Pecan-Crusted Fish with Crab Salad and Crushed Corn Sauce

Photo of the Commander's Palace sign for Pecan-Crusted Fish with Crab Salad and Crushed Corn Sauce RecipeCommander’s Palace
When we decided to head to New Orleans, I knew the one thing that we had to do was have dinner at Commander’s Palace, an icon of the New Orleans culinary tradition. It has launched the careers of many a celebrity chef and earned countless awards along the way. There was no way I was not eating at this establishment. I made our reservations the minute the date was available, two months prior to getting on a plane.

By far, the hardest thing we had to do was not eat too much during the day. It wasn’t easy but somehow, we muddled through.

The sacrifice was worth it. We feasted on classic Cajun fare and had to be rolled into our Uber. There was turtle soup (I know, but we had to give it a try). There was gumbo and crawfish. There was also the world-famous bread pudding soufflé.

My choice for dinner was the iconic Pecan-Crusted Fish with Crab Salad and Crushed Corn Sauce. A longtime staple on the menu, the fish was perfectly cooked, the corn sauce was amazing and don’t get me started on the crab on top. Both my husband and I agreed it was the best choice between the two of us (though perhaps not as healthy as we might have hoped).

I wasn’t able to find the exact recipe in either of my Commander’s Palace cookbooks, but I was able to find it online thanks to the Today Show.

Pecan-Crusted Fish with Crab Salad and Crushed Corn Sauce Recipe
Adapted from Today and Commander’s Palace
Yields 6 servings

Crunchy pecans add texture and nutty flavor to mild white fish. The sweet crab salad and fresh corn sauce, round out this signature dish that is not difficult to prepare at home. Read more…

New Orleans-Style Beignets

Photo of New Orleans-Style Beignets with coffeeBack From The Big Easy
I am back from New Orleans, and it was everything I thought it would be. The weather was hot and humid. The music was loud and all around. The food was fantastic. And, the drinks were strong. I want to go back. It has only been a few days, but I am already longing to roll out of my French Quarter bed and find an early morning table for some beignets and a café au lait.

That is how we spent our first morning there. Miracle of miracles, we were able to just walk right in and sit down at a table. Mid-week is obviously the time to go to avoid the potentially long line. I knew that I would love the beignets. I mean, fried dough with copious amounts of powdered sugar? Sign me up. I was surprised though at how much I enjoyed my café au lait.

I have always liked my coffee with a lot of cream or milk. My husband has for years teased me about the coffee-flavored milk I drink each morning. He is one of those coffee purists who drinks it basically black so as not to inhibit the path of the caffeine to his bloodstream.

I will give him credit, though. He took one for the cream team that morning and sipped some rich coffee goodness while listening to the “dulcet tones” of the jazz band playing on the sidewalk. By dulcet tones, I mean loud. Really loud. Good, but any conversation was rendered impossible. But it screamed New Orleans and it was the perfect breakfast.

I made sure to buy some of the beignet mix at Café Du Monde to bring home even though I know I could get it at several places here. It just seemed wrong not to get it at the source. If you feel like you want to give them a try and make some as authentic as possible beignets from scratch, the recipe below is pretty darn close.

The reality is that they will just never taste as good as they do when you are sitting in the French Market at the Café Du Monde.

New Orleans-Style Beignets Recipe
Adapted from Baker by Nature
Yields 3 dozen beignets

The dough for these New Orleans-Style Beignets needs to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours before frying, and up to 24 hours in advance. Also, the eggs and butter need to be at room temperature to make the dough. Read more…

New Orleans

Bourbon Street Sign in New OrleansBucket List 
I turned 50 a few weeks ago and to mark the occasion, y’all, my amazing husband has gifted me with the opportunity to scratch an item off my bucket list. I am heading to the Big Easy, cher!

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while will know that I have an affinity for all things Cajun and Creole. There are numerous posts about favorite dishes, cookbooks, or chefs in our archives. For decades I have dreamed about eating my way through the city of New Orleans and, starting this week, I get to do exactly that.

This is my sport of choice and I feel like I have been training for this for years.  I am currently at the top of my game. I am unstoppable. Bring on the beignets…

In honor of this momentous occasion, I present to you a list of just a few of the recipes from chefs and restaurants we have featured over the years, in case you feel inspired. I highly recommend you give them a look. There are some good ones in there.

So, until next week, mes amis, laissez les bon temps rouler!!! Read more…

“Dirty” Rice (Cajun Rice Dressing)

"Dirty" Rice (Cajun Rice Dressing)Getting’ Dirty
The arrival of February means we leave the dullness of the last days of January and move headlong into a series of events that happen within the span of two weeks. First up is Super Bowl Sunday and while it may not be as exciting this year due to restrictions and whatnot, it is still an afternoon of much-needed and appreciated entertainment. Next comes Valentine’s Day which will also see its celebrations dimmed by the current situation. But, it still gives us something to celebrate and it highlights the importance of letting the ones you love know how you feel. And lastly, bringing up the rear, is Mardi Gras…

I recognize that, outside of Louisiana, Mardi Gras may not be that big of a deal. Ash Wednesday is much more widely observed. I, however, see Mardi Gras as an excuse to make recipes from one of my favorite regional cuisines. This year, because I am still on my trying new things kick, I will be making recipes from my new award-winning cookbook, The Mosquito Supper Club by Melissa Martin.

If you have ever wanted to taste the legit flavors of the Louisiana bayou, this book is for you. On top of that the pages are filled with fantastic stories of the people who live there and about their struggle to earn a living and maintain their way of life in the face of global warming. I have recently made a number of recipes from the book and have yet to find one that wasn’t outstanding. Be prepared to plan ahead, though. These recipes are authentic and require certain ingredients that you just won’t find on the West Coast and will have to be ordered to get the right flavors.

A couple of weeks ago, I made the Braised Duck Legs on a blustery Sunday and the results were fall-off-the-bone fantastic. As suggested by the author, I also made the Rice Dressing to go with it. Rice Dressing is more commonly known to the rest of the United States as “Dirty” Rice because of the “dirty” color that happens when you add the ground meat to it. No matter what you call it, the rice is good eatin’ and can be served along side duck, chicken, beef or turkey. It’s also good on its own with a side salad, fresh green beans, or stewed greens. The recipe makes a lot. But, the rice tastes better the next day—so it’s worth it.

If you have never tasted this Louisiana staple you have definitely been missing out. Don’t be turned off by the inclusion of chicken liver (I don’t use gizzards). It just gives the dish richness. I strongly urge you to give this rice a try.

And, laissez les bons temps rouler, Cher…

“Dirty” Rice (Cajun Rice Dressing) Recipe
Adapted from The Mosquito Supper Club: Cajun Recipes from a Disappearing Bayou by Melissa Martin
Yields 6 to 8 servings Read more…