Tag Archives: new orleans cuisine

Parkway Bakery & Tavern Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the first meal I go to off of the plane when I get to New Orleans is a sloppy Roast Beef Po Boy, it simply says “home” to me. I just recently saw a facebook southern foodie friend go into Parasol’s for a Roast Beef and received a comment along the lines of “why did you go to the gulf coast for Roast beef?”

The answer, dear reader, is that it is the quintessential Po Boy and sandwich of New Orleans. It’s a neighborhood specialty that folks grew up on, sitting in a dark tavern or pub with the odor of stale beer omnipresent, music moaning from a tinny jukebox or half assed speaker system. To be honest, and probably no secret to anyone with eyes, the place is probably not that clean. The conversation in the room could come from anyone… bums, judges, good time charlies, tourists, lawyers, construction workers or a group of high school kids in for a bite after school.

A neighborhood restaurant.

Everyone’s welcome and everyone is there.

Maybe the reason I make that meal my first one is to step into some real local color.

Then again, maybe it’s just the sandwich.

When done right it’s loaded with fall apart Roast Beef, waves of gravy made ever more creamy by generous slatherings of Mayonnaise, the first bite makes the French Bread and the sandwich collapse, leaving you elbow deep in gravy with fringes of shredded lettuce and pieces of tomato and pickle hanging from your wrist.

Don’t worry, nobody’s looking…or I should say, nobody’s judging. It’s all part of the experience. Enjoy. Relax.

It seems these days there are two camps of Roast Beef Po Boy enthusiasts as these neighborhood joints are a dying breed. Parasol’s and Parkway. I’ll take them both, each a little different, each on the high side of what I think of as a Roast Beef Po Boy. Good bread, good gravy, fall apart meat, and good local color as company.

This is my humble nod to the Parkway Bakery & Tavern Roast Beef Po Boy, I’ve gathered a few secrets from this article:

In Judy’s Kitchen Parkway Roast Beef Po Boy

Parkway Bakery & Tavern
538 Hagan Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119

I put my own spin on this recipe for those who aren’t close enough to grab one when the urge strikes. Be advised this is not highfalutin food. Don’t be shocked to see things like Kitchen Bouquet and Cream of Mushroom Soup, these are neighborhood recipes made by regular folks. Don’t judge as they don’t judge when you’re sliding off of the table from the gravy and blue plate mayo.

If you’ve had the pleasure of having a good Roast Beef Po Boy in New Orleans and are from elsewhere, this is the recipe for you. This along with my Parasol’s Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe are damned authentic and will scratch that itch for you….provided you can find the right bread.

A note on New Orleans French Bread:

This detail is of utmost importance, as the cooking of the beef, maybe even more so. The bread must be a bit larger than a traditional baguette with a crisp crust, and an almost cotton candy interior. Very hard to find outside of New Orleans, but in Michigan I have found a very sufficient substitute at Fresh Thyme markets. The French Bread there is almost a perfect substitute in my humble opinion, even though they’re a bit highfalutin, organic this and that.

Parkway Po Boy Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

For the roast:
3 1/2 to 4 lb. Beef Chuck Roast

Penzey’s Mural of Flavor Seasoning (not authentic but I like the dimension of flavor it adds)
Kosher Salt
Coarse Black Pepper

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Sear the Roast liberally with all of the seasonings. If seasoning the night before omit the salt until just before searing.

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Medium Spanish Onion, rough chopped
1 Carrot, rough chopped
1 Celery Rib, rough chopped
3 toes Garlic, chopped
2 Bay leaves
1 bunch Fresh Thyme
12 oz. Beef Stock or canned low sodium Beef Broth
1 – 10.5 oz. can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Tbsp Kitchen Bouquet

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a very hot dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. Sear the seasoned Roast until very brown on all sides. Remove the roast to a plate, reduce the heat to medium, add the onions, carrot, celery, garlic, fresh thyme and bay leaves.

Deglaze the pan using the vegetables, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove all of the brown bits, the flavor.

Add the beef Stock, mushroom soup and kitchen bouquet. Bring to a boil, then add the roast back to the pan, ladle some of the liquid and vegetables over the roast, place the lid on and place into the preheated oven for 3 – 3 1/2 hours.

When the roast is fall apart tender, remove from the liquid and refrigerate until easy to slice, about one hour.

In the meantime, strain the gravy, pressing some of the vegatbles through the holes of the strainer. Strain the fat from the top. Return the gravy to the pot and keep on a low flame, I like to add a tsp of garlic powder, reduce until gravy consistency, season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.

When the roast is quite cool, “slice” but it will be more like making it fall apart. Slice the meat with a very sharp knife across the grain. Add the meat back to the gravy and heat through, check the seasoning again, keep warm on a very low flame.

For the Po Boy:

1 Loaf New Orleans Style French Bread (Crispy Crust, soft center)
2 Cups Shredded Lettuce
2 Beefsteak Tomatoes, sliced
2 Dill Pickles, sliced
Good quality Mayonaise, Blue Plate if you can get it or Hellman’s
Roast Beef with Gravy (see above)

Cut the bread in half lengthwise and toast.

Slather mayonnaise on both sides of the toasted French Bread, put a generous helping of the Roast Beef mixture on the bottom half of the bun, followed by the tomatoes, then pickles, then the shredded lettuce. Put the lid on then slice in half. Serve with a cold beverage and a very large stack of napkins.

Serves 3 to 4 depending on how generous you are with the meat.

Other sandwich recipes on Nola Cuisine:

Parasol’s Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

Roast Beef Po Boy with Debris Gravy

Central Grocery Style Muffuletta Recipe

Muffuletta Bread Recipe

Muffuletta Olive Salad Recipe

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Coming soon…Parkway Bakery Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

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20170702_181937-01

I’m coming out of hiding to post a Parkway Bakery Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe in the very near future! Stay tuned for another very authentic neighborhood Po Boy Recipe!

Parasol’s Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

Roast Beef Po Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe

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Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse – LaPlace, Louisiana

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From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana
From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse and Restaurant
769 West 5th St.
Laplace, LA
985-652-9990


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At the bitter end of every trip I make back to Louisiana, I always head to LaPlace for a smoked meat care package to take back north. My stop on the last trip (two years ago, I know, bad blogger) was to Wayne Jacob’s Smokehouse, not to be confused with Jacob’s Andouille which is also in LaPlace. (See my post on Jacob’s Andouille here).

Upon arriving at Wayne Jacob’s I was pleased to find out that they also run a restaurant with many of the items on the menu made with the smoked products that they produce!

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – LaPlace, Louisiana

I was also pleased to see this sign propped up just off the road in front of the establishment:

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

Unlike Jacob’s Adouille, Wayne Jacob’s does not ship their products because that would mean that they would have to change the way that they produce their meats, that is, the way it has been produced there since 1950. Admirable.

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana
From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

The restaurant was very busy for the lunch rush when I arrived and a little short staffed to boot, but everyone was super friendly.

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana
From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

I ordered a few appetizers to check out some of the fine Charcuterie work that David Rauch does in the back of the house, and I was super pleased that I got to go into the back and say hello to David and get a few photos of him at work! I also got a few shots of the cracklins that were cooling on the back counter before being bagged up!

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

David Rauch filling the stuffer:

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana
From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

The Hog Cracklin, a thing of southern beauty!

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana
From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana
From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

Upon arriving back at my table I found my food waiting for me. Boudin Balls with a Remoulade style dipping sauce (my Boudin Recipe):

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana
From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

Andouille Chips, thinly sliced Andouille which is deep fried and served with Creole Mustard (my Creole Mustard Recipe):

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

Finally, a wonderfully simple, gelatinous Hogshead Cheese served with Saltine crackers:

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

After getting my to go package of Andouille and Tasso I went out back to get a shot of the smokehouses:

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

And of course, as always, a shot of the woodpile:

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

I stuffed my package into my luggage, and flew back to Detroit. As soon as I got home I tore open that package and sliced off a piece of what is, in my humble opinion, the best Andouille I’ve tasted:

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

Notice the course grind and the large size of the casing, expertly filled with no air gaps, and lastly perfectly smoked, not overpowering…just perfect.

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

The Tasso from Wayne Jacob’s (my Tasso Recipe):

From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana
From Wayne Jacobs Smokehouse – Laplace, Louisiana

I enjoy the Andouille that I produce (my Andouille Recipe) and I also enjoy the one at Jacob’s Andouille. But in my humble opinion, as Andouille goes, the product that David Rauch produces in LaPlace is by far the benchmark.

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Stanley Restaurant

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After visiting the second annual New Orleans Oyster Festival and a long afternoon of driving around New Orleans searching for an open sign in a restaurant, Seth McMillan and I became gradually less picky about where we were going to eat. Boucherie…closed, Dante’s…closed, the list went on and on. We ended up at the most unlikely place of all, the area we never dreamed we would kick back to dine… in Jackson Square. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Quarter. I love a lot of restaurants in the Quarter, but we left the Quarter in a car and ended up back with our tails between our legs…in Jackson Square.

We had walked past Stanley Restaurant earlier in the morning and Seth had mentioned that some of the staff at Bourbon House where he works told him he had to check out the Corned Beef at Stanley, so we said what the hell. The restaurant has a great reputation, owned and operated by Chef Scott Boswell of Stella! fame. Stanley being the more casual of the two, comfort food with a twist, all day breakfast & brunch, Po Boys, Burgers, sandwiches, and a hell of a good corner for people watching! We sat down, ordered a couple of Abita Ambers (following through with the theme of the day) and watched and laughed at the human statue, breaking character more often than not for smoke breaks.

In character:

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

Smoke break:

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

We decided to order a variety and split the whole works. Sampler platters like the Po Boy sliders at Stanley are a good way to get an idea of what a restaurant is all about.

Seth McMillan at Stanley:

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

Stanley has a lot of great sounding egg dishes on the menu, I chose the Breux Bridge Benedict, as I have a hard time not ordering anything on a menu that contains Boudin. The Breux Bridge Benedict did not disappoint! Toasted Leidenheimer French Bread, Charlie T’s Boudin, American cheese, a perfectly poached egg, finished with a well made hollandaise. A picture is worth a thousand words right.

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

This photo for me, is the stuff dreams are made of. It makes me hungry for this dish every time I look at it.

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

The Reuben was very good as well. A mix of Boar’s Head Brand Corned Beef and Pastrami with Swiss and Provolone Cheeses, Sauerkraut, and Russian Dressing on Toasted Rye. Very, very good!

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

The Po Boy Sliders was a sampling of the Oyster, Korean Beef, and the Club Stanley. The Oyster was very good served dressed with coleslaw and remoulade. The Club Stanley while good doesn’t really stand out in my memory. The standout and most inventive was easily the Korean Beef. A Korean Barbeque take on the classic Roast Beef Po Boy. Tenderloin, Korean Barbecue Sauce, topped with Kimchee. So delicious, I will definitely go back, if for this alone.

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

Our server tempted us with the all housemade ice creams, Bananas Foster flavor definitely caught both of our ears. It was the whole dish rolled into an ice cream, absolutely excellent.

From Stanley Restaurant – New Orleans

I will definitely stop back into Stanley on my next trip down to New Orleans, maybe for that Korean Beef Po Boy, maybe for a late night breakfast, hell maybe for an ice cream, or maybe, just maybe, because I can appreciate the references to A Streetcar Named Desire!

Stanley has a lot to offer, and like I said the people watching and view can’t be beat!

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

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Radosta’s Famous Po-Boys

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After my visit to the Abita Brewery, and my 23.83 mile jaunt across Lake Pontchartrain from Abita Springs, I decided to keep with my ritual on every trip to New Orleans and go straight for a Roast Beef Po-Boy! I’ve heard good things about Radosta’s in old Metarie, so that is where I headed.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

Radosta’s Restaurant & Deli
249 Aris Avenue Metairie, LA 70005-3424
1 (504) 831-1537

Tucked away on a neighborhood street, it took a little looking to find. Although it was slow when I came in, I got the feeling right away that this is the kind of joint that locals in the neighborhood pay a strong allegiance to. The folks that own and run it, are just as nice as can be.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys


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I ordered at the deli counter, the gentleman behind the counter took my order, and when I asked about a drink he said, “Just help yourself to anything you like from the coolers, just like you’re at home. You can pay on the way out.” I liked that.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

I grabbed an ice cold Abita Jockamo IPA, because hell, why break the theme of the day. I had a seat to wait for my order and snap a few shots of the interior.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

I love neighborhood places like this, and it always makes me jealous that I don’t have one like it. A father and son grabbing a Po boy and a soda, presumably after school, another family relaxing and talking after a late lunch. The counterman casually checking the score on the TV as he prepares my sandwich. No stress, no mess. Business as usual.

My food arrived a few minutes later, a dressed Roast Beef Po-Boy, and a cup of Gumbo. I started with the Gumbo, and I have to tell you, I was floored, just delicious. Nothing crazy, or new, just a well made, well seasoned File Gumbo. I loved it. Honestly, I don’t usually order a Gumbo at restaurants, because quite frankly, I like my own. But I was glad I did on this occasion, it really hit the spot.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys
From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

On to the main attraction, the Roast Beef Po-Boy. Very good, wonderful beef, tender with good flavor! Good buttered and toasted French Bread. Dressed. Generally I like my Roast Beef Po Boys a little more sloppy, lots of gravy and mayo. This one was more about the beef itself which was very good and a very generous portion!

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

After stuffing myself I went to the counter to pay, had some nice conversation with the delightful gal tending the register, I presume one of the owners, and went on my way, fat and happy!

Related Posts:

Parasol’s Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe
Parasol’s Bar & Restaurant
Domilise’s Po Boy & Bar
Roast Beef Po Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe
Mother’s Restaurant

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

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Cajun Grain Rice

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I’ve been following the Donald Link’s (Chef and author of Real Cajun) video series called Taste of Place on his website, if you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it. He tours farms, goes out with fisherman, and visits with purveyors of superior products, not just in Louisiana, but primarily in the south. He then usually does a cooking video with whatever product was featured.

Long story short, I recently caught the episode where Link visits the farm of Kurt & Karen Unkel who own and operate a rice farm in Kinder, Louisiana (the video is embedded below.) Kurt’s words and philosophies really make sense to me. He’s organic, not because it’s trendy, but because it makes the most sense, for nutrition, flavor, and I’m sure profitability. The rice goes into a slow feed and a husker and into the bag that it’s shipped in. It still contains the germ and all of the other elements that a nutritious rice should.

Cajun Grain
11574 Hwy. 190
Kinder, LA 70648
1-337-207-0966


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I visited the Cajun Grain website after viewing this video and was elated to see that they sell their Cajun Grain Brown Jasmine Rice on Amazon! I immediately ordered two 4 lb bags which arrived a few days ago.

From Cajun Grain Rice – Kinder, Louisiana

I opened the bag and took a deep whiff and you can immediately smell the field. I can’t wait to experiment with this incredible, minimally processed product. I’m thinking Boudin! Here is the video:

<a href='http://www.delish.com/recipes/cooking-recipes/taste-of-place/?vid=69d958d8-e8fb-f448-8430-300be80818bf&#038;videoId=69d958d8-e8fb-f448-8430-300be80818bf&#038;src=v5:embed::&#038;from=sharepermalink' target='_new' title='The beauty of brown rice'>Video: The beauty of brown rice</a>

Kurt has also been featured in the documentary film Harmony, which is narrated by Prince Charles, as well as the New York Times article, Rice Dreams in Louisiana.

You can find and purchase Cajun Grain Brown Jasmine Rice from their website which is below, or on Amazon here:

Cajun Grain Brown Jasmine Rice, Two 4lb. bags.

Cajun Grain
P.O. Box 370
Kinder, LA 70648
337-207-0966

From Cajun Grain Rice – Kinder, Louisiana

Stay tuned as I can’t wait to share some recipes using this wonderful Louisiana product! I am also in full swing in sharing all of the details of my most recent trip to Louisiana! Most recently, my visits to Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant and the Abita Brewery. It feels good to be back!!

Related Posts:

Review of Donald Link’s Real Cajun

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

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Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant

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From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

Well I’m back. I know, I know…it’s been a long stretch between posts, but a recent visit to New Orleans and some out lying areas of Louisiana, has me re-inspired, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the daunting task of posting all of the terrific content I have compiled on that four day journey, I also have some new recipes to share as well. So here we go…it sincerely feels great to be back at this! I hope you enjoy!

Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant
30160 Highway 51
Akers, LA 70421
1-985-386-6666

Long on my Louisiana bucket list of places to dine has been Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant, about 45 miles away from New Orleans, Akers, Louisiana to be exact, on Highway 51, between Lake Maurepas and Lake Pontchartrain, and pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It’s a scenic drive from the airport, I-10 provides great views of Bayou Piquant and Lake Pontchartrain, and elevated Highway 51 snakes through the Maurepas Swamp, providing visitors with excellent views of the Cypress swamps, complete with spanish moss. I’m a sap and I love Louisiana, so every time I see those picturesque views after I’ve been away for a spell, it gives me a nice warm glow.


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Josie and Louis Middendorf opened Middendorf’s Seafood Restaurant on July 4, 1934 during the great depression. The restaurant was passed down through two generations of the family. The Lamonte family who owned the restaurant for 40 years, sold it and passed the torch to Horst & Karen Pfeifer in 2006 after the couple lost their New Orleans restaurant Bella Luna during Hurricane Katrina.

The original Middendorf’s restaurant is still standing across the parking lot from the new restaurant and deck where I enjoyed my meal.

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

I only made it into the main restaurant to say hello to the hostess with the beautiful smile, and to tell her that I would like to go eat on the deck, she directed me and off I went!

It was dog hot on the day I visited, but the deck provided a shaded atmosphere with misters running along the openings to keep it cool…an awesome view to boot:

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

It was totally comfortable out there, perfect. In fact, I wish I was on that deck right now, ordering up some of the best fried seafood known to man and a cold beer. I would be on that deck all the time if I were a local. The deck is complete with boat parking:

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

On to the good stuff…

Middendorf’s is the Mecca of fried Catfish, specifically, thin fried catfish. Understand, I’ve been reading about this place for years and years, well before the current owners took the reins, so there is cause for concern about building a pyramid up in one’s mind.

At the deck at Middendorf’s you order at the bar and pickup at the bar (although everything was delivered to me, along with smiles and nice conversation.) The beers available are generic, miller lite, bud, corona, etc.., no Abita, no fancyfied beers, which tells me this place is all local, love it!

I ordered the thin fried catfish, which is the legendary house specialty, and I also read great things about Middendorf’s Barbecued Oysters, so I ordered them as an appetizer with a cup of Turtle Soup.

I expected the Barbecue Oysters to be along the lines of Barbecue Shrimp, but they were totally different, in a good way, more along the lines of an Oysters Roffignac. Cleanly shucked with a wonderful red topping, a great first taste for my first meal in Louisiana! To be quite honest, I didn’t take notes, I don’t remember what flavors were going on there, just that they were wonderful and like no other Oyster dish I’ve had previous! Delicious!

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

The Turtle Soup left me a little flat, not terrible by any means, just didn’t blow me away.

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

On to the star of the show, Thin Fried Catfish, probably the most perfectly fried fish I’ve had. Crispy, clean flavor, not a bit greasy. The stuff dreams are made of.

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant
From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

The hush puppies are very good, as well as the coleslaw.

From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant
From Middendorf's Seafood Restaurant

After making my taste buds happy at Middendorf’s I was back on the road to my next destination, with a brief stop off in Ponchatoula, the berry capital. Did a little exploring then moved on to Abita Springs for my next stop (as well as my next post), the Abita Brewery Tour!

Check out my friend Tim’s post on Middendorf’s at his blog RouxBDoo’s Cajun and Creole Food Blog!

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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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 Creole Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine

To be quite honest, there are certain dishes that I never intended to include on this site because they have been so completely bastardized by restaurants across the country. Shrimp Creole is near the top of the list. Why would I want to include this dish? Everyone has a recipe for it. A lot of restaurants, even outside of Louisiana serve it. Why in the hell do I even want to bother? Everyone knows what Shrimp Creole is!

But then it dawned on me. You know what? Maybe because of all the hack versions out there, a lot of people, especially outside of Louisiana, don’t know how great Shrimp Creole can be! Every bad rendition of Shrimp Creole, just like Shrimp Etouffee, served in some dive restaurants across the country, have created a perception to the diner that this dish is just OK, or in the worst case scenario, absolutely horrible. For God’s sake, some restaurants even serve shrimp covered in canned Marinara sauce and pass it off as Shrimp Creole. Yikes.

There are a lot of good and bad recipes for Shrimp Creole out there, hopefully you will enjoy this one as much as I do. The defining factor that I think makes this dish great, instead of just good, in addition to the use of the highest quality Louisiana or Gulf Shrimp, is using homemade Shrimp Stock in place of water during the preparation of your Creole Sauce.

All that aside, on to the dish…

As I see it, Shrimp Creole and Shrimp Sauce Piquant are pretty much the same dish, with a few differences.

First, Shrimp Creole, or as it was once known, Shrimp a la Creole, is a New Orleans dish. Shrimp Sauce Piquant is Acadian, much spicier (hence the name) and usually, but not always containing a roux. But as I said, they’re pretty darned similar, and like most dishes in New Orleans these days the two cuisines have kind of merged in a lot of different areas. Like any dish that there are a trillion recipes for, it’s all a matter of your personal taste.

Like I always say, let’s not fight, it’s only dinner after all, just make sure it tastes good.

The Recipe:

Shrimp Creole Recipe

2 lbs. Peeled and Deveined Shrimp, save shells to make Shrimp Stock
2 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
2 Ribs Celery, finely chopped
1 small Green Pepper, finely Chopped
2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
2-1/2 Cups Very Ripe Fresh Tomatoes, Diced
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
2 Cups Shrimp Stock (recipe here)
2 Tbsp Garlic, minced
2 Bay leaves
Cayenne to taste
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt to taste
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp White Pepper
1 bunch Fresh Thyme
2 Tbsp Tabasco
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Cup Green Onions, green tops thinly sliced, white part sliced into 1/4″ thickness
1/8 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
1 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan with the vegetable oil over medium high heat. When the butter begins to froth add 1/2 cup of the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown. Add the remaining onions, celery, and bell pepper, reduce the heat to medium and season with 1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning and a healthy pinch of salt. Sweat the vegetables until soft.

Add the tomato paste mixing well, and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste begins to brown, then add the fresh tomatoes and another healthy pinch of Kosher salt, this will help the tomatoes break down. Stir well.

When the tomatoes start to break down into liquid add the white wine, and turn the heat to high until most of the alcohol burns off. Add the Shrimp Stock, remaining Creole seasoning, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne (to taste), and Thyme. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.

(If necessary at this point thicken the sauce with 1 Tbsp Cornstarch/ 2Tbsp water. Bring to a boil to maximize the thickening power of the cornstarch.)

Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire, and season to taste with Kosher salt. Last chance to re-season your sauce, remember that good cooking is all about proper seasoning. Make your Boiled Rice, and season your shrimp with 1 Tbsp Kosher salt and a pinch of Cayenne.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add the shrimp. The key is to not overcook your shrimp. Let them slowly simmer in the sauce until just cooked through.

Serve with boiled rice and garnish with the remaining green onions and parsley.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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!

Related Posts:

Shrimp Etouffee Recipe
Shrimp Stock Recipe
Shrimp Remoulade Recipe

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Soft-Shell Crabs

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I purchased some Soft-Shell Crabs today which I will prepare for dinner tonight, and of course feature as a recipe later tonight or early tomorrow. I only buy soft-shells fresh when they’re in season, I don’t believe in frozen soft-shells personally, it leaves me something to look forward to in the spring.

Soft-Shell Crabs are not a different species of crab as some may believe but simply a Blue Crab, Callinectes sapidus, which has molted. Like many other crustaceans, crabs outgrow their shells and grow new ones. The prime soft-shells are called busters, as they have just busted from their shells and are at peak softness. Not long after the crabs have busted from their shells, the new shells will start to form and have more of a leathery texture.

Soft-shells can be fried, sauteed, broiled, grilled, you name it. Later I will share one of my favorite ways to prepare and serve them, I’m really looking forward to it.

Soft-shell crabs should not be cleaned until shortly before you’re ready to cook them as they will spoil faster.

To clean a Soft-Shell Crab cut off the eyes and nose portion of the front of the crab with kitchen shears. Next, lift the corners of the top shell and remove the inedible gills. Lastly, turn the crab over and remove the Apron which is a soft way of saying the genitals. Sorry, but it is what it is…just remove it. 🙂

Your soft-shells are now ready to be cooked, and so are mine…until later today.

Update – Here is my recipe for Fried Soft-Shell Crabs with Creole Choron Sauce.

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

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