Tag Archives: nola cuisine

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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Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Peach Salsa Recipe

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Yes, I am still alive and well, but spare time has been very hard to come by these days, so please forgive my long stretches of dead air here on Nola Cuisine. I am however, making a concerted effort to start posting more religiously on this site, my goal is one post per week.

On another off topic note, I’ve been forced to put all comments into moderation because of the army of rat b@stard spam bots that have been attacking my posts, so please continue to leave your comments, I love reading them, and they will eventually make it up (provided you’re not selling Viagra or one of the other broke-d!ck pharmaceuticals). Funny, I honestly don’t know why there are so many of those but there are, it must be all of the sausage recipes on here. 🙂

Anyway, on to the food…

I came across some beautiful ripe and fragrant Southern Peaches at the store yesterday, and I immediately thought pork for some reason. I made a similar dish with fish last year that I never got up on the site, but this one had to go up. This dish absolutely screams summer. Here is a detail of the peaches, roasted pepper and Vidalia onions fresh off of the grill

From Nola Cuisine

I was going to use cilantro with the peaches but I have some basil in my herb garden which is at it’s absolute peak, it is so beautiful and floral that it almost doesn’t even smell like basil. I tasted a piece with a slice of the grilled peaches and the flavors were a match made in heaven, so I rolled with it!

The Apricot glaze gives another peachy punch to the dish, and another layer of flavor on top of the smoky pork.

I hope you enjoy!

Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Peach Salsa Recipe

For the grilled Peaches:

4 Southern Peaches (must be very ripe) halved and pitted
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Steen’s Pure Cane Syrup
2 tsp Creole Seasoning
1 tsp Kosher Salt

Additional grill prep for the salsa:
1 Roasted Red Pepper,
1/2 of a large Vidalia Onion, cut into 1/2″ slices and rubber with olive oil

Warm a gas or charcoal grill to 350-400 degrees F.
Toss all of the above ingredients together, making sure to coat the peaches well. Grill the peaches flat side down until they start to caramelize and get some grill marks, flip them over skin side down onto a cooler spot of the grill to finish warming through. At the same time, roast your pepper on the grill until the skin is black all over, and grill the Vidalia Onion slices.

When the peaches are warmed through and softened remove the skins and slice lengthwise, place into a medium sized bowl. Also peel, seed, and slice the roasted Red pepper into strips; Chop the grilled Vidalia Onion.

Grilled Southern Peach Salsa Recipe

4 Grilled Southern Peaches (see above)
1 Roasted Red Pepper, sliced (see above)
1/2 Grilled Vidalia Onion, chopped (see above)
2 tsp Steen’s Pure Cane Syrup

3 Tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients while still hot, serve at room temperature.

Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Peach Salsa Recipe

4 Bone in, thick cut Pork Chops
1 Recipe Seasoning Mix (see below)
1 Recipe Apricot Glaze (see below)
1 Recipe Grilled Peach Salsa

Seasoning mix:
1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt (if using commercial creole seasoning omit)
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Black Pepper

Combine.

Apricot Glaze:

3 Tbsp Apricot Preserves
1 Tbsp Steen’s Pure Cane Syrup
1 Tbsp Creole Mustard

Combine all ingredients.

Season the pork chops liberally with some of the seasoning mix.

Preheat a Charcoal or Gas grill to 400 degrees F with a pan going with smoldering wood chips (I used Pecan chips). When hot grill the Pork chops to desired degree of doneness, I like mine cooked medium about 140 degrees. Brush the chops with the apricot glaze, let it warm a bit and remove the chops. I pulled mine off at about 132 degrees to allow for carryover cooking. They were a perfect medium at the table.

From Nola Cuisine

Top the glazed chops with a generous portion of the warm Peach Salsa, make sure to drizzle some of the liquid as well. Enjoy!

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 Nola Cuisine!

Related Posts:

Homemade Creole Mustard Recipe
Homemade Creole Seasoning Recipe
Boudin Stuffed Pork Chop Recipe

From Nola Cuisine
From Nola Cuisine
From Nola Cuisine
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Parasol’s Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine

This recipe like many others on Nola Cuisine is written for folks like myself who love the food of New Orleans, but are too far away to walk out their door and have someone else do the cookin’. I’ve had a hunger for a Roast Beef from Parasol’s ever since my trip last March, but since I live in Michigan, this is a major problem, so I decided to put together a recipe to make my own, based on the video below of Parasol’s owner Jeff Carreras making the Po Boy at the restaurant.

I made a recipe based on what I saw, although pared down so that it will work for the home cook. This isn’t a fancy recipe, but I would say most authentic in it’s preparation to what you will find in a lot of neighborhood restaurants in New Orleans, the first bite took me right to Parasol’s in the Irish Channel.

I am totally aware that the host in this clip from the food network is a total Stooge, but this little video is a god send. The owner of Parasol’s graciously shows us how to make their Roast Beef Po Boy, granted we have to listen to that bleach blonde goon yammer through the whole video, but it is almost worth it. This is an unpretentious, neighborhood recipe. Some may lift their nose to the Kitchen Bouquet and some of the preparation, I swayed a little myself, but the end result is totally authentic. Try it for yourself, you’ll be moanin’ in your seat with a land fills worth of gravy stained napkins around you. I promise.

A note on New Orleans French Bread, or Po Boy Bread. I was fortunate enough recently to locate an acceptable substitute for New Orleans Po Boy or French Bread at a local market. Not exact mind you, but it has a lot of the same characteristics, Crisp, yet chewy Crust, soft center, cotton candy-like as it is often called, and just the right size. I’ve tried and tried over the years to create a recipe that is close, but I’m on hiatus from that mission for the time being. You wouldn’t believe the amount of emails I receive asking if I have the magic recipe. Not yet, sorry.

From Nola Cuisine

The object of the Po Boy Bread in this recipe is to make the eating experience as messy as possible. During your first bite the sandwich should flatten somewhat and your hands (as well as chin and possibly clothing) should be awash with gravy, beef debris, mayonnaise and possibly a few shreds of lettuce as the contents spray from the sides as if the sandwich was stepped on. Relax and enjoy, resist the urge to reach for that over sized stack of napkins until the last morsel is gone. In my humble opinion, the best Roast Beef Po Boys in New Orleans are judged by the amount of napkins used to clean up the aftermath.

This post is for my good friend Bill Moran, who unfortunately is laid up in the hospital in Corpus Christi. I wish I was close enough to bring you one of these my friend, I hope you get home soon.

Parasol’s Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

For the Beef:
2 lbs Beef Round, I used a bottom round Roast
Water, enough to cover by one inch in a dutch oven

For the Gravy:

1/2 Cup Flour
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder (must be powder, not granulated)
1 tsp Black Pepper
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Oil
1 tsp Kitchen Bouquet
3 Cups Broth, reserved from the boiled beef (maybe more if your gravy gets too thick)

Bring the water to a rolling boil. Add the beef roast, when the pot comes back to a boil, reduce the heat to medium to medium high, you should have a heavy simmer. Cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the liquid and refrigerate until cold. Reserve about five cups of the broth, you won’t need all of it, but keep some to thin the gravy out if necessary.

While the beef is cooling make the gravy.

Bring 3 cups of the reserved cooking liquid to a boil in a small saucepan.
In a small bowl whisk together the flour, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, then the oil and kitchen bouquet, when thoroughly blended, whisk the mixture into the boiling broth, whisk together well, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. If necessary add a little of the reserved broth if the gravy is too thick. It should be. not too thick, not too thin. Let the gravy simmer for 20-30 minutes adjust for seasonings, it should have a good amount of salt as the beef has none.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
When the beef is cold, slice it as thin as possible and lay the slices in a 9X9 baking pan. The thicker your slices are, the longer it will take in the oven, so slice thin. or your hungry ass will be waiting. 🙂

Cover the beef with 2-3 cups of the gravy. Place into the oven 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the beef is fall apart tender.

For the Po Boy:

2 ten inch French Loaves, see article above
Mayonnaise
2 Tomatoes, sliced
2 Cups shredded Iceburg Lettuce
1 Dill Pickle, sliced
The Roast Beef from the above recipe

Slice the bread in half lengthwise and lay both halves side by side. Slather a bunch of mayonnaise on both sides (I’ll be the cholesterol devil on your shoulder: Come on, your doctor’s not lookin’, don’t be stingy!).

On the top half, add pickle slices, tomato slices, and 1 Cup of the lettuce. On the bottom half, add 1/2 of the beef and gravy mixture (please note, I super-sized the amount of beef in this recipe). Fold the top over the side with the beef and put on a sheet pan. Repeat with the second sandwich. Place the sheet pan in the oven for 2-3 minutes to crisp and warm the bread.

Cut each sandwich in half and serve on paper plates for authenticity. Serve with your favorite cold beer, Barq’s in a bottle, Zapp’s chips, and a big ole’ pile of napkins. Enjoy!

Serves 2 hungry eating machines, or 4 light weights.

From Nola Cuisine
From Nola Cuisine

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:

Parasol’s Restaurant & Bar
Roast Beef Po Boy with Debris Gravy 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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Maque Choux Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine Images – (reedited)

Maque Choux (pronounced Mock-shoe) is creamy, rich stewed corn dish that is most certainly Cajun. The trick to good Maque Choux is using very fresh corn so that you can scrape the pulp and milk out of the cobs which will give the dish it’s distinctive creaminess.

I also like to add some Tasso as a seasoning meat for the pleasant smokiness that it adds to the dish. Bacon also works well, and by all means substitute Bacon drippings for the unsalted butter if you like. Here is the recipe:

Maque Choux Recipe

4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Tasso, finely diced
3 Ears of Corn
1/2 cup Onion, finely diced
1/4 cup Celery, finely diced
1/2 cup Green Pepper, finely diced
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme leaves
1/8 cup Garlic, minced
1 Cup Tomato, diced
1/2 Cup Green Onions, finely sliced
Kosher salt, black pepper and Cayenne to taste

Cut the corn off the cobs using a very sharp knife. The trick is to cut about half way through the kernels, then go back and scrape the cobs with your knife to extract all of the milk into a bowl. Reserve the corn milk.

Melt the butter in a two quart sauce pan, add the Tasso and cook on medium-high heat until slightly brown. Add the corn, onion, celery, bell pepper, Thyme and a healthy pinch of salt and reduce the heat to medium. Cook stirring often for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Add the garlic, tomatoes, reserved corn milk and another pinch of salt. Cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the green onions, salt, black pepper and cayenne to your taste.

Serves 2-3.

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

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Lobster Thermidor Recipe

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From Nola Cuisine

This is a very old school dish, I know, but my oh, my does it ever taste great. In my book, rich and bubbly, cheesy Thermidor sauce with chunks of lobster is the stuff dreams are made of, old school or not. There is a lot of debate over this dish regarding not only it’s namesake but also it’s ingredients, country and restaurant of origin, who’s version is the best, blah, blah, blah. I say, Make lobster not war, it’s only dinner after all, just make sure it tastes good. 🙂

Here is my version:

From Nola Cuisine

Lobster Thermidor Recipe

For the Lobsters:

2 1-1/4 lb Lobsters
Whole lemons
4 Bay Leaves
4 Tbsp Creole Seasoning
2 Tbsp Black peppercorns
1 Bunch Thyme, tied together
1/4 Cup Kosher Salt
Water, enough to cover 2 lobsters

Combine all of the ingredients except the Lobsters, bring to a rolling boil. Cook for 15 mintes. While still boiling drop the lobsters into the pot. Cook for 5-6 minutes, remove immediately to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. I like to under cook the lobsters so they will finish cooking in the sauce.

When the lobsters are cold, remove both claws from the body. Cut the body in half lengthwise. Extract all of the tail meat, and all of the meat from the claws and knuckles. Cut the meat into nice sized chunks. Totally clean out the shells and place face down on a baking sheet. Place in a 300 degree oven to dry them out, when dry, remove and set aside on a clean baking sheet.

For the Sauce:

4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
4 Tbsp Shallots, finely minced
1 Tbsp Garlic, finely minced
4 Tbsp Flour
1/4 Cup Sherry
1/2 Cup Whole milk
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of Cayenne
1/4 Cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 Cup shredded Parmesan
1 Tbsp fresh Tarragon, minced
2 Tbsp Italian Parsley, minced
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a small heavy bottomed saucepan. Sweat the shallots and garlic until translucent. Whisk in the flour and cook to make a blond roux, whisk in the Sherry. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk, then move on to the cream. Add the dijon, cayenne and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring constantly, to prevent scorching. Cook just until the raw flour taste is gone, remove from the heat. While still hot whisk in 3/4 of each cheese, stir until incorporated. Stir in the Tarragon and parsley. Season to taste with Kosher salt & white pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix the reserved lobster meat with some of the sauce (you may not need all of the sauce). The result should be very plentiful with lobster meat. Fill the reserved shells with the prepared sauce. Top with the remaining Gruyere and Parmesan. If you have a little sauce sauce with lobster leftover, bake it off in a small casserole or ramekin.

Bake until the cheese and sauce are nicely golden brown, serve on top of something green, I used Chicory.

I like to serve this with toast points.

Serves 2.

Be sure to visit my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes! It provides a link to all recipes featured on Nola Cuisine. Also check out my other website American Gourmand for more great recipes!

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Oyster Dressing Recipe

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I’m getting geared up for the rapidly approaching Thanksgiving holiday, so I decided to make a Roast Chicken stuffed with Oyster Dressing.

Oyster dressing is wonderfully flavorful, and is a perfect compliment to Roast Chicken or Turkey. This dressing will also compliment Quail, Duck, or even a thick cut Pork Chop with a pocket cut into it.

I used Duck Fat in this recipe along with butter, because quite frankly, it is the nectar of the Gods. If you can’t find Duck fat, you can render your own or just substitute more butter in this recipe. If you do have Duck fat, be sure to also brush it all over whichever bird you’re roasting, as I did, for crispy flavorful skin.

Oyster Dressing Recipe

3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
3 Tbsp Duck Fat
1 Cup Onion, finely diced
3/4 Cup Celery, finely diced
2 Tbsp Garlic, minced
1/8 Cup Green Onions, sliced
1 Tbsp Fresh Sage, chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme leaves
1 tsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped
6 Cups French Bread, cubed
1 Dozen Oysters, shucked, drained, and chopped; liquor reserved
2-3 Cups Chicken Stock, hot
Kosher salt, black pepper and Cayenne to taste

Melt the butter and duck fat in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and celery, sweat until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, green onions, sage, parlsey, thyme, and rosemary, cook for 2 minutes. Add the french bread, stir to coat. Add the Oyster liquor and 1 cup of the stock, stirring constantly, then add the stock in 1/2 cup intervals until you have a moist dressing. Stir in the Oysters, cook until they’re just cooked through. Season the dressing to taste with the salt, black pepper and Cayenne.

I stuffed about half of this into the chicken, and the other half I baked in a greased Cast Iron skillet.

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes!

More Oyster Recipes at Nola Cuisine:

Angels on Horseback
Drago’s Style Charbroiled Oysters
Oysters Bienville
Oyster Omelette
Oysters on the half shell

Thanksgiving Related Posts:

Turducken
Praline Sweet Potatoes
Turkey Bone Gumbo Recipe

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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

Garnish:
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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