New Orleans Is known for having some of the best restaurants in the country. Many of the best restaurants are owned and operated by the first family of New Orleans restaurants, the Brennans. This family started out when Owen Brennan opened Brennan’s Restaurant on Bourbon Street. He started planning the move to a larger location, to 417 Royal St, its current location. Unfortunately, Owen passed away before the new location opened.
This left his siblings to continue the work he did. Now into the second generation, the Brennan family has amassed a restaurant empire. They currently own and operate fifteen restaurants nationwide, with seven located in the French Quarter. Today, I am sharing with you recipes from two of Owen’s siblings, his brother John and sister Ella. Ella was the one who really took over after Owen’s death and was the driving force behind this empire.
This is a recipe from the website of Ralph Brennan, John’s son. It is a great dish for a party, since it needs to be prepared in advance. Of all of the second generation of the Brennan family, Ralph has the most restaurants of the lot. His eight restaurants include Brennan’s on Royal Street and the Red Fish Grill. He also has the Jazz Kitchen located at Downtown Disney in California.
Lump Crabmeat, Bacon & Onion Dip
1/2 pound chopped & Cooked Bacon
1/2 pound Lump Crabmeat, picked thru for shells
12 ounces Cream Cheese
3/4 cup chopped Onions
4 ounces Mayonnaise
2 ounces Parmesan Cheese
2 tablespoons Green Onions, sliced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco Hot Sauce to taste
Chopped Fresh Parsley, about 1 tablespoon
French Bread Crostini Slices
Stir together first 9 ingredients. Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours before serving. Stir in parsley just before serving. Serve with French bread crostini slices.
This recipe is from one of my favorite French Quarter restaurants. Mr B’s. Bistro. John’s daughter Cindy runs this location. We have visited this restaurant on many special occasions, celebrating anniversaries and Valentines day. The main cooking appliance is their wood burning grill. Mr. B’s was one of the first to design their menu around the wood burning grill. Here is a recipe that put that grill to good use.
Honey Ginger Barbecued Pork Chop
1 cup Honey
1/2 cup finely grated fresh Ginger
1/2 cup firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Sriracha Sauce
1/4 cup Sesame Oil
2 tablespoons minced Garlic (about 6 cloves)
1/4 cup minced fresh Chives
4 Center Cut Pork Chops
In a bowl, whisk together honey, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, Sriracha, sesame oil, garlic and chives. Grill chops on a preheated grill or griddle about 4-6 minutes a side, reaching about 155℉ internal temperature. Place on a warm plate and drizzle with honey ginger sauce before serving.
The final recipe is from the best restaurant in New Orleans, Commander’s Palace, run by Ella’s daughter Ti and John’s daughter, Lally. This grand restaurant was where we first met Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. Their presence in the kitchen here elevated the food to the level it is now, headed by Chef Tory McPhail. I am not sure who created this dessert but it is a wonderful way to finish any meal. It is also Lally’s favorite dessert.
1 1/2 cups White Corn Syrup
1 1/2 cups Dark Corn Syrup
1 1/2 cups chopped Roasted Pecans
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Dash of Nutmeg
Dash of Cinnamon
8 scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
1 cup Heavy Cream, whipped
6 Maraschino Cherries with stems
Mix together corn syrups, pecans, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Put 2 tablespoons each of this sauce in the bottom of 4 parfait dishes. Add 2 scoops of ice cream to each dish and top with a generous lacing of sauce. Top the sauce with a lavish spoonful of whipped cream and garnish with a cherry. (There will be some sauce left over for use another time.)
One day, I will write about the only Brennan family member who is a trained chef, a friend of mine, Dickie Brennan. Dickie’s three French Quarter restaurants are among the most popular in the city.