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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."


"No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook
in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice
and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers."

~ Laurie Colwin


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Love New Orleans?
This book's for you!

My New Orleans
The Cookbook

My New Orleans:
The Cookbook
200 of My Favorite Recipes and
Stories from My Hometown

Copyright © 2009 by John Besh and
 Dorothy Kalins Ink LLC/Andrews McMeel Publisher




All I can tell you about this book without writing a book myself, is that it
brings tears to my eyes. That is just as true today as when I first received
 the book (a birthday present from Chef Keegan!). I am deeply touched by
the fond childhood memories rekindled by the photography, narrative, and extraordinarily authentic recipes presented in this multi-faceted work
of art.
'My New Orleans' is nothing short of phenomenal. It continues to delight
and astound me with its beauty and excellence. Don't miss this one!
It has been my pleasure to dine several times at the first of six (as of
this writing!) Besh restaurant enterprises: August. Each experience
was exquisitely memorable in every way.(MG)

Here's what the experts have to say:
(from the publisher)

" 'My New Orleans' will change the way you look at New Orleans cooking and
the  way you see world-famous chef John Besh. It's 16 chapters of culture,
history, essay and insight, and pure goodness. Besh tells us the story of his
New Orleans  by the season and by the dish...
Bite by bite John Besh brings us New Orleans cooking like we've never
tasted  before. It's the perfect blend of contemporary French technique
 with indigenous Southern Louisiana products and know-how...
From Mardi Gras, to the shrimp season, to the urban garden, to gumbo
weather, boucherie (the season of the pig), and everything tasty  in
 between, Besh gives a sampling of New Orleans that will have us all
 craving more.
The boy from the Bayou isn't just an acclaimed chef with an exceptional
 palate.  Besh is a chef with a heart. The ex-marine's passion for the
 Crescent City, its people, and its livelihood are main courses making
him a leader of  the city's culinary recovery and resilience after the
wrath of Hurricane Katrina."

"In his definitive tome, My New Orleans, John Besh captures the true,
 sweet, and honest voice of a clarinet playing the jazzy song of one of
our  most deliciously exclusive regional American kitchens."
~ Mario Batali, Iron Chef, restaurateur, author

"This book is an act of soul. Maestro Besh lives the life he cooks; he
doesn't just  tell us how to prepare Louisiana favorites, he teaches us
what these dishes mean, with an emphasis on how hospitality can
 enrich civilization."

~ Wynton Marsalis, musician

from the Introduction:

"This book is the story of  dreamy, starry-eyed boy brought up in the
shadows of New Orleans, surrounded by cypress knees and tupelo
trees, good dinners and great friends. Memories from my childhood,
both good and bad, have etched themselves deep into my soul: every-
thing that I cook and eat, see and smell, reminds me of where I come
from and more or less where I'm going.
...I wrote 'My New Orleans' in the same spirit in which I launched
my restaurants [August, Besh Steak, Lüke, La Provence]; it's a book
dedicated to roots and rituals, to the way I cook."

~ Chef John Besh

Continued (page 2)

Trout Amandine

Yes. we do have other recipes for Trout Amandine in our archives.
No disrespect intended (mais non!), but we find this recipe  more
cook-friendly. And then there's the full-page photograph in the
cookbook. Drool, drool, drool...

“In traditional French cooking, a whole fish would be lightly dredged in
flour and cooked in butter. In New Orleans we prefer the skinless trout
filet. Properly browning the butter makes all the difference. Don’t rush
it; take your time swirling the butter in the pan so that the milk solids
brown and give off the signature, nutty aroma that is heightened once
you add the almonds. Add the lemon juice and serve while the sauce is
still foamy.”

Serves 6

1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon Basic Creole Spices
Six 5-7-ounce skinless speckled
trout filets
Freshly ground black pepper
8 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1. Put the milk into a wide dish. Put the flour and Creole Spices into
another wide dish and stir to combine. Season the fish filets with
salt and pepper, dip them into the milk, and dredge in the seasoned
2. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the filets and cook on each side until golden brown, about 3 minutes
per side. Transfer the fish to a serving platter.
3. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter to the same skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl the skillet over the heat so that the butter melts evenly
and cook until the butter turns brownish, 5-7 minutes. Reduce the heat
to medium-low, add the almonds, and cook, stirring gently, until the
nuts are toasty brown, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice, parsley,
and a dash of salt.
4. Spoon the browned butter and almonds over the fish and serve.

Trout Meunière

Follow the steps above, omitting the almonds.


Mom's Redfish Courtbouillon

"My father had a way of slicing a whole fish along the dorsal fin so that,
as it cooked, the flesh would just lift from the bone, which made it quite
easy to handle with just a serving spoon and fork. Much of the time in
Louisiana, a Courtbouillon (pronounced CU-boo-yon) looks more like
a variation of bouillabaisse, using fish filets. But I think slow-cooking
the whole fish on the bone yields a much better-tasting dish. Ask your
fish monger to prepare the fish gutted and scaled, and to remove its gills.”

Serves 4-6

One 5-pound redfish
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup flour
2 onions, chopped
2 blue crabs, quartered
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 tomatoes, peeled and diced
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh
tarragon, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seed
3 bay leaves
2 cups Basic Shrimp Stock
1 pound medium Louisiana or wild
American shrimp, peeled
1 cup shucked oysters
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat,
picked over
3 green onions, chopped
3 dashes Worcestershire
4 cups cooked Basic Louisiana
White Rice (recipe follows)

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. To keep the fish from curling up in
the roasting pan while cooking, score both sides of the redfish about
3/4 inch deep in a couple of places between the pectoral fins and the
tail and along both sides of the dorsal fin.
2. Put the fish into a roasting pan just large enough for it to lie flat. Season
the fish all over with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper and set aside.
3. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the roux becomes
a deep brown and has a nutty aroma, about 15 minutes.
4. Add the onions and blue crab quarters to the roux and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, celery, garlic, and
tomatoes. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil,
stirring every so often.
5. Add the tarragon, pepper flakes, allspice, coriander, bay leaves, and Shrimp Stock to the saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
Season with salt and pepper, then pour over the redfish in the roasting
pan, cover the pan with foil, and bake the fish for about 40 minutes.
6. Scatter the shrimp, oysters, lump crabmeat, and green onions around
the fish and return the pan to the oven. Bake the fish, uncovered,
until it begins to flake from the bone, about 15 minutes more.
7. Add the Worcestershire, a little Tabasco, and salt and pepper to the tomato-shellfish gravy in the roasting pan. Use a large spoon and
fork to portion the fish, serving it with the gravy over the rice.

Basic Louisiana White Rice

Makes about 4 cups

"This recipe will work with most long-grain rices, including
Popcorn Rice. Save some of the fat skinned from your chicken
stock to perfume the rice with many wonderful flavors.”

1 tablespoon chicken fat, extra-virgin
olive oil, or butter
1 small onion, minced
1 1/2 cups Louisiana long-grain
white rice
3 cups Basic Chicken Stock
[Basic Shrimp Stock since
serving with Courtbouillon]
1 bay leaf
1-2 pinches salt

1. Put the fat, oil, or butter and the onions into a medium saucepan
and sweat the onions over moderate heat until they are translucent,
about 5 minutes. Pour the rice into the pan and stir for 2 minutes.
Then add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf
and salt.
2. Cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 18
minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork,
and serve,

My New Orleans page 1
My New Orleans page 3

Featured Archive Recipes:
Chef John Besh's Big Easy Christmas
Grilled Trout with Spiced Pecans
(Mr. B's Bistro, New Orleans)

New Orleans Trout Forestiere
Trout Louisiane
Trout with Pecan Sauce
Marcelle Bienvenu)

Walnut-Crusted Trout in Brown Butter
Blackened Redfish (Paul Prudhomme)
Redfish Creole
Redfish en Papillote (Ralph Brennan's
Jazz Kitchen)

Salt-Crusted Whole Baked Redfish
(Chef Jamie Shannon)

Sautéed Louisiana Redfish
(Ralph Brennan's Red Fish Grill)

Cacciucco di Pesce (Tuscan Seafood Stew)
Cajun Pot au Feu
Mediterranean Shellfish Stew with
Green Goddess Sauce

Monkfish Bouillabaisse with Aïoli
(Patricia Wells at Hom in Provence)

Shellfish Stew with Chorizo and Rouille

La Belle Cuisine


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