Dec 282017

Cabbage is eaten on New Years in hopes of having wealth for the year. This dish is welcome on any table any time of the year.

4 sliced Bacon

1/2 head Green Cabbage, sliced thin

1/2 head Red Cabbage, sliced thin

2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tablespoon Sugar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Fry the bacon until crispy in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove the bacon and set aside to drain on paper towels.

To the drippings in the pan, add the cabbage and cook until wilted, about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 10 to 12 minutes.

Crumble the reserved bacon over the cabbage and serve.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Dec 262017

New Year’s is here. There are traditional dishes to eat for luck, health and wealth. This week, a twist on two of these dishes. This soup is based on a recipe from Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing.

8 cups Water, divided

1/2 cup dried Black-Eyed Peas, soaked overnight

1/2 cup Barley

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 cup Shiitake Mushroom Caps, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1/4 cup Carrot, finely diced

1/4 cup Shallot, finely diced

1/4 cup celery, finely diced

6 cups Vegetable Stock

1/4 cup Soy Sauce

2 teaspoons Salt

2 teaspoons coarsely ground Black Pepper

1 cup Green Onions, thinly sliced

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add black-eyed peas, and simmer about 30 minutes or until tender, skimming off foam that forms on the surface as needed. Strain peas, and set aside.

In the same saucepan, bring remaining 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add barley, and simmer about 20 minutes or until tender. Strain barley in a colander, and rinse well under cold running water. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over high heat until it smokes. Add mushrooms, and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrot, shallot and celery, and sauté for another minute. Add stock, cooked peas and barley, soy sauce, salt and pepper, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in green onions and serve.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!


Dec 212017

There are members of my family who would rather pork roast than turkey. So to honor them, here is a recipe from the late Chef Paul Prudhomme.

4 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Unsalted Butter

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Pork Lard, Chicken Fat, or Vegetable Oil

1 cup finely chopped Onions

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 cup finely chopped Bell Pepper

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons minced Garlic

2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Pork and Veal Magic or Meat Magic

1/2 teaspoon Dry Mustard

1 4-pound Pork Loin Roast (boneless or bone-in)

Preheat oven to 275℉.

Place all ingredients except the roast in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, set over high heat. Sauté about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to wilt. Cool.

Meanwhile, place the roast in a baking pan, fat side up. Make several large slits in the meat with a knife, being careful not to cut through to the bottom. If desired, make the slices down the length rather than the width of the roast so all of the carved sides will have some of the vegetable and seasoned stuffing.

Stuff the pockets generously with the vegetables mixture, then thoroughly rub vegetable mixture over the entire roast by hand. If any of the mixture is left, spread it evenly ver the top and a little on the sides of the roast.

Bake uncovered for 3 hours. Raise temperature to 425℉ until dark brown on top and meat is white in the center, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand about 20 minutes.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Dec 182017

As the big day is quickly approaching, I thought I would share two recipes for the main attraction on your Christmas table.

Here is a turkey straight from Commander’s Palace Executive Chef, Tory McPhail.

1 20-25 pound Turkey, thawed, preferably fresh

4 gallons Cold Water

2 cups Powdered Louisiana Crab Boil

Salt, as needed

1 ounce Vegetable Oil

4 tablespoons Creole Seasoning

Special Equipment Needed:

Large bucket to hold turkey

Food Grade Syringe

Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey and reserve for another use.

Remove excess skin and fat from the neck and cavity areas and drain excess liquid from the cavity.

Add the water to the bucket, pour in the crab boil, and stir to dissolve. Fill the syringe with the liquid and evenly inject each breast of the turkey 5 times. Repeat 5 times with each leg.

Add enough salt to the water, if necessary, to achieve a flavor that is just short of the salinity of sea water, or to taste. Submerge the turkey in the brine and refrigerate for 2 days.

Remove the turkey from the brine at least 24 hours before cooking. Dry the outside with paper towels and refrigerate to dry further.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to roasting. Move the oven rack to the lowest rung and pre-heat oven to 450℉.

Fold the wings back under the turkey and tie the legs together with butcher’s twine. Rub the turkey with oil and sprinkle evenly with Creole seasoning. Place the turkey in a greased roasting pan and place it in the oven with the cavity facing the back of the oven. Cook until light golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Decrease oven temperature to 325℉ and continue cooking about 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (need the bone) reads 140℉. The turkey will continue to brown as it cooks. Allow to rest for 1 hour before carving.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Dec 142017

Every time I see a wheel of Brie cheese, I think of my sister-in-law Denny. For most family gatherings, she would prepare a Brie en Croute. I wish that she was still with us. My Brie en Croute is good but hers was just a little better. Here is another use for Brie cheese.

1 tube refrigerator Crescent Rolls

1 can Pumpkin Filling

4 ounces Pecan Pieces

8 ounce Brie, cut into 16 pieces

Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Open crescent roll tube. Unroll crescent on a light floured cutting board. Cut each triangle lenghtwise to form two skinner triangles. Spread 1 teaspoon pumpkin filling on each. Sprinkle with pecans and brown sugar. Lay Brie slice long-ways then fold the bottom piece of crescent onto the top piece of the crescent and press together. The Brie will be visible from both sides.Place on an ungreased pan or cookie sheet. Sprinkle the top with more brown sugar.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and let cool for 2 minutes on a bakers rack before serving.

Dec 112017

One of my families Christmas traditions was how we would open presents. Since I have a large family, this could take hours. To pass the time, each siblings family would prepare an appetizer to snack on during the festivities. To accompany these dishes, numerous bottles of Champagne were opened. This week, I will feature two appetizers that would be right at home at the Centola Christmas gathering.

This cheesecake is not he sweet kind. Savory cheesecakes have been popular since Palace Cafe opened, featuring their Crabmeat Cheesecake as an appetizer. Here is my take on this dish. If you want, you can make it with just lobster or crabmeat.

1 3/4 cups Parmesan Cheese

1 3/4 cups Breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning

1/2 cup Butter, melted

1 tablespoon Garlic, minced

3/4 cup Onions, chopped

3/4 cup Bell Pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 1/4 pounds Cream Cheese, softened

1 3/4 cups Ricotta Cheese

3 pieces GreenOnions, chopped

1/2 pound Lobster meat, chopped

1/2 pound Crabmeat, picked thru for shells

2 large Eggs, beaten

For the Crust:

Combine Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Add Creole seasoning to melted butter. Add this blend to the Parmesan/breadcrumb mixture. Mix well. Press mixture into a greased 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

For the Filling:

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Sauté garlic, onions and pepper in olive oil, over medium heat, until soft. Fold in cream cheese and ricotta cheese. Mix well, until softened and completely blended. Remove from stove. Fold in lobster and crabmeat. Blend completely. Cool mixture. Add eggs and blend completely. Pour into prepared pie crust. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. When cool, remove from springform pan. Place on a platter and serve.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Dec 072017

Spirited coffee is a great way to end a meal. Here is a cajun twist.

3 cups Strong Coffee

6 tablespoons Molasses

6 tablespoons Dark Rum

Whipped Cream, for topping

Nutmeg for garnish

In a saucepan, combine coffee and molasses over medium heat. Heat to a low simmer, stirring constantly until molasses is dissolved. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Remove from heat and add the rum. Divide between 6 mugs. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Serve immediately.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Dec 062017

This post was supposed to be shared on Thanksgiving day. Sorry, it is a little late.

What can I say that has not been said about Louisiana Pecans? I love to use them during the holidays. So, why not in cookies.

6 tablespoons Butter

4 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour in all, sifted

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

Pinch of Salt

2 cups Sugar

2 Eggs, well beaten

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 cups Pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400℉. With a pastry brush, spread 2 tablespoons of soften butter oven 2 large baking sheets. Sprinkle each baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the flour and tip the pan from side to side to distribute the flour evenly. Invert the baking sheet and rap it sharply to remove the excess flour or use wax paper to line the pan. Sift the 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder and the salt together in a bowl, set aside.

In a deep bowl, cream 2 tablespoons of the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar, and beat in the eggs and the vanilla. Stir the flour mixture into the butter. Stir in the pecans.

Drop heaping teaspoonfuls size batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 3 inches apart. Bake for 5 minutes or until the cookies have spread into lace like 4-inch rounds and have turned golden brown.

Let the cookies cool for a minute or so, then transfer them to a wire racks to cool completely. Let the baking sheets cool completely, then coat them with the remaining 2 tablespoons Butter and 2 tablespoons flour, and bake the remaining cookies.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Dec 042017

Many people are addicted to coffee. Even on 100 degree days, they will drink coffee all day. With the winter upon us, I thought I would share 2 coffee drink recipes. And yes, they both include liquor. The first one is a punch great for parties.

6 Eggs

1/2 cup Sugar

3 cups Coffee with Chicory, strongly brewed and cooled

1/4 cup Bourbon

1 pint Vanilla or Coffee Ice Cream

In a large bowl, beat eggs at high speed until slightly thickened. Gradually add sugar, beating until the mixture is smooth and quite thick. Add the coffee and bourbon; mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into a pinch bowl or pitcher. Spoon in Ince cream; stir well. Allow the ice cream to melt slightly to flavor the pinch, then serve immediately.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!