Chicken Fricassee Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine

Well, Carnival is in full swing in New Orleans and I am in Detroit. Instead of beads, doubloons, or other trinkets, the Krewe of Mother Nature just threw us another helping of snow, and I have to say……This parade sucks.

Oh well, there is no reason that we can’t at least have some good food to remind us that winter does serve a purpose, at least in my kitchen; slow braised or stewed, stick to your ribs (and arteries) comfort food. Inexpensive cuts of beef, pork, lamb, veal, chicken, whatever, slow cooked in a liquid or gravy of some kind until so tender that it practically melts off of the bone.

Tonight was Chicken Fricassee, Louisiana style with a roux, and the holy trinity. My roux here is a little lighter than some would prefer in some parts of Louisiana; I prefer a peanut butter colored roux for this dish. Also note that like a lot of my recipes I add the holy trinity in two stages, about 3/4 goes into the roux after it reaches the peanut butter stage, and the remainder goes in with the liquid. It is a layering of flavor and texture.

It is important to have the sauce for this dish almost fully seasoned before adding the chicken, because you want the chicken to take on all of the flavor of the sauce, although I would just slightly under season with the salt as the sauce will reduce a bit.

Chicken Fricassee Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

5-6 lbs Chicken Leg and Thigh Quarters

For browning the chicken:
1 Cup Flour seasoned with:
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
A few turns of Black Pepper
A healthy pinch of Cayenne

For the Fricassee:
1 Cup Home Rendered Lard, Bacon Drippings, Duck Fat or Vegetable Oil (if you must)
3/4 Cup Flour
2 Cups Onion, chopped
1 Cup Celery, chopped
1/2 Cup Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1/2 Cup Mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Quart Chicken Stock, preferably homemade
1 Bay Leaf
1 Bundle of Fresh Thyme, tied together with butcher’s twine
Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Cayenne to taste
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, taken off of the stem and chopped
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Hot sauce
1/2 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
1 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice

Heat the lard, or whichever fat you chose to use, over medium high heat until a small sprinkle of flour quickly sizzles when tossed in. While the fat is heating mix together the flour, salt, black pepper and cayenne, dredge the leg & thigh quarters in the mixture and shake off any excess, set aside on a plate.

When the fat is hot, brown the chicken until golden on both sides, do not cook all the way through, set aside.

Mix together the onions, celery, and bell pepper (holy trinity) in a small bowl.

When the chicken is browned and set aside, pour off 1/2 cup of the fat, leaving about 1/2 cup of it in the pan. Over medium heat gradually whisk in the 3/4 cup of flour until incorporated and slightly thick, stir constantly until a roux the color of peanut butter is achieved, then stir in 3/4 of the holy trinity, mushrooms, and a pinch of Kosher salt, turn the heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes more, stirring slowly but constantly.

Add the white wine and increase the heat to medium, cook 5 minutes more. Whisk in the chicken stock very gradually to avoid lumps. When it is all incorporated bring the mixture to a full boil to bring the flour to it’s full thickening power, then reduce the sauce to medium low. Stir in the remaining trinity, garlic, bay leaf, bundled thyme, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and season to taste with salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Submerge the chicken in the sauce cover and simmer for about 2 1/2 hours or until falling off of the bone tender. Remove the bundled Thyme and Bay leaf and stir in the chopped Thyme. Adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Serve the chicken with Creole Boiled Rice, and a generous portion of the sauce topped with Green Onions.

If you like, the sauce or gravy for this dish could be finished with heavy cream, sour cream, or creme fraiche. This would also go great with dumplings to replace the rice.

Serves 4.

Be sure to check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which links to all of the recipes featured on this site! Also be sure to check out the sister site to Nola Cuisine called American Gourmand!

From Nola Cuisine
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Oma’s Beef Croquettes

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From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

For some time now I’ve been making my Oma’s Beef Croquettes for an appetizer on Christmas Day. They’re a bit of a process to make, but they’re well worth it, and it is a cathartic process for me. I don’t have her actual recipe, but I put this one together from an old Dutch cookbook that she had and from tips from my Mom and Aunt Paula (very soon to be Oma) who both learned to make them from her. Not to mention my Dad’s approval of authentic flavor (Dad’s an Opa now too).

When Oma was alive we went to her house every year on Christmas Day, and although I don’t ever remember her making these for Christmas, it is the dish I most remember her for so it has become a small way for me to keep her with us on Christmas day, along with my treasured artifacts from her Christmas decoration collection (you can see the candy canes hanging in one of the family pictures below).

From Family
From Family

When the croquettes go into the fryer the whole house takes on the smell that hers did when she used to make these, and it instantly takes me back, and every time I bite into one for the first time on a Christmas afternoon with my family, I have to admit, I get a little choked up thinking about her.

Merry Christmas Oma. We miss you. We love you.

From Family
From Family

Oma’s Beef Croquette Recipe Biefkroketten

4 Cups Shredded Beef (an inexpensive cut of beef simmered slowly in beef stock or broth until falling apart tender, then shredded using two forks)
3 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Flour
2 Cups Beef Broth (reserved from cooking the beef)
1 Bay leaf
Nutmeg To Taste
Kosher salt to taste
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
6 Egg whites
Fine Bread Crumbs

Melt the butter in a sauce pan, whisk in the flour and cook on medium to make a blond roux 5-7 minutes. Whisk in the stock or broth slowly until fully incorporated. Cook for about 7-10 minutes more to cook out the flour taste, remove from the heat. Remove the bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and freshly grated nutmeg. Add the shredded Beef. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Place the misture in the refrigerator until cold.

Shape into oblongs about 3″ long by 1 1/2″ wide.

Dip in the egg whites, then the bread Crumbs, then the egg whites then the bread crumbs.

Fry in 350 degree F Oil in batches, for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

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Praline Sweet Potato Recipe

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This is my play on Candied Yams for the rapidly approaching Thanksgiving Holiday. It’s kind of like Candied Yams on PCP, and could easily play as a side dish or a dessert on the holiday table. I gave this one a test run a few weeks back when I cooked the Turducken feast when trying out the Cajun Grocer Turducken.

Praline Sweet Potatoes Recipe

5 Large Sweet Potatoes
1 Cup Pecan pieces, toasted until fragrant

For the sauce:

1/2 Cup Bourbon
1/4 Cup Water
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup
1 Tbsp Orange Zest
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1 tsp Kosher Salt
A few turns of freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 1/2 sticks Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Pecan pieces, toasted until fragrant

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake the Sweet Potatoes in their Jackets until fork tender, about 45 minutes to one hour. Peel while still warm and let cool. When cool slice into 1/2″ rounds.
Layer the sweet potatoes in a large buttered casserole dish. One layer of sweet potatoes, then sprinkle with some of the pecans, another layer of sweet potatoes, then pecans, etc… until the sweet potatoes are all used up, top with the remaining Pecans.

To make the sauce:

Warm the Bourbon in a saucepan over medium heat and ignite to burn off most of the alcohol. When the flames subside add the water, brown sugar, cane syrup, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, black pepper, and sesame oil. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the sugar dissolves. Turn the heat to medium low and whisk in the butter, until all is incorporated and melted. Pour over the sweet potatoes in the prepared casserole.

Bake in the 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

Thanksgiving Related Posts:

Turducken
Oyster Dressing Recipe
Turkey Bone Gumbo Recipe

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which links to all of the recipes featured here on Nola Cuisine!

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Turducken

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From Nola Cuisine

Despite what you have seen in stores since 30 seconds after Halloween ended (and early September in some stores), there is still a holiday between Halloween and Christmas called Thanksgiving, and it is my favorite kind because it is based entirely around eating. All of the parades are just leading up to eating, and football games are just something to kick the tryptophan into high gear with the end result being a much needed mid day nap.

Elliot from Cajun Grocer emailed me to ask if I would like to review their Turducken before the Thanksgiving rush, I had to think about it, as I don’t usually do any advertisement on this site, and then I said why not, as long as I can do an unbiased review. So he shipped it out, and I made plans to have a group of friends over for a Turducken feast.

The origins of Turducken are a bit foggy, as two claim to have invented it, Paul Prudhomme, and Hebert’s Specialty Meats in Maurice, Louisiana. I don’t know who invented it, in fact, nesting birds together can be traced back to medieval times. All that I know is that a chicken stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a Turkey just has to make for good eating. It can also make for a labor intensive day of prep if you’re not familar with deboning poultry. If you want to try it at home, John Folse actually has some nice illustrations on the deboning process in his book The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine, and Paul Prudhomme has an insanely detailed recipe, along with extremely detailed instructions on the deboning process of each bird, along with three different stuffings in the wonderful book The Prudhomme Family Cookbook.

Cajun Grocer also has a recipe with instructions here.

If you are a regular reader of this site you know that this is a recipe I would love to cover in great detail on this site in the future.

The Turducken arrived promptly when Elliot said it would, nicely packaged and in great condition.

From Nola Cuisine
From Nola Cuisine

Cajun Grocer’s Turduckens are 15 pounds, I thawed mine for about 4 days in the refrigerator for a complete thaw.

From Nola Cuisine

The Turducken comes raw so it is basically yours to mess up or make great depending on how you cook it.

From Nola Cuisine

The only really negative reviews I’ve read about Cajun Grocer’s Turduckens are in regards to shipping, and it is usually because of poor planning. If planning on ordering a Turducken from Cajun Grocer or anywhere you should leave plenty of time for not just delivery, but also about 4-5 days of thaw time, preferably with a little breathing room in between the two. Would you trust your holiday meal to the efficiency of Fed Ex? I sure wouldn’t. Plan ahead.

How I cooked the Turducken

Preheated oven set to 325 F.

I placed the thawed Turducken in a large roasting pan and brushed it all over with heated Duck Fat (a.k.a. nectar of the gods). I then seasoned it liberally with my Creole Seasoning.

I roasted the Turducken for about 4 1/2 hours to an internal temperature of 155-160 degrees, allowing for some carry over cooking when it came out. I let the bird(s) rest for about a half an hour before slicing.

In the meantime I made a gravy from the pan juices, which I have to say was hands down, the absolute best gravy I have ever made, seen, smelled or tasted. Not because of anything I did, I just tightened it up with a roux. It was the culmination of flavor of all the birds, pork and stuffings woven together in perfect harmony. I could have drunk it from a glass, it was that good. (Actually, I did a shot of it when no one was looking…don’t tell anyone.)

Make sure that you slice the bird(s) at the table, there is nothing better than slicing into what appears to be a bone in Turkey and having the knife go clear through with ease, your guests will love it.

The Flavor

The flavor of Cajun Grocer’s Turducken was wonderful, nicely seasoned with good stuffings (a cornbread stuffing and a creole pork stuffing). The only downfall I felt was that they only use the duck breast and not the rest of the bird, because as I’ve said in the past, I’m a leg and thigh man, but that’s just my personal taste. Another thing that the Cajun Grocer does is skin the chicken and duck, which I do agree with as I don’t think that the fat would ever render out enough, leaving behind chewy undercooked globs of skin, especially in regards to the duck.

I served the Turducken with my Maque Choux:

From Nola Cuisine

and Praline Sweet Potatoes:

From Nola Cuisine

The main problem with making a Turducken from scratch is time. Ordering a Turducken online from Cajun Grocer will definately save you a lot of time, especially for a novice, and you will have a terrific product that will definitely impress your guests, as long as you cook it properly. They really do a nice job and they have a lot of great Louisiana sausages, Tasso, and other products as well.

But for me, the reason for this site, and cooking in general, is making things from scratch, for the sheer reason of knowing how to do it, and enjoying that labor in the kitchen, no matter how long it takes. In doing so you also have complete control over everything, making Turducken stock from all of the bones, making your own stuffings from the stocks, etc. But not everyone wants that kind of control. Very few actually, I believe want that kind of control. Thank God then for companies like Cajun Grocer that will do all of the leg work for you.

Related Thanksgiving Posts:

Turkey Bone Gumbo Recipe
Oyster Dressing Recipe
Praline Sweet Potatoes Recipe

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

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Mother’s Restaurant

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Mother’s Restaurant has been on the corner of Poydras and Tchoupitoulas since 1938, named after Mary (Mother) Landry who originally owned the restaurant along with her husband Simon and their large family. The Landry family owned and operated the restaurant until 1986 when the Landry sons sold the restaurant to Jerry and John Amato, who still run it today. For a full history of the restaurant with lots of pictures visit here.

From New Orleans

Every time that I have visited Mother’s there has always been a long line, even in the off season, nice to see. The line in my experience contains a nice mix of just about everyone, locals, tourists, lawyers (the courthouse is just down the street), people in suits, people in work uniforms, you name it.

From New Orleans

The counter help may seem a bit short, but like any other great busy sandwich shop in New Orleans, New York or anywhere, it’s necessary to keep the line moving. As a matter of fact I refuse to eat at a deli in New York with friendly counter help, and insults only make the sandwich taste better. I’m not saying that the fine folks at Mother’s are rude, just don’t expect chit chat during the lunch rush.

From New Orleans

The food is good, great Po Boys, Gumbos and soups, I remember having a really great Turtle Soup on a visit years back with nice chunks of Turtle Meat, not ground as in most restaurants. (My Turtle Soup Recipe) Here is their menu!

My favorite sandwich at Mother’s is the Ferdi Special; Roast Beef with Mother’s excellent baked Ham, dressed and with Debris Gravy. The portion seemed a bit leaner than I remember, but then again, maybe I can just eat more now. Actually there is no maybe about it, I can definitely eat more now. I guess the sandwich didn’t get smaller…I’ve gotten larger.

From New Orleans

My wife Sheelah went for the Shrimp Po Boy as she usually does when it comes to Po Boys, nice portion of perfectly fried Shrimp, nicely dressed (by the way, Mother’s uses Cabbage to dress their Po Boys instead of shredded lettuce). We both had Zapp’s chips with the sandwich, which always just seems like the right thing to do.

From New Orleans

I have to tell you folks, I haven’t been to Mother’s or New Orleans for some time now and looking at these pictures and writing this post makes me heartsick for New Orleans. Actually this site was founded on my heartsickness for New Orleans and her food, people, music, architecture, vibe, everything. It has warmed my heart immensely to hear from displaced folks from New Orleans and Louisiana who are away from their home, and have found at least a little piece of it via recipes and remembrances from my site. I hope this site can bring a little joy to your life as it has mine.

Related Posts:

Roast Beef Po Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe
Shrimp Po Boy Recipe
Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe
Domilise’s Po Boy & Bar
Parasol’s Restaurant and Bar

Be sure to visit my ever growing Index of Creole and Cajun Recipes which links to all of the recipes features on Nola Cuisine!

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Pepper Jelly Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine

Pepper Jelly, while not an ingredient specific to New Orleans is a staple of the South, including Louisiana. You can probably find a jar of Hot Pepper Jelly in your local grocery store, probably a green or red Jalapeno version, made with food coloring.

The most interesting Pepper Jellies to me are the fancier versions that have been created by some Chefs and home cooks in New Orleans and across the South that have been woven in with other wonderful local flavors to create some fabulous new dishes.

The crown jewel of these dishes, in my humble opinion, is Shrimp and Tasso Henican created by the late Chef Jamie Shannon of Commander’s Palace. Louisiana Shrimp larded with Tasso, sauteed and coated with Crystal Hot Sauce Beurre Blanc served on his 5 Pepper Jelly with pickled Okra. Seriously folks, this is one of the greatest dishes I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Here is the Commander’s Palace Recipe, and a pic of my recreation of the dish at home.

From Nola Cuisine

A few other dishes in New Orleans restaurants that include Pepper Jelly are Cochon‘s Fried Chicken Livers on Pepper Jelly Toast (read my Cochon Post), and Bayona‘s Smoked Duck “PB&J” with Cashew Butter, Pepper Jelly, and Apple Celery Salad.

I love making a batch of Pepper Jelly to keep around the house because it is such a diverse ingredient. Recently I served it to some guests at a dinner party as a dipping sauce with Spring Rolls.

Recipe Notes:
To Brunoise (very fine dice) the peppers, trim the ends of the peppers and cut the peppers so that you have a relatively flat piece. Lay the pepper flat on the cutting board, press the knife horizontally on the pepper and cut away the ribs and whiter parts of the pepper, pressing down the pepper to the board as you cut, until you have a brightly colored piece of pepper about 1/8″ thick. Now cut into brunoise.

Save all of the trim from the red and yellow peppers, discard the green trim.

Here is the recipe:

Pepper Jelly Recipe

1 Green Bell Pepper, cut into brunoise, discard trim
1 Red Bell Pepper, brunoise, trim reserved
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, brunoise, trim reserved
2 Jalapeno, seeded with ribs removed, brunoise
1 tsp Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 Fresh Bay Leaf
1/2 Cup Distilled White Vinegar
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
6 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Liquid Crab Boil
1 Package Liquid Pectin (optional)
Sterilized glass Jelly Jars with lids.

Cut all of the fresh peppers into brunoise and combine.
Combine the trim from the red and yellow peppers with the vinegars in a small saucepan, bring to almost a boil and turn of the heat. Let the pepper trim steep in the vinegar for 30 minutes. Puree the peppers and vinegar mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Add the strained vinegar back to the saucepan with the sugar, Bring to a boil then turn down the heat to a simmer. Add the black pepper, crushed red pepper, crab boil, and the bay leaf. Simmer until reduced by about 1/3.

In the meantime, in a stainless steal saute pan over medium heat, sweat the peppers until very dry, stirring constantly, do not allow to brown. Set aside.

When the sugar and vinegar mixture is reduced remove from the heat. Remove the bay leaf and add the brunoise peppers and the liquid Pectin to the mixture. stir well.

Place in the sterilized jars, leaving a 1/2 inch of room and put the lids on snugly.

Process in a hot water bath with enough water to cover the jars for 10-12 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature. When cool, check to make sure that the jars created a seal, and tighten the screw lids. Store in a cool dark place for up to 12 months. Refrigerate after opening.

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

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Beignets

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This really is a wonderful recipe Beignet recipe. The only thing in my opinion that could improve the flavor of these Beignets would be of course to eat them in the French Quarter with the sounds, sites and smells (yes even some of the bad ones) of a morning in New Orleans, with a whole day of adventure ahead. Actually, that’s what this whole site is about, that first bite of a dish that magically takes you to another place and time, or makes you yearn to discover the people and place that created it.

I made this batch of Beignets for my niece who was staying over for the weekend, and my daughter, neither had ever had them before. I’m glad I was the one who got to introduce them to Beignets. After her first bite my niece Noelle exclaimed, “Wow! This is the best thing that ever set sail in my mouth.” Ah, to be nine again.

Anna however didn’t have much to say, she just turned 2, but just the fact that she ate them is compliment enough. She did belt out a few high pitched “Mmmm’s.”

I changed the pic on the page with the recipe, as this one turned out much better than the former, but the Beignets were from the same recipe.

I made a few discoveries while making this batch, however. One, the second rise isn’t really necessary, the heat of the oil puffed them right up, this may be partially due to the fact that I used two envelopes of yeast instead of one, but I think they will rise with one. I’m going to make an adjustment to the recipe.

Just for fun here are some pics from our last trip to Cafe Du Monde last February. As always, I’m dying to get back to New Orleans.

Related Posts:

Beignet Recipe
Calas Recipe

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Barbecue Shrimp

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I came across a new store here in the Detroit area with a terrific seafood counter that occasionally carries fresh Wild Caught USA Heads on Shrimp, which immediately makes me think Barbecue Shrimp. Heads on Shrimp as I’ve mentioned in the past are rather hard to come by up here in the north, especially product of the USA. I always snatch them up when I find them.

The last time I found them I whipped up a very simple batch of Barbecue Shrimp, just a few basic ingredients. This may seem like a lot of black pepper, but trust me. Here is the recipe:

Barbecue Shrimp Recipe

2 lbs fresh Head on USA Gulf Shrimp, antennas removed
4 large Cloves fresh Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Kosher salt
2 Tbsp fresh Rosemary, chopped
Enough freshly ground Black Pepper to cover the Shrimp in the pan, about 1/4 Cup
3 Sticks Unsalted Butter, cut into 1″ pieces
French Bread for dipping
Cold Beer

Preheat an oven to 350 F degree oven.
Toss the Shrimp with the salt, garlic, and Rosemary. Place in a single layer in a cast iron frying pan. Coat with the black pepper. Top with the cut up cold butter.

Place into the 350 degree oven and bake for about 30-45 minutes. Baste occasionally. Be careful not to overcook, but also make sure that the Shrimp all soak up the sauce.

Serve with a lot French bread for dipping, your favorite cold beer, and a case or two of napkins.

Serves 1-2.

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

Related Posts:

Barbecue Shrimp recipe #1
Shrimp Etouffee Recipe
Shrimp Creole Recipe

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Shrimp and Eggplant Dressing Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine

Shrimp and Eggplant are a perfect flavor match in this traditional Creole Italian dish, neither trying to overpower the other, just existing in perfect harmony, kind of like Oysters and artichokes, and Okra and Tomatoes.

Besides the Muffuletta, you don’t hear as much about the Italian and Sicilian immigrant contribution to Creole Cuisine as you do the French influence, this is just one.

By the way, there is a great little book from Pelican Publishing in Gretna called The New Orleans Italian Cookbook, a compilation of recipes from the Italian American Society of Jefferson Auxillary. It was first published in 1979, it features recipes from a lot of different people, from Chefs to homecooks, a great little book.

Back to the dish, it’s important to use small eggplant, because they have very few seeds, it’s just less headache. Also, you could alternately boil the eggplants whole, scoop out the pulp and save the shells to bake your dressing in, if you’re into that sort of thing.

As far as the shrimp, I only use wild caught American shrimp these days, if I can’t get American, I don’t eat Shrimp. True, they are more expensive than the flavorless Southeast Asian farm raised stuff out there, and harder to find for that matter, but they taste a whole lot better; and more importantly, purchasing them supports our own Shrimp fisherman who are absolutely suffering these days.

Anyway, back to the recipe, it’s hard to cook when you’re standing on top of a soapbox. 😉

I served this as a side to a big plate of Fried Chicken, Green Onion mashed Potatoes, and Cornbread.

Shrimp and Eggplant Dressing Recipe

1 lb Wild Caught American Gulf Shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped (Reserve the shells)
1 Bay leaf
1 bundle Fresh Thyme, tied with butchers twine
Water, enough to cover the eggplant by 1 inch
1 splash Liquid Crab Boil
4-5 small Eggplant, peeled, enough to yield about 2 1/2-3 Cups Cooked
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Large Spanish Onion, finely diced
1 Medium Green Bell Pepper, finely diced
4 Toes Garlic, minced
2 Green Onions, sliced thin, keep the green and white parts seperate
1 Egg, beaten
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
1 Cup Bread Crumbs (preferably homemade from leftover French bread)

For the topping:

1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup grated Parmeggiano, and Pecorino Romano
3 Tbsp Melted Butter
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, chopped
A pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring the water to boil in a Dutch Oven. Add the Bay Leaf, bundled Thyme, reserved Shrimp shells, crab boil, any trim from the diced onion, and a handful of Kosher salt. Boil for about 15-20 minutes, skim off the scum from the shrimp shells. Add the Eggplant and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, melt the 3 Tbsp butter in a saute pan. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and a pinch of salt, saute until the onions are translucent, add the chopped Thyme and the chopped shrimp, cook until the shrimp are just cooked through; set aside to cool.

When the eggplant is very tender remove with tongs to a colainder to cool. When cool, squeeze some of the liquid from it and chop.

In a large bowl combine the eggplant, onion & pepper mixture, egg, fresh basil, and parsley, mix ingredients together well. Add the bread crumbs a little at a time until the right consistency is achieved; it should be not too wet, not too dry. Check the seasoning; season to taste with Kosher salt, Cayenne, and black pepper.

Add the mixture to a buttered gratin or baking dish. Mix together the topping ingredients, top the shrimp and eggplant dressing with it. Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly and the topping is a nice golden brown.

Makes enough for a side dish for 4.

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

Related Posts:

Muffuletta Recipe
Shrimp Stuffed Mirlitons
Creole Stuffed Peppers
Creole Smothered Okra & Tomatoes Recipe

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Cochon

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From Nola Cuisine

**UPDATE Here is my post on Donald Link’s newest venture Cochon Butcher in the same building as Cochon, right around the corner!

Also, Chef Donald Link’s cookbook comes out April 21, 2009, can’t wait! It’s called Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana
(Read my review HERE!)

If I were a pig (no comments please), and I could choose my final resting place, I would choose Cochon. My sacrifice would not be in vain because I would be assured that every part of me would be utilized to create some of the best dishes that I’ve had in New Orleans to date, and that my friends is saying a mouthful.

Chef Donald link, co-owner Chef Stephen Stryjewski and their crew are orchestrating an in house Boucherie everyday, bringing in whole hogs that are broken down, and turned into a plethora of different Charcuterie ingredients, some on the menu and some that change from day to day on their Boucherie plate, more on that later.

Upon first walking through the door of Cochon, the aroma of wood fire and smoked meats will make your knees buckle a little; stop and breathe it in, you’ve entered hog heaven.

The dining room is warm and inviting, kind of a Polished Country feel. Anyway, just look at the picture, I’m not an interior designer, I’m a kitchen guy. Lets just say that it’s a nice, casual and inviting dining room. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful.

Back to the food.

The bar offers a wide array of Bourbons, local beers, and even a few varieties of Moonshine. If you’re interested in something non-alcoholic Cochon’s Lemonade is the best I have ever had, no lie, a perfect balance of sweet and sour, I couldn’t get enough.

The back of the restaurant features a Chef’s Counter, where you can watch all of the action. They have an array of various pickles displayed on the counter as well as some potted herbs for use in the kitchen.

The entrance to the kitchen and service station showcases and stores firewood for use in the wood burning oven.

We started our meal with the Boucherie Plate, how could I not right? This day’s selection:

From Nola Cuisine

Clockwise from bottom left; Speck, Country Bologna, Country Pate, Hogshead Cheese (buried) Peppery toast points, Pork Rillette, housemade Pickles & Pickled Peppers, housemade Creole Mustard (the best I’ve had).

Detail of the speck, country Bologna, and Pate:

From Nola Cuisine

The Hogshead Cheese, perfectly spiced and delicious:

From Nola Cuisine

My entree was the Louisiana Cochon, which is pulled pork that is pattied and seared, served atop turnips and cabbage, with a wonderfully rich pork jus, and topped with crispy Cracklins’!

From Nola Cuisine

Detail of the Louisiana Cochon:

From Nola Cuisine

This dish really has a remarkable pork flavor, a smoky subtlety, and a richness that is beyond compare. I dream about this dish.

My wife had the Beef Brisket with Horseradish Potato Salad, equally phenomenal, while staying true to the casual country dishes of the south.

From Nola Cuisine

After we ate our meal I went up to the Chef’s counter to take some pictures of some meats they had curing in a temperature and humidity controlled case. One of the Sous Chefs saw my interest and invited me into the kitchen to show me around and take some pictures. I was elated. Here are some of the pics I got.

Smoked and cured legs on a speed rack.

From Nola Cuisine

A big old tub of Chow Chow in the walk in cooler. Next to it is a tub of fresh Pompano which was going to be the nights dinner special.

From Nola Cuisine

Coppa curing in the walk in cooler. Various pickles and sauces, all nicely organized in the tight quarters.

From Nola Cuisine

Below the Coppa, housemade Tasso, and below that housemade bacon.

From Nola Cuisine

Legs in different stages of cure in dry storage.

From Nola Cuisine
From Nola Cuisine

A just delivered pig waiting to be butchered.

From Nola Cuisine
From Nola Cuisine

I can’t thank the gentleman who took me on a tour of the kitchen enough, it was a wonderful experience that I will always remember. I’m blown away by the things that these guys and gals are doing at Cochon. This is a huge undertaking, and there is a lot of work involved, hats off to the Chefs and their staff, this place is a labor of love and it shows. I can’t wait to come back.

Here is a video of Chef Stephen Stryjewski butchering a pig and making hot sausage with warm peaches.

For more great pics of some of the food at Cochon check out Jason Perlow’s Cochon post at Off The Broiler.

Also:

Robert at Appetites has a great review with pics here.

Cochon is located at:

Cochon
930 Tchopitoulas Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 588-2123
Email: info@cochonrestaurant.com

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

Related Posts:

Andouille Sausage Recipe
Chaurice Sausage Recipe
Cochon Butcher right around the corner in the same building as Cochon
Pickle Meat Recipe
Boudin Recipe

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