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"New Orleans food is as delicious as
the less criminal forms of sin."
~ Mark Twain, 1884


La Belle Cuisine


Recipe Source:
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."




Sweet Stuff!


Sour Cream Pecan Coffee Cake

"I’ve always loved figuring out how different flavors work together to enhance, overpower, or even cancel each other out. Sweetened sour cream and pecans
are a good example of two distinct flavors that together just soar on your
palate. The pecan is great alone but is intensified by the contrary tastes of
the sugar and the cream. Together, they make this cake a perfect dish –
made the day before, too – when you have people coming over for brunch."

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

1/2 pound (2 sticks) plus 1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for preparing pan
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 medium eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan with
the 1 tablespoon of butter and dust the pan thoroughly with flour.
Cream the 1/2 pound of butter, 2 cups of the sugar, and the vanilla extract until smooth in the large bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed.
Scrape the bowl, add the eggs, mix for about 30 seconds, and scrape the
bowl again. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and add to the mixer over low speed until the ingredients are well incorporated. Scrape
the bowl and mix for a few seconds more. Don’t overmix. Fold in the sour cream by hand, again being careful not to overmix. Combine the remaining sugar, the pecans, and the cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Spoon two-thirds of the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Smooth the batter, and carefully place the pecan mixture on top of it, pressing some
into the batter with your fingers but leaving most of it on top.
Top with the remaining batter, smooth it out, and bake on the middle rack
of the preheated oven until done, about 60 to 70 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 1 hour,
then remove cake from pan.
Serve with fresh fruit and your choice of Crème Fraîche, Creole Cream Cheese, or whipped cream.

Chef Jamie’s Tips: The sour cream is folded in by hand to prevent the cream
from breaking down, resulting in a lighter cake. The small amount of flour
also contributes to the lightness.


Citrus Pound Cake

"Citrus Pound Cake is a more subtle dessert pleasure than Chocolate Molten Soufflé or bourbon pecan pie. It’s like the difference between a rowdy after-
noon at the Jazz and Heritage Festival and a quiet afternoon reading on a
secluded beach house porch with a salty breeze rippling the pages of your
novel. Either one is a glorious way to spend an afternoon and any of those
desserts would be a glorious way to end a meal."

Makes 8 to 10 servings

1/2 pound (2 sticks) plus 1 tablespoon
butter, softened
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
5 medium eggs
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lime zest
pinch of Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup lemon and lime juices,
combined in any proportion

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with the 1 tablespoon of butter. Dust the sides and bottom of the greased pan using 2 tablespoons of the flour.
In an electric mixer, cream the remaining butter with 1 1/2 cups of the sugar at medium speed for about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl and add the eggs, lemon zest. And lime zest, and mix on high speed for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is the consistency of whipped butter
Whisk together the remaining flour, salt, and baking powder, and, with the mixer on low speed, add to the butter mixture and mix for about 15 seconds. Scrape the bowl, turn the mixer to medium speed, and mix for 30 seconds, or until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, shaking gently to distribute evenly. Bake for 70 to 80 minutes, or until the cake is firm and a tooth-
pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Mix the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the lemon and lime juices, dissolving as much as possible. After the cake is removed from the oven, poke a few holes in the top and pour the syrup over the cake. Allow all
the syrup to soak in.
Let the cake cool completely, and serve. It goes especially well with
sorbet, ice cream, or fresh fruit and Creole Cream Cheese, Crème
Fraîche, or whipped cream.

Note: When the fruit is in season, limes and lemons can be much larger and juicier, so be prepared to vary how many pieces of fruit you’ll need. The zest
is the colored outer part of the fruit. You can remove it with a special zester
or a common potato peeler. But do not use the white pith, which is bitter.


Lemon Flan

"Dottie Brennan complained loudly for years that we needed a great lemon
dessert, something light and lemony. We tried and we tried, but nothing hit
the mark – until we presented her with this Lemon Flan topped with a light, cinnamon-flavored phyllo sugar crisp. The contrasting textures of the crisp
phyllo and the smooth lemon flan have an appeal similar to that of crème
brûlée. This Lemon Flan holds its own and then some in our powerhouse
dessert lineup, but more important, Aunt Dottie loves it!"

Makes 8 servings

Preparing the ramekins:
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
(about 13 small lemons)
6 medium eggs
1/3 cup light rum

Lemon Curd Sauce:
4 medium egg yolks
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
(about 7 small lemons)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light rum

Phyllo topping:
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
4 sheets phyllo dough
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Brush 8 ramekins, each with a
capacity of 10 ounces, with melted butter, then dust each with sugar.

To make the flan
, cream the cream cheese and the sugar in the large
bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Scrape
the bowl with a spatula, add the lemon juice, mix well, and scrape the
bowl again. Add the eggs and the rum, continue mixing until the ingre-
dients are well incorporated and free of lumps, and pour the mixture
into the prepared ramekins. Place the ramekins in a roasting pan with
1 inch of hot water in the pan. Bake for 80 to 90 minutes, until the
custard is set and firm to the touch but doesn’t stick to your finger.
Let cool in the water bath for about 1 1/2 hours.
Next, prepare the lemon curd sauce
. Place the egg yolks in a
medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the lemon juice, sugar and
rum to a boil, and slowly pour the hot mixture into the bowl while
whisking the egg yolks. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan,
and cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce thickens
slightly and reaches a temperature of 160 degrees F. Do not let the
 sauce boil or it will curdle. Strain the sauce and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and make the phyllo topping.
Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Remove the phyllo
dough from the package, and unroll it on a work surface. Separate one
sheet of dough and place it on a cutting board. (Keep the remaining
phyllo covered with a clean, damp towel while you work to prevent
it from drying out.)Brush the phyllo sheet with about 1 tablespoon of
the melted butter and sprinkle with a quarter of the cinnamon sugar.
Place a second sheet of phyllo dough on top, brush with another
tablespoon of melted butter and sprinkle with a third of the remain-
ing cinnamon sugar. Repeat with a third and fourth sheet of phyllo,
brushing each sheet with the remaining melted butter and sprinkling
with equal amounts of the remaining cinnamon sugar. Using the bot-
tom of a ramekin as a guide, cut eight circles of phyllo dough with a
paring knife. Place the circles on a greased sheet pan and bake in the
preheated oven for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown.

To serve
, run a paring knife around the inner edge of each ramekin to
loosen the custard. If necessary, tap the side of the ramekin with the
palms of your hands. Invert each custard onto a dessert plate, drizzle
a portion of the sauce around the custard, and place a baked phyllo
circle on top of each custard.

Chef Jamie’s Tips: These custards are very delicate, so be careful when you
remove them from their ramekins. Be sure they are thoroughly cooled. The
sauce, flan, and crisps can be made in advance, though be sure to keep the
crisps in a cool, dry place.

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

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

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

Daily Recipe Index
Recipe Archives Index
Recipe Search

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