A recipe from the chef: who would have thought that Remoulade Sauce can be found on frites in Belgium, roast beef sammies in Denmark, hot dogs in Iceland and most lovingly, on all forms of seafood in Southern Louisiana? The folks in Amsterdam can also appreciate this treat on seafood too! I find that this recipe is by far, the most commented on by my clients, one even refers to it as gravy…so here it is, for the world to enjoy. What’s the point of having a wonderful recipe if it isn’t shared??? -6 ounces of olive oil, 7 ounces of Zatarain’s Creole mustard (if you can’t find it, sub Dijon with a couple tablespoons of Worcestershire and your favorite hot sauce to taste), 1.5 ounce of red wine vinegar, 2/3 cup of finely sliced chives, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 1/3 cup finely diced celery, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Mix all together, refrigerate and enjoy.
Every time I step into my, or a clients kitchen, I consider it therapy time. But this past time, that therapy took on a whole new meaning. I had the privilege to cook for a number of widows of our fallen soldiers. Now, I read quite a bit about the second World War as well as Vietnam, so had a preconceived notion of who would be attending. I guess I’m showing my age, because I was not ready for a number of the ladies to be in their early twenties. As I began to prepare the meal, one of the women had red, puffy eyes and excused herself from the room on a number of occasions…it took quite a lot for me to collect myself and continue on. When the meal began, the mood seemed to slowly change from a somber event, to a seemingly, more lighthearted evening. Now I will never claim that my food did anything to erase the pain that hung in the room, but I do feel that the community created by the coming together of friends around a great meal allowed for a certain amount of healing between these ladies, after all, meal time is a time for us to gather, and when we gather, we share. So gather your friends and family around the table and share a laugh, some love, a bit of therapy for we could all use some!
Recently, my friend’s mother passed away. She was a home cook that could hold her own against any culinarian in the Crescent City, professional or otherwise. Having been a collector of new and old culinary knives, I asked my friend if she would mind if I could have one of her knives to add to my collection so her culinary spirit could live on in my kitchen. She was ecstatic at the idea! On my last trip to New Orleans, not only was I given her well used Santoku (to the right of the antique oyster knife on the top row), I was also excited to be given her favorite whisk, cutting board and mise en place bowl included in the care package. What a treat! What better way to carry on her mom’s culinary spirit than to keep her most used kitchen tools close at hand…and heart! Although a knife will no more make a person a better cook than an expensive baseball bat will make a person a better hitter, I would like to believe that an individual’s love of cooking somehow seeps into the well worn handle of their favorite knife…and we all know we have that trusty knife we faithfully reach for! So next time a loved one passes on to that great gleaming kitchen in the sky, don’t allow their cherished kitchen knife disappear into obscurity…acquire it, sharpen it, and allow all of those years of love enhance your future culinary creations.
Was my passion for cooking becoming a chore?
I found myself after my last post in December, falling out of love with my job! What you may say, a Louisiana boy not enjoying cooking, much less the final product…Impossible! Now I have always loved what I cook, sometimes though, the client isn’t always easy to love. Perhaps, I was doing it for the wrong reason…money, the quasi-celebrity status, the praise…not sure, but I had to find the passion once again. Reflection time!!! Why did I start what I am doing? Because I loved it, that’s why. I loved the cuisine of South Louisiana and I wanted everyone to be able to experience what makes us America’s greatest food city. What about the opportunity? Being a one-man ambassador of all things Cajun/Creole with time for my family and friends…why of course, only a fool would pass up that opportunity. Boredom??? Maybe I should learn something new, that always keeps it exciting…enter the Flavor Bible! It’s was time to become absorbed in food, flavors and presentations. Guess what? It worked! I’ve always heard that one never works a day in their life if they love what they do…guess I’m back to “not working”!