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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."




Side Dishes and Veggies


Honey-Roasted Mashed Opelousas
Sweet Potatoes

"Roasting sweet potatoes (or yams) intensifies their earthy, sweet flavor. Boiling them, as is so often done, extracts much of their flavor into the water. Opelousas Sweet Potatoes are just too good to be boiled. So we make sweet potato pie, sweet potato hay, and sweet potato succotash, but this one, roasted with honey and
butter and whipped is my favorite. Opelousas is in southwestern Louisiana."

Makes about 8 side-dish servings

6 sweet potatoes, about 1 pound each
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, diced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel and quarter the sweet potatoes and place them in a roasting pan.
Place the diced butter evenly on top of the potatoes, sprinkle the
cinnamon and nutmeg on top, drizzle with the honey, and season them
with salt and pepper. Gently pour about 2 cups of water into the pan
without washing anything off the potatoes.
Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the potatoes are very tender. Remove the cover, stir, and cook for 30 minutes more. The potatoes
should have a dark brown color on top and be very tender.
Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon, place them in the large bowl of
an electric mixer, and mix until all the lumps are gone. Drizzle in as much liquid from the pan as desired. Turn off the mixer, and scrape the bowl. Continue mixing until the potatoes have the desired consistency. Adjust seasoning. Place potatoes in a large casserole dish and serve.

Chef Jamie’s Tips: I usually incorporate all the pan liquid because it’s needed
for consistency and it has a lot of flavor.
I like the dark, orange sweet potatoes, not the thin-skinned pale ones. The
darker-skin variety is sweeter and has deep orange flesh, while the pale variety
is starchy, The medium to large size seem best, with the sweetest ones coming
from mid-fall to late winter. Store them in a dry, dark, cool area. You can add
more butter and honey if you wish.
This dish can be made up to 3 days in advance, but keep it covered in the refrigerator.


Roasted Garlic and Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

"The Brennan family is Irish, Chef Jamie Shannon is Irish, and we’re
serious about potatoes. In fact, John Brennan, Lally’s late father, had
a machine to pre-cut potatoes for restaurants and ran a company that
did that. And as you can see from the recipes in this book, we also like
garlic. So we’re proud of our version of garlic mashed potatoes. We fry
the garlic, add it to the butter, and combine it with buttermilk for a rich,
Southern side dish not to be missed."

Makes 8 servings

2 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes, white or red
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, 1 stick whole,
1 stick in 1/4-inch slices
1 large head garlic, cloves peeled, half
sliced very thin, half left whole
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Scrub the potatoes, place them in a large pot, cover with cold water by 1 inch, and add the salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until a knife pierces the potatoes with no resistance, about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain them in a colander.
Melt the whole stick of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When
the butter is hot and starting to brown, add the sliced garlic and stir with
a slotted spoon, separating any pieces that stick. Stir to fry evenly, until
brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove with the spoon, drain on a
paper towel, and season with salt and pepper. Add the whole garlic cloves
to the pan and cook over medium heat for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the buttermilk to a simmer
but do not allow to boil. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle,
peel them. Pass half the potatoes through a food mill or ricer set over a
pot. Then remove the whole garlic from the pan and pass the cloves
through the mill. Pass the remaining potatoes through the mill. Stir in
the melted butter and turn on low heat. Stir in the buttermilk. Turn
off the heat. Stir in the sliced butter and 1 cup of the sour cream and
season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the garlic chips on top, and serve. Garnish the top with the remaining tablespoon of the sour cream.

Chef Jamie’s Tips: The round white or red potatoes are called boiling
potatoes, and they contain less starch. My favorites are Yukon Gold and
fingerling potatoes. Round potatoes are not new potatoes; new potatoes
are just young potatoes.
Don’t peel the potatoes until after they’re cooked. During cooking, the peel
protects the potato from absorbing water. And don’t overcook the potatoes,
or they will absorb water. Don’t run them under cold water after cooking;
instead, let them cool by themselves. Using a food mill or ricer helps avoid overmixing the potatoes and pulling out too much starch. Be sure to serve
the potatoes while they are hot. Pay attention to their temperature because
you’ll be adding cold ingredients.
Be sure to have plenty of salt in the water when you’re cooking the potatoes. Adding salt at the end is not the same.
The whole garlic cooks quickly because the cloves are peeled and they go
directly into hot fat.


Roasted Cauliflower

"Chef Jamie remembers the first time he ever saw a 6-pound cauliflower. It
had been sent to Ella and Dottie Brennan as a gift from up the road – from
a farm run by the prisoners at Angola Penitentiary (the sender of the gift
shall remain anonymous). Don’t boil the cauliflower and let the flavor
dissipate into the liquid. Overcooking will also lessen the intense flavor.
It’s great with veal chops, rack of lamb, even redfish."

Makes 8 side-dish servings

2 medium head cauliflower, cored and
cut into large florets
1 cup water
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, 4 tablespoons
diced, 4 tablespoons melted
Kosher salt and freshly ground
pepper to taste
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Arrange the cauliflower neatly in a roasting pan, add the water, place the diced butter evenly over the florets, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Most of the liquid will evaporate and the cauliflower should be about half-cooked.
Thoroughly combine the melted butter, bread crumbs, cheese, and parsley, and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the florets. Return the pan to the oven, and cook for another 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender but not overcooked. The topping should be golden brown, not burned.


Pear Parsnip Purée

"If you don’t have fresh, ripe pears, don’t bother making this dish. This great combo goes well with any meat or roasted fish. We serve it during the winter holidays, and it’s fun to watch intrigued customers trying to figure out what it
is when they’ve forgotten the menu description. Then they ask for the recipe."

Makes 8 to 10 side-dish servings

3 pounds parsnips, peeled and roughly
chopped into 1-inch lengths
4 cups milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground
white pepper to taste
6 medium ripe pears, cored, and quartered
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter,
cut in 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon honey or sugar, or to taste
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the parsnips in a medium pot, add the milk, salt, and pepper, bring
to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, or until the parsnips are tender. Remove the parsnips from the milk and set aside.
Transfer the pears to a small roasting pan. Add half the diced butter,
sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle the honey on top. Add the
water to the pears, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pears are
fully cooked and very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Add the pears and any remaining liquid to the parsnips, and purée the
mixture with a hand blender, a food processor, or a ricer. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little of the hot milk mixture. Add the remaining butter, and adjust seasoning.

Chef Jamie’s Tips: Parsnips can be found most of the year, but are best after
the first frost has turned their starch into sugar. Pears are usually at their
best in the late fall. If the pears are not ripe, make something else. Be sure
the parsnips are fully cooked. They tend to be woody when they’re not.
I like to add some of the liquid that remains after it comes out of the oven
and let it melt over my purée.
This is a great dish with meat and poultry, but I’ve also enjoyed it with fish.
It makes a special holiday dish.

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

Beef & Pork:
Veal Chop Tchoupitoulas
(includes Veal Stock and Creole Meat Seasoning)
Roast Pork Loin with Winter Root Vegetables

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?

Recipe Archives Index
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