Feb 292016

This is the dish that the late chef Austin Leslie demonstrated at the Chef’s Charity in 1993. Austin’s style of New Orleans neighborhood cooking has never been duplicated. His restaurant, Chez Helene, was a leader in Soul Food cooking.

3 dozen Oysters, drained

2 sticks Butter

4 sprigs Parsley, chopped finely

1 Celery rib, chopped finely

1 teaspoon Thyme

1 large Onion, chopped finely

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Hot Sauce

1 cup All-purpose Flour

Pastry for 2-crust 9 inch pie

Melt butter in skillet with seasoning and sauté 10 to 15 minutes. Add oysters and sauté an additional 10 to 15 minutes. While oysters sauté, add flour slowly (a little at a time) and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Then stir well.

Ladle this filling into the pastry shell. Bake 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Then reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake approximately 30 minutes longer. Remove pie from oven and cool.



Feb 252016

Here is a dish from another, Chef Goffredo Fraccaro. He demonstrated this dish in 1995. This is his version of Chicken Cacciatore.

2 1/2 pounds fresh chicken cut into 8 pieces

8 ounces Wild Mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1/4 stick Butter

1 large White Onion,  sliced

3 cloves Garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh Italian Parsley

1 cup Dry White Wine

4 fresh large ripe Tomatoes

1/2 cup white Flour

1 pinch Oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepperand dust with flour. Brown chicken in a shallow skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is golden in color, add garlic, parsley and tomato. Stir for 3 minutes. Add wine, cover and cook over low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add butter, mushrooms and oregano. Stir for 2 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked. Serve.



Feb 222016

Here is a recipe that was demonstrated at the 1990 Chef’s Charity. Chef Chris Kerageorgoiu was one of the founding chef’s of the charity. He demonstrated at every Chef’s Charity until his death in 2007. John Besh, one of Chris’s protégé’s, now owns the restaurant


6-8 each Catfish Fillets

1/4 cup Olive Oil

Salt and White Pepper


1/4 cup Olive Oil

10 cloves Garlic, diced

3 to 4 red, ripe Tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 teaspoon Sugar

Salt and White Pepper

Sliced Black Olives

Heat a large skillet on high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook until it is light brown (do not burn the garlic). Add the tomatoes to the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar, salt & pepper, then remove from heat.

Heat a large skillet on high heat. Season the catfish with salt & pepper then coat with olive oil. Add the fish to the skillet and sear the fish for about 30 seconds, then turn and sear the other side.

Remove the fish to a baking pan. Spoon the sauce over the fish. Then garnish the to with sliced black olives. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven about 2 minutes or until fish flakes and is tender.


Feb 182016

Here is another delicious crawfish dish for a cold day. I have always enjoyed a good clam chowder. So, here is the Cajun answer to clam chowder.

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) Butter

4 large Onions, sliced

6 medium Potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 cup Hot Water

Creole Seasoning to taste

2 pounds Crawfish Tails

6 cups Half & Half

8 ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Chopped Parsley and Green Onions for garnish

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and simmer 5 minutes. Add potatoes, water and Creole seasoning. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not drain. Add crawfish tails and cook 5 minutes.

In a smaller pot, heat milk on low heat with cheese, stirring often until cheese is melted. Do not overcook. Add milk to crawfish and potato mixture and blend well. Serve warm. Garnish with parsley and green onions.


Feb 152016

Crawfish season is starting to hit its stride. It has been a early season this year due to a mild winter. However, it is still cold here in Arkansas. So what a better way to serve crawfish than in a nice hot stew.

1/4 cup Flour

1/4 cup Butter

1 medium Onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped

1 clove Garlic, minced

1 rib Celery, finely chopped

3/4 cup Seafood Stock

2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning

Hot Sauce to Taste

1 pound Crawfish Tails

2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons Green Onions, chopped

Cook flour and butter in a heavy bottom large saucepan until golden brown, stirring constantly. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and celery. Sauté covered about 5 minutes on low heat. Add stock, Creole seasoning and hot sauce. Let simmer 1 hour. Add crawfish tails and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until desired thickness. Add parsley and green onion just before serving. Serve over rice.


Feb 112016

Here is another vegetable dish. Mirlitons are also known as Chayote pears. This is a great way to include mirlitons in your meal plan.

3 small or 2 large Mirlitons (about 2 cups cooked and diced)

Boiling Salted Water

4 1/2 tablespoons Butter

3/4 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

4 teaspoons Sugar

3/8 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg

3 1/4 teaspoons Brandy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a heavy, medium-sized saucepan with a tight fitting lid, parboil the mirlitons, covered, in about 1 inch of boiling salted water for 20 minutes. Drain thoroughly, peel off the skin, trim off the ends, and cut into 1-inch dice.

In a large sauté pan or skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over low heat. Add the diced mirliton pulp and sauté for  minutes, stirring frequently. Gradually add the salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, nutmeg and 3 teaspoons of the brandy; mix thoroughly.

Butter a shallow baking dish and fill with the sauteed mirliton. Combine the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon brandy in a small saucepan and heat for a few minutes, mixing thoroughly. Pour evenly over the mirliton in the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, then glaze under a preheated broiler for aboput 3 minutes. Serve hot from the baking dish.


Feb 082016

Wednesday, Feb. 10 is Ash Wednesday, the start  of Lent. So, I thought I would post a couple of Vegetable dishes. This dish can be used as a side or main dish.

2 tablespoons Butter

1 1/2 cups Onions, sliced

2 cups fresh baby Okra, sliced

1 large ripe Creole Tomato, sliced

4 drops Tabasco

1/2 teaspoon Basil

1/4 teaspoons Chives

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

3/4 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon Sugar

In a heavy skillet or sauté pan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown. Add the sliced okra and cook, stirring frequently, for  minutes. Add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cook slowly, stirring frequently, for  minutes longer, then cover the skillet tight, lower the heat, and cook for  minutes. Serve very hot.


Feb 042016

Every year, a guest chef makes an appearance to demonstrate a dish. From Pete Fountain to Dom DeLuise and even chef Warren Leruth, these chefs donate their time to preform at the Chef’s Charity. Here is the demonstrated recipe from 2005 by Chef Mario Batali

8 ounces Guanciale (may substitute Pancetta or good Bacon)

1 pound dry Spaghetti

4 Eggs, separated

Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a 12 to 14 inch sauté pan, render and brown guanciale until crispy and golden. Don not drain fat from pan; set aside.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Cook spaghetti according to the package directions, until tender yet al denté, reserving the pasta cooking water.

Reheat the guanciale in the pan with the fat and add approximately 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water to the pan. Toss in cooked pasta and heat, shaking the pan, for 1 minute. Add the grated cheese, egg whites and black pepper and toss until fully incorporated. Divide the pasta among 4 warmed serving bowls. Make a nest in the center for the egg yolk. Gently drop an egg yolk into each serving, season with more freshly ground black pepper and grate additional cheese over the top. Serve immediately.


Feb 012016

Here is a soup that John Folse demonstrated at the 2005 Chef’s Charity for Children

18 (21-25 count) Shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 pound Jumbo Lump Crabmeat

18 shucked Oysters, reserve liquid

1 can (15oz) Shoepeg or Cream-style Corn

1/2 cup Butter

1 cup diced Onions

1 cup diced Celery

1/2 cup diced Red Bell Pepper

2 tablespoons minced Garlic

1/2 cup Flour

3 cups Shellfish Stock

1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream

1 tablespoon chopped Basil

1 tablespoon chopped Thyme

1 teaspoon chopped Tarragon

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Creole Seasoning to taste

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Stir in onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until a white roux is achieved. Blend in corn. Add shellfish stock, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Stir in whipping cream, basil, thyme and tarragon. Season lightly with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Fold in reserved oyster liquid and half of each type of seafood. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook 10-12 minutes. Add remaining seafood, and cook 3-5 minutes or until shrimp are pink and curled. Adjust seasonings if necessary. When ready to serve, ladle generous portion of soup with equal amonuts of shellfish into bowl. Serves 6