Let's-Dish: Mardi Gras Evening

February 28, 2017 was Mardi Gras evening at the home of Jennifer Wolcott. All who attended enjoyed the food, festivities, and fellowship.

Chicken & Seafood Jambalaya

Recipe provided by Corinne Meyer
from the kitchen of Chef Paul Prudhomme

Makes 4 main-dish or 8 appetizer servings
When I was growing up, jambalaya was a reality at least once a week. You would think that I would be tired of eating it, but quite the contrary. It's a great rice dish with a smoky flavor and an explosion of taste.


2½ tablespoons chicken or beef fat, pork lard, butter or oil
⅔ cup chopped Chef Paul Prudhomme's Tasso (preferred) OR
....other smoked ham (about 3 ounces)
½ cup chopped Chef Paul Prudhomme's Regular Andouille (preferred) OR
....any other good pure pork sausage (about 3 ounces)
1½ cups chopped onions 1 cup chopped celery
¾ cup chopped green bell peppers
½ cup bite-size pieces chicken (about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons Chef Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic® OR
....Chef Paul Prudhomme'sPoultry Magic® OR
....Chef Paul Prudhomme'sMeat Magic®
2 bay leaves
1½ teaspoons minced fresh garlic
4 medium-size fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped (about 1 pound)
¾ cup tomato sauce
2 cups seafood stock
½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups uncooked rice, preferably processed
1½ dozen peeled medium shrimp (about ½ pound)
1½ dozen shucked medium-size oysters in their liquor (the liquid in which they are packe), about 10 ounces

how to prepare
Melt the fat in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Add the Tasso and Andouille and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 5-8 minutes.  Add the onions, celery and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan well, until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes.  Add the chicken, raise the heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.  Reduce the heat to medium, add the Magic Seasoning®, bay leaves, and garlic.  Cook, stirring constantly and scraping the pan bottom as needed, for 3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is tender, about 5-8 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Add the tomato sauce to the saucepan and continue to cook, stirring fairly often, for 7 minutes.  Stir in the stock, bring to a boil, then stir in the green onions.  Cook, stirring once or twice, for 2 minutes.  Add the rice, shrimp and oysters, stir well, and remove from the heat.  Transfer to an ungreased 8 x 8-inch baking pan, cover snugly with aluminum foil and bake until the rice is tender but still a bit crunchy, about 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.  Discard the bay leaves and serve immediately.

Emeril's Muffuletta

Recipe provided by Anne Rarich

The muffuletta is the quintessential New Orleans sandwich of cured

meats, cheese and tangy olive salad piled onto a sturdy Italian loaf. Emeril Lagasse's delicious muffuletta is packed with briny olives and pickled vegetables.


  • 5 ounces pimento-stuffed olives (1 cup), sliced, plus 2 tablespoons of liquid from the jar
  • 6 ounces chopped giardiniera (pickled Italian vegetables) (1 cup), plus 1 tablespoon of liquid from the jar
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers, plus 2 teaspoons of liquid from the jar
  • 3 ounces pitted Calamata olives (1/2 cup), sliced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large loaf seeded Italian bread (about 1 1/4 pounds), split
  • 1/4 pound sliced fresh mozzarella
  • 6 ounces sliced capocollo or prosciutto
  • 1/4 pound sliced Genoa salami
  • 1/4 pound sliced mortadella
  • 1/4 pound sliced mild provolone cheese
  • Peperocini, for serving


1. In a medium bowl, stir the pimento-stuffed olives with the giardiniera, capers and their respective liquids. Add the Calamata olives, garlic, shallot, oregano, parsley, thyme and crushed red pepper. Stir in the olive oil and let the mixture stand for 1 hour.

2. Open the Italian bread on a work surface. Spoon the olive salad on both sides of the bread and spread evenly. Arrange the mozzarella slices on the bottom half of the bread, then top with the capocollo, Genoa salami and mortadella. Arrange the provolone cheese on the top half of the bread, covering the olive salad completely. Carefully close the sandwich. Wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic and let stand for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Cut the sandwich into 8 pieces and serve peperoncini on the side.


The recipe can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated for up to 2 days. The wrapped muffuletta can be kept at room temperature for 2 hours.

Brennan's Bananas Foster

Recipe provided by Judi Kotanchik

SEPTEMBER 30, 2015
Matt Taylor-Gross

Banana liqueur heightens the flavor of the bananas in this flambeed dessert from the New Orleans restaurant Brennan's. This recipe first appeared in our April 2013 special feature on New Orleans.

Serves 4-6


8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
12 tsp. ground cinnamon
14 cup banana liqueur
4 bananas, peeled and quartered
14 cup white rum
Vanilla ice cream, for serving


Melt butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a 12" heatproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, 4 minutes. Add liqueur and bananas; cook, until bananas are soft and slightly caramelized, 4-6 minutes. Add rum, and using a match or lighter, ignite to flambe; cook until flame dies out. Spoon bananas and sauce over ice cream.

Cheese and Hot Pepper Chicken

Makes 8 servings

The sauce for this chicken dish is not only rich and creamy, but also generously seasoned with bell peppers, chile peppers, and spices. Any leftover sauce is wonderful over vegetables!

Find this recipe and more in Chef Paul Prudhomme's Pure Magic.

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 (2½ - 3-pound) chickens, all visible fat removed, each cut into 8 pieces
1¼ cups all purpose flour
vegetable oil, for frying
2�" cups chopped green bell peppers, in all
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped fresh Anaheim or poblano chiles, in all
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeño peppers
4 cups chicken stock, in all
1½ cups heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
1½ cups freshly grated Monterey Jack or other white nonprocessed cheese
1½ cups freshly grated Cheddar cheese
4 cups cooked long-grain white rice
how to prepare

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.

Combine the Seasoning Mix ingredients in a small bowl.  Combine 1 tablespoon of the mix with the flour in a plastic or paper bag and set aside.

Sprinkle the remaining Seasoning Mix evenly over the chicken and rub it in well.  Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour, and reserve the leftover flour.

Heat ½ inch of oil in a large skillet (I find this dish tastes significantly better if you don't use a nonstick skillet) to 350°, about 4 minutes.  Fry the chicken in batches, large pieces and skin sides down first, just until light brown and crispy, about 8 minutes per batch.  Lower the heat if the drippings in the pan start to brown, because you'll use the drippings in the cream sauce, and want them to remain light in color and taste so they won't dominate the cheese, peppers and cream.  Drain the chicken on paper towels.

Carefully pour the hot oil into a heat-proof glass measuring cup, leaving as much sediment as possible in the skillet, and return ½ cup of the hot oil to the skillet.  Add 2 cups of the bell peppers, the onions, and �" cup of the chiles.  Turn the heat to high and stir well to mix the vegetables with the sediment.  Cook until the onions start to brown, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes.  Add the bay leaves, salt, and garlic.  Stir well, then sprinkle 3 tablespoons of the reserved seasoned flour on the vegetable mixture and stir thoroughly again.  Stir in the jalapeño peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.  Lower the heat if the vegetables stick excessively.  Stir in 1 cup of the stock and scrape the pan bottom well.  Stir in 2 cups more stock and stir again.  Remove from the heat. 

Place the chicken in a 5½-quart pot or large Dutch oven.  Add the vegetable mixture and the remaining stock and stir well.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally and being careful not to let the mixture scorch, for 25 minutes.  Add the remaining �" cup bell peppers, ⅓ cup chiles, the cream, and the sour cream.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring fairly constantly.  Stir in the cheeses and cook, stirring constantly, just until the cheese melts.  Serve immediately over rice or pasta. 

Note:  If you cannot find fresh Anaheim or poblano chile peppers, you can use canned chile pepper strips, either hot or mild, according to your taste.

Copyright© 1995 by Paul Prudhomme

Creole Brownies

From the Kitchen of Lynne Gassiraro
Recipe from ​Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

“Simple but smart, these fudgy brownies are coated with a decadent ganache infused with chicory coffee that takes them from clever to Creole. Cocoa nibs give them a "crunchy, yet tender" texture.”

Makes 12 large or 24 small brownies


For the Brownies:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa nibs

For the Ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup hot freshly brewed New Orleans–style chicory coffee or strong regular coffee
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Fleur de sel for sprinkling (optional)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan and line with parchment, allowing the ends of the paper to hang over two opposite edges of the pan.

To make the brownies:​ Set a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water), add the butter and chocolate, and stir frequently until melted and smooth.

Remove the bowl from the heat, add the sugar, salt, and vanilla and stir until completely combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour and stir until the batter is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cocoa nibs.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. When the brownies are done, a slight crack will have formed around the edges. Remove the pan from the oven and let the brownies cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the ganache:​ Combine the cream, butter, sugar, and salt in a large heatproof bowl, set it over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water), and stir until the butter is melted. Add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is completely smooth.

Remove the bowl from the heat, add the coffee and vanilla, and stir until smooth. The ganache will thicken as it cools.

To finish the brownies:​ Invert the brownies onto a baking sheet and remove the parchment. Pour the thickened ganache over the brownies, spreading it evenly with a spatula or a butter knife into a thick layer on top. Let the brownies stand until the ganache is completely set and sprinkle with fleur de sel if desired.

Cut into squares. The brownies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Cook’s Notes:

I used salted butter and omitted the salt
Cocoa Nibs can be found at Trader Joe’s
I used Cafe Du Monde coffee (iconic orange can)
I used Ghiradelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips for the ganache The ganache needs at least an hour to cool to spreadable consistency- stir frequently It would have been easier to make it in a stand mixer

Grillades and Grits

This one is from John Besh.

Grillades is a Creole version of pot roast; the meat is sliced or pounded thin, then slow-cooked in a pungent sauce. If veal shoulder isn’t available, substitute boneless, sliced Boston butts of pork. Sure, you can use a leaner cut of veal (and if you do, you’ll want to cut the cooking time down by half). But I encourage you to fi nd those cheaper cuts of meat that have much more fl avor than either the loin or the leg.


For the Veal

4 pounds veal shoulder, sliced into thin cutlets
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/4 cup rendered bacon fat
1 large onion, small dice
1 stalk celery, small dice
1/2 bell pepper, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomatoes, diced
2 cups veal stock
leaves from 1 sprig thyme
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 green onions, chopped
salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste

For the Jalapeño Cheese Grits

1 cup stone ground white corn grits
1 jalapeño
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons mascarpone or cream cheese
1/4 cup grated  Edam cheese
salt to taste



Season the veal cutlets with salt and black pepper and season the flour with the Creole spices. Dredge the veal in the flour and place into a large pan with the rendered bacon fat on high. Cook the cutlets on both sides until golden brown and remove from the pan, reserving each cutlet, while being careful not to overcrowd the pan.

Once all of the veal has browned add the diced onion to the pan and lower the heat to medium high. Sweat the onions until they become a deep mahogany color and add the celery, bell pepper and garlic. Continue cooking the vegetables while constantly stirring on medium for 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon of the left over seasoned flour to the pan and stir so that no lumps exists. Add the tomatoes and Basic Veal Stock while stirring and raise heat to high until the liquid comes to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and add thyme, pepper flakes, bay leaf, Worcestershire and the veal cutlets back to the pan and continue simmering for 45 minutes or until the meat is fork tender. Season the grillades to taste with salt, pepper and Tabasco and serve over creamy Jalapeño Cheese Grits.


Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a sauce pot over high heat bring 4 cups of water to a boil while slowly whisking in the stone ground grits. Reduce the heat to medium low and place a cover over the grits to slowly cook for 20 minutes.

While the grits are cooking, roast the jalapeño pepper in the oven for 10 minutes so that the skin blisters and can be easily removed. Cut the pepper in half lengthwise and under cold running water remove the skin and the seeds from the pepper. Place the pepper on a cutting board and mince and add it to the pot of grits.

Remove the grits from the flame and fold in the butter, mascarpone and edam cheeses. Season with salt to taste and serve.

Dark Chocolate Bark

Recipe provided by Isabel Chesak


1 pound bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate-chopped.
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup roasted, unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup crystalized ginger-chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt


1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2. Fill a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer
3. In a bowl that will sit on the saucepan add 12 ounces of the chocolate and the oil.  Stir with a rubber spatula until all is melted but some pieces remain visible.  Remove the bowl from the heat and wipe off the bottom.
4. Stir the remaining chocolate into the melted mixture until it is all completely melted.
5. Stir half the almonds and the other ingredients into the mixture into the chocolate until well combined.
6. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the parchment and use an off-set metal spatula to spread into a 9-by-12 rectangle.
7. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients on top. Sprinkle the salt on top.  Refrigerate uncovered for several hours until set.

Shrimp & Grits

bon appetit with revisions Susan Plummer

4 c. water
1 t. salt
Bring to boil
1 T butter (unsalted)
1 c. grits (I prefer coarse stone-ground)
Stir in. Cover. Simmer at least 20 min, stirring occasionally until thick. The time depends on the type of grits.
1 c grated sharp white cheddar
1 jalapeno, seeded & diced
 Stir in.
 1/4 c heavy cream Stir in.     Cover & hold on “warm” while shrimp are cooked
1 lb shrimpthaw under running cold water if frozen
1/2 c  tasso diced in 1/3 inch cubes
1 T  rendered bacon fat (if tasso is lean
Saute in large skillet over med heat about 5 min
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 T unsalted butter
Add, sauté until garlic is browning.
Add shrimp.  sauté briefly.
1/4 c  beer
1/4 c  low-salt chicken stock
Add.   Remove pan from stove.
1 or 2 T  unsalted butter
1 T  flour
Make a roux in another small pan.
2 t  Zatarain’s Creole SeasoningAdd to roux and stir into skillet with shrimp mixture
Heat and serve over grits.
1 T chopped fresh tarragoSprinkle on.



Tasso is a Cajun ham/pork product. It and the Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning can be ordered online from Nola Cajun in New Orleans.
The Zatarain’s contains salt, hence the use of unsalted butter

Eggplant Casserole

The Hurricane