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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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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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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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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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New Orleans Style Bordelaise Sauce Recipe

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For my wife’s first home cooked meal since coming home from the hospital with our little Anna (new pic added). I made Grilled Marinated Pork Chops with New Orleans Style Bordelaise sauce, green onion mashed potatoes, and asparagus. Just good old home cooking. It really hit the spot for both of us since we spent the last five days eating inedible hospital food and a lot of take out.

New Orleans Style Bordelaise is very different than the classic french wine sauce; actually it bears absolutely no resemblance and it has as many variations as there are cooks in New Orleans. Probably the best use for this sauce is tossed into pasta, preferably spaghetti, but I like it very much over a grilled Ribeye or any grilled meat. I made sure to also pour some over the asparagus. The recipe:

New Orleans Style Bordelaise Sauce Recipe

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Cloves of Garlic, roughly chopped
1 Sprig of Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1 Spritz of fresh lemon juice
1/2 stick of Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp Italian Parsley, minced
Salt & Pepper to taste

Add the oil to a heated saute pan. Add the garlic, Thyme, and Bay leaf. Saute the garlic until it just starts to slightly brown then add the lemon juice, and the cold butter, incorporating by shaking the pan back and forth until melted. When the butter is totally melted strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve, then add back to the pan. Add the parsley and season to taste with Kosher salt and pepper.

Makes around 1/3 of a cup.

For the Pork:

I marinated the pork in garlic, Rosemary, lemon juice, a little creole mustard, extra virgin olive oil, and red pepper flakes for about 2 hours. I grilled it to a little over medium.

For the Asparagus:

First blanch the asparagus until al dente, then shock in an ice bath. Remove from the water and set aside until just ready to eat.
To serve heat 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil & 2 Tbsp Unsalted butter in a saute pan. Add a crushed clove of garlic to the pan with the asparagus. Heat through and season well with salt & pepper.

For the Green Onion Mashed Potatoes

Peel and boil 3 Russet Potatoes, drain and mash with a potato masher. In a mixing bowl add the potatoes, 2 Tbsp Green Onions, 4 Tbsp Unsalted butter and enough cream or half & half to make them nice and creamy. Season well with salt and pepper.

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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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