Mar 302016

Here is another one from Besh Big Easy. Macque Choux is a classic Cajun dish of corn stewed in cream. It has roots in Native America with the corn.

6 ears Sweet Corn, kernels sliced off the cob

1 Onion, chopped

2 tablespoons Butter

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1/2 Serrano Pepper. thinly sliced

1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1 cup Heavy Cream

Salt and Pepper

Cook the corn and onions in the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and serrano and cook a few minutes longer. Add the tomatoes and cream, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper and serve.


Mar 282016

I thought I would kick off my second 500 recipes with two from John Besh’s new cookbook, Besh Big Easy. This cookbook is aimed at the home cook, recipes that you will not find in his restaurants. They are great recipes none the less.

2 pounds large wild American Shrimp, heads and shells on

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

6 tablespoons Black Peppercorns, crushed

6 cloves Garlic, sliced

1 bottle Beer

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 branch fresh Rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried Rosemary

Juice on 1 Lemon

10 tablespoons Butter


Lay the shrimp in a roasting pan and top with all the remaining ingredients. Stir the sauce over high heat until the butter has melted. Lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes, until the shrimp turn pink all over. Serve with plenty of French bread for sopping up that great sauce.


Mar 252016


Here is my 500th posted recipe. I can’t believe that I have been doing this for that long. When I saw that I was getting close to this post, I knew that I wanted to honor my mother by posting one of her recipes. So here is one of her sweet ones. I don’t remember this recipe from her childhood days. A day or two after she passed, a friend of hers made this cake for the family. My older siblings remembered this cake. It was one of the moistest cakes I had eaten. Her friend said that my mother shared the recipe with her and it was one of her families favorite desserts. So Mom, this 500th recipe is for you.

1/2 cup Butter

2 cups Sugar

4 tablespoons Cocoa

1 cup Boiling Water

2 Eggs

1/2 cup Sour Cream

2 cups Flour

1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda

1 teaspoon Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar. Add cocoa and mix well. Add unbeaten eggs and blend. Add sour cream, then flour gradually. Pour water over baking soda and add to the above mixture and mix well. Add vanilla. Bake in an ungreased and floured pan for 30 to 35 minutes. When cool, top with your favorite icing.


Mar 212016

This week I will be posting my 500th recipe. For this special occasion, I thought I would honor the person who got me started cooking, my mother Mona. So here is the first of two recipes from one of the two people I owe everything to.

4 Chicken Breast, cooked and diced

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup

1 8-ounce carton Sour Cream

1 package (1 tube) Ritz Crackers, crushed

3/4 stick Margarine, melted

Poppy Seeds

Mix chicken, soup and sour cream together then place in a baking dish. Mix crackers and margarine together. Put on top of the first mixture. Sprinkle poppy seeds over all. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.


Mar 162016

Not only does chef Frank teach at the New Orleans Cooking Experience, he developed the course curriculum. This is one of the dishes that he often demonstrates. This is his homage to the late chef Warren Leruth. I know the chef  would be proud to have his name associated with such a delicious dish. This is almost like a Crabmeat St. Francis on top of oysters on the half-shell.

2 1/2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter

2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped

2 Scallions, finely chopped

1 stalk Celery, finely chopped

1/2 small Yellow Onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped Parsley

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped Thyme

1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1/4 teaspoon Celery Seed

1 Bay Leaf

Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

4 raw medium Shrimp, finely chopped

1 tablespoon All-purpose Flour

1 cup Heavy Cream

2 ounces Crabmeat, picked of shells

1 cup fresh Bread Crumbs

1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Coarse Rock Salt, for pan

12 Bluepoint Oysters, on the half-shell

1/2 teaspoon Paprika

Melt butter in a 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, scallions, celery and onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 4-6 minutes. add parsley, thyme, cayenne, celery seed, bay leaf, salt and pepper; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add shrimp; cook until just pink, 1-2 minutes. Add flour; cook 1 minute. Add cream and bring to a boil; remove from heat and stir in crab, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch fluted tip; refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.

Heat broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with rock salt about 1/4 inch deep. Nestle oysters onto bed of rock salt. Pipe filling over oysters and sprinkle with paprika; broil until tops are browned, about 4 minutes.



Mar 142016

Chef Frank is a James Beard award winning chef, being named Best Chef Southwest in 1998. It would take me all day to name the awards that Chef Frank has won. So, instead of that long list, here is the recipe that he demonstrated at the 2005 Chef’ Charity.

3 bunches Asparagus, blanched

2 1/2 teaspoons Salt

1/2 teaspoon ground White Pepper

2 tablespoons Lemon Juice

1 cup Olive Oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

1 cup French Bread Crumbs

3 dozen shucked Louisiana Oysters on the half-shell

Slice 1 cup of asparagus very thin and set aside.

Slice the remaining asparagus into small pieces and place them in a food processor. Add the salt, white pepper and lemon juice. Process until almost puréed. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil to form a smooth purée.

Transfer the asparagus purée to a mixing bowl. Add the thinly sliced asparagus, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Mix until fully blended.

To serve, preheat oven to 500 degrees. Top each oyster on the half-shell with 2 to 3 tablespoons of asparagus topping. Bake for 15 minutes and serve immediately.


Mar 102016

How good is Chef Frank’s Pecan Pie? It was featured on the first season of Food Networks show, Best Thing I Ever Ate. On the episode Sugar Rush, John T Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, said that when good pecans die, they go into a Brigtsen’s pie. I can’t think of  better dessert I would rather have.

For the Dough

1 cup All-purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon Salt

7 tablespoons cold unsalted Butter

1/4 cup Ice Water

Preheat  oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Using the large holes of a hand grater, grate the butter into the mixing bowl with the flour mixture. Lightly blend the butter and flour mixture with your fingertips until the texture is like coarse cornmeal. Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Add the ice water and blend until thoroughly incorporated. Form the dough into a ball and place it on a floured cutting board.

Roll out the dough, adding flour as necessary, to 1/8 inch thick. Place an 8 1/2 inch pie pan face down on the dough and cut the dough to fit the pan, leaving a border of about 1 mich.

Line the pan with the dough, trim the edges, and refrigerate until ready to use.

For The Filling

1/2 cup darkly roasted Pecans, ground

3 Eggs

1 cup granulated White Sugar

1 cup Dark Corn Syrup

2 tablespoons melted unsalted Butter

1 1/2 teaspoons pure Vanilla Extract

1/8 teaspoon Salt

1 cup medium Pecan Pieces

In an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, add the eggs and beat in high speed until  frothy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, salt and ground roasted pecans. Beat on medium speed until well blended. Stir in the pecan pieces.

Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is browned on top and the crust is light golden brown, 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool at room temperature for 1 hour before serving. Serves 6-8.


Mar 072016

Brigtsen’s is celebrating their 30 anniversary this year. Frank Brigtsen is a genius when it comes to the kitchen. He apprenticed under the great Paul Prudhomme, first at Commander’s Palace then becoming the first night chef at K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen. Chef Paul helped him and his wife Marna open Brigtsen’s.  So over the next two weeks, I will feature recipes from Chef Frank. Here is one from the Chef’s Charity in  1997.

1 pound dressed Blue Crabs (Gumbo Crabs)

7 cups cold Water

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 1/2 cup diced Carrots, 1/4 inch pieces

2 cups diced celery, 1/4 inch pieces

3 cups diced Yellow Onions, 1/4 inch pieces

2 Bay Leaves

3/4 cup peeled fresh small Shrimp

1 teaspoon minced fresh Garlic

2 teaspoons Salt

1/8 teaspoon ground White Pepper

1 pinch Cayenne Pepper

1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh Thyme

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped Oregano

1/2 teaspoon finely chopped Basil

2 cups fresh firm Fish Fillets (Snapper, Redfish, Sheepshead, or Drum), diced into 1/2 inch pieces

To make the crab stock

Break each crab into 4 pieces. Place the crabs in a pot and cover with 7 cups of cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain and set aside.

To make the chowder

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-duty saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and cook stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. Add the celery, onions and bay leaves and cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables begin to soften, 8-10 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the shrimp, garlic, salt, white pepper, cayenne, thyme, oregano and sweet basil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the crab stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables become soft, 8-10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and puree the vegetable mixture.

In a heavy-duty saucepan, add 5 cups of crab stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the pureed shrimp and vegetable mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the diced fish fillets and cook until the fish iss just done, 4-5 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 6.


Mar 032016

This is the dish that Chef Fraccaro demonstrated at the Chef’s Charity in 2005. This dish can be served with vegetables, polenta, risotto, or mashed potatoes. It is a spicy dish.

4 8oz boneless skinless Chicken Breast

Flour for dredging

Salt and Pepper to taste

4 tablespoons Olive Oil

4 ounces Butter

2 teaspoons Garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Shallots, minced

4 ounces Wild Mushrooms

1/2 cup White Wine

1 teaspoon Tabasco

3 teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper

1/2 teaspoon Rosemary

1 teaspoon Thyme

4 Bay Leaves

2 cups Basil Tomato sauce

Fresh Parsley for garnish

Dredge chicken breast in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Shake to remove excess flour. Heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat in medium skillet. Add chicken breast and cook until medium brown in color (approximately 3 to 4 minutes each side). Add garlic and shallots and cook an additional 20 seconds. Add mushrooms. Deglaze pan with white wine; let it evaporate (about 20 seconds). Add Tabasco, crushed red pepper, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Place chicken breast in center of serving platte and cover with tomato sauce. Garnish with parsley.