Fresh Salsa
Latin American & Caribbean

Fresh Salsa

This is the enhanced first stage of making guacamole. My wife once said to me, why don’t you make that into a into a salsa? So here it is. You can chop everything in a food processor, but it looks nicer and tastes better if you do the chopping by hand. If you use the machine, chop in a few short busts and stop just before it seems right. Read More. . .

Read On...

Cool Water Ranch Barbecue Sauce
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Cool Water Ranch Barbecue Sauce

I started making my own barbecue sauce when I volunteered to run a barbecue both at the festivals at my children’s schools. I used two bits of knowledge gleaned from my barbecue-eating activities. The first came from Harold Veasey, the founder of the now-extinct Harold’s Texas Barbecue in Metairie. He told me that the secret to his sauce is that he “kills it”–cooks the tomatoes so long that they take on an entirely different, sweet flavor. The second datum was my noticing the taste of cinnamon in the barbecue sauce at Corky’s, the best bottled sauce I’ve found. Neither source would give me a recipe, so I went my own way. This takes a long time, but it’s worth it if you make a great deal of it. Read More. . .

Read On...

Béarnaise
* NOMenu.com

Béarnaise

Béarnaise is my favorite sauce. It’s good on almost everything: steaks, fish, fried potatoes, eggs, chicken. . . I could go on. Its finest employment in the Creole arena is in a dish called chicken Pontalba. If you find fresh tarragon or chervil, use twice as much as called for here. Read More. . .

Read On...

Tex-Mex Chili Sauce
* NOMenu.com

Tex-Mex Chili Sauce

This is half a chili con carne recipe. It has the seasonings and the flavor, but not the meat. You use it as a sauce, not as a finished dish. It’s good on chicken, pork, and cheese-and-onion enchiladas. But triple all the ingredients, add three pounds of cubed or ground beef chuck at the end of Step 1. and you’re on your way to a good, heart-warming (and heart-stopping) bowl of red. Read More. . .

Read On...

Pico de Gallo
* NOMenu.com

Pico de Gallo

The name literally means “beak of the rooster.” I’ve heard that this is because there should be chile peppers hot enough to make you feel as if you were being pecked on the tongue by a chicken, but most of these concoctions are mild. As is this one. It’s the classic relish for fajitas, but you might think of some other uses. It’s not bad on any kind of salad. Read More. . .

Read On...

Apple Chutney

RecipeSquare-150x150 Apple Chutney

Somebody asked me once for a chutney recipe. She was surprised that I have one. Chutney is an Indian-style relish, but I’ll bet they eat more of it per capita in England than anywhere else. Our consumption of it is rising, too. This recipe calls for pickling salt, which is made without anti-caking agents or iodine, both of which can affect the color of anything that’s pickled (as chutney is). Recipe details. . .

Read On...

Semolina’s Creole Sauce
* NOMenu.com

Semolina’s Creole Sauce

Semolina’s Creole Sauce This is a fresh-tasting version of Creole sauce, developed by the Taste Buds (the three guys who developed Zea and Semolina over the years. It was made to complement Semolina’s excellent pasta jambalaya, one of the most popular dishes on their menu. (Although the dish was originally created by Mr. B’s.) Only one location of Semolina is still in business: on the south side of the Clearview Mall in Metairie. It preserves this and many interesting sauces that would otherwise be extinct. As well most Creole sauces…

Read On...

Bolognese Sauce
* NOMenu.com

Bolognese Sauce

RecipeSquare-150x150 The great meat sauces of Italy are made in the area of Bologna, where every family says that its meat sauce is the best. An authentic Bolognese meat sauce is so different from the standard American meat sauce for spaghetti that I hesitate to even mention them in the same sentence. Here is what the spaghetti with meat sauce you’ve been subjecting yourself to all your life in cafeterias was really trying to be. More to come. . .

Read On...

Turkey Giblet Gravy

RecipeSquare-150x150 The first year I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my extended family, I got more compliments than I thought I would for my sugar-cane-smoked turkey, cooked on the outdoor grill. Then my balloon was burst when my wife looked at me and said, “Where’s the gravy?” Well. . . I got right to work with the few resources at hand and made a bad one that I caught grief for for the next year. After that, I was ready with this.//// Recipe details. . .

Read On...

Pricklypear Jelly
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Pricklypear Jelly

Pricklypear Jelly At the Cool Water Ranch, the only crops we’ve ever succeeded in growing are those that need zero help from humans. One of these is the purple fruits (called “tunas” in Spanish) that grow on an enormous pricklypear cactus at one corner of the house. The cactus blooms with beautiful yellow flowers every Mother’s Day, and produces a few buckets of fruit in time for Thanksgiving. I found that running the fruits through a juice extractor removes all the seeds and spines. And these spines are no fun…

Read On...

Fresh Marinara Sauce
Pasta

Fresh Marinara Sauce

Fresh Marinara Sauce This is the kind of red sauce we make most often at home. It’s cooked only a few minutes, so the freshness of the tomatoes doesn’t turn into sweetness. The flavor of fresh basil–which we have growing out on our sunniest deck during the warmer months–is a top flavor note. In that and some other ways, this is not your Sicilian grandmother’s recipe for red gravy. However, you can get close to that by letting the pot of sauce simmer at a low temperature for a few…

Read On...

Barbecue Dry Rub For Meats
Building Blocks

Barbecue Dry Rub For Meats

This is the stuff I use to coat (liberally) every meat I smoke or barbecue. There’s only one variation: for pork shoulders and ribs, I add brown sugar to the mix. I leave that out for briskets. Read More. . .

Read On...

Hush Puppies
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Hush Puppies

Hush puppies are essential to a catfish fry, and they’re good with any other seafood platter, too. You make them especially good by keeping the texture light and including flavors other than that of the cornmeal. Fry them in the same oil that you used to fry the fish or chicken. Read More. . .

Read On...

Watermelon Salsa
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Watermelon Salsa

Watermelon Salsa I’ll bet you’re already guessing that this came about because I found the remains of a partially-devoured watermelon, too ripe to mess with, in my refrigerator. Here’s the other thing that came to mind: when I was growing up, I remember a lot of people putting salt on watermelons. Another recollection: a watermelon and shrimp gazpacho a few weeks ago at Herbsaint. Why don’t you make that into a into a salsa? my wife said. So here it is. 2 cups watermelon pulp, chopped 2 cups chopped fresh…

Read On...

Creole Tartar Sauce
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Creole Tartar Sauce

There’s no reason why any restaurant can’t make its own tartar sauce. I like this one, which has an added zip from cayenne, sweetness from tomatoes, and mellowness from capers. Read More. . .

Read On...

Bechamel
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Bechamel

Bechamel This is the most basic of the “mother sauces” of classical French cooking. Even if you don’t think you’re cooking French food or ever heard of the word bechamel, it’s a useful technique for making white sauces with enough body to stand up to added ingredients. And if you’re thinking “Who wants thick white sauces?” I refer you to macaroni and cheese and crabmeat au gratin. Those are just two essential dishes that are improved with the use of a simple bechamel. It’s also found in many of the…

Read On...

Hollandaise
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Hollandaise

Hollandaise Hollandaise is one of the “mother sauces” of classical French cooking, and widely used around New Orleans, where it usually contains an extra pinch of cayenne. It’s not hard to make if you can keep it from breaking, which will happen if the sauce gets too hot once the butter goes in. I avoid this by whisking in the butter in softened, not melted form. Hollandaise should be made right before it’s needed. If you try to keep it warm, it might break. If that happens, you can sometimes…

Read On...

Tzatziki Sauce
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki Sauce Tzatziki is a cold sauce made with yogurt, cucumbers, dill, and a few other things. It’s so thick that it’s almost a salad. It’s used in a wide range of Greek dishes, and is the standard sauce on a gyros sandwich. Calling it Greek mayonnaise is not too far wrong. It’s easy to assemble, but it needs to sit in the refrigerator for the flavors to come together–at least a few hours, preferably a day. 1 small cucumber 4 cloves garlic, pureed 8 oz plain yogurt 1 Tbs….

Read On...

Lemony, Light Hollandaise
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Lemony, Light Hollandaise

Lemony, Light Hollandaise I make this version of hollandaise for topping crepes and baked oysters. Its texture is a bit thinner than classical hollandaise, and the lemon component is more pronounced–although the longer it sits there staying warm, the thicker it gets. You can use this as a sauce for almost anything. Add small amounts of other ingredients to extend the possibilities. (Example: a teaspoon of Creole mustard.) 2 egg yolks 1 stick butter, softened 2 Tbs. lemon juice Pinch cayenne 1. Briskly whisk the egg yolks with 1 Tbs….

Read On...

Oyster And Pecan Stuffing
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Oyster And Pecan Stuffing

Oyster And Pecan Stuffing I am no fan of oyster dressing. However, everybody asks me about it, so I messed around with a new version into which I added pecans to add some flavor and texture contrast. I must say I liked it, although not everyone was unanimous about this. (The dissenters felt that the standard oyster dressing is a sacrament that should not be changed.) Although you might want to stuff this into a bird, it’s better baked separately. 1 stick butter 1 medium onion, chopped 3 green onions,…

Read On...

Tom’s Hamburger Sauce
Sandwiches

Tom’s Hamburger Sauce

Tom’s Hamburger Sauce This is what I slather all over the hamburgers I make at home. Aficionados of Bud’s Broiler–an old local chain of charcoal-grilled hamburger joints around New Orleans–may note that this is a bit similar to the sauce on Bud’s Number One. I admit that as my inspiration, but this isn’t their recipe. It’s also a takeoff from “secret” sauces found in fast food places everywhere. They all are variations on a blend of mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup. This one substitutes barbecue sauce and chipotle Tabasco for the…

Read On...

Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Carrot Dipping Sauce)
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Carrot Dipping Sauce)

Vietnamese Sweet & Spicy Carrot Sauce (Nuoc Cham) This is that sauce you see served with spring rolls in Vietnamese restaurants and with a number of dishes in Thai restaurants. It was sent in by a reader/listener who did not add her name to the end of her letter (or I’d mention it). She says it keeps for a month in a refrigerated jar. You may use more or less of the chilis or chili paste, to your taste. I love splashing this stuff over anything from a hamburger to…

Read On...

Waffles For Chicken
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Waffles For Chicken

Waffles For Chicken How did chicken and waffles become associated? I’m not sure, but the craze is spreading. It reminded me that back in the 1980s I came up with a recipe for non-sweet waffles, designed to be served as a carrier for caviar. I fiddled around with that recipe with fried chicken in mind. (And fried seafood, barbecue, and a bunch of other possibilities.) The recipe is made like a standard waffle, but in place of the sugar and vanilla I have granulated garlic, Creole seasoning, and finely grated…

Read On...

Chocolate Chili Sauce
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Chocolate Chili Sauce

Chocolate Chili Sauce I know it seems unlikely, but think about it: one of the greatest sauces in Mexican cooking is mole poblano, which is based on chocolate. That’s a very complicated sauce to make. This is much easier, and while I’m not going to claim that it’s as wonderful as a hand-made, authentic mole, it’s pretty good. I use it as a very thick sauce with meats (it’s especially good with chicken and pork). It’s also good as a dip with tortilla chips. 2 Tbs. vegetable oil 1 medium…

Read On...

Fresh Pizza Sauce
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

Fresh Pizza Sauce

Fresh Pizza Sauce One of the best ideas I got from Chef Andrea Apuzzo when I was working on his cookbook is that pizza sauce does not have to be cooked. This, at last, revealed the problem with all pizza sauce! The following concoction may seem a little too runny, but trust me–it works, and has a marvelous fresh flavor. 1 28-ounce can whole peeled Italian tomatoes, juice strained out and reserved for another recipe 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp. chopped garlic (or more, if you love garlic)…

Read On...

New Orleans Brown Bordelaise Sauce
Sauces, Stuffings & Garnishes

New Orleans Brown Bordelaise Sauce

New Orleans Brown Bordelaise Sauce In New Orleans, when people say “bordelaise,” they probably mean the hot garlic butter that we splash on steaks, pasta, and a few other things. In Bordeaux, for which the sauce is named, it’s something completely different. Because the most famous product of Bordeaux is red wine, that’s a primary ingredient. This version is my effort to draw from both traditions at once, using garlic as well as the classical shallots. It’s great with a steak, chicken, or even oysters. 1 stick butter 3 French…

Read On...

Marchand de Vin Sauce

Marchand de Vin Sauce This is the great sauce for steaks in the old-line Creole restaurants. As is often the case, the New Orleans version of this is much different from the classic French sauce of the same name. When serving, place this right on top of the steak (or whatever–this is also good with many other dishes, from eggs to pork chops), not underneath. My reading of old cookbooks tells me that this sauce originally contained chips of marrow. I love that flavor, and include it in the recipe…

Read On...

Red Pepper Aioli

RecipeSquare-150x150 Somewhere in Provence there is a newspaper whose name is “L’Aioli.” That lucky town gets to wake up every day to “The Garlic Mayonnaise.” Sounds like a good place to live. Closer to home, chefs have extended the aioli concept to include all sort of other flavors. Here’s my contribution to the overload. This is not only tasty as a dip, a squirtable condiment, or even a sandwich spread, but it’s also a very pretty color. It’s a great dip for fresh-cut French fries. Thinned with a little water, it makes a wine-friendly salad dressing (no vinegar, see).

Click here for recipe details.

Read On...

Skordalia (Greek Garlic Sauce)

RecipeSquare-150x150 Skordalia is a thick, off-white garlic sauce fleshed out with either bread or mashed potatoes, plus olive oil and sometimes almonds. Hearing that description, you’d never believe how marvelous it is on fried seafood. Oddly enough, it’s also delicious on a salad–especially those made with root vegetables, and most particularly beets.

Click here for recipe details.

Read On...

Creole Sauce

RecipeSquare-150x150 Classic Creole sauce seems to be making a comeback. It’s a tomato-based concoction with the holy trinity (bell pepper, celery, and onions). I find myself using it with all sorts of meats and poultry. It’s even good with eggs. (Although not with shrimp. Shrimp Creole is the most famous dish using this sauce, but in my opinion the worst.) My Creole sauce is made with a good bit of black pepper, which I think makes the difference. So does a short cooking time, which keeps it from becoming spaghetti sauce. This recipe makes a lot of it, but it freezes well. So you can jazz up whatever food for which you’re at a loss for ideas.

Click here for recipe details.

Read On...

Pesto Genovese

RecipeSquare-150x150 Making pesto with butter as well as with olive oil is not exactly traditional, but it is widely practiced by chefs, particularly those in northern Italy, and even more so on the city of Genoa, where pesto was created. You can make large amounts of this, seal it in plastic bags, and store it in your freezer to use up all your leftover basil at the end of the growing season. To serve pasta with pesto, put the pasta into a bowl after it’s been drained but while it’s still hot. Add about 1/2 cup of pesto to one pound of pasta and toss to coat.

Click here for recipe details.

Read On...

Asian Barbecue Sauce

~~~
RecipeSquare-150x150 Read entire article.This is great with red meats, especially brisket. It’s also very good with thick fish steaks, such as tuna or swordfish. It’s also a great glaze for any grilled meats or fish done in an Asian manner. Drizzle it over pot stickers or Chinese-style ribs for something different. Like my standard barbecue sauce, I make a lot of it at one time and can it in big jars. They last a long time on the shelf, unopened. I give a lot of it away to friends. More to come. . .

Read On...

Chow-Chow

RecipeSquare-150x150 Chow-chow, a condiment widely used throughout America (although not to the extent that it was, say, fifty years ago), was made by Zatarain’s and other companies until the hurricane. Zatarain’s appears to have left chow-chow out of their product line when they returned. Rex, the other local brand, is still out there, as is the very chunky Crosse & Blackwell version. For some reason, in recent months people have asked me about Zatarain’s chow-chow often. Here is a recipe that at least approximates the stuff. Use it on sandwiches or as a relish for vegetables. Read entire article.

Read On...

Zucchles

RecipeSquare-150x150 Are you growing too much zucchini? If so, you might welcome this means of getting rid of a bunch of them. They’re zucchini pickles, and they can be served anywhere pickles can. This is good chopped up and used as a garnish for red beans and rice.

This recipe also works with summer squash, mirlitons and cucuzza, that long, green squash with the Sicilian accent that a lot of people grow on their fences around New Orleans. Read entire article.

Read On...

Beurre Noir

RecipeSquare-150x150 There seems to be a controversy among restaurant patrons lately regarding the meaning of the word “meuniere.” That’s a little strange: fish meuniere is among the most popular and widespread dishes in New Orleans restaurants. The disagreement is born from there being two very different styles of the sauce that finishes a meuniere dish. This recipe is in the classic French style, still kept very much alive in New Orleans at the older restaurants, notably Galatoire’s. What they call “meuniere sauce” or “meuniere butter” is brown butter, made by swirling butter around a hot skillet in which the fish (or sweetbreads or whatever) has just been seared, with a skin of seasoned flour. The brown color of the butter comes both from the effects of the heat on the butter, as well as from the flour that would shake loose and brown. You can make beurre noir on its own, however, and here’s how. It’s particularly good with fried or broiled fish, sweetbreads, and thin medallions of veal. Read entire article.

Read On...

1 2