Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kwanzaa Corn Bread Squares


I found this recipe on Better Homes and Garden's website.  I decided this would be the perfect pairing for the African Chicken and Vegetable Stew.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 vegetable oil
3/4 cup finely chopped red sweet pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease the bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides of a 9 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture; set aside.

In a small mixing bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, and cooking oil. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir just until moistened. Gently stir in chopped red sweet pepper. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm. Makes 9 servings.

African Chicken & Vegetable Stew


Sometimes you combine a lot of ingredients that you would never imagine blending together. Then, to your ultimate surprise, when it's all said and done, you have a keeper of a recipe. This was one of those times!

After reviewing several websites, recurring ingredients in African cooking are peanut butter, okra and sweet potatoes. See what I mean? You wouldn't think those would come together and be delicious, but they are.   


2 T. olive oil
2 onions, diced
8 cups vegetable stock, divided
3/4 cup peanut butter
4 cups canned diced tomatoes, with juices
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
2 cups finely chopped cabbage
2 cups chopped sweet potato
2 cups peeled and chopped carrot
2 cups peeled and chopped turnip
3 T. tomato paste
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 T. ground coriander
1 t. turmeric
2 cups sliced okra
2 cups chopped cooked chicken, or to taste


Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Whisk 1 cup of vegetable stock and the peanut butter into the onions until the mixture is smooth. Slowly add the remaining vegetable stock, diced tomatoes with their liquid, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the cabbage, sweet potato, carrot, turnip, tomato paste and seasonings. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 more minutes.

Stir in the okra and chicken and simmer until the okra is tender, about 30 additional minutes.

Unfortunately, I've lost the source of this recipe.

Shrimp Creole


This was the entree' for our Christmas Dinner.  The recipe comes from Marcelle Bienvenu.

Shrimp Creole was for years a mainstay on most restaurant menus in New Orleans.  It was often served in homes on Fridays during the Lenten Season, in keeping with the Catholic rules of fast and abstinence.  This is a simple recipe and easy to prepare.

4 T. butter
2 T. all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped green bell peppers
3/4 cup chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or chopped canned tomatoes with their juice
1 cup shrimp or chicken stock
1 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 t. chopped fresh parsley
hot cooked rice for serving

Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the flour.  Cook, stirring, to make a blond roux, 5 - 6 minutes.  Add the onions, bell peppers, celery and garlic.  Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned, about 6 minutes.

Add the bay leaves, tomatoes, shrimp stock, salt and cayenne.  Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink, 3 - 4 minutes. 
Remove the bay leaves and add the parsley.  Serve over rice.

K-Paul's - New Orleans, LA

Such a wonderful fun evening at K-Paul's!  We had a great waiter and I was fortunate enough to be able to meet the kitchen crew and get a signed menu.  Lots of laughter and fun with great friends. 
K-Paul's, 416 Chartres Street (in between Conti and St. Louis Streets), New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 596-2530 or toll free at 1 (877) 553-3401  http://www.chefpaul.com/kpaul
 
Chicken and Andouille Gumbo
 

Turtle Soup

Bread Basket!  Jalapeno Cheese Bread was my favorite
 
 
Pan fried rabbit with shrimp maque choux with rice and mixed vegetables. DELICIOUS!!!


Blackened Louisiana Drum
Seasoned and Blackened in a Skillet and Served with Drawn Butter, Potatoes and Veggies


 Surf and Turf..
.Blackened Drum w/Blackened Twin Beef Tenders with Debris
served w/Debris Sauce, Potatoes and Veggies

Pan fried flounder with shrimp herbal brie sauce

Creme Brulee'


Bread Pudding

Lolly with her signed menu

Antoine's - New Orleans, LA

To enjoy a Christmas season dinner at Antoine's was a dream come true for me.  Antoine's opened in 1840 and you can feel the history the second you walk through the doors.  Our dinner was a little over 3 hours and the different courses were never hurried or rushed.  Our waiter made suggestions and was patient with our questions.  It was a perfect meal.  I didn't take pictures of all of our dishes because I was too busy enjoying myself. 

If you EVER have a chance to dine at Antoine's, don't miss it!  AND if you scroll all the way down to the end of this post......You'll see Lolly herself!

713 Saint Louis Street, New Orleans, LA 70130, Telephone: (504) 581-4422
http://www.antoines.com/

My drink of the night:  Poinsettia!
Champagne
1/2 ounce Cointreau
3 ounces cranberry juice
 

Filet de truite meuniere
Fried filet of speckled trout with a lemon-butter sauce



Epinards sauce crème
Spinach in a light cream sauce


Filet de boeuf nature
Grilled centercut of prime tenderloin


Asparagus au beurre (de saison)
Steamed fresh asparagus with butter



Filet de truite Pontchartrain
Grilled trout with lump crabmeat sautéed in butter

Baked Alaska



Lolly at Antoine's


Friday, December 28, 2012

Cafe Pontalba - New Orleans, LA

Cafe Pontalba is located in the heart of Jackson Square.  It's an ideal spot to have lunch or dinner or an afternoon cocktail at the beautiful bar.

546 Saint Peter Street, New Orleans, LA 70116, (504) 522-1180
 Cup of Seafood Gumbo....See the CRAB in the gumbo! 

 Cajun Popcorn Shrimp - Spicy, Crunchy and Good! 

Shrimp Etouffee
 
Shrimp and Corn Bisque - Silky smooth, creamy and rich
  
Red Beans and Rice with a side of Jambalaya
 

Shrimp Po-boy

Christmas Dinner Amuse Bouche: Shrimp Boulette with Red Pepper Jelly


What is a boulette you ask?  Simply put it's a round meat ball made with various meats and/or seafood and spices.  These were addictive.  I had planned on one per person as is the amuse bouche way..........but we ended up having a few, okay several, okay.....a LOT of them. 

1 pound raw medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
2 - 3 green onions, finely chopped
4 - 5 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. black pepper
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. dried basil
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce
Vegetable oil for frying

In a large mixing bowl, combine the shrimp, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, and remaining ingredients. Place the remaining breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.  Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of shrimp mixture and roll in your hand to form a small bowl.  Roll it in the reserved bread crumbs. Repeat the process until all of the mixture has been rolled into small balls.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set the balls and make frying easier.

When you're ready to cook the boulettes, heat the vegetable oil in a heavy skillet to 350 degrees.  Drop the boulettes into the hot oil a few at a time and fry them until they are a light golden brown about 4 - 5 minutes a batch.

Serve alone or with red or green pepper jelly, tarter or cocktail sauce.

Oysters Mosca


Oscars Mosca originally comes from Mosca's restaurant in New Orleans and is a delicious way to prepare oysters.  Basically it's baked, breaded oysters with a most wonderful Creole flavor.  I added a little red pepper jelly on the side.

1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. dried sweet basil
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried oregano
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. Tabasco sauce
1 cup clarified butter
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 T. minced garlic
2 pints oysters, drained

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese, seasonings and sauces.  Be sure to mix thoroughly.

In a large skillet, heat the clarified butter and olive oil over medium heat and saute' the green onions, parsley and garlic until they are nice and soft, about 3 - 5 minutes.  Add the seasoned breadcrumb mixture and stir to mix.  Remove the pan from the heat and fold the oysters in very gently until they are nicely mixed in and covered. 

Once this is done, transfer the mixture to a 2 quart casserole dish. Bake for 15 minutes or so until the mixture is browned and crusty.

Serve as an appetizer or as a main dish with some crusty French bread and a nice salad.  Serves 6.





Mixed Green Salad with Creole Mustard Vinaigrette


The dressing for this salad is light and refreshing.  This was a perfect accompaniment to the other dishes of the meal which had a little heat to them.  The mandarin oranges were a real treat.

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 T. Creole mustard
1 1/2 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
Mixed salad green
1 small red onion thinly sliced
1 large naval orange or mandarin orange slices

Whisk first five ingredients in a small bowl until well blended.  Plate salad greens, top with red onion slices and orange sections and drizzle with dressing.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ruby Slipper Cafe - New Orleans, LA

On a beautiful Saturday morning we ventured out to the Ruby Slipper Cafe for breakfast.  Cozy and inviting, the food was tasty.  It was a little crowded inside, but we would return.

139 South Cortez Street, New Orleans, LA  70119, 504-525-9355  http://www.therubyslippercafe.net/

Ruby’s Basic Breakfast – Two eggs served with house special breakfast potatoes, choice of applewood smoked bacon and sourdough toast.



Three Little Pigs Omelet – Applewood smoked bacon, Sausage and Ham with Swiss cheese.



French Toast and Chicken Sausage for the little grandson.  He ate every bite!


Muriel's - New Orleans, LA

My most favorite spot in the Quarter. If you've never dined at Muriel's, please go there soon. Everything is always perfect. Our group ordered a great selection of dishes and we shared. This was our first dinner of the trip and it started the vacation off perfectly.

Muriel's, 801 Chartres Street New Orleans, LA  70116,  (504) 568-1885  www.muriels.com/

Shrimp & Goat Cheese Crêpes
Goat Cheese filled crepes topped with fresh gulf shrimp in a buttery sauce of Chardonnay, onion, tomato, and bell pepper


Louisiana oysters roasted in oyster cream with Leeks, Mushrooms and Thyme, Andouille-Corn muffin





Mixed Greens, Pickled Red Onion, Gingerbread-Mustard Vinaigrette, Truffle-Parmesan Popcorn



Wood Grilled Salmon Cauliflower Puree, Braised White Bean and Swiss Chard with chaurice, Meyer Lemon Butter


Lamb Osso Buco Acorn Squash Risotto, Spiced Apple-Bacon Compote, Cranberry Demi-Glace



Pecan Crusted Puppy Drum served with oven roasted pecan and jumbo lump crabmeat relish, laced with a lemon butter sauce


Vanilla Bean Créme Brûlée


Pain Perdu Bread Pudding
with candied pecans and rum sauce
 


Flourless Chocolate Cake:  Oh my!





Coop's Place - New Orleans, LA

One of my absolute favorite "dives" in New Orleans.  Coop's has a surprisingly extensive menu.  It's a perfect lunch or late night spot. 

Coop's Place, 1109 Decatur Street, New Orleans, LA 70116  http://www.coopsplace.net/


How about a nice Mint Julep and Bloody Mary to start?


Jambalaya and Mixed Green Salad with Red Wine Bleu Cheese Dressing 



Gumbo:  Look at all the goodness in that little cup!  Delicious!


Coop's Taste Plate:
A cup of Seafood Gumbo, Shrimp Creole, Cajun Fried Chicken, Red Beans & Rice with Sausage, and Rabbit & Sausage Jambalaya



Shrimp & Oyster Po-boy, Dressed




GW Fins - New Orleans, LA

We celebrated Sweet Harold's birthday at GW Fins.  He loves seafood and GW Fins always delivers  excellent quality, attentive service and delicious food.    It's located at 808 Bienville Street, New Orleans, LA. 70112, (504) 581-3467.  http://gwfins.com/

We started out with lovely appetizers to be shared with everyone.

Lobster Dumplings: Lobster and white fish mousseline, shaved fennel, tomato concassé, lobster butter
Blue Crab Pot Stickers: Country ham, creamy pea shoot butter


Next we moved on to smoked sizzling oysters.


My selection of the night:  John Dory with Browned Butter, lump crab meat and fried capers with a browned butter sauce.  This was amazing.  I still dream about this John Dory. 


Sweet Harold always chooses grouper, remember?  Wood Grilled Grouper with Pineapple basil glaze, sweet potato hash, crispy plantains, roasted corn butter


New Bedford Sea Scallops Wood grilled with mushroom risotto and mushroom butter


Creme Brulee with fresh berries



And Sweet Harold's Happy Birthday treat:  Salty Malty Ice Cream Pie, Pretzel crust, caramel, whipped cream