Category Archives: Recipes

Oysters Bienville Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine

As much as I love a well made Oysters Rockefeller, this dish, Oysters Bienville, is my favorite of the baked New Orleans Oysters. I especially love this one as an appetizer for a Christmas meal, it’s richness of flavor is perfect for the holidays.

Although Count Arnaud Cazaname of Arnaud’s Restaurant claimed creation of this dish, his was a recreation of the one he first tasted at Antoine’s, created by Chef Auguste Michel. It is named in honor of Jean de Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, who in 1718, with the help of eighty French exiles, set up a colony near the mouth of the Mississippi river, called La Nouvelle Orleans; now New Orleans. He was also an early Louisiana governor, although he is most well known for being the namesake for this dish. Here is my recipe:

Oysters Bienville Recipe

1 Dozen Oysters, shucked and on the halfshell (PHOTO of these Ersters naked) (How to shuck an Oyster – Quicktime Video)
6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Onion, finely chopped
4 Green Onions, finely sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
6 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped
1/2 Cup White Mushrooms, finely chopped
1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
Oyster Liquor, reserved
2 Tbsp Italian Parsley, minced
2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
A few dashes Hot Sauce (I use Crystal)
Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, and Cayenne, to taste
4 Egg Yolks, beaten

Garnish (not meant to be eaten):
1 1/2 Cups Rock Salt
3 Crushed up Bay leaves
1 tsp Whole Cloves
1 tsp Whole Allspice

Shuck the oysters, drain off the liquor into a small container; reserve. Leave the oysters on the half shell, refrigerated.

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.

For the sauce:
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, saute until the onions turn slightly golden.
Add the flour, stirring well to incorporate. Cook for a few minutes until it gets just a bit of color.
Stir in the shrimp, mushrooms, and a bit more salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the shrimp start to turn pink.
Add the white wine and the cream, cook for 2 minutes.
Add the lemon juice, parsley, and hot sauce. Season to taste with the salt, pepper, and cayenne; remove from the heat.
When the sauce is slightly cooled, stir in the egg yolks, moving quickly to incorporate and keep them from curdling.

For the Oysters:
Mix the Rock Salt with remaining garnish ingredients. Heat in the oven in a seperate pie tin at the same time as the oysters.

Top each Oyster with about 2 Tbsp of the prepared sauce. Place them in a pan that has a thin layer of rock salt in the bottom, this is to keep the oysters steady.
Bake for 10-12 Minutes then turn on the broiler to slightly brown the tops, for 1-2 minutes. The Oysters are finished when the sauce is heated through and the edges of the oysters start to curl.

Place the aromatic rock salt mixture on a large plate or platter. Arrange the Oysters Bienville decoratively around the plate. Serve.

Related Posts:

Oysters on the Half Shell

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Boudin Sausage Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine

**UPDATE** My latest Boudin Recipe complete with PHOTOS!

The commonly known Louisiana Boudin (BOO-dahn) is Acadian through and through, traditionally made as a way to stretch the meat after a Boucherie, to feed more mouths. There are two varities, Boudin Blanc, commonly just refered to as “Boudin”, and Boudin Rouge, which is becoming very difficult to find. It is made in a similar fashion but with fresh pig’s blood. Believe me, if I ever get my hands on some fresh pig’s blood, you will definately see a Boudin Rouge recipe on this site.
In Cajun country there are as many Boudin recipes as there are cooks, most using basically the same ingredients, in different proportions. You can find Boudin sold just about anyplace along the road that has a roof (probably some without.) Gas stations, shops, you name it, they will most likely have a sign that says “Hot Boudin”.
The old Creole versions were more along the lines of the traditional French, made with meats and fowl and a panada (bread and cream) as a binder (To see a more traditional French version of Boudin Blanc, see my friend Carolyn’s recipe at 18thC French Cuisine). The Acadians use(d) rice, something that was/is plentiful in South Louisiana.
I make mine with lots of green onions and parsley, also Louisiana staples, and the mark of a good Boudin. A lot of recipes will just make basic rice, cooked in water. That just doesn’t make sense to me, so I like to use the Pork cooking liquid to cook my rice, utilize all of that flavor. You could use leftover cooked rice in this recipe, but I prefer to make fresh. You can stuff Boudin into casings as I’ve done here, or shape into Patties or Balls for pan frying. I also like to get some thick Pork Chops and stuff them with Boudin. Boudin is great for breakfast, or for lunch with saltine crackers and a cold beer. The recipe:

Cajun Boudin Sausage Recipe

1 1/2 lbs Pork Steak
1/2 lb Very Fresh Pork liver (not frozen), rinsed
1 Medium Onion, Coarsely chopped
3 Garlic Cloves
2 Bay Leaves
1 Sprig Fresh Thyme
Water to cover by 1 inch
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
2 Cups Uncooked Long grain Rice
1 Bunch Green Onions, thinly sliced
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Italian Parsley
Cayenne to taste

Cut the pork steak and liver into 2 inch pieces and place in a large saucepan, along with the onion, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Cover with cold water by 1 1/2 inches. Season well with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer, skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Simmer for about 1 hour or until the meat is very tender. Remove the bay leaves, and thyme, then strain the solids from the broth, reserve the broth.
Grind the meats and cooked onion and garlic while they’re still hot, you could also chop this by hand.

For the Rice:
In a saucepan with a lid, combine the rice with 3 Cups of the reserved broth. Taste the broth for seasoning, if necessary season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then down to very low heat and cover. Cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

When the rice is cooked, combine it with the ground meat mixture, green onions, and parsley. Mix thoroughly and season to taste with Kosher salt, black pepper, and Cayenne.

Stuff into prepared hog casings (instructions on how to link homemade sausage), or form into patties or balls for pan frying. This also makes a great stuffing.

To heat the stuffed Boudin sausages, either poach them in water between 165-185 degrees F, or brush the casings with a little oil and bake in a 400 degree oven until heated through and the skins are crispy. When I poach them, I take the Boudin out of the casings to eat it because they become rubbery.

Other recipes for Sausages and Seasoning Meats at Nola Cuisine:

Andouille Sausage Recipe
Chaurice Sausage Recipe
Tasso Recipe
Pickled Pork Recipe

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Pumpkin Soup with Andouille and Tasso

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I always make a big batch of Turkey Stock before Thanksgiving, for stuffing, gravy etc., and of course for the leftover Turkey Gumbo a day or two after the holiday. I made a huge batch of stock this year, so I made a little Pumkin Soup with a couple of the pie pumpkins that were hanging out on the front porch for decoration. This isn’t your average Pumkin Soup, it’s smoky, and boldly flavored with Louisiana ingredients. This would be a great soup to serve as a starter for Thanksgiving. The Recipe:

Pumkin Soup with Andouille Sausage & Tasso

For the Pumkin:
2 Medium Pie Pumkins, halved top to bottom, scraped out and seeded, then halved again.
3 Tbsp Melted Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning, mixed with:
1/4 tsp Ground Allspice

Preheat an oven to 400º F.
Lay the pumkin on a baking sheet, brush with the butter and season with the Creole Seasoning mix. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until fork tender.
Remove from the oven and while still warm, scoop away the meat from the skin, discard the skin. Set aside.

For the soup:

4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 Cups Diced Andouille Sausage
3/4 Cup Diced Tasso
1 1/2 Cups Diced Onion
3/4 Cup Diced Red Bell Pepper
3/4 Cup Diced Celery
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
Turkey Stock (about 4-6 cups should do it) or Chicken Stock
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme leaves
Kosher Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Hot Sauce ot to taste

Pepitas (shelled pumkin seeds) toasted
Green Onions, thinly sliced

Add the Andouille sausage, Tasso, and the butter to a dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Don’t brown, the object is to render some fat and flavor.
Add the Trinity (onion, bell pepper, celery) and garlic. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables are very tender. Remove the vegetables and seasoning meats to bowl with a slotted spoon, reserving all liquids in the pot.

Add the Pumkin to the pot and cover with about 4 cups of the Turkey Stock or covered by 1/2 inch. Add the bay leaves and fresh Thyme. Bring this to a boil, then down to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper; add the Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Simmer this for about 40 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, then puree with an immersion blender.
If the soup is to thick, thin it out with some hot stock. If it is too thin you can thicken it with a little blonde Roux. It should have body, but should not be too thick. I would prefer to start a little thick, then thin out with stock, which is why I only started with 4 cups of stock, you can always add more.

Add the reserved vegetables and seasoning meats. Adjust seasonings.

Serve garnished with the Pepitas and thinly sliced Green Onions.

Serves 4

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Andouille Sausage Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine

I started making my own Andouille a few years back because the stuff they sell in the grocery stores here in Michigan is a joke, you may as well break open a package of Oscar Meyer hot dogs for your Gumbo.
You know the kind I mean, basically Alpo, stuffed into a casing and injected with liquid smoke. I can’t use that garbage, so I make my own. Andouille is a cornerstone to many great New Orleans & Louisiana dishes, so you really need a good one! I would rather use a good quality Kielbasa, than a cut rate Andouille. The better the Andouille, the better the dish! Luckily, I enjoy making sausage, it is a very worth while investment of time if your finished product turns out well. Here is how I go about it.

I used a nice fatty, 5# boston butt, trimmed of tough connective tissue. Fat is good for sausage, especially Andouille. You want about 75% lean/25% fat. Here I hand chopped half of the meat into 1/4 inch pieces for texture, and ground the rest. The recipe:

Andouille Sausage Recipe

5# Pork (I prefer a Boston Butt) Trimmed of tough connective tissue and cut into 2 inch cubes.

Combine the following in a bowl:
2 tsp of Cayenne or to taste (Remember, if you make it too hot, every dish you make with it will be too hot! Start off with a little, you can add more after you taste the finished seasoning)
1 Tbsp Paprika
1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Garlic
1/8 Cup Fresh Ground Black Pepper
3 Tbsp Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme leaves, chopped
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 healthy pinch Cure #1 (1 tsp. of “cure” per 5# of meat)
1/2 Cup Ice Water

Toss this mixture with the meat, making sure it is well coated. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

**Note – Prague Powder#1 is used for wet curing meats, to retain color and freshness. It is a ratio of 16 oz. salt to 1 ounce sodium nitrate.

Chop half of the meat into 1/4 inch pieces and grind the other half with a coarse grinding plate. Mix the two together with:

1/8 Cup Non-Fat Powdered Milk (this is a binder)

Stuff the sausage into prepared Hog Casings (Beef middle casings if you can find them). Here is my method of Linking Sausage.

Tie each sausage link with kitchen string to make a loop for hanging. Hang uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. This step is to let the casings dry out to allow smoke absorption, very important.

I smoked this in an inexpensive upright barrel smoker, with charcoal as the heat source, and unsoaked Pecan chips for the smoke. The sausage was hung beneath the top rack, no water pan.

I smoked this at 130º F for 2 hours, then increased the heat to 165º F for another 2 1/2 hours, refreshing the wood chips as needed. The trick here, is to get as much smoke flavor into the sausage before it is actually cooked through, and too hot of a temperature will render the fat out of your sausage. I controlled the temp by the number of coals, and keeping them piled up and pushed to one side. When you spread your coals out the temperature will increase. I added more coals to reach the 165º F mark.

The internal temperature of the sausage should read 155º F on an instant read thermometer. Remove at this point and immediately spray with cold water. Hang at room temperature in front of a fan for 1 hour then refrigerate overnight, uncovered.

Portion and store in vacuum sealed packages in the freezer.

Other recipes for Sausages and Seasoning Meats at Nola Cuisine:

Here is my Latest Batch of Andouille Sausage!

Chaurice Sausage Recipe
Cornbread and Andouille Sausage Recipe
Tasso Recipe
Pickled Pork Recipe

My post about my visit to Jacob’s Andouille.

Check out Egullet’s, Eating Louisiana Andouille page, with pics from Wayne Jacob’s, and Jacob’s Andouille, in the Andouille capital, Laplace, Louisiana.

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Austin Leslie’s Fried Chicken Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine

This is part 2 of Great Chefs of New Orleans: Austin Leslie, which I’ve been working on with my friend Texas Chef Bill Moran. Like I said, with each Chef we feature, we will include a recipe that he/she is most famous for, in this case Austin Leslie’s Fried Chicken.
A lot of people think Austin Leslie had a secret ingredient, heck, maybe he had a little secret, but I believe his main secrets were patience and knowledge.

The following passage about frying chicken by Austin Leslie is from the 1978 book Creole Feast by Nathaniel Burton and Rudy Lombard:

“The first time I cut up a chicken I was working at Portia’s. The chef there , Bill Turner, asked me where I learned how to do it. I said I learned from my mother at home. He taught me how to get twelve pieces from a whole chicken; my mother was able to get thirteen pieces from the same chicken because she broke the back into two parts. I learned all about fried chicken from Bill Turner, too. It’s the easiest job in the kitchen. You can tell by the sound when fried chicken is done. If you listen to it, you can hear how the sound of the grease crackling in the fryer changes. Then you know it’s time to bring it up. I never cook it well done; I never cook any meat well done. What I do is take the blood out of it first-while the chicken is frying, take a pair of tongs and squeeze each piece. Squeeze it till it bursts to let the blood out. You can look right down there by the bone and see if there is any blood there. When it’s ready the chicken will float to the top, a part of it will stick up. Then you take it and check it over. If you cook it properly you can keep your guests or customers from ever seeing any blood. That’s what they object to, when they prefer well-done meat-not the taste, but the blood.
If you’re serving fried chicken to twelve people you will need three chickens so you can provide three pieces each. The wings-two pieces; the breast-four pieces; the back-two pieces; the thighs-two pieces, the leg-two pieces; that’s twelve in all. Since people want to handle chicken easily when they eat it, we cut it that way. Actually we can fry it just as well in larger cuts. When you cut it properly you won’t loosen the skin. You start by cutting it down the back. Split it down the middle. Then take a sharp cleaver and place the chicken firmly on a block and hold it down. After you split it down the back, then you open it up and take out the insides and put them aside. Then you cut straight through the breast. Cut it into quarters with the cleaver, seperating the thighs from the breast. Then disjoint it at the wings, and disjoint the legs from the thighs. If you use a cleaver, be careful. If you use a knife, always cut away from yourself. Always move all other knives away from the board when you use a cleaver because you can mis-strike, and if that cleaver hits a knife, it can jump up and hit you.
After the chicken is cut up, salt and pepper it, mixing the pieces around so the salt and pepper get all over the chicken.
If you are preparing the chicken to be cooked later, don’t do what they do in markets-cover it with plastic wrap or wax paper. If you do that and then put it into the refrigerator, some of it might go bad. The best thing is to put the seasoned chicken in a bowl uncovered. That way the cold air can get call around the chicken and keep it fresh. The next step is to make an egg wash. Use any kind of cream-for one chicken, use one egg and half a can of evaporated milk. Add some salt and pepper, stir it up, put the chicken in and let it sit. Put enough flour to cover the chicken either in a bag or in a flat bowl and coat the chicken with flour. If you use an electric fryer, set it at 350 F, if you pan-fry, wait till the oil is beginning to bubble. I use peanut oil for frying. Put the heavy pieces in first (thigh, leg and breast), making sure you don’t crowd the chicken. If you put too much in at one time the heat and oil can’t get all around the meat and it will cook unevenly. You have to watch the flour that falls to the bottom of the pan very carefully. After each set of pieces gets done, strain the oil out and clean the pan, otherwise the flour at the bottom is going to burn. You’ve heard people say the first chicken looks good, the second so-so, and the third you can forget. That’s why. Never fry anything else (meat, fish, or sausage) along with the chicken, because it will give it a bad taste. It’s like frying hot sausage on a grill and then following it up with steak or ham. You see that a lot in restaurant kitchens and that’s why the food has a strange taste. You can’t cut up a lobster on the same board you use chicken or some other meat.” -Austin Leslie

The above pic is my recreation, using the instructions at the bottom of this page and following the recipe. It may not have been Austin Leslie’s, but it was a damned good plate of Chicken. Here is the recipe:

Austin Leslie’s Fried Chicken with Persillade Recipe

1 ¼ Cups Peanut Oil for frying
1 3-3 1/2; lb Fryer cut up (see above)
Salt and Black Pepper
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 cup Evaporated Milk
1 cup Water
½ Cup flour

4 Tbl fresh minced garlic
4 Tbl fresh minced parsley
Dill Pickle Slices

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet to 350 F, the oil should come about halfway up the sides of the skillet. Adjust the amount in accordance with the skillet size. Combine garlic and parsley (persillade) in small mixing bowl and set aside.

Wash chicken pieces in cool water, pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk egg, evaporated milk and water. Season with salt and pepper. Place flour in a separate bowl. One piece at a time, starting with heaviest pieces, dip chicken into egg wash, squeeze, dip into flour and place gently in skillet. Do not overcrowd skillet.

Maintain temperature of 350 F. Use tongs and long fork to turn chicken often for 7-8 minutes. Remove chicken from oil with tongs, pierce with fork and squeeze. Place chicken back in oil approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Chicken is done when no longer hissing and juices run clear. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain. Immediately top with a sprinkle of garlic and parsley mixture. Continue until all the chicken is cooked.
Garnish each piece with a slice of dill pickle.

Related links:
Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe at American Gourmand
Austin Leslie related links:
Great Chefs of New Orleans: Austin Leslie
Austin Leslie Obituary at Egullet (Pictures)
Jason Perlow’s pictures from Jacques-Imo’s and Pampy’s Creole Kitchen
Pictures of Austin Leslie’s Jazz Funeral
Austin Leslie Obituary thread at Mr. Lake’s Nonpompous New Orleans Food Forum.

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Homemade Tasso Recipe

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Tasso (TAH-so) is a smoked seasoning meat used to flavor dishes like Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Red Beans & Rice. Tasso used to be made from the trim after an Acadian Hog Boucherie, thin strips, heavily seasoned, dried, then smoked for hours. These days however, most of the Tasso that is available is a little more fancy, more of a ham than the style of the old days, mine is somewhere in between. I always find it amazing how ingredients and recipes, that basically came from scrap and the poorest times evolve into Gourmet, I love it. Tasso will keep in the freezer and is pretty easy to make, but you have to do a little planning.
A few Tips:
After seasoning it, I recommend keeping it in the fridge, at least 3 days to let it cure, look at how nice and pink the center is.
Take it easy on the Cayenne when making your seasoning blend, start off with a small amount, then add to your taste, the amount here is moderate. It should have some heat, but I don’t like losing control of the heat in a dish I’m cooking because my Tasso was too hot, so I cut it back a little, for the same reason that you don’t salt stocks.
Here is my recipe for Tasso. I used a Boneless Pork Roast cut into about 4-5 inch long, 1/2 to 1 inch thick slices. This is seasoning for about 5 lbs of pork:

Homemade Tasso Recipe

5 lbs Pork cut as described above

3 Tbsp Kosher Salt
2 Tsp Cayenne or To Taste (see above)
4 Tbsp Paprika
2 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp White Pepper
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Mix the seasoning together well. Rub the seasoning into the meat, you want a lot on there, call it 1/8 inch, use it all. Place on a plate or tray, cover and refrigerate 3 days.

Before smoking put the Tasso on an elevated rack so that air can circulate around it, then put a fan on it for about 2 hours to dry it out. I also don’t use a water pan when smoking Tasso, this is something that I actually want to dry out during the smoking process.

I hot smoked this batch in an inexpensive upright barrel smoker using charcoal as the heat source (heated with a chimney starter, no lighter fluid or matchlight coals please.) I used Pecan chips that were soaked in water for 1 hour for the smoke.
I smoked this a total of about 4 hours, the first 2 hours at about 150-160 degrees F. The second two hours at 180-190 degrees F.
The object is to get as much smoke into the meat, before cooking it all the way through. I brought the internal temperature of the meat to 150 degrees F in the last 2 hours of smoking.
When finished I again put the Tasso in front of a fan for about 1 hour. Refrigerate. When completely cold portion and store the Tasso in vacuum sealed packages. Freeze.

Makes 5 lbs of Tasso

Related Links:

Andouille Sausage Recipe
Chaurice Sausage Recipe
Pickle Meat Recipe
More on Tasso:
Check out these Pics at Egullet of Wayne Jacob’s beautiful Tasso and Andouille, made the old way in LaPlace, Louisiana.

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Monday Red Beans & Rice with Fried Pork Chops

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From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

I finally got around to making my Red Beans & Rice with the Pickle Meat I made recently, like I said, nothing flavors Red Beans as well as Pickle Meat. I also served it with Fried Pork Chops as a side, instead of Chaurice Sausage. I made my Chops a little different than the norm by making them Fried Chicken style, there were no complaints at the table.

Monday Red Beans & Rice Recipe with Pickle Meat and Fried Pork Chops

1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
1 Cup Onion, chopped
1/2 Cup Bell Pepper, chopped
1/4 Cup Celery, Chopped
1 Cup Andouille Sausage, Cubed
1 Ham Bone
1/2 lb Small Red Beans (soaked overnight or for at least a few hours)
1 Cup Pickle Meat, Cubed
1 Tbsp Fresh Garlic, Minced
3 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock (You could certainly use water)
3 Fresh Bay Leaves
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced on the bias
1/2 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice

Mix together the Holy Trinity (Onions, Celery, Bell Pepper). Drain the beans.
Melt the butter over medium heat.
Add 1/2 of the Holy Trinity, 1 Tbsp of the Creole Seasoning, and the Andouille, turn the heat to medium high. Cook this for about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to get some color.
Add the beans and cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
Add the Chicken Stock or Water, Pickle Meat, the Ham bone, Garlic, Bay Leaves, the remaining Trinity and Creole Seasoning. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let this simmer for 2- 2 1/2 Hours. The first hour is low maintenance; an occasional stir and making sure the beans are covered with liquid. The second hour, you want to check back a little more often, the beans will really start to absorb some liquid and you don’t want them to stick.
After the beans have cooked for two hours, add the Tomato Sauce, the Parsley and 1/2 of the Green Onions. Make your Rice. Cook the beans for another half hour.
To Serve:
Remove the Bay Leaves. Mound a half cup of Rice each, onto two serving plates, Cover with a generous helping of the Red Beans, Garnish with the remaining Green Onions. Make sure their is a bottle of hot sauce on the table. Perfect compliments to this meal are a simple vinaigrette salad, Good Crusty French Bread, and your favorite Ice Cold Beer.

Serves 2-3

Fried Pork Chops Recipe

Pork Chops
Buttermilk (enough to cover)
1 tsp Black Pepper
Kosher Salt & Black pepper
1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
Oil for frying

Cover the chops with the Buttermilk, mix in the 1 tsp Black Pepper. Marinate for 1 hour.
Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Remove the Chops from the buttermilk and season liberally with salt and pepper. Dredge in the seasoned flour, shake off any excess. Fry until golden brown and just cooked through, serve alongside Red Beans & Rice.

Other Red Beans & Rice posts:

Red Beans & Rice Recipe (made with Andouille Sausage and Tasso)

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Cajun Catfish Courtbouillon Recipe

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A Louisiana Courtbouillon (COO-be-yahn) is completely different than the French Court-bouillon, which is an aromatic liquor or stock used as a cooking liquid. The Louisiana Courtbouillon, which is most definately a Cajun creation, is a thick, rich fish stew, brimming with Acadian flavors. There is a Creole style Courtbouillon as well, which is Whole Fish, usually Redfish, stuffed with aromatics, topped with lemon slices, then braised in Creole Sauce (future post). Here is my recipe for the Cajun Catfish Courtbouillon which is just pure, down home goodness:

Cajun Catfish Courtbouillon Recipe

1 lb of Catfish Fillets cut into 2 inch pieces
2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
2 Tbsp Bacon drippings or vegetable oil
1 Medium Onion, Julienned
2 Stalks Celery, Julienned
1 small Bell Pepper, Julienned
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (14 1/2 oz.) or Same amount fresh from the garden if in season
Fish Stock, Seafood Stock or water to cover, about 2-3 cups
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme leaves
1/4 Cup Dark Roux
Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Cayenne to taste
3-4 dashes Peychaud Bitters (optional)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Hot Sauce (I use Crystal)
3 Lemon Slices
2 Tbsp. Flat Leaf Parsley, Chopped
1/4 Cup Thinly sliced Green Onions
1 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice

Toss the Catfish with the Creole Seasoning and keep in the refrigerator.
Heat the bacon drippings over medium heat, add the trinity (onions, celery, bell pepper) and saute until slightly wilted. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Cover with the stock by 1/2 inch, add bay leaves, thyme, garlic and a small amount of seasonings, bring to a boil; Add the Dark Roux, cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Lower to a simmer, simmer about 20 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce, Worcestershire, Peychaud’s, parsley, 1/2 of the green onions, Catfish and the lemon slices. Simmer for 30-45 minutes. If the Courtbouillon gets a little too thick add a touch of stock or water, the consistency should be stewlike, not watery. Be careful when stirring the pot not to break up the Catfish.
Adjust the seasonings if necessary, remove the bay leaf and lemon slices. Serve over boiled rice and top with the remaining green onions.

Serves 3-4

Related Posts:
Redfish Courtbouillon

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which provides links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

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Sazerac Cocktail Recipe

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The Sazerac, which some say is America’s first cocktail, was invented by Antoine Peychaud, a Creole pharmacist, in the 1830’s. The original contained Brandy (some argue Cognac), Absinthe, and the Apothecary’s secret bitters, which now bear his name. Sazerac lovers all have their own recipe which they think is the best, which is ridiculous, because mine is the best. My buddy Tom also shakes a great Sazerac, he uses Wild Turkey Rye 101. In addition to recipe, an equally ferocious debate, is which bar in New Orleans has the best. I’m sure the locals may know better, but I think a great one is at the Fairmount Hotel’s, Sazerac Bar. The Fairmont Hotel, which was the Roosevelt until 1965, was owned by Seymour Weiss, friend of former Governor and later Senator Huey P. Long, who set up shop in the hotel. Anyway, they make a very good Sazerac, as well as their famous Ramos Gin Fizz, but that’s another post. It is a great little bar to relax and sample some of the fine cocktails of New Orleans. I haven’t yet heard the state of the Fairmont post Katrina.
Great places for a Sazerac on Bourbon are the Desire Oyster Bar (recently re-opened) or Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar, and of course Galatoire’s. Galatoire’s makes a Sazerac, as well as what they call a Galatoire’s Special which they mix the same, but substitute Bourbon for the Rye.
Peychaud’s bitters can be difficult to find in the Detroit area but I managed to locate a few places that carry it. Herbsaint, I’ve only found in New Orleans, not too much different than Pernod, but it’s 90 proof as opposed to Pernod’s 80 proof, plus its cheaper, and from New Orleans (My Herbsaint supply is dangerously low right now.) Here is my recipe, keep in mind, mine is a tad sweeter, and heavier on the Peychaud’s than some. That’s why it is called My Recipe:

My Sazerac Cocktail Recipe

2 oz. Rye Whiskey (I use Jim Beam Rye, or Wild Turkey Rye 101; You could also substitute Bourbon, as Commander’s Palace does!)
8 dashes Peychaud Bitters
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 Tablespoon Simple Syrup (equal parts sugar and water/cooked until the sugar disolves)
about 1/4 ounce Herbsaint or Pernod.
1 Lemon Twist

Chill an old fashioned glass. Combine the Rye, bitters and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Rub the rim of the glass with the lemon peel, then coat the inside of the glass with the Herbsaint, pour out the excess. Add the mix to the glass, twist the lemon peel and drop it in. Enjoy!

Makes 1 Cocktail.

Here is where you can get Peychaud’s by mail order:

Sazerac Company – Peychaud Bitters

If you have a high-end liquor store in your area, they will probably carry them. Although you can substitute Pernod for the Herbsaint, Peychaud’s are a must.

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Brabant Potatoes Recipe

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This is a simple side dish popular in Nola Cuisine. It’s very quick and easy to make, and it will accompany just about any entree. You could also bake the potatoes as an alternative to frying them. I would toss them in Olive Oil, Season liberally with salt and black pepper and bake on a sheet pan at 425 degrees F until golden and crispy. I cut these into different sizes for different purposes, these I made a little larger to be a side dish. Recipe:

Brabant Potatoes Recipe

2 1/2 Cups Vegetable Oil
2 Large Idaho Potatoes
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter, cut in pieces
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp Italian Parsley, Finely Chopped

Peel the Potatoes and cut into 1/2″-3/4″ dice. Soak these in cold water for about 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and wash under cold water, the object is to remove some of the starch. Drain and pat dry with paper towels, you want them very dry before they go into the oil.
Heat the Oil to 360-375 degrees in a 2 qt saucepan. Deep fry the potatoes until golden brown, in batches, you don’t want to overcrowd the pan (see note). Drain on dry paper towels. Season with salt & black pepper. Place the drained potatoes on a warm serving plate(s).
In a saute pan heat the Olive Oil over medium low heat and saute the garlic until fragrant, add the parsley and the butter, incorporating it in by constantly shaking the pan back and forth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and pour over the potatoes, or toss them in it. Serve immediately.

Serves 2-3

Overcrowding the pan when deep-frying does two things:
1. Keeps the oil from surrounding the potatoes
2. Lowers the temperature of the oil too quickly, which will result in soggy and greasy food, as opposed to crisp. When your temperature is too low, the food absorbs the oil in like a sponge.

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