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La Belle Cuisine


Memorial Day - Lest we forget...

1 June

Okay. So what DID you do Memorial Day weekend? Did everything go as
planned? Did you entertain, barbecue? Party, party, party? Turn into a couch
potato, perhaps? Whatever it was, you may or may not want to repeat it for
the Fourth of July and Labor Day. Do give it some thought.
We did the family thing. To the max. And it was totally wonderful! It happens all
too seldom that both sons are here to visit simultaneously. How happy I am to
say that this will occur more often from now on, as my older son, Chef Keegan,
has accepted the position of Executive Pastry Chef at the esteemed Windsor
Court Hotel in New Orleans. Bravo! (He has now moved on to Denver!)
Ah yes. Food. Well, nothing fancy. Just down home cookin’. Had some Avocado
, my favorite House Salsa and tortilla chips around, so the troops munched
on that in between swims. Then came Jean Anderson’s Oven-Fried Chicken,
Oven-Roasted Garlic Potatoes, Southern Green Beans, garlic bread, and my
younger son Kerry’s Infamous Caesar Salad. Yum! Fully intended to make a
squash casserole, but somehow just never did get around to it…
And Marcelle Bienvenu? You guessed it... down on the Bayou:

Stuffed brisket, macaroni for Memorial Day
Creole Cooking
By Marcelle Bienvenu

Thursday, May 22, 2003, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA

“During the summer, every day seems like a holiday and every weekend is like a vacation, and nothing shouts summer more than the celebration of Memorial
Day, which to me unofficially marks the beginning of my favorite season.
…This year it’s my turn, so the affair will take place on the banks of the
Bayou Teche.
If the weather cooperates [and I do believe it did], we can spread out quilts
on the lawn, and take rides on the party barge. I’ve offered to provide a
stuffed brisket that has long been a family favorite…”

Stuffed Brisket

12 to 14 servings

1 brisket, about 8 to 10 pounds, trimmed*
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (10-ounce) can beer
3/4 pound lean ground beef
3/4 pound lean ground pork
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped green olives
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Butterfly the brisket or make a deep pocket in the thickest part. (Some butchers will do this for you.)
Rub the brisket with the oil and Worcestershire sauce. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Place the brisket in a deep bowl or
baking pan. Pour in the beer and cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Refrigerate, turning the brisket several times, for four hours. Drain and
reserve the marinade. Set aside.
Combine the ground meats, carrots, olives and seasonings. Mix well.
Stuff the mixture into the pocket of the brisket. Place the brisket in a
large roasting pan with the reserved marinade. Seal tightly and bake at
275 degrees until very tender, for three to four hours. Remove from
the oven and cool slightly before slicing to serve.

*Some prefer to keep some of the fat on the brisket to prevent it from
drying out during cooking. The fat can then be removed after cooking
and before serving.


“If we’re lucky, Creole tomatoes will be available to make…”

Creole Tomato Casserole

“Rock has made only one request for the menu:
macaroni and cheese, his all-time favorite."

Macaroni with Four Cheeses

Makes about 6 servings

5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
5 ounces gorgonzola, crumbled
4 ounces Fontina, grated
Salt, freshly ground black pepper and
cayenne to taste
1 pound rigatoni or ziti, cooked and drained
4 ounces mozzarella, cut into small cubes
4 ounces Parmesan, grated

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a two-quart baking
dish. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add
the flour and stir to blend. Cook for about one minute.
Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, Cook, stirring con-
stantly, until the mixture thickens and becomes creamy and smooth.
Add the gorgonzola and Fontina. Cook, stirring constantly, until the
cheeses melt. Add salt, black pepper, and cayenne.
Remove from heat. Pour the cheese sauce and the macaroni into
the baking dish. Stir to mix well. Add the mozzarella and stir to
mix. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and the top is lightly


Here is a recipe I am really looking forward to trying out one of these
weekends when the troops gather:

Donna Leeson’s Spicy Creole Beans
Thursday, May 22, 2003, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA
By Paulette Rittenberg

“A great dish to serve up for almost any special occasion is Donna
Vanderheiden Leeson’s Spicy Creole Beans.
Leeson, a West Bank resident, says she developed the recipe 25 to
30 years ago for one of The Times-Picayune’s first cooking contests.
…Whenever her four grandsons come to visit, her rule is they don’t
have to eat anything they don’t like, but they never turn down
Nonnie’s delicious..."

Spicy Creole Beans

Makes 8 to 10 entrée or 14 to 18 side-dish servings

1 pound bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 pound smoked hot sausage, sliced
1 pound fresh hot pork sausage, crumbled
3 large onions, chopped
2 medium-size green bell peppers, chopped
6 toes garlic, minced
1/2 cup packed Domino’s brown sugar or
brownulated sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon liquid hickory smoke sauce
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Four 1-pound cans pork and beans
Salt, to taste

To cook in microwave: Place bacon and sausages in a four- to five-
quart microwavable casserole; cover and microwave on high until
meat is cooked, 10 to 14 minutes, stirring often.
Drain off all except about one-fourth cup fat from dish, and stir in
onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Cover and microwave on high until
vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the
sugar, ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestershire, mustards, smoke
sauce, Creole seasoning, and ground peppers; cover, and cook on
high 5 minutes.
Drain slightly more than half the liquid from the cans of beans; reserve
liquid. Add beans and remaining liquid to dish; re-cover and microwave
on medium to simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally; as beans
cook, thin if needed with reserved bean liquid (the beans shouldn’t be
very runny). Season to taste with salt.
To make on top of stove: In a five-quart saucepan, cook together
bacon and sausages until browned, about 10 minutes, over medium-
high heat, stirring often. Drain off all but about 1/4 cup fat, and
add onions, bell peppers and garlic to pan. Cook until vegetables
are soft, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add remaining ingredients except the beans, and cook 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, drain half the liquid from beans, reserving liquid. Add
beans and the remaining liquid in cans to the pan. Reduce heat, and
simmer about 30 minutes; if needed, thin with reserved bean liquid
and scrape pan bottom often so beans don’t scorch. Salt to taste.
Serve warm. If made ahead, let cool completely before refrigerating
or freezing.


Until next time, remember... Be well, stay safe, enjoy your
freedom. And please. NEVER take it for granted!
Count your blessings. Express your gratitude. Relax.

God bless America!


Featured Archive Recipes:
All-American Barbecue Menu
Barbecued Baked Beans
Barbecued Texas Beef Brislet
Cowboy Cuisine
Down Home in Luzanna on the 4th
Mac and Cheese with Variations
Favorite Summer Desserts

"It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love,
are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think
of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I
am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the
love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and
fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one."

~ M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating icon icon



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