New Orleans Cuisine

My Creole & Cajun Recipe Page

This is my blog dedicated to New Orleans & Louisiana cooking! I'll give links to great Creole & Cajun recipes and sites, as well as some of my own recipes. I love talkin' New Orleans, food and otherwise! Incidentally, I'm from Detroit. Go Figure. Lets just say I figured out "what it means, to miss New Orleans" and this site helps ease the pain.

[View Guestbook] [Sign Guestbook]
E-Mail Me!
"Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins."
-Ignatius J. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces

Custom Search

Monday, May 30, 2005

New Orleans Coffee and Chicory

New Orleans is a coffee town, they take their coffee very seriously, so for my post I decided to ask the good folks at Mr. Lake's NonPompous New Orleans Food Forum, most of which are locals, how they like their Coffee and Chicory. It seems the local brands of choice are Community, Union, and Cafe du Monde (CDM). As far as Coffee Stands, although everyone likes Cafe du Monde, the real fondness and nostalgia seems to be for the Morning Call coffee stands. My friends M.A. and S.A. over at The Wreckroom drink Community Coffee and prefer Morning Call as well. Morning Call is no longer in the French Quarter, but they have 2 locations in Metarie. Here is the info:

3325 Severn Ave., Metairie 885-4068
4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd. (Clearview Mall), Metairie 779-5348

If you've never been to New Orleans, they love their coffee strong! Real strong. JDM from Mr. Lake's describes the coffee best with a traditional Cajun French rhyme:

Noir comme le Diable;
Fort comme la Mort;
Doux comme l'Amour;
Et chaud comme l'Enfer.

English Translation:

Black as the Devil;
Strong as Death;
Sweet as Love;
And hot as Hell.

Thanks to everyone at Mr. Lakes for sharing all of the great info! Here is a link to the thread.

The classic way to make a good cup of Coffee and Chicory, or Cafe Noir, is with an Old- Fashioned drip Coffee pot, or Biggin. The object is to get all of the flavor out of the beans and Chicory, and into the coffee. Here is how I make Cafe Noir.

Cafe Noir

Here is the ratio I use, I think it's pretty standard, if I'm wrong please say so in the comment section:

For every 1 Cup of water
1 Heaping Tablespoon of drip ground Coffee and Chicory
(Mr. Lake suggests adding a pinch of salt to the ground coffee)

Place the coffee in a drip style coffee pot, lined with a filter. Starting with cold water, bring the water just to a boil. Pour a small amount over the grounds, just enough to moisten them. Add about 1/2 cup of or so of water at a time, do not add more until the previous addition has completely dripped through. Continue until you've used the remaining water. Serve.
You can keep the coffee hot in a Carafe or in a Bain Marie on the stove.

Now that you have a nice cup or pot of Cafe Noir, you can either add milk or half & half, and or sugar, or you can make Cafe au Lait.

Cafe au Lait

Cafe au Lait
is nothing more than equal parts of scalded milk (Milk brought just to a boil) and Cafe Noir, sugar optional. The classic presentation is two pots, one with coffee, one with milk, poured into the cup at the same time in one long stream.

Serve Cafe au Lait with the classic accompaniment Beignets.

Side note - Don't try to order a Cafe au Lait outside of New Orleans. Chuck Taggart's rant on Coffee house Cafe au Lait at The Gumbo Pages is right on the money.

Future coffee post....the show stopping Cafe Brulot.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


New Orleans is a coffee town, and you can't talk about New Orleans Coffee without first discussing Chicory. Coffee and Chicory (Chik-uree) go hand in hand in New Orleans, so before I write my Coffee post, I will first post on Chicory.
Chicory describes a group of bitter greens in the sunflower family, the likes of which, those of us who love to cook are very familiar: Belgian Endive (Witloof), Curly Endive (or Frisee), Escarole, and Raddichio. The Chicory we're interested in here, the one used for extending coffee, Cichorium Intybus, is a perennial herb, which grows wild in parts of the country, and has flowers that are usually blue. It has a root resembling a white carrot, getting as large as 2" at the top and 14" long. Before Chicory root is used for coffee, it is sliced, kiln-dried, roasted with a little oil until dark, and ground to desired fineness. The addition of Chicory to Coffee makes it stonger, thicker, and slightly bitter. I think it adds an almost unsweetened Chocolate flavor and consistency.
I've read different versions of who first starting using Chicory to extend coffee, here is what I've heard. The first known use was in the 1600's, some say of Dutch origin (as am I), some say French, some say Chicory was first used to extend coffee for Napoleon's troops. As far as New Orleans and the United States is concerned, maybe it started during the Civil War due to Naval blockades, which blocked the import of coffee. Maybe the French brought it with them. Who knows? One thing I do know is that Chicory makes New Orleans Coffee distinctive from all other Coffees in the States, and possibly the world.
Certain grocery stores in my area sell Ground Roasted Chicory on its own for extending coffee, and French Market brand Coffee with Chicory, which is what Commander's Palace uses, is available just about anywhere. If you live in the Detroit area, Rafal Spice Company in Eastern Market sells a whole bean, New Orleans Style Coffee with Chicory that is very good.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Prime by Poppy Z. Brite

I just finished the novel Prime by Poppy Z. Brite, which is the follow up to Liquor. I loved both books, she really captures what it is like to work in a restaurant, all of the pleasures, frustrations, and unpleasantries. These novels are a foodies dream, both set in New Orleans in a restarant where the main ingredient in every dish is laced with Liquor, which is also the restaurants name, run by Rickey and G-Man. The main ingredients in these novels are Food and New Orleans, two things I can't get enough of, obviously. Apparently she is working on a 3rd Rickey and G-Man novel, I'll be waiting. Make sure you read these on a full stomach, you'll be standing at the fridge after a couple of chapters.

Also, a new post at Cook's Journal, Homemade Flour Tortillas; I've been on a real Southwest and Mexican food kick lately!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Homemade Beignets

Originally uploaded by Danno1.
Here is a pic of the Homemade Beignets from last Tuesday. I think I'm going to have to make some more this weekend. Here is the recipe in case you missed it, they turned out absolutely perfect, as light as little powdered sugar covered pillows.

Also, here is a link to the Pic of my Char-Grilled Pizzas at Cook's Journal!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Shrimp Taco Recipe at Cook's Journal

Here is a link to my Shrimp Taco recipe at Cook's Journal.
Sadie Mae said:

Do you have a recipe for Shrimp Taco's? If so please share...thanks S.A.

Here you are S.A.!

Monday, May 16, 2005

New Orleans Cuisine - Beignet Recipe

I just made my wife and I a whole bunch of Beignets for breakfast, I am so full. If you haven't been to New Orleans you've probably never eaten a Beignet, but you've probably had something similar. If you are unfamiliar, Beignet (ben-YAY) is French for Fritter, in New Orleans they're square and topped with a firestorm of powdered sugar and usually served with a steaming cup of Cafe au Lait. Cafe au Lait is equal parts piping hot milk and good, strong Coffee with Chicory (New Orleans Coffee will be another post).
The big place in New Orleans for Beignets and Cafe au Lait is Cafe Du Monde on Decatur on the riverside of Jackson Square, which is legendary, and I guess you have to go once, which I did. The Beignets and Cafe au Lait are great, but I'm not into tourist traps; even when I'm a tourist. I prefer Cafe Beignet on Royal Street (they have a few other locations in the French Quarter), which is a little more low key.
Cafe du Monde also sells a Beignet batter mix that is widely available, I made mine from scratch. The recipe:

New Orleans Cuisine - Beignet Recipe

1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast
3/4 Cup Water (110 degrees F)
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Beaten Egg
1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk
3 1/2 - 3 3/4 Cups A.P. Flour
1/8 Cup Shortening
Vegetable Oil for Frying
Powdered Sugar in a shaker or sifter

Combine the Yeast, Water, and Sugar in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (You could also make this in a food processor, or the old fashioned way, by hand). Let this sit until frothy, about 5 minutes, then add the Salt, Egg, and Evaporated Milk. Mix on low speed, then add half of the flour until it starts to come together, then add the shortening. When the shortening is incorporated start adding the remaining flour, a little at a time until most of it is incorporated. At this time I always turn the dough onto a floured bench to finish by hand, just like when I make bread; it's a touch thing. Knead the dough adding just enough flour as necessary to make a non-sticky, smooth dough. Place the dough into a large oiled bowl, loosely cover and let rise (I made mine last night and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator).
After the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and turn it onto a floured surface and roll out into a rectangle that is about 1/2" thick. With a very sharp knife working at a diagonal to the rectangle, cut into 2" wide strips. Now cut into diamond shapes by making diagonal cuts in the opposite direction. Place the Beignets on a floured baking sheet to let rise about 40 minutes in a warm place (I place them in a barely warm oven).
When the Beignets have risen, heat 2-3 inches of vegetable oil in a large saucepan to 350-360 degrees. Place 2-3 Beignets into the hot oil at a time, being careful not to smash or deflate them. When they are golden brown, flip them over until golden brown on the other side (They go pretty quickly so start checking them right after they go into the oil). Remove to paper towel lined plates to drain. Serve hot topped with plenty of powdered sugar (because the dough doesn't contain much sugar, you will want a lot!). Best served with Cafe au Lait. Enjoy!

Makes about 2 dozen.

**NEW** For more on Beignets & Cafe au Lait check out the Coffee and Doughnuts Podcast at YatPundit New Orleans Food!

Friday, May 13, 2005

New Orleans Cuisine - Grillades and Grits

This is a terrific, hearty meal that is generally eaten at breakfast or brunch in New Orleans, I like it for a Sunday evening meal. Grillades (pronounced GREE-yahds) are made with Round Steak, of Beef or Veal, although you could use pork. This dish like many other greats from New Orleans, comes from meager times, when a piece of meat needed to be stretched to feed a whole family. A Grillade is a square of meat cut from the Round Steak, or whichever piece of meat that you've chosen. I love to take an inexpensive, tough cut of meat, and turn it into something spectacular! Round Steak is a powerhouse of flavor, that with some time and tenderness will be tender and mouthwatering.
Grits have never really caught on with most Yankees, I don't understand this because a lot of folks go crazy over Polenta, which is basically a yellow version of Grits. I personally think it's all about the name; Polenta flows from the tongue, while the word Grits comes from your mouth like a shotgun blast! This dish will also go nicely with Boiled Rice, but please try it with the Grits, they take on the flavor of the sauce in a really nice, creamy way. I prefer the longer cooking Grits, sometimes called Old Fashioned, which are a little bit harder to find up north as opposed to the instant variety. If you're not crazy about just plain old Grits, get fancy and serve this alongside Caryn's Gorgonzola Grit Cakes from Delicious! Delicious!.

New Orleans Cuisine Recipe - Grillades & Grits

2 lbs Round Steak
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne Pepper
½ Cup Flour seasoned
2 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 Medium Onions, Julienned
1 Red Bell Pepper, Julienned
2 Ribs Celery, Julienned
3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
2 Cups Beef Stock
3 Tbsp Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
2 Cups Tomatoes, Chopped
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
Crystal Hot Sauce to taste
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch (whisked together with 1 Tablespoon Water)
1/4 cup Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Green Onions, thinly sliced on the bias
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Recipe of Grits made according to the Package Instructions

Pound the Round Steak on both sides to about ½ inch thickness, then cut into 4 inch squares. Season the grillades with the salt & cayenne pepper. Combine the flour and Creole Seasoning, dip the Grillades one at a time into the seasoned flour and shake off any excess. In a cast iron dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat until very hot, but not smoking. Brown the Grillades well on both sides without burning. Transfer the Grillades to a plate. Drain off the vegetable oil and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the Onions, Bell Pepper, Celery, and Garlic and, stirring frequently, cook until the vegetables are soft but not brown. Stir in the Beef Stock, Wprcestershire, Tomatoes, and Bay Leaves; bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Return the Grillades and the accumulated juice from the plate back to the pot. Submerge the Grillades in the sauce and simmer for about 1 ½ hours or until they're very tender. When the Grillades are tender remove them to a plate and bring the sauce to a boil. Add the corn starch mixture and whisk until the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in the parsley, 1/4 cup of the green onions, red wine vinegar, hot sauce, and salt & pepper. Mound the Grits on 4 heated plates and divide the steaks on top of the Grits. Pour the sauce over the Grillades & Grits, top with the remaining Green Onions and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Tortilla Soup Recipe at Cook's Journal

I posted the recipe for my Tortilla Soup, which I made yesterday, at my other Food Blog Cook's Journal. As I've said in the past, Cook's Journal is my outlet for all Non-New Orleans Cuisine recipes, I like to stay on topic here.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

New Orleans Cuisine - Fried Shrimp Po' Boy Recipe

Here is my recipe for a Fried Shrimp Po' Boy. Like I said in my previous post, I'm a purist when it comes to Po' Boys, which is why I am on a quest for a good New Orleans French Bread recipe or substitute. As I've said in the past, the bread is really the star of the show. I found a decent substitute on Sunday from a sub/sandwich shop near my house that sold me a loaf that they make in house. It wasn't exact, but somewhat similar. Here is my Po' Boy recipe:

New Orleans Cuisine - Fried Shrimp Po' Boy Recipe

1 10-12" long piece of New Orleans Style French Bread
4 Tbsp Mayonnaise
3 Tbsp Creole Mustard (Zatarain's makes a good widely available Creole Mustard. I'm actually working on a recipe for Homemade Creole Mustard.)
Pickle Slices
3/4 Cup Shredded Lettuce
Tomato Slices (Optional)
Fried Shrimp for Filling (Recipe below)

Slice the bread horizontally about 3/4 of the way through, leaving it hinged. Some people prefer to slice the bread all the way through. I hinge the bread for two reasons:
  1. Every Po' Boy sandwich I've eaten in New Orleans was hinged.
  2. I'm smarter than the sandwich. :) It's easier to eat! Granted, a Po' Boy should be messy, but I like to try to keep the filling in the loaf while I'm making a mess.
Spread the Mayonnaise on the inside of the bottom portion of the bread, spread the Creole Mustard on the inside of the Top portion. Layer you pickles and Tomatoes (if using) on the bottom portion of the French Loaf. Fill with the lettuce, then top with the Fried Shrimp. Serve with an ice-cold Beer (like Dixie, Abita Amber, or your personal favorite) and kettle style Potato chips (like Zapp's). Put some hot sauce on the table and enjoy.

Makes 1 Sandwich

Fried Shrimp for a Po' Boy

2 1/2 Cups Vegetable Oil for Frying
1/2 Cup A.P. Flour
1/4 Cup Corn Flour (Masa Harina)
1/4 Cup Corn Meal
2 Tbsp Creole Seasoning, in all
1 Egg
2 Tbsp Water
1 Cup Peeled & Deveined Medium Shrimp (I use Louisiana Shrimp)

Heat the oil to 360 degrees in a 2 qt. saucepan.
Season the flour with 1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning in a bowl.
In another bowl, Mix the egg well with 2 Tbsp of water.
In another bowl, Mix the Corn flour and Corn Meal and the remaining 1 Tbsp Creole Seasoning.

Dredge the shrimp in the seasoned flour, then the egg wash, then the corn product mixture. Fry in batches in the 360 degree oil until just golden brown. Do not overcrowd the pan, and let the oil come back to temperature before frying another batch.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

New Orleans Cuisine - The Po' Boy

My whole house smells of fried seafood and I don't care. I just made a Fried Shrimp Po' Boy that totally scratched an itch! I'm not going to go crazy and say it was as good as one from New Orleans because I have that damned bread issue, but it was pretty damned close! The shrimp were expertly cooked if I do say so, but that damned bread! But hey, I improvise, that's what cooks are good at, I even improvised on the chips, being that we don't have Zapp's here. Folks in New Orleans have probably never made a Po' Boy in their lives, I wouldn't either if I lived their, they're everywhere!
Usually when I get to New Orleans, I mean, as soon as my plane lands, I'm clammering to get into the city for something to eat, usually a Muffuletta or Po' Boy to start, or maybe a dozen oysters from Felix's; something I can get into my face, quick. Hey Cabbie, I'm starving. Can you use the shoulder? My trips to New Orleans are eating trips, I mean like nine meals a day, with stops at Felix's or Desire for some Oysters in between. I like Felix's because you can just stand at the bar shoot the shit with the shucker's, eat your oysters and head back out. Last time I was down, the first meal was a Po' Boy from Johnny's, Fried Shrimp; it was busy so I got my order and sat in the street like a common Hobo with a big grin on my face, chomping away and sipping a go-cup of Abita Amber! It felt like home.
Now when it comes to Po' Boys, I'm a purist. There are a few restaurant that could make a half-way decent Po' Boy here, but they F@$k with it too much. One place uses Cole Slaw, another puts cocktail sauce on it!!?? Come on man, don't get fancy on me! No Remoulade sauce, no Chipotle mayonnaise, just a dressed Po' Boy, you're killing me! I bet if someone opened a straight up Po' Boy shop here in Michigan, if the location was right, they would clean up! The restaurants that serve them here try to make it Gourmet, I just want to grab 'em and shake 'em! It's called a Po' Boy, knock it off already! Mayonnaise, Creole Mustard, Shredded Lettuce, Pickles, sometimes Tomato, Filling, hot sauce on the table.

The recipe later.

Shrimp and Chicken Jambalaya Recipe

Hey, If I can't be at Jazzfest, I may as well eat like I'm at Jazzfest! I'm working the food tent, you can go see my friend M.A. Sample at The Wreckroom for some great New Orleans music, he's missing Jazzfest as well.
I make my Jambalaya partly on the stove, then finish it in the oven. Since I'm using Chicken and Shrimp I want my stock to have those flavors, real simple. I heat up the right amount of Chicken Stock and add some raw Shrimp shells to it and simmer for about 15-20 minutes! It gives it a quick little infusion. I do the same thing when making a Cassoulet, except with Lamb bones, if I'm using Lamb. The Jambalaya Recipe:

New Orleans Cuisine Recipe - Shrimp and Chicken Jambalaya

Seasoning Mix (1/4 tsp Cayenne, 3/4 tsp White Pepper, 1 tsp Kosher Salt, 1/4 tsp Thyme, 1/2 tsp Rubbed Sage, 1/4 tsp Dried Basil, 1/2 tsp Black Pepper)

1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Diced Andouille
1/2 Cup Diced Onion
1/2 Cup Diced Bell Pepper
1/2 Cup Diced Celery
1/2 Cup Diced Fresh Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce
3/4 Cup Enriched Long Grain Rice
1 1/4 Cup Chicken Stock with a Shrimp shell infusion (see above)
1 Tbsp Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp Minced Fresh Garlic
1/2 Cup Diced Chicken (Cooked or raw)
1 1/2 Cup Medium Shrimp (I use Louisiana)
1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Italian Parsley
3 Tbsp Finely Sliced Green Onions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together the Holy Trinity (Onion, Celery, Bell Pepper).
In a Cast Iron Dutch Oven, melt the butter over medium heat, add the Andouille and cook until it just starts to brown. Add 1/2 of the Holy Trinity, cook until the vegetables are tender (nothing smells better than rendering Andouille with the Holy Trinity). Add the diced Tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Add the Tomato Sauce and cook for another minute. Add the Rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the Stock, the remaining Holy Trinity, Seasoning Mix, Worcestershire, and the Garlic. Taste the broth for seasoning, particularly salt. Add the Chicken, stir well and put the pot in the preheated oven. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. After the twenty-five minutes stir in the raw Shrimp, Parsley, and Green Onions, place back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until the Shrimp are cooked through. Serve with French Bread and your favorite Beer.

My other Jambalaya posts:

Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya Recipe
Okra Jambalaya Recipe