Young Mother Sewing
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Cassatt, Mary
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      La Belle Cuisine

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A Feast Fit for Yo' Mama

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"To cook is to create. And to create well...
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"My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to
my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual
and physical education I received from her."
~ George Washington

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Mother and Child at the Water's Edge
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La Belle Cuisine


A Feast Fit for Yo Mama!

 Y’all may have noticed that we here at La Belle Cuisine absolutely LOVE
New Orleans!  All I can say is that if you weren’t aware of it, you simply
have not been paying attention. Your choice, of course, but you’re missing
a whole lot of good stuff. Cease and desist, I say! Life is meant to be lived, no? As Auntie Mame would say, “Live! Life’s a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”

In addition to being a devoted fan of The City that Care Forgot, you
may also have noticed that I am very partial to all things Brennan, with Commander’s Palace at the top of the list. I make no apologies for this.
It is my perfect right to love what I love, correct? And to make no bones
about saying it. I consider this my editorial prerogative, of course, as well
as my sacred duty to food lovers everywhere.

The Brennans, as you are no doubt aware, are no longer one. Part
of the clan is The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group, which includes
Bacco, RRed Fish Grill. and Ralph's on the Park.

Tom Fitzmorris (THE New Orleans restaurant man, IMHO) recently
pointed out to his devotees what he referred to as a “Mother’s Day
Gem”: The Mother’s Day Buffet at Bacco. Here it is. Be prepared
to drool…..

“Ralph Brennan's mother is Italian, and you know what that means. He
had to open up a restaurant with Italian food to use the family recipes.
And it had to be great on Mother's Day. First they start you off with a
frozen Bellini or a mimosa. At some point during the repast, you're
invited to pose for two complimentary photos in the lovely little
courtyard. And then you eat Chef Haley Gabel's

Mother's Day buffet (2001):

 Bacco Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise
Spicy Boiled Gulf Shrimp
Smoked Salmon with traditional trimmings
Imported Italian Meats & Cheeses
Vermouth Steamed Mussels
Grilled Gulf Shrimp Pasta Salad
Roasted Gulf Fish with a Louisiana
Crawfish Butter Sauce
Herb Crusted Chicken Breast with Alfredo Sauce
Molasses Roasted Pork Loin with a
Sweet & Sour Venetian Sauce
Roasted Chicken & Penne with a Tomato Basil Sauce
Truffle Beet and Cucumber Salad
Waffles with Fresh Fruit Compote & Whipped Cream
Mediterranean Green Salad with Feta Dressing
Louisiana Crawfish Omelettes

Roasted pear bread pudding with
Poire Williams Anglaise
Chocolate Custard
Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake
Assorted Petit Sweets”

Can you STAND it?  Other than what is still to me the quintessential good
time – the Jazz Brunch at Commander’s Palace – this would be my choice
for dining out tomorrow.  Just in case anyone asked me where I'd like to
Which they did not. But hey, that's okay. My sons do not live in the Greater New Orleans, alas. Nor does ole what's-his-name. Whatever. But
you know what? We can do this thing vicariously, can we not? I don’t
happen to have all of the above recipes on file. But I do have a goodly
number of very fine recipes from the Ralph Brennan group. And that,
fellow epicureans, is my Mother’s Day gift to you. Whether or not you
are a mother. Okay? Here goes.....


Pan Roasted Rosemary-Garlic-Crusted Pork
Tenderloin with Grilled Vegetable and Pancetta
"Tian", Oven-Dried Tomato Whipped Potatoes
and a Caramelized Shallot Reduction Glaze

 8-ounce cleaned pork tenderloin
4 ounces Rosemary-Garlic Rub
(recipe follows)
4 ounces Caramelized Shallot Reduction
Glaze (recipe follows)
1 Vegetable Pancetta "Tian"
(recipe follows)
Oven-Dried Tomato Whipped Potatoes
(recipe follows)

Rosemary Garlic Rub

4 ounces chopped rosemary
3 ounces chopped garlic  
8 ounces extra virgin olive oil  
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper  
1 teaspoon kosher salt  
: Purée all the ingredients together, store in an
 airtight container.

Caramelized Shallot Reduction Glaze

6 ounces peeled shallots
ounce fresh rosemary  
ounce cracked black pepper  
ounce honey
ounces Demi-Glace (veal or beef stock,
fortified, and reduced by 1/2)

Procedure: : To caramelize the shallots, peel them and cut them into
halves or quarters so they are all roughly the same size. In a heavy-
bottomed roasting pan, place the shallots and drizzle with olive oil and
salt and pepper. Roast uncovered in 350-degree F. oven until brown
and tender (about 15 to 30 minutes). Add the rosemary, cracked
pepper and honey. Stir in the demi-glace. Taste for seasoning and
adjust to taste.

Oven Dried Tomato Whipped Potatoes

5 pounds Idaho potatoes (peeled and
cut into large cubes)
3 ounces whole garlic cloves
1/2 pound unsalted butter
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 pound  oven-dried Roma tomatoes
1 cup snipped chives
Salt & Pepper to desired taste

Procedure: Bring potatoes and garlic cloves to a boil, turn down to a
simmer and cook until tender. Bring the butter and cream to a boil.
Drain potatoes, place in a mixer and with the whip  attachment, whip
potatoes and gradually add the butter-cream mixture. Combine well.

To roast tomatoes, slice each tomato in half lengthwise. Lay out on a
sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Slow roast in a
250-degree F. oven until dried and condensed (about 3 hours). Let
cool, remove outer skins and whip into the potato mixture. Season
with salt and pepper and add the chives.

Vegetable Pancetta "Tian"

1 ounce crisp pancetta rounds
2 ounces 2-inch round grilled eggplant (Circles)
2 ounces 2-inch round grilled zucchini (Circles)  
1 ounce 2-inch round roasted red pepper (Circle)
1 ounce 2-inch round roasted yellow pepper (Circle)  
1 ounce lightly grilled red onion  
1 ounce lightly grilled Portobello (Circle)

Procedure: With 2" round stainless steel cookie cutter, press out rounds
from each vegetable except the red onion, lightly oil and salt and pepper
and grill over a hot fire, until tender  (vegetables should still retain their
bright colors). Set aside and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Cook thin
slices or pancetta rounds until crisp in a 350 degree F. oven for about
10-15 minutes.

To Prepare
: Trim pork tenderloin of any fat and silver skin. Rub thorough-
ly with the rosemary-garlic rub.  In a hot pan, add 1 cup canola oil and sear
the pork all around, until rare, rub with remaining rosemary rub and finish in
a 350 degree F. oven until medium rare. Remove and let rest for 1 minute before slicing. Slice tenderloin into quarters roughly 2 inches  in size. On a sizzle platter or small pan layer the vegetables, alternating vegetables and pancetta, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Warm in a 350 degree F. oven.
On an entree plate, place “Tian" in the center of the plate. Spoon (4)
1-ounce ounce portions of the tomato whipped potatoes sym- metrically
around the "Tian", place each pork piece on the potatoes, and spoon
1 ounce of shallot glaze over each pork, and garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Garlic Oil
1 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic (rough chopped)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Heat oil to about 200-220 degrees F. Add garlic and pepper and remove
from heat immediately and cool. Garlic oil can be made up to 2 weeks
in advance.


Yields 5 dozen

1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup evaporated milk (undiluted)
7 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup soft shortening
Oil for frying
Confectioner’s sugar

Method: In a large mixing bowl sprinkle yeast over water; stir to dissolve.
Add sugar, salt, eggs and milk. Blend with blender. Add 4 cups flour; beat smooth. Add shortening and beat in remaining 3 cups flour. Cover with
plastic wrap and chill overnight. Roll out on floured board to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2-inch squares. Deep fry at 360 degrees F. for 2-3 minutes
until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on towel and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Serve hot!

Bacco, owned and operated by Ralph Brennan, is located at
310 Chartres Street, in the French Quarter,
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
(504) 522-2426
(504) 521-8323 Fax

More Recipes come from the
Ralph Brennan Group:
Redfish en Papillote
Sautéed Louisiana Redfish

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