb.) can Tomatoes
1 teaspoon Sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup extra sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
Cook cabbage in boiling salted water for 10 minutes; drain well and place in pan. In large skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter and saute onions and green peppers. Add tomatoes with juice, sugar, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 or more minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake in a 325 degree oven about 20 minutes or until cheese melts.
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Dec 242015

Here is another recipe from Emeril’s Creole Christmas cookbook. Oysters and Christmas go hand in hand. This great soup is a perfect addition to any meal, especially Christmas.

3/4 pound Bacon, chopped (about 2 cups)

2 cups chopped Yellow Onions

2 cups chopped Celery

1 cup chopped Carrots

1 1/2 teaspoons Salt

1/2 teaspoon Cayenne

6 Bay Leaves

3/4 cup bleached all-purpose Flour

8 cups Chicken Stock

1 1/2 pounds baking Potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)

1 cup Half-and-Half

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Parsley leaves

50 shucked Oysters with 1 cup Oyster liquor

1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Parmesan Tuiles

Fry the bacon in a large nonstick stockpot over medium heat until slightly crisp. Add the onions, celery, carrots, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and stir to blend. Cook until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and simmer until they are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Add the half-and-half and parsley and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the oysters with their liquor, the Tabasco, and Worcestershire. Simmer until the edges of the oysters curl, about 2 minutes. Do not overcook the oysters. Remove the bay leaves and serve hot with the tuiles on the side.


Parmesan Tuiles

1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. For each tuile, spread 3 tablespoons of the grated cheese on the paper to form a 3-inch round. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Cool for 1 minute. Using a metal spatula. Transfer the tuiles to another piece of parchment or waxed paper and cool completely. Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.


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Dec 212015

Here is a wonderful appetizer from Emeril. This recipe comes from his Emeril’s Creole Christmas cookbook. This is a great beginning to any Christmas meal.

1 envelope (1/4 ounce) dry Yeast

2 tablespoons granulated Sugar

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil

2 cups warm Water (about 110 F)

6 cups bleached all-purpose Flour

3/4 cup yellow Cornmeal

2 teaspoons Salt

1/2 pound Andouille or Kielbasa sausage, chopped (about 1 cup)

1/2 pound white Cheddar cheese, grated

Vegetable oil for deep frying

Combine the yeast, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the water. With the mixer on low speed, beat the mixture for about 4 minutes to dissolve the yeast. If the yeast mixture doesn’t begin to foam after a few minutes, it means it’s not active and will have to be replaced.

In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the cornmeal, and the salt. Add this mixture to the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until it lightly comes together, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl, forms a ball, and climbs slightly up the dough hook.

Remove the dough from the bowl. Coat the bowl with the remaining teaspoon vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl and turn it to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set in a warm, draft-free place, and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a medium-size skillet over medium heat for about 4 minutes. Drain well on paper towels. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Remove the dough from the bowl and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Using your hands, gently roll and form it into a narrow loaf about 24 inches long. Cut the dough into 18 equal portions (each about 2 1/2 ounces). With the palm of your hand, roll the portions on a slightly floured surface to form small round rolls.



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Dec 172015

The Plaquemines Parish Orange Festival is held the first weekend in December. Held at historic Fort Jackson in Buras, Louisiana, the festival celebrated it’s 69th anniversary. Some of my cousins live in Belle Chasse. My cousin Ann makes some of the best pralines I have ever tasted. So, here is a little twist on pralines to bring the Orange Festival a sweet taste.

1 quart Heavy Cream

2 1/4 cups granulated Sugar

1 Orange

1 tablespoon light Corn Syrup

1 1/2 cups Pecan Pieces

Cover a countertop with two or three sheets of parchment or waxed paper.

Pour the cream and sugar into a large heavy-bottomed pot. Grate the rind of the orange over the pot. Add the corn syrup and pecan pieces. Over medium heat, stir the mixture often until it becomes very thick and a candy thermometer registers 275 degrees, about 1 hour.

Remove the pot from the heat. Drop the mixture by the tablespoon, onto the parchment paper, working quickly. Cool completely.

Lift the praline off the paper with a thin knife. Store in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper at room temperature for up to two weeks.


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Dec 142015

Cafe au Lait is the must have drink at Cafe du Monde with beignets. This is New Orleans coffee with chicory with scalded milk added. It is a great winter drink. The addition of coffee to creme brulee is a naturalto me. Both dishes are New Orleans traditions.

3 tablespoons French roast whole Coffee Beans

1 1/4 cups whole Milk

1 1/4 cups Heavy Cream

6 tablespoons Sugar

11 Egg Yolks

1/8 teaspoon Salt

6 teaspoons Sugar in the Raw

Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the coffee beans in a coffee grinder, pulse for two 1-second pulses (some beans may be whole, which is fine), and set aside.

Stir the milk, cream, and sugar together in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat off,  stir in the coffee beans, and let the mixture steep for 5 minutes.

Whisk the egg yolks and salt together in a large bowl. Vigorously whisk the steeped milk mixture into the egg yolks, then strain into a clean bowl. Place 6 4-ounce ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and evenly divide the custard mixture between them. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until a dime-sized center portion of the custard gives a slight jiggle when the baking sheet is tapped, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let the custards cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, before covering each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.

Evenly sprinkle the top of each custard with one teaspoon of Sugar in the Raw and brown it using a hand-held blowtorch. Serve immediately after bruleeing.


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Dec 102015

Everyone knows about the tradition of Red Beans on Mondays in New Orleans. Some people think that red beans are the second best bean in New Orleans. White Beans are just as popular of a dish. They can be found in the middle of the week as specials at restaurants. It is often found as a side to panné rabbit.

2 pound dried white Navy Peas

2 pound Pork Sausage (smoked or andouille)

2 Yellow Onion, chopped

2 Green Bell Pepper, chopped

2 stalks of Celery, chopped

4 cloves of Garlic, crushed with a mortar & pestle

1/2 teaspoon Cayenne

2 teaspoons Salt

Freshly cracked Black Pepper, to taste

2 Bay Leaves

1 bunch Parsley, chopped

1 bunch Green Onions, chopped

Long grain rice (prepared according to package directions)


Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl. Make sure the beans are covered by at least 3 inches of water. Drain the water, rinse the beans, and set aside. Degrease the sausage in a large Dutch oven or stock pot. Remove sausage, slice into half-moons, and set aside. Sauté the onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic in the sausage grease until softened. Add a little oil (preferable coconut oil or regular olive oil… not extra-virgin), if needed. Add the beans to the pot along with the sausage. Pour 16 to 20 cups of water over the beans. Make sure you cover the beans by at least a couple of inches. Bring to a boil and add the salt, cayenne, and bay leaves. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 1.5 to 2 hours, until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally. Add water during simmer, if necessary. To make the beans creamier, mash some of the beans against the sides of the pot toward the end of the cook time. Check seasoning and adjust, adding salt, cayenne, black pepper to taste. A couple of minutes before serving, stir in a handful of the parsley and a handful of the green onions. Provide the remaining parsley and green onions as garnish for individual plates or bowls. Serve over white rice. Have hot sauce on hand for those who would like to add a little kick to it.


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Dec 072015

This is a dish that brings back many memories. My mother would always prepare this dish for a gathering. The key to this dish was the patty shells. McKenzie’s Bakery used to make these shells. This recipe is from the flyer with recipes for fillings to put into the patty shells. You can use Phyllo shells.

4 dozen Oysters and Liquor

1 Onion, grated

1 tablespoon Flour

2 tablespoons Butter, melted

1/2 cup chopped canned Mushrooms and Juice (optional)

Salt and Pepper

Dash Cayenne

2 tablespoons Chopped Parsley

1/4 teaspoon Lemon Juice

12 large or 36 miniature patty shells

Cook oysters in their liquor by bringing to a boil, then simmering 10 minutes. (For miniature patty shells, finely chop oysters before cooking.) Sauté onion in butter; blend in flour until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and oysters. cook 5 minutes; pour into shells and bake at 375 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes.


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Dec 032015

With Thanksgiving over, my thoughts turn to oysters. Right around Thanksgiving, oysters start their season. I know that oysters are good in months with R’s in them, but I find they lack before November they lack their saltiness and taste. I guess that’s why oyster dressing is a popular dish for Thanksgiving. Here is a recipe from Emeril for the cold nights ahead.


4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) plus 2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Flour
1 cup chopped Onions
1/2 cup chopped Celery
2 cups Milk
2 dozen Oysters, shucked, drained and reserve liquid
Salt and Cayenne
Fresh Black Pepper
1 tablespoon chopped Garlic
1/4 cup chopped finely chopped Parsley

In a large saute pan, melt the 4 tablespoons butter. Stir in the flour, stirring constantly and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onions and celery and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the milk and oyster liquid. Season the mixture with salt, cayenne and black pepper. Bring the liquid up to a simmer. Simmer the liquid for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the oysters, garlic and parsley. Bring the liquid back up to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the oysters curl. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and remove from the heat.


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