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Joan Miró
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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion


Commander's Kitchen


"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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New Orleans St Charles Streetcar
New Orleans
St Charles Streetcar

Diane Millsap
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Garden District Gate
Garden District Gate
Diane Millsap
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Shrimp Boat at Sunrise, Tybee Island, Georgia, USA
Shrimp Boat at Sunrise...
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Wells, Joanne
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Garden District Sunset
Garden District Sunset
Diane Millsap
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Jazz I
Jazz I
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, Elena
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 An Old Home in the Garden District of New Orleans
An Old Home in the Garden District of New Orleans
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"New Orleans food is as delicious as
the less criminal forms of sin."

~ Mark Twain, 1884


La Belle Cuisine


Commander's Kitchen:
Take Home the True Taste
of New Orleans with More
than 150 Recipes from
Commander's Palace Restaurant
by Ty Adelaide Martin and Jamie Shannon
2000, Broadway Books, a division of Random House, Inc.


In our opinion, this new (2000) cookbook is a definite "must have". Not
only is it chock full of the excellent recipes we've come to expect from
the world-renowned Brennan clan of New Orleans, but it also offers a
marvelous collection of "Lagniappe" tidbits of information and anec-
dotes. Here's one of my favorites:

"Dinner with Truman Capote"

"Between my mother [Ella Brennan] and my Aunt Adelaide, the house I grew
up in was the scene of more spontaneous gatherings and parties than I can
recount. Most often, Mom or Aunt Adelaide would be entertaining old friends
or brand-new ones they met in the restaurant (they never knew a stranger)
and who they would invite home to continue whatever fun they had struck
up at the restaurant. People I encountered at home with no warning were
Raymond Burr, Danny Kaye, Carol Burnett, Phil Harris and wife, Alice
Faye, Rock Hudson, Phyllis Diller, David Brinkley, and on and on.
But one year as Aunt Adelaide's birthday approached, my mother could not
come up with gift ideas, so she asked Aunt Adelaide what she'd like. After
some thought, Aunt Adelaide, having met and been intrigued by Truman
Capote, told my mother she'd like to have dinner with Truman Capote. So,
on her birthday, I answered the door and there was this short, peculiar-
looking man in a blue velvet jodhpur outfit with a red bow on his head.
My mother gave my aunt Truman Capote for her birthday."

From the Introduction...

"New Orleans cooking is like jazz. The world is fascinated by the possibilities
that can result when good jazz musicians sit together and 'make music'. So
it is with our cooking. When people who care deeply about food use the
ingredients and techniques of the entire history of New Orleans cooking,
the possibilities are endless."


Just in case you're thinking, "Oh, no, another restaurant cookbook!
It's probably full of all sorts of complicated recipes with unobtainable ingredients..." guess again. We think you'll be very pleasantly surprised.
The cooking instructions are very detailed and clearly written, and most recipes are accompanied by "Chef Jamie's Tips". Each is preceded by an introduction by Ti Adelaide Martin, giving the book a warm, personal
touch reminiscent of the gracious hospitality guests experience when
dining at Commander's. We find the recipes very functional and easy
to follow. Don't take our word for it, though; have a look...


Pickled Shrimp

"This is a wonderful picnic dish in a jar (and a great gift for a foodie, too).
We call them Pickled Shrimp, even though they’re actually cooked and
marinated, not really pickled. Serve as an hors d’oeuvre, a first course,
or tossed with mixed green as a salad."

1 medium red onion, in small dice
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. or to taste
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup Creole mustard or other coarse mustard
2 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup cane vinegar, malt vinegar, or cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
3 pounds medium to large shrimp, cooked (see below),
peeled and deveined, tails on

Combine the red onion, green onion, parsley, crushed red pepper, garlic, mustard, and sugar in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Add
the vinegar and whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream until the marinade
is emulsified. Add the bay leaves and adjust the salt and pepper. Add the
shrimp and stir. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. This
will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Makes enough for 6 entrée salads or approximately 6 dozen
hors d’oeuvre pieces

Boiled Shrimp

" ‘We’re having a seafood boil after the parade, hope y’all can stop by!’ If I
close my eyes, I can see it right now – someone’s backyard, or deck, or City
Park, or on the lakefront: kids running around, tubs of ice-cold Abita beer,
and picnic tables covered in newspaper and piles high with mounds of
steaming food. While you peel shrimp, crack crabs, and pinch crawfish
tails, you visit with family and friends…"

10 quarts water
3 1/4 cups Creole Seafood Seasoning (see below),
or any Creole seasoning mix
5 bay leaves
3 pounds shrimp, heads off, unpeeled

In a large pot, bring the water, 2 3/4 cups of the seasoning, and the bay leaves to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for
3 1/2 to 4 minutes; the exact timing will depend on the size of the shrimp. (The shrimp should turn bright orange and feel firm to the touch.) Drain
off all but 2 quarts of the liquid, and add the remaining seasoning and
enough ice to chill it quickly. Let shrimp soak for 5 minutes. Drain,
peel, and serve.

Chef Jamie’s Tips: Using a large amount of water prevents the temperature
from plunging too much when you add the shrimp. It’s best to cook the shrimp
in their shells and peel them after they’re cooked. New Orleanians like their
shrimp cooked medium, tender, easy to peel, and served at room temperature.
Instead of the Creole seasoning and the bay leaves, you can substitute Crab
Boil plus 2 1/4 cups salt.

Creole Seafood Seasoning

"If there is any ‘magic’ to our cooking, it’s in seasoning mixes such as this.
With this mixture, we try to unmask the depth of flavor in our native sea-
food, not overpower it…Remember, mixture such as this one cost very little
to make yourself but quite a lot if you buy them at retail."

1/3 cup table salt
1/4 cup granulated or powdered garlic
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1/3 cup paprika
3 tablespoons granulated or powdered onion

Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a blender, food processor, or
mixing bowl, and pour the mixture into a large glass or plastic jar. Seal
it so that it’s airtight. It will keep indefinitely. Makes about 2 cups.

Chef Jamie’s Tips: Cayenne pepper is the main source of heat in this
mixture. If you wish, reduce the quantity by as much as half.


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Onion-Crusted Fried Chicken Salad

"Chef Jamie says he has been threatened not to take this dish off the menu.
At about 2:30 p.m., when we haven’t eaten all day and we have another 8
hours to go, this is a very satisfying entrée salad with lots of flavor, and it
makes a great meal of the day for family and managers. The customers like
it, too! The chicken pieces are actually fried with bits of onion in the batter,
so on your plate it looks like little fried onion rings are on your chicken.
Serve this with sliced onion, Bibb lettuce, and Blue Cheese Dressing."

Makes 4 entrée salads.

6 medium chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 medium onions, 1 cut in very small dice,
1/2 sliced very thin
1/4 cup cane, cider or malt vinegar
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and
sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups vegetable shortening, canola oil,
or corn oil, for frying
2 small head Bibb or Boston lettuce, trimmed,
washed, halved, and cored
2/3 cup Blue Cheese Dressing (see below)
2 roasted red peppers, store-bought or homemade, sliced
1/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled

Remove the tenderloin strips from each chicken breast half, and cut each breast half into three long strips. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, add the buttermilk, stir, and refrigerate for
an hour or two.
Place the onion slices, vinegar, cucumbers, pepper flakes, and additional
salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss to combine, and set aside for the cucumbers to marinate.
Place the flour, diced onion, and some salt and pepper in a large bowl,
and mix with your hands just enough to coat the onion with flour, but
don’t allow the onions to stick together.
Now coat the marinated chicken. Take a piece at a time with one hand, shake off excess liquid, and place it in the flour mixture. With your other hand, press the chicken with your knuckles so the onion adheres, then flatten out the chicken. Shake off excess, and repeat with remaining chicken.
In a large, heavy pot, heat the shortening or oil to 350 degrees F. on a
deep-fry thermometer Gently place about 8 strips of chicken in the pot,
and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bottom starts to brown. Turn
the chicken over, and cook until the pieces are golden brown and begin
to float, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to a rack
that has a sheet pan as an underliner. Repeat until all chicken is fried.
Serve with marinated cucumber at the bottom of each plate, some lettuce
in the center, and 3 pieces of chicken on each side of the lettuce. Drizzle blue cheese dressing on top of each salad, place some roasted pepper
strips on top, and sprinkle with the crumbled blue cheese.

Chef Jamie’s Tips: Chicken breasts vary in size, so you may need to adjust
the cooking time. Some Bibb and Boston head are big, so two heads is only
an approximation. You can also substitute hearts of Romaine. A couple
wedges of tomato, when they’re in season, make a nice addition.


Blue Cheese Dressing

Makes 2 1/3 cups

1/2 pound good-quality blue cheese
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and plenty of freshly
ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup cane, cider, or malt vinegar
Juice of 1 small lemon
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup olive oil

Place half the cheese, the chopped onion, salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon
juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire in the workbowl of a food pro-
cessor. Purée until well blended and liquefied. Slowly drizzle the olive
oil into the mixture then turn off the machine. Crumble in the remaining
blue cheese, and pulse until well blended. There should be lots of small cheese chunks remaining in the dressing. Adjust seasoning. Refrigerate
for up to two weeks.

Chef Jamie’s Tips: Use a high-quality aged blue cheese, but remember that
the cheese may be salty, so be careful with added salt. But pepper’s another
story. Add lots of freshly ground pepper.



By now, we're sure you're even more of a Commander's Palace fan
than ever before! It follows, then, that you'll want to have a look at

Commander's Palace: a Pictoral Guide to
the Famed Restaurant and Its Cuisine

Part of "The Great Restaurants of the World" series, this this pictorial
guide to a famous New Orleans restaurant features 75 stunning color
photos and 15 delicious recipes.

And of course, you're longing for more recipes. No problem, just click!

Fish and Seafood:
Catfish Pecan with Lemon Thyme Pecan Butter
Stewed Creole Tomatoes and Shrimp

Beef & Pork:
Veal Chop Tchoupitoulas
(includes Veal Stock and Creole Meat Seasoning)

Roast Pork Loin with Winter Root Vegetables

Side Dishes and Vegetables:
Honey-Roasted Mashed Opelousas Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Garlic and Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Cauliflower
Pear Parsnip Purée

Sweet Stuff!:
Sour Cream Pecan Coffee Cake
Citrus Pound Cake
Lemon Flan

More Commander's Recipes
A Tribute to Chef Jamie Shannon
Index - Cookbook Features
Do you know what it means
to miss New Orleans?

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