Mar 292018

Frank Brigtsen is a funny guy who gets serious when he is in the kitchen. It’s the smallest details that makes each of his dishes great. Mashed potatoes are a simple dish. Here are some of his notes.

Frank uses smaller potatoes for his mashed potatoes. He finds that the smaller potatoes come out sweeter and less starchy. Always use the best cream and butter available. Always cook the potatoes until they are very tender, almost falling apart. Always mash the potatoes while they are still hot and by hand. Always reserve a little of the water used to cook the potatoes to add to the mashed potatoes. This helps keep them light and fluffy.Finally, try and make your mashed potatoes at the last minute, just before dinner is served. This is when they are at their best.

4 pounds small Red Potatoes; preferably “B” size

16 cups Water

2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream

1/2 pound Unsalted Butter

1/4 cup Potato Water (the water in which the potatoes were boiled)

1 tablespoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon ground White Pepper

Wash the potatoes very well and put them in a deep pot with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook until very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain the water off the potatoes, reserving 1/4 cup of the water.

In asmall pot, add the cream and cook over low heat just until the cream is scalded. Add the butter and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add the cooked potatoes, potato water, salt, and white pepper. Mash the potatoes with a heavy duty wire whisk until the potatoes are broken up into small pieces. Add the cream/butter mixture and continue mashing with the whisk until the potatoes have absorbed all the cream. Use a spoon to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Serve Immediately.


Good Cookin, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Mar 262018

If you have not eaten at Brigtsen’s, you don’t know what your are missing. It is a dining experience. Not only are you eating the food of a James Beard award winning chef, you are also being served by the James Beard nominated best service staff. Make that trip to dine uptown soon. You will be glad you did

I found a couple of side dish recipes from Frank’s appearances at the Chef’s Charity for Children that I will be sharing with you this week.

1/4 cup Unseasoned Rice Vinegar

1/4 cup peeled, grated Granny Smith Apples

1 teaspoon granulated White Sugar

1 teaspoon Soy Sauce

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1/8 teaspoon Tabasco Hot Sauce

1 tablespoon Sesame Oil

2 cups very thinly sliced Red Cabbage

2 cups very thinly sliced Napa Cabbage (or Green Cabbage)

1/3 cup peeled, grated Carrots

1/3 cup roasted unsalted Peanuts

1/4 cup julienned Red Onions

1/4 cup julienned Red Bell Pepper

1/4 cup julienned Yellow Bell Pepper

1/3 cup thinly sliced chives (or green onions)

In a mixing bowl, add the vinegar, apple, sugar, soy sauce, salt, and Tabasco. Blend well with a wire whisk. Slowly add the sesame oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Add the remaining ingredients and blend well for 3-4 minutes. Refrigerate for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, before serving.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Mar 252018

Planning on having a Mardi Gras party. Here is a great side dish. It contains the traditional Mardi Gras colors: purple (actually the cabbage is red), green and gold.

For the salad

4 cups Red Cabbage, chopped

2 cups Green Cabbage, chopped

2 cups Green Bell Peppers, chopped

1 cup Yellow Bell Peppers, chopped

1 cup Yellow Squash, chopped

3/4 cup Green Onions, tops and bottoms finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh Parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons Sesame Seeds, toasted

For the dressing

1 cup Cider Vinegar

2 tablespoons Sugar

1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning

2 teaspoons Hot Sauce

1 cup Canola Oil

Combine salad ingredients and refrigerate, covered or sealed in plastic zipper bags, until ready to serve.

Place the vinegar in a blender and add the sugar, Creole Seasoning and hot sauce. Blend thoroughly, about 2 minutes, then with the appliance running slowly add the oil in a thin, steady stream just until it is incorporated. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary, then refrigerate. When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly.


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Mar 222018

Here is a recipe from the great Leah Chase. It is a simple down home recipe that you can find in homes around New Orleans.

3 Pork Chops (8 ounces each)

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 tablespoons Flour

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

1 cup Water

2 Onions, sliced

1 Green Bell Pepper, cut into long strips

Rub chops with salt and pepper and dredge each chop in flour, coating lightly. heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Place chops in hot oil and brown about 4 minutes per side. Drain out and excess oil. Add water and scrape the bottom of the pan. Turn chops over. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let cook for 5 minutes. Add onions on top of chops, cover, and cook until onions are just soft, about 10 minutes. Add bell pepper. Season, to taste with more salt and pepper and let simmer for 5 minutes longer.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Mar 192018

This week, I am in New Orleans. Last weekend was my St. Patricks Irish Channel march. Friday and Saturday, I will be with my brother’s team Rugaroux Q at Hogs for the Cause. This festival is a charity for Pediatric Cancer. Please come out and visit and donate to the worthy cause.

This week, I am posting two pork recipes. This first one is a easy appetizer.

2 pounds Andouille Sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick

1 1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce

1/2 cup Bourbon

1 tablespoon Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 350℉.

In a mixing bowl, combine bbq sauce, bourbon and brown sugar. Stir well.

Arrange sausage sliced in one layer across the bottom of a 9×13-inch glass baking pan. Pour sauce over andouille. Bake approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened, stirring every 15 minutes. Serve warm.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Mar 142018

On Saturday March 17, I will be marching in the Irish Channel in New Orleans. Hope to see you out there.

Traditionally, boxty cakes are served as part of an Irish breakfast fry with eggs, black pudding, white pudding, grilled tomatoes, and mushrooms.

2 pounds Potatoes, peeled

3 Eggs, whisked

1 pound cooked Corned Beef, shredded

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Pepper

Boil half of the potatoes until soft, drain off water, and mash. Grate remaining potatoes into a large bowl, add eggs, and mix with the mashed potatoes. Fold in the beef.

Sift flour, salt and pepper over the potatoes and gently mix with your hands as if lending bread dough, taking care not to overtax.

Roll onto a floured board until about 1-inch thick. Cut dough into triangles, squares or circles. Lightly grease a heavy skillet (or frying pan) and heat to medium-high. Cook slowly until well browned on both sides.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Mar 122018

Matt Murphy was the chef of the now closed Irish House. With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to share two Irish dishes.

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg

2 teaspoons Powdered Sugar

1 stick Butter, divided

1 cup Raisins

1 cup Buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375℉. Butter and flour a baking sheet and set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture until the consistency is flaky. Stir in raisins and buttermilk and form into a ball. The dough will be soft.

Place on prepared baking sheet, and cut an X in the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Bake for 40 minutes or until tester comes out clean.


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Mar 082018

Here is a twist on a New Orleans favorite Dirty Rice or Rice Dressing. The eggplant adds another layer of flavor to this traditional dish.

1 large Eggplant, peeled and diced

1 teaspoon Salt

2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

1 cup Onions, chopped

1/2 cup Bell Pepper, chopped

1 pound Ground Beef

4 cups cooked Long-Grain Rice, kept warm

1/4 cup Chicken Broth

1/3 cup fresh Parsley, chopped

Creole Seasoning to taste

Put eggplant in a bowl of water and add salt. Let stand for about 15 minutes, then drain, rinse with cool water and pat dry on paper towels.

In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add eggplant, stirring often, and cook for about 10 minutes or until softened. Add onions and bell peppers and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is brown and no longer pink. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add rice, and stir to mix. Add chicken broth if the mixture becomes dry. Season with Creole seasoning and serve warm.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Mar 052018

Louisiana is the third largest producer of rice in the US. It is a staple for every pantry. This week, I am sharing two rice based dishes.

3 cups cooked Long-grain White Rice, cooled

1/2 cup Celery, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh Parsley, finely chopped

1/2 cup Green Onions, finely chopped

1/4 cup Pecan Oil

1/4 cup Pimento-stuffed Green Olives, sliced

1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tablespoon Creole Mustard

Salt, Pepper and Hot Sauce to taste

Toss all ingredients in a medium bowl, and refrigerate. Remove and let come to room temperature before serving.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!

Mar 012018

Drago’s is known as the creator of Chargrilled Oysters. However, long before this creation, oysters have always been featured prominently on its menu. Here is a pasta dish featuring oysters.

1 gallon Oysters (approximately 120-130 oysters)

1 1/2 cups whole Garlic, peeled

1 1/2 cups Parsley, cleaned and trimmed

2 1/2 cups Olive Oil Blend (75% Canola and 25% Olive Oil)

1 64 ounce jar your favorite Alfredo Sauce

2 pounds Angel Hair Pasta, cooked

Salt to taste

Parboil the oysters in a large stockpot in their own water until they start to curl on the ends. You do not want to overcook the oysters. Drain and discard oyster water. Then move on to making a Bordelaise sauce by blending the garlic in a processor for 20 to 25 seconds until finely chopped. Then blend parsley in the processor for 20 to 25 seconds until finely chopped. Combine garlic and oil together in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Add parsley to bowl with garlic and olive oil. Mix all 3 ingredients well; this completes the Bordelaise. Warm the Alfredo sauce and add the Bordelaise sauce and oysters. Serve over cooked pasta.


Good Cooking, Good Eating and Good Living!!!