Aug 292016

Summer time is a great time of the year for Fresh Herbs. I thought that this week I would post two recipes that make use of fresh herbs. I grow herbs in my yard but I have also found them in most supermarkets.

1 1/2 pound large (21-25 count) Shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 medium-sized Garlic Cloves, minced

3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

3/4 teaspoon Creole Seasoning

12 sprigs fresh Rosemary

2 tablespoons Butter

1/2 cup Dry Vermouth

In a large shallow bowl, combine the shrimp, garlic, olive oil and creole seasoning, and toss to coat evenly. Lightly crush 8 sprigs of the rosemary with your hands, add the shrimp and toss again. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours, tossing occasionally.

In a large heavy skillet, melt the butter over high heat. Add the shrimp and the marinade, and cook, stirring, until the shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for about 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a platter and discard the rosemary.

Pour the vermouth into the skillet and boil over high heat, stirring frequently until it reduces to a medium-thick glaze. Return the shrimp to  the pan and stir gently for about 1 minute. Add the remaining rosemary sprigs and serve warm over toast points.


Aug 252016

Here is a great side dish. Marjoram is not a herb that is often used. It taste like oregano, just not as strong.

4 large baking Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 1/2 teaspoon Creole Seasoning

1/4 teaspoon grated Nutmeg

2 medium-sized Garlic Cloves, minced

1/4 cup fresh Sweet Marjoram leaves, finely chopped

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

2 cups Heavy Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 6-cup gratin dish or shallow baking dish. Layer a fifth of the potato slices in the bottom of the dish and season with one-fourth of the Creole Seasoning, nutmeg, garlic, marjoram and Parmesan. Repeat the layering 3 times. Top with a final layer of potato slices, overlapping them. Combine the cream with 1/2 cup water and pour evenly over the potatoes. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours, then uncover and bake 30 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Aug 252016

This salad is great when it is stuffed in a hollowed out tomato for a cool summer lunch. It is also great with crackers.

1 pound Shrimp (41-50 count) boiled, peeled and deveined

3 cups Cooked Rice, cooled to room temperature.

1/4 cup Green Onions, chopped

1/4 cup Celery, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh Parsley, chopped

Creole Seasoning to taste

1 hard-boiled Egg, finely chopped

3 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 tablespoon Cider Vinegar

2 tablespoons Sour Cream

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to mix well. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Aug 222016

It has been a very hot summer. I thought I would share with you some easy salads that can be served at BBQs, Boils and other outdoor gatherings. They are also great for an indoor gathering. Here is one of my favorites.  I think crabmeat is the most versatile ingredient around.

1 pound Lump Crabmeat, picked over for shells

3/4 teaspoon Creole Seasoning

3 dashes Louisiana Hot Sauce

3 tablespoons Celery, finely chopped

1 tablespoon Green Onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon Capers

3 teaspoons fresh Parsley, finely chopped

1/4 cup Mayonnaise

2 teaspoons Creole Mustard

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. The salad can be served atop a mound of salad greens, on thick slices of tomatoes, or in an avocado half. It can also be served as an hors d’oeuvre, with crackers or toast points.



Aug 182016

This drink is a very popular after dinner drink. It goes great with dessert.

1 1/2 ounces Irish Whiskey

2 Sugar Cubes

3/4 cup fresh Black Coffee

1/4 cup Whipped Cream

1 teaspoon Instant Coffee

Combine the whiskey and sugar cubes in an 8-ounce stemmed glass or mug. Pour the coffee into the glass and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with instant coffee and serve.


Aug 152016

In honor of the passing of Ted Brennan, this week I will post two Irish Drinks from the Old Brennan’s. Tom Fitzmorris wrote about being invited to Ted’s Irish wake. Being part Irish, I have never attended a traditional Irish wake. I am sure this drink is welcomed at an Irish wake.

3/4 cup Crushed Ice

1 1/2 ounce Irish Cream Liqueur

3/4 ounce Frangelico

1/4 cup Half & Half

Place the crushed ice in an old-fashion glass. Pour the remaining ingredients over the ice and stir well.


Aug 112016

Here is another recipe from the Breakfast at Brennan’s cookbook. I hope that this dish makes it to the menu of Ted Brennan’s Decatur.

1/4 cup grated Lemon Peel

1/2 cup Lemon Juice

2 cups Sugar

4 large Eggs

1 cup ( 2 sticks) Butter

1 cup Heavy Cream

2 tablespoons Powdered Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

16 small Tart Shells

In the top of a double boiler, combine the lemon peel, lemon juice and sugar. Cook the mixture over simmering water until the sugar dissolves, then whisk in the eggs and butter and cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the lemon curd to a bowl and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 1 to 11/2 hours; the curd will thicken as it chills, but not become as thick as pie filling.

In a medium bowl, whip the cream until stiff, then fold in the powdered sugar and vanilla.

Spoon 2 1/2 tablespoons chilled curd into each tart shell and top with the whipped cream.


Aug 082016

Ted Brennan, son of founder Owen Brennan Sr., passed away on August 3rd. He spent 40 years as a proprietor of Brennan’s restaurant. Although Brennan’s went bankrupt in 2013, Ted was working on opening a new restaurant called Ted Brennan’s Decatur. It is scheduled to open in the fall of this year. Like his father, who passed away before Brennan’s moved to Royal St., Ted will not see the opening of the restaurant that bears his name. Here is a recipe from the Breakfast at Brennan’s Cookbook. It is great for the hot summer months.

3 tablespoons Butter

1 small Onion, sliced

1/2 Green Bell Pepper, chopped

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1 1/2 cups Milk

1 tablespoon fresh Dill, finely chopped

4 Salmon Fillets, about 6 ounces each

3/4 cup Heavy Cream

2 tablespoons Sherry

1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Salt and White Pepper

Dill Sprigs for garnish

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet and sauté the onion, bell pepper and garlic until tender. Remove the vegetables from the heat and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the milk and chopped dill to just under a boil. Season the salmon fillets on both sides with salt and pepper, then poach them in the simmering milk until flaky, about 10 minutes. Transfer the salmon along with the milk to the bowl of a food processor. Purée the salmon, then add the cream and the remaining tablespoon of butter. When the mixture is smooth, add the sautéed vegetables and purée with the salmon. Pour the soup into a stainless steel bowl, then stir in the sherry and cayenne. Season with salt and white pepper, cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours until chilled. Spoon the salmon bisque into chilled bowls and garnish with fresh dill.


Aug 042016

Here is a great recipe that elevates the praline. If you love the flavor of pralines, this is a perfect dessert to serve for a special occasion.

Pastry Cream

2 cups Heavy Cream

1/2 cup Sugar

6 Egg Yolks

1/2 cup All-purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon Salt

2 ounces Praline Liqueur

1 1/2 tablespoons Vanilla

1 tablespoon softened Butter

In a heavy bottom sauce pan, bring cream to a low boil and reduce heat to simmer. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, eggs, flour and salt, blending well. Using a wire whisk, continue to blend until creamy and smooth. While whisking, pour one cup of hot cream into the egg mixture. When well blended, return all of egg mixture to the hot sauce pan if cream, stirring constantly while pouring. Add praline liqueur and vanilla. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, fold in softened butter. Cover and refrigerate.


2 Eggs

1/2 cup All-purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

1 tablespoon Praline Liqueur

1 tablespoon Melted Butter

3/4 cup Milk

Pinch of Salt

1 ounce Melted Butter

1/4 cup Sugar

3/4 cup chopped Pecans

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and flour until creamy. Add 1 /2 teaspoon sugar, vanilla, praline liqueur,  1 tablespoon butter and milk. Continue to whip until all ingredients are well blended. Batter should have the consistency of heavy cream. Season with a pinch of salt. Heat an 8-inch crepe pan over medium high heat. Add 1/2 ounce of the melted butter, swirling to coat the pan. Pour excess butter from crepe pan back into the original container. Butter should just film coat the pan. Place approximately two ounces of the crepe batter into the hot pan. Cook crepe until the outer edges begin to brown and loosen. Flip crepe to the other side and cook approximately one minute. Using a thin spatula, lift crepe from pan and sprinkle with sugar. OCntinue unitl all creper are done. Place one tablespoon of pastry cream in the center of the crepe and top with chopped pecans. The crepe may be heated int the oven or served cold. Serve with Cream Anglaise sauce.




Aug 012016

This is a dessert sauce that is very versatile. This particular recipe contains Bourbon. You can easily change the flavor by adding a different liquor or by leaving it out altogether. This recipe will be used in Thursday’s recipe

2 cups Heavy Cream

1 cup Sugar

Pinch of Cinnamon

Pinch of Nutmeg

1 tablespoon Vanilla

4 Egg Yolks, beaten

1 tablespoon Corn Starch

1/4 cup Bourbon

In a heavy bottom sauce pan, scald whipping cream over medium high heat. In a separate mixing bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, eggs and corn starch. Using a wire whisk, blend until well mixed and creamy. Add bourbon and fold once or twice until blended. Into the mixing bowl, ladle one cup of hot cream, stirring constantly while pouring. Return egg mixture to the pot of hot cream, whisking constantly. Cook one or two minutes and remove from heat. Should mixture become too thick, add a little cold heavy cream.