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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
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~ 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


Barnes & Noble 


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 3)

Patrick's Thanksgiving Poule d'Eau Gumbo

Yes. we do have LOTS of gumbo recipes in our archives! But hey!
This one is unique, and there's no such thing as too much gumbo, non?

“Some of my fancier friends might turn up their noses at the American
coot that we affectionately call ‘poule d’eau’ or march bird, but they
have never refused to eat the gumbo it makes. Make sure you simmer
the gumbo long enough to fully cook the birds before you add the
andouille, so that you don’t overcook the sausages and lose their
smoky essence, If you’re not about to bag a poule d’eau, as Patrick
Berrigan does [photo in cookbook], make this gumbo with game
hens or other small birds.”


1 cup rendered duck fat
[Okay, so you might have to substitute
chicken fat, or goose fat, or even pork
fat, but it won’t hurt a thing!]
1 cup flour
2 large onions, diced
4 poules d’eau, each cut into 4 pieces
2 tablespoons Basic Creole Spices
1 pound spicy smoked sausage links,
sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 cup poule d’eau gizzards, or
chicken gizzards, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
3 quarts Basic Chicken Stock
[Use the Basic Shrimp Stock recipe,
substituting 1 pound roasted chicken
bones and carcass for shrimp shells.]
2 bay leaves
1/2 pound andouille sausage, chopped
2 cups sliced fresh okra
Freshly ground black pepper
4-6 cups cooked Basic
Louisiana White Rice

1. Make a roux by heating the duck [or other] fat in a large cast-iron
or other heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Whisk the flour into
the hot oil. It will immediately begin to sizzle. Reduce the heat to
moderate and continue whisking until the roux takes on a deep
brown color, about 15 minutes. Add the onions, stirring them
into the roux with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-
low and continue stirring until the roux is a rich dark brown,
about 10 minutes. [If you just can’t deal with this, as in you
don’t have the time and/or patience, you could cheat and get
some Jacob’s Country Roux Mix. It won’t be the same, of
course, but it might be better than not having any homemade
gumbo at all, yeah!]
2. Season the poule d’eau with Creole Spices and add it to the pot.
Increase the heat to moderate and cook, turning the pieces until
browned, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the smoked sausage and gizzards and cook, stirring, for a min-
ute before adding the celery, bell peppers, and garlic. Increase the
heat to moderate and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Add the
thyme, Chicken Stock, and bay leaves. Bring the gumbo to a boil,
stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer
for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim off the fat from the
surface of the gumbo every so often.
4. Add the andouille and okra to the pot. Season with salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and Tabasco. Simmer for another 45 minutes,
continuing to skim the fat off the surface of the gumbo. Serve
in bowls over rice.


Pumpkin Soup with Crabmeat

“Any variety of hearty fall squash or pumpkin can work well
in this pumpkin soup, I like my puréed soups so refined that
I  strain them through a sieve just before serving.”

Serves 6-8

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 leeks, white parts, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
1 pound pumpkin, peeled and cubed
1 large Yukon Gold potato,
peeled and cubed
1 1/2 quarts [6 cups] Basic Chicken Stock
[Use the Basic Shrimp Stock recipe,
substituting 1 pound roasted chicken
bones and carcass for shrimp shells.]

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups jumbo lump crabmeat,
picked over
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over moderate heat. Add the garlic, leeks, onions, celery, cayenne pepper, and thyme and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin, potatoes, and Chicken Stock and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.
2.Remove the soup from the stove; puree in a food processor or a blender until very smooth and velvety. Strain through a fine sieve back into the pot. Add the cream; cover and keep warm over very low heat or in a 200-degree F oven.
3. Melt the butter in a small skillet over low heat. Add the crabmeat, and heat until it’s completely warmed through (take care not to break up crabmeat too much). Remove the skillet from the heat. Scatter the chives over the crabmeat and season with salt and pepper.
4. Ladle the pumpkin soup into individual bowls, then put a large spoonful of warm crabmeat into each bowl.


Smoked Pork Shoulder with
Purple Plum Glaze

“For the best results, rub the pork roast with the seasoning spices
and refrigerate it for a good 12 to 24 hours before slow-cooking it
with indirect heat. If you’re using a charcoal grill, make a small
fire on one side of the grill and let the pork cook on the other side.
Make sure to turn the roast, frequently to ensure it cooks evenly.
In the winter, when we don’t have fresh plums for the glaze, I’ll
substitute half a cup of plum preserves and reduce the amount of
sugar to half a cup.”

Serves 6-8

For the Pork:
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
One 4-pound boneless pork shoulder roast

For the Plum Glaze:
2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
1 onion, chopped
6 large purple plums, pitted
and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced peeled
fresh ginger
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup Basic Chicken Stock
[Use the Basic Shrimp Stock recipe,
substituting 1 pound roasted chicken
bones and carcass for shrimp shells.]

1 bay leaf
1 pickled jalapeño pepper, diced

1. For the pork, combine the brown sugar, cumin, lemon zest, cayenne,
onion and garlic powders, and 1 tablespoon salt in a large wide bowl.
Put the pork shoulder into the bowl and rub it all over with the sea-
sonings. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the pork marinate
in the refrigerator for at least a day and as long as overnight.
2. Preheat a smoker or a grill set up for indirect heat, with the charcoal moved to one half of the grill. Add soaked hickory or pecan chips
to the fire to flavor the pork during the smoking process. Remove
the pork shoulder from the refrigerator and transfer it to a smoker
or to the cooler half of the grill, opposite the hot coals. Cover and
maintain a smoking temperature of 250-300 degrees F. for 3 hours,
turning the roast occasionally so that the meat cooks evenly.
3. For the plum glaze, heat the rendered bacon fat in a medium saucepan
over moderate heat, Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally,
until browned, 10-15 minutes. Add the plums, garlic, ginger, granu-
lated sugar, and vinegar, and cook, stirring frequently, until the
sugar dissolves.
4. Add the Chicken Stock, bay leaf, jalapeños, and a pinch of salt to the
pan. Increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to
medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Season the plum glaze with
a touch of salt. Set glaze aside.
5. After the pork roast has smoked for 3 hours, begin basting it with the
plum glaze every 15 minutes or so and continue to smoke the pork
at 300 degrees F. for 1 hour more. After 4 hours, the roast should
have a dark, lacquered finish. [I wish you could see the picture in
the cookbook!] If you are not ready to serve the roast right away,
wrap it in aluminum foil and keep it warm in a 200-degree smoker,
grill, or oven until you’re ready to serve it.

My New Orleans page 1
My New Orleans page 2

Featured Archive Recipes:
Chef John Besh's Big Easy Christmas
Chicken, Oyster and Andouille Gumbo
(Chef John Folse)

Gumbo Galaxy
Mr. B's Gumbo Ya Ya
Cream of Butternut Squash Soup
Pumpkin Soup with Sage
Leg of Pork to Taste Like
Wild Boar (James Beard)

Slow-Roast Rosemary Pork
with Pear Relish

Smoked Roast Pork with Cabbage

La Belle Cuisine


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