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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 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 anecdotes.

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."




Beef and Pork


Veal Chops Tchoupitoulas

"This is one of about five signature dishes that have been on the Commander’s menu for 15 years or more. New Orleanians enjoy teaching out-of-towners
how to say Tchoupitoulas (CHAH-pa-TOO-las). We owe this dish’s popularity,
at least in part, to local food guru and friend Tom Fitzmorris. Tchoupitoulas,
by the way, is the name of a major street along the Mississippi River and of a Louisiana Indian tribe."

Makes 6 servings

 3 quarts Veal Stock (see below)
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon green peppercorns
(fresh packed in brine), rinsed
1 roasted red bell pepper, cut in small dice
(store-bought, or see recipe)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
6 veal chops, each about 12 to 14 ounces
and 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick
Creole Meat Seasoning (see below)
or your favorite meat seasoning to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Bring the veal stock barely to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Skim
away any impurities that might float to the top. Reduce the heat and
barely simmer to reduce sauce. Skim occasionally and cook to a sauce-
able consistency, about 1 3/4 hours to 2 1/4 hours. You’ll be left with
1 to 2 cups. Strain through a fine sieve and set aside.
Combine the vinegar and honey in a small saucepan, stir, bring to a boil
over high heat, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is reduced by
about half. Add the reduced stock, bring to a boil, and skim if necessary. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon,
about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the green peppercorns and diced red pepper, season with salt and black pepper, and stir in the butter. Set aside and
keep warm.
Bring the veal chops to room temperature. Place a large cast-iron skillet
over high heat. Season the chops generously with meat seasoning. Place
half the oil in the pan, bring to the smoking point, about 2 to 3 minutes,
and place three chops in the pan. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, until the chops
are golden brown. If the chops cook too fast, reduce heat. Turn the
chops and cook 4 to 5 more minutes, which will bring them to medium
rare. (Cook chops of this thickness for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes per side for
rare, 4 to 5 minutes for medium rare, 6 to 7 minutes for medium, 8 to
9 minutes for medium well, and 10 minutes for well done.) Keep warm.
Add the remaining oil to the pan and cook the remaining chops. Serve
with a bit of sauce over each chop.

Chef Jamie’s Tips: When you make a reduction sauce, such as the one in
this recipe, never let the stock boil. Reduce slowly and always skim away
any impurities that float to the top. Depending on the stock, your reducing
time and yield will vary. Don’t over-reduce. A sauce that’s too thick will
become bitter.
Season at the end, not the beginning. Peppercorns will make the sauce
spicy. As the sauce reduces, salt is more prevalent. Rinse the brine off
the green peppercorns before adding them to the sauce. This sauce can
keep for about 10 days in the refrigerator.
Professional cooks learn to associate feel and doneness. If you press a
finger into medium-rare meat, it will spring back a bit. The longer the
meat has cooked, the firmer will be its feel.
Chops are especially good cooked on a grill or under a broiler.

Veal Stock

"Good cooks make good stocks. There are no shortcuts and there is no
good substitute. As with all stocks, you can make this one in large
quantities and freeze the extra for a few months until you need it.
We use our veal stock in many veal dishes…"

5 pounds veal bones, in 3-inch pieces
2 medium onions, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
6 quarts cold water
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

Preheat the oven to 425degrees F. Rinse the bones in cold water, place
them in a large roasting pan, and roast them until they’re golden brown,
approximately 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using tongs, remove the
bones from the pan and transfer them to an 8-quart or larger stockpot.
Leave any rendered fat in the roasting pan, and add the onions, celery,
carrots, tomatoes, and garlic. Return the pan to the oven, and roast,
stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are caramelized, approximately
55 minutes.
Meanwhile, cover the bones in the stockpot with the water and bring to
a boil. Skim any excess foam from the top, reduce the heat to a simmer,
and cook for 3 hours, being careful not to let the mixture boil. Continue
to periodically skim fat and foam.
Add the roasted vegetables to the stockpot. Discard any fat from the
roasting pan and deglaze with about 1 cup of cold water by bringing
it to a boil while scraping all the browned bits from the bottom of
the pan. Add this to the stockpot along with the rosemary, thyme,
oregano, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and simmer for 3 more hours.
Using a ladle, strain the stock through cheesecloth or a fine sieve,
being careful not to stir the stock. Cool and refrigerate. Excess fat
can be removed from the top after it has congealed. Makes 3 quarts.

Creole Meat Seasoning

"I have childhood memories of cooks reaching into the pocket of their chef’s
coats for a touch of seasoning. Each chef had his own special seasoning blend
that he would secretly mix and use. Sometime in the 1970s, Commander’s
kitchen started making batches of its own blends and insisting that our cooks
use them, a practice that has spread throughout New Orleans restaurant
kitchens and beyond. Here’s our blend for seasoning steak and game."

1 cup table salt
3/4 cup onion powder
3/4 cup garlic powder
3/4 cup freshly ground
black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper,
or to taste
3/4 cup paprika

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly in a food processor or in a
large mixing bowl. Store in a glass jar or plastic container. It will keep indefinitely. Makes 4 cups.

Chef Jamie’s Tips: Be careful of what we call cayenne cloud when mixing.
Cayenne cloud can cause burning if you put your face too close to the mixing
bowl before everything has settled back down. Also, note that the intensity of
spices varies with age, location, and season, so always taste and adjust recipes.


Roast Pork Loin and Winter Root Vegetables

"The trick here is removing the bone to season the pork properly, then tying
the bone back on to protect the meat from drying out. Remember, food cooks
even after you remove it from the heat, so slight undercooking in the oven
leads to perfect doneness at the table. The juices from the pork loin also
caramelize the vegetables, making this a winter favorite that we’ll often
serve on holidays. Onion Marmalade is a good accompaniment."

Makes 8 servings

1 center-cut pork loin, about 6 1/2 pounds and 12 inches long,
ribs intact, backbone or chine bone removed but kept for
later use, shoulder blade bone removed
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons Kosher salt or to taste
3 tablespoons freshly ground coarse black
pepper or to taste
2 tablespoons clarified butter
8 large carrots, peeled and halved
4 small turnips, peeled and quartered
4 small onions, peeled and halved top to bottom
24 large cloves garlic, peeled

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the pork loin on a cutting board
and trim away any excess fat, although one side should have a fat cap.
Combine the rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl, and rub generously on all sides of the loin, almost creating a crust. Turn the loin fat side down with one end toward you. Return the chine bone to where it had been cut
off [if this sounds like Greek to you, your butcher can help you!], placing it on top of the seasoning. Cut four long pieces of butcher’s twine, and tie the backbone in place with the twine tied securely at even intervals (starting 1 inch in from the end).
Place the clarified butter in a large roasting pan over two burners of your stove over high heat. When the butter starts to brown, sear the loin, fat side down, for about 5 minutes. When the fat is golden brown, remove the roast from the pan. Place the carrots, turnips, and onions, cut sides down, in the pan, add the garlic, season with additional salt and pepper, and cook until
the cut surface of the onion is golden, about 10 minutes.
Place the meat, rib side down, on top of the vegetables, and place in the
oven for 20 minutes, or until the roast is completely brown. Reduce the
oven temperature to 275 degrees F. and roast fro about 40 to 55 minutes,
or until the internal temperature of the roast is about 160 degrees F.
Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let it rest while you arrange the vegetables on a serving platter. Keep both in warm places. Gently remove
as much fat as possible from the pan, pour the remaining meat juices into
a medium saucepan, let rest for 10 minutes, and remove any additional
fat. Season the juices with salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat.
After the meat has rested for about 20 minutes, cut and remove the twine and the chine bone. Cut the loin into 8 even portions (some portions might cut between two ribs; others might have two ribs) and serve with juices
on the side.

Chef Jamie’s Tips: Removing the chine bone makes it possible to cut the
chops and makes it a lot easier to season the meat correctly. It’s best to
pre-order the meat from your butcher so that the roast won’t be pre-cut
and the bone discarded. (Also, your butcher might give you the twine you
need to truss your roast.) If you do this without the chine bone, the total
cooking time will probably be less. When checking the internal tempera-
ture of the meat, be sure to place the thermometer in the thickest end,
completely into the center.

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!

Pickled Shrimp
(includes Creole Seafood Seasoning)
Onion-Crusted Fried Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

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

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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Recipe Archives Index
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