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La Belle Cuisine
Take Home the True Taste
of New Orleans with More
than 150 Recipes from
Commander's Palace Restaurant
by Ty Adelaide Martin and Jamie Shannon,
Legend Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans 100 years ago. The
City that Care Forgot is celebrating
his birthday in her own inimitable way.
Despite the fact that he was
actually born on August 4th, Louis celebrated
birthday on July
4th. Why shouldn't we? (MG July 2001)
me, this is the King of Egg Dishes, named after the King of Jazz. When we
called it Poached Eggs with Red Bean Sauce and Pickled Pork Hash Cakes, we
couldn’t give it away. But when we renamed it Eggs Louis Armstrong, it
started flying out of the kitchen. The salty, almost sweet meat flavor of
pickled pork is trumpeted by the creamy, spicy red bean sauce, topped by
our plump poached
A very jazzy dish! All the more appropriate since
Louis signed his name
Beans and Ricely Yours”.
2 medium onions, in medium dice
1 1/2 medium bell peppers, in medium dice
15 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 stalks celery, in medium dice
1 1/2 jalapeño peppers, in small dice,
stems and seeds removed
1/2 pound dried red beans
1 1/4 pounds ham or pickled pork, soaked in
1 1/2 quarts plus 1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 large russet potato, unpeeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup flour, for dusting
8 poached eggs
3 green onions, thinly sliced
(green portion only)
Hot sauce to taste
1 tablespoon of the butter in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy pot over
heat until it starts to smoke, about 2 to 3 minutes, then reduce heat to
medium. Add half the onion, bell peppers and garlic, and all of the celery
and jalapeños, and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender and lightly
browned, stirring occasionally.
the vegetables are cooking, rinse the beans thoroughly, looking for
debris. Drain, and add them and the meat to the pot with the 1 1/2
water. Stir. Add the bay leaf and the whole potato and bring to a
skimming away any impurities that may rise to the top. Reduce the
and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove and set aside the potato, and simmer
the beans and meat for 1 to 1 1/4 hours more, until the beans are tender.
Turn off the heat. Remove the meat, set it aside and let it cool.
the meat into small dice. Peel the potato, and cut it into medium dice.
make the hash cakes. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the
remaining butter over high heat, until it starts to smoke, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the remaining onions, peppers and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes,
stirring, until the vegetables start to cook and become tender. While
cooking, add the diced meat to the pan, and stir. Reduce the heat to
medium, and sauté for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add
the diced potato, stir, and cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the remaining 1 cup of water, bring to a simmer, and cook 25 to 30
minutes more, stirring frequently. The mixture should become pasty, the
meat will start to break up, and all the water will be absorbed. Remove
from the heat and refrigerate.
the red bean sauce. With a hand blender or in a blender of food processor,
purée half the beans to a saucelike consistency. Return to the
mix with the whole beans. Add salt and pepper if necessary.
the chilled hash cake mixture into four even balls. Roll the balls on
floured sheet pan to fully coat each one, then slightly flatten each ball
the pan. If necessary, flip the cakes to coat again with flour.
the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a nonstick skillet or a
well-seasoned pan over high heat, about 2 to 3 minutes. Be sure the butter
the entire surface of the pan. Place the cakes in the pan, and sauté
until they start to become brown and crisp, about 2 1/2 minutes; if they are
too quickly, reduce the heat. Turn the cakes over, and cook
another 2 1/2 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary, until the cakes are
golden brown, crisp, and hot in the center.
the red bean sauce to a boil, adding a bit of water if it’s too thick or
boiling to reduce if it’s too thin. To serve, spoon about 4 ounces of
on each of 4 warmed plates and place a cake on top. With your
an indentation in each cake big enough for the eggs to stay
Place 2 poached eggs on each cake. Serve with green onions and
Jamie’s Tips: The
cakes and the sauce are best made a day in advance.
Pickled pork has been
cured in liquid brine. It is much like corned beef. Pickled
pork is hard
to find outside of the New Orleans area. Any well-preserved ham
substituted, but not smoked ham, which would distort the flavor of
and the salt too much.
Whatever you use, don’t season the sauce or the cakes until the end.
easy to oversalt, especially when you’re cooking meat in
beans; that mixture
extracts the salt into the sauce.
An immersion blender is the best tool to use for blending the sauce, but
don’t have one, use a blender or food processor.
I like my eggs sprinkled with hot sauce at the end.
Armstrong came home to New Orleans in the early 1950s to present a
television show. Since it meant there would be a nationwide viewership,
Uncle Owen Brennan convinced the television people to do the show in
of Brennan’s restaurant sign.
But this artist who was the toast of America still wasn’t allowed in
and still was not welcome in the heavily segregated South.
Louis was hurt, and
he stayed only long enough to do the show. But he
practiced a little. He stood on
the corner of Bourbon and Bienville, in
front of the old Absinthe House, and he
started to play. Ella and the
staff ran up to the balcony and listened, watching in awe. Word spread
fast. People came from everywhere. A huge crowd formed.
amazed, and Louis did not disappoint. He played his heart out.
it brought tears to her eyes. 'His talent was so awesome.' And for him
to stand on that corner – our corner, his corner, the center of New
many ways – and play 'Do You Know What It Means To Miss New
'Well, it gives me chills, just remembering it.' Ella recalled. 'He
was such a gentleman. We told him it was so good to have him home, and he
talk about red beans and rice and all the foods he missed.
It’s been such fun
meeting so many famous writers, musicians, actors,
and politicians over the
years, but nothing can top meeting Louis
Featured Archive Recipes:
(work in progress)
Andouille and Pepper
Commander's Eggs Creole
Commander's Eggs Jeannette
Commander's Omelet Pontalba
Louisiana Red Beans
Index - Breakfast Recipe Archives
More Commander's Palace Recipes
Do you know what it means
to miss New Orleans?
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